Adding Payments to Your Website: Choosing the Right Payment Platform
What is a payment platform and why do you need it? If you run an online store or your website has the option of in-site purchases, you inevitably need to accept payments online.
Adding Payments to Your Website: Choosing the Right Payment Platform What is a payment platform and why do you need it? If you run an online store or your website has the option of in-site purchases, you inevitably need to accept payments online. According to the experts’ predictions, 2019 will see a double increase of mobile payments. Also, the way the customers pay will change greatly due to the improved usability. It is essential to make your online payments as user-friendly as possible since it will directly influence the number of online purchases on your website. Online payments can be enabled through a payment platform integrated into your website. A payment platform or a payment gateway is the online counterpart of POS terminals which facilitates the transaction, verifies the funds, and securely transfers them to your account keeping customer’s information private.
Which Platform to Choose?
With a variety of payment platform providers offering their services today, your main task is to choose the one that will fit the needs of your business and your customers. In order to make the right choice, you should know which features you should pay your attention to. Generally, you should take into account platform’s currency support, pricing, level of security and reliability, solutions for mobile devices. Also, check out whether you need to have a merchant account to use a particular platform (most modern platforms don’t require it). We offer you a brief summary for each of the most popular payment platforms you can use for your business.
- Support of major payment methods (PayPal, Bitcoin, Apple Pay, and Android Pay)
- Credit and debit card integration
- A drop-in checkout UI through its v.zero SDK, which works across all platforms
- A One Touch feature that allows the users to log in and make purchases without re-entering their usernames, passwords, or credit card details. The feature is implemented by using a one-line code: [provider createPaymentMethod:BTPaymentProviderTypePayPal]
The setup of Braintree is relatively easy: you only have to enter some lines of code to start using it. Braintree’s documentation is subdivided according to a particular platform (iOS, Android, web), with web broken down by various individual languages, such as PHP, Ruby, Node, etc. To get started you need to download the appropriate SDK, then generate a token, and add a drop-in UI depending on the platform you’re using.
Braintree offers quick checkouts where customers’ sensitive information is securely collected and remembered. There is a smart feature called the Braintree Vault which remembers user’s information once and for all eliminating the need to re-enter it later.
Braintree for businesses
Braintree prevents any kind of fraud complying with PCI Security Standards. It uses Hosted Fields for entering credit card numbers, where the text fields are hosted remotely instead of on the device/website (a PCI requirement).
Braintree supports repeated payments by storing the user’s information securely in the Vault and taking care of all the billing cycle payments. Also, it allows for adding discounts, promotional periods, and rewards, as well as managing failed transactions by re-trying past-due subscriptions. The Braintree Marketplace allows companies to split their payments among various providers.
- Mobile SDK, a native app support SDK, allowing apps to easily accept credit card payments both for immediate and deferred payments
- Braintree’s v.zero client-side SDK to accept payments from Bitcoin and all major credit cards
Due to the variety of PayPal tools, the setup can be either easy or complicated. PayPal also hosts its SDKs on Github having greatly improved its usability over the last years.
PayPal currently has millions of customers. It ensures high level of security for your sensitive data while processing your transactions. PayPal has a feature similar to Braintree’s Vault called Express Checkout. It provides separate storage of the client’s sensitive information, allowing buyers to purchase before passing on control to PayPal’s Checkout UI, and then returning to the website. Working closely with dozens of vendors and stores to provide discounts PayPal provides a unique ecosystem. There are even brand credit cards offered by PayPal.
PayPal and businesses
PayPal offers the ability to split payments between merchants and providers, leveraging Braintree’s Marketplace, in addition to an Adaptive Payments API for international payments in any country where PayPal is supported.
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Stripe also supports recurring billing through Stripe’s Subscriptions API, allowing companies to bill customers daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
Stripe provides a quick, familiar, and comfortable interface using Checkout, and support for Apple Pay and Android Pay allows users to leverage their devices’ unique hardware (i.e. Apple fingerprint) to pay for items across multiple platforms.
Stripe and businesses
This payment platform is used by such companies as Kickstarter, Pinterest, Lyft, and Instacart. Stripe enables not only the immediate payments, but also allows for deferred payments. For example, Lyft charges the rider a nominal fee upfront and then later charges the total fee at the completion of the ride. Stripe also provides excellent reporting such as monthly summaries, as well as integration with accounting software like Quickbooks. All transactions on Stripe are protected by the PCI-DSS security standard). Stripe has the ability to work with coupons and vouchers at the API level.
Venmo is a mobile payment service that is now a part of PayPal. It allows users to transfer money between one another using a mobile phone app or web interface. This is a platform for those who often split checks with friends that’s why it’s possible both to make and request payments. Obviously, Venmo is aimed mainly at the young audience.
Set up a Venmo developer account and generate your own API token to be used within your app to get started with Venmo. Then, depending on your platform, you would either make oAuth web API calls or download the iOS SDK or Android SDK both hosted on Github.
For mobile SDKs, implementation is pretty easy, employing modern SDK adoption techniques to allow developers to get going right away. Venmo also offers a tutorial on getting started with the API.
The distinguishing feature of Venmo is its “social” character – all your Facebook friends who use Venmo can view your transactions and even like them. Another big benefit with Venmo is that the transfers are done overnight, compared to Stripe and Braintree that take two days.
Venmo has gained its popularity being customer-oriented. Currently, it’s supported only in the USA.
Venmo and businesses
Venmo is a rather lightweight platform that lacks a lot of essential tools offered by other payment services (reporting/invoicing tools, mass payments, recurring payments, promotions, or trial periods). Its security is also questionable, although Venmo claims to act in compliance with PCI standard. Still, its main advantage is overnight transactions. Venmo can be implemented on its own, but with Braintree’s v.zero, companies can provide customers with the option to choose between Venmo, PayPal, credit card, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.
The Prospects of Payments Industry
There is a tendency among different payment platforms towards improving their security, expanding their mobile offerings, and making them more user-friendly. The popularity of online shopping determines the need of simplified, intuitive, and faster payments. Also, many payment services are working on their design and improving technical details.
If you’re looking for a payment platform that will increase the number of purchases on your website, you need to consider a lot of things before choosing one. When it comes to dealing with real users, a single detail matters. You should choose the platform that will encourage your customers to buy your products and services and will fit the specifics of your business as well.