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So you decided to take that plunge; you’re finally going to start that eShop you’ve been telling everyone about for last few years. You chose eCommerce consultants for your brand. Things are moving nicely but you are now faced with a new question, “which payment gateway do you want?” Although it seems like a simple enough question, it is to be taken seriously as choosing the right gateway could determine your business’ success. Here are a few things to take into consideration when choosing.

What is an Online Payment Gateway?

An online payment gateway (OPG) is provided by an eCommerce application service provider, to merchants with an eShop in order to process, verify, accept or decline credit card payments online using a secure internet connection.

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?

Once your online shoppers decide on an item to buy from your eShop, they will be directed to the checkout page. They will then need to fill out personal information along with their credit card’s details and submit the payment. Your gateway will validate your customers’ information in order to transfer the funds to your account all done after encrypting and securely transferring customers information. Setting up a payment gateway is easy once you have an eShop and a legally registered company.

What to Look for Before Choosing?

Security: make sure to chose an OPG that is PCI compliant and SSL certified.

Cost: ask for all fees involved; account set up/monthly fees, transaction fees…

Accepted payment methods: make sure all major credit cards are accepted.

Compatibility: your OPG should integrate with your eShop, from a design and technical perspective.

Payment location: your OPG shouldn’t re-direct buyers to another website for payments.

How Will the Right OPG Help my Business?

Credibility is improved with a renowned OPG making the shopper feel safer.

Peace of mind for you the merchant as you will get paid before shipping the item.

Most online shoppers have become familiar with the process, so no problem here.

Keeps customers on your website which could help in improving your conversion rate.

Reduced bounce rate as shoppers will leave an eShop with an untrustworthy OPG.

Lower cart abandonment due to an easier and less complicated payment processes.

Target foreign markets as cash on delivery (COD) is NOT recommended when exporting.

I recently met a prospect clients in electronics, perfect for eCommerce. They told me they hadn’t taken the plunge yet because OPGs are not good in Lebanon. That’s SO wrong. There is a good number of OPGs controlled by our Central Bank. We work: Areeba, BLOM, Bank Med Payfort and NetCommerce.

Although 60% of Lebanese eShoppers prefer COD, this option is always available locally, but when you want to really tap into eCommere’s potential, you need a strong, reputable OPG to help you grow your business. Good luck, work hard, but don’t forget to have fun.

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