Taking Payments Online: The Options

In the early years, BF Internet offered clients the option of taking credit card payments via through PGP encrypted emails. This allowed shoppers to submit their credit card details through a secure encrypted form to be processed in-store and offered reduced operating costs, whilst not requiring an internet merchant account.

The card payment industry has changed massively in recent years, with greater focus on online security and fraud prevention through the introduction of CV2 numbers, 3D-secure authentication and additional layers of fraud checking. These advances have meant that other payment processing options (e.g. PayPal, Sage Pay..) have become far superior to PGP, offering improved PCI-compliant fraud protection for the merchant whilst widespread implementation has minimised costs.

This article looks at 3 options available to you, to allow payments to be taken online:

  1. Sage Pay

    Sage Pay (a subsidiary of Sage) provides secure online credit and debit card payment solutions for thousands of online and mail order businesses across the UK. When Sage Pay has been implemented on a website, the merchant no longer has to manually process credit card details and the secure disposal & storage of credit card details is no longer a worry.

    With Sage Pay, taking payments is as simple as it can be. A customer can get instant feedback as to whether their payment has been successful, whilst the merchant knows straight away that the payment has been taken, the fraud checking been passed and shipping address confirmed. Sage Pay is also integrated with PayPal Express Checkout (a 3-click checkout for your customers) giving you the opportunity to add a PayPal option to your payment pages.

    Sage Pay Go (Small Business Service) is available from £20/month*, with no additional costs for up to 1,000 transactions per quarter.

    More details can be found at sagepay.com and you can sign up to use Sage Pay at yoursagepay.co.uk

  2. PayPal – Website Payments Standard

    Established as the number 1 payment network for auction websites, PayPal is now rapidly growing in use amongst e-commerce businesses. PayPal Website Payments Standard is simple to set up and does not require an internet merchant account. PayPal allows you to accept credit and debit cards, bank transfer and PayPal balance payments in minutes.  Your customers do not need to have a PayPal account to pay you.

    Charges for using PayPal Website Payments Standard are made on a per-transaction basis and there are no monthly or annual fees. Fees range from 1.4% – 3.4% + £0.20*, more details can be found at:
    www.paypal.com

  3. PayPal – Website Payments Pro

    Website Payments Pro offers all the benefits of a merchant account and gateway with PayPal. You can accept credit and debit cards, bank transfer and PayPal balance payments via Express Checkout (a 3-click checkout for your customers), via an unbranded direct credit/debit card checkout, or via phone/fax and mail. Your customers do not need to have a PayPal account to pay you.

    Charges for using PayPal Website Payments Pro can be made on a per-transaction basis ranging from 1.4% – 3.4% + £0.20*. Alternatively, an unlimited amount of transaction can be made for a set fee of £20/month. More details can be found at: www.paypal.com

* Prices correct at time of publication (5/2011)