Today payment services are one of the most convenient and promising tools on the Internet. Connecting a payment service to a website is easy. By choosing one of them, it is possible to accept payments for goods or services, transfer money and cash it out using a bank card, e-money, or a mobile phone balance.
Almost all countries in the world today have payment services – international or their own. Banking institutions are the link between senders and receivers of money. They are responsible for conducting transactions and storing funds in accounts. Whenever people sell goods online, it’s important to choose payment methods carefully. Different platforms have different fees, ease of use, and encryption methods. And choosing the wrong one can lead to overpayments or an even higher risk of data theft.
What online payments offer
Before the advent of electronic payment systems, it was possible to pay for goods or services either in cash or by bank check. In either case, it required personal contact between the seller and the buyer. The introduction of business on the Internet led to the emergence of payment systems. In most cases their use is justified: they significantly simplify the acceptance of payments on the Internet.
Online payment systems save time by allowing the transfer of money between accounts in a few minutes. Enables monitoring of expenses thanks to the history of all transactions, indicating the store and the amount spent. Online payment systems reduce the risk of money theft. Plus such systems are easy to use, their interface is intuitive. All payments can be made at any time in any place, where there is a connection to the Internet.
How online payment process works
Merchant: is an online business operating in different areas, offering a product or service to customers.
Customer: is the cardholder who wants to access the products or services that the merchant sells and initiates the transaction.
Issuing bank: is the customer’s bank that issues the cardholder’s credit or debit card on behalf of card schemes like Visa and Mastercard.
Acquirer: also known as an acquiring bank, an acquirer is a financial institution that maintains a merchant bank account (known as a merchant account). The acquiring bank transmits the merchant’s transactions to the issuing bank to receive payment.
Payment processor: Processes credit card transactions offline or online through payment gateways. It acts between parties to complete card payments.
Payment gateway: it encrypts and transmits customer credit card information to the payment processor. It is a digital pass-through that enables online communication between the issuing bank and the acquiring bank.
Online payment process
1. Customer makes a purchase online
2. Payment gateway encrypts transaction information
3. Payment processor verifies transaction details
4. Customer’s credit card company and bank approve funds
5. Payment processor requests transfer of funds
6. Merchant receives funds
Top 7 online payment services
Stripe is an international service for secure online payments in multiple currencies. It acts as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller, who makes the payment. Stripe solves the problems of card payments, including card data storage, recurring payments, and bank account withdrawals.
You can integrate the Stripe API into your site to receive payments. The service can handle major international debit or credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc. The advantages include high speed of payment processing, security, and convenient integration with websites. Facebook, SAP, Kickstarter, Udacity, TED, UNICEF, and many others use Stripe.
But unfortunately, Stripe is not supported in all countries. The service is only available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and some other European countries.
Amazon Pay is a payment service that allows using payment tools stored in the Amazon accounts to pay for goods and services on third-party websites and apps that accept Amazon Pay. Both enterprises and customers use this service.
Companies are adding Amazon Pay to checkout pages or website shopping carts so customers can log in and access payment tools in their Amazon accounts. The company can also personalize the customer’s shopping experience using their name and email address. The service is simple and reliable to use. As for security, the card information is only kept by Amazon, the end stores do not get it. Companies like Canon and Lenovo already use Amazon Pay.
PayPal allows making free money transfers and payments for online purchases. EBay’s subsidiary, PayPal, is almost always listed as an online payment option.
So, with the help of the service, you can make a payment in any online store and any currency. And in this case, it is not necessary to constantly bring up the bank details or the payment card data. It is enough to know the identifier of the recipient. It corresponds to the email address used during the registration.
No one except PayPal will know the payment card details. And the service also protects most of the purchases in the stores connected to it. If there are problems with the seller, PayPal allows you to get your money back.
There are also many options for integrating PayPal with popular CMSs. You can install a checkout button using HTML or integrate PayPal on any site with a third-party shopping cart app.
2Checkout is an online payment processing service. It combines a payment gateway and a merchant account in one package for easy integration. The service operates in over 200 countries, with 8 payment methods, 26 currencies, and 15 languages. This makes it one of the largest international payment services.
2Checkout supports work with both physical and electronic goods and services. There is a list of prohibited goods, which can be found on the company’s website. The service also offers customers localized shopping options, coupons, and discounts for mobile devices has shopping cart templates and tools to increase conversions.
2Checkout also uses a fraud prevention program to protect users. This program has a three-phase protection system and uses more than 300 variables to detect fraud.
Square is a payment processing solution that integrates with Square hardware and POS software. Companies can use the service to make transactions from anywhere, make credit card payments, send invoices, store payment details for repeat customers, sell through e-commerce platforms, etc. Square is great for businesses that need personal transactions, don’t need complicated e-commerce setups, or aren’t too tech-savvy. You can also use Square to prompt users to sign up for the email subscription. If the user decides to get a receipt in the mail, you will have access to their address.
Square uses automatic security measures, including PCI compliance, chargeback protection, account hijacking protection, monitoring, and fraud detection.
Unfortunately, the service currently serves only the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Japan.
Authorize.Net is an electronic payment service in which owners of online stores and other commercial sites can receive payments. The service supports payments using credit cards and electronic checks. It also accepts recurring or subscription payments. Authorize.net uses the free Advanced Fraud Detection Suite security service and offers fraud detection and secure stored customer data, which also saves time on repeat transactions. The platform card reader app makes it easy to set up personal payment services, and if you have questions, it offers support options including free telephone or online chat assistance.
And developers can integrate Authorize.net technology into apps, digital wallets, and more. However, the service is currently only available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and Canada.
Payoneer is a global payment service that provides an easy way to receive payments. The service operates in two hundred countries and regions in 150 local currencies and is also a registered provider of the Mastercard payment system. Financial payment service allows to withdraw funds directly from a debit card, as well as send and receive funds domestically and abroad.
Payoneer opens an account at a local bank in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Japan. To receive payment you will need to provide Payoneer’s bank account details. It’s worth remembering that Payoneer is intended for business purposes only. So you can’t use the service for self-replenishment of a card, transferring funds to yourself, etc.
Online payment safety
Both payers and banks, online stores, and payment systems are interested in the security of Internet transactions, and they are developing new advanced means of online payment security and protection against fraudsters. All parties of a transaction risk their money, and stores, banks, and systems also risk their reputations.
PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) standards. These data security standards, developed by international payment systems, protect bank card data. Any company that is going to make online payments must meet the PCI DSS standards.
3-D Secure Technology. Usually, this verification is done via SMS. After entering a card number, the cardholder is redirected to the server of his issuing bank. Usually, the bank sends the buyer an SMS with a secret code as confirmation. Entering the code, the user confirms his or her identity, after which the bank authorizes the transaction.
Payment systems also authorize and identify the customer. For example, PayPal or Apple Pay themselves authorize and identify the client, who does not have to re-enter payment data every time. This reduces the risk of information leakage.
So in Europe, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force in 2018, strengthening requirements for processing online payments, and extending the rights of individuals. For the merchant, compliance with GDPR includes privacy impact assessments, greater transparency in cases of data breaches, and the appointment of dedicated data protection officers.
Payment Services Directives, such as PSD2, are another type of regulation to ensure the security of online payments. Payment Services Directive 2 implemented EU payment rules to ensure transaction security through a mandatory strict customer authentication (SCA) mechanism and new rules to regulate access to account information from third-party providers and the processing of recurring transactions.
Of course, this article describes only some of the most popular payment services, in fact, there are many more. When choosing a service, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons. In addition, you should consider the unique requirements of your business. For example, that the chosen solution is available in whatever countries you plan to do business in and can integrate with your website platform.