If you want to accept payments on your website, you’ll want to choose the online payment service provider that can offer you the best deal. To help you narrow your options, consider these questions as you select the best online PSP for your business:

1. Is the PSP compatible with your existing site? If not, you may have to completely redesign the site using different software. If so, integration could be as easy as a few clicks.

Your company can dramatically reduce your PCI obligations and decrease your risk of a data breach when you outsource hosting and many other aspects of payment processing to PCI-compliant service providers.

But what questions should you consider regarding service providers to make sure that the ones you choose are right for your company -- and that they’re doing all they can to protect the data entrusted to them?

Here are five points to consider:

When you’re using a payment gateway for your company’s payment transactions or as a reseller to provider payment transaction services to other businesses, you deserve to have your logo and other branding characteristics visible to customers. With white label payment gateways available today, that’s possible. But there are increasingly complete levels of branding available.

Merchants and resellers can strengthen their brand image and provide t6he most seamless experience when they choose branding that is as complete as possible, but a completely seamless experience isn’t available with some payment gateway software.

Business people often misunderstand their merchant accounts, and it’s no wonder. Some unscrupulous companies in the merchant services industry seem to want customers to misunderstand what they offer. It makes sense to work with a company that makes the agreement completely transparent, and you have the right and obligation to ask probing questions to make sure you always understand what’s going on.

Here are five questions you may want to ask about your merchant account:

A payment service provider’s reserve policy is just as important as its pricing. But merchants often don’t consider merchant account reserve policies when choosing an account, and that can be a mistake.

Here are the three top questions about merchant account reserves you should consider:

Payment service providers and merchants who need to process credit card transactions, ACH transactions and other forms of electronic payments -- whether from domestic or international sources -- can implement a payment gateway solution in one of two specific ways.

The first choice is a licensed gateway solution, which requires a significant investment and commitment. The second is a more affordable hosted choice. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

Becoming a payment service provider -- also called a payment facilitator or simple a PSP -- involves a number of significant costs. When you fully understand the costs involved, you can make better decisions and better understand if your company is in a position to start down this path.

Here are the top five costs involved in becoming a payment service provider

Do you understand all the terms and fees related to your merchant service agreement? The details often seem intentionally confusing, and you may have agreed to so many things and signed so many documents when you got your account that you couldn’t possibly have understood everything.

But since credit card processing is one of the top expenses for most businesses, it makes sense to understand what your agreement says -- and to understand the ways that some unscrupulous companies will try to take advantage of you. Making the best choice can easily save you 40 percent or more on fees and costs, plus you’ll save time and hassles.

Things have changed since ecommerce first came onto the scene. In the beginning, ecommerce was a complex and expensive thing to get into. Now, today’s wide array of payment service providers means that the payment processing aspect of ecommerce doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to implement.

But you can still get taken for a ride if you don’t make wise choices. It’s important to enter into a relationship with an ecommerce payment service provider as you would any other business relationship: with skepticism, with your eyes wide open and with an eye toward keeping costs down. While the majority of payment service providers are honest and trustworthy companies, you still owe it to yourself and your company to make a careful decision.

If you accept payments online, you must have a secure way to collect and process credit cards and other online payments. Not only do today’s customers demand data security, government regulations require it.

Almost all web-based businesses use third-party payment gateways rather than going through the complicated, expensive and time-consuming process of building payment processing software themselves. But it can be difficult to decide which payment gateway is best for your company.

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