Online Payment Methods - How to Accept Online Payments

After reading this article you will understand;
  • Which online payment methods are available?
  • Online payment processing with direct debit.
  • Online payment processing with cards.
  • Differences between Direct Debit & cards for recurring payments?
  • How to accept credit card payments online
  • Which online payment gateway may suit your business needs?
  • How to accept online payments the easy way.
Listen to this article about online payment options for small businesses;

GoCardless automates accounting admin and reduces failed payments for over 60,000 businesses around the world.

Online Payment Options

There are two main methods for online payment processing:

  1. Direct Debit (also known as ACH Debit or bank debit)

  2. Credit (or debit) card

We've put together a summary of your online payment options below, to help you decide which is the best online payment processing method for your business.

Online Payment Processing: Direct Debit

In short, a Direct Debit is an instruction from your customer to their bank which authorizes your business to initiate a bank transfer by directly withdrawing funds from their account when payment is due.

While this can sound like a payment method that favors your business over your customer, there are actually a number of advantages for both parties (see benefits for payers and benefits for businesses), and rules in place to protect consumers.

Direct Debit is best suited to businesses that don't require their online payments to be instant (such as for e-commerce and online stores). It tends to be cheaper than card payments, as well as requiring less accounting and payments admin.

how to accept online payments

Option 1: Direct access to Direct Debit

You can directly access the ACH network (the bank-to-bank network Direct Debit payments run on in the US) through certain banks, however, the entry requirements to direct access to this online payment gateway can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex to meet.

This option is typically only advantageous for large enterprise businesses.

Learn more in our guide to direct access to ACH.

Option 2: Third-party payments processor (TPPP)

For many small businesses, direct access to the ACH network isn't feasible. Organizations referred to as third-party payments processors (TPPPs) help fill this gap.

TPPPs act at scale, serving many businesses as an intermediary to the bank which is part of the ACH network. Because of this, they can offer cheaper, faster, and simpler entry requirements to Direct Debit for your business.

TPPPs can also be banks, or they can be credit card payment processors, accounting software providers, and more. It's possible your business already has a relationship with one such as PayPal or Amazon Pay.

Learn more in our guide to indirect access to ACH.

Option 3: GoCardless

GoCardless is a Direct Debit specialist that can provide your business cheap, fast, and simple access to Direct Debit.

With GoCardless you can manage your Direct Debit payments from a simple online dashboard (or you can integrate with the GoCardless REST API).

Your customers will be able to set up Direct Debit payments to you online, without having to fill out tedious paper authorization forms.

Learn more about ACH debit payments with GoCardless.

GoCardless automates accounting admin and reduces failed payments for over 60,000 businesses around the world.

Online Payment Methods: Credit (or Debit) Card

Credit and debit cards are - for several industries in the US - considered the de facto default way to accept online payment.

A look at global business payment preferences suggests that this "preference" for cards, such as American Express or Mastercard, isn't a payer preference at all, but rather a historical habit that has stuck around.

online payment methods

However, if you need to collect payments from your customers instantly, payments from accepted credits cards, or debit cards, are likely your best option.

It is worth noting that debit card transaction fees are usually less than credit card fees.

If you need to know more about collecting recurring payments through Direct Debit or cards watch the video below.

What's the difference between Direct Debit and recurring card payments?

Option 1: DIY

Unless you choose to use an all-in-one payment processor like Stripe or PayPal, you’ll need to set up a merchant account and payment gateway in order to accept card payments online.

A merchant account is a bank account that allows you to accept payments from credit or debit cards. It is an online bank account that temporarily holds your money until it is moved to your normal business account. Many banks offer these, and you don't need to get one from the same bank that you have your normal business account with.

An online payment gateway connects your website to one or more of the processor networks, similarly to a point of sale credit card machine in a shop or restaurant. It lets your customer submit their credit card details and then tells you whether the charge is approved by the cardholder’s bank, as well as submits your charges for settlement.

Option 2: Outsource to a Payment Service Provider (PSP)

If you don’t want to do it all yourself, you can choose to use a payment service provider (PSP) to help you accept online payments.

PSPs act as a middleman between you and the banks – they make sure that all the money ends up in the right place by taking it from the cardholder’s account and delivering it to your account.

Full-service PSPs typically provide the services of both a merchant account and a payment gateway, letting you accept online payments without you needing to acquire these facilities on your own.

Using a PSP typically reduces the burden of compliance as you will never actually touch sensitive financial information. Online payment processors like Stripe also offer a full stack of services such as subscription billing, fraud management, payouts, transfers, and more, making online payment processing even easier.

Which PSP you choose will depend on what you need:

  • If you want a great API, take a look at Stripe

  • If you want a well-known name, take a look at PayPal

  • If you want a great mobile experience, take a look at Braintree

If you provide your customers a subscription service, a subscription management service (or subscription wrapper) lets you easily handle recurring payments.

Services typically have a credit card vault (where customers can store their credit card details for future use); automate billing, customer sign up and billing-related emails; and make sure the right people get charged the right amount every month. You’ll typically still need to use either a merchant account and online payment gateway or a PSP.

How to accept online payments the easy way. GoCardless.

GoCardless helps you automate online payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices.

As well as saving your business time, GoCardless can also save money by significantly reducing failed payments.

Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

GoCardless automates accounting admin and reduces processing costs for over 60,000 businesses around the world.


NOTES

SEO Optimizations

Current optimization;

URL: online-payment-options

Title: Online Payment Methods | How to Accept Payments Online | GoCardless (slightly over recommended length)

H1: How to accept payments online

H2: 1) Direct debit
      2) Credit (or debit) card
      The easiest way to collect Bank Debit payments. GoCardless.

H3: How to take Direct Debit payments online
How to take Card payments online

 

Updated Optimisation

URL: online-payment-methods

Title: Online Payment Methods | Online Payment Processing

<h1>Online Payment Methods - How to Accept Online Payments</h1>
<h2>Online Payment Options</h2>
<h3>Online Payment Processing: Direct Debit</h3>
<h4>Option 1: Direct access to Direct Debit</h4>
<h4>Option 2: Third-party payments processor (TPPP)</h4>
<h4>Option 3: GoCardless</h4>
<h3>Online Payment Methods: Credit (or Debit) Card</h3>
<h4>Option 1: DIY</h4>
<h4>Option 2: Outsource to a Payment Service Provider (PSP)</h4>
<h2>How to accept online payments the easy way. GoCardless.</h2>

 

Text changes;

Updated to US spellings.

ADDED - for voice search optimization & UX

After reading this article you will understand;

  • Which online payment methods are available?
  • Online payment processing with direct debit.
  • Online payment processing with cards.
  • Differences between Direct Debit & cards for recurring payments?
  • Which online payment gateway may suit your business needs?
  • How to accept online payments the easy way.

The text changes listed below are to insert target keywords and LSI phrases. LSI phrases based on an analysis of the top 10 results across all 7 keywords;

1. There are two main methods for taking payments online: CHANGED TO;

There are two main methods for online payment processing:

2. We've put together a summary of each online payment option below, to help you decide which is the best way to collect online payments for your business. CHANGED TO;

We've put together a summary of your online payment options below, to help you decide which is the best online payment processing method for your business.

3. considered the de facto default way to accept payments online. CHANGED TO;

considered the de facto default way to accept online payment.

4. In short, a Direct Debit is an instruction from your customer to their bank which authorizes your business to directly withdraw funds from their account when payment is due. CHANGED TO;

In short, a Direct Debit is an instruction from your customer to their bank which authorizes your business to initiate a bank transfer by directly withdrawing funds from their account when payment is due.

5. Direct Debit is best suited to businesses that don't require their online payments to be instant (such as for e-commerce). CHANGED TO;

Direct Debit is best suited to businesses that don't require their online payments to be instant (such as for e-commerce and online stores).

6. however, the entry requirements to direct access to this can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex to meet. CHANGED TO

however, the entry requirements to direct access to this online payment gateway can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex to meet.

7. For many businesses, direct access to the ACH network isn't feasible. CHANGED TO;

For many small businesses, direct access to the ACH network isn't feasible.

8. It's possible your business already has a relationship with one. CHANGED TO;

It's possible your business already has a relationship with one such as PayPal or Amazon Pay.

9. However, if you need to collect payments from your customers instantly, payments from cards are likely your best option. CHANGED TO

However, if you need to collect payments from your customers instantly, payments from accepted credits cards, or debit cards, are likely your best option.

10. ADDED It is worth noting that debit card transaction fees are usually less than credit card fees.

11. ADDED If you need to know more about collecting recurring payments through Direct Debit or cards watch the video below. What's the difference between Direct Debit and recurring card payments?

12. A payment gateway connects your website to one or more of the processor networks, CHANGED TO

An online payment gateway connects your website to one or more of the processor networks,

13. similarly to a credit card machine in a shop or restaurant CHANGED TO;

similarly to a point of sale credit card machine in a shop or restaurant

14. Online providers like Stripe also offer CHANGED TO;

Online payment processors like Stripe also offer

15. making the payment process even easier. CHANGED TO;

making online payment processing even easier.

16. You’ll typically still need to use either a merchant account and payment gateway or a PSP. CHANGED TO;

You’ll typically still need to use either a merchant account and online payment gateway or a PSP.

17. GoCardless helps you automate payment collection CHANGED TO;

GoCardless helps you automate online payment collection,

18. ADDED As well as saving your business time, GoCardless can also save money by significantly reducing failed payments.

19. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today. CHANGED TO;

Learn more about how you can improve online payment processing at your business today.

 

Also added; images, audio version & video from YT;

  • no ranking competitors have audio or video on their pages
  • studies show that rich media keeps people on pages longer
  • leverage the content on your Youtube channel
  • better UX (different modalities & additional/related info)

 

Search Intent & Keyword Similarity

 

Search Intent & Keyword Similarity

 

Observations on Intent

With little similarities between the two sets of keywords, one has to consider if Google is willing to rank a single page for all targeted keywords.

Having said that most of the pages in set 1 are not actually optimized for set 2 KWs - although, for example, Investopedia page ranking 3 for 'online payment methods' does contain the phrase 'online payment processing' but is not in the top 10 for that keyword, so will need to monitor and test to see if single page can rank for all KWs.

Many of the articles are list-type articles, which indicates that users want a review of available providers, rather than actual methods, however, as GC's page is ranking in the top 10 for all 3 of the first set of KWs it suggests that optimization is the issue and not content type.

 

Keyword Cannibalization

This page is already optimized for Online Payment Processing - https://gocardless.com/en-us/guides/posts/basics-online-payment-processing/

Also, this page deals with it too - https://gocardless.com/en-us/guides/posts/what-is-a-payment-processor/

This is likely to cause what is known as 'keyword cannibalization' where two (or more) of your own pages compete against each other in the SERPs for the same keywords.

Potential solutions would be to combine these similar posts into an all-encompassing super-page on the topic.

These pages can be very long and unwieldy, but 'accordions' can be used to keep the layout neat and tidy and to prevent any potential load speed issues.

Other

Social Share Options - competitor pages have them.

Authorship re: E-A-T / YMYL - as this is finance-related Google may consider it to be YMYL content - most competitor pages have author names and link.

Off-page SEO

SEMrush recommends trying to acquire backlinks from the following domains:

12handz.com
josephmuciraexclusives.com
best-free-apps.info
freewarepos.net
campinghiking.net
gobebaba.com
bravejournal.net
mynicedeals.com
appsok.info
werite.net
withtank.com
intlsolutionsgroup.com
best-apps-now.com
best-books.info
bestappsfinder.com
strategydriven.com
ourculturemag.com
find-companies-now.com
insurancebest.net

 

Conversion Rate Optimizations

Added offer & call-to-action, together with testimonial boxes within the text. (Could also be in sidebar - static or scrolling).

The CTA focuses on saving time and money - appropriate for small businesses. The effectiveness of this would need to be monitored and tested.

Lead -capture form example offers a Guide in exchange for an email address to build a mailing list of small businesses to market to.

Can also send surveys to these subscribers to further understand their issues and enable more useful & relevant content creation.

Other options;

  • 'Hello bar'
  • Pop-ups
  • Exit pop-ups
  • Overlays
  • Retargeting ads

 

KPIs 

The goal is to increase Google visibility to get more traffic and convert that traffic into enquiries, subscribers, and leads.

Google ranking - has re-optimization worked?

Unique (and returning) visits - has traffic increased? Do users return?

User engagement - Dwell time, social shares stats, page bounce rate.

GSC - KW impressions and clicks. Has re-optimization resulted in target KW clicks, new long-tail KW clicks?

GSC - CTR impression to click ratio - meta-description review?

Leads generated - are the offer and the CTA effective?

Conversion rate - benchmark and monitor for future testing.

Heat maps - On-page user behavior software such as Crazy Egg - where do users click, how far down do they scroll, are there bottle-necks?

Mobile Vs Desktop Vs Tablet visits - is content optimized for relevant devices?

Incoming links - is content linkable.