Setting up your eCommerce Business

Are you gearing up to sell your products online? Starting up an ecommerce venture is an incredibly exciting time for any business owner, however you want to make sure you get it right. With very few touch points and just a single checkout method, it’s important to get all the fundamentals right in order to encourage your customers to complete a purchase.

If you’re new to ecommerce or just want a refresh on the fundamentals of starting an ecommerce website, check out our key points for launching your store including a detailed explanation of the most important step – payment processing.

Setting up the basics – Hosting & Domain

When setting up an eCommerce store, one of the very first things you’ll need to do is organise hosting for your website. There are a large number of companies around that offer this service, however some of our favourites are:

After this is complete, you’ll also need to purchase a domain name. This is generally some variation of your business name (if this is still available) including acronyms. Make sure it’s easy to read and easy to type; you don’t want potential customers getting lost on their way to find you.

Setting up

After you’re happy with the design, it’s now time to upload your products. The process of uploading your items will depend on the CMS you have chosen, however, there are a few fundamental things you should keep in mind when doing so. For example, categorisation of your products is essential to allowing your products to be easily found. If a customer lands on your page and can’t find what they’re looking for in a few simple clicks, you’ve likely lost out on a sale.

Integrating a shopping cart

In order for your customers to be able to shop on your website, you’ll need shopping cart functionality. A shopping cart is essentially a piece of software that users can add their desired purchases to in order to facilitate a purchase. Shopping carts may be self-hosted and integrated into your website with a plugin or downloadable software or hosted by a third-party. With a hosted shopping cart, all you need to do is sign up with the chosen company and you’ll be on your way to start processing payments. There are many hosted shopping carts available, but some of our favourites would have to be:

Processing customer transactions

Undoubtedly the most important aspect of setting up your ecommerce website is having the ability to complete transactions. Regardless of the payment options you’re intending to offer, you’ll need to implement payment processing, including the following:

  •  Payment Gateway

As the name suggests, a payment gateway is the entry point for taking customer payments online. It’s like a cash register at the store, allowing you to accept payments for your goods or services. For security reasons, ecommerce stores cannot process payments directly through their site and thus, the payment gateway acts as a middle man between the customer and the payment processor.

So how does it work?

A payment gateway secures the payment process, meaning customers will be more comfortable spending their money with you. It does this by encrypting data through your secure sockets layer (SSL) and sending it through to the bank to regulate whether or not it’s a valid payment.

  • Payment Processor

A payment processor is the financial entity that processes payments behind the scenes, providing a link between the payment gateway and merchant account. It sends information rapidly to and from these links in the chain to provide a speedy service for the customer. In general, your payment processor will have an agreement with either the acquiring bank or the payment gateway, allowing them to offer a dual service to the merchant.

  • Merchant Account

A merchant account, also known as a merchant ID (MID), is a bank account designed specifically for accepting payment via debit and credit cards online. Your Merchant Service Provider (MSP) will generally be able to provide this account through either affiliation with one of the big banks or as part of their internal services. While there are many merchant accounts available to businesses looking to sell online, they can vary significantly in monthly fees so it’s beneficial to do some research before locking yourself in.

The payment process in action

To help you understand how these processes work, let’s take a look at them in action.

Mel is browsing her favourite shoe store online and decides to buy a new pair of sneakers for herself. She adds the item to her shopping cart, heads to the checkout and enters her credit card information.

As the purchase is processing on her laptop, within a couple of seconds the payment process occurs:

  • Mel’s transaction information is passed from the payment gateway through the payment processor and on to the merchant account
  • The payment processor connects with the Credit Card Network to locate Mel’s bank and then verifies her credit card to ensure the payment is valid
  • Mel’s bank accepts the transaction as she is using a valid card that hasn’t gone over the credit limit
  • The payment processor then responds to the payment gateway with the information that the payment is approved, allowing the merchant website to complete the purchase
  • The merchant is then notified of the transaction and processes Mel’s order
  • Mel’s bank transfers the required money across to the merchant’s bank
  • Once the settlement period has expired, the money is then deposited into the merchant account

Ecommerce and Latpay 

Latpay offer a range of merchant services to help get your ecommerce store up and running in no time. With innovative technology and endless integrations, we can help you elevate your shopping experience to help you convert more customers. With options to set up your merchant account and integrate our payment gateway into your shopping cart, our robust payment platforms offer the most effective way for processing transactions online.

For more info on our comprehensive merchant facilities, follow the link or get in touch with our team on 07 5515 0402

Learn more about merchant facilities here.

Getting Started for Business with Merchant Services

Whether you’re starting up a new venture, taking your business to the next level or expanding your avenues, having the right Merchant Services for your needs is absolutely essential. To help you kick off sales this quarter, let’s run through what Merchant Services are and the various options available to you.

What are Merchant Services / MSP?

Merchant services are the terminals, technology or software employed by a business to take payments by EFTPOS, credit and debit cards. Therefore, the MSP or Merchant Service Provider is the company that manages the operation of these systems. After taking card payment, the chosen system would then settle the payment into the bank account linked with the terminal or software provider.

So which payment system should I choose for my business?

It all depends on your business needs; small businesses, for instance, would have different payment requirements to a large corporation. By the same token, a brick-and-mortar retail store would have different needs to a professional service provider.

There are loads of options available to all kinds of businesses. Let’s take a look at some of these now.

In-store terminals / Point of Sale (POS)

An in-store terminal or POS system is the method employed by a business to take payment for their goods or services at the cash register. This is a combination of software and hardware, including a monitor, barcode scanner, card reader, receipt printer and cash draw. The software component of a POS terminal may be deployed on premise via installed software or through a cloud-based system commonly known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cash and Eftpos terminals are primarily used in brick-and-mortar stores as they lack mobility or capacity to take online payments.

mPos (mobile POS)

 mPos solutions are a really convenient way of taking payments on the go. You don’t even need a website to get started, as payments are taken directly through an app on your mobile. This type of payment solution is perfect for pop-up businesses, personal trainers, sales reps and anyone who needs to take payments while on the road. mPos software also allows you to accept a range of payment options, including tap-and-go, to ensure you’re offering your customers the method they’re most comfortable with.

eCommerce / Shopping Carts

For eCommerce businesses, having a secure and reliable online payment solution is critical. Essentially, your chosen shopping cart will be integrated into your website, which will then connect with your MSP. Reliable shopping carts can provide seamless checkout processes for your customers and therefore encourage repeat purchases. Most innovative MSPs will be looking to expand their integrations and offer custom integrations, so keep an eye out for this when acquiring their services.

Hosted Payment

A hosted payment page allows you to accept payments through your website by redirecting customers to your MSPs hosted payment page. This method is an economical way of taking payments as there are no development or security fees involved with implementation. A good MSP will also be able to offer a branded page that reflects your website to make users feel like they haven’t moved away from your page.

What to look for when choosing an MSP?

For obvious reasons, merchants are eager to partner with a reliable and reputable MSP to manage their business transactions. However, this market is becoming increasingly saturated and it can be difficult for new businesses to distinguish which company will work best for them. If you’re looking to acquire your first MSP (or are unhappy with your current service), here are a few of our top tips to choosing the best MSP for your business:

  1. Before approaching an MSP, do some research into the options you are interested in acquiring for the specific needs of your business. If an MSP doesn’t offer the services or systems you’re interested in, move on to the next one.
  2. Look into the costs and recurrent fees of each MSP, making sure that your chosen one is good value for money compared with their competitors.
  3. Read the terms and conditions in the product disclosure statement or financial services guide to make sure you fully understand the level of service they are offering and whether it aligns with your needs.
  4. Look for online reviews and customer stories about their customer support; if many of their customers seem unhappy with the service, then maybe this particular MSP isn’t the best choice.

Why Latpay?

Latpay have more than 17 years’ experience delivering merchant facilities and bespoke payment systems to businesses of all shapes and sizes. We deploy robust, secure and innovative technology to allow your business to thrive – all with Level 1 PCI compliance. We also offer 24-hour dedicated technical support to ensure we’re here when you need help. To find out more about Latpay’s Merchant Facilities, follow the link or give us a call on 07 5515 0402

 

Payment Hub

Nuggets & Latpay Partner to Bring Secure Blockchain-Powered Payments to Global Merchants

Lateral Payments Solutions adopts blockchain-powered payment interface from Nuggets to create next-generation payment solution –

London, UK – 03 January 2019: Nuggets, the blockchain-powered decentralised digital identity and payments company has today announced a key partnership with Lateral Payment Solutions, who will integrate the award-winning interface into their globally connected payment platform, to deliver next generation innovative technology to their merchants.

The integration of Nuggets’ technology with existing payment rails will mean merchants utilising the Lateral Payments Solutions platform no longer have to access or store consumers’ personal data. It will also remove the need for usernames and passwords, and the need to store personal information with third parties.

Alastair Johnson, CEO and Founder of Nuggets, said: “We’re delighted to be integrating with Lateral Payment Solutions, which will extend the reach of Nuggets to consumers who want to use it to pay with credit and debit cards. Lateral Payment Solutions has identified the significant opportunity of frictionless digital identity, payment and verification through blockchain, and we’re looking forward to maximising that opportunity with them.”

Since 2001 Lateral Payment Solutions has processed millions of transactions, across an extensive and diverse merchant portfolio. The integration with Nuggets will involve connecting the payment gateway via merchant digital identity to avoid the need for usernames and passwords – made possible by Nuggets’ unique blockchain solution.

Nuggets will continue to facilitate ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’ payments for Lateral Payments Solutions, building upon their existing technology base. The partnership announcement comes at a critical time within the payment sector, with the pending implementation of the EU’s Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) forcing providers to meet more stringent criteria.

Ian Vidamour, Director of Lateral Payment Solutions said “Our merchants process fast and simple payments via our platform – but they’re also increasingly concerned about how retailers and payment providers store their personal data. Our collaboration with Nuggets, and our integration of their blockchain technology tightened security around the storage of personal information which is why we’re so excited about this partnership”.

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Media Contact:
Sarah Wright
Cryptoland PR
+44 (0) 781 484 5376
sarah@cryptolandpr.com 

About Nuggets
Nuggets is an e-commerce payments and ID platform. It stores your personal and payment data securely in the blockchain, so you can make simple e-commerce payments and other transactions, without having to share your personal data with anyone – not even Nuggets.
For more information please visit: https://nuggets.life/

About Lateral Payment Solutions
Latpay are a leading Payment and Merchant Service Provider in UK, Australia and Canada offering an integrated online payment solution to businesses around the world. Comprising industry-leading payment technology, exceptional fraud and risk management capabilities, Latpay are proud to provide complete payment solutions to both conventional and bespoke e-Commerce challenges. For more information please visit www.latpay.com.au

Latin America, Where Cash is King

Latin America has long been classified as an emerging market and with a total population of around 600M, the new business potential is obvious. Unquestionably the payments space continues to gather momentum within the Latin American markets but in doing so also presents challenges to international merchants actively targeting this region. As the areas covers around 25 countries, each local payment ecosystem will differ accordingly. It is therefore essential that merchants have a clear understanding on local purchasing habits which, if acted upon, will assist in transforming previously poor acceptance rates that, in the past, have been the bane of many a payments manager.

Local Payment Acceptance.

Put simply, indigenous payment methods are king, especially when it comes to fighting fraud. Local providers in comparison to the larger global payment operators will be able to offer enhanced customer validation by having access to local databases. Consequently, there are a multitude of local card and cash based e-commerce payment systems available across the continent that remain the automatic consumer preference at the point of checkout. Even though (for the moment at least) most credit cards issued by local banks aren’t enabled for cross border purchases, this is changing – Visa/Mastercard usage continues on an upward trajectory, albeit at a slow pace. As much as this trend is encouraging we must still remember that as many as 70% of the Latin American population still don’t have a bank account, therefore offering players viable alternative payment options remains key for any merchant or gaming operator that has designs on cracking these lucrative markets.

Lateral Payment Solutions can keep merchants ahead of the game via our single payment gateway integration.

Lateral Payment Solutions Adds Bitcoin Acceptance to its Alternative Payment Platform.

Latpay are now offering merchants the ability to accept Bitcoin via our Alternative Payment Gateway. The solution is aimed at a wide range of sectors including retail, online gambling and binary options; this allows vendors and operators to accept Bitcoin payments at the point of checkout via a fast and simple interface.
Diversify payment acceptance options by offering a crypto currency.

Diversify payment acceptance options by offering a crypto currency.

Ian Vidamour, Director at Latpay commented: “In light of recent purchasing trends and analysis, we’ve been considering adding a cryptocurrency option to our Gateway for a number of months. In view of our findings and in keeping with an ongoing commitment to offer our merchant base more diverse online payment solutions, we’re thrilled to be able to offer Bitcoin as an additional payment acceptance option.”