The last time I wrote on Hot Blog Tips, I wrote about, “ Tried and True Tips for Blog Content.” Since that time, my blogging has morphed into an area that is new to me, but I’ve accepted the challenge.
When I first started out online I sold private label pet products. I lasted about a year before I became overwhelmed with customer complaints and questions. The stress of dealing with customers was zapping my creativity in other ways. As such, I started learning everything I could about affiliate marketing. However, just recently my mom asked me to help her create a blog to sell her own products. This is great, although, I, personally shudder at the thought.
To complicate matters, she doesn’t want to use PayPal to process her payments because she encountered issues with them when she was selling items on eBay. This led to researching other options to process credit cards. I love my mom with all my heart; that goes without saying… But can anyone else see where this is going? It’s a headache to say the least but I’m gonna hope and pray she never sees this post. My dad likes DeSoto Land and that’s about it, aside from Solitaire. You might say that’s gained him brownie points. I kid. It’s great that she wants to do something and get involved most days anyway…
Back to the issue at hand, how to process credit cards on your blog. Below are some tips I learned that I hope will help spare you when your mom/sister/aunt/cousin or grandma wants you to build them a blog. That’s another issue entirely, when everyone you know wants to do what you do but, they don’t want to learn.
Processing Demands & Questions
First and foremost is obviously figuring out what you need. Keeping with my mom as an example she wants to sell crafts, quilts and fabric etc. Along with selling on her blog and accepting online payments, she wanted the flexibility to accept payments offline if she was participating in a craft show. But the real concern is your processing needs.
- Do you have to sign a contract?
- Is there an application fee?
- Is the system easy to integrate?
- Are the fees reasonable?
- Is the interface user friendly and do you need any further software and/or hardware?
- Does the company have a mobile card reader to use when accepting payments offline? Many companies now offer readers that can be used right with their mobile device.
As an aside, do research PayPal as an option. If you’re processing needs are under, say, $1000.00 it may be a viable option as the fees are nominal. But if you don’t want to use PayPal, keep reading.
What is a Payment Gateway?
In the simplest of terms a payment gateway is a company that processes all credit card transactions. All transaction online, that purchase using a credit card, must go through such a gateway.
Rates and Fees
- What are the initial costs to get up and running?
- What are the monthly minimums?
- Make sure you ask about per transaction fees AND monthly fees.
- re payments deposited to your bank account?
Make sure you are not being charged for services that you aren’t using. For instance if you only want to accept credit cards online – which are keyed in- you don’t want to be charged for swiping.
The credit card industry is known for shady practices, make sure to read all terms and conditions and that you understand them. If something doesn’t make sense or seems off, speak up and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to negotiate! Credit card companies are in steep competition use it to your benefit.
This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of concerns but it’s aimed at bloggers that want to start accepting credit card/debit payments and important items to consider.
If I missed anything, I’d love to hear your thoughts!