FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Some gateways only support transactions in certain countries or transactions in certain currencies, limiting e-commerce opportunities. Be sure to choose a gateway that supports the countries and currencies where you expect to do business.
Global businesses in particular may want to consider using multiple gateways which allows them to route transactions based on their geo-location. Having a second gateway also lets you conduct A/B split tests to determine which has higher acceptance rates based on key criteria relevant to your business.
Not all gateways are created equally. Some of the things you should inquire about when considering a gateway are:
- How quickly are they able to onboard new customers? Ask them how many days on average it takes to go live and what’s involved in setting up a new merchant account.
- What kind of self-serve tools do they provide, and what capabilities do those tools have? Great customer service is a must-have, but the ability to self-serve can be a huge plus. Find out what self-serve options they offer to answer simple questions or get basic information.
- Do they have relationships with the appropriate banks? Most businesses have an existing relationship with a bank and prefer to maintain this relationship. If at some point you want to switch gateways or expand your business to new countries, you should determine whether the gateway supports your current banking relationship.
If your payment gateway has an outage, it can’t process transactions and you may lose customers. You should have a clear understanding of the gateway’s system reliability, SLAs, and how well they’re equipped and prepared to address service interruptions so that they can resume processing payments as quickly as possible.
Any payment gateway that a subscription business chooses will need to be integrated with their checkout pages and billing system. There are a variety of different technologies that support this integration. You should make sure that the integration technology you prefer is one that the payment gateway you’re considering can support.
The world of payments is fast-moving, particularly recently, with new payment methods continually coming to the fore. When selecting a payment gateway, you should consider if the gateway supports all the payment methods you need.
When dealing with credit cards and other types of payments, issues will invariably arise, both on the business’ side and on the gateway’s side. Major issues that prevent payments from going through can stop a business dead in its tracks and necessitate the immediate involvement of the gateway to provide a rapid remedy so that payments can be collected again.
Other kinds of issues can cause significant disruption such as unusually high transaction decline rates, problems with issuing refunds, duplicate transactions being created, etc. These issues can have a significant negative impact, requiring customer support and operations teams to scramble. Most importantly, gateway and payment problems affect customers who may be unsatisfied and frustrated.
When dealing with payment issues, a gateway’s customer support team usually plays a key role in identifying and resolving issues. It’s important to understand how the team will work with you to solve problems, how accessible and responsive they are, and what policies they have in place. When considering a gateway, some things to determine are:
- What kinds of support does the gateway offer? For example, do they offer phone support or at least chat function? Or are they only reached via email? Being able to reach a gateway’s support team quickly and easily has a direct impact on how quickly issues can be resolved.
- How quickly will the gateway’s customer support team respond? Waiting to get an email response is unacceptable when your payments are failing. Many gateways provide formal SLAs to delineate their required response times, which is an important thing to know.
- What options are there for tracking the status of an open issue? Similar to the above, having an easy way to find out the status of an issue eliminates delays and frustration. Also, what are the escalation options if an issue isn’t resolved in a timely or satisfactory manner? If a gateway has problems resolving an issue, having appropriate levels of escalation can be critical.
Tax compliance is another broad area of compliance. As we all know, federal and state tax rules and regulations can be very complicated and can differ by jurisdiction. International sales and use taxes along with VAT and GST taxes may also apply. Be sure to choose a payment gateway that’s familiar with the tax codes in all the areas in which you plan to do business.