Working out how to accept payments online is a pain. What do you need, exactly? Which payment gateway should you choose? How much will it cost?
I’ve set up a few online businesses now, so I think I have a pretty good idea of it all, but I remember how confusing all this payments stuff was to begin with.
What’s so Hard about Payment Processing?
When it comes to payment processing, there’s lots of terminology to get your head around (PCI, chargebacks, 3-D Secure, IMA) and dozens of factors to consider (security, shopping cart compatibility, support, retention periods).
Even when you understand it all, it takes ages to dig out relevant information about the different providers. And if you’re getting a merchant account you really need to shop around and play different providers off against each other to get good rates.
Does it Need to be so Hard?
Taking payments really shouldn’t be this hard. But no-one seems to be doing much to help UK merchants figure all this stuff out. The best resources I’ve come across are some excellent blog posts by David Mytton and Daniel Tenner.
So I’ve decided to have a go.
I’ve set up a site called PaymentBrain as a home for resources to help UK merchants choose online payment solutions.
So far, it’s hosting my first stab at a comparison engine to compare payment gateways. I hope to be adding and improving upon it as time goes by.
If you have a friend who’s planning to apply for a UK merchant account in the next few weeks, please put me in touch. I’d love to chat with him or her about it and to share what I know.