We’re coming into the end of the year here at the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops, the place to listen to industry experts and learn how to become a web pro. And we want to finish strong!
These days, it’s easier than ever to set up an e-commerce store without really thinking about how it all works. But when it comes to one of the most important aspects of your store, the payment gateway, there’s a lot to understand. From what they are, to how to get the most out of them, you want to make sure you find one that fits your business. Luckily this month, we have payments expert Dirk Habermann with us from EVO Payments. He gives us the rundown, and then tells us a huge advantage of the Plesk eCommerce Toolkit!
In This Episode: The What, Why, and How of Payment Gateways
We start off by answering the title question: what are payment gateways? Simply put, they are a secure environment that is connected to a shop, allowing them to accept Cashless payments.
In Episode 3, we spoke to Chris Tietzel a bit about why we need a secure environment, and Dirk gives us even more context. But in a nutshell: not using a payment gateway is like shouting your credit card number in a crowded department store.
See, payment gateways don’t only offer a technically secure way to accept payments. They are fully audited by a separate group to make sure their servers are secure, access to the premises is managed, and much more.
Doing this stuff costs thousands, or likely millions, and that says nothing of the liability they are taking on as well. In other words, trying to manage payment security as a small business owner would be ruinous.
That’s why there are companies out there, like EVO Payments, that do it for us! You’re likely also familiar with Stripe, another payment gateway. That brings us to how to add a payment gateway to your eCommerce store. Depending on the platform you use, there can be varying degrees of difficulty, depending on what gateway you’re using.
For example, while PayPal is generally easy, with certain functions like automatic subscription payments, you may have to get your account verified by a person and it can be limiting.
So first you want to make sure you choose the right one according to your needs. This can vary if you’re just selling items on a small scale, if you have a brick and mortar store and need in-store processing too, or if you want to send individualized links.
Once you select one, you’ll need to install it on your platform… and some shop systems (eCommerce software) have pre-installed gateways or easy integration. Plesk’s eCommerce Toolkit, for example, integrates with EVO Payments. You don’t have to install it – just click the toggle -, nor do you need to pay the monthly fee to use it!
- Payment gateways allow stores the option of cashless payments, whether that’s in person or online. They are even more important for eCommerce stores, as this is generally the only form of accepted payment.
- Cashless payments are most often thought of to be credit cards, but it could also be account-based payments like ACH / direct deposit, or Wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- Payment Gateways offer a secure environment for eCommerce stores to accept payments. Payment and customer information are set to this secure area to process the orders and the payment.
- This prevents things like a “Man in the Middle” attack, where someone tries to steal credit card information as it’s being transferred.
- These gateways follow strict guidelines (called PCI Compliance) to ensure data security and integrity. They endure audits, not only of their technical implementation, but of their actual premises to ensure only verified people physically access the servers. This comes at great expense to them.
- You also need to have an SSL certificate installed on your site. While payment gateways securely process payment methods, the rest of your data needs to be protected too.
- There are several different types of payment players or systems that Dirk breaks down in the episode. They are Payment Service Providers (PSPs), Payment Methods, Acquirers, and Wallets.
- PSPs are the companies at the top. They assume the risk and work with payment methods. Payment methods generally work with an Acquirer, which is often a bank that works with the credit card companies. Wallets are a special form of payment that hold funds (unlike credit cards, which are, well, credit).
- It’s good to give customers some options, but too many will overwhelm them. In general, a credit card form and a wallet are a good start.
- When it comes to choosing a PSP, you need to determine what payment methods you need. This could be affected by what country you’re in and a whole host of other factors.
- For example, if you also need in-store payments, going with a PSP that only offers online services won’t work. Or, if your store serves a country where PayPal isn’t allowed, you shouldn’t offer that as a payment method.
- EVO Payments is a global company operating in several countries, offering a wide range of methods. They also seamlessly integrate with Plesk eCommerce Toolkit to give Plesk customers running an eCommerce store the fastest way to accept payments no matter where they are.
- A BIG benefit of EVO Payments on Plesk is they are much cheaper than some gateways, like PayPal, and even more affordable because Plesk customers don’t need to pay the monthly fee to use it!
The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring
Joe is a college-accredited course developer and podcast coach. You can find him at Casabona.org.
Dirk is a is Partner Manager at EVO Payments.
Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!