Payment processing for online businesses in-house can be complex and trying even in the best of times. And as your company grows, things can only get worse. For this reason, outsourcing has become a popular option in recent years. But the question that begs to be asked is: is it worth it?
Consider the current state of online commerce. Digital information constantly crosses the Internet, delivering knowledge, services, and personal information to those that need it. Then again, there are plenty of people of the criminal persuasion who are constantly on the lookout for poorly guarded information, and know what to do with it once they’ve got it.
Are you prepared for such an event? In the course of running your daily business and dealing with the constant minutia of immediate problems, have you done everything possible to guard against the possibility of a security intrusion?
Criminals are depending on the likelihood that you haven’t.
Outsourced payment processing, however helps you eliminate that risk. Companies that specialize in processing credit cards should generally also specialize in keeping it safe.
In other words, security is one of the most important reasons to choose outsourced payment processing solutions, but you need to make sure that the company you choose has your security as their number one priority.
The next thing to expect from your payment processing company is the knowledge and experience that would require too much time and hassle for you to gain on your own. The learning curve for staying current with industry trends can be steep and unforgiving. But outsourced payment processing means that you can leave that requirement to the people who work constantly at staying on the cutting edge of the industry.
Also consider the current regulations mandated by the major credit card companies for security compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was devised as a means of encouraging merchants to improve their security around credit card information. Any merchant that stores, processes, or transfers credit card numbers is required to become PCI compliant. Failure to do so can result in stiff fines and the loss of the ability to accept credit cards.
The PCI DSS has over 200 individual controls that are designed to ensure a certain level of security. They are very necessary, but at the same time can be very time consuming and difficult to implement. Outsourced payment processing, on the other hand, can help you reach compliance by satisfying many of the PCI requirements.
These reasons only scratch the surface of why outsourced payment processing is a good choice. Dealing with payment processing in-house means you have to be set up for, and able to deal with, a myriad of problems such as: selecting and setting up the merchant account bank, installing secure gateways, ensuring that you have enough hosting capacity for your order pages and shopping cart.
We’re not done yet, though. Don’t forget the hardware and software installs and the constant upgrades, maintenance, IT support, and other costs that just keep building on themselves. You have to be ready to handle returns and chargebacks, and provide a customer support service to deal with calls about credit card charges. And on top of all this, you have to be on the lookout for fraudulent transactions as well as regular criminal intrusions.
If these requirements are starting to build a sense of dread for you, that was the point. Many companies choose to attempt in-house solutions without fully realizing the implications.
Outsourced payment processing, if you take the time to research and find the right company, can help you eliminate all that hassle while simultaneously improving the security and services you can offer your customers.