Accept Payments Online

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When you’re selling things, you need people to be able to pay you. Sure, they could send you checks in the snail-mail, but that’s not really convenient. To do business on the internet, you will need to be able to accept online payments. You will find the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Choose a Payment Service.

For most business, third-party payment services are a great solution, and there are lots of services out there that let you accept card payments for a very small fee.  When you are choosing a payment service, the main things you want to consider are the fees to process payments, and whether your customers will trust it.

Right now, the biggest general payment player is PayPal. They’re worth considering first, but you should be aware that many businesses have had issues with PayPal freezing their accounts and being slow to respond.  AlertPay is a decent general-purpose PayPal alternative.  You can also use some of the more specific services, such as ClickBank (for non-physical products only, popular for ebook sales) or 2Checkout.  There is also WorldPay that works well globally.

Step 2: Create an Account.

The next step is to create an account at the online payment provider of your choice. This will require you to give out either your personal information (name and address) or a business name and address. Depending on which service you’re registering with, you may also need to give out credit card or bank details.

Step 3: Get Your Account Verified.

Before you can receive any significant amount of money, most payment providers require you to become “verified”. This is usually nothing more than the minimum requirement they need to do to comply with the law. If you haven’t been asked for your bank and credit card details already, you will be at this point, and some services will even ask you to fax them a photocopy of your physical card, to prove you’re the real cardholder.

Step 4: Add the Payment Button to Your Website.

Add some kind of button or image of a button to your sales page that says ‘Pay Now’.  The payment service will usually provide the HTML button for this, and a few tutorials to explain how to make sure that the correct amount shows up on the payment page.

Step 5: Withdraw as Often as Possible.

Online Payment Processors aren’t under that much of an obligation to give you your cash in any timely manner, unless you request to transfer funds in to your bank account. You should consider any money left with them to be at risk until it’s securely in your bank account. Besides, you don’t want your money sitting there earning interest for them instead of you.

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