Starting your web store: what are payment methods?
If you are starting a web store, you may be most concerned about how to handle payments. Because you obviously want to get your money right away! No need to panic though, as all you need in order to make sure you get your money via your web store is a payment service provider that allows you to use various payment methods. But since there is a considerable diversity of online payment methods, we are going to go through the most useful ones.
In any case, you do not have to worry about having to set up your own payment system: there are plenty of plugins for WordPress web stores, and our own ShopBuilder can also effortlessly be linked to the most popular payment service providers.
There is a distinction between payment methods and payment service providers. Payment methods define how you pay (cash, bank transfer, Bancontact, Visa, etc.), while payment service providers (such as Mollie, Stripe, MultiSafePay, etc.) are entities that are responsible for the processing of payments. If you want to offer most payment methods on your web store, you must thus turn to a payment service provider.
You should also know that your web store itself does not collect money, which is why it is necessary to link an external payment method to your web store. This will allow your customers to make payments directly to your account.
With Combell, you can create a web store without much effort or technical knowledge. Are you wondering how easy this can be? Feel free to explore the various options available to you for starting a web store.
In an ideal world, there would be only one online payment method for everyone to use. But unfortunately, every customer has their own preferences when it comes to how they want to pay. That is why we have listed the most popular payment methods. And we will look at how to implement them in your web store (with a payment service provider) later on!
Paying in cash
If you make your own deliveries for orders made online or ask your customers to collect the items they ordered through your web store in your brick-and-mortar shop, you can choose to accept cash payment. This is obviously the easiest option: your customers pay you immediately when they receive their order.
Your payment methods can also include the traditional bank transfer. With this method, you send the customer an e-mail with the payment details after the order is placed. This, however, means a little more work for you, as you have to keep a closer eye on your bank account in order to be able to dispatch all orders as soon as payment has been received.
Payment after delivery
Few retailers like to use this option, but in the Netherlands, for example, web stores are required to offer 'payment after delivery' as one of their payment methods. This method allows your customer to pay for his or her order as soon as he or she has received it and decided to keep it. That way, a customer never pays for what he or she returns.
Payment after delivery - upon invoice
The 'payment upon invoice' option is quite normal for brick-and-mortar shops, but web stores do not use it as much. Nevertheless, you can choose to send an invoice with the order, including a payment deadline. If you do that yourself, you will of course also have to go after defaulters yourself.
Payment after delivery - with a payment tool
As mentioned above, things tend to get awkward when a customer does not pay his or her invoice (on time). That is why you can choose a partner who manages your invoicing for you. Using such a (paid) tool will protect you against defaulters.
For example, you can try Klarna: a payment tool that guarantees your payment, regardless of whether they have already received the payment from your customer or not (for €1 + 2.99% of the transaction, though). The KBC payment button also ensures that you get your money (for 1% of the transaction, and only if you have a business account with KBC). AfterPay is another popular payment tool.
Payment after delivery - cash on delivery
A cash-on-delivery service means that your customer only pays the carrier when he or she delivers the parcel to the delivery address (or when your customer collects it from a pickup point). Most parcel delivery services offer a cash-on-delivery option.
PayPal is an online payment method that works as an 'online wallet': in order to be able to pay online more easily, users just have to link their bank or credit card to a PayPal account. We do not recommend using PayPal, as its security and support are not always the best.
Bancontact, Payconiq and iDeal
Just as you pay with your bank card in a brick-and-mortar shop, you can do the same on your website, with Bancontact. This is a payment method whereby your customers make a direct payment through their own bank. This can be done with a 'box from the bank', but when using Payconiq, your customers can also scan a QR code with their smartphone, or open the payment in the app. If you have Dutch customers, you should also make sure that they can pay using iDeal (the Dutch equivalent of Bancontact).
Of course, customers often like to pay using a credit card, such as those issued by Visa, MasterCard or American Express: this way, they only 'really' pay at the end of the month, and the product they purchase is sometimes also given extra protection by the credit card company. In addition, it allows you to reach customers from all over the world: VISA alone has issued more than 1.1 billion cards worldwide. That is a lot of customers!
If you are a bit of an adventurous merchant, you can also decide to accept payment in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. When customers pay with Bitcoins, transaction fees are lower than when they pay using other payment methods, and payments can be received from all over the world. But of course, the Bitcoin is very volatile, and you need to have some knowledge to be able to understand the blockchain. Furthermore, the question remains as to whether it is really worth the effort, considering that there are only a few people who want to pay with Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency. That is why very few online merchants have opted for Bitcoin – as you can see here.
Payment Service Providers
Now that we know how your customer can pay, it is time to look at the payment service providers that can make the previous payment methods available in your web store.
Using a payment service provider saves you the trouble of having to install a separate plugin for each payment method or write long lines of code. In other words, payment service providers make payments very easy.
As a Belgian merchant, you can choose from about 20 payment service providers that offer a variety of payment options on one platform. This way, consumers can pay for their purchases in web stores very easily, using their favourite online payment methods.
The most popular payment service providers in Belgium include Mollie, Stripe, Adyen and MultiSafePay. Below, we will take a brief look at Mollie and Stripe, which are two secure and reliable payment service providers. Other popular providers work in a similar way.
By the way, all these payment service providers can be linked to Combell's ShopBuilder effortlessly.
Mollie is a Dutch payment service provider, and one of the most popular choices in Belgium and the Netherlands. The payment service provider allows for secure online payments through an extensive range of payment methods, and does not charge any setup or monthly fees: you only pay when a customer makes an online payment.
For a payment with Bancontact, Mollie will charge €0.39, and for (non-business European) credit cards like Visa or MasterCard, it will charge €0.25 + 1.8% per transaction.
Stripe is a widely used payment service provider that has been available in the Benelux for 4 years now. Its customers include large companies such as Facebook or Salesforce. There is a (sufficiently functional) free version of Stripe, but if you want to personalise the platform or have it completely tailored to your needs, you will have to pay a bit more.
For a payment with Bancontact, you will pay €0.25 + 1.4% of the transaction amount, just like for payments with (European) credit cards.
Payment gateways provided by banks
Your bank may also have a tool that combines various payment methods. For example, there is KBC PayPage for merchants who have a business account with KBC – be careful, though, because you will have to pay a start-up fee for it. So make sure to ask your bank about the possibilities!
Are you ready to start?
Online payments are perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome when starting your own web store. But do not throw in the towel: the payment service providers we have mentioned in this article are extremely trustworthy. In the end, you will always have to sacrifice a small part of your profit to your payment service provider, but that does not outweigh the convenience and the potential new customers you will gain with a web store!
By the way, you do not need any technical knowledge: tools such as Combell's ShopBuilder can help you build a web store that offers various payment methods without any computer knowledge!
Are you ready to start your web store? If so, make sure to check out the possibilities Combell has to offer!