E-commerce guide for retailers: Online payments through your website

Building e-commerce transactions into your website allows customers to order goods or services and make secure and private payments for their purchases through your website. This is likely to be the best option for businesses with extensive online stores or catalogues.

You can build e-commerce into your website through:

A merchant account with a bank

To pursue this option you will need to establish a merchant facility with your bank that lets you accept credit card payments online. Some banks even offer software to help you set up an online store.

Talk to your bank about how they can help and what costs are involved. It can be worth shopping around as different banks have different fee structures for merchant accounts and internet payment gateways.

An online payments service provider

There are a number of services that will process payments on your behalf through a payments system built into your website. Companies like PayPal and Paymate offer various payment options for businesses, and charge fees for doing so.

A payment gateway

A payment gateway, such as eWAY, links your shopping cart to your bank's merchant facility. Some small businesses choose this option because it can be easier and quicker than setting up a merchant account with a bank, while avoiding some customers' dislike of multi-step payment processes like PayPal.  

Some web hosting services also provide payment facilities. Ask your web host or designer for information about how they can help you.

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Other payment options from your website

A number of options have emerged to help businesses establish online payment capacity without developing sophisticated websites.

Online payment services

A number of payment services allow you to accept payments through a third party. PayPal is the most well-known of these services and operates worldwide so people anywhere in the world can purchase from you. Other providers include Paymate and Amazon Payments.

This option allows you to create a link in your website that then takes customers to the online payment service.

Online auction sites

Some small businesses choose to sell their goods through existing online auction or classified sites like eBay or Gumtree. Some larger businesses sell through these sites as an alternative channel to their 'bricks and mortar' shopfronts.

You can register as a business on auction sites if you use them commercially. Some online auction sites offer you the option of setting up an online store on the site to bring together all your products.

Online auction sites typically charge sellers a fee for listing an item for sale, and a commission-based fee each time an item is sold.

Manual payments, BPAY and direct transfers

Some businesses choose to invoice customers so that they can make a manual payment rather than entering into an online payment arrangement.

You may be able to program your website to generate an invoice when a customer wants to purchase a product. Alternatively, you can just ask customers to email or phone you to arrange to purchase goods. You could then ask them to pay via:

  • internet transfer into your bank account
  • credit card via mail, fax or phone
  • BPAY (see your bank about this option)
  • an online payments service provider such as PayPal.


© The State of Queensland 2016

The content was first published on www.business.qld.gov.au




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