Why you need a payment provider
If you’d like to get paid for your online bookings (and I’m guessing you do), you’ll need two things: a payment gateway and a merchant account. Some payment providers can offer you both, while others sell them separately. Let’s quickly take a look at how these two things work.
What is a payment gateway?
When an online transaction is made, the payment gateway receives a transaction request. Then, it connects to the credit card company to see if the guest has sufficient funds in their account.
If the guest is approved, the transaction is authorized, and the payment is put into a holding account until being deposited into your business bank account.
It’s worth noting that many people refer to payment service providers simply as payment gateways.
What about merchant accounts?
A merchant account is the holding account we discussed earlier.
In payment industry terms, a merchant is a person or company that is being paid out. Which means you are the merchant. Here’s why you need a merchant account.
When your guest makes a credit card payment online, the money immediately leaves their account, but it isn’t sent directly to your business bank account. Instead, it’s held in a merchant account and transferred out to your bank account later, depending on your provider’s settlement terms.
Some payment providers offer an aggregate holding account for all of their customers. This is called a PSP (payment service provider) account. With a PSP you share a merchant account with a pool of other businesses.
But depending on the payment provider and your volume of transactions, you might have to sign up for your own merchant account. These are called ISO (independent sales organization) accounts. This means only your money is held in the account.
Choosing a payment provider for your business
If you’re choosing a gateway for the first time, the options can be overwhelming.
To help you with your decision, we’ve broken down the four providers used most by Checkfront customers: Checkfront Payments, Stripe, Square, and Paypal.
Checkfront Payments is an all-in-one payment processor built for businesses of any size. Accessible with any plan, your business can process online or in-person payments, issue receipts and invoices, process deposits or refunds, and access detailed reporting.
Exclusive to Checkfront Payments is Buy Now, Pay Later powered by Uplift. Now, you can capture every possible sale and put the experience of a lifetime within reach for every customer. Take more bookings and avoid abandoned carts by allowing customers to pay for their experience in smaller payments over time.
Access protection from disputes, fraud and chargebacks, and rest easy knowing everything is PCI compliant. Settlements are performed every 2-7 days, so you know exactly when you can expect to get paid. With no setup costs, no minimum term, and a simple fixed fee, Checkfront Payments makes payments painless by keeping everything in one place. Plus, users will get access to new, exclusive features as they roll out.
Checkfront Payments, powered by Stripe, is currently available in 24 countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, EEU and Australia. If your business operates outside of these countries, we also integrate with 32 of the top payment gateways in 230 countries.
Click here to get started with Checkfront Payments.
Stripe is a payment provider that handles online transactions only. They are an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. Stripe uses an aggregate merchant account, so you don’t have to sign up for your own.
Stripe has no setup fees, no minimum term, and a hassle-free signup process. Settlements are performed weekly, they are fully PCI compliant, offer rebilling and don’t charge any monthly fees or additional fees for refunds. Click here to set up Stripe in your Checkfront account.
Square is an all-in-one solution for small to medium-sized businesses. Square provides you with both a payment gateway and point-of-sale hardware so you can process online and in-person payments. It’s free to sign up, there are no long-term commitments or surprise fees. Plus, Square uses an aggregate merchant account, so you don’t have to sign up for your own.
When you sign up, you will receive a free Square Reader, so you can take payments anywhere. You can also purchase the Square Reader for contactless and chip so you can accept dip and tap payments.
Square offers re-billing so you can save your customers’ credit cards when they make a deposit and charge them for the full amount later. Settlements are performed daily and your funds will be deposited as soon as the next business day.
Click here to set up Square in your Checkfront account.
Paypal is a popular multi-currency payment gateway that is commonly used by small to medium businesses. They have two plan levels: Paypal Standard, and Paypal Pro. For both, Paypal uses an aggregate merchant account.
Paypal Standard for business has no setup fees, no subscription fees, and no lengthy approval process. It does, however, require that users process transactions through the Paypal payment interface. That means your guests are taken to paypal.com to complete the transaction.
If you’d like guests to stay on your website for the entire transaction, you can use Paypal Pro. But there is a monthly fee and you are on the hook for PCI compliance.
Paypal standard is available 25 countries while Paypal Pro is only available in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Learn how to set up Paypal in your Checkfront account.
Comparing Square, Checkfront Payments, and Paypal
Here’s a quick comparison of Checkfront Payments, Square, and Paypal to help you make your decision.
|Monthly Rate||$0 USD||$0 USD||$0 USD||$0 USD|
|Transaction Rate (USD)||Starting at 1.4%*||Starting at 1.4*||3.4% + $0.15 (keyed or online) |
$0.10 Interac flash2.65% (credit POS)
|2.9% + $0.30|
|Accepted cards||Visa, MC, AMEX||Visa, MC, AMEX||Visa, MC, AMEX||Visa, MC, AMEX|
|Buy Now, Pay Later||Yes||No||No||No|
|Debit||Yes – compatible with Stripe terminals||Yes – compatible with Stripe terminals||Yes – with tap machine||No|
|Other||ACH, Apple, Google, & Android pay||ACH, Apple, Google, & Android pay||INTERAC flash, Apple & Android pay||Paypal payments|
|International Card Rate||1%||1%||0%||1%|
|Deposit||Rolling 2-7 days||Rolling 2-7 days||next day||Same day|
|Chargeback protection||Yes – 0.4% per transaction||Yes – 0.4% per transaction||yes, up to $250 a month||no|
|Chargeback rates||*varies by region||*varies by region||free||$20|
|Point of Sale||No, but integration options||Integration options available||Yes||No|
|Re-billing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, but goes through your server|
And that’s it! We know the world of payments can get a bit confusing, so we’ve compiled an in-depth overview of all the payment providers that can integrate with Checkfront. So, whichever is the best fit for your business, you can feel confident that your transactions will be secure.
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