What is a payment service provider?
Payment Service Providers (PSPs), also known as Payment Solution Providers or Merchant Service Providers, are companies that provide a variety of services to a business to help them get paid. They often act as both a merchant account provider and a payment gateway provider at the same time, helping businesses to collect and manage their payments.
Payment processing requirements
Your business requires payment services to allow your customers to pay for services or products. In order to determine the payment processing requirements for your business, you should know if you want your customer to pay with credit card, debit card or via their bank account directly (direct debit). You may also require recurring payment functionality where payments will be processed automatically on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. In order to evaluate payment solution providers, it is important to find the right combination of payment services that suit your transaction profile.
Types of payment service providers
Internet merchant account providers
An internet merchant account is a vital component of any e-commerce operation. You must have access to an online merchant account if you want to use a payment gateway to process transactions from your website.
The merchant account holds the proceeds from the payment processing of credit cards. A merchant account is an agreement between a retailer, a merchant bank and payment processor for the settlement of card transactions.
Online payment gateway providers
An online payment gateway is basically an interface that works with a business's website and the service provider's servers and networks. It connects both these entities together, enabling the business to accept payments through their website in a secure and safe manner.
Unless you are a large conglomerate approved by a financial regulator, you will not be allowed to transmit transaction requests directly from your website to a payment processor. You must use the technical services of a payment gateway provider.
Credit card gateway provider
In Australia, a credit card gateway provider is basically the same as an online payment gateway provider. In some countries, not all payment gateway providers offer a credit card payment solution. In Australia, however, all payment gateway providers offer credit card payment services and can therefore be referred to as credit card gateway providers.
Payment processors, also known as payment processing providers, are the financial institutions that work in the background to provide all the payment processing services used by an online merchant.
Payment Processors usually prefer to stay in the background. Most payment processors make reselling agreements with payment gateway providers or merchant account providers in order to provide their services directly to internet merchants.
Direct debit service providers
Direct debits are a tactic to save money, time, retain more customers and turn your inconsistent cash flow into predictable revenue. When you set up a direct debit with a customer, you can collect payments straight from their bank.
Most direct debit service providers offer direct debit services as part of their larger service offering. As a payment gateway customer at SecurePay, you can use the direct debit services without any additional set up effort and fees.
Recurring payment providers
Recurring billing mostly occurs when a vendor automatically charges a customer for goods or services on a prearranged schedule. Recurring payments are made with a credit or debit card. The customer needs to provide certain information and approve permission when the recurring billing starts.
In line with the direct debit services, recurring payment services are part of a larger service offering. SecurePay’s recurring payment services can be used by all our payment gateway users.
How to choose a payment service provider?
First of all, consider if the service offering of the payment service provider meets the services you are looking for.
Second, timing is an important consideration. Obtaining a merchant account can still be a long and complex process, particularly if you are a new or small business going through the process for the first time.
Next, if you only take a relatively low volume of online payments, then you should try to avoid monthly fees and a high setup cost. If you have a high volume, the transaction costs will make up the biggest part of your payment fees.
Lastly, decide whether you want to go for a local payment service provider or a global player. In general, counting on a local support team that works in the Australian timezone can be a big benefit of working with a local provider.
A product of Australia Post - SecurePay is a payment gateway provider. SecurePay offers merchant services, including online payment solutions, direct debit solutions and recurring payment services.