Africa has seen some challenges in the adoption of eCommerce. COD (or cash on demand) has been the preferred method of payment for many across the continent. The use of alternative payment methods such as cards and eWallets has been catching on, to the relief of merchants looking for more secure and reliable ways of completing transactions. By processing payments online and using standard shipping methods or couriers to deliver the goods, merchants are able to reduce risk and overhead while increasing customer satisfaction.
Payment processing is a crucial factor in eCommerce, and there are a number of features that are important for both merchants and customers.
Safety and security are paramount for both merchants and customers. Shoppers put their faith in merchants’ security practices, and trust that their data will be kept from falling into the wrong hands when making a purchase. The PCI DSS security standard was created with this in mind – to hold trust in the highest regard. PCI DSS compliance certifies that all personal transaction data is both transmitted and stored using multiple layers of security.
Easy website integration
In today’s fast-paced, on-demand, digital world, customers seek a smooth shopping experience from start to finish. Merchants also seek seamless website integration from their payment processor, making it easy for them to accept payments without hassle.
Payment processing integration on a merchant website presents many benefits, including:
- Instant payments – transactions are processed and completed instantly, giving customers immediate, real-time confirmation of completed purchases. This process is automated, saving time and resources for the merchant, who would otherwise receive status inquiries from their customers.
- Reliability and trust – when an online purchase can be easily completed through clear steps, shoppers consider eCommerce merchants to be more reliable, credible, and trustworthy.
- Increase in revenue – enabling customers to complete transactions using their payment method of choice (not to mention, allowing them to shop online whenever and wherever they like) ensures goods and services are more readily available to more potential customers.
- Streamline – with purchases completed online, systems can run checks and handle the security and processing element of the transaction. This reduces the risk of error, and frees up staff to focus on other parts of the business.
User-friendly checkout / shopping cart
eCommerce merchants design online stores with a lot of attention to the browsing experience. They design website layouts with this aspect in mind, ensuring that products and services are easy to find, navigate, and understand. Equally important in the customer journey is the checkout process. While browsing may help win customers, things like a checkout button, a clear and accessible cart view page, and an easily fillable checkout form help convert those customers into repeat customers. A trusted and reliable payment processor will be compatible with the leading shopping carts, such as Magento and WooCommerce.
Acceptance of all payment methods
There are many different digital payment methods available today, and every customer has their preferred option. By giving shoppers the opportunity to use their preferred payment method, merchants are able to reach a larger number of customers (and keep them happy, and loyal). Merchants should select an eCommerce payment processing provider that supports many payment methods – such as debit or credit cards, bank transfers, mobile payments, and eWallets.
There are many benefits for merchant and customer alike when eCommerce merchants move from COD to offer digital payment options. By choosing the a payment processor that can securely accept a variety of payment types, merchants will reduce risk and fees, increase efficiency, and gain happy, loyal customers.