The days of cash-in-hand payments are slowly fading away, as consumers find favor in more secure and flexible payment options. Credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, and even e-wallets are leading the way in payments both on- and offline, and merchants need to be sure to keep up with the needs of their customers if they’re going to continue to thrive.
To do that, you’ll need a PSP that can meet both your and your customer’s needs.
What is a PSP?
A PSP – or Payment Service Provider – is an integral part of any business accepting payments for goods or services. The PSP facilitates transactions, enabling merchants to receive payments and handling the technical aspects such as authorizations, security checks, and settlement of funds.
Essentially, a PSP allows merchants to accept a wide variety of payment types and currencies, all through one single channel, and manages the entire transaction from receiving the payment from the customer, to receiving the funds in the merchant bank account.
More than facilitating payments, however, PSPs bring a lot of added value to merchants. PSPs handle authorizations in the blink of an eye, checking the validity of the transaction and availability of funds in the card owner’s account. A reputable PSP will also stay ahead of trends amongst fraudsters and security risks, giving merchants the peace of mind to accept payments for goods and services, and to know that the transaction is legitimate. They also offer layers of data security, keeping customers’ information private at all times.
Read on for key factors to consider when choosing a payment service provider.
Key Factors to Consider
Choose a PSP that accepts a wide range of payment methods such as credit/debit cards and e-wallets. It is also advisable to select a PSP which accepts a variety of currencies. Allowing customers to choose the method and currency that suits them will lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention, and accepting local currencies (without high conversion fees) makes it easier to manage finance operations.
Swift Processing and Settlement Times
Choose a PSP that can process payments quickly so you don’t keep your customers waiting to take their goods or use your services.
Settlements (which refers to the moment that funds from transactions become available in the merchant’s account) can take 1-2 weeks with many PSPs, which can put delays in workflows, especially for small businesses. Consider a PSP with faster or real-time settlements so that you have access to your funds quickly.
PSPs hold a lot of responsibility for the validity of transactions and safety of personal data. When considering a payment service provider, ensure you select one that is PCI-DSS compliant, which ensures a high level of encryption when data is being sent or stored. Be sure they are dedicated to staying ahead of trends amongst fraudsters, so that they can protect you (and card owners) from fraudulent transactions.
The world is moving to digital platforms and even if you don’t have an online presence, it’s great to have a PSP which can support you there if/when you make the move. Their service will seamlessly integrate with popular online shopping carts such as WooCommerce or Shopify.
Support and Customer Service
Since PSP’s facilitate so many aspects of your transactional business, you’ll want one with a customer service team that is available to support you should questions or concerns arise.
It’s also a good idea to do your research, and see what others’ experiences have been like. Self-promotion is all well and good, but first-hand experience speaks volumes.
Additional Merchant Benefits
Check to see what other benefits are available to merchants. Cash advances for business improvements are a nice perk in moments where cash is not immediately available, but you’d like to reinvest in operations. A PSP with competitive rates for payment processing and bank transfers also means merchants receive more of their money, without being held down with fees. Consider also a PSP who makes it easy to access your cash flow, and handle your business expenses.
Established in 2006, DPO is the leading payment service provider in Africa, with clients spanning locations, industries, and business sizes. DPO has the highest level of security & 24/7 customer support, compliance – PCI DSS Level 1 – and a team dedicated to fraud prevention, ensuring business and customer data is kept secure.