It’s virtually impossible to run a business of any kind without access to a dynamic payment processing solution. The needs of global firms and start-ups alike have advanced far beyond the payment software that managers used to rely on to stay on top of traditional merchant account activities.
Much of that demand stems from the introduction of new regulatory hurdles such as the EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and constant payment card industry (PCI) revisions. Fortunately, a new crop of payment service providers have risen to the challenge of helping firms to comply with these measures and leverage new payment opportunities by rolling out innovative mobile apps, digital wallets and cloud-based software designed to maximise functionality, integrations and efficiencies.
To help you sift through the dizzying range of electronic payment processing software and online services available, we’ve rounded up a number of leading payment solutions and broken down what makes them stand apart from the competition.
OmniFund is a cloud-based Payments as a Platform service that offers a bundled suite including card payments, recurring payments, invoicing and reporting.
The onboarding process is straightforward, and the service enables users to maximise connectivity between various card providers to streamline the processing and verification process through its Automated Clearing House (ACH) feature.
OmniFund’s primary unique selling points are its fraud detection capabilities and its compliance support. The platform features an expansive range of fraud evaluation parameters – such as keystrokes and speed of user data entry – in order to alert users of suspicious activity. Meanwhile, OmniFund’s Patent Pending solution claims to guarantee financial systems that are 100% Out of Scope for PCI compliance.
Finally, OmniFund’s shopping card integration simplifies online payment processing by leveraging the power of leading payment gateway Authorize.Net.
At 19 years-old, PayPal is without doubt one of the most establied online payment solutions on the market – and for SMEs in search of a reliable, freemium payment solution, PayPal is still one of the best.
PayPal is free for users to register, and then the platform charges a transaction fee that’s added up based upon a company’s overall sales volume. In order to customise your checkout experience, you can upgrade to Payment Pro for a monthly fee of $30. PayPal also features integration with Shopify and other online shop platforms.
From a user point-of-view, PayPal’s one-touch login process, mobile optimisation and card synchronisation functionality render it one of the web’s most convenient online payment methods.
One of PayPal’s key strengths is its easy-to-use portal that allows users to accept and manage international payments from financial institutions, digital wallets or individual customers from more than 200 markets. In 2017, PayPal also launched a new Global Sellers programme that includes free translation tools and payment localisation.
As markets continue to shrink, and small UK businesses begin to brace for Brexit at the beginning of next year, any payment solution that can remove these sorts of international barriers at little-to-no cost is invaluable.
Stripe is a cloud-based online payment processing suite built with developers in mind. Its unified APIs handle standard payment functions and allow businesses to manage full-stack payments, invoicing, shared customers, instant payments and the collection of any applicable transaction fees.
Yet integrations with apps like Zoho Invoice, TalentLMS and FreshBooks and flexible coding also enable clients to customise their desired user experience while simultaneously managing PCI compliance and synchronising financial reporting processes.
Stripe’s payment flow system ensures companies remain PSD2 compliant by shouldering the regulatory burden on the platform’s own e-money license. Similar to PayPal, Stripe is free for businesses to use. There are no setup fees, subscription costs, refund penalties or card storage costs.
Instead, it offers a pay-as-you-go model that charges 1.4% and 20p per transaction for European cards, or 2.9% and 20p for overseas cards. Enterprise accounts that feature volume discounts and migration assistance are also available, with prices varying depending upon payments volume.
Cofounded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Square is a fairly new operator in the payment processing space. Yet in the wake of its 2017 UK expansion, Square’s software suite has rapidly grown to include a set of mobile integrations that are ideally suited for SMEs – particularly brick-and-mortars looking to mitigate transactional overheads.
The start-up’s flagship Square Point of Sale interface is designed to consolidate the online payment processing, receipts and invoicing, analytics and sales reports you’d expect from a SaaS provider and condense those functions into an easy-to-use smartphone app. One of Square Point of Sale’s key features is that it auto-populates a database of historic sales to assist managers with tax calculations, and can record transactions on an offline mobile device by storing data locally before automatically synching when that device reconnects.
Square Reader’s basic package also allows for same-day deposits and can be fully integrated with existing Magento infrastructure. Plans start from £39 per month, plus Value Added Tax (VAT) and a 1.75% charge for all contactless payments.
Payzer offers a bit more firepower than some other cloud-based payment solutions in terms of financial management capabilities.
Payzer features standard online payment services, but also tracks all client transactions in real time so that users can keep up with all payment activity using Payzer’s intuitive online portal. There, users also have access to a range of historical transaction information, payment requests, administrative controls and onboarding capabilities. Payzer has the additional bility to transfer money to cards, zero a company balance and track outgoing payments.
Payzer’s payment processing system enables business owners to monitor activity either online or via a Google Play and iOS app – and one of its top features enables businesses to offer instant financing of up to $55,000 to their customers.
Payzer is perfect for contractors or freelancers testing the waters of business ownership, as it is a contract-free payment solution with no signup fees, no annual subscription rate and no cancellation fees. Instead, Payzer operates on a transactional price model that varies based upon card provider – starting with 1.39% for regulated debit cards and rising to 2.99% per transaction for corporate cards.
With an unprecedented level of regulatory revision causing major payment obstacles for global businesses in recent years, Tipalti offers an ironclad processing solution that guarantees compliance.
Tipalti’s cloud-based accounting management solution can be fully integrated into a company’s enterprise resource planning system via deep API access, and it claims to eliminate a firm’s mass payments workload by 80% by way of its invoice automation, payment remittance, supplier management and instant payment reconciliation features. Tipalti’s KPMG-certified FACTA tax compliance, audit trails, W9 and W8 tax validation, 1099 and 1042-S reports and regular OFAC screenings to prevent fraud provide business owners with peace of mind concerning regulatory compliance.
Tipalti is ideal for business-to-business transactions, with an online portal that’s white-labelled for supplier onboarding, end-to-end accounts payable automation, payee status communications and currency selection. Tipalti calculates subscription costs on a bespoke quotation basis – although it isn’t generally regarded as the cheapest solution on the market, which is subsequently one of its only drawbacks.
BIll.com is a cloud-based payment services provider that focuses on B2B transactions, billing and invoicing. One of Bill.com’s key features is its accounts payable module, which is compatible with QuickBooks, Sage Intacct and Netsuite accounting systems. Bill.com claims to be able to slash the amount of time business owners spend approving and paying bills by 50% as a result of its Auto Bill Entry, drag and drop imports and mobile ACH and recurring payments approval.
Bill.com’s product suite also includes an accounts receivable module with automatic invoicing and direct deposits that sync with accounting software instantly to ensure a company’s books are always up-to-date.
Bill.com is a flat-rate payment service that starts from $29 per user, per month. Some transactional services also apply separately – such as $0.49 to send and receive ePayments, $1.49 per print and posted invoice and an optional $0.49 per bill if you’d like Bill.com to handle your payables data entry.
Processing more than 31 million transactions per day, Worldpay is undeniably one of the globe’s biggest operators in terms of electronic payment processing software and cloud-based payment solutions. Based on Worldpay’s comprehensive product suite for merchants and SMEs, it’s not hard to see why.
Worldpay’s cloud-based solution allows businesses to collect payment in person, online and via smartphone – all of which can be managed using an intuitive terminal interface that’s compatible with PayPal, Oracle and Magento suites.
That being said, Worldpay’s standout product for small business owners is the Worldpay Point of Sale iOS and Google Play app. It enables users to accept cash, chip and PIN credit and debit cards, contactless payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. The app also includes a dynamic inventory cataloguing system, sales analytics and automated cashing-up functions. It is available on a pay-as-you-go basis or by subscription.
There are no signup fees for Worldpay’s online payment gateway or merchant account platform, and clients can subscribe to a fixed monthly rate, bespoke rate or pay-as-you-go option. Unfortunately, Worldpay doesn’t offer a free trial.
Raklet’s unique payment processing solution is part of a wider suite of products focused primarily on club and event management. Its integrated workflow offers a seamless onboarding process and clean customer relationship management (CRM) system that businesses can use to collect payments, manage communications and organise virtual and live events.
Raklet’s CRM automatically issues notices and accepts subscription fees, ticket sales, donations and recurring payments, and supports secure transactions before synchronising payments to keep company accounts up-to-date. Raklet’s API offers integration endpoints with any other software suite.
Raklet uses a tiered pricing system that starts from $39 per month for annual subscriptions, or $49 per month for monthly payment plans. That being said, if you run a non-profit organisation or educational institution, you can receive an 80% discount on Raklet’s top tiered plans. There’s no setup or installation fee to adopt Raklet, but users should expect charges of 2.9% plus $0.90 per transaction.
Tap2Pay is without doubt one of the most timely payment processing innovations available to social-media savvy brands. Launched in 2017, it is a cloud-based, integrated platform that enables businesses to accept payments through Facebook Messenger, Viber and Telegram.
Tap2Pay’s central dashboard allows users to set up stripped back online shops and sell products, subscriptions, send invoices and interact with customers from each social media app in one place. Its analytics and lead generation features also allow for end-to-end customer management, alongside a range of pre-defined billing processes.
While Tap2Pay is an incredibly innovative tool for online businesses, its capabilities are limited in scope. Yet if you’re looking for new ways to generate leads on social media and convert those leads into sales, Tap2Pay is a unique payment processing platform worth exploring. It is available on a monthly subscription basis.