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    How to Accept Multiple Payment Methods Securely

    Accept Multiple Payment Methods

    In today’s evolving payment landscape, consumers have more payment options than ever before. As a merchant, it’s important to accept the forms of payment your customers actually use, but also to consider the fees and integrations, and how they could impact your bottom line.

    This post will provide an overview of the payment types available to merchants and consumers, and the ways merchants can accept all payment types, securely.

    Payment Methods Available To Consumers Today

    As technology advances and transactions become increasingly more digital, new payment methods will continue to appear. However, there are several well-known and widely-accepted forms of payment that most businesses should consider accepting. 

    These include:

    • Card Options
      • Credit cards
      • Debit cards
      • Prepaid cards
    • Bank Transfers
      • Direct debit and bank transfer
      • Cash payment vouchers
    • Emerging/other
      • Digital wallets
      • Cryptocurrency
      • Buy now, pay later

    Card Payment Options

    Credit Cards 

    Credit cards are physical cards, also available to use digitally, that a consumer can use to pay for goods and services using a set line of credit. Consumers can pay off this line of credit at a later date, often in the form of a monthly payment, even though the merchant receives the funds immediately.

    Debit Cards

    Debit cards allow consumers to pay with a physical card, but the funds come directly from a bank account. Unlike credit cards, funds must be present in an active bank account for the payment to be processed.

    Prepaid cards

    Prepaid cards allow consumers to pay with a physical card using a set amount of loaded funds on the card. Some prepaid cards are reloadable, while others only allow the card owner to spend up to the initial prepaid amount.

    Bank Payment Options

    Direct Debit and Bank Transfers

    Bank transfers, also known as ACH transfers, are payments made directly from a bank account. While these payments are often slower due to clearing and verification times, bank transfers are widely accepted worldwide and are often one of the most inexpensive payment options available.

    Cash Payment Vouchers

    Cash payment vouchers are scannable vouchers used for online purchases with a transaction reference number. Consumers can bring the voucher to an ATM, bank, convenience store, or supermarket to complete the payment in cash.

    Emerging Options

    Digital Wallets

    Digital wallets may contain several payment types from credit and debit cards, to bank transfers and more. Digital wallets are most frequently used through mobile devices and will require additional verification for payment such as a passphrase or biometric scanner.


    Cryptocurrency is a blockchain-based digital currency still in its infancy but growing in use and acceptance worldwide. 

    Buy Now, Pay Later

    Buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments are types of installment loans that allow customers to break payments down into several installments over varying timeframes to pay off an item over time. The merchant, on the other hand, receives the full payment upfront from the BNPL platform.

    Accepting Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Cards

    The most basic way to transact these days is through cards, both in person and online. To accept cards, businesses will need a payment gateway and payment processor, but many big players in this space can make it simple to integrate.

    When choosing how to accept cards, consider the following questions as you look into payment solutions:

    • Do you want an all-in-one processor or do you want a more specialized, niche processor? The all-in-one processors can make accepting payments simple, but will often charge higher fees than the more specialized, niche processors. Likewise, all-in-one processors may take complete ownership over your data, making it difficult to switch processors if you choose to leave one day.
    • What will you do with the card data? Do you need to store and secure the data yourself in a secure system? Will you process one-time transactions only or are recurring subscription payments also a possibility? 

    While a payment solution may work well for a small, growing organization, it may be less of a fit over time as transaction volumes grow. Keep your growth and expansion goals in mind as you consider a payment partner, as migrating to another can be costly and time-consuming.

    Accepting Bank Payments with eChecks and ACH

    Another way to accept online payments is through a direct debit of a bank account with an eCheck, or electronic check, by means of ACH payments. This allows customers to input the information from their bank account (routing and account numbers, name, payment amount) into an online payment form or software interface for payment. An ACH transaction then processes the payment electronically by crediting the payment from the customer’s bank account.

    ACH processing in the USA is governed by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) and often has significantly lower fees than credit cards. Some of the top payment processors also support bank transfers, but there are also specialized solutions that offer significantly more flexibility in accepting and protecting the data used for ACH transfers if this is a primary payment type you would like to accept.

    Accepting Mobile Payments

    Mobile payments through smart devices are growing in popularity with consumers, with nearly 26% of people worldwide using mobile payments - the most popular point-of-sale payment method globally. Larger, big-name PSPs now offer near field communication (NFC) card readers as the standard for brick-and-mortar businesses so that they can accept this growing payment method with ease.

    These NFC card readers allow customers to pay via Google Pay, Apple Pay, and other mobile wallets in a simple tap-to-pay scan of a smartwatch, smartphone, or other smart device. As this continues to grow in popularity, with a 64% growth during the global pandemic, companies will be missing out if they don’t allow mobile payments as a standard method of payment.

    The mobile wallets also offer integrations digitally, allowing consumers to choose their mobile wallet as a payment method during the checkout process. 

    Integrating Buy Now, Pay Later Payments

    As buy now, pay later options continue to grow in popularity, more and more merchants are considering this as a primary payment option to offer at checkout. These options give customers more flexibility to pay the balance of the purchase over time, and give merchants the option to receive the full payment immediately.

    Because these payments are technically built into installment loans, customers must be approved prior to using this as a payment option, which is why so many BNPL companies are popping up to serve this corner of the market. Specialized companies like Affirm and Klarna offer BNPL integrations for merchants, but many other gateways like PayPal also offer limited capabilities.

    Integrations often require connecting to the platform’s API to accept BNPL payments.

    Accepting Payments Securely and Compliantly

    Many all-in-one PSPs will cover a large majority of the requirements needed to accept most payment types, securely and quickly. This will take away a lot of control from the merchant but is a great option for businesses looking to get up-and-running quickly.

    When accepting credit and debit cards, however, a merchant must maintain PCI compliance, and while a PSP may be able to ease the burden, merchants are responsible for meeting all 300+ requirements. 

    However, the effort required to implement, maintain, and prove the necessary controls depends on a company’s approach to managing the cardholder data, the third-party service providers they choose, and their yearly transaction volume.

    Companies that partner with Basis Theory can collect card data, send it to processors or partners, and store it as if it's in their database while satisfying up to 95% of the compliance requirements that come with PCI.

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