Accepting online payments

Selecting the best online payment option

Guide

You can use the following scenarios to help you choose the best option for your business.

Internet merchant account (IMA)

Your business already accepts debit and credit card payments for face-to-face transactions. You expect a fairly high number of online transactions, most of which will be simple and low risk. You need the greatest amount of flexibility in operating your business and cashflow is very important. If this sounds like your business, then you should:

Payment-processing company

Your business will not have a large number of online transactions and you do not currently accept debit or credit card transactions so do not have an IMA. You have not been trading long and cannot provide a well-documented operations history.

You value the ability to attract online sales more highly than the ability to collect sales income quickly. Your business will need some flexibility in the way in which it designs and operates its website, so you should:

Online marketplace

Your business is small, you do not currently offer debit or credit card sales and you have very limited IT skills. Your products are fairly standardised and easily understood. You are prepared to pay higher transaction and fixed costs just to establish a web presence. If this applies to your business, you should: