If you are selling products or services via your website then you will require a way to accept payments from customers for goods/services.

The most convenient way on the internet today for both the merchant and the customer is to accept credit card payments. There are other payment methods which are also acceptable, such as cheque, post office cheque, Internet banking, direct bank deposit and BPay.

The payment methods you choose to use on your website will probably be determined by your budget, volume of sales and also any special payment requirements that you have, eg. some payment providers can now process BPay payments and also take care of the administration for cheque payments.

Which payment methods should I use on my website?

Low budget and/or low volume sales

Recommended payment methods:

  1. Cheque, Internet banking, & direct bank deposit.
  2. Credit card payments using PayPal
  3. PayPal payments

Higher budget and/or high volume sales

Recommended payment methods:

  1. Cheque, Internet banking, & direct bank deposit.
  2. Credit card payments using a payment gateway or via your bank
  3. PayPal payments
  4. BPay

NOTE: To process credit cards you will require a Merchant Bank Account and/or payment gateway OR if you're on a tight budget you may want to consider an alternative credit card system such as PayPal or PayMate.

What is a Merchant Account?

An online merchant account is a special bank account that you would setup with your bank so that you can accept credit card payments via your website. There is usually a setup fee and sometimes ongoing fees depending on the bank. Generally you only need a merchant account if are you using an "onsite payment gateway" (see below for more info).

What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a company processes the credit card payments via your website securely. There are two types of payment gateway:

Offsite Payment Gateway (third party payment gateway)

Where the payment takes place on a third party website (offsite gateways). This is a good option if you are just starting out in the world of online sales, as an offsite gateway is typically easier to set up and costs less, however it does offer less functionality than onsite gateways.

Sample Offsite Payment Gateways

  • Westpac Payway
  • PayPal
  • Paypal Express Checkout
  • Stratapay
  • ANZ eGate
  • Paymate

Onsite Payment Gateway

Where the payment takes place on your website (onsite gateways). This is a good option if you believe the volume of transactions on your website will be high. You will typically also need to setup a merchant account with your bank, and your bank will need to support your chosen gateway. Additionally because the transaction happens on your site, you will need to purchase an SSL certificate to encrypt all information sent from your site to our servers. It can appear more professional than the third party option and is typically more expensive. Depending on which one of our servers you are on, you maybe able to use our free server wide SSL certificate, but please ask us for details.

Sample Onsite Payment Gateways

  • Mastercard Internet Payment Gateway Service (MIGS)
  • St George Bank Internet Payment Gateway
  • Paypal Payflow Pro
  • Netregistry
  • Payment Express
  • eWay

(SSL) Secure Server & Secure Certificate

If you are using an "onsite payment gateway" as mentioned above to process the credit card payments then you will require an SSL Certificate so that the credit card data will transfer via the web server (rather than a payment gateway).

If you are hosting with us, and depending on which server you are on - you maybe able to use our secure server wide SSL Certificate for free. 

Compare prices and purchase secure SSL Certificates here.

What is PayPal?

PayPal is a payment system that allows to you accept credit card payments in real time without the requirement of a merchant bank account. Payments are stored in the PalPal system until you transfer the payments to your own bank account.

Pro's - Cheap, NO setup fees, NO ongoing monthly fees - they only take a small percentage of each sale. Can be set up on any site quickly and easily. Widely accepted payment method world wide. One of the cheapest ways of accepting credit card payments if you are on a tight budget.

Con's - Some customers might not be familiar with PayPal and may choose not to purchase through it but PayPal is becoming more acceptable world wide.

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