In 2018, eCommerce represented about 14.3% of total retail sales, and that number is only expected to go up every year. Being able to conduct business online allows you to connect with a wider group of consumers while lowering your overhead cost of renting space and paying employees. However, to accomplish this, you need a dependable way to process payments.
A payment aggregator allows mobile or online businesses to process payments without the need for setting up a merchant account through a bank. Instead, payments are processed on your behalf by a third-party.
While a handy tool for getting started with eCommerce, there are both benefits and drawbacks to this type of payment processing.
Setting up a merchant account can require a lot of time and tracking down and submitting various paperwork and documents. On the other hand, setting up an account with a payment aggregator usually requires very little paperwork. It can also take less time for your application to be processed, allowing you to start accepting payments sooner.
Most payment aggregators also provide their services with a flat fee. This makes it easy to budget and know what you’ll be paying upfront. Most payment aggregators also don’t require a long-term contract so you can shop around and find the one that’s best for you.
If you’re a newer business or process a relatively low number of transactions every month, a payment aggregator will be less expensive in the short-term than having a merchant account. Because there are usually no-startup fees, this makes it easy and convenient to get started right away.
While it’s quick to set up, it’s not as quick to receive your funds. Because the payments first need to go through your payment aggregator, they have control over when you receive your money. While most payments are dispersed within 24-48 hours upon receiving, it can take longer in some instances.
Suspicion of fraud can also have severe consequences for you because the payment aggregator is assuming a certain level of risk on your behalf. If your account starts showing signs of fraud, the payment aggregator can place a hold on it, creating an extra level of inconvenience and hassle for you.
As your business continues to grow, you can expect your fees to grow as well. Many payment aggregators even put limits on how many transactions you can process every month which can severely limit your ability to expand.
While a payment aggregator can help get your business up and going in the digital world, it’s not typically an ideal solution for businesses long-term. This is especially if your number of transactions is growing steadily.
However, if your business is consistent and you want a consistent fee structure to go along with that, a payment aggregator can be the optimal solution.
Weighing the pros and cons and researching specific payment aggregators can ensure that you are getting the services that make the most sense for your business.