eCommerce and the end of cash
Though we are not quite there yet, we are moving closer and closer to a cashless society. Bank accounts and contactless cards have allowed us to pay for items in shops without handing over any cash. The same is true online – eCommerce websites function without the need for physical. In a world where physical cash is fast losing relevance, this is a competitive edge.
In the last few decades, the online world has changed enormously. Global business has moved onto the internet and, today, the biggest companies in the world are built entirely on technology. Facebook, Google, and Amazon are all online, and they simply could not function with cash alone.
eCommerce websites are an incredible tool for consumers and businesses alike. With sites like Amazon offering one-day delivery and almost anything you will need. We are closer than ever to living in a world where almost all transactions take place online.
But what does this mean for businesses? Well, it means that you need to be just as ready to accept card and bank payments on your site as you are to make them on others. Whether you offer services or products, you need to be able to get paid for it.
What do you need to take payments online?
Taking payments online requires a number of tools. If you sell products then you will need cart functionality attached to your site so that products can be added to a basket and bought all at once.
You will also need to have online payment gateway functionality added – this will mean having a secure site with the right software added. It is worth looking into this as there a range of options available – some are more suitable for specific industries, and almost all payment gateways offer their own benefits and price plans.
You will also need a merchant account. Whether you are taking payments by card in person or online, a merchant account will facilitate it. Most merchant accounts will work with payment gateways – mentioned above – to ensure that your customers have a streamlined, secure and easy payment process, from start to finish.
Plugins or bespoke functionality?
Depending on the website builder or CMS you use, there will be a range of options when it comes to setting up online, cashless payments for an eCommerce website.
On common platforms like WordPress, for example, there is a range of plugins available that can be easily and securely set up so that the entire online shopping process can be integrated. Other CMSs may require a bespoke approach and will need the work of web designers and developers. Neither approach is wrong, but the one you choose will depend on the system you have in place.
Thriving businesses need to make use of the online world, and they need to be able to operate without cash. Think about how often you actually carry cash nowadays. If you don’t expect to pay with physical money, then why would your customers?