How to collect money online

If you have a new business venture or are collecting donations for a good cause, you need to know all your options for receiving payments — and that includes knowing how to collect money online. Don’t let a lack of understanding keep your favorite cause or initiative from succeeding — collecting payments and donations online is so easy that anyone can do it.

The primary factors you’ll want to evaluate when reviewing payment options are how secure they are and how easy they are to use. Making it easy for your loyal fans, customers, or users to pay means you’ll likely get more purchases or donations. A secure payment system will help you build trust with your patrons and avoid problems with scams or payment errors.

Here’s how to collect money online, along with some suggestions for services that can help.

Online money collection

Online payment collection is a simple process that helps donors or customers transfer funds to you through a secure channel. A digital gateway connects their bank account to yours to facilitate the transaction — it’s that easy.

There are plenty of reasons to go digital these days. More consumers are making purchases online than ever before. One report from Juniper Research estimates that the number of users of digital wallets will grow to 4.4 billion around the world by 2025. And analysts expect consumers to spend $10 trillion using digital methods each year by that time, almost doubling the current figures.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to collect money online, you’ll need to start by shopping around for different online payment providers and apps until you find one that makes sense for you. Some services are better suited to those with less online experience than others.

Whichever kind of user you are, look for services that match your needs, and you’ll be well on your way to learning how to collect money online.

Why you need a digital payment solution

To collect money quickly and securely, you need a solution that can accept payments instantly through an online link. With one of these solutions, you don’t have to worry about interacting directly with each customer or donor, sharing bank details, and generally opening yourself — and your clients — up to security issues on the internet.

For in-person transactions, online payment options can also help you limit direct physical contact with cash bills and customers. As a result of the social-distancing measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses switched to digital payment methods to prevent the spread of disease.

Overall, collecting money online is also more convenient for shoppers and donors.

How to collect money online

If you feel a little anxious about online checkouts, you’re not alone. If your online payment process is clunky, it can discourage an otherwise satisfied user to abandon a donation or purchase just as they’re about to hit the submit button — so you need to get it right.

When setting up your payment process, it’s imperative that you offer a frictionless checkout process. If customers or donors have to cope with unexpected, last-minute fees, unwelcome extra steps, or an insecure payment processor, your shoppers may leave your site without a second thought.

Here’s how to collect money online securely and easily in a few simple steps.

Set up a merchant account

A merchant account is a specific kind of bank account that lets you process transactions from multiple types of payment options. You need an account like this any time you want to accept payments via debit or credit card.

Decide on a payment gateway

A payment gateway is essentially an app that you can plug into your e-commerce or fundraising portal. Choose a payment gateway as carefully as you pick a bank to take care of your business accounts. The payment gateway is a third party that will facilitate communication between your patrons’ payment methods and your merchant accounts.

Choose a payment gateway that has a sterling track record of secure transactions.

Construct a payment system

Now that you have a merchant account and a payment gateway for your business, charity, or personal page, the next step is to put together a payment system that fits your customers’ needs. This will vary depending on your venture.

You can customize your payment system to meet your exact needs using an online form builder like Jotform. Jotform offers hundreds of form templates, like order forms and donation forms, that you can use to create a seamless shopping or donation experience.

Jotform integrates easily with a variety of payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, and Square, making it easy to add a payment option to your form. It’s also PCI DSS Service Provider Level 1-compliant, the highest level of security you can have as a business that collects payments using credit cards.

And with spreadsheet builder Jotform Tables, you can integrate your forms with spreadsheet templates to keep track of the data you collect.

Offering an easy way for people to donate or make purchases online can be a great way to bring resources to a worthy cause or encourage shoppers to buy your products. By learning how to collect money online safely and securely, you’ll be on your way to success.

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