The Indian startup ecosystem has seen a massive growth in the last decade, making the country the third-largest startup hub in the world after US and China. According to a NASSCOM report, the total number of startups in India totalled 9,300 approximately, growing at 12 to 15 percent year-on-year.
As the startup ecosystem thrived, the digital payments landscape has also flourished. With value-added benefits such as frictionless on-demand payment options, easy onboarding provisions, simpler payment modes and the substantial reduction in costs for digital transactions, companies and consumers alike have become digital first. With growing adoption, India is forecasted to be a $1 trillion market for digital transactions by 2025.
Given its growing importance, it is vital for startups to select the right payment gateway from the beginning. The right payment gateway will not only bolster the business but will also ensure the secure transfer of funds from the payment website or application to the merchant’s account.
A multi-faceted payment gateway suite
Payment gateway service providers offer several features, depending on their merchant’s business needs. Hence it is imperative to clarify these needs to the service providers to ensure that your business has a comprehensive and easy-to-use digital payments model.
For instance, merchants can go for different features such as subscriptions to create, collect and manage recurring payments, accept payments through message, email and WhatsApp via payment links, add payment buttons on websites and blogs, process payments to their vendors/employees through a powerful dashboard and/or API solution feature, accept, manage and track payments on-the-go with a mobile application, and allow customers to get access to credit solutions by seamlessly enabling EMI on the checkout page. The payment gateway should enable transactions on your app, web pages and/or webfront, depending on the need of your customer.
Quick and easy onboarding
A challenge that online payment solutions providers faced earlier while getting businesses to adopt digital modes of payments was the onboarding process. These service providers often require longer time periods and ample formalities to secure approvals from partner banks to ensure that merchants can have uninterrupted services.
Online onboarding is fast, easy and a more convenient process. Startups that face mobility and time constraints should consider a gateway that offers this option. While the industry average is 10 to 15 days, there are few payment solutions providers who can complete the process within one day.
Cost effective and affordable
While it is crucial to have a payment gateway that is easy-to-use and offers multiple features, it is equally important to ensure that it gives you value for money. While considering this factor, one should always go for a service provider that offers zero setup charges and no Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC).
Few payment gateways have a purchasing fee, and then an added monthly subscription fee. This, combined with the payment processing fee and certain other hidden charges, can result in an increase of the burden on you in the long run.
Seamless checkout experience
The checkout experience while making online transactions is one of the key drivers in the growth or reduction of digital payments in the country.
If your customers face any challenge while making online transactions, or undergo a poor experience, they are unlikely to make online payments on your platform the next time they are there. However, if the same user is able to make a hindrance-proof, swift transaction via their mobile phone or any device, they will continue using these services, and you will see multiple visits from them.
Experts estimate that conversions can be increased by a whopping 35.62 percent by implementing the right checkout optimisation strategies. So, choose a payment gateway which offers a seamless experience to your customers.
Facilities for international payments business
In case your current business plans or future expansion plans include going global with your business, it is wise to keep this feature in mind while selecting your payment gateway partner. In such cases, the payment gateway that you choose for your business must support international payments. This entails both, accepting transactions in multiple currencies, as well as providing a checkout experience in local languages, to international customers.
The gateway selected should be secure for both, your business and your consumers. With an increase in the cases of online frauds, you should ensure that your payment gateway service provider has a ready set of tools to prevent these frauds. The highest level in card data protection is achieved by a gateway when it complies with the PCI DSS, therefore ensuring that your payment gateway is PCI DSS certified should be on the top of the criteria list for the right payment gateway.
Find out and understand the kind of support that your potential payment gateway service provider offers. Ensure that the payment gateway offers round-the-clock support and your consumers have access to speak to a customer care professional as and when required.
Edited by Javed Gaihlot
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)