Can I accept card payments online for free?

October 16, 2020

Taking payments online is more important now than ever.

With the government rules in place and more people buying online, accepting digital payments is essential to keep your business growing. However, taking online payments can also be expensive.

If you’re using an inefficient payment portal, the transaction fees can quickly add up. Many times you’re stuck picking between a cheaper payment option that only accepts one payment method or an expensive one that offers a better customer experience.

With Pomelo Pay, our entire online gateway and set-up is free, and we only charge a transaction fee of 1.49% - that means that we only ever make money when you do.

Benefits of accepting payments online

Speedy and convenient

It might be tempting to accept cash, take payments over the phone or implement direct bank transfers; but with online payments, you can make the payment process a lot more convenient for both you and your customer.

The more steps the customer has to take, the more likely it is that you’ll lose the sale. Keep it simple by letting customers submit their payment through your website or digital platform.

Online payments are also a lot speedier than other types of payments. With cash deposits and bank transfers, your money could take anywhere between forty eight hours to a week to reach your bank account. With a payment processor like Pomelo Pay, you’ll get your money the next day.

More trust and security

An online payment processor is more secure than taking payments over the phone or even cash. By using a tool like QR codes, every payment is tokenised and all customer data is encrypted.

You’ll often find that your customers are more likely to trust you if you use a secure processor that accepts most types of payments - which encourages purchases. Online payments also make it easier to set limits, flag any suspicious activity and even allow customers to recall payments if necessary.

Keep your records and get analytics

You can store as much data and customer details as necessary with digital payments. You’ll be able to track the payment records and have quick and easy access to all transactions that you’ve accepted.

Some payment processors will also offer analytics and insights into who your best customers are, how you’re progressing month to month and the overall financial health of your business.

With Pomelo Pay’s analytics, for example, you’ll be able to see your most popular items, where your customers are buying from and a general overview of your company’s financials.  

How to receive payments online (for free)

1. Set-up an online gateway

The first step to accepting payments online is deciding where you want customers to complete their payments. Usually, this is your website. But it could also be a separate page, a subdomain or a partner’s website. You’ll then want to decide the journey a customer experiences when completing their payment.

Do you want them to sign up to your newsletter? How many payment options do you want to offer? If you want a unique experience that is tailored to your business, your best bet may be to hire a developer that will design an online gateway just for you.

If you just want something efficient and straightforward, you can also pick a more general payment gateway that’s easy to set-up. With Pomelo Pay, for example, your customers will just need to scan a QR code with their phone and complete the payment on their screen. This type of payment method is a lot more practical and accepts all types of payments that involve a card.

2. Accept several payment methods

In the UK, most consumers use debit and credit card, whilst others use Apple Pay, Google Pay and other mobile payment methods. When you implement your online gateway, you’ll want to start by accepting these two most popular payment methods.

With QR codes, your customers will simply scan the code and be directed towards a payment screen. Once there, they have the option of filling in their card details and completing the payment from their phone. You can also choose to send them a payment link in an email or SMS, which will also take them to a screen where they can complete payment details.

3. Integrate with invoicing software

If you are a tradesperson or you issue invoices, integrating your payment method into your invoicing software makes it a lot easier to get paid. Make sure to check the various invoice requirements to make the payment process as smooth as possible.

Consider integrating a “click to pay” button on your invoice - this will drastically increase the chances of you getting paid quickly. With Pomelo Pay, you can simply add a link on your invoice and your client will just need to click on it, fill in their card details and their payment will be processed.

4. Set up mobile payments

If you manage a shop and want to accept payments in-store, you can choose to set up an online payment system that also integrates in-person payments. This makes it easier to sync all your transactions in one, and easily compare online and physical sales.

Last year, nearly 20% of smartphone users engaged in some sort of mobile payment. Mobile adoption will only increase, so setting up the appropriate payments early on will help establish your business for the future.

With QR codes, you can take payments online and your customer won’t even need to visit the till to pay - you can print your code off in the shop and let customers pay from a distance.

5. Implement an online ordering system

If you’re a takeaway or a small business on the move, an online ordering system makes it incredibly easy to accept payments online. Your customers can access your menu, pick their order and then complete the payment - all from their phone!

Not only does it mean customers can read all the relevant information about the food, but also they won’t need to wait for ages in a queue and can just pick up their order.

Accepting credit and debit card payments online for free has never been easier. Thanks to developments in technology, you can make the payment process as smooth as possible and keep your focus on engaging with your customer.

Now, with QR codes, you don’t need to invest hundreds of pounds into hardware or software! All you need is a mobile device, a business bank account and the Pomelo Pay app.