5 Questions to ask when choosing an online payment method for your organization

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 3:52:00 PM by Ashley Wood

Please raise your hand if you’re feeling overwhelmed about accepting online payment for your products or services. With options like Paypal, merchant accounts and payment platforms, there’s a lot to consider and the research alone can be daunting- never mind actually implementing the system you’ve chosen. Well, there’s good news: Choosing an online payment method doesn’t have to be stressful or intimidating. With the right questions and information, you’ll be able to choose one that best suits your organization’s needs.

We’ve created a list of questions you should be asking yourself when choosing a payment method. This should guide you in deciding what your organization’s needs are and what system can best meet them. Ready? Let’s get started!



  1. Why are you looking to offer online payment?

The answer to this question may help you establish what your organization’s needs are. If your answer is something along the lines of “to save time” then you’ll be looking for a system that’s easily integrated and requires minimal maintenance. If you answer is something like “my clients have been requesting it” then you’ll probably be better off with a system that also allows for online registration as well since your clients are probably familiar with online shopping.


  1. How big is your organization and roughly how many payments will you be accepting online?

The online payment method you choose will rely a good deal on the volume of payment you’ll be accepting. For instance, if you’ve got a small- mid size organization then you most likely don’t have the time, the funds or the patience to set up your own merchant account.  However, if you are a very large organization taking large volumes of payments, it might be more economical to take the time to set up your own merchant account.


  1. How fast do you need your system set up?

Set-up time varies between each online payment method. If you need everything up and running in days then PayPal or a system with an integrated merchant account is ideal. Setting up your merchant account could take up to 4 weeks so you’ll need to take that into account if that’s an option you’re considering.


  1. How much support will you need?

If this is your first time dealing with online payment then it’s likely you’ll run into issues or have questions. Although PayPal is relatively simple to use, they aren’t known to be responsive or cooperative when it comes to support. Setting up your own merchant account may be the option for you, but, keep in mind it comes with minimal support and you’ll be the resource for cardholder and fraud support for your clients. If you’ve got an outside resource to help you deal with any hiccups then a strong support system may not be necessary.


  1.  Do have an accounting system in place that supports both online and offline payment?

If your answer is “yes”, then Paypal or your own merchant account may be all you need. You will have to ensure that the system you choose is compatible with your in house accounting system. If your answer is “no” then you’ll probably be better off with a platform that can process your payments as well as streamline your finances.


Last but not least, you’ll want to make an educated decision so calling different providers to get clarification, ask questions or even request a demo will be beneficial. By mapping out exactly what your needs and resources are, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and select the best fit for your organization. Want to know if Amilia is a good fit for your organization to start offering online payment? Request a demo and we’d be happy to give you all the information you need and answer all your questions!