For many small businesses, accepting payments online offers major benefits. Customers increasingly expect this facility and it can improve your cashflow significantly.
It's easy to accept cheques or invoices for your online sales and to process payments in the traditional way. However, because buyers often use the internet for a speedy service, most sales are paid for with credit and debit cards. To accept cards online, you will have to make special banking arrangements.
Online payments using cards are 'card-not-present' transactions. There are higher risks of fraud with this type of payment and banks require you to operate within a well-defined set of rules and accept a higher level of commercial risk than a conventional swiped card transaction in a shop.
This guide will help you to understand these requirements and assess the options available for taking advantage of online payments.