By: Mia Huntington
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Elavon Canada

Running a business has never been easy, but today’s always-on, mobile-first digital world presents new challenges for small and medium business owners.

New technologies have transformed the way customers shop for and purchase products and services. Social media has replaced traditional advertising in radio and television, while debit and credit have replaced cash and cheques as the primary forms of payment.

Nowadays, consumers also expect seamless, convenient interactions with companies at every stage, from in-store to online. That’s why it’s important to ensure your payment processor can support your needs to keep customers coming back and boost your productivity and bottom line. Whether you’re launching an innovative new start-up or upgrading your family business on Main Street, here’s everything you need to know about setting up in-store and eCommerce payments.

Pick your payment platform wisely. The key to choosing the right payment solution from the wide variety available is to understand your business’ individual needs. For example, bricks-and-mortar stores will have very different requirements than a restaurant, or an artisan who sells exclusively through a website.

When it comes to in-store payments, countertop point-of-sale terminals are perfect for retail operations, quick-serve restaurants and professional services. They are all-in-one payment solutions that feature everything your business needs to easily and securely accept debit, credit and all other payment types, including contactless "tap" and mobile payments. Meanwhile, if you’re in an environment where you have to bring the point of payment to the customer, wireless point-of-sale terminals are ideal. They’re suited for restaurant/food service businesses, most retail operations, taxi/car services or for tradespeople who need a point-of-payment on the go.

For eCommerce payments, you’ll want to look for flexibility and the ability to accept credit, debit, PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay and more. Elavon’s Converge omni commerce gateway includes flexible eCommerce options, whether you're looking for a simple hosted payment page or an API to integrate payments seamlessly into your online experience. It’s perfect for strictly eCommerce operations as well as businesses that want to accept payments in a variety of ways, including in-store, mobile, online, order ahead, recurring billing, mail order and phone order.

Security is key. With hackers, fraudsters and other risks, keeping your data secure and offering your customers top-of-the-line privacy and security of their personal information and credit card details is essential. When setting up in-store or eCommerce payments, a trusted and secure payment processor can give you and your customers peace of mind. As a leader in the processing payments industry for over 25 years, Elavon works to constantly provide customers with the latest technology standards, protecting your business with secure solutions. We also offer secure mobile and wireless payment processing solutions that offer encryption and tokenization capabilities to protect data both in transit and at rest. These security features also help ensure you comply with the established requirements for accepting or processing payment cards set out in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. (Click here to read more about PCI compliance and it's importance to all businesses accepting payments)     

Getting started is simple. One of the most common questions business owners have is how to get started and what information they need to provide. Fortunately, we work to make the process as smooth as possible. Once you’re set up, you can monitor your payment processing account online anytime using MerchantConnect. This online portal allows you to view your monthly statements and detailed reports, manage chargebacks, and analyze your sales and payment trends to stay on top of your business. 

With Elavon Canada, setting up payments is one thing you can effortlessly scratch off your to-do list. Our exclusive, turnkey solutions make it easy to securely accept payments across mobile, in-store and online platforms that seamlessly ingrate into your existing business model. Ongoing support services mean you can rest easy and rely on us at every touchpoint with our exceptional uptime service rate of 99.99% and 24/7 technical support.

For more information about our Converge omni commerce platform including eCommerce features visit http://www.elavon.ca/point-of-sale-products/online-ecommerce