As an event organiser, you should know how to set up online payments for your event. After all, you’re in the business of selling tickets.
Those of us who are long in the tooth will remember a time when there was scepticism around payment cards. Even more so with online banking and payments.
Today, we can’t imagine a world without digital money and online payments.
So it goes without saying that you’ll want to accept payments online. Particularly because your event will also be listed online.
This article will go through:
- The benefits of accepting online payments
- How to set up online payments for your event
- How to find payment service providers
- Alternatives like ticketing platforms
- What features to look out for
Read on and learn everything you need to know about online payments for your event.
The benefits of accepting online payments
How you accept payments will have a big effect on how many tickets you sell. The easier it is for people to pay, the more likely they are to follow through.
Conversely, you’ll lose ticket sales by not having an efficient system in place. Here are some of the benefits of accepting online payments.
1. Save time and money
The days of paper invoices and postal payments are long gone. Online payments are quite simply faster and cheaper to make than traditional payment methods.
Not only will you get paid faster, but you can get paid any time of day. If you accept online payments, you can literally make money while you sleep.
Online payments are also much safer than traditional payments. Sensitive information will be stored safely by third parties, which reduces your liability risk.
4. Insights and reporting
Finally, you’ll have a much better overview of who buys what and when. All the transactions are in the same place, so bookkeeping and accounting become much easier.
How to set up online payments for your event
There are several ways to set up online payments for your event. All of them lead to the magic plastic card everyone carries around in their wallets.
It will take a bit of work to set everything up yourself, but it’s not an impossible task. If you want an easy life, then there are payment service providers who can do the heavy lifting for you.
1. Use the DIY method
A merchant account is an online bank account that enables you to accept card payments. The money is temporarily stored here before it’s sent to your business account.
You can open a merchant account with your current bank but can choose a different one if you want.
Note: If you go the DIY route, you need to ensure that everything is PCI compliant.
2. Use a payment service provider
A payment service provider will save you time by acting as an intermediary between you and the bank. They work as both a merchant account and a payment gateway.
You also don’t need to worry about PCI compliance if you use a payment service provider. All sensitive payment details will not be handled by you, but by them.
In addition to Stripe and Skrill, you have numerous options:
3. Use a ticketing platform
Some ticketing platforms, like Billetto, will have payment gateways built right into them. This is by far the easiest route to go.
Not only will you have a merchant account and a payment gateway. You’ll also have a ticketing system built specifically with events in mind.
It’s like a Kinder Surprise.
Features to look out for
Regardless of which direction you choose to go in, there are some things you need to look out for.
Make sure that the solution you choose includes some (or all) of the following:
- Good online reviews
- Reasonable and transparent pricing
- Accepts all payment cards
- Free trial
- Customisation options
- Mobile-optimised checkout
- Fraud protection
- Real-time reporting
- Virtual terminal
The features you need will, of course, depend on your personal requirements. Let’s have a look at some of the most important ones.
1. Transparent pricing
Pricing is a big deal when it comes to online payments. You should find a provider that is very transparent about the fees you’ll be paying. That way you avoid any nasty surprises.
There will often be different fees for different payment methods, such as:
- Debit cards
- Credit cards
- Card issuers (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.)
- Domestic transfers
- International payments
- Chargeback fees (when the payment is reversed)
Some payment solution providers will have fluctuating rates, while others will have flat fees. Make sure that there are no hidden fees in the fine print.
2. Fraud protection
Fraud prevention is another factor you should prioritise when selecting your provider.
You may have experienced a chargeback at some point. It’s when you receive a payment, which is later recalled by the customer’s bank.
Typically, the customer will not inform you, but just tell the bank they didn’t authorise the payment.
It’s a method often used by fraudsters who want products or services, but don’t want to pay for them.
If more than 0.5% of the payments you receive end in chargebacks, the bank will flag you as high risk.
When you’re flagged as a high-risk merchant, your payment processing fees will increase significantly.
3. Real-time reporting
It’s a good idea to select a payment processor that provides you with a real-time data feed.
Real-time reporting will notify you as soon as you receive a payment, which helps you keep track of ticket sales.
4. Virtual terminal
A virtual terminal does what it says on the tin. It’s essentially an app that does all the same things as a physical credit card terminal.
You can access it from any device (laptop, phone, or tablet) that has access to WiFi. It’s particularly useful if you have to accept payments during the event itself.
You have to decide which solution works best for you, but you can’t afford to not accept online payments.
You can go the DIY route and set everything up yourself, but there are only 24 hours in the day. A good alternative is to go with a payment service provider or a ticketing platform.
The most important features to look out for are:
- Transparent pricing
- Fraud prevention
- Real-time reporting
- Virtual terminal
You have many options to choose from, so happy hunting. And good luck with your event!