Many small business owners are looking for a simple way to accept payments online. I get this question all the time. Your quest is over. I’m not talking about adding a Paypal button to your website. I’m talking about an easy, integrated payment solution that is very simple to setup as well as affordable. Total cost of this solution will be approximately $60/month + processing fees.
Here are a few sample uses for this solution
- Accepting payments online where you don’t need a shopping cart. So, selling one or two items on a website where you don’t want your buyer to add them together in a shopping cart/checkout solution.
- Accepting online donations that are not recurring.
- Receiving online payments for invoices.
Ok, now that you see the boundaries with this solution, you can see why it is “simple”. No shopping cart, not checkout system, no recurring payments. A key ingredient here however is the “integrated” part of this solution. It is much more professional to have a payment solution that is built (or seemingly so) directly into your website. I hate being tossed off of a companies website to process a payment somewhere else. It feels a little uncomfortable for my taste.
Here are the steps to setting up your simple online payment acceptance form
- Create a Wufoo Account.Wufoo is a web form building tool that is great for almost any type of form you could possibly want to add to your website. The drag and drop form builder interface is very easy to use and doesn’t require any knowledge of code. We will be using Wufoo to setup our simple online payment form.
- You’ll need to sign up for the Bona Fide plan. This is the entry plan into integrated payments, and considering that is topic of this post, it is the suggested plan at minimum. The Bona Fide plan cost $29/month.
- Create a new payment form. You will need to click on the “add new form” button at the top right of the main wufoo admin interface. From there you will want to add whatever fields you would like for your customer to fill out. Make sure to select which fields should be required by checking the “required” checkbox. You will also need a field to associate with the price that the customer will be paying. In my screenshot example below, I have included name, email, an open price field so that the customer can choose what price they will be paying (such as with paying invoices online) and an Invoice number field for the customer to include for my reference.
- Setup your Merchant Account. Now that your form is ready to go, it is time to get your merchant account setup and ready to take payments. Here are my suggestions to keep this payment form integrated into your site: Setup a traditional merchant account through a Credit Card Processing Company or Paypal Website Payments Pro account. Either of these will keep the form integrated into your website. With the traditional merchant account, make sure you choose one with no setup fees! There are too many out there competing for business to pay any setup fees. Some will even setup your Authorize.net gateway account with zero setup fees.The Paypal Website Payments Pro account will cost you $30/month + processing fees. The traditional merchant account shouldn’t cost you more than a $10 monthly statement fee, processing fees and a $10 monthly gateway fee. If you should get stuck on this part, message me or comment and I can suggest several quality processing companies who I know will treat you right.
- Configure your payment settings. Once you have your merchant account squared away, you will need to configure your form to work with your account. This can seem pretty technical, however it isn’t as difficult as it seems. Whether you have chosen Paypal Website Payments Pro or a traditional merchant account with Authorize.net gateway, you will need to add the API credentials that they provide to the payment settings section of your form.
- Setup a SSL Certificate for your domain. This can most likely be done through your hosting provider. It shouldn’t cost more than $120/year. This will ensure that your payment form is secured on an encrypted connection and your customers can submit their information with peace of mind.
- Get paid! Once you have setup your form and added your merchant account information to your payment settings, you are ready to go. You might want to consider setting up email notifications and customizing your receipt email in Wufoo. These are things that I won’t go into detail on as Wufoo does a great job covering them on the help section of their site.