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Cloud-based payment processing is a way for businesses to offer customers convenient payment options while saving money and time. A cloud-based system streamlines the process and integrates with your existing accounting and back-office systems.
What Is Cloud Based Payment Processing?
Cloud-based payment processing integrates payment processing features with accounting and back-office systems, which allows businesses to clear and post payments in one go. This makes it easier and faster for businesses to access funds, improve bottom lines, and increase cash flow.
With a cloud-based payment system, your business is able to handle ACH, cash, checks (through remote deposit capture), and payment cards, all of which automatically post to your bank. Some systems even offer capabilities that allow them to integrate with any back-office solution, CRM system, financial institution, or payment gateway.
Benefits of Implementation
Implementing cloud-based payment processes comes with many benefits, including:
- Easy integration: Just about every cloud-based payment system allows for integration with accounting and back-office functions or software. In addition to integrating with primary functions, these systems can also integrate with awards or loyalty programs and often provide live data and sales reports.
- Flexibility: Cloud-based systems provide far more flexibility than more traditional point-of-sale (POS) technology. They are simpler and allow for payments from mobile devices and online bank transactions. These systems are also able to work with traditional POS systems, as well as services such as Apple Pay.
- Scalability: Cloud-based systems are designed to meet the changing needs of various businesses. Storage capacity is not an issue, as payment data is stored in a cloud-based data center. Small and mid-size businesses greatly benefit from cloud-based systems, because they offer efficiency at low upfront costs, and are designed to grow with the business.
- Security: The most important aspect of any payment system is that it complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Cloud-based payment systems have invested in more intense security measures to ensure PCI DSS compliance, maintained by industry experts.
Before You Choose a Payment Processing Service
There are more payment processing services out there today than ever, which can make it daunting to choose one. But the high volume of services makes it easier to find the right one for you, as there are multiple services for specific business and industry types. To find the best service for your needs, you first need to figure out exactly what you want from a payment processing service.
For example, if your business runs transactions at off-site events such as trade shows, you don't want to go with a provider that doesn't offer mobile payment solutions. And if you are an online merchant, you wouldn't want a provider that doesn't offer e-commerce payment solutions or integration with similar platforms.
It is important that you consider your long-term needs when choosing a provider, because you want a system that evolves with your business. If the provider cannot offer flexible solutions or keep up with changing technology, it's not the one for you.
How Much Does Cloud-Based Payment Processing Cost?
The cost of cloud-based payment processing depends on the company you choose, any additional features, and the pricing method the company uses. What follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for cloud-based payment processing.
- Some companies offer a one-time purchase option, which comes at a higher upfront cost. Many providers also charge an upgrade fee for when you need to upgrade your software to the latest version. Cloud-based payment processing from a company that offers one-time purchasing has an average starting cost of $1,000.
- Most providers charge for cloud-based payment processing on a monthly basis, with prices depending on the features and number of users you need. Costs start at around $14 per month, but average between $50 and $100 per month. The monthly charge model usually includes software upgrades in the monthly fees.
It is important to note that there are other fees that payment processing companies may charge, which vary from company to company, for customer support, additional features, and setup assistance. There are also companies that charge based per transaction. Always be sure to check the charging method a provider uses, and everything they charge for, to see if it works for you.