When you're buying something in a retail store, the payment is clear: you give cash or your card to the seller who charges you on the spot.
What about online stores? "How can I get my money?" is a question you may be asking yourself when thinking of opening such a shop. We say, "It's easy, as well."
You can run a robust online store that is built right into your site pages, and we provide different ways to accept payments, starting from wire transfers to credit cards. This article will shed light on how it all works and what to do to receive payments.
How do customers make purchases?
Let's split the purchasing process into several steps:
- browses your catalog, adds some items to the bag, and goes to checkout (opens his bag and clicks the Checkout button).
- He submits a shipping address (if the items are shipped) and picks a shipping method.
- chooses a payment method and submits his billing address.
- He completes the order.
Step #4 can be divided into more steps, and differs depending on what payment method is chosen. We will break it down later, and now we're concentrating on general information about payment methods.
What is a payment method?
So you've got your first order. You're contemplating its details in your control panel at the Sales page. And here comes The Question, "Where did the money go?". The first thing you should know is that IONOS doesn't store or transfer the money to you. Rather, it serves as a go-between in processing payments: IONOS keeps your customers' order data and provides you with tools to arrange payments and manage the orders. Payment methods are ways your customers will send you the money for your goods. Generally every online store can support two types of payment methods: online and offline.
- Online payment means that the funds are transferred to you (to your payment account) immediately when the customer confirms the payment. For more information, see Online Payments (Third Party Store).
- Offline payment implies that the money is transferred later since the customer is supposed to arrange the transfer offline; for example, going to a nearby bank to transfer the money (that would be bank/wire transfer payment method), giving the customer a call to agree on the payment ("Phone order" payment method), or customer giving the cash to the courier, etc. For more information, see Offline Payments (Third Party Store).
Where can I receive my money when an order comes? How to withdraw my money?
Your account doesn't deal with your customers' money: IONOS doesn't collect, hold or process your money in any way. Instead, IONOS integrates with a variety of payment gateways which make the payment transactions from your buyers to you. So, IONOS serves as a transmitter in your transactions: it collects your customer's information, saves it for you to be able to see your customers and sales later, and passes it to special payment systems - third party payment gateways/processors that specialize in processing credit cards and provide security level required for storing and manipulating with such sensitive data. The process of withdrawal of money from that system will depend on the payment solution you choose - so you will need to contact your payment gateway (for example PayPal) to have your money transferred to your bank, if it is not set up to do so automatically.
What you need to do is to set-up payment methods that you want your customers to use in your store. For more details on payment processing and setting up payment options in your store, please refer to the explanation above.
Can I rename a payment method?
Yes, you can change the name of every payment method in your store. How to do that:
- Open your StoreFront, System Settings → Payment.
- Click the name of payment method you want to change.
- Enter new name and click Apply.
- Save the changes.
I need a payment option which is not on the list. Can I add a new method?
In case you want to add an offline payment method which is not listed in your control panel, you can use one of the existing 'Offline basic' methods - just rename it and put the instructions for customers if needed. See this instruction: Setting up an offline payment option in your store .
What if the payment gateway I need is not supported?
Here are the options:
- Consider hiring a professional programmer for creating a custom payment gateway integration for you.
- Consider one of the supported gateways.
Can I add instructions or notes to payment methods?
Yes, you can. You can add a second line note and full instruction to any payment method.
Second line note
Second line note is a sticky wording appearing right below the payment method (as a second line). You can use only plain text in these notes, no HTML is allowed. To add a note, click the payment method name on the Payment page.
Example: The first line is payment name: Credit card
The second line note: We accept all major credit cards.
Instruction is shown after a customer selects a necessary payment method. You can use HTML tags in your payment instructions. Also instructions should always have titles. If an instruction doesn't have a title, it will not be shown to the customer.
To add an instruction, click the Instruction for customer link on the Payment page.
Instruction in email notifications
If you want to send an instruction in email notifications, you should use the %paymentInstructions% mail tag. When an order notification is sent, this mail tag will be replaced with the corresponding payment instruction. So, if a customer uses the Wire Transfer method, they will get the instruction for this method. If they use any other method, they will get another instruction in the notification.
Since the payment instruction is in HTML format, but email notifications are in plain-text, all HTML tags are removed from the instruction before inserting it into e-mail.
I want to ask customers for a credit card number on my site and do not redirect them to a payment gateway site. Is it possible?
Some merchants want to have a total control over checkout process and don’t want to redirect a customer to a payment gateway to finish the transaction. The store supports PayPal Payflow Link and American Express Payment Gateway payment methods, which allow you to accept credit card payments without them leaving your checkout pages.