I have been invited to write a review of Axiar Payments Solutions. Axiar offers e-commerce websites, particularly in the U.K., a way to handle both credit and debit card transactions as a credit card processor. This isn’t the first time that I have reviewed online payment systems, take a look at the review for Group ISO. This service is initially distinguished by the fact that it has a British focus, as it deals in British Pounds.
Introduction to Payment Processing
I had no idea until I saw the neat diagram (below) how complex online payments could be. I have only a small online business so far: so I was spared the complexity by using Paypal. I guess when systems are simple to operate, we assume that they are simple to setup and operate. If you still don’t believe me, take a look at the process that Axiar employs to verify credit card transactions.
Once you have grasped the complexity of the transaction, you will begin to understand why a payment service provider like Axiar Payments Solutions can really make a name for themselves and the advantages they would provide over other 3rd party credit card processors.
Now, you’re thinking: “My bank offers me payment services with my merchant account. Why should I switch?” It may be easy to use your bank, but have you consider the alternatives fully?
Advantages of Axiar
- Lower transaction fees will mean that you are able to offer your customer better deals on your products and services. In a price competitive environment, this would be quite an advantage to cut prices in the face of stiff competition. Given that they charged a flat fee, for items of higher value or websites that have low volumes of turnover, this may represent a good opportunity to save $$$ or pass the savings on to your customers.
- A higher conversion ratio. Your customers won’t need to leave site: there is always the danger when a customer leaves your site that they may not return for a variety of reasons. One particular reason would simply be a browser crash. When the user loads up the browser again, the URL is gone.
- Increased trust will help to spur more sales. Perhaps customers may not even complete the transaction because they get taken to a page on another website that they don’t know. Naturally, given the phishing problems, customers are quite leery of website they don’t know or don’t choose to visit.
- Better anti-fraud screening is essential for small retailers, as credit card fraud is a real problem, but it needn’t be. Axiar explains about how they tackle fraud.
- Speeds up your cashflow. For all businesses, but especially for small business without large accounts or reserves of cash, speeding up cash flow helps to reduce periods when cash isn’t coming in but expenses are still a drain. Axiar claims that money will be deposited into your account faster. Worldpay, for example, hangs on to the money for quite a while.
There are a couple of issues that I think they need to look at, though. First of all, given that Europe (as in the E.U. member countries) is converging and the Internet is accelerating that process, why do they not accept Euros or bill in Euros? Now, they claim that they are the UK’s premier payment solution… it would surely just enhance that claim if they allowed their customers to do business in Euros (and in Europe) as well. Many online businesses are not as fussy about national boundaries as bankers seem to be!
The other tweak needed is making sure that their websites support not just Internet Explorer, but also the other major browsers as well as non-Windows platform browsers. Vista may be a success, but Firefox browser on Windows is becoming a major IE competitor. If Vista stumbles, so will IE 7.0.
A good example of how their website omits this can be seen on their front page if you are a Firefox user. Let’s hope it’s just limited to the graphic’s untidiness. The version of Firefox (2.0.3 in English on WinXP) that I used displayed a problem in the
bottom left corner with one of the images. It made the page look untidy. Look here and see for yourself. It’s not a major glitch, other websites display incorrectly, too.
I’ve asked for clarification on the status of non-Windows or non-IE browsers and whether they can operate the services such as their “virtual terminal” or not.
Updated on March 26th and 29th, 2007…
The FF image problem has been fixed very promptly. So regular FF users should see a perfect front page! That was very fast. Also, Axiar have confirmed that the virtual terminal will work fine in IE and FF. So that’s great news there!
What is your experience of credit card payment services? Which one did you use? Was it a positive or negative experience?