Ways to accept online payments for your business

Panna Kemenes

These days, there are many ways to pay and accept payments online. Providing different ways for customers to pay can broaden your customer base and help you get paid faster.

In this post, you’ll find different ways to accept online payments.

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Wise Business

📝 Table of contents:

Top ways to accept payments online for your business

With so many ways to accept payments online, it’s hard to know which ones will best suit your business.

It’s critical to take the time to find the best payment method. Accepting online payments can help you scale your business. It can also make life easier for your customers.

The following payment methods are all viable options. These options come with different requirements and each have their pros and cons.

Accept online credit and debit card payments via a merchant account

Before you can accept credit card payments online, you’ll need a merchant account.

A merchant account allows businesses to accept cashless payments. This includes credit and debit card payments. The funds will be deposited into the merchant account when a card payment is processed.

From here, the business needs to transfer these funds to a business account, such as the Wise Business account.

Merchant accounts are subject to various fees, such as the interchange fee. This fee is set by card providers such as MasterCard and Visa.¹

Once you have a merchant account, you can accept online payments using a payment gateway.

Use an online payment gateway for accepting payments

Online payments also involve a payment gateway. The payment gateway, usually supplied by a third party, allows customers to pay with a card at checkout.

What’s the difference between a merchant account vs a payment gateway?

A payment gateway allows for the collection of card data. The merchant account provides a means of receiving payment through this payment gateway.

There are different payment gateway providers. Each provider fits the needs of businesses in slightly different ways. The best payment gateways are those which allow you to customize the payment process, and offer low fees.

⚠️ Remember: You won’t be able to process payments you receive unless you have a merchant account. You’ll also need a business account to receive the funds. If you have international customers, a Wise Business account can be an easy way to receive online payments.

Enable mobile payments to expand your customer base

It’s not uncommon for customers to pay for goods with their phones, so many businesses now accept mobile payments.

It’s also a form of online payment that will likely only get more popular with time. As such, it can be a good idea to get on board now to set your business up for future success.

📱 Did you know?
Americans spend on average three or more hours on their phone every day. Tapping into the mobile market can help you keep in step with your customers.²

There are four ways to make a payment by phone:

  • Browsers - just as you’d pay for goods on your desktop computer, you can check out online using your phone.

  • Apps - if you offer a service through an app, in-app payments can help capitalize on the mobile users market

  • Mobile credit card readers - mobile credit card readers can be useful for charging customers in person when all they have is their phone

  • Contactless payments - due to the pandemic and other factors, contactless payments are gaining traction. Through a payment processor like Google Pay, customers can pay via mobile

Set up E-invoicing for fast online payments

Are you curious about how to take payments online with an e-invoice?

You can issue your customers with an electronic invoice that has a direct payment link. Customers can click to pay the corresponding sum online.

One of the easiest ways to set up an e-invoice is to use invoicing software, such as QuickBooks. The software can send out invoices to customers, as well as reminders, to reduce the risk of late payments and human errors.

With software such as QuickBooks and Xero, you can also add your Wise account details to your e-invoice for quick and easy payment.

You read about how to use QuickBooks to find out more about this solution.

💡 Did you know?
You can also save time and money when you use e-invoices. E-invoices are easier to produce and send than paper invoices. According to research from EY, it takes the same time to check 90,000 e-invoices compared to only 6000 paper invoices.³

Try recurring billing to save time

Are you wondering how to accept payments online on a recurring basis?

Recurring billing is for businesses that charge on a repeating schedule. If, for example, you run a software business, you can use recurring billing to take the same sum of money from your customers every month.

You can save time with this billing method, as you won’t have to set up the invoice each month.

Once you’ve agreed upon frequency with the customer, you can set up recurring charges using a fixed or variable model.

  • Fixed - with a fixed model, often used by subscription services and gyms, you’ll take a fixed sum of money from customers on a monthly or yearly basis.

  • Variable - with a variable model, you’ll adjust the recurring payment for factors such as usage and quantity. A common example of this is a phone bill.

🔍 Discover some recurring billing software options for your business.

Online payment

Pros and cons of accepting payments online

Accepting payments online is worthwhile for many businesses, but it does have some drawbacks.

If you’re considering opening up new payment options for your customers, you can weigh up the pros and cons to make an informed decision.


Expand your revenue base - when you start accepting payments online, you gain access to a significant market. According to research by JPMorgan, around 78% of U.S. citizens already shop online, so you can tap into this audience.⁴

Save time and money with recurring billing - if you set up recurring billing for your customers, you cut out costs associated with manual billing. You will also save time that can be spent elsewhere.

Expand overseas - when it comes to scaling on an international level, online payments allow you to receive money in various currencies. This opens your business up to a global market.

🌎 Accepting payments from international customers can cost a lot when you use a traditional bank. A banking alternative, such as Wise Business, can save you time and money. With Wise Business, you can get 10 major local account details. This means that you can receive GBP to your Wise UK Account, for example - without all the exchange fees and hassle.


Potential for fraud - fraud can be an unfortunate reality for businesses that accept payments online. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that US businesses can lose on average 5% of their gross revenues as a direct result of fraud.⁵

To put a figure to the percentage, Statista found that around 20 billion dollars worth of e-commerce transactions were lost to fraud in 2021.⁶

Transaction fees - providers will typically charge per online transaction, as such, this is an important factor to consider. For example, Stripe fees are 2.9% + $0.30 plus an additional 1% for international cards and/or 1% for currency conversion with online card payments.⁷

💰 Money-saving tip: If you receive payments in a currency that is the same as your account’s, Stripe does not perform currency conversion.⁸ You can avoid international card fees by connecting your Wise Business account to Stripe. Open one account with multiple currencies to receive international payments with ease.

What is the best way to collect money online?

The best way for you to collect money online will depend on the structure of your business. If you run a subscription-based business, recurring billing may be your best bet. Recurring billing automates the payment process for you and the customer.

For an e-commerce seller, on the other hand, it might be that an online payment gateway is the most convenient solution. With a payment gateway, customers have an easy way to pay you through your online store.

What is the safest way to receive payment online?

It’s understandable if you’re concerned about receiving payments online. Fraud is a possibility with online payments, so it’s worth seeking out the safest method for your business.

To avoid losing out on money to cybercrime, stick to the most secure payment methods. These include credit card payments, contactless payments, and payment apps such as Apple Pay.

Debit cards may present the most risk since the funds come directly from the customer’s bank account. However, all the payment methods covered in this guide are relatively low risk.

Receive international payments with Wise Business

Using a payment gateway and merchant account is a popular way to accept payments online. But you also need to connect a business account to receive the payment at the end.

If you have international customers, you can open a Wise Business account to receive payments in different currencies.

One benefit of using Wise Business is that you can connect to popular payment gateway services such as Stripe. This provides you with an easy way to get paid, wherever your customers happen to be.

Wise Business enables you to manage your account, move money, and handle all your transactions in one place. Easy-peasy.



  1. Federal Reserve Board - Regulation II - Average Debit Card Interchange Fee by Payment Card Network
  2. 2022 Cell Phone Usage Statistics: How Obsessed Are We? | Reviews.org
  3. EY - Worldwide electronic invoicing survey 2018
  4. E-commerce payments trends: United States
  5. Fraud Statistics
  6. Global e-commerce payment fraud losses 2021 | Statista
  7. Pricing & fees | Stripe
  8. Receiving payouts | Stripe Documentation

All sources checked 18 February 2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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