Searching Google, a phrase “Credit cards are nearly universal” caught my attention. Yep, fully agree with the fact that the Internet would never be the same if it wasn’t for credit cards. Internet payment sprang a wider use of credit cards, which in turn helped finance the development of e-businesses, including shopping portals like Ebay, pushing e-commerce to a whole new level. For every single benefit on-site credit card payment processing brings along, Internet security experts will happily name threats that dramatically reduce or eliminate such benefits, scaring the heck out of website owners. For websites with paid memberships and paid services, when credit cards are being used more than once or on a regular basis, security threats become even more acute. Is there an alternative that will eliminate many, if not all, the risks? A credit-based website payment system sounds like a reasonable alternative. One is not paying for all services with a card, but instead purchases a number of credits to be used as payments for services and only pays for credits on a payment gateway’s website. What websites are credit point systems best for? It is apparent that credits are not necessary for websites where one-time purchases are typical. Credits are great for websites with paid memberships or subscription fees and for projects where payments are relatively small yet regular. There is nothing better than a good old credit point system for stock photography websites where users regularly purchase pictures or for classified ads websites where people post their classified ads for a fee. Credit point systems gain popularity due to their simplicity and several obvious advantages:
Let’s get more in-depth with the above:
Payments for credits are processed not on your website, but on secure servers like Paypal, 2CO, Moneybookers, etc. Your website does not store credit card information, and, therefore, will be a less likely target for hackers interested in getting into your credit card db.
Credit system provides website customers with a more comfortable and human-friendly way to make periodic online payments. Basically, all payments are taken care of automatically (sometimes even replenishing the credit balance) and can be monitored via system-generated reports emailed to you.
Credits prove to be an indispensible marketing tool. A large number of Internet portals such as Sitepoint.com, for example, sell (and give away too) advertising credits. Advertising credits are very popular among script and software directories. Software publishers purchase listing upgrades, better placements, banner ads with credits to get additional exposure and better visibility.
Marketing-wise, let us look at some of the advantages of a credit system over a conventional CC payment mechanism:
Example: Save 20% if you purchase 120 pay-as-you-go credits or more
Example: 10 FREE Credits automatically added to you new account! Offer only valid for new members only.
Example 1: Get 10% off your next purchase of 120 credits
Example 2: Buy $100 of credits and get +25% extra
Going an extra mile for your website users will always pay off because they will vote for your website with their wallets! Don’t be too greedy and just remember that bonus credits don’t really cost you anything, but you win so much in terms of positive rapport and new customers joining your ranks. Virtually free marketing that really works sounds very much like any investor's dream, doesn’t?!
Customers are very sensitive when it comes to spending their money online. Therefore, optimizing their payment experience may be one of the best win-win website development strategies. By introducing new ways of making payments easier and smoother than before, you have a direct impact on user loyalty and increase your conversion and customer return rates (they got to spend all those credits on something, don’t they?). Last, but not least, even if they leave, you still got to keep the balance.
Worksforweb Marketing Department
Online demos of WorksForWeb products:
Business solutions based on WorksForWeb scripts:
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