Credit cards were once the be-all and end-all of online payments, but there’s a reason that has changed. There are so many alternative payment options out there today and every online shopper has their own preferred way to pay. By offering a variety of web payment processing tools for your customers to choose from, you can significantly improve your sales.

Credit cards are under threat by new alternative visit payment processing solutions. Web payment processing began as a way to increase the security of online shopping by allowing people to make purchases without revealing their sensitive financial information, but it’s become so much more.

However, while more and more people are moving away from using credit cards when shopping online, because there are more online payment options than ever before, not all shoppers are choosing the same alternatives. As an online entrepreneur, you need to offer as many choices as you can in order to convert the most customers.

A study by Quality Research Associates has found that websites providing four or more payment methods had a sales conversion rate 20% percent higher than those offering just one online payment option. In other words, the more online payment options you offer, the more web payment processing you’ll do on your site and the more money you’ll make.

There are four basic ways to pay which every online business should offer:

1. Credit Card Processing

Despite all the alternatives, credit cards are still the most popular way for people to make online payments (for now!). Credit cards are fast and cheap, but they’re not very secure. As cybercrime continues to grow in quantity and in sophistication, more and more people will realize that it is in their best interest to play it safe, and will opt for one of the following alternatives.

2. E-Commerce Processors

E-commerce processors were originally designed to act as a middle-man between your credit card information and the merchant, as an added layer of security against fraud. However, they’ve evolved into all-in-one payment processing solutions. While most still support credit card payments, they also allow you to pay by “e-wallet” – which you can fund by credit card, bank transfer, direct deposit, check, etc.

3. Debit Cards

As the general public becomes more wary of the potential debt trap associated with using credit cards, debit cards are becoming more popular both at the point-of-sale and online. Banks, realizing this, have been developing the infrastructure for debit card payments to be supported by web payment processing. Debit card payments are especially convenient because the money goes directly from your bank account to the merchant, no third-party necessary.

4. Offline Payment Options

Some potential customers would rather skip web payment processing entirely and talk to a live person, and it’s important to offer that option as well. While it’s much less convenient, paying in person is the safest way to pay, so include a phone number or an order form or these potential customers will shop somewhere else.