The constant growth of the eBook reader community in the last few years has created an excellent opportunity for publishers to sell their content directly from their eBook stores.
However, as an eBook store owner, the first thing you need to do is integrate a payment gateway to it. In this blog, we explore more about the need for a payment gateway, how it works, and the stepwise procedure to integrate it into your eBook store.
Also Read: 9 Best Cross-Platform eBook Readers
The need for a payment gateway
If you run an eBook store, then a payment gateway is a must-have as you can’t receive any online payment without it. It acts as the main building block as well as a bridge between banks and authorizes payments for businesses.
Also known as a physical point of sale terminal located in your eBook store, it helps to encrypt sensitive information such as names, addresses, and card numbers to ensure that all confidential information is completely secure between customers and merchants.
How payment gateways work for eBook stores
The entire process of payment processing through payment gateways is quite simple. Here is a step-by-step procedure of how it works –
- When a customer purchases your eBook from your store, it’s sent to a web service in an encrypted format. This encryption is done with the help of SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
- Once done, all the transaction information is sent to the concerned payment gateway, which then sends this information to the merchant’s acquiring bank.
- As soon as the acquiring bank receives this information, they send it to the issuing bank as the customer’s credit/debit card belongs to the issuing bank, and the transaction will be approved by them
- Upon receiving this information, the issuing bank sends a message back to the payment gateway to confirm if the requested transaction was approved or declined (With a reason in case of a decline)
- The payment gateway sends a response to the merchant’s server, which sends it to the customer in an encrypted format. This is to inform them whether or not the transaction was successful.
The whole process mentioned above takes not more than 5 seconds.
How to Build an eBook Store
How to integrate a payment gateway into your eBook store
1. Choose a payment gateway
To be able to receive payments for your eBook, the first thing you need to do is choose a payment gateway. Among the most popular ones include –
As a widely trusted brand, Paypal lets readers easily pay for your eBook. There are two choices available here; you can choose either a Business or Premier account based on your pricing strategy.
A standard business Paypal account charges per transaction instead of a monthly fee (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for the US or 3.9% + a fixed fee for all transactions outside).
Stripe is another great payment gateway to accept credit/debit card payments from your buyers. With Stripe, readers can purchase your eBook in a few simple steps, without any extra fields or unnecessary diverts to another site. You also don’t need a merchant bank account with Stripe.
The pricing structure for Stripe is quite competitive. It is 2.9% and $0.30 per sale in USD and 1.4% + 20p for European sales.
Authorize.net allows you to easily plug a merchant bank account to the internet. It is a cheaper option than Stripe or Paypal, especially if you sell a high volume of books on your eBook store.
2. Set up automated digital delivery
After choosing the payment gateway, your next step is to sort out your eBook’s delivery. One of the most important questions you need to think about here is how will the buyer receive the product after they make their purchase.
Unlike manually emailing the eBook, which could be very time-consuming, it is best to automate the digital delivery. There are several tools available to do this with robust security features (secure time-limited delivery and PDF stamping) to prevent piracy. Most of these tools integrate seamlessly with your payment processor of choice.
3. Choose between a shopping cart and link
Here, you have two options that you can choose from:
Shopping cart: Allows customers to browse eBook stores and make a purchase.
Direct link: Allows customers to go straight to the payment gateway.
Although a digital delivery service providing company offers all these options, it is best to thoroughly research them before deciding. Most digital delivery companies offer full integration kits with all APIs and SDKs and integrate a payment gateway with your eBook store for you to start collecting payments online.
4. Look out for ways to optimize sales
Explore the online delivery tool you are using for all the extra features that allow you to optimize your sales funnel.
Among these include the ability to customize your eBook store’s checkout experience to match your branding, incorporate a responsive multi-language checkout option, and integrate with various marketing tools such as MailChimp.
Some of the online delivery tools also let you experiment with various marketing features such as pay what you use pricing, one-click upsells, and discount coupons.
5. Test the payment gateway
Your payment gateway service typically provides you with Test or Sandbox accounts to perform test transactions and ensure that the payment process works correctly.
Before your eBook store is live, make sure to test it thoroughly. The testing process might vary from service to service, and you will need to check your payment gateway’s support site for all the details about testing your gateway’s integration.
Also Read: 10 Best ebook creation software
A payment gateway is a great solution that allows your eBook store to accept card payments from customers. When it comes to incorporating a payment gateway to your eBook store, there are many ready-made solutions available in the market.
Once you’ve picked your payment gateway, integrating it into your online eBook store is easy. What is important to grow your business is to choose the right service provider to deliver an enhanced user experience and provide maximum security to your customers.
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