There are many factors to consider when identifying a payment module for your online store. Different stores have different needs and certain modules are more likely to meet your needs than others. Unfortunately, many small business owners, overwhelmed by the sheer choice, make the mistake of selecting a payment processor based solely on price.

One thing to be aware of when shopping around for a payment module is something called breakage: the idea that a certain percentage of visitors to your site will leave without making a purchase because of an inefficiency on the page. Many things can lead to breakage, from poor navigation to slow site speed, but using a payment module that isn’t adapted to your site can also do this. To prevent breakage, a payment module should make the checkout process easy, require as few clicks as possible and have the ability to store information securely to avoid redundant keystrokes.

An appropriate payment module that is working well on a site will help contribute to increased conversions. To help boost conversions, consider using a module that includes “auto-ship” or “subscription” features which encourage consumers to set up recurring orders at the time of their initial purchase.

Another factor to consider is how much information your payment module is passing to your processor at the time of authorization. Keep in mind that credit card processing methods are divided into three types: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. Each level is defined by how much information is needed to complete a payment, with Level 1 requiring the least for a payment to receive authorization. A characteristic of credit card interchange structure for purchases using a corporate card or a purchasing card—allow for additional information such as PO Number, Tax Amount, and Line Item Detail to be added to the transaction prior to authorization. This is important from the merchant’s perspective because the interchange fees he or she pays as part of the transaction fees are significantly reduced.

Finally, remember to consider operational efficiency: can you manage your payment transactions directly from your store or do you need to login to a third party gateway to perform voids, issue refunds, or manage subscription settings? Look for a module than can handle everything directly in your back office, and that doesn’t require you to bounce from one site to another.

This month we are featuring a payment module created by SkyBank Financial (, a leading provider of payment services in the United States. SkyBank’s Advance Payment System Module incorporates everything we’ve talked about today and, for a limited time, can be downloaded for free from the PrestaShop Addons Store. SkyBank offers a lifetime lowest processing rate guarantee and award-winning, in-house customer service with a dedicated chargeback resolution department.

Check it out today and let us know what you think!

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