Paul runs his online travel agency using WooCommerce. In this article Paul discusses the difficulties he faced when he tried to get a payment gateway for his startup business. He talks about how he came to use e-Path and how the combination of e-Path, Live Chat, and Gravity Forms has helped him deliver a highly responsive customer experience.
Problems with Online Payments
Paul: During our startup days I was having trouble getting a merchant account with a bank to take online payments from our customers. It was very difficult.
I don’t think we are alone. There’s a lot of businesses out there struggling to get a merchant account because like us, they are resellers who sell other companies’ products. Whenever I went to the bank to sort out an e-commerce payment gateway they had a problem that we weren’t selling our own tours. They wouldn’t give us an e-commerce payment gateway account for that reason.
Connecting a Manual EFTPOS Terminal to WooCommerce
To get by, I used a manual EFTPOS terminal where I could process bookings with the credit card number. I was looking for something which would facilitate the process of taking the credit card payments more directly. That was when our web developers OM4 suggested I check out the option of using e-Path.
I contacted e-Path and it was super easy to get things going.
As soon as customers are ready to purchase I send them a unique payment authorisation link. It comes to them with all our branding on it, there are all their details setting out what they are paying for. There is the authorisation link. It looks and feels professional, secure. Customers have confidence.
Once they click on the authorisation, they enter their credit cart details into e-Path’s secure system. We can then retrieve their credit card details from e-Path and charge their credit card using our EFTPOS terminal. From the customers point of view, it feels just link any other secure online payment system.
The Benefits of Offline Credit Card Payments with e-Path
What I found probably the most beneficial thing about using a e-Path/Gravity Forms is the ability to create custom prices. We’ll get someone looking for a 23 night package but they don’t need the extra night in Sydney or they don’t need another aspect of the tour. We can easily create a custom payment link. We can send it to the customer and they can open up the link and authorise the payment and then we process the payment. We get a lot of our sales through e-Path. I think it is one of the most important parts of our business.
Using Live Chat To Customise Online Quotes
I offer a Live Chat facility on our website, which lets us talk with customers and sort out what they want and what they don’t whilst they’re visiting our website. I can then customise a quote for them in two minutes and either email it or even send it through the live chat. They can pay there and then on the spot by authorising that payment. I’ve got my mobile EFTPOS machine so if I’m at home, away or anywhere I still process the payments.
e-Path is an amazing product. I’ve tried to tell other tour operators about it. Honestly it is so easy and it is very effective. It means that when it comes to East Coast Packages we can offer two products instead of 30. We offer The Deluxe Option and the Cheap as Chips Option. That’s when people ask us “can you take the nights out?” They love it when we say, “hey no problem.”
We are able to put the description of the adjusted package in the e-Path link that we send them. So they open it up and they’ve got the updated list of what they are paying for. From the customers point of view, it is personal and it feels like it is made especially for them. It’s not just about us, it has their details on it. So they can quickly check that their details and the package details are all correct and then click on the link to authorise it.
Speed of Response is Key to Customer Service
From the customers point of view we are quick to respond to their enquiry. We co-operate with what they want and then we make it super easy for them to check the details and authorise the payment. It is fast and friendly. It gives our business a level of professionalism that gives your customer confidence. They can see that you are working through a secure system. No one wants to give credit card details in an email these days, there is more awareness of the need for more security in those transactions. Customers check out e-Path and they see that it is a secure system.
Low Online Transaction Fees from e-Path
I think it is also important that e-Path have no monthly fees and charge no fixed percentage cost per transaction. That saves us a lot in fees.
I’ve been impressed with the support that e-Path have given us. We always get to deal with the same guy who runs the e-Path product. He’s always been helpful.
Personally I think any business that doesn’t use e-Path as a payment option are losing out big time. It is the easiest thing to use. OM4 set up a code for us using Gravity Forms. All we do is copy and paste that code into our WordPress site and then all we have to do is put in the name, amount and description. We then select “no index” so that that page isn’t indexed by Google.
Drawbacks to Offline Credit Card Transactions
I guess the only negative is that the customers think it is a real time transaction. This means that you need to process the orders as quickly as possible so the client isn’t worried that the payment hasn’t hit their account. It should be processed that same day for that reason. I’ve set up a text message on my phone alerting me that an e-Path payment has been authorised. I then process it manually.
Combine Live Chat with Offline Credit Card Sales for the Win!
The combination of Live Chat and e-Path together has been a massive help to sales. If you want to be successful in online sales this combination works so well together. About 70% of our online sales happen because of that combination. People always have more questions. Being available on Live Chat means that you can sort out their issues. They love that level of availability. e-Path helps you to response with a customised quote on the spot. Really it is a great little system for delivering great customer service reseller and startup online stores.