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Choosing payment service providers for e-learning companies

The e-learning industry is experiencing a great boom. Continuing education via PC, smartphone or tablet is gaining in importance across all age groups and sectors. Last year, the turnover growth of the e-learning sector was for the fifth consecutive year in the double digits.

What is e-learning?

E-learning is an abbreviation of "electronic learning." There is no uniform definition of e-learning, as the different instruments, objectives and methods as well as the limitations are difficult to compare. In general, however, it can be stated that e-learning means learning and teaching with the help of electronic media and instruments. For this purpose, digital media are used, e.g. Computer or Internet. E-learning is also becoming increasingly important for companies. In addition to the target group-specific use of modules, training units can be displayed more efficiently and cost-effectively.

A success factor in e-learning companies is the integration of the right payment methods and the cooperation with the appropriate payment provider. There is an extensive choice of payment service providers worldwide. We give you the most important tips and tricks that you should consider as an e-learning company when choosing.

1. Check whether the PSP can offer all relevant payment methods.

The payment service provider (PSP) should be able to cover the most commonly payment methods used by group and market targeted. International suppliers, should offer credit cards and e-wallets in their portfolio. The most common credit cards include Visa, MasterCard  and American Express. Depending on the country focus, national credit cards such as Cartes Bancaires  or CartaSi can also be an important addition to the credit cards. Since e-learning is also popular in younger generations, it is also worthwhile to include e-wallets. For recurring payments, the direct debit procedure is also recommended in some countries, notably in the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). This is interesting, for example, in marketplaces. There, teachers pay a certain monthly fee, which allows them to hold webinars. In countries where bank accounts are less widespread, cash payment methods where users can pay their bill at the grocery store checkout, such as Oxxo or Boleto Bancario, are also commonly used.

2. Locate a vendor that meets your specific requirements, e.g. for coupons or installments.

Services such as couponing are also interesting. In order to stimulate interest in e-learning courses, free coupons are sometimes distributed, which offer a free access for a lecture / course. Providers with higher training fees, such as long-distance universities, like to use of the possibility of paying by installments. These benefits can be easily represented by some PSPs.

3. Put great emphasis on security and PCI compliance.

Customer details are sensitive data, which all companies must protect, as stated by the data protection law. When selecting a PSP, you should pay particular attention to the security and trustworthiness of the PSP to protect your customers' payments and personal data. The basic prerequisite is the PCI certification. This ensures that the payment provider complies with current regulations and standards in payment and that data such as credit card numbers or customer addresses are protected.

4. Connect with the appropriate solutions against fraud.

To protect against payment fraud, PSPs offer different fraud management solutions, which are either included in the monthly fee or have to be booked separately. Fraud requirements are depending on country coverage and payment methods. Criminal activities are, however, less common in this industry, since the booking of a paid e-learning course is difficult to illegally bypass.

5. Value support in the processing of chargebacks.

In e-learning, chargebacks have mainly factual reasons (for example, contract performance benefits have not been met / customer expected other performance). PSPs act very different in this field. While some examine the legitimate chargeback for its legality and, if necessary, advise the trader, others will immediately reimburse the money without processing the case specifics. To avoid litigation and subsequent costs, this point must be considered when selecting the PSP.
Find out more about Chargeback in Online Payment.

6. Check which customer service you need.

Customer service and a good relationship with the payment provider are worth gold. Therefore, pay attention to a personal contact instead of a form or e-mail support. If a customer has an incorrect billing or charges were duplicated, they should have a quick way to obtain clarification and correction. Some vendors offer a 24/7 support, available for an additional fee. Others have advanced technical support during the integration process. International businesses should not forget to ensure that the appropriate languages are available for customer service.

7. Get a detailed breakdown of the fees structure.

Last but not least, price design plays an important role in the selection of payment providers. Each PSP has its own cost structure. Fees are usually divided between setup fees, monthly provision fees, transaction costs and disagio for credit card transactions. The costs vary greatly depending on the transaction volume, shopping basket, payment methods used or other services covered. This must be coordinated with the payment provider in advance, in order to avoid hidden charges. Charge processing is again an important factor for the chargeback process.

Let us help you find the right payment provider for your company.


iBusiness – Actualities e-learning (German)
MMB Institut – E-learning market (German)

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