Since the internet has been introduced, it revolutionized the way the products and services are marketed and sold to customers. Online selling of pharmaceutical goods has also grown rapidly. Starting and opening up of online pharmacy has become a lucrative business model for merchants. As getting medicines online has become accessible it had been reported by Statista, a research company, that the global online pharmacy market is expected to hit $128 billion in sales by 2023. However, starting up this kind of business is not really easy; it is not just setting up a website or a platform but also requires planning and owing to the laws associated with it. Some of the steps that must be undertaken by the merchant in order to set up an online pharmacy business are the following.
1. Get the necessary credentials. Generally, it is a must to have a pharmacist or doctor on site to be able to ensure that all medicines and drugs for selling are of quality and are handled properly.
2. Consult and get advice from professionals who are experienced with handling online pharmacies.
3. Apply for the licenses needed to be able to operate. The business must have licensed to sell in the state or country in which the online store is selling as well as in the state or country into which the customer resides. It must be noted that pharmaceutical laws may vary per state or country.
4. Look for a reputable supplier to ensure that the medicines to be sold are not counterfeit drugs.
5. Set up the online pharmacy store. The website that will serve as the virtual pharmacy must be simple, intuitive and informative. The website of the online pharmacy must contain the following basic features.
- The website should be easy to navigate for customers be it younger and technical savvy customers to older ones. The web pages must also have readable fonts for easy reading.
- It must contain essential business information like store hours, services and products offered, pick up a schedule (if applicable) ad delivery schedule.
- The contact information of the online pharmacy must also be included in every page of the website such as the email address of the business, contact number, and even social media links.
6. Lastly, an online pharmacy must be able to receive payments online. An online pharmacy merchant account must be secured to be able to receive the said payments. Online pharmacy payment processing service must be integrated into the online pharmacy business. But getting an online pharmacy merchant account services is not easy for businesses within the online pharmacy industry because as a rule they are considered as high risk by acquiring banks.
There are many reasons why online pharmacy industry are labeled to as high risk such as regulation of both the government and Food and Drug Administration or FDA, high amount of chargeback, risk to frauds, the confusion regarding the selling of prescription drugs.
It is vital for a web-based business such as online pharmacy to obtain online pharmacy merchant account to enable the customers to make payments thru credit cards. Without providing convenient and secure payment option to customers, merchants may lose customers to business rivals and thus translate to a loss in sales. Merchant accounts help online businesses to attract more customers and develop the business. Even if the online pharmacy businesses are considered as high risk, merchants must still find a way to get the best merchant account providers for an online pharmacy.
Features to look for in choosing the right merchant account provider for an online pharmacy.
• Merchants must study carefully the offered services and rates by the providers. Reasonable rates and excellent services are needed to aid the online pharmacy to achieve growth and increased profit. Merchants must compare the rates of several providers and opt for the one that best meets the businesses needs at competitive fees.
• The provider must be available to help the merchant provide online shoppers with convenient payment options and help the merchants to accept multiple payment options such as credit and debit cards, electronic checks and gift cards and also accept payments in multiple currencies to cater customers who live overseas. Ability to accept various currencies help develop a business and make it more profitable by being able to sell products worldwide and generate international sales.
• Provision of a reliable payment gateway for secure transactions. Secure payment solution makes a business more appealing to online shoppers because they can use their cards to pay without worrying that their card data will be hacked or used by fraudsters.
• Built-in fraud protection and management system to protect the business from fraud adopting the latest fraud protection technologies such as the following.
- Address Verification System (AVS) which validates the billing address of the cardholder before allowing them to make any transaction.
- Card Security Verification (CVV2/CVC2) where customers are required to enter the security value of the payment card and compare it with the issuer’s value on file.
- 3D Secure – which is a protocol used by both Visa – Verified by Visa and MasterCard-MasterCard Secure Code to authenticate the transaction by using SSL or Secure Sockets Layer transcription that aids in authenticating the cardholder’s identity while protecting the payment card information as it transmitted on the internet.
• The online pharmacy merchant account provider must be able to offer the merchant with 24/7 customer and technical support services to help them fix technical issues or problems at any time of the day.
The right choice of the merchant account provider is crucial for the online pharmacy business. Before making the final decision on which provider to choose and the agreement must be read thoroughly paying full attention to the rates given. All fees must be clearly stated and understood. Policy for early termination must also be taken into consideration should a merchant want to terminate the merchant services early on. The terms and conditions must be checked as well as the fine prints of the contract before signing.
How Do I Get An Online Pharmacy Merchant Account?
iPayTotal offers Online Pharmacy merchant accounts for e-commerce merchants with competitive rates through an acquiring banking partner specializing in solutions for high risk industries. Speak with one of our merchant account manager directly at +44 800 776 5988, or get in touch with us through our website.