What is a Payment Gateway?
Once you have chosen your eCommerce platform, you will need a payment gateway to accept online payments on your website. Without a payment gateway you will not be able to easily complete orders and your customers will leave for an eCommerce website that has all steps fully streamlined.
Choosing how you get paid online is important and it is good to take a good look at the options available before making your decision.
So what exactly is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is a software application that allows ecommerce websites to accept payments online. It authorizes transactions from the customer’s card details and processes online payments as well as transferring sensitive credit card information securely.
Most leading payment gateways will allow you to accept all major payment methods – Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Before you choose, we recommend that you compare the features on offer and any transaction fees that may apply. Some platforms – e.g. Squarespace and Shopify come with payment gateway options built in, as well as integration with others, so you can choose one that fits all your needs.
Alright, so let’s get right to the main options available on the market today. Here is a selection of payment gateway alternatives available when selling online.
It is a stretch to say this is a payment gateway, but this comes as a standard option with WooCommerce. There are no fees involved in this as the customer just has to send the money from their account to your business account. This method requires more manual steps making it a cumbersome task for both the customer and you.
Additionally, if a customer can’t pay on their card there and then, chances are they might lose interest. Save this option for when your orders are reaching higher amounts than some cards allow you to spend at once. Or if you are offering a bespoke solution that requires more direct interaction with your customers.
People are increasingly preferring to pay directly from their online bank accounts! Offer this in your checkout and capitalise on a fast-growing consumer trend.
PayPal is one of the leading payment gateways as most people already use it for sending and receiving money. It integrates all the latest security practices and instils confidence of using the PayPal brand into your website which enables your customers to feel safe when sending payment.
It is important to note that PayPal charges 2.9% +20p for processing payments so you should check here to confirm the latest rates and for further information.
Stripe is very well known and it’s leading, more technical payment gateway with businessses including Deliveroo and Booking.com using it. It adds seamless integration for all card payments into your website and allows you to receive funds with ease.
Stripe charges 1.4% +20p for EU cards and 2.9% +20p for all non-EU cards. Be sure to check here for the latest information and more details.
Go Cardless is a useful option if you want to collect ongoing regular payments. “GoCardless makes it easy to collect Direct Debit payments from customers worldwide, even for one-off or variable amounts.” See the latest information on prices here.
Worldpay is one of the oldest industry standard payment gateways, formerly the most used solution for processing payments online. However, as their business became more about appeasing shreholders and creating profit, the lack of updates and functionality is apparent in comparison with the other solutions. If you prefer the safety and the stability of a government level robust system, Worldpay is for you. If you want something that is agile, user-friendly and works across all browsers, platforms and devices – you will be better off choosing one of the more modern options. See the latest information on prices here.
Additional Payment Gateway providers
Researching different Payment Gateway Options
Take some time to look at the details, here are some things to consider.
Payment Gateway processiong fees and costs
When researching different platform providers, look closely at monthly costs, transaction rates and fraud protection.
1. One time Set-up Fee
2. Monthly Fee
3. Transaction Fee
4. Transaction Rate
Do you need to accept international transactions? If you have customers from around the world you will need to look at the best option to collect payments internationally. Or you might want to use different gateways for customers from different regions.
Fraud and chargeback protection
It is a good idea to make sure that the payment gateway service has fraud and chargeback prevention. Look out for features including High-risk merchant account support, Validation services, Purchase tracking, Certified Level 1 Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI DSS), Tokenization, Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and Fraud management filters.
Different eCommerce platforms work with different gateways
Check out the payment gateways each different eCommerce platform supports. Most will integrate popular payment solutions. For example, if you are thinking of using Shopify, here is a list of Ways to accept payments in United Kingdom. Some other popular platforms have lists too, including Big Commerce Available Payment Gateways and Woo Commerce. So make sure the ecommerce platform that you want to use supports your preferred payment gateway.
“We help clients set up their eCommerce platforms and are able to help with any of preferred Payment Gateways.”
We know that finding the right online payment gateway is a key decision for your ecommerce business. Processing payments in a secure and reliable way is vital. As you see from this article there are options available to suit a wide range of needs.
Offering your customers their preferred payment method will mean that you don’t lose out on potential sales. Lack of trust is a common reason for shopping cart abandonment, so using well known trusted payment options is recommended. So hopefully if you have a good idea of the things you need to consider. If you have any questions drop us a comment below!
If you haven’t already be sure to check out our Website Launch Checklist
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