Every business needs money coming in to be successful, regardless of whether you are the brick and mortar type or e-commerce entity. For online businesses, you have to figure out how to take payments online from your customers and channel that to your bank account. But in order to do that, you have to install a payment gateway(s) on your site. If you would like to read a more in-depth article about the best payment gateways, we recommend visiting Utopia.
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway refers to any technology that can capture and transfer payment information from the client to the acquirer. A payment gateway is an online service that authorizes and processes online payments for businesses. The technology acts as the interface between online shoppers and the merchant.
Examples of payment gateways
- Pay line
Payment gateways allow online store vendors to take and process card payments. Most payment gateways charge cards a merchant fee that ranges anywhere from 1.4%-3.5%.
If your business has a low volume of sales, using a simple payment gateway would be the most effective short-term option. But as your sales volume increases, it would be cheaper to use the monthly merchant fee option.
Different payment gateways offer multiple options that could range from reduced processing fees on selected types of cards or seamless card integration into the accounting system. Either way, it is important to be sensitive to the types of payment gateways you use to attract and retain customers. There are a couple of factors to bear in mind. Let’s get started.
Factors to consider before selecting a payment gateway
- Multiple currency support
Does your business cater to customers across the globe? Before using a specified gateway, ensure you check with your provider to see if they support global currency transactions and if the payment gateway has geographical restrictions too. Therefore, do thorough due diligence to ensure you use a payment gateway to cater to your international customers.
- E-Commerce platform support
Check to see if the specific payment gateway is supported on the e-commerce platform you will use. Can it be supported on self-hosted platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce? Or is it supported on self-hosted platforms such as WooCommerce or Magento? Whichever platform you choose, there will be a range of off-the-shelf plugins and extensions to help you integrate your payment gateways with these platforms.
- Ease of website integration
This is one of the single most important factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway. A good payment gateway should be easily integrated into your website and should process different cards and banking services to meet the needs of your broad customer base.
- Applicable fees
Various payment gateways and merchant accounts charge different fees that can include monthly fees, fixed fees per transaction, variable fees based on a percentage of transaction amounts, extra fees for stuff like chargebacks, payments from international cards, etc.
- The reputation of the gateway provider
Online payment processing is crucial to your business. You’ll want to work with a provider who has a good reputation in the industry, and who your customers can feel confident using.
Historically, some payment providers have had problems with outages. Others providers have a reputation in some circles for blocking merchants’ money without due cause. If you have any of the concerns mentioned above with the provider, then I suggest you take extra precaution before you sign up for the contract.
- Is your business categorized as ‘high-risk’?
There are certain criteria of business entities that gateway providers steer clear from. That is because payment providers consider them to be ‘high-risk’. That being the case, you will want to find a provider that can work with your ‘high-risk’ business.
Examples of ‘high-risk’ businesses include:
- Debt collection.
- Dieting programs.
- Credit repair.
- Adult content.
Payment gateways review
With the digital era, consumers have become more informed than ever before. They almost always certainly expect your site to have a payment gateway that applies to their needs. Therefore, as long as you make it convenient enough for them, chances are you will hook them on your service.
The emergence of digital payment options has made it necessary for online vendors to have payment gateways for any chance of business growth. A secure and reliable digital wallet will increase your customers’ confidence in your payment system, and they’ll love purchasing from you. So, whichever payment gateway you select will go a long way in helping your business grow. Let’s look at some of the most modern payment gateways applicable in the digital market.
Authorize.Net processes a substantial amount of transactions every month and more than one billion annually. Any client or merchant located anywhere on the globe can use Authorize.Net to accept and process payments.
Setting up of Authorize.Net account is free. However, this payment gateway charges a fixed monthly fee of $25 and a fixed fee per transaction of $0.10. But the All-In-One option has a fixed monthly charge of $25, a variable per-transaction charge of 2.9% plus a fixed charge of $0.30.
PayPal is the most recognized digital wallet around the globe. It has robust and powerful online options, not to mention that any business can use it. It is quite versatile and offers competitive rates compared with other payment processors. Research shows that using PayPal as your primary payment gateway will increase your lead conversion rate by 44%. That is basically because of its global acceptance.
Additionally, the process of setting up PayPal as your payment processor is pretty simple and straightforward. Users can also create their accounts with minimum effort involved.
PayPal comes with a fixed monthly charge of $30 for those who prefer using the monthly payment option.
Square is an ideal option for small-scale businesses with physical stores. Its greatest strength is the ability to be utilized across various smart devices. It’s a cost-effective payment gateway that doesn’t need installation of an expensive and bulky POS system.
Square’s Point of Sale (POS) app is free. And for e-commerce or in-person payments, Square charges a variable cost of 2.6% per transaction and a fixed charge of $0.10.
Stripe is known for its capability to offer tailor-made payments options at affordable rates. Also, it is ideal for businesses of all sizes because of its customization features.
Stripe does not charge any fixed monthly fee to its users. Stripe users have the advantage of getting customized pricing solutions, but it charges a variable, fixed cost of 2.9% per transaction and a fixed cost of $0.30.
The bottom line
Modern businesses have an obligation to use modern payment gateways to stay in touch with the customers’ needs. That is why website owners and e-commerce sales administrators have to be cognizant of the best payment gateways to use, lest they hurt their leads. Whether it is PayPal or Stripe, it is vital to use a payment gateway that meets your customers’ needs.