With the rise of e-commerce, business owners quickly realized the need for service providers to make online purchases more streamlined and secure. Because online retailers don’t have the ability to physically swipe a credit card or debit card, they run much more risk for fraud and other payment issues.
The process for accepting payments online involves quite a few different players. One very important piece of the puzzle is the payment gateway provider. If this term is new to you, keep reading to learn more about them as well as a list of some of the top payment gateway companies out there.
A payment gateway provider is a service that facilitates the transfer of payment information between a customer and a merchant online. It essentially acts as a middleman between the two, securely transmitting payment information such as credit and debit card details, and other sensitive information to the merchant’s bank, which then approves or declines the transaction.
While this sounds very similar to a payment processing provider, the two are different. A payment processor is a financial institution responsible for debiting the customer’s account and crediting the merchant’s account. Meanwhile, the payment gateway focuses on securely collecting and transmitting the payment information. However, it must be used in conjunction with a payment processing provider. Together, they complete the online transaction and make sure the funds are transferred securely. It makes sense then that some providers, such as PayPal, are both a payment gateway and processor.
Payment gateway providers typically charge a fee for their services, which may be a flat fee per transaction or a percentage of the total transaction amount. These providers play a crucial role in facilitating e-commerce transactions and enabling businesses to accept online payments securely and efficiently.
Having a reliable and trustworthy payment gateway provider is absolutely essential for any e-commerce business owner. Without payment gateway companies, e-commerce entrepreneurs would have no way to verify payments and be much more susceptible to fraudulent activity.
Some major e-commerce platforms have their own payment gateway providers or a list of payment gateways they partner with. However, businesses that don’t rely on these platforms are on their own when it comes to deciding on which payment gateway to use. If you’re in the market for a payment gateway provider, you’ll want to consider the following factors.
It is crucial to choose a payment gateway provider that offers robust security features such as point-to-point encryption and fraud detection tools to protect sensitive customer information and prevent fraudulent transactions.
Different payment gateway providers have varying fee structures for transactions, which may include setup fees, monthly fees, and transaction fees. It is important to consider these costs and choose a provider that offers transparent pricing and reasonable fees while still offering valuable services that your business needs.
A payment gateway provider should offer reliable customer support to help you resolve any issues that may arise with payment processing. Additionally, the provider should offer easy integration with your website or e-commerce platform to ensure a smooth and seamless payment process for your customers. In addition, some payment gateway providers come integrated with payment processors, while others allow you to go with the merchant provider of your choice.
To ensure you don’t miss out on sales, a payment gateway provider should offer various payment options to meet your customers’ needs. This may include support for different credit cards, digital wallets, and other payment methods, such as bank transfers or e-checks. Having a wide range of payment options can help improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
There is no shortage of payment gateway companies, so it can be overwhelming to choose the right one that meets your specific business needs. However, the wrong choice can lead to lost sales, high transaction fees, and even data breaches that compromise your customers’ sensitive information.
To make your lives easier, we’ve rounded up ten of the top payment gateways and highlighted some aspects that make them stand out.
Most people are familiar with PayPal. It’s one of the largest online payment platforms in the world. So it’s no surprise that they’ve developed Payflow, a payment gateway for accepting money online. They offer payment gateway services at a single low rate with no cancellation fees, so vendors won’t get locked into a contract that may not serve them down the line.
One substantial advantage of PayPal is that users can accept hundreds of different currencies, including cryptocurrencies. In addition, the system is easy to use for both buyers and sellers. It can be integrated with nearly every online shop and payment processor.
Another major player in the payment processing industry that has its own payment gateway is Stripe. Business owners are able to accept payments both online and in-person, making Stripe one of the better options for those with a brick-and-mortar presence as well. However, Stripe’s payment gateway must be used with an attached aggregated merchant account.
In addition, they offer some of the most customization options for payment gateways. Stripe is very developer-friendly, making integration into applications and websites a breeze.
Square is also a payment service provider, so its payment gateway is also attached to an aggregated merchant account. They are also similarly customizable, but with Square having an easier interface, allowing business owners with minimal tech skills to be just as successful.
Square offers solutions for online payments through their payment gateway and in-person purchases with a free POS and credit card reader. There are many great features on the buyers’ end, such as their “buy now, pay later” option and customer loyalty programs.
Although owned by PayPal, Braintree is a completely different provider. Similarly, Braintree allows businesses the opportunity to accept payments for more than a hundred currencies while offering valuable features such as 24/7 customer service and outstanding fraud detection.
Braintree can seamlessly integrate with many big hitters in the e-commerce industry, such as NetSuite and Bolt. With discounts for rates with sales over $80,000, it’s a great payment gateway provider for larger businesses.
We’re sure you’ve heard of Amazon before if you’re interested in e-commerce! This giant now offers a payment gateway for third-party vendors looking for a trusted name in online payments. This allows buyers to use their Amazon credentials, streamlining the process for them.
There are some downsides to utilizing Amazon Pay as a payment gateway provider. If you want to accept payments from buyers who don’t have an Amazon account, you’ll need an entirely other payment gateway provider.
Coming out of Europe, Adyen is quickly making a name for itself as one of the most significant payment gateway providers in the world. With regional headquarters in California as well, it’s available not only in Europe and the US but also LATAM, APAC, and Africa.
One thing that attracts business owners is the no setup or monthly fees, making it one of the most affordable options. Still, they offer valuable services like customer support, sales data reporting, and AI-based fraud protection.
This visa-owned payment gateway provider allows business owners to purchase the payment gateway only or an all-in-one option with a third-party merchant account. This allows business owners to choose from various merchant providers rather than being stuck with the one offered by other payment gateway providers.
Authorize.Net doesn’t lock users into contracts and offers very transparent pricing, making working with them low-risk. In addition, the company offers 24/7 customer support, fraud detection, recurring payments, custom invoicing, and more.
Stax is another credit card processing platform that offers all-in-one payment solutions, including a payment gateway. Their services allow business owners to scale up quickly and can even integrate with accounting software like QuickBooks.
They offer a ton of add-on services that can help businesses as they grow. However, you won’t have to pay for anything that you don’t need. This flexibility makes Stax one of the best payment gateway providers for new businesses looking to expand rapidly.
What attracts businesses to Helcim is the discounts for higher monthly sales, which builds on its already low-cost payment gateway services. In addition, the customization options that are easy to use help business owners who aren’t tech-savvy.
Their services don’t require any monthly fee, and their rates are lower than the industry averages. Still, they offer advanced solutions and brilliant third-party integrations. Moreover, their payment gateway is just the beginning. With Helcim, you can set up a full, end-to-end e-commerce store.
Businesses that have high transaction volumes may prefer a subscription-based payment structure, and Payment Depot offers just that. Their payment gateway is part of a complete payment processing portal that has no transaction fees.
Payment Depot’s users have been pleased with the services offered despite the low costs associated with them. They provide free hardware, 24/7 support, and even discounts for charities.
Having so many options for payment gateway providers gives business owners a fighting chance to lower their processing costs. Especially when you consider that this is just one expense in merchant payment processing, it’s crucial to reduce costs at any stage possible. Here are a few ideas on how to do so.
One way to save money on payment gateway providers is to consider combining them with other payment processing services you may need. As you can see, nearly every payment gateway provider we mentioned offers other merchant account services. By choosing a bundled package, you may be able to save money on both services compared to using separate providers.
Compare rates from different payment gateway providers to find the one that offers the best value for your business needs. While cost is an important factor to consider, it’s also essential to look at the features and services delivered by each provider. So, when looking at your options, it’s important to weigh the pricing and what’s offered.
Some payment gateway providers offer a range of features that you may not need. If you don’t need certain features, opt for a provider with a more basic plan that fits your needs and budget.
Some payment gateway providers offer flat-rate pricing, which can simplify billing and make it easier to budget for payment processing costs. Just be sure to do the math and ensure the flat rate pricing is competitive with other providers charging a percentage.
Keep an eye on your payment processing statements to ensure you’re not being overcharged or charged unnecessary fees. If that sounds like a full-time job to you, you’re not wrong. Continuously auditing your payment processing providers takes a lot of time and effort. Not to mention, you’re probably not an expert on the subject. If that’s the case, consider working with a third-party company like P3 Cost Analysts to help you reduce your merchant processing costs.
Payment gateway providers are just one link in the chain of the payment process. While these expenses can get costly for e-commerce businesses, there are other fees that must be paid as well.
P3 Cost Analysts provides comprehensive solutions to help businesses save on payment processing costs. Our team of experts is dedicated to identifying opportunities for merchants to qualify for reduced or incentivized payment processing programs based on their industry. By leveraging our expertise, we help businesses implement solutions that qualify them for the lowest possible payment processing rates.
In addition to optimizing payment processing rates, we can also negotiate better rates with payment processors and conduct ongoing audits to identify and eliminate fake fees. Our services also include minimizing chargeback costs and implementing alternative payment methods that may be more cost-efficient. With our tailored approach, businesses can save significantly on their payment processing costs while improving their overall financial health.
Payment gateway providers play an essential role in facilitating secure and efficient online transactions for e-commerce businesses. When choosing a payment gateway provider, there are several factors to consider, such as security, pricing, customer support, and payment options.
These top ten payment gateway providers only begin to scratch the surface of available service providers out there. However, it’s a great place for business owners to start when looking for a payment gateway provider to utilize for their e-commerce business.
Regardless of which option you go with, you should always work with a third-party company to ensure you’re not overpaying for any of your payment processing services.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our merchant account experts today!