Providing your credit card details over the web has gelled into our casual routine today to the extent that people do not think twice before going ahead. But this trust has not been earned overnight. The need of having utilities, displayed and advertised online gradually arose, which resulted in a request to have them delivered at your doorstep. The core of the e-commerce evolution is based on the ability to transact over the internet without the concern of being defrauded or robbed of your details. A Major credit for this e-commerce evolution goes to the early payment gateway service providers.
In the early days, each E-commerce service provider designed their own gateways, which had limited modes of transaction. This originated a need for a generalized Payment Platforms to be hosted, which would act as the middleman to provide a reliable, atomic and instant transactions to e-commerce business holders and customers.
Currently, the market is budding with a range of Payment Gateway providers that you can integrate with your website at a small service charge or at fixed monthly charges, depending on the number of transactions your web portal anticipates. Here we would list out the top ten Payment Gateways (not ranking them in any specified order) which you could use as per your Business needs.
PayPal established in 2002 is currently the most used payment gateway across the US. It accepts International and Multi-currency payments. Brand recognition, Security and Easy setup steps are some of the reasons that Businesses opt for PayPal. Even though it is considered the costliest Gateway service, PayPal is considered most widespread amongst small businesses and startups. The major features of PayPal are that it is available in 203 countries; there are no startup costs, monthly fees (It works on as per transaction service charges). PayPal has a strong antifraud team and it is reported to have frozen multiple suspicious accounts based on their transaction evaluations.
Stripe is considered a tough contender and a fast-growing company soon to catch up with PayPal. Started in 2010, Stripe is valuated to be around $20Billion in such a short span of time. Stripe offers a trial period with delayed payments. There are no refund fees. It is considered to be one of the easiest to setup, integrate and maintain, by the web developers. Unlike PayPal, Stripe payment gateway allows the customers to stay onsite while making the payment, without being redirected to the payment website, hence providing a seamless customer experience. In addition to being compatible with most payment methods, it also accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As it is still currently growing, Stripe is available in 21 countries.
3. Amazon Pay
Backed by the huge brand name, Amazon Pay is quickly catching up as the go-to option for Small and Medium Enterprises for hosting payment gateways. The amazon pay merchant account gives you access to a sophisticated fraud protection service. This service is only available in the US, UK, and Germany. It facilitates an onsite checkout option, which enhances the customer experience. Amazon Pay is a simple API driven and has provided multiple solution provider e-commerce platforms with free plugins. Amazon provisions the use of Alexa to engage your shoppers further providing recommendations and improved customer service.
Authorize is known for its Developer-friendly API and the flexibility it offers to provide a customized, comfortable user experience. It is considered extremely secure and promotes its advanced fraud detection suite preventing chargebacks and fraudulent transactions. It does not limit the dollar amount of transactions furnishing quick transactions and immediate funds transfer. This payment gateway provides a lot of add-on features, including fraud prevention, and a simple checkout system. The only difference in charging being that it incurs a fixed monthly charge in addition to the transaction fees.
WePay is known more for its Crowdfunding services rather than as an e-commerce services provider. WePay’s API and services are more inclined towards crowdfunding portals and are streamlined for that type of payment. It permits the use of Apple Pay and ACH payments which PayPal doesn’t; but a major drawback is that it doesn’t allow PayPal payments. Like PayPal, WePay is a payment aggregator, which leads to a number of frozen accounts based on the transaction assessment algorithms.
Square is recommended for businesses that have a brick and mortar setting. They bring together payments, software and hardware provisioning all you need for your sales online as well as on-location. The major focus of the Square is on Virtual terminal which lets you take payments from any device (desktop, phone, tablet), hence targeting businesses which do not need an online store but do need to accept payments on-location through handy devices. Square captures the user’s payment information at the point-of-sale and works with Credit Card payment gateways to route the transactions directly.
This payment gateway ranks amongst the top Credit card processing companies, which accepts almost all major credit cards. It facilitates onsite validation hence provisioning a seamless end user experience. Compared to others FirstData is picked when expecting a higher number of sales in a consistent manner. FirstData does not present their rates online, you need to define a quota for your business based on which they would communicate the rates for you. They are considered to provide the costliest payment gateway services.
2Checkout is one of the lesser known payment gateway services. It accepts payments globally functioning in more than 200 countries and facilitates 80+ currencies. Though it is costlier than its competitors are, it is opted due to its easy integration facilities. There are no monthly or setup fees. Even though it allows international payments its conversion rates are 2-5% higher than average bank rates.
9. Merchant e-solutions (MeS)
MeS offers easy integration solutions while securing cardholder information and providing PCI compliance. You can manage your offline transactions with a Point-of-Sale payment processing option. Recurring Billing and Fraud detection are provided as additional services which need to be paired individually. The MeS provides integrated check readers, printers and PIN pads, while providing Mobile, Online and In-person solutions. They accept payments in 150+ currencies, while avoiding currency conversion fees and promote their fixed timelines of payment with end-to-end data visibility.
SecurePay started with offering online shopping carts and later evolved into mobile and other forms of payment. Focused towards SMBs and startups it acts as a feasible solution by providing all types of payment options with easy registration and integration steps with existing shopping carts. SecurePay offers a free trial plan along with plans for your Online Payments and E-Commerce payments. These are priced based upon the number of transactions processed each month and is feasible for heavy transactions.
The decision to procure a payment gateway should be evaluated on several factors surpassing just the popularity. PayPal has a stronghold in the market with around 60% of the websites using their services. The evaluation of an appropriate gateway is based on:
- Number of Countries
- Number of currencies
- Service Charges, Setup Fees, Gateway Fees, and Monthly Fees
- Sign up process and details to be provided
- Criteria for Fraud Protection
- Caters to which Credit/Debit cards and compatibility with other payment options.
Based on your budget and the flexibility, you need to provide for your customers, we can conclude on a Payment Gateway for your business. You should also be on the lookout for evolving payment methods with the introduction of alternative currencies like bitcoin in the market. This list is ever evolving and provides you with an overview of the most popular gateways which might be helpful in your decision making.