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Choosing the best payment platform for your ecommerce website

When building your Ecommerce website, choosing the right payment processing system is key. If you feel overwhelmed by the choice of Ecommerce payment gateways available, you needn’t. Foundry Digital have the Ecommerce expertise to help guide you through the maze of payment gateways and processing systems so you arrive at the right choice for your Ecommerce website.

A payment processing system (also known as a payment gateway) is the Ecommerce application service provider that authorises and processes credit or debit card payments for e-businesses, e-shops and/or online retailers. Choosing the right payment gateway provider is important for:

  • Keeping your customers’ details and payment secure
  • Taking payments quickly and easily
  • Gaining the trust of your customers

Selecting the most appropriate payment gateways is central to your customers feeling comfortable in handing their money over online.


To help you decide on which payment gateway will best suit your ecommerce business, we have put together a list of features that you need to consider.

Finding the right payment gateway fit for your ecommerce business

1. Matching your business needs

Matchmaker, matchmaker

You will find that most payment gateways are specific in the functionality they provide ecommerce websites with. It is therefore important that you find a payment gateway that has the features you need. Some things that are worth thinking about when making your choice:

  • Are you selling a service, physical items, or digital products?
  • Are you just taking one off payments, or do you need to be able to take recurring payments?
  • Is it your products that your website sells, or are you a marketplace that lists goods of other sellers?
  • Are you selling internationally?
  • What currencies will your site need to accept?



2. The different types of eCommerce provider

Complete payments both on your website:

Some payment processing systems enable customers to complete payments whilst staying on your website’s URL.

Customers type their details into a form on a page served from your site which are then communicated directly with your secure payment gateway provider.

Paypal and WorldPay are therefore a popular choices of payment gateway because they provide a smooth customer experience, allowing users to remain on the company website to complete payments.

Such gateways also allow you to have the design of your payment page in keeping with the rest of the website. This serves to strengthen and reinforce your company identity and allows your brand to extend into the final stages of the conversion process.

Redirect customers to checkout on a different URL:

In this case, your site does not host the payment form.  Although this option often limits the design of payment form, it is extremely secure.

With this type of gateway you eradicate your exposure to payment details, contributing to you meeting the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

Choose a payment provider that just sets up the payment gateway:

Here, you get the technology that sits between your website and the payment networks, but have to have a merchant account for money to pass into. A merchant account is a special type of bank account that collects card payment details.

Or select one that gives you a combined payment gateway and merchant account:

This is usually the better option for smaller companies as it involves less setup and monthly fees.

3. Customer support

It’s worth checking out the levels of customer support that a payment processing system guarantees. Do you want contact with an actual human being if things go wrong? Then opt for a payment gateway that offers a telephone support service.

success4. Contract type

The key thing is to make sure you know what you’re signing up to. You don’t want to get locked into a contract for years and end up unhappy with their service. Some providers offer rolling monthly contracts which allow for more flexibility.

5. The fees

Fees for payment gateways vary, some charge per transaction whilst others use a monthly fee system, and sometimes fees are based on a percentage of transaction amounts, the list goes on and on. To find what suits you and to find the best deal, you could take a look at a website that compares fees.

Sign up fees

The sign up fee for a payment gateway or merchant account is a key factor to consider when choosing the gateway right for your ecommerce site and business.

If you are just starting out you may choose to opt for a payment gateway with no sign up fee. However, if you’re expecting to sell a large volume of products for instance, then choosing a gateway with a sign-up fee can be more effective in the long run; sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Transaction fees

Transaction fees are also worth consideration. With higher charges eating into your profit, you may want to opt for a low transaction fee. However, despite some of the well-known and popular gateways tending to have higher transactions fees, it is sometimes worth paying the extra for the benefit of creating trust with your customers.

6. Offering PayPal

PayPal is typically the first gateway clients enquire about. There seems to be an assumption that it is necessary and equates to instant ecommerce success.

Indeed, it is often chosen for its ease of use and even more often because a lot of potential customers already have an account. However, despite these benefits,  PayPal should not be considered as the only option as its simplicity comes at a literal cost.

The charge per transaction for PayPal is 3.4%+ 20p. This over-charge is apparent when comparing this fee to the 2.5% gateways such as Visa and Master Card offer. This cost must be considered before automatically opting for PayPal simply because of the big name it has created for itself.

7. Having a Mobile Responsive site

As we have previously mentioned, in today’s world customers shop online using a variety of devices. Therefore,  you need to ensure that your payment gateway presents an attractive and functioning site no matter what device it is being viewed on.


8. Plan for the future

When selecting a payment gateway think about your future goals for your ecommerce website and business.

Do you aspire to open up your platform to multiple sellers in the future? If so, you might want to think about choosing a payment gateway that will support long-term goals so that you don’t have to switch later on, meaning that there would therefore be an easy transition to expanding.

So who offers what?

Foundry Digital recommend that you keep these factors in mind when researching which payment gateway to select for your ecommerce website. Check out this handy table for a neat little summary of key features offered by different payment gateways:


Key Features



  • 3.4% + 20p transaction fee
  • No minimum contract
  • Accepts 20 currencies


World Paywp-


  • 2.75% transaction fee for credit, 39p for debit
  • 350 free transactions per month
  • 36 months minimum contract




  • £0 set up fee
  • Recurring billing available
  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction


First Datafd-


  • Compatible with 140 currencies
  • Accessible in over 50 countries
  • Offers recuring bills and mobile payments




  • Offers recurring bills and mobile payments
  • Available in 9 countries
  • 2.4% + 20p transaction fee




  • Monthly fee and set up fee depend upon business type
  • 12month minimum contract
  • 1.6% transaction fee for credit, 17p for debit


Sage Paysp


  • No minimum contract
  • 1000 free transactions per month, then 1.9% per trasaction for credit, 40p for debit
  • No minimum contract


Barclay Card ePDQbarclays-


  • Transaction fee is 1.5% of a sale
  • Monthly fee of £24.40
  • 18 month minimum contract


Feeling more clued up?

Hopefully you’ve found this comparison of ecommerce payment processing systems useful. As with choosing the right ecommerce platform on which to build your website, selecting the right payment gateway to integrate into it is also something that should have time and thought dedicated to it. Foundry Digital have a wealth of ecommerce expertise and are always available to offer our clients guidance and advice, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us help find the right ecommerce solution for you.

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