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:
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
This is usually the better option for smaller companies as it involves less setup and monthly fees.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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.
and calculate your budget and timescale