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Which Payment Gateway Should You Use?

22/05/2019

If you’ve got an eCommerce website, a payment gateway is necessary for you to be able to process payments for customer orders.

 

But here’s the thing. When each gateway offers different features and fees, perks and obstacles, which payment gateway should you be using?

Here I hope to summarise the main payment gateways, focusing on gateways that support and integrate well with Magento and WordPress websites, which are predominantly used in eCommerce.

But first, a bit of information on the basics;

 

What Is A Payment Gateway?

Simply put, a payment gateway is a way for eCommerce websites to collect and process customer’s payment information.

It’s essential that eCommerce shops have a robust payment gateway in place at all times. If customers can’t complete their purchase or feel unsure about handing over their details, they’ll go elsewhere.

So, that leaves us with the question ‘how do I know which payment gateway to use?’

 

Important Factors To Consider

  • Budget – What’s the initial/monthly fee (if applicable) and the transactional fee for the service you are looking at? Make sure when added up, it fits within your budget.
  • Multi-currency – If you have overseas customers, you’ll get better conversion rates by displaying and accepting their local currency. But not all payment gateways support this, so it’s worth checking.
  • T&Cs – Some payment gateways will only allow certain products to be traded through their system so check before you sign up that you will legally be able to process orders through them.
  • Payment types – Does your payment gateway accept credit cards, debit cards or online payments like PayPal only? If you need to support a particular type, check beforehand.
  • Account sign-up – When customers want to buy something, they don’t want to spend forever signing up before they can purchase. Check in advance what kind of information your customers will have to enter when making a purchase. If it is too long or overly complicated, they may go elsewhere.

 

Overview of Payment Gateways

PayPal

One of the most well-known payment gateways, PayPal is used by a wide range of companies.

PayPal’s popularity with customers is mostly down to the fact that it is more than a payment gateway; it is an online wallet as well.

Users can not only use their PayPal account to pay for goods, they can also pay bills and send money to friends and relatives. Due to this familiarity and trust, including PayPal as your main gateway or as an additional payment option at checkout, can improve your conversion rates.

One area to be aware of is the ease of customers lodging a claim (whether valid or fraudulent) – compared to card-only processors where the customer has to get in touch with their bank. This can sometimes increase rates of fraud etc, but could also be easily offset by the increase in trust and conversion rate, so this is just something to be aware of.

Fee Structure:

Monthly: No monthly fees.

Transaction fees: 2.4% plus 20p.

 

Braintree

Braintree is part of the PayPal company, and allow you to accept payments from all popular credit and debit cards, as well as digital wallets and PayPal.

Fee Structure:

Monthly: No monthly fees.

Transaction fees: 2.4-3.9% plus 20p.

 

Stripe

Stripe allows you to process card payments directly on your website, without needing to be PCI compliant. Unlike PayPal, which puts payments into an account, Stripe

Having recently secured additional funding, this startup is now valued at $20bn, and is growing at an incredibly fast rate.

Stripe is currently our favourite payment method, due to its simplicity and integration with eCommerce platforms such as Magento. It also integrates well with WordPress should you wish to add a payment button on a normal website.

You can find more information on the features of Stripe by clicking here, and here’s detailed pricing information.

Stripe currently powers payments for some of the world’s leading websites, including Twitter.

Fee Structure:

Monthly: No monthly fees.

Transaction fees: 1.4-2.9% plus 20p.

 

GoCardless

GoCardless focuses on recurring payments and Direct Debits, GoCardless has low fees compared to other gateways makes it an instant candidate to be used on your website.

An ideal gateway if you’re planning on dealing with regular subscriptions and want hassle-free BACS/Direct Debit payments to be handled.

Fee Structure:

Monthly: No monthly fees.

Transaction fees: 1% (capped at £2).

 

SagePay

SagePay is used by many companies to manage invoicing and payments.

With a strong reputation in the business and finance world, displaying the SagePay website on your logo can bring trust to your website.

If you accept payments online, face-to-face, and via telephone, they’re a great choice as they can handle the whole POS/ePOS experience.

Fee Structure:

Monthly: From £20.90

Transaction fees: Complex, depends on payment method and other factors.

You can find detailed SagePay pricing information here.