Secure Payment Processing Gateways
There are many payment gateways to choose from, more now than ever before. When setting up your e-commerce site, it’s important to choose a payment gateway that works for you in respect of how effectively it allows your customers to make payments and how easy it is for you to manage receipts of those payments.
Things to consider when choosing a payment gateway
Transaction % Rate
Firstly, is the rate you will be paying on credit/debit cards and any monthly or additional costs associated with the payment gateway you choose. The rates will differ based on the type of card e.g debit or credit and often, certain types will incur a higher fee e.g business cards, Amex etc.
Check if there is a limit on a number of transactions you can put through the payment gateway. Some define an amount, with increased monthly costs if you exceed this. Make sure you check this and consider the volume of transactions you are likely to put through.
Some payment gateways charge a monthly fee, although this seems to be changing in the market now. For many years, £20 per month seems to be on average, what firms charge. Be sure to factor in what this means to you each month, as a slightly higher % per transaction might be better for you, without a monthly fee.
For me, I prefer a payment gateway which pays me the entire value of the sale and then issues a monthly invoice to cover their fee’s. This is much easier to manage in accounts systems. For example, if I sell something for £100, I will receive £100 in my account within a few days, which is easy to reconcile. At the end of each month, my provider issues a single invoice to cover all transactions put through and the fee’s associated with taking payments.
Alternatively, some providers take their cut on each transaction. Using the example above, I might sell something for £100 but only receive £98.50. This means I have to adjust how I reconcile the payments coming in.
Some providers, like WorldPay, try to levy additional charges for you to access their billing portal and retrieve historic invoices. This is not good. They save money by not sending you paper statements in the post and then charge money for you to access your invoices online 🙁 Watch out for this sort of bad practice.
Quick, Easy but Pricey Payment Gateways
As the title suggests, easy but not the most cost-effective. If you seek no monthly fee yet wish to be up and running quickly, you could use PayPal. It has a recognised name and is convenient to use. There are no monthly fee’s with the basic version and most websites will integrate quickly and easily.
Pro’s: Simple, quick and easy to set-up with no monthly fee and widely recognised brand. Good reporting tools.
Con’s: Expensive transaction rates and no automatic settlement.
Stripe Payment Gateway
This deserves a title all of its own. It’s a new offering but a popular one. You can sign up here and within a relatively short period of time, be up and running with a fully fledged payment gateway system.
Pro’s: Fairly quick and easy to set-up with no monthly fee. Good interface, fraud monitoring, and reporting system. Option for subscriptions as standard. Reasonably low rates per transaction.
Con’s: Fee’s taken as you go. Longer settlement times but it is automatic.
Other Payment Gateways
- Sage Pay
- Barclaycard ePDQ
- Amazon Payments
- * WorldPay
- Card Save
* Not Recommended
Any shown with an asterisk are not recommended due to poor customer service issues.