Hopefully this guide will help point you in the right direction. Let’s start at the beginning, with an explanation of what is a payment gateway, and how they work.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is an application that allows an online store to securely request payments from customers. When a customer clicks order, a payment gateway handles the following steps:

  1. Verifies the customer’s billing information
  2. Verifies funds for the customer’s payment method
  3. Approves request which allows your store to generate an order confirmation
  4. Gets you paid

Basically, payment gateways facilitate communication of transaction information with banks and make it easier for your customers to pay for your products.

A hand holding a credit card next to a laptop computer

What do I need to know when picking a payment gateway?

When looking for a payment gateway, it’s important to select a provider that has all the features your business needs within your budget. Here’s some crucial features and tips on what to look out for when shopping around for a payment gateway.

Setup time

Setting up your payment gateway can be a very different process amongst different providers. Some payment gateways require merchant accounts, which can take time to set up and verify, whereas other providers can get your account up and running in very little time. Quick set-ups are great to get your store selling as soon as possible, but be careful of potentially larger “per-transaction” fees that come at the cost of convenience. These may not be too much of an issue for small to medium stores, but for bigger stores the fees can add up pretty quickly.

Another thing to consider is that a majority of these quick setup gateways may require customers to finish their payment process off-site. This can potentially have a negative effect on conversions for some stores.

Plans and fees

As mentioned in the previous point, payment gateway providers generally charge a fee for each transaction that gets processed. Be sure to select the right payment gateway that suits your budget.

Supported cards and payment methods

Customers will have different preferences when it comes to payment methods, so ensuring that your payment gateway supports a number of payment methods can be beneficial to your store’s conversion rate. Most popular payment gateway providers will support payments via Mastercard and VISA cards, but other cards like American Express or Discover card may not be supported or could attract a higher transaction fee.

Support

When it comes to money, it’s important for your peace of mind that you can contact the payment gateway provider in case of any issues. Dedicated support teams, or 24/7 help desks can help assist you with any questions or issues that may arise.

Fraud Prevention

Most payment gateways will come with in-built fraud prevention to help detect fraudulent transactions, and avoid customers getting ripped off. Different providers may have different methods of ensuring fraud prevention, so it’s a good idea to read up on what measures will be taken in the event of a fraudulent transaction.

Now you know what you need to look out for, let’s compare some actual payment gateway providers! We’ve chosen to look at three popular providers, Pin Payments, eWAY, and PayPal.

A person holding a mobile phone whilst browsing an ecommerce store in one hand, and a credit card in the other hand

Pin Payments

Pin Payments is a payment gateway provider based in Melbourne, Australia that provides businesses with a platform for accepting payments online. It boasts a simple and fast set-up process with no need for a merchant account.

It can integrate with online stores as well as offline, and can be used for point of sale transactions, or processing manual transactions such as telephone orders and mail orders.

eWAY

eWAY is a payment gateway provider that was launched in 1998, and now trades in 8 countries. They focus a lot on support and consulting with their 24/7 customer service team. They offer custom plans to suit your needs, and can scale as needed as your business grows.

PayPal

PayPal is a globally recognised payment gateway and is probably one of the most common platforms. They can accept different type of payments such as donations, subscriptions, in addition to online payments. PayPal “Express Checkout” feature is very convenient and is said that it can increase customer spend by up to 15%.

Payment Gateway Comparison Chart

Now that you know a little bit about Payment Gateways and a few popular providers, let’s see how they stack up against each other.

 

Pin Payments

eWAY

PayPal

Fees

1.75% + 30c per AUD transaction

  • VISA & Mastercard: 2.2% + 20c per transaction
  • AMEX, Diners Club, JCB, and Discover card: 2.6% per transaction
  • 2.6^ + 30c per Australian transaction
  • 3.6% + fixed fee per international customers or cards

Features

  • 24/7 dedicated support team available by email, live chat, and phone.
  • Local, responsive support team
  • All features included standard
  • Merchant account included
  • 24/7 Phone and helpdesk
  • Volume based discounts

 

  • Express checkout
  • Quick setup
  • Eligible sales are protected by Sellers protection

Supported Cards

MasterCard, or VISA issued credit or debit cards

VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, Diners Club, JBC, Discover Card

MasterCard, VISA, AMEX

Fraud Prevention

Fraud detection and chargeback measure for transactions detected as fraudulent.

Beagle Fraud Alerts Enterprise checks every transaction against a global database and automatically denies or challenges suspicious transactions

Every transaction is monitored and secured by advanced encryption

 

Each payment gateway has its benefits and disadvantages. That’s why it’s important to shop around, ask questions, and figure out the best solution for your business. Taking online payments is a huge part of running an ecommerce store, and payment gateways take complicated development and administrative time out of the equation. Hopefully this guide helped you with your decision and you’ll be making online sales in no time!