Which credit card payment gateway providers work best for you during these challenging times? If you’re planning on becoming an entirely online business, then you’ll need a dedicated ecommerce payment gateway. But if you’re only looking to use your website as a secondary source of revenue, then you may want to ask your existing merchant services provider about their online payment gateway solutions.
Which Payment Gateway is Right for Me?
Transaction data is extremely valuable to hackers, so the implementation of the latest security should be a payment gateway's main priority. In addition, make sure the payment gateway is fully compliant with the security initiatives set forth by major credit card providers including:
- The Visa Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP)
- Mastercard Site Data Protection (SDP)
- Discover Information Security and Compliance (DISC)
If you select a relatively unknown gateway provider, verify that the service is compliant with all of the above initiatives, offers a good level of support and is credible. Not taking these proper steps could cause you to pay higher fees, get your account closed, and possibly get your business added to a credit card processing blacklist known as the MATCH file. Once you’re on this blacklist, your name can stay on it for seven years, making it very difficult to move to a more-credible ecommerce payment gateway provider.
The next step is to research all of the convenient features a payment gateway provides, such as:
- Fraud prevention tools. If you have been in business for six months or longer, choosing a credit card payment gateway provider that offers fraud prevention tools, like address verification or filters to narrow the scope of people or places you receive payments from, will allow you more time making legitimate sales and promoting your business instead of constantly dealing with chargebacks.
- Recurring billing. This convenient tool allows you to store credit card billing information and set up the specific time when to charge the customer with your gateway to avoid re-entering their information every month when their subscription or membership payment is due.
- eCheck Processing. This is an increasingly popular payment method that allows payment processing without them having to send you a physical check.
Additionally, selecting a payment gateway that allows for integration solutions and add-ons (i.e., shopping carts, eCommerce, point-of-sales (POS) and billing solutions can help toward a seamless setup and maintenance process as you manage your business’s growth now and in later months. If you have customers outside the US or plan on expanding abroad, then you might also consider searching for payment gateway providers that accept foreign currencies.
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Payment Gateway Fees and Charges
The process of signing up for a merchant account requires some paperwork, and it typically takes two-five days for the payment gateway to run the appropriate credit checks. Next, call your bank and ask them to set up an internet merchant account that will allow you to make transactions without swiping a physical credit card.
Costs related to signing up for a payment gateway will typically include:
- A transaction rate charge for every credit card transaction you make ranging from 2-6 percent that will greatly depending on your merchant account setup.
- A flat fee usually under 50 cents per transaction.
- A monthly fee (some fees are optional) that varies depending on the services and functions you choose or that your gateway offers.
- Some payment gateway providers may charge a setup fee ranging from $49 - $250 (although none of the providers on the payment gateway list below charge a setup fee).
List of Top Payment Gateway Providers
There are dozens of payment gateway providers out there. These range from well-known providers that cater to mainstream businesses, through to high-risk payment gateway providers that deal with businesses at high risk of chargebacks (e.g. gambling and multi-level marketing websites).
Here are some of the best payment gateway providers for secure online credit card processing.
- PayPal Offers a choice between joining without a monthly fee and having PayPal handle the entire process, or pay $30 per month for PayPal Pro and customize the payment gateway process. All transactions cost 2.9% + 30c, with volume discounts if you process a lot of payments. Transactions involving foreign credit cards cost 4.4% plus a fixed fee based on the currency.
- Stripe has emerged as a major payment gateway thanks to its user-friendly interface, clear fee structure, and the fact it integrates with every major e-commerce platform. It also offers 24/7 customer support, which is handy if you face any security concerns or chargebacks. Transactions cost 2.9% + 30c within the US or 3.9% + 30c for international credit cards.
- Authorize.net was founded in the early days of the internet in 1996 and is now a subsidiary of Visa Inc. It specializes in processing secure credit card payments for small and medium-sized merchants. Authorize.net has waived the usual $25 monthly gateway fee during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fee for online transactions is 2.9% + 30c. N.B. If you use a traditional merchant services provider for in-store payment processing, then chances are your provider offers Authorize.net for ecommerce processing.
- 2Checkout is an all-in-one platform that makes payment gateway integration with your ecommerce site incredibly simple. With 2Checkout, you not only get a gateway that works with all the big ecommerce platforms, you also get a shopping cart designed to maximize your conversions. Note that the transaction costs are higher than average, costing 3.5% + $0.35 per transaction within the US and 4.5% + $0.35 for foreign credit card transactions.
Other providers that offer secure online payments include: Amazon Pay (lets your customers pay from their Amazon account), Square, Adyen, Payline, PayFast, and First Data.