The 6 best payment gateways on the market in 2020

Written by: Jack Myasushkin

The only way to operate a fully functional e-commerce website is to acquire the ability to accept and process online payments from your customers safely and securely. Whether your e-commerce venture is big or small, payment functionality is perhaps the most important component of your business, so it is best not to cut corners when setting this up. Reliability and trustworthiness is paramount when deciding which payment solution you use, as establishing trust with your customers to make them feel comfortable handing over sensitive credit card information is crucial. 

With so many options available, how do businesses go about selecting which payment gateway will best suit their business while also serving their customers? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to online payment gateways as each has its associated pros and cons. This is mainly because online payment is a highly subjective endeavour, with preferences for services and processes varying from customer to customer. So, it is best to make multiple payment options available on your website for your customers to choose from.

To help you decide which solution is best for you and your customers, your friends at WeAreBrain have compared 6 of the best e-commerce payment gateways on the market in 2020. We have only considered options that have PSD2 compliance (an EU directive implemented in 2018). For the purposes of this article, we have just done a quick dive into the relevant pros and cons of each solution, and it is up to you to further investigate which best suits your business.

Let’s get started!

PayPal

As the most used digital wallet in the world boasting over 220 million accounts globally, PayPal’s reputation for ease of use, reliability, and security is well known. Businesses using PayPal as either their primary or secondary payment option leverage the reputation of the brand to convert sales. Many customers around the world already use PayPal, so having it as a payment option on your website helps your sales conversion rate tremendously. In fact, businesses which use PayPal have a 70% higher conversion rate than businesses which don’t.

The platform allows for many customisation options and is super simple to set up and use, both in the backend and customer-facing side. With PayPal, your e-commerce website can accept credit cards, debit cards, PayPal accounts, Venmo accounts, and of course PayPal credit.

Sales on your website will cost you 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction, which is a bit higher than most online sales merchants. International sales come at a higher price, however, at roughly 4.4% per transaction including a fixed amount depending on the country the purchase originates from. There are no monthly fees to use PayPal, making it a smart and reliable choice for small-to-medium-sized businesses especially.

Stripe

As a direct competitor to PayPal both in popularity and reliability, Stripe is an incredibly versatile payment gateway which every e-commerce website should consider adding to their list of payment options. It is a developer-first payment technology platform which comes with built-in APIs, UI toolkit, and various helpful developer tools, meaning you have far more flexibility when it comes to customisation. With recurring payment options and the ability to pay both online and in-person, Stripe is quickly becoming the payment gateway of choice for e-commerce stores, subscription services, and on-demand marketplaces.

Stripe accepts all major credit cards and debit cards from all countries, including, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB (Japan), and UnionPay (China) among others. It supports a range of development languages, including Ruby, Python, PHP and Java. But perhaps the most alluring feature is Stripe’s ability to help drive sales from mobile users by using alternative payment options, such as ACH transfers, American Express Checkout, Masterpass, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Microsoft Pay.

As far as pricing goes, Stripe is moderately priced: you’ll be charged 2.9% + $0.30 for every card charge. There will be an additional 1% charge for international cards. Unfortunately, Stripe is not available worldwide, and the setup process is not particularly simple – you need a developer on hand for seamless integration.

Authorize.Net

As a subsidiary of Visa, Authorize.Net is a highly flexible payment gateway designed to streamline the payments process for any business type and size. There are a variety of plans to choose from to suit your business model, all of which allow you to accept payments from multiple platforms and websites quickly and easily. With Authorize.Net, you are able to provide helpful payment features and functionalities to your customers, including pay later options, recurring billing, and advanced fraud detection software, which not only helps your customers but also your business.

The platform supports all major currencies and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, and JCB. In addition, you are also able to accept payments from digital payment services such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Visa Checkout. Payments can be made from all over the world, however, your business needs to be registered in the UK, US, Canada, Europe or Australia. As a merchant, you will be charged a monthly gateway fee of $25, and a $0.10 transaction fee, including a $0.10 daily batch fee. Enterprise solutions offer tailored pricing structures on a quote basis.

Square

Although Square is more widely known for their seamless point-of-sale (POS) systems used across the globe, their online payment gateway functionality is really great too. The platform best serves businesses which have physical retail stores wanting to link effortlessly to their e-commerce websites, or vice versa. The POS systems integrate well with their online payment gateways, offering you and your customers more flexible purchasing options.

Setting up Square is super simple and easy for anyone to follow. All the software you need to accept payments and manage your business is housed in an easily accessible centralised system. This means you can access advanced reporting tools, manage timecards, and even create marketing campaigns straight from the dashboard of your Square account. 

Easy integration with various ecommerce partners such as Wix, WooCommerce, and Magento (to name but a few) along with competitive pricing makes Square a good choice. With no monthly fee, you are only charged 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. However, Square is not an ideal choice for large businesses relying on huge transactions as you are charged a bit more than SMEs, and the platform has been known to have some account stability issues.

Apple Pay

With Apple owning over half of the mobile market share in the US alone, it is only natural that the brand’s digital wallet for iOS users is a vastly popular e-commerce payment solution for both users and businesses. With Apple Pay, users can pay for items from their iOS devices with just one click, and this ease of sale at every touchpoint is the key ingredient in conversions for merchants who use this payment gateway.

The payment solution makes it even easier for users to purchase products online with smart verification technology such as facial recognition and fingerprint biometrics. Plus, Apple Pay can also be used as a POS service for in-store purchase. Merchants aren’t charged additional fees to use the application, which makes it a must-have for any e-commerce business wanting to tap into the massive iOS user market.

Google Pay

E-commerce businesses and customers alike are rest assured knowing they are in the reliable hands of one of the world’s most trusted and recognisable brands to handle their online payment processes. A digital wallet offering ease of use and safe payment portals, Google Pay is aimed at e-commerce businesses, mobile apps, and in-person checkouts.

Google Pay’s API is super helpful and user friendly to integrate into your site. Apart from the obvious benefits of a digital wallet for all Android users globally, the payment gateway is easily integrated with various other payment solutions you may already be using on your site, such as Shopify, Square, and Stripe.

Other marketplace payment gateways to consider

Of course, there are other reputable payment gateways available for businesses to choose from if they are looking to add more diversity to their online payments options. 

Online Payment Platform is a Dutch-based payment provider offering great solutions for marketplace businesses. They are able to perform multi-split payments, allowing customers to pay multiple vendors in one transaction.

Payaut is another solution for marketplace businesses looking for easy and trustworthy online payment processes. With split-payment functionality and a smart API allowing for quick onboarding and vendor authentication, Payaut is certainly an option to have on your payment options list.

Summary

Quite simply, if your e-commerce website cannot accept payments or offer safe and reliable payment processes for your customers then your entire business is useless. It is of paramount importance that you take time to investigate each payment gateway available and align it to your business model. Having a safe, credible, and reliable payment gateway on your site establishes trust with your customers and increases the opportunity to convert browsing into sales.

Reputation is a huge part of e-commerce when it comes to your business’s payment solutions, so be sure to go the extra mile to ensure a seamless ease of sale customer experience and checkout process. Safety is key, so no matter which payment gateway or digital wallet solution you choose, you must ensure they are PSD2 compliant.

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Jack Myasushkin
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Jack Myasushkin
Jack is WeAreBrain's CTO and Co-founder. Originally from Ukraine, he has skipped between Ukraine, the United States and the Netherlands throughout his career.
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