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Tips for deciding which payment gateway to use for your business

Tips for deciding which payment gateway to use for your business

In this article you’ll learn

  • What payment gateways are available to you
  • The pros and cons of popular gateways

Selling online is a great way to get your product seen by customers all over the world, but you need to carefully consider which payment gateway to use for your business. You need to make sure your customers feel confident buying from you, and you’ll need to be able to sell to them securely. If a customer doesn’t feel like their bank details will be safe with you, they won’t order from your business.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, it’s your responsibility to keep customers’ data safe. By making sure you’ve got a secure payment gateway, you can make it much harder for information to get into the wrong hands.

Find out more about storing and collecting customer data here.

You could look into getting a Public Key certificate for your website to help keep data safe and to increase customer trust. The certificate lets people know your website is authentic and protected. You’ll have seen the mark on websites before, it appears as a little lock next to the webpage URL.

Image showing the public key certificate lock on a website

What’s a website merchant account and do you need one?

A website merchant account allows you to take credit card payment as well as debit card payments. Lots of your potential customers will have credit cards that they’ll want to spend on, so you could be missing out on sales if you can’t cater for these kinds of payment.

There is a monthly fee attached to a merchant account, so you’ll need to make sure that it’s something that you can afford to invest in. Being able to take credit card payments can increase the number of customers buying your products or services, but some merchant account providers might require you to leave a percentage of your income with them so they’re protected against chargebacks or fraudulent charges.

Find out what funding alternatives are available to you for investment and expansion here.

Close up of the hands of a young person using a laptop to make an online purchase with their debit card

Which payment gateway to use?

You’re probably wondering which payment gateway to use because there are so many different options available. We’ll give you an overview of the most popular options to help give you a clearer idea of which might be best for you.

PayPal

You’ll most likely have heard of PayPal as a way of taking online payments. PayPal is very recognisable and is widely trusted by customers which will give them confidence in buying from you.

Using a basic PayPal account has no monthly fee, but they will take a small amount off each sale you make. How much this is depends on how many sales you make, so the more sales you make, the larger percentage PayPal will take.

Pros of PayPal:

  • Multiple options for your customers to pay, including cheques
  • Can take international payments so you can get customers from all over the world
  • Free for your customers to use
  • Don’t have to share payment details online with your customers, keeping both accounts safe
  • No monthly, set up, membership or cancellation fees
  • Protected from payments bouncing or not coming through
  • Very easy to set up and you’re ready to sell almost immediately

Cons of PayPal:

  • You don’t have much control of the money that sits in your PayPal account, it can take over if there’s a customer issue or suspicious activity
  • Can’t talk to customer directly to resolve any potential problems
  • You can’t appeal their decision about a customer dispute
  • Customers can keep the product if PayPal provides a refund
  • If you have a high number of sales coming through, PayPal will take a bigger amount off each sale

Find out more about using PayPal here: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/accept-payments-online

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Stripe

Stripe is great for taking payments using a website or on a mobile, so it’s worth considering if you know lots of your customers access your business via their phones. Like PayPal, it takes a percentage of each payment it processes for you.

Pros of Stripe:

  • You can take payments from debit and credit cards in over 100 currencies
  • It has high security protection to keep payments safe
  • It has integrated fraud tools to spot false payments
  • If you’re great with technology, you can do some really exciting things with it
  • Really easy to set up, without start up or monthly fees attached

Cons of Stripe:

  • Disputed payments have a £15 fee attached, which can be refunded if the customer’s bank resolves the dispute in your favour
  • Invoicing isn’t the most straightforward aspect of Stripe so you might need a separate invoice system
  • You need to have a Public Key certificate to use Stripe

Check out Stripe here: https://stripe.com/gb

Worldpay

Worldpay provides your customers with lots of different ways to pay, including PayPal. They have a team of experts on hand to help you choose the right service for your business and have a flexible pricing plan.

Pros of Worldpay:

  • Prices go down with increased sales
  • They have 3D secure and are PCI DSS compliant so your customers details are very safe
  • They have flexible pricing plans
  • The can manage your invoices and transactions

Cons of Worldpay:

  • There can be a transfer delay when trying to access your money
  • Has set up and monthly fees
  • Takes a percentage of your sale as well as monthly fees
  • One currency is free, must pay to add additional currencies

Take a look at their website here: http://www.worldpay.com/uk

Young man in a coffee shop using his table to read about which payment gateway he should use for his online business

Payoneer

Payoneer is great at handling international payments, so if your customers are mostly overseas, this might be the best payment gateway for you to look into. With this payment gateway, you actually receive an account card that you can use to withdraw funds or make payments with.

Pros of Payoneer:

  • Automatically converts payments into your currency
  • Money comes into your account quickly and you’ll get an email alert
  • Free to sign up to
  • You get a Payoneer bank account that can be used in America and Europe to receive or make payments
  • Invoices are automatically generated
  • Can transfer money easily between your Payoneer account and your business bank account
  • Securely handles transactions, protecting your customer’s data

Cons of Payoneer:

  • There’s an annual fee and they’ll take a percentage of your payments
  • You can’t send payments that aren’t from one Payoneer account to another

Check out the Payoneer website here: https://www.payoneer.com/home/

Sage Pay

Sage Pay helps you to take payments online, over the phone and in stores, so it’s great if you aren’t just based online. They’re great for first time online sellers as they have lots of experience and support you can access.

Pros of Sage Pay:

  • Free to set up
  • Takes payments in international currencies with no extra cost
  • Allows payment via PayPal as well to give your customers the choice
  • No minimum contract period
  • Payment time between 24-8 hours

Cons of Sage Pay:

  • Can take a while to get your account set up
  • Charges for processing payments for you
  • There is a monthly fee, but you can choose a package to suit your business

Take a look at the Sage Pay website yourself here: https://www.sagepay.co.uk/

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Summary

There are lots of options available to you when you’re looking into which payment gateway to use. Make sure you’re fully aware of the prices and what you’ll be expected to pay and take care when handling sensitive customer information as you’re legally obligated to protect it.