Most of modern online retail is contingent on the effective use of payment integration services. As technology continues to advance, payment gateways stay constant in offering both physical stores and online retailers the option to safely and conveniently carry out transactions. What is a payment gateway and how does it work?
What is a Payment Gateway?
In simple terms, a payment gateway integration service is the equivalent to a card reader in a store – as a customer inputs their cardholder information, the payment gateway connects with their bank, retrieves correct information, assesses the transaction for fraudulent activity and, it none is detected, sees the payment through.
As you might imagine, having such a system set up on online shopping platforms and websites provides both security and convenience to both sides of the transaction. Buyers can conclude their purchases quickly and without much hassle, while sellers can rest easy knowing that the transaction was securely vetted and approved.
Why do you need a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway allows the processing of online debit and credit card transactions and digital wallet payments (Google Pay and others). The right payment gateway integration in websites and mobile applications will increase customer numbers and improve user experience, helping the business stand out from the crowd of competitors.
Payment gateways aren’t the only option to set up an online payment service, but it is often the most effective, especially for small to medium sized businesses with lower sales volumes. Choosing the right payment gateways can open an online merchant’s doors to new clientele – from different countries, backgrounds and lifestyles – so it is important to choose wisely.
Which Payment Gateway is Right for Me?
When choosing a payment gateway, consider your business and its specific needs. Will you need to handle transactions from around the globe or a specific region? How much are you willing to pay, and, consequently, how much are you willing to charge your customers?
It can be hard to determine at a glance what distinguishes one online payment solution from another. As customers continue demanding better transaction processing services, payment gateways can be the answer to your specific needs. So here is a short overview of the 5 leading payment gateway services in the industry.
Paypal is an undeniable industry giant in the field of online payment processing services. This financial conglomerate is known for its reliability, but Paypal is not without its many downsides as well, especially for small business owners.
For instance, Paypal has fairly inefficient customers support. Depending on the region, the only means of communication with the company representatives might email with several days’ wait. When it comes to urgent financial trouble, long waittimes are a definite downside.
Other payment gateways might just not be user-friendly enough. Payment solutions such as Stripe, a payment platform designed for larger corporations, require nuanced understanding of software and programming. Unfortunately, few retailers have the time and resources to do this kind of work.
Stripe offers a wide range of customizable options to fit each business’ needs, but unless you are a high-flyer with a large volume of daily sales, this one just might not be worth the considerable effort to set it up.
Another one of the leading payment gateways, Skrill is a popular choice among small business owners. But this platform, too, is not immune to criticism. According to dotknowledge.uk, Skrill is known to hold customers’ payments and to implement excessive fraud prevention procedures.
The company has also reportedly received numerous negative comments and feedback. Although it is difficult to verify online reviews, it might be advisable to pursue alternative services.
In fourth place is Braintree, one of many medium-sized payment gateways firms. A promising platform beloved by many, Braintree has one major similarity and flaw in common with Stripe – similar to Stripe, this platform also requires some coding knowledge and isn’t considered beginner-friendly.
Braintree’s customer support team is also fully based in the US, leading to long wait times for clients in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Although this would not be an issue for American companies geared towards local buyers, online merchants hoping for a more global audience might be left disappointed.
5. Virtual Pay
In some industries, bigger might be considered better, but after research of our own, we can safely say that some of the smaller payment service providers are the most innovative and user-friendly. An emerging player in this field is Virtual Pay.
Virtual Pay, despite its relative infancy, has distinguished itself due to the diversity of payment collection and payout options, even including cash transactions. But what really sets the company aside are the safety procedures. The firm holds a Data Security Certification from the Payment Card Industry, as well as multiple encryption and multi-factor authentication features. With these qualities, fraud is definitely out of the question.
Choosing a Payment Gateway is not an easy decision, but the right choice has the potential to transform a business. A great payment processing service allows for a personalized experience for the buyer. The goal is to not only simplify payment procedures for business managers, but also to cater to the users themselves. A secure, vetted payment gateway service with a wide range of accepted payment methods will leave a longer-lasting positive impression and ultimately lead to happier and more loyal customers.
The e-commerce industry has grown rapidly in the recent years. Regardless of your choice of a service provider, as long as you priotitize your buyers and customers, your business will be sure to succeed.