What is a Payment Gateway?
In a nutshell, a payment gateway is a mediator between your payment process, who receives your customers’ payment, and your e-commerce store. When someone purchases from your website, the payment gateway is responsible for securing the data that the customer enters into your payment processor. It serves many functions, such as authorizing payment and ensuring that it has all the necessary information to complete the sale between your store and the customer.
The payment gateway you choose sends the information through a secure channel between the payment processor and the website. And then it works to return the details of the transaction back to your website. In essence, it is what enables your store to function and take payment for goods or services. The only way that you can have an e-commerce store that accepts credit cards, via the internet, is if you have a payment gateway as the bridge between the consumer and your website.
How Does it Work?
You can take a deep breath, you don’t really need to know how the payment gateway actually works. Once you choose which platform you would like to use, the gateway takes care of the rest by walking you through the setup steps. And then, after you have set it up, you can take customer payments with ease.
- A customer can go to your website and enter what they want into a cart. After, they proceed to the checkout and can provide their payment information
- From there, the gateway processor takes the information and encrypts it so that it can travel through a secure wire to the payment processor
- The customer is then directed back to the payment processor
- The processor guides them to finalize the payment process
- The processor then verifies that the payment went through, and sends a note to the customer indicating that the sale is complete
- Then, the customer can choose to continue shopping or to leave the site
The payment gateway works on both ends to both communicate with the processor and the customer, hence the name “gateway”. And it is responsible for securing the data given by the customer.
Which Payment Gateway is Right for You?
A gateway is a critical step during the checkout phase. If you don’t provide an easy and seamless way for people to complete their purchase, you run the risk of losing them before they follow through or what is known as “cart abandonment". According to statistics, the average rate of abandonment is near 70%. And when you break it down, 27% of those cases can be attached to a poor checkout process, with an additional 8% attributed to offering limited payment options.
When choosing which payment gateway is appropriate for your needs, the first thing you need to consider is which platform your store operates on. That might help to rule out those you can use and those which are not compatible. Then, it really becomes about finding the platform with the options you are looking for. As well as the one that will help to make things easiest and most cost-effective.
The most essential component of your payment gateway decision should be the security it provides. Consider whether a gateway offers a P2PE or point to point encryption to protect customers’ data from threats. And, also ask if it provides something called tokenization? Tokenization allows the merchant to use sensitive data only once with a code that can’t be used again. That way, the data is encrypted, and, therefore, can’t be reused by cybercriminals. It also helps merchants secure private data and be in compliance with security requirements.
The best way to entice users from around the globe to purchase your goods or services is to offer a wide range of payment options. APIs integrate third-party vendors to your e-commerce platform. Try to choose a gateway that will allow your website developer tools to integrate two systems; that will help to save both time and resources. And it will also give your customer many payment options to choose from.
Payment gateways work by protecting both you and the consumer, and they also have to be security compliant. Be aware of things like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI-DSS and also the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. The GDPR is about transparency and the protection of consumers’ rights. Only chose those gateways that are compliant with all regulations necessary.
Five Popular Payment Gateways and What They Offer
PayPal is by far one of the most well-known and used payment gateways on the internet. Although originally being an Ebay affiliate, it became an independent entity in 2015. Many small business owners think PayPal is a great choice because it is highly recognized worldwide and exudes trust from the consumer. And from a merchant’s view it provides total transparency; you can either choose an on-going or a start-up monthly fee. The current rate is $0.30 + 2.9% charge per transaction fee.
PayPal provides a very easy startup process. All you have to do is add the PayPal button on your site and PayPal does the rest. One potential downside is that the consumer has to leave your site to complete the transaction, and then is redirected back.
- No fees for termination or start-up
- A dashboard for transaction details
- You can accept credit cards along with PayPal for payment options
- It accepts payment from over 200 countries and 26 different currencies
Although not as well-known or established as PayPal, Stripe is becoming another popular platform for payment. The key feature that it provides over PayPal is that the consumer doesn’t need to leave your site during checkout. It also has the same standard fees as PayPal. The one disadvantage is that Stripe is not as easy to set-up, so it takes the skill of a web developer.
It was designed to handle the entire process from collecting the payment and then sending that payment to your bank directly. The initial transactions might take as many as seven days, but once set-up, you can receive payments every two days or weekly on a regular basis, depending on your preferences.
- Transactions can be completed on your webpage
- No monthly or set-up fees
- Accepts all major credit cards
- Money is received as frequently as every two days
- Accepts money from all around the globe
Authorize.net differs from both Stripe and PayPal because it does charge a set-up fee and an ongoing fee monthly, on top of transaction fees. So, why would you choose it? The allure of Authorize.net is that you get on-page checkout, so your customers don’t have to leave the site. And it not only accepts major credit cards, but also digital payment options like PayPal and Apple Pay. Authorize.net also has the online award winning support of Advanced Fraud Detection and Synch for Quickbooks, so that you can automatically update your account.
- On-site transactions
- Exceptional support and security features
- Accepts payment globally
- Option to use credit card, Apple Pay, and PayPal
- Receive payment in your account every two days
The Amazon logo is one of the most recognized and trusted one in the world. And when you use Amazon Payments, you get all of the many benefits that Amazon provides, without the consumer ever leaving your site. It has no monthly fees for use and the same transaction fees as the rest of the payment gateways listed above. Customers who use Amazon Payments enjoy all the same easy checkout experience as if they were on the Amazon site. They just have to login and pay using their existing Amazon account. Many merchants believe that the Amazon brand gives their customers an additional level of security. And you also get to tie your product by adding a HTML code snippet directly on your website.
- No termination, monthly, or set-up fees
- Online checkout and brand name exposure
- Amazon’s fraud protection advantage
- Accepts all payment method provided on Amazon site
- Website integration for your site with Amazon button recognition
The clear advantage to using FuSwipe.com is the ability to save money. The rates for use are less than the other major payment gateways. And with all the cost savings, there is no sacrifice to security. FuSwipe.com also accepts Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.
Once more, the set-up is free when you choose FuSwipe, and there are never any contracts required. For many small business owners there are fast approvals and wholesale rates available. And once you lock a rate in, you lock it in for life. FuSwipe also offers unparalleled customer support for merchants and developers alike.
- No termination, monthly, or set-up fees
- Online page check out
- Advanced security and fraud protection
- Accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Europay
- Saves you money on each transaction
One of the most critical parts to the success of your online store is the ease of the checkout experience for the consumer and how much money you make per transaction. FuSwipe offers the same security and fraud protection as other more well-known payment gateways, and it saves you money on each transaction, and consumers don’t have to leave your site for payment finalization. Before you choose your payment gateway, consider all your options. And then find the one that is the best fit.
Contact Fu Dog Media today and we can connect you with a FuSwipe consultant who can give you all the features that the major payment gateways do, while also saving you money with wholesale rate locks for life!