10 Best Payment Gateway Providers for 2022

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Romj Amon

Updated: August 02,2022

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Using the wrong payment solution for your business can be costly—literally! So, let us introduce you to the best payment gateway vendors that have earned our respect.

In this guide, you’ll:

  • Learn about the capabilities and inadequacies of our top picks.
  • Discover the areas they’re best for.
  • Have an idea how to stack up payment gateways against each other.
  • Get your biggest questions about payment gateways answered.

Let’s do it!

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Best for: Payout Speed
Stripe logo

1. Stripe

  • Cheap instant payout fee
  • 20+ supported payment methods
  • 135+ supported currencies
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Interoperability
Square logo

2. Square

  • 299 integrations
  • Low instant payout fee
  • Strong security features
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Global Availability
2Checkout logo

3. 2Checkout

  • Universal availability
  • 45+ supported payment methods
  • 100 supported currencies
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Recurring Payment Support
Authorize.net logo

4. Authorize.net

  • Reliable recurring payment capabilities
  • Decent global availability
  • 11 supported currencies
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Feature Richness
Shopify logo

5. Shopify

  • Great payment option variety
  • Amazing point-of-sale (POS) features
  • Remarkable payment acceptance capabilities
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Fee Structure Simplicity
Stax logo

6. Stax

  • Flat monthly rates
  • No direct-cost interchange markup
  • Surcharging capability
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Affordability
Helcim logo

7. Helcim

  • Interchange+ pricing model
  • Volume discounts
  • Chargeback reimbursement
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Industry Specialization
Clover logo

8. Clover

  • Business type–specific plans
  • Free virtual terminal trial
  • Decent payment option variety
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Merchant Acceptance
PaymentCloud logo

9. PaymentCloud

  • Industry-agnostic acceptance policy
  • Negotiable pricing
  • Surcharging capability
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Payout Flexibility
Adyen logo

10. Adyen

  • Multi-currency payouts
  • Extensive global coverage
  • 100+ supported payment methods
Visit Website Full review
  • Stripe - Best for Payout Speed

     

  • Square - Best for Interoperability

     

  • 2Checkout - Best for Global Availability

     

  • Authorize.net - Best for Recurring Payment Support

     

  • Shopify - Best for Feature Richness

     

  • Stax - Best for Fee Structure Simplicity

     

  • Helcim - Best for Affordability

     

  • Clover - Best for Industry Specialization

     

  • PaymentCloud - Best for Merchant Acceptance

     

  • Adyen - Best for Payout Flexibility

Best for: Payout Speed

1. Stripe

Cheap instant payout fee

20+ supported payment methods

135+ supported currencies

Stripe supports 20+ online payment methods, including: 

  • cards 
  • digital wallets 
  • bank debits 
  • wire transfers 
  • checks 

Useful for online and in-person transactions, it can automate tax calculation and collection and authenticate customer identity in 30+ countries.

On its turnkey-hosted checkout page, it can handle 135+ currencies for one-time and recurring payments.

To get Stripe’s standard services, you won’t have to pay for setup and subscription fees. This vendor only takes a slice per payment.

Here’s how much this company charges per transaction by payment option:

  • Online payments via major cards and wallets: 2.9% + 30¢
  • In-person card processing: 2.7% +
  • International payment methods: 0.8%–2.2% + 30¢ or a flat rate of 80¢
  • Currency conversion: additional 1%
  • Automated clearing house (ACH) credit: $1
  • Wire transfers: $8
  • Individual checks
    • Received: $5
    • Bounced: $15
  • ACH direct debits
    • Standard settlement: 0.8% ($5 max)
    • Two-day settlement: 1.2%
    • Instant bank account validation: $1.50
    • Failed: $4
    • Disputed: $15

Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna are part of Stripe’s online payment options too. Here are the rates per successful payment for these solutions:

  • Affirm Split Pay or Installments: 6% + 30¢
  • Afterpay 3 or 4 installments: 6% + 30¢
  • Klarna
    • 4 installments: 5.99% + 30¢
    • Financing: 2.99% + 30¢

In terms of payouts, Stripe can send the funds to your bank account within two business days. At first, you may have to wait for 7–14 days to get paid, though.

If you operate in Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom, or the United States, you may qualify for Instant Payouts. It renders your earnings available within minutes for a 1% fee.

Outside of payment processing, almost every other Stripe feature costs extra. 3D Secure authentication, fraud protection, and premium support are notable examples.

Verdict

The instant payout option isn’t unique to Stripe, but it offers this privilege with little greed.

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Best for: Interoperability

2. Square

299 integrations

Low instant payout fee

Strong security features

Square is perfect for businesses in the retail, food and beverage, and professional services domains.

With 299 integrations, there’s a great chance that you can connect this secure payment gateway to your productivity apps.

Apart from online transactions, it can take care of tapped, dipped, and swiped in-person payments.

If you send digital invoices or sell goods via SMS or phone, Square can handle remote and keyed-in payments.

The company supports US- and most internationally issued credit, debit, corporate, prepaid, and rewards cards powered by the following:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • UnionPay

When it comes to mobile wallets, Square works with: 

  • Apple Pay 
  • Samsung Pay 
  • Google Pay 
  • PayPal
  • Cash App Pay 

It also supports online and in-person Afterpay transactions.

Currently, the company’s online card payment processing services are available in these countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • UK
  • US

At the moment, you can’t accept multiple currencies per account. You can’t process card payments outside of the country you activated your account in either.

Square’s standard rates vary by payment type and range 2.6% + 10¢–3.5% + 15¢. They apply to you only if you process under $250,000 a year. Your average ticket size should be less than $15 too. Otherwise, you’ll need to negotiate for custom pricing.

For invoices, you can take ACH bank transfers for a fee of 1% + at least $1.

Normally, you can receive your earnings in your external bank account within 1–2 business days for free. But instant transfers can expedite the process for a 1.5% fee.

Security-wise, Square capitalizes on: 

  • payment tokenization 
  • freemium fraud prevention 
  • PCI compliance 
  • account takeover protection

If you need assistance in dispute management and other matters, you can call its live phone support.

Verdict

Square doesn’t support cross-border digital payment processing, so you’re limited to cash transactions while traveling abroad. But when you’re at home, you can get a ton done with its superb interoperability.

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Best for: Global Availability

3. 2Checkout

Universal availability

45+ supported payment methods

100 supported currencies

2Checkout uses a smart ordering interface to detect the location of shoppers in real-time. This way, you can display content in different languages and show all relevant payment options.

All in all, 2Checkout accepts merchants in 200+ countries and territories. If you operate outside of jurisdictions on the blacklist of Uncle Sam's Office of Foreign Assets Control, you can subscribe.

Furthermore, this vendor supports up to 45+ online and offline payment methods and 100 currencies. Likewise, it connects to 120+ shopping carts with no setup cost.

This 2Checkout focuses on just online and mobile payments. It can handle subscription billing with recurring transactions.

To help you achieve your goals, it lets you choose between hosted and inline carts.

2Checkout’s cut per successful sale depends on your chosen plan, which ranges 3.5% + $0.35–6.0% + $0.60. However, local payment methods may come with different price points.

In jurisdictions where the risk of fraud is high, this top payment gateway imposes an extra 2%–3% cross-border fee.

Without signing up for the Enterprise plan, you can get merchant and shopper assistance via email, chat, and phone. And you can buy add-ons like dedicated support.

Irrespective of the plan, you can enjoy: 

  • 3D Secure 
  • fraud protection 
  • refund and chargeback management 
  • dispute handling support

2Checkout has weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly payout intervals. By default, your funds will be in USD, GBP, or EUR, but you may request a different currency.

If you do wire transfer, you may pay a fee of $15/£15/€15 and wait for two-five business days.

The prepaid 2Checkout Mastercard trims the holding period to one business day. Whereas, PayPal permits instant payouts. Either way, there’s no additional 2Checkout fee.

Due to the deposit requirement of your merchant account with the company, you can’t withdraw everything.

Verdict

This ecommerce payment gateway provider can eat up your earnings if you mostly target customers from high-risk countries and territories. But with 2Checkout’s genuine borderless reach, you have the exciting opportunity to sell to the world wherever you’re from.

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Best for: Recurring Payment Support

4. Authorize.net

Reliable recurring payment capabilities

Decent global availability

11 supported currencies

Authorize.net welcomes merchants from Australia, Canada, the US, the UK, and the rest of Europe. And you can sell to shoppers worldwide.

Your base of operations would determine the currencies you can accept, but this vendor only supports the following:

  • AUD
  • CAD
  • CHF
  • DKK
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • NOK
  • NZD
  • PLN
  • SEK
  • USD

Thanks to Authorize.net’s versatility, you can process online, mobile, in-person, and remote transactions with these payment options:

  • Amex
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Apple Pay
  • PayPal
  • eCheck

If you don’t have an existing merchant account, this vendor can set up one for you. But you have to pay 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

If you do have an existing merchant account, every transaction will only set you back 10¢. Plus, it’s one of the few top payment companies that charge a daily batch fee of 10¢.

An exception to the rule is eCheck payments where the fee is 0.75% per transaction.

Either way, you have to pay a $25 gateway fee monthly. A subscription entitles you to these features:

  • Buy Now and Donate checkout buttons
  • Recurring and installment payments
  • Digital invoicing
  • Customer Information Manager
  • Advanced fraud detection

Also, you can take advantage of the company’s Account Updater to prevent credit card payment interruption and avoid revenue loss. But this service may incur extra costs.

If your yearly transaction volume is above $500,000, you can ask for a custom price.

With Authorize.net, you can get paid at settlement. This means you can receive your earnings in your bank account within the following business day.

In terms of support, this vendor’s chat and phone reps are available 24/7, except on major holidays.

However, the company doesn’t offer setup assistance. So, you’ll need a web developer to link its payment gateway to your site.

Verdict

Authorize.net can be a pain to install. But once in place, it’ll be a real godsend for you if you sell subscriptions.

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Best for: Feature Richness

5. Shopify

Great payment option variety

Amazing point-of-sale (POS) features

Remarkable payment acceptance capabilities

As an international payment gateway provider, Shopify can handle online and in-person transactions. It supports the big four credit card networks plus digital wallets, including: 

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Meta Pay
  • Shop Pay
  • Shop Pay Installments

For online payments powered by Shopify Payments, its credit and debit card rates range from 2.4% + 30¢–3.9% + 30¢. If you prefer a different payment provider, the fees become 0.5%–2% per transaction.

Shopify Payments supports 3D Secure checkouts. This Level 1 PCI–compliant solution allows you to set local payment methods available in specific regions.

In addition, Shopify enables market-based custom pricing and does fraud analysis. Also, you can calculate applicable taxes and convert currencies for 0.85% and 1.5% fees, respectively, per order.

The problem is that Shopify Payments is available in only 18 jurisdictions. If you operate outside of its service area, you’ll have to use a different digital payment gateway provider. 

For in-person payments, Shopify’s credit and debit card rates are 2.4%–2.7%. To get started, you need one out of two Shopify POS plans.

Shopify POS Lite is included in any Shopify subscriptions, costing $29–$299/month. Shopify POS Pro, on the other hand, is available as an add-on for $89/month/location. And it’s included in any Shopify Plus plans whose price start at $2,000/month.

Marketing, omnichannel sales, smart inventory, staff management, and analytics are part of Shopify’s POS exceptional capabilities.

Likewise, you can take partial payments, create custom payment options, and more.

Although Shopify’s hardware is sold in just 13 countries, you can use supported third-party POS devices instead.

The payout period varies by country and payment method. But you could receive your earnings in one business day.

If you have any concerns, Shopify extends support via chat, phone, and email.

Verdict

The geographical restrictions of its ecommerce payment gateway and POS hardware hurt Shopify’s appeal. But nobody can dispute its stellar payment acceptance capabilities.

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Best for: Fee Structure Simplicity

6. Stax

Flat monthly rates

No direct-cost interchange markup

Surcharging capability

Flat monthly pricing with zero credit card processing costs distinguishes Stax from most of its competitors. It’s possible because this payment service platform has US regulation–compliant surcharging chops.

Using Stax, you can bill your customers 100% of transaction fees. At the same time, it adds no markup on direct-cost interchange.

Depending on your subscription, expect to pay $99–$199/month as long as you process $500,000 max a year. If you need to do more, you’ll have to ask for a custom quote.

In terms of service coverage, Stax is open to merchants and independent software vendors in the States in these industries:

  • Field services
  • Health care
  • Professional services
  • Retail 

Functionality-wise, this ACH and debit and credit card gateway can handle online, mobile, in-person, and keyed-in transactions. Its tech is equipped with no-cost cloud-based terminals and digital invoicing tools.

In fact, you can get a free mobile reader whatever software package you select. Terminal Protection, among the add-ons available, entitles you to unlimited swaps due to wear and tear, defects, and accidental damage.

In addition, Stax supports one-click shopping cart setup, Text2Pay SMS transactions, and site-hosted payment links. If you need to do recurring payments, you can securely save credit cards on file with it for scheduled billing.

Unlike some, this vendor can get you to receive your earnings soonest. So, your funds should reflect in your bank account from one to three business days from the date of payment.

This digital payment gateway has 16 native connectors, including those for: 

  • QuickBooks 
  • Monday.com 
  • Slack 
  • Zoho 
  • Mailchimp
  • Facebook Ads

But Stax’s RESTful API opens a world of integration opportunities.

If you have concerns, you can contact its US-based customer success team via email, phone, or fax. But signing up for its top flat-rate subscription gives you access to Premier support.

Verdict

Stax’s decision to market itself exclusively to US merchants can be prohibitive. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you can benefit from its flat subscription fee as your sales grow.

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Best for: Affordability

7. Helcim

Interchange+ pricing model

Volume discounts

Chargeback reimbursement

Helcim uses the Interchange Plus pricing model, causing processing costs to fluctuate.

For transparency, it charges the actual interchange and assessment fees at the time of payment. Then, you have to pay its predetermined margin.

Because of this price structure, you can save on processing fees when the wholesale rates drop.

Another good news is that Helcim offers volume discounts with no negotiation needed. This easy payment gateway provider reduces its margin as the value of your processed transaction grows.

As follows are Helcim’s monthly credit card processing volume thresholds:

  • $25,000
  • $50,000
  • $100,000
  • $250,000
  • $1,000,000
  • $5,000,000

And here are the company’s highest and lowest margins per transaction:

  • In-person payments: from 0.30% + 8¢ to 0.10% + 5¢
  • Online and keyed-in payments: from 0.50% + 25¢ to 0.20% + 10¢

In case of chargeback, the charge is $15. But the company would be happy to reimburse it if you dispute it and win.

In addition to Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover cards, you can also accept Google Pay and Apple Pay with Helcim.

Likewise, this vendor is set up to handle ACH and electronic funds transfer payments for 0.5% + 25¢. The return fee is $5.

With this secure online payment gateway, you can process transactions across international borders without worrying about fraud. And you’ll get paid within two business days.

Apart from online (hosted or non-hosted) and in-person transactions, it also supports invoicing and QR code and payment link generation.

To do recurring billing, you can securely store card details on file. This PCI-compliant vendor tokenizes the data stored in its card vault.

Natively, Helcim integrates with: 

  • WooCommerce 
  • Magento 
  • Foxy.io 
  • QuickBooks 
  • Great Exposure 

And its APIs are available to developers.

For questions, the company has a phone and email support lines.

Verdict

Helcim’s pricing model is not like the rest. Unpredictability may be the price of its transparency. But its honesty is a feature, not a bug.

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Best for: Industry Specialization

8. Clover

Business type–specific plans

Free virtual terminal trial

Decent payment option variety

Clover specializes in in-store payment processing. It’s the best payment gateway for the following types of merchant in Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the US:

  • Full-service and quick-service restaurateurs
  • Personal, professional, or home and field service providers
  • Retail store owners

With Clover, you can accept chip, swipe, and contactless-optimized credit and debit cards. Plus, it can process gift cards, mobile wallets, and scanned paper checks.

If you don’t want to use this payment gateway company’s POS devices, you can link its system to third-party equipment. You can find all of its payment integration options in its own app marketplace.

Furthermore, Clover lends itself to online payment processing, invoicing, and recurring billing.

To use Clover’s hardware and software, you need a subscription whose costs would depend on your business type. Check out these rates:

  • Starter
      • Hardware fee: $0–$1,349
      • Software fee: $14.95–$74.95/month
  • Standard
      • Hardware fee: $49–$1,848
      • Software fee: $14.95–$84.90/month
  • Advanced
    • Hardware fee: $499–$3,647
    • Software fee: $44.95–$94.85/month

The hardware fee can be payable in three installments. Without hardware, you may test the software for 30 days for free. After the trial period, you have to pay a virtual terminal fee of $14.95/month.

Regarding processing fees, Clover bills 2.3% + 10¢–2.6% + 10¢ per card-present transaction and 3.5% + 10¢ per card-not-present payment.

As with other payment gateway providers, you need to wait for one to three business days to get paid using Clover. But you can pay extra to accelerate your payout deposit. Other charges might include an early termination fee too.

If you have an existing merchant services account, you may be able to use it upon Clover’s approval.

For support, you can speak with its chat, email, and phone reps anytime.

Verdict

Clover isn’t for everybody, for it doesn’t try to appeal to everybody. But if you operate in one of its domains, it can be worth the risk to attain success.

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Best for: Merchant Acceptance

9. PaymentCloud

Industry-agnostic acceptance policy

Negotiable pricing

Surcharging capability

PaymentCloud pairs its PCI-compliant website gateways with its other merchant services. It provides merchant accounts with setup assistance, delivers fraud and chargeback protection, and offers business financing programs.

This vendor caters to the needs of companies in medium- and high-risk industries like adult entertainment, tobacco, and multi-level marketing. It’s not selective about clients, but it’s super secretive about its pricing.

PaymentCloud prefers to tailor its services to individual merchants. Its rates vary from business to business, and every quote reflects the risk level a merchant presents. But you can talk your way into a good deal.

If you proceed, expect to sign a contract. Its terms and length would depend on your credentials, particularly your processing history, sales volume, and chargeback rate.

Naturally, the versatility of this vendor’s payment processing prowess suits the diversity of its clientele.

PaymentCloud supports alternative online payment methods such as:

  • credit and debit cards 
  • digital wallets 
  • ACH 
  • eChecks
  • cryptocurrencies

Its technology is optimized for online and mobile payments. It has virtual terminals for phone orders, mailed payments, and keyed-in transactions. It’s capable of invoicing and recurring billing too.

Using the Paysley mobile app, you can generate: 

  • QR codes 
  • SMS 
  • email 
  • social media payment links
  • landing pages

With PaymentCloud’s zero-cost card processing capability, you can pass on the fee to your customers by adding a surcharge.

In terms of interoperability, PaymentCloud has a huge array of integrations for shopping carts, customer relationship management solutions, and more. The company’s open APIs empower developers to connect its tech to any third-party tool.

As a new customer, you can contact the company via email or phone. Its agents are online 7AM– 6PM PST, Mondays through Fridays.

As a paying merchant, you can receive more meaningful assistance through your dedicated support manager.

Verdict

PaymentCloud is the most welcoming of them all. But expect potentially discriminatory fees if you're in the business where payment fraud is pervasive.

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Best for: Payout Flexibility

10. Adyen

Multi-currency payouts

Extensive global coverage

100+ supported payment methods

Adyen does business with merchants from nearly 100 jurisdictions. It supports the best 100+ online payment methods, including buy now, pay later solutions, and cash-based options.

With this payment gateway, you can process the following transactions:

  • web 
  • in-app 
  • in-person 
  • link-based 
  • recurring

For online payments, you can integrate it into your checkout in three ways. Such flexibility gives you latitude in accepting payments in methods that make sense for your business.

For in-person payments, you can set up Ayden on POS terminals and devices like self-service machines.

This fully PCI DSS v3.2–compliant vendor charges a fixed processing fee of €0.10. That said, it may charge an additional fee based on the payment method used by your customers.

Adyen calls its pricing model Interchange++. On top of the interchange fee, the two pluses represent the Visa and Mastercard’s scheme fee and Adyen’s acquirer fee.

The company’s markup starts at 0.60% per transaction and changes as your monthly card volume does.

Except for a possible minimum invoice, this payment gateway option comes with no other fees.

Capable of artificial intelligence–powered fraud prevention, this payment gateway provider requires a merchant account. And you can request one as you please.

Regarding payouts, Adyen offers two methods: Sales Day and Pass-Through.

The first one can get you paid within two business days but isn’t available in Turkey, Africa, and Latin America. The second pays out your earnings per day in batches over subsequent days.

Moreover, Adyen lets you use multiple bank accounts for different currencies

The company tries to eliminate the need for currency conversion. But for transactions settled in a currency, it doesn’t locally support, they may be subject to cross-border transfer charges.

If you have concerns, you can reach this vendor via phone. It promises 24/7 support too.

Verdict

Adyen is a worthwhile solution when you live off international commerce. But it may not be your best bet if you want your in-person payment gateway to do more for you.

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How To Pick the Right Solution

To tell good and bad providers apart, you need to know how to compare them. Consider:

Use Cases

Some payment gateways are more versatile than others.

There are solutions designed for facilitating online transactions only. Whereas, others can be integrated into card readers and POS systems to help customers swipe their plastic and complete their orders.

And then there are payment gateways that empower retailers to take credit cards via phone, fax, and/or mail.

Moreover, more and more in-person and online payment solutions are becoming optimized for smartphones and tablets. Mobile support matters if you need a payment gateway capable of transferring funds from digital wallets.

Since the rise of crypto, specialized payment gateways have entered the scene to fill a niche in the market.

If you sell subscriptions, recurring billing capability is desirable. Your payment gateway should be able to store payment details, initiate transactions on schedule, and offer recourse for failed attempts.

Think about the best industries a payment gateway is most useful for.

Generalists tend to support more payment options and serve merchants in more countries. Whereas, specialists typically have excellent features optimized for particular business types.

Moreover, most, if not all, of the leading payment gateway companies are multi-dimensional. They have all-in-one platforms with ecommerce, analytics, and reporting capabilities.

Supported Card Types

Most payment gateway vendors can accept the big four: 

  • Visa 
  • Mastercard 
  • Amex 
  • Discover

However, concentrating on the above may alienate customers that hold JCB and UnionPay cards. The same goes for those that prefer to pay with other types of bank cards like Diner’s Club.

To maximize your reach, look for a payment gateway that can serve a wide variety of cardholders.

Service Area

Ideally, all online payment platforms would be able to help process transactions across every region. In reality, most tend to focus on certain international markets only.

More often than not, vendors primarily serve US-based consumers. If you operate in other locations, make sure your prospective company is set up to assist you.

Supported Currencies

Not all payment gateway companies that serve multiple geographical markets can handle payments in different currencies. Forcing your customers to pay in USD may discourage some and/or trigger additional fees.

If you regularly deal with non-US customers, use a vendor that can authorize transactions in their local money.

Hosting

Hosted gateways connect customers to a secure payment processor, taking them to a different site. They introduce another pit stop in the transaction process. But they eliminate the need to store sensitive data on your site.

On the other hand, non-hosted gateways allow customers to type in their information without leaving your site. Despite the risk of keeping payment details in your custody, they can delight customers with a speedy procedure.

Merchant Account Requirement

A merchant account holds the funds until the customer’s issuing bank gives the transaction a thumbs up. It moves the cash into your own bank account only after approval.

So, a merchant account offers an extra layer of security and funds management to reduce the rate of recalled payments.

Many payment gateway companies need a merchant account to initiate transactions and provide one to cut out an intermediary. Other vendors might require you to use a third-party merchant account provider.

And then there are some that can transfer funds directly to your bank account in exchange for a higher fee.

Weigh up the pros and cons of using a merchant account to help size up the most popular payment gateways.

Transaction Limit

Some payment gateway vendors have a cap on transactions. Beware of these restrictions, for they can limit your profit potential.

Payout Procedure

As a merchant, getting paid in a straightforward manner can feel like a pipe dream.

Often, there are many entities involved in verifying funds availability and settling payments. The more varied the payment methods you support, the more confusing the funds transfer processes could get.

It’s imperative to know your payment gateway provider’s payout policy like the back of your hand. Or else you might experience cash-flow problems. Even worse, you might not be able to receive your earnings at all.

Integrations

Linking your payment gateway to your other business tools makes it convenient to consolidate, track, and analyze your data. So, find out your prospective vendor’s payment integration count and view its complete list of supported third-party apps.

Security

To earn street cred as a trustworthy merchant, go with a vendor that can bear the seal of PCI compliance. Short for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance, it indicates excellent customer data protection.

There are multiple levels of PCI compliance. And achieving Level 1 means the payment gateway provider satisfies the strictest data security requirements.

Another other security measure reliable vendors use is 3D Secure authentication. It’s a fraud detection booster for card-not-present transactions and transfers liability from the merchant to the issuing bank.

To reduce the risk of data theft and fraud, some payment gateway companies leverage tokenization.

In this approach, the payment info gets encrypted, stored on a centralized server, and replaced with a token. The token acts as a substitute for the actual financial data.

This way, you can just use the token to initiate future transactions. Plus, you can avoid the burden of storing sensitive customer data on your server.

Customer Support

To determine whether you can count on a secure payment gateway provider in the hour of your need, answer these questions:

  • Are its representatives reachable anytime?
  • Can you talk to someone through your preferred channel?
  • Does it provide you with quality self-help support options?
  • Do you have to pony up extra cash to get priority assistance?

Pricing

Generally, transaction fees primarily consist of interchange and assessment costs charged by credit card associations and/or issuing banks. Of course, the payment gateway provider’s margin is part of them too.

However, vendors structure their prices differently.

The most popular model is flat pricing. It’s easy to understand, for the transaction fee remains the same regardless of the payment method. Although flat rates are predictable, they can be costly over the long term.

Tiered pricing is another common model. It applies lower “qualified” fees for certain types of transactions and higher “non-qualified” and “mid” rates on others.

Interchange differential pricing also involves qualified and non-qualified fees. In addition, it adds the difference in cost of qualified and non-qualified cards. It could lead to double billing.

Interchange+ pricing is about passing the true interchange cost on to you plus the vendor’s markup per payment. It’s uncommon among in-person and online payment providers, for it’s the least profitable model there is. But it’s the most transparent and affordable price structure for you.

The other charges you have to be mindful of are:

  • Annual fee
  • Early cancellation/termination fee
  • Minimum transaction volume fee
  • Monthly fee
  • Paper statement fee
  • Payment gateway/virtual terminal fee
  • Payout acceleration fee
  • PCI compliance fee
  • Setup fee
  • Tax reporting fee
  • Terminal fee

The above fees aren’t universal. Vendors apply them at their own discretion. And many of these additional costs may be negotiable. So, find out every single fee you may shoulder before making any commitment.

Wrap Up

No payment gateway provider is perfect. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, impressing some merchants and chasing away others.

Ultimately, only you can say which qualities matter and which inadequacies carry little weight for your business.

Hopefully, our reviews were able to give you more clarity about which vendors deserve to be on your shortlist.

We know that choosing a payment partner is a major decision, so sleep on it. Don’t rush. 

Feel free to revisit this guide until you’re confident enough to do business with one of our picks.

FAQ.


Which payment gateway is safest?

In our book, Square has the strongest set of security features. It can ensure: 

  • PCI compliance 
  • tokenize payment data 
  • bust fraudsters 
  • combat account takeover

Which is the fastest payment gateway?

In general, processing speed depends on the payment method.

Card-based transactions tend to have relatively slow settlements because banks, which are closed on weekends, are involved. Digital wallets like PayPal can move funds more quickly.

To lessen your dependence on traditional banks, consider solutions that offer abundant payment options like 2Checkout and Shopify Payments.

Also, Stripe and Square are some of the few that you tap your earnings on demand for a fee. Likewise, Ayden can provide you with tremendous payout flexibility in order to get paid faster.

Which payment gateway is best for startups?

For international online payments, Stripe, 2Checkout, and Ayden are great solutions.

For local online payments, especially in the US, you can’t go wrong with either Square or Stax.

For in-person transactions, Shopify and Helcim should be your main consideration.

For recurring billing, Authorize.net is the best payment gateway.

For industry-specific payment gateway services, Clover and PaymentCloud should be at the top of your list.

Which payment gateway is cheapest?

Payment gateway solutions that adopt some version of the interchange+ pricing model like Helcim and Ayden can guarantee more savings. Their markups are fixed, so you can reap the benefits when interchange rates are favorable.

In addition, the likes of Stax and PaymentCloud can reduce your expenses through surcharging.

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Romj Amon

Romj Amon

Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he's trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a content contributor for TechJury, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.

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