What is the best payment gateway for my online store?
When establishing an online store or a website equipped to accept payments one of the more difficult decisions can be choosing which payment gateway to use. The options can be bewildering and all of our Woo Commerce-based designs can support the vast majority of them but by asking a couple of simple questions you can find the ideal solution for your business.
What are my needs?
First port of call when deciding which payment gateway is right for your business is identifying exactly what you need from it.
Are you online only or do you have a physical retail space too?
Are you happy to have your payments completed offsite or would you prefer to have them integrated into your store? (Be warned that this does come with an increased security responsibility).
Will you be looking to take subscription payments?
What are the options?
Once you have that nailed down the next job is to take a look at the options that exist and my key message here would be ‘don’t be afraid to start small’. For most small businesses and startups the main aim is simply to get things moving and start accepting payments.
The ideal option for that is PayPal because a) it doesn’t require and kind of integration (payments are handled offsite) and b) it is a globally recognised brand that people trust, meaning that having them as your payment gateway is likely to have a positive impact on your sales. PayPal also allows you to accept debit and credit card payments via their platform.
The majority of major banks all offer online payment solutions which have the advantage of lower fee rates and reassure the customer throughout the payment process because they are a well known name. Personally I recommend Barclays as there are a variety of options including both onsite and offsite payments and an easy to use payment backend that allow you to monitor payments as they come in.
However in order to be able to implement a solution of this type you will have to apply and be approved for a merchant bank account which can be onerous for small businesses keen to get started selling and it is worth mentioning however that to accept payments directly on your a security certificate is required (something I recommend for all e-commerce stores) in order to securely handle your customers’ information.
If you want to take card payments directly on your site without the hassle of applying for merchant bank accounts etc Stripe is a good option. It offers customers a streamlined payment process and allows you to accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex and even Bitcoin if you so choose.
What do they cost?
The likes of PayPal and Stripe that allow you to process payments immediately tend to charge slightly higher fees in return for ease of use but even so they aren’t unreasonable. The base fee PayPal charge is from 3.4% to as little as 1.9% per transaction (based on overall sales volume) plus a 20p flat rate fee across the board.
Stripe on the other hand can cost as little as 1.4% per transaction for European issued cards and 2.9% internationally, along with a 20p flat fee. Similar to the bank led options a security certificate is required to securely handle customer information during the payment process.
There are a number of quality options out there that can meet the needs of just about any business, why not get in touch to find out more.