Why You Need a Payment Gateway Provider
If you are planning to start an online business, you must be wondering how you will get paid. You will be dealing with customers from all over the world, 24/7. They will want as many payment methods as possible. They will also want to be sure that their personal and financial information is in good hands.
For these reasons, nothing better than outsourcing the task to who has experience with it: a payment gateway. They allow businesses to get paid online without any hassle. Learn here what involves choosing one of them and the best online payment services available to merchants in the UK.
What is a payment gateway?
In simple terms, a payment gateway is a tool you add to your online shop, so then you can accept payments. Companies with a large portfolio link them to a shopping cart, where their customers add products as they go through their offers.
Small businesses, with just a few products to show, can just add a button to a pricing page. When the customer clicks on it, a window or tab opens. It will be there that they will add personal details and choose a payment method among the options offered.
Some payment gateways redirect your customers to their platform to complete the transaction. Others link the tool to your website. For security purposes, the payment gateway will handle and encrypt all confidential information provided by you and your customer. It will also require authorization from the card provider, such as Visa or Mastercard.
Still, it doesn’t mean that only online businesses can use them. You can have a payment gateway linked to your POS system, for instance.
What about payment gateway’s costs?
As you can imagine, everything a payment gateway can offer comes with a price. There are several costs involved in using their services, from setting them up to monthly maintenance. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay for:
One-time Set-up Fee: the fee charged by the service to get you started.
Monthly Fee: fee you will pay every month to keep the service running. Be aware that this will be a new fixed cost on your finances. You will pay it even if you don’t make one single sale during an entire given month.
Transaction Fee: the money you pay per transaction processed by the gateway, usually a percentage over the amount paid by your customer.
Other fees: some services might charge you other fees, such as a daily batch fee or exchange rates.
You might be thinking you would be better off creating your own payment gateway and skipping all these fees. Well, the fact is that it would be very unlikely.
Nobody will stop you from trying. But you will need to pass through so many regulations that it will cost you even more. And if you make a mistake, the fines can be hefty, leave alone the hit on your public image. You also need to know how to handle taxes worldwide, something that payment gateways calculate automatically for you.
If you run a small online business, you must choose a payment gateway. No company, no matter how big they are, goes handle online payments themselves these days. The chances of building a successful payment gateway from scratch are slim, and if you do, the risks are too great to justify the money you will save.
The Best Payment Gateways in the UK
To get you started, here are five of the best payment gateways available in the UK.
1. PayPal Payment Pro
PayPal is a popular service when it comes to payment gateways. We are talking about a strong brand, whose credibility will make your customers trust even more on your business. PayPal Payments Pro can be customised to any need. You can host the checkout page or redirect your customer to PayPal servers. It accepts all major credit and debit cards, or your customers can pay using their PayPal accounts as well.
Stripe is another popular gateway for merchants, especially those who use pre-built online shops or marketplaces, such as Shopify. The selection of cards is modest, only Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, but these are the most accepted worldwide. Stripe also allows your customers to pay using wallet services, such as Alipay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
3. Amazon Payments
Amazon Payments isn’t only for merchants selling on Amazon. Any e-commerce can add it to their checkout. This is another brand that will make your shopping cart looks more reliable. At the moment, it works as a plugin you can add to Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and more. In some cases, your customers will be able to use the information stored on their Amazon account to speed the payment process.
Authorize.net has a comprehensive range of payment gateway services. It provides not only secure checkout, but also advanced antifraud detection, invoicing, and recurrent payments. It accepts several payment methods, including PayPal and Apple Pay. It also allows you to receive electronic checks and to sign up to Visa Checkout.
2CheckOut covers more than 200 countries and territories, and it’s available in more than 30 languages. Meaning that your customer will be able to make a payment in their own language. In the UK, along with the major cards, it also accepts direct debit, PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill. No wallet payments are taken, however. You can also integrate it with some shopping cart solutions, such as Wix and Shopify.
6. The Takeaway
Any e-commerce business needs a payment gateway. They let you get paid online fast and keep your and your customer data confidential and safe.
You just need to be ready to add their costs to your pricing. And, to avoid a headache, make sure you choose one of the best payment gateway providers in the UK to take care of it for you.