Top 5 payment gateways for online transactions
The high level of security required to handle financial information online makes in-house payment processing cost-prohibitive for most internet sellers. Payment gateways are a good option, but the sheer number of vendors can be overwhelming.
This list of payment gateways can help you get started, whether you’re building a site for a nonprofit, a new online storefront, or a payment portal for services. While the following is by no means exhaustive, it’s sourced from e-commerce developers with frontline experience connecting businesses with financial processors.
It pays to go with a gateway that’s easy to implement. Dustin Sholtes, COO of e-commerce developer Blue Stingray, says Authorize.Net saves time for developers and that means savings for business owners. “They’re by far the easiest to work with,” he says.
Authorize.Net offers a comprehensive suite of developer resources, including a detailed API reference collection. Its API sandbox environment lets developers test integrations and run experiments without real-world risks.
Since it went live in 1996, Authorize.Net has grown into one of the most recognized names in payment gateways with more than 440,000 sellers.
PayPal is a household name because it’s the only payment gateway that offers both consumer and merchant payment services.
When your checkout process redirects customers to the PayPal website, the familiarity promotes confidence in your checkout experience, boosting conversions. In fact, PayPal claims that online checkout conversions are 44 percent higher with its products compared to competing options with less name recognition.
PayPal is very easy to use and can be set up in just minutes, with a wide range of easy-to-use business tools to help smaller-volume sellers get off the ground.
Braintree is the only payment gateway in the U.S. that accepts payments through Venmo, along with more common payment methods including PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and credit/debit cards. This wide-ranging integration is possible due to PayPal’s 2013 acquisition of Braintree and Venmo, which paved the way for greater reach among buyers.
Site visitors follow the same simple process whether they use PayPal, Venmo, or credit/debit cards. According to Braintree, this seamless payment path boosts conversions by removing obstacles on the way to the payment button.
Stripe is a popular choice among first-time e-commerce sellers because it’s so easy to set up. All users need in order to sign up for a free account is a valid email address. Activating the account requires detailed business information, but even that data is fairly limited:
- Identification details like your business address and EIN
- Business owner’s name and contact information
- Text that identifies you as a seller on your customers’ credit card statements
- Your bank account numbers
- Two-step authentication preferences (Stripe requires some form of multifactor authentication for sellers.)
When your account is activated, you can either sign up for one of Stripe’s partner platforms or follow the prompts to integrate the Stripe API into an existing site, which requires a bit of coding.
Check out Payline if you’ve been frustrated by a payment gateway passing on hidden card-processing fees. Payline’s main strength is its transparent pricing structure. As of this writing, the company charges sellers a $20 monthly fee plus 20 cents per transaction with an additional charge of 0.4 percent of the purchase price for credit card transactions.
These prices are in line with market standards, but Payline makes it a point not to surprise users with undisclosed fees. The company even provides a free monthly cost calculator so you can estimate what you’ll really pay before signing up.
More payment gateways to consider
This list of payment gateways is far from complete. Many other vendors have unique features that your particular business might need, such as support for international transactions or marketplace business models. Before signing up with any gateway, make sure it’s a good fit for you.
For more payment gateway providers, you can find a full list of payment gateway integrations available through Jotform here.
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