If you are having an ecommerce website you will need to decide how your customers are going to pay you.

A payment gateway allows you receive payments from your customers and securely deposit them in to your bank account.

You may think that choosing a payment gateway is a simple decision but do not choose in haste as there are lots of important considerations that often go overlooked.

We have put together a set of questions that should be considered before you make your decision:

  • Who are your target audience and what type of payment methods are they likely to use?
  • What payment gateways support the payment methods identified from the above question?
  • What payment gateways does your website software support?
  • What fees does your chosen payment gateway charge and what is the most cost-effective solution for your business and the type of transactions that you will be processing?
  • Do you want your customers to enter their card details directly onto your website (onsite gateway) or be redirected through to a third party payment provider (offsite gateway), such as PayPal? Many will agree that option one will provide the smoothest checkout experience for customers and ultimately result in the largest amount of conversions (as less customers tend to abandon the checkout process). However, bear in mind that if you opt to go down this path there are more complex security measures that have to be put in place and the costs are generally higher.
  • How soon do you need to receive funds from your sales? Some gateway providers will hold funds for a certain amount of time.
  • Are you going to offer multiple payment options?
  • Are you planning to allow purchases from the UK only or internationally too?
  • Do you need to setup subscriptions or recurring payment plans?
  • What level of security does your chosen payment gateway have in place? Do they comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)?
  • What kind of support is offered by your chosen payment gateway?
  • Are you planning to take payments from customers away from your website (e.g. over the phone or via an EPOS)? If so does your chosen gateway also support these?