What is a Payment Gateway? How to pick the best Payment Gateway service provider for your eCommerce website?

What is a Payment Gateway?

Payment Gateways
According to wikipedia, a payment gateway is an eCommerce application service provider service that authorizes payments for e-businesses and online retailers. In simple words, a payment gateway takes care of online payments for eCommerce websites. For banking security purposes it accepts debit/credit card & net banking payments on behalf of your eCommerce website.

How to pick the best Payment Gateway service provider for your eCommerce website?

There are 7 important things you need to consider before choosing your payment gateway service provider:

1. Set Up / Subscription Fees

This is a one time set up fee when you sign up with a payment gateway service provider. Some payment gateways could have zero set up cost but they usually support credit cards only and are not advisable for eCommerce businesses that don’t want to lose customers that are willing to pay via Debit Cards or Net Banking.

2. Transaction Fees

This is a percentage of your total transaction. Usually between 2 to 6% and substantially depends on the set up fees you are willing to pay. Higher set up fees results in lower transaction tax and vice versa.

3. Number of Banks Supported

It’s important that your payment gateway service provider supports Debit Cards from a lot of banks. You don’t want to lose out on precious customers who are willing to buy products on your eCommerce website but can’t just because your payment gateway fails to service their bank’s Debit card.

4. Customer Service

Once you have paid the initial set up fees, dealing with your payment gateway service provider could be quite a headache. Make sure you’ve got some good reviews about the payment gateway service you are choosing.

5. Payment Analytics

Your payment gateway should be able to offer you clear, crisp and transparent payment analytics.

6. Security

Read about the security features of the payment gateway. It’s important that your provider offers risk management and fraud detection tools.

7. Settlement Period

One must be careful about the cash balance settlement period. While some payment gateways may settle balances within one day – most do it within a month. Some payment gateways also settle as per cash limit. E.g. Your balance would only get settled if you have say $200 in your account.


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