How to choose the right payment gateway for your business

When running an online business one of the most important decisions you make is choosing payment gateway for processing your payments that suits your business needs. With hundreds of options currently available it’s no easy choice., whether you’re just starting your business and want to choose your first payment gateway or you want to expand payment options available to your customers. HostBill offers you the choice of 90 payment gateways and over 120 payment methods. Here are some tips on what to focus on when making the decision about the payment gateway.

  1. Application process

Getting the payment gateway up and running may be a quite lengthy process, as in most of the cases to process payments you need to open a merchant account and provide proper documentation about your business which needs to be approved. The process in different for various providers and it’s better to check the details beforehand. You should also get familiar with the contract terms, as some payment providers require for example minimum contract time and early cancellation involves cancellation fees.

  1. Pricing / fees

The fee structures for payment gateways obviously differs, but usually is composed of the set-up fee, transaction fees and admin fees. The transaction fee can be flat or variable based on a percentage of transaction amount. Sometimes payment gateways charge extra fees for things like chargebacks, payments from international cards and more. Knowing the volume of your online payments will help you to choose the solution that best suits your needs.

Tip: our free Getaway Fees plugin will help your business to become more cost-effective as it enables you to set and automatically apply additional charges for using certain payment gateway. The charges can be set either as a percentage or can be a fixed amount. The plugin also lets you apply different charges depending on a currency used by a customer.

  1. Payment methods and currencies supported

Your payment gateway needs to work for both: you and your customers. Choose the gateways that support payment methods and currencies that your target customers like to use. Understanding your customers’ needs is crucial to any business and in that case, if you don’t provide the payment methods that you customers prefer, you simply may lose sale opportunity.

Tip: If you offer more than one payment gateway you can use our Gateway per Client module to select which payment gateways a specific customer will have access to. It’s especially useful when you want to give the customer the ability to pay for the order that was marked as fraud. In this case HostBill can automatically limit the choice of gateways available for customer i.e: only to those that does not allow customer to refund (ie. Bitcoin payment).

  1. Security and support

This is money we’re talking about so security plays a significant role here. Choose the provider who meets the safety requirements for payment providers and that offers maximum protection: fraud prevention tools, tokenization, card storing etc. As any problems you or your customer may encounter are usually time-sensitive, the support department you can count on is a necessity. The response time is important (it may be determined by the location – different time zones) as well as the range of the support.

  1. Payment processing times

If cash flow is essential for your business it would be nice to get paid right away after a successful transaction. However, payout timing can vary from one to even 30 days, depending on a payment gateway. This can depend on a number of factors such as amount and value of transactions or the length of your ‘relationship’ with the provider. Daily settlements are often the most desirable but may also involve higher fees. Getting paid less frequently can turn out to be more cost-effective.

Tip: Want your customers to pay your invoices faster? Thanks to Payment Links plugin you can generate ‘Pay Now’ links and add them to invoices sent to your customers. User accessing the payment link will be automatically authenticated and will be allowed to make the payment for related invoice. If the customer attempts to visit other sections they will be automatically logged out for security reasons.

  1. Payment processing features

Every business have unique payment processing needs: whether it’s automating recurring billing instead of just one-off payments, ability to issue the refunds or tokenization. There are a few payment processing features worth to consider when choosing the right gateway. To help you with the choice, when browsing payment gateways and HostBill supports you can see which features given gateways offers. Features that we have taken into consideration include:

  • Offsite processing– some payment gateways require redirecting customer to gateway frontend to finish payment. Gateways that do not require it process payment in background – your client would not leave HostBill UI. Onsite processing gateways store credit card securely in HostBill database for later use.
  • Authorization – credit card processing gateways that support authorisation as separate step allow you to authorise payment before capturing it.
  • Capture – credit card processors supporting payment capture only issue authorize and capture command in one step, processing payment in background as customer confirms payment in HostBill UI.
  • Process Payment – process live transaction without staff intervention – customer submits payment and it’s processed by HostBill with Payment Gateway.
  • Refunds – some payment gateway modules support refund functionality – allowing your staff members to refund payment with one mouse click.
  • Tokenization – credit card processing modules that support tokenization store credit card securely at gateway server – all what is stored at HostBill side is oken used later for recurring transactions.
  • Recurring charges – gateway modules supporting recurring charges allow HostBill to automatically charge customer card/payment profile when recurring invoice is issued. For other gateways when invoice is issued customer can log-in into HostBill to submit payment.

You can see the list of all payment gateways supported by HostBill here.

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