Which payment gateway should you choose?

Want to set up an ecommerce website, but don’t know where to start? Our handy guide to choosing between payment gateways can help.

Setting up an ecommerce website is easier than ever, with WooCommerce, Magento and VirtueMart, among others, offering an intuitive way for virtual shop owners to set up and offer their products to a worldwide audience. However, making a website that has ecommerce functionality is only one part of the solution. The other is connecting it to a system that will let customers give you money for your goods or services. These are called payment processing services.

eWAY and PayPal are two of the most well-known services in this industry, but handle things slightly differently with their own set of pros and cons. They are household names (at least, on the Internet) and chances are you’ve used them already at least once if you’ve ever shopped online. So, how do they work?

Two methods of payment

PayPal is what’s known as a payment processor. They act as a financial middle-man, taking money from the customer before transferring it over to the business. eWAY, on the other hand, is a complete payment gateway, funnelling funds directly from the customer to the business through its servers. If that makes no difference to you, then don’t worry – at the end of the day, they’re both socially accepted ways of making transactions on the web.

They do, however, present the end user with a slightly different customer experience. PayPal takes the user away from your website to their own secure payment page, where credit or debit card information is entered and processed before returning the user back to where they started. You have the option to slightly customise this part of the PayPal website, however. As eWAY is handled entirely on your business’s website, the entire transaction is handled on the website and is completely transparent to the end user.

Ease of choice

For many, the choice of which service to use will come down to either cost or usability. The costs vary considerably on each platform depending on your company size, the types of transactions you plan on carrying out and the pricing of the items being offered. Usability is about how easy it is for an experienced ecommerce website development team to implement as part of the ecommerce program.

PayPal is by far the easiest of the bunch. Many ecommerce systems have PayPal integration already built in, and even if not, adding it is a relatively straightforward process that any web-savvy person can work through in a matter of hours. All you need is a PayPal business account and the patience to work through some relatively simple instructions before getting some HTML code you can copy and paste into a website page.

eWAY is more complex and requires more to be set up on your website beforehand. To be approved to handle eWAY transactions, your website must have an SSL certificate installed and be on a web hosting platform that meets Visa and MasterCard’s security requirements. This is known as meeting the PCI DSS rules, which many websites hosting providers do as standard.

Newcomers to the market

There’re also newcomers to the market like Square and Stripe that are also offering their systems for use. Square have made their mark on the industry by offering small business owners an easy to use the device to take credit or debit card payments in person without expensive dedicated EFTPOS machines, in return for a small (around 2%) fee on each transaction. Square’s software can also be implemented in online shopping sites.

Stripe is a bit more technically complex than the other options presented here but it also offers extensive customisability and integration with other platforms besides websites, such as popular messaging system Slack and mobile applications.

At iFactory, we’ve been developing ecommerce sites with every type of payment gateway service imaginable for many years. We’ve designed small business sites to sell a few items all the way to complex multi-national merchants handling thousands of sales a day. Talk to iFactory to find out how we can help you build your perfect ecommerce website.

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