Top 8 Payment Gateway Providers & Services in 2024 by Airwallex image

Top 8 Payment Gateway Providers & Services in 2024 by Airwallex

Payment gateways help businesses accept money from customers who pay using a credit card or another method of electronic payment.

Blog
Posted byAirwallex
onWednesday, 8 May 2024

What is a payment gateway provider or service?

Payment gateways help businesses accept money from customers who pay using a credit card or another method of electronic payment.

Although the term is mostly used to describe eCommerce payments like accepting payment for a pair of headphones online (i.e. online checkouts), payment gateways can also facilitate in-person purchases or Point of Sale (PoS).

Payment gateway providers sell software applications (these are the payment gateway) that encrypt sensitive financial information passing between the customer and the payment processor. This means details like credit card details are securely transmitted during payment.

No matter the size of your business, you’ll need a reliable, secure, efficient payment gateway to get paid. The payment gateway market has exploded in recent years as society becomes increasingly cashless – it’s expected to grow by a whopping $5.54 billion in 2024 alone.

Payment gateway providers typically offer the following features:

  • Encryption and security

  • Payment processing

  • Fraud detection and prevention

  • Integration capabilities

  • Reporting and analytics

As a business owner, having an efficient, reliable payment gateway provider helps you create a seamless, secure checkout experience by offering multiple payment methods and currencies, reduced fraud risk and by having access to valuable customer behaviour data. 

With so many options available, it can be hard to know which payment gateway software is best for your business. In this article, we’re going to explore 8 of the top payment gateway providers to help you decide.

Top payment gateway software providers in 2024

  1. PayPal for simplicity

  2. Shopify for eCommerce

  3. Adyen for flexible payments

  4. Braintree for mobile integration

  5. Airwallex for global companies

  6. Revolut for tech savvy startups

  7. Worldpay for enterprises

  8. GoCardless for subscription model

Top features to look for in a payment gateway software provider 

  • Processing location: some gateways process transactions on your website, while others redirect customers to a new page to pay. For the smoothest checkout experience, look for a gateway with onsite transactions.

  • Security: your gateway should be PCI DSS compliant and use the latest end-to-end encryption technology and fraud prevention tools to protect your data.

  • Integrations: your provider should integrate easily (no code required) with your other business systems like your accounting software or eCommerce platform.

  • Cost: pricing varies between payment gateway companies. Make sure you understand all fees upfront, from free trials to chargebacks and international transactions.

  • Reporting: look for software that offers insights into transaction data and customer behaviour – these can help you optimise your sales strategy and forecasts.

Top providers of payment processing software and services

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How does a payment gateway provider work?

Payment gateway providers are an essential part of the payment process. They make sure your customers’ money gets safely from their credit, debit card or digital wallet to your bank.

How? The payment gateway software they sell facilitates secure and efficient electronic transactions of financial information through encryption. It manages the flow of protected information to the entities responsible for authorising payment. If successful, funds then move from customer to merchant.

Here’s a breakdown of how payment gateway systems typically process an online transaction. Steps 1 to 7 usually occur in seconds.

  1. Order placement: the journey begins when a customer decides to make a purchase and clicks ‘buy’ on a merchant's website

  2. Onsite/offsite transaction: depending on the merchant’s gateway, the transaction is either processed directly on their website (onsite), or the customer is redirected to the payment gateway’s platform to complete the payment (offsite). The latter is usually less desirable as it detracts from the brand experience and can affect conversion

  3. Encryption of information: the customer's payment details are encrypted to protect the data during its journey across the internet

  4. Transmission to the acquiring bank: the encrypted information is sent to the merchant's bank, also known as the acquiring bank or the acquirer. The acquiring bank forwards the transaction details to the card network or issuing bank for verification

  5. Authorisation request: after receiving the transaction details, the issuing bank conducts several checks to verify the validity of the card and make sure sufficient funds are available

  6. Approval or decline: the issuing bank approves or declines the transaction based on these checks, sending the decision back through the payment gateway

  7. Finalising the sale: with approval received, the merchant finalises the sale. The payment gateway communicates a confirmation to both the merchant and the customer

  8. Settlement of funds: funds are transferred from the customer's bank to the merchant's account. Depending on the size of the transaction and payment gateway solution, this can be instant or take a few days

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Payment gateways are essential for modern businesses to accept payments from customers.

Beyond providing secure online transactions, modern payment gateway service providers are becoming increasing comprehensive and are evolving into more holistic payment providers and consolidating the payment processing chain.

Many payment services play more than one role in the payment process

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Popular payment gateways offer additional features to help you with your business like customer support, invoicing capabilities, integrations with accounting and eCommerce software, global payments and detailed analytics. These can help you run your business more efficiently and grow your bottom line.

What’s the difference between a payment gateway and a payment service provider?

Although these two terms are often confused, payment gateways and payment service providers have traditionally served different functions within the digital payment ecosystem. Recently, some payment gateways have started to offer additional features more akin to payment service providers.

Both are important in the online payment landscape and it’s important to understand the difference when you’re choosing the right financial partner for your business. 

payment gateway is a piece of digital infrastructure that acts as a conduit through which payment information passes securely from the customer to your merchant bank. By encrypting sensitive data and transmitting payment information through payment networks to authorise and process a transaction, payment gateways make sure money moves safely from buyer to seller. 

While gateways may offer functionalities like integration with eCommerce platforms, analytics and currency conversions, their primary function is to facilitate the authorisation of transactions by securely handling sensitive payment information.

payment service provider offers a broader range of payment services. These companies sell financial software that not only acts as a payment gateway, but also offers solutions like merchant accounts, automated bill payments, detailed financial reporting capabilities, expense management, company cards, currency conversions and integration with various business systems.

Payment service providers like Airwallex are essentially one-stop shops for all your payment processing needs. They are designed to help businesses with broader financial management and streamlining operations by consolidating multiple services under one umbrella.  

Another term you may hear is payment processor which, though there are technical differences, is now often used interchangeably with payment service provider and payment gateway.

If you’re choosing between a payment gateway provider and payment processor, it’s worth considering: 

  • The kind of transactions you process

  • Your integration requirements

  • The payment methods and currencies you want to offer

  • Costs and fees

  • Security and compliance

  • Scalability

  • Support and reliability

  • Additional features to consolidate providers

  • Checkout experience

 If you’re looking for a straightforward solution to accept payments online that you can integrate into your existing financial structure, a payment gateway may be all you need. 

But if you’re planning to grow, or you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution and you don’t want to manage multiple financial platforms, a payment service provider offering an end-to-end solution may suit you better.

What questions to ask when onboarding a payment gateway company?

Onboarding a payment gateway company is like choosing a financial partner to handle all money transactions for you. It’s important to find the right payment gateway solution for you – getting it wrong could impact everything from your cash flow to your customers’ trust.

Here’s a straightforward guide of the key questions you should get the answers to before handing over your card details.

Remember, you’re looking for a payment gateway software that will make your transactions smooth and secure, keep your customers happy and encourage them to come back.

  • What are your security measures and compliance certifications?

Check they meet industry standards like PCI DSS and ask about what protection protocols and fraud prevention measures they use to protect customer data.

  • Can you support all the payment methods my customers use?

Find out if they handle the popular payment methods among your customer base, like credit cards or Apple Pay.

  • What currencies and countries do you support?

Ask if they can handle multiple currencies, international payment methods and what the currency conversion fees are. This is particularly important if you operate globally or plan to expand.

  • What are the fees involved?

Ask your potential new provider about all possible fees, including transaction fees, monthly fees, setup fees and foreign transaction fees. Avoiding hidden and additional costs can help you budget more effectively.

  • How does your integration process work with my current setup?

You want to pick a payment gateway provider that easily integrates with your website and shopping cart software, ensuring a smooth customer experience. Account software integration can also save you wasted admin hours.

  • What is the transaction success rate?

Look out for providers with a high success rate – this should mean fewer lost sales due to failed transactions.

  • How do you handle failed transactions or chargebacks?

Ask what the process is for disputes and what support is available; this is crucial for you to provide good customer service.

  • What kind of customer support do you offer?

If having reliable, efficient customer support is important to you, look for 24/7 customer support with real people at the end of the phone or email, not just automated responses.

  • Can your system scale with my business growth?

If you’re scaling, you’ll want a provider that can support your growth. It’s time consuming and frustrating to have to switch services or renegotiate contracts every year.

  • What additional features or services do you provide?

Some gateways offer extra services like fraud protection, analytics, or management tools that could be valuable for your business. Ask what’s available and decide whether it suits your needs.

Why choose Airwallex as a payment gateway solution?

Airwallex is more than a payment gateway; it helps thousands of businesses simplify their financial operations and grow without limits.

Our platform provides an end-to-end payment solution allowing you to collect, hold, manage and spend on the same platform.

As a payment gateway provider, payment processor and acquirer we stand out for global reach, competitive pricing, advanced security, seamless integration with tools like Shopify and WooCommerce and detailed reporting analytics.

If you’re looking for a trusted, lightning-fast way to accept payments online, with Airwallex you can: 

  • Securely accept local and global payments from customers (no coding required)

  • Choose from 160+ payment methods

  • Protect yourself against fraud

  • Integrate with eCommerce platforms in minutes

  • Save on costly domestic and foreign processing fees

  • Eliminate unnecessary FX conversion fees

  • Boost checkout conversion rates

  • Streamline your end-to-end cash management

  • Manage your finances with one easy-to-use dashboard.

 Plus, Airwallex offers a range of additional features that help boost your bottom line. You can get more control over your expenses, move money across borders cost-efficiently, automate bill paying, issue multi-currency employee cards and get real-time visibility over your cash flow with our market-leading technology.

Our payment solutions include an all-in-one Business Account with seamless integrations, powerful and flexible APIs to programmatically manage your money, and technology to build your own global financial products.

FAQs about payment gateway providers 

What is a payment gateway software?

A tool that facilitates safe and secure online transactions. It encrypts and transmits payment data from a customer to a merchant and their associated bank. 

What important factors to choose when selecting a payment gateway solution?

It’s worth considering security credentials, supported payment methods, fees, currency support, integration with your business systems, transaction success rates, scalability and the quality of customer support available. 

How much does it cost to onboard a payment gateway solution?

Pricing varies widely between providers. Factors like setup fees, monthly subscription charges, transaction and currency conversion fees will impact cost. 

How safe are payment gateway services?

Most payment gateway services are safe. The best use advanced end-to-end encryption tools and are compliant with security standards like PCI DSS to prevent unauthorised access or fraud. 

Sources & references

2 https://www.adyen.com/en_GB/pricing

3 https://www.braintreepayments.com/gb/braintree-pricing

4 https://wise.com/gb/blog/braintree-vs-stripe-uk

5https://gocardless.com/blog/how-much-do-international-payments-really-cost

6 https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees

7 https://www.revolut.com/business/business-account-plans/

8 https://www.shopify.com/uk/pricing

Disclaimer:  We wrote this article in Q1 2024. The information was based on our own online research and we were not able to manually test each tool or provider. The information is provided for educational purposes only and a reader should consider the specific requirements of their business when evaluating providers. If you would like to request an update, feel free to contact us at hello@airwallex.com.

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