How to choose and integrate a payment gateway into a website and/or a mobile app?

Whether you own a small business or a huge eCommerce platform, you need to accept and process electronic payments. That could be implemented in a smooth and secure way with the help of a payment gateway. 

While choosing a payment solution, you should understand that it should be a perfect fit both for your business and your customers. So the payment process should be secure, convenient, easy and quick, allow to include various payment methods and work perfectly with your platform or mobile app. The choice of wrong payment gateway will lead to errors in the system and losing your clients, so let’s figure out how to do it right.

 

What is a payment gateway and how does it work?

 

A payment gateway is a service that authorizes and processes payments made by debit/credit cards. All the transaction data is encrypted and secured by its protocols which ensures a safe purchasing process between merchants and customers. Payment gateways can implement various transaction types: authorization, capture, sale, refund, void.

While for the customer the payment process is just filling out a checkout form, there are actually several institutions and tools completing the payment in a few seconds behind this. Let’s look at the picture to understand the sequence and purpose of the payment gateway better.

 

 

What criteria determine the choice of a payment gateway?

 

After figuring out what a payment gateway is and how it works, you may wonder how they differ and how to choose the right one for your business. So here are the criteria you need to take into account:

  1. Geography. No one knows your market and distribution area better than you. That’s why you should check availability in countries your product is purchased in. Don’t forget about expansion and growth possibilities too.

  2. Supported platforms. Some payment gateways can be integrated either in mobile apps or websites, but most can be used in both. Carefully choose the one that is the most compatible with your platform.

  3. Method of integration. This criterion defines how secure, fast and customizable a payment gateway is and includes the following types:

  • hosted gateway (processes are implemented by the vendor, so is data stored; there is a lack of control and safety, lower conversion rate as customers leave your website; however, can be a good fit for a small business);

  • Direct Post (the system is integrated into your platform by the vendor via API, but you don’t have to store data on your server; you get customization and all data is posted to the payment gateway; the method is not considered completely secure)

  • non-hosted gateway (you get full control and customization; customers don’t get out of your platform, so you store all data; this requires a PCI DSS compliance and developers to help with integration implementation via API).

  1. Pricing. Every payment gateway charges fees as it uses third-party tools for payment processing and authorization. So it may include a setup fee, a monthly fee, fee per transaction, international transaction fee, etc. Choose the one that is affordable for your business and be sure to study documentation to avoid hidden fees.

  2. Supported payment methods and currencies. Make sure the gateway you choose supports all the popular (particularly, in your industry and country) payment methods: credit/debit cards (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress) and e-wallets (e.g., ApplePay, Alipay, WeChat Pay). If your platform is international, you will also need multi-currency support. Some gateways support more than 100 currencies and even deal with cryptocurrencies. 

  3. Documentation and support service. This is the most important aspect for your development team. If you want them to integrate a gateway quickly and make it work perfectly with your platform, choose the one with the clearest well-documented integration guides and constant support. You don’t want your payment system to be full of errors because of incorrect documentation or wait for the approval from a support service for a week, right?

  4. Product type permission. Some payment solution providers allow either physical or digital products. So better double check that your provider works with your type of product before starting to work with it.  

If you didn’t get all the details and need help with making the right choice or integration, Fingers Media team is always here for you to share our expertise and find the best solution for your business.

 

Our experience: Stripe, Hipay, Ixopay

 

So that you have a clearer understanding of payment gateways features and how they may vary, we will tell you in short about the ones we’ve used the most on our European projects: Stripe, Hipay, Ixopay.

 

Stripe

  1. Availability in countries: 30+ countries (mostly Europe, North America).

  2. Supported platforms: web, iOS, Android

  3. Payment methods: all major credit and debit cards, e-wallets, bank debits and transfers, etc.

  4. Currencies: 135+ currencies, Bitcoin.

  5. Pricing: no set up or monthly fees, transaction fee is 2,9% + $0,30 per transaction. There are customized solutions for large businesses.

  6. Competitive advantage: clear documentation (which allows developers to integrate it quickly - usually takes one day for our team), no unexpected trouble, great support service and easy customization for any type of platform.

  7. Additional solutions: Atlas (platform for helping to launch a startup), Connect (platform with tools for creating a marketplace and paying out sellers and providers), Radar (fraud & risk management), Sigma (custom reports on your business), Climate (contribution to carbon removal technologies).

 

HiPay

  1. Availability in countries: Europe, North America

  2. Supported platforms: web, iOS, Android

  3. Payment methods: 220+ payment methods - all major credit and debit cards, e-wallets, bank debits and transfers, etc.

  4. Currencies: 150+ currencies.

  5. Pricing: no set up or monthly fees, transaction fees depend on monthly volume + Fixed cost : +0.25€ per transaction, iDEAL: +0.79€ per transaction

  6. Competitive advantage: fraud protection (3D secure system), vast variety of currencies and payment methods.

  7. Flaws: integration documentation is described by our developers as not very clear.

  8. Additional solutions: data analytics with useful insights, real-time reporting, automated financial reconciliation, special plans (Professional, Enterprise, Marketplace).

 

Ixopay

  1. Availability in countries: anywhere you can handle payments

  2. Supported platforms: web, iOS, Android

  3. Payment methods: 200+ major payment methods

  4. Currencies: all currencies supported by your adapter in use

  5. Pricing: Setup fee, pricing is transaction-based on tier-levels

  6. Competitive advantage: the platform is a payment orchestrator which means a huge variety of features, offers White Label platform

  7. Flaws: delays in the gateway's scheduler

  8. Additional solutions: uses one API to connect you with the adapter, payment service provider (PSP), acquirer, processor, Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP), Business Intelligence (BI) or other 3rd-party software you need. Also offers SMart Routing Engine, Risk Management Engine and Reconciliation & Settlement Handling.

 

Final words

The volume of online payments (especially mobile ones) is increasing every year, which means payment solution integration is expected from every business for customer convenience and easier conversion.

Choosing a payment solution for your business, be sure to 

  • choose the one with the best ratio of quality and cost, 

  • take into account the peculiarities of your industry and country as well as popular payment methods and currencies used,

  • carefully study pricing and integration documentation to avoid unexpected trouble,

  • consider additional solutions platforms offer, they might be extremely useful for you business’s automation and stronger security.

If you have more questions, need the help of developers for the integration process or just have an idea for an amazing product, contact Fingers Media team and we’ll do our best for you!