Nine Essential Considerations when Selecting a Payment Gateway

Blog Post created by gjsissons on Jul 25, 2017

1. Counting the costs

Whether you’re a merchant or ISV, cost of payment acceptance is always a consideration.  Pricing models can vary with some gateways offering percentage-based fees and others offering interchange plus rate structures. One approach is not necessarily better than the other, but pennies per transaction can add up fast. Check into fee structures carefully, and make sure you thoroughly understand the costs.


2. Authorization success rates

While cost is important, the percentage of successfully authorized transactions can be even more important. If a significant percentage of purchases result in improper declines, you’re basically turning away business. This is an area where not all gateways are created equal.


3. Type of bank account and deposit schedules

For serious merchants, a proper business merchant bank account is recommended. If you’re small, and new to eCommerce however, some gateways allow funds to be deposited into existing bank accounts. Understanding the nature of bank accounts required, their costs, and how quickly funds are available is important for any business.


4. Support for card present applications

When people think about payment gateways, they often think in terms of eCommerce or Mobile payments.  In fact, some gateways handle card present, point of sale solutions as well.  For retailers, in-store sales are often much greater than on-line sales.  To avoid fragmenting volume across providers, and to provide a seamless experience in-store, in-app and over the web, a gateway that supports both in-store and eCommerce transactions may be preferred.


5. Ease of integration

Whether you’re an ISV, are integrating to a gateway yourself, or are relying on a third-party for a pre-built solution, ease of integration is important. If integrations are difficult or require significant ongoing maintenance, costs are passed on to merchant in the form of higher fees. Selecting a well-supported gateway with a good developer experience will pay dividends down the road.


6. Throughput & performance

Merchants often don’t think about performance, but this is another area where mileage can vary. The further a gateway is from a major payment processor, the more network “hops”, and the longer transactions may take.  In the age of mobile apps and “tap to pay” at busy quick-serve establishments, seconds count.  Consumers and merchants want efficiency, and performance can affect the bottom line.


7. Security, encryption and PCI scope

With an abundance of cyber threats, strong security is now table stakes.  Merchants simply demand it because the cost of a breach has become unacceptable. For developers and ISVs however, delivering strong security can come at a cost.  Developers should look for payment gateways with strong security capabilities both online and in-store. These include encryption, tokenization, EMV support, and software approaches that help them reduce PA-DSS scope by avoiding the need to handle cardholder data. If gateways support strong security features, developers can save time and certification costs, and will be able to pass savings on to their merchants.


8. Multi-currency support

For US merchants selling internationally, multi-currency support can be a plus. While merchants can always accept international cards, and settle payments in US dollars, foreign consumers often prefer to shop in their own currency rather than be surprised by sometimes excessive exchange rates.  While not essential for international sales, multi-currency support can help online merchants improve conversions and boost revenue.


9. Breadth of processors and payment methods supported

There are many types of payment gateways. Some have affinities to particular banks, and others to specific methods of payment.  Merchants and developers should look for a gateway that supports the broadest range of payment methods including in-store payments and various mobile wallets. If a gateway can support multiple payment processors as well, this is a bonus because it provides added flexibility for merchants.


To Learn more about payment gateways and how they can impact your business, download our free whitepaper, Is Your Payment Gateway Right for your Business?