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Understanding Payment Gateways and How They Benefit Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, accepting online credit card payments can greatly improve your revenue and customer experience. A payment gateway is an essential tool that enables businesses to securely process credit card payments online or over the phone. Learn more about payment gateways, how they work, and how they can benefit your business.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is a secure online service that processes credit card payments for e-commerce websites and offline retail stores. It ensures that the customer’s card information is encrypted and securely transmitted to the card issuer for authorization. Payments can be accepted online through your website, or by phone using a virtual terminal.
Top 20 Payment Gateway Providers
There are numerous payment gateway providers available to choose from, each with their unique features and offerings. Here are 20 of the top payment gateway providers that can help you accept online payments with ease:
- PayPal Website Payments Pro provides a payment processing solution to businesses. It is built on Paypal’s technology. In addition to providing online payment solutions businesses can also accept payments by phone, fax, or mail using the Virtual Terminal.
- Amazon Payments is perfect for small to medium businesses that need payment checkout solutions on their website.
- Adyen has built an online payment platform targeted at fast-growing businesses that need to accept online payments.
- Skrill offers secure online payment solutions that enable businesses to offer a wide range of payment options. You can accept payments online via card, instant bank transfer or other popular payment options all via a single integration.
- PayU allows you to integrate their payment gateway onto most web platforms to enable online payments. They have plug-and-play eCommerce solutions to optimise the payment process for your customers.
- 2CheckOut platform is built all around to help businesses to grow. Whether you operate in your domestic market or internationally 2Checkout will help your business succeed.
- Payza is a payment gateway aiming to close the gap between the main digital payment options. They operate globally and are helping businesses everywhere accept payments online.
- SecurionPay aim to provide your customers with a simple, safer, and better way to conduct online payments. As a global online payment provider, they serve businesses of all sizes.
- BlueSnap provides an all-in-one payment solution that aims to increase business sales whilst reducing costs. Solutions include online & mobile checkout, and a virtual terminal to enable you to accept payments via phone, fax, or email.
- BitPay allows businesses to accept crypto payments anywhere. Currencies include Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and many more.
- Sagepay offers merchants a number of features on its payment gateway such as real-time reporting, multiple currencies, and fraud protection
- Braintree can help you get more customers while driving more conversions from accepting payments on multiple platforms such as Paypal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay as well as credit and debit cards.
- Cardinal Commerce is a global leader in authenticating digital transactions and operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa.
- EPX acts as an acquirer, processor, and backend service provider. They provide a secure, fully integrated international payment platform.
- PaySimple offers flexible, secure, simple payment solutions. Their mission is to make payments easier for businesses.
- Zoho Checkout offers cloud-based solutions for collecting both one-off and recurring online payments.
- PayKings Simple & Intuitive Online Payment Gateway for business
Virtual Terminal Credit Card Machine
A virtual terminal credit card machine allows businesses to accept card-not-present transactions over the phone, fax, or email. It is a secure, web-based system that simplifies payment processing for businesses of all sizes.
Who Can Use a Virtual Terminal Credit Card Machine?
Any business or individual looking to receive payments for goods or services can benefit from a virtual terminal credit card machine. Examples include processing credit card payments for phone or mail orders, collecting donations for charities, and handling recurring bills for customers.
What Can You Do with a Virtual Terminal Credit Card Machine?
With a virtual terminal credit card machine, you can process transactions, issue refunds, set up recurring billing, monitor transaction statuses, and review previous transactions. This versatile tool can greatly enhance the payment processing capabilities of your small business.
Services Included with a Virtual Terminal Credit Card Machine
Though features and costs may vary between providers, some standard services you can expect from a virtual terminal credit card machine include:
- Acceptance of major credit cards, debit cards, and personal checks
- One-stop platform for all your services and payment processing
- Selection of equipment and software tailored to your needs
- Competitive transaction charges and fees
- 24/7 customer support
Setting Up a Merchant Account and Payment Gateway
To accept online payments, you need to set up a merchant account with a payment gateway. A merchant account is a specialized business bank account that allows you to accept card payments. It receives funds from successful transactions and holds them until they are released into your regular business account.
How Does an Online Payment Gateway Work?
There are several steps involved when processing an online payment through a payment gateway:
- The customer inputs their credit or debit card details on your website or provides them over the phone.
- The payment gateway securely encrypts and transmits the card information to the card issuer for authorization.
- The card issuer approves or declines the transaction, and the payment gateway sends this information back to your website or virtual terminal.
- If the payment is successful, the funds are settled and transferred to your merchant account.
- The funds are then released from your merchant account into your regular business bank account.
Choosing the Right Payment Gateway for Your Small Business
As a small business owner, it’s essential to choose a payment gateway that best suits your needs and provides a seamless experience for your customers. When selecting a payment gateway, consider the following factors:
- Transaction fees and costs: Compare the fees and costs associated with various payment gateway providers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your business.
- Integration: Make sure the payment gateway is compatible with your website platform and other software you use for your business.
- Security: Opt for a payment gateway that employs robust security measures to protect your customers’ sensitive information.
- Customer support: Look for a provider that offers 24/7 customer support to assist you with any issues or questions that may arise.
- Payment options: Choose a gateway that supports a wide range of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and popular digital wallets.
- International transactions: If your business serves customers worldwide, select a payment gateway that can process transactions in multiple currencies and languages.
Payment gateways are an essential tool for small businesses, allowing you to securely process online credit card payments and expand your customer base. With a variety of providers and options available, it’s crucial to choose the one that best fits your business’s unique needs. By understanding the features, benefits, and workings of a payment gateway, you can make an informed decision and ultimately increase your revenue and enhance your customers’ experience.
If you’re a small business owner in the UK looking to accept card payments, we can help you find the best solution tailored to your needs. Get a free comparison quote through our quote form and start accepting payments today!