Payment Gateway Comparison Guide for Different Businesses
We addressed payment gateway comparison factors in our first articles on Paylosophy. All companies that want to accept electronic payments should be able to compare payment gateway options with each other. Choosing the best payment gateway for e-commerce or brick-and-mortar business might be a challenging task.
A small-sized merchant might just choose between several large providers, such as “Square vs Stripe”. However, payment facilitators, online payment platforms, and software-as-service companies might face tougher choices.
In this article we are going to briefly outline several payment gateways that might be suitable for SaaS platforms. We will also provide a brief update on the most important payment gateway selection criteria.
In fact, we will start with outlining these payment gateway comparison criteria and uniting them into groups. Then we are going to analyze several payment gateway options based on the selected factors. To summarize, we will offer brief gateway selection recommendations for different kinds of businesses.
Payment Gateway Comparison Factors
While comparing payment gateway solutions, a business has to consider several factors. These include reliable support, availability of API, card-present payment solution, smooth merchant onboarding mechanism and others. As we wrote in our respective series, the company should also pay attention at payment gateway prices, costs, and fees. Other important features include ease of subscription and integration, supported currencies, geographies, and target functionality. Payment methods and types, supported by the gateway solution also play a significant role. If a business ignores any of these important criteria, it incurs additional costs, losing time and effort on customizations/adjustments.
Multi-criteria payment gateway comparison allows a company to make selection process more structured. Analysis shows that some gateways are more suitable for small-sized startup merchants. These merchants usually have more or less standard needs and do not process large volumes. Other gateway solutions work better for PayFacs and SaaS platforms. These businesses’ needs are more sophisticated, so they are looking for greater levels of flexibility and control.
Let us see how the multi-criteria payment gateway comparison mechanism can help a company select the most suitable solution.
Gateway solution options
In this article we suggest focusing on five specific gateway solutions. These particular solutions cover the needs of various types of businesses. They include startup merchants and established large-size companies, individual vendors and payment or SaaS platforms, crypto businesses and omni-channel marketplaces.
PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net are examples of giants, known to everyone within the industry. They have been around for quite a time. Zift is a provider, that focuses on flexibility in order to be able to service SaaS companies and software platforms. CoinsPaid is an example of a rapidly evolving cryptocurrency-centered payment gateway, constantly adding new features to its offering.
Again, each of these (or similar) solutions works better for certain categories of businesses.
How to evaluate a payment gateway
First, a payment gateway should support the key payment methods. These should include conventional credit and debit cards, digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, ACH payments, and cryptocurrencies (not mentioned in our early mini-series). Besides that, support of various international and local payment methods significantly diversifies the gateway’s potential customer base.
Second, a gateway should support advanced technical features. These features might include SoftPOS and mobile payment logic, card-present solutions, and inbuilt TMS. Card-present solutions, in their turn, call for smooth logistic. So, it is important for the provider to take care of payment terminal fulfillment and remote key loading (RKL) mechanisms.
Finally, as we wrote in previous articles, beside technical aspects, each gateway solution involves business ones. One of the most important business aspects is efficient support service (offered to conventional customers and not just VIPs). Other aspects deal with smooth merchant onboarding, and availability of white-label and open-source solution versions.
Every gateway solution provider deals with each of the listed features in a unique way.
Payment gateway comparison results and recommendations
Having analyzed the selected gateway solutions according to the listed criteria, we can provide recommendations for different types of businesses.
- Small-size merchants with basic processing needs, that do not want to invest into development effort, might opt for PayPal.
- Stripe is a plausible solution for several categories of businesses. These range from SMEs to large companies (including marketplace owners and international merchants). When necessary, the latter have an opportunity to invest into development and customization efforts.
- If you already have a merchant account, you might choose Authorize.net. This solution also provides great potential for customization. Non-profit organizations that need to accept funds from donors might also choose Authorize.net.
- CoinsPaid is a good option for a cryptocurrency-oriented merchant. Although it is a crypto payment gateway, it supports multiple fiat currencies and has an inbuilt exchange. It is also available as a white-label offering.
- Zift (powered by a white label payment management platform UniPay Gateway) is the best option for SaaS platforms and payment facilitators. These companies’ major needs include smooth merchant onboarding, servicing, and monitoring. They also frequently need to introduce customizations and adjustments into the solution. UniPay Gateway payment technology is available in both hosted white label and open-source versions. So, companies that need more control over the process might opt for Zift.
More detailed description of gateway selection criteria, as well as pros and cons of each gateway solution is available in our comprehensive payment gateway comparison guidelines.