EDITOR’S PICK Five best payment gateways

No primary category set

Taking payments is the backbone of any online store – if you can’t get the money in, then you can’t run a business. While we are outlining this week how payments work, how to set up payments and how to do overseas payments, it is worth outlining the five payment gateways we think are the best.

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So in no particular order…

Developed to handle payments for its then-owner eBay, PayPal is now a standalone, fully fledged payments gateway. It can handle payments through PayPal, naturally, but also can take payments from debit and credit cards. And you don’t have to have PayPal account to use it.

It is simple to integrate, well known and trusted by consumers and, unlike most other gateways (and despite all the advice we have given you) doesn’t actually need a merchant account.

Cost vary on a sliding scale.


Everyone knows Amazon and it has been a pioneer in making online payments on its own site really simple. Now you too can use it on your site with Checkout by Amazon. Like PayPal it doesn’t need a merchant account and is simple to embed a trusted and recognized Amazon Buy button on your site.

Prices begin from 3.4% + 20p per transaction for accounts that receive less than £1,500 per month and drop down to 1.4% + 20p per transaction for those receiving over £55,000 per month.

Sagepay is the biggest payment gateway in Europe and is one of the best known and well trusted gateways out there. It comes with free support and is easily integrated into e-commerce systems.

However, it is aimed at reasonably high volume users, priced at 1,000 transactions per quarter for £25 a month, with any extra transactions costing an extra 10p each.

Developed by PayPal, Braintree is interesting as it has been developed specifically for the online and mobile commerce world of the 2010s. It offers a range of options tailored to what kind of etailer you are (direct to consumer, using marketplaces, shopping cart provider etc) and easily integrates into app or website (or both!).

And as of this month, Braintree Direct merchants in countries where Braintree currently supports Android Pay can now allow their customers to make purchases with Pay with Google.

It handles credit and debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay and even Bitcoin and prices start at 2.9% + $.30 per transaction after your first $50,0000 in card processing. See here for more details.

WorldPay has the honour of being the first payment gateway on the web, starting back in 1994. The company brings recognition, security and trust with it, but like Sagepay is aimed more at the higher end of the market, levelling a 2.75% transaction fee for credit cards and 39p for debit cards.

It needs a merchant account and is easy to add to most mainstream webhosted e-commerce sites. It has great support.


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