Without a payment gateway, online retailers or e-commerce sites would not be viable. A payment gateway is the online equivalent to a point-of-sale card terminal as it allows retailers to take payment via debit and credit cards in a safe manner. Providers of this type of service ensure that all data is securely encrypted as it passes through cyberspace between customers, retailers and the financial institutions involved.
Global payment gateways are those that can handle transactions in multiple countries and multiple currencies. Most of the payment gateways today are considered global, although there are still those that only work in one country. Localized gateways have their uses for smaller businesses, but for most online retailers, a global payment gateway is very much a necessity.
Merchant accounts are special bank accounts that allow a retailer or business to receive credit and debit card payments. These accounts are usually quite costly to set up, incur monthly fees and can be quite difficult to qualify for. A payment gateway generally act as a merchant account, eliminating the need for a business to get their own. Typically, this is a much less costly option for the business.
In the past decade, hundreds of these payment gateways have sprung up, although they haven’t all withstood the test of time. Below is an overview of several of the most popular global payment gateways for online retailers and e-commerce sites.
PayPal is the leading global payment gateway in the world. They opened the industry up to the smaller retailers and e-commerce sites by enabling payments to be made to and from users with only an email. In 2014, PayPal’s payment transactions totaled $228 billion dollars.
PayPal is the closest service to a truly global payment gateway as they are available in some form in 203 markets today. Transactions can be made in over 100 currencies at this time ñ more than any other gateway to date.
The advent of PayPal in 1998 has really opened up the online retail industry to everyone as there are no setup or monthly fees to use this service. PayPal works with a strictly transactional fee basis of 30 cents plus up to 2.9% of the total. The percentage varies from 1.9% up to 2.9% depending on the volume of the retailer.
Beginning in 1996, Authorize.Net was one of the pioneers in the global payment gateway industry. At one time, Authorize.Net was the most widely used gateway for online businesses, with close to 400,000 merchants using their services. Many website platforms were designed specifically to work with Authorize.Net, as a matter of fact, such as Magento and X-Cart.
Authorize.Net is still used extensively, but more by big business and corporate websites than by small business and online-only retailers. Part of the reason for this is likely the fees. With the average signup fee of $99, monthly gateway fees and batch fees, along with the transaction fees, Authorize.Net tends to be more expensive than other, newer options.
Authorize.Net is a global gateway in that it supports almost 200 countries for payments, but only US citizens are able to use it on their sites. That is another reason that services such as PayPal have overtaken Authorize.Net in the global payment gateway field.
Google Wallet (formerly Google Checkout) is another alternative, mainly developed as a mobile payment system. Fees are the same as PayPal for transactions up to $3,000 and also are adjusted by volume. Google plans to issue a physical card attached to user accounts, similar to PayPal’s debit card, so users will be able to use their funds at regular brick and mortar locations.
Although Google Wallet can be billed as a global payment gateway, it’s really only global for those wishing to purchase Google services. For receiving payments and using the actual mobile app, Google Wallet is limited to the United States.
The absence of almost all fees usually associated with such services makes this an attractive option for small businesses, particularly localized service companies. The only fee would be to add money to your wallet via a debit card. Google has just added FDIC insurance to cover Google Wallet balances which is an added benefit that is unavailable through other processors.
Rather a latecomer to the global payment gateway world, Amazon Payments is still a viable choice for many. There are two products offered for business: Amazon Simple Pay or Checkout by Amazon. 28 countries are currently supported by Amazon Payments.
The main benefit to using Amazon Payments is the name recognition factor. Amazon is so widespread that almost everybody already has an Amazon account. Since the company already has users information, there isn’t any inherent hesitation on using them for payments to third parties.
Fees are fairly similar to PayPal’s fees and there are no setup or monthly fees associated with their services. Where Amazon excels over many gateways is their API which can be used to build the service into a custom platform easier than many other gateways.
2Checkout has been around since 2000 and is one of the most global of the payment gateway solutions. Over 200 countries are supported with 2Checkout, using 8 different payment methods and 26 different currencies.
While there is no setup fee with 2Checkout, it does have a monthly fee and the transaction fees are higher than most other options at .45 plus 5.5%, with no discounts for volume. One advantage to 2Checkout is that PayPal payments can be processed through them as well as credit and debit cards.
Many think Payza is a newcomer to the global payment gateway field, but it’s actually the new incarnation of an earlier gateway known as AlertPay. The service deals with 22 currencies from almost 200 countries so it is definitely a contender in global payments.
Fees for receiving payments are .25 plus 2.5% for most transactions. There are also nominal fees associated with withdrawing funds which depend on the method used. They are one of the only processors that work with Bitcoin, although that virtual currency is really not used extensively.
Hi, Charles Scoville here again, and I wanted to insert something about Payza. Although Payza was formerly known as Alertpay, they did contract out with another company for their credit card processing known as OboPay – this is the company that had solvency problems to name a few. You’ll notcie there’s information scattered around the web regarding Charles Scoville, Payza, Traffic Monsoon, AdHitProfits, etc. If you’re looking for the in-depth story of what actually happened within this payment gateway, I recommend you take a look at Charles Scoville Ad Hit Profits.