Payment processing is no doubt one of the most essential parts of any business that generates revenue. In this article, we’ll help you understand the process in choosing the best merchant service partner that offers the best payment gateway for your business.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is a technology solution that allows businesses to accept online payments from their customers. It acts as a bridge between the customer’s payment information and the merchant’s bank account, securely processing the payment and transferring the funds to the merchant.
Why Choosing the Right Payment Gateway is Important
Firstly, choosing the right payment gateway is important because it can save you a lot of money in the long run, simply by working with a payment gateway provider that offers low fees with good support and lightning fast fund releases.
Secondly, it’s important to find the right one for your business. Knowing a company who knows your industry is oftentimes very important as it can help you quickly work against common issues such as chargebacks or fraudulent transactions.
In summary, it’s really important to choose the right payment gateway so you don’t end up with a bad one (yes, it’s pretty self explanatory, but just know that there are GOOD and BAD payment gateways out there.)
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway
When you’re on the hunt for the best payment gateway for your business there are a few variables to consider. In this section we’ll take a look at what we deem to be the most important factors behind any payment gateway.
Security is essential in the world of finance and transactional data. Knowing a few security variables here can help you make an informed decision on your next payment gateway.
PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This is a standard that’s set in place by trusted and governed groups to ensure that there is a standard security practice set in place. Essentially, this standard is a data set security encryption standard that ensures that no data is available through open funnels.
PCI DSS is a standard with many payment gateways, however, not every merchant service provider out there can or will offer a PCI compliance audit, which is basically a penetration on your network to sniff for any open data.
In summary, you should find a payment gateway from a merchant service provider that offers PCI compliance help and general advice towards a more secure network.
Another variable to consider is if the payment gateway uses P2P connections for its security. Now, this information will not typically be available from a simple search, so it’s something you may need to ask about. P2P connections (peer to peer) work by connecting your transactional line directly to the merchant, without relying on any external touch points. Surprisingly a lot of payment gateways out there rely on several external references to decrypt transaction data, which simply put can make your PCI a lot harder to navigate and resolve when any issues arise.
Payment Processing Fees
The next thing to consider when selecting a payment gateway is the processing fees behind it. Typically, you’ll see rates in either flat rate (fixed) or a variable rate with additional sub fees, such as a percentage + a fixed amount per transaction.
PS: PayHawk offers some of the lowest fees in the industry and we offer the best customer service around – seriously, call us and you’ll always talk to a real person who will never sell you on something you don’t need.
Another selling point when selecting the right payment gateway for your business is the type of payments that gateway can select.
A lot of merchant service providers offer standard contactless payment systems, digital interfaces for websites, and a debit/credit card terminal for in person payments – however, even offering all these might not sometimes be enough. If dealing with larger transactions, the ability to work with bank transfer/ACH might be a requirement for your business, so be sure to do your research beforehand.
Integration is another important aspect. When researching your payment gateway, be sure to find one that integrates directly into your existing systems without headache.
At PayHawk, we connect with hundreds of unique touch points including anything with raw source code, thanks to a powerful HTML-based extension which means it can be integrated anywhere that code can be edited.
Some payment gateways may only work with specific website CMS such as WordPress, BigCommerce or Magento, so take this into consideration as well, and look for one that has an HTML option or an external dedicated payment link such as our system at PayHawk.
User experience should be simplified and when dealing with a payment gateway it’s no different. Your experience should be as hands off as humanly possible. The role of a payment gateway is to deal with the payments on your behalf, and well… get you paid!
Some payment gateways out there STILL require end of day settlements, or batch settling and it’s just no fun to add one extra task to your day.
By partnering with a company such as us, we’ll configure your settlements in your preferred fashion, and help you set up your gateway to be as hands off as possible.
Last but certainly not least is customer support. When dealing with any funds, it’s vital to know where they are going and how they’re getting there, but more importantly than that, is having a dedicated support partner that can jump into the rescue at the simplicity of a phone call.Hey, we’re PayHawk (yes another plug)… Our motivating motto is “Always Human. Always PayHawk.” and that’s because you can call us, email us or text us at any time and always get a response back. We’re dedicated to working with you, as an extension of your team.
Our customers rave about our stellar customer service here’s just a few:
Types of Payment Gateways
In the payment gateway world there are 2.5 types of payment gateways.
Hosted Payment Gateways
Hosted payment gateways are traditional payment gateway systems, these are third-party providers that host their own payment server, and typically require all transactions to funnel through their own PCI compliant network, through either a dedicated link, or a masked redirect.
These companies can be great for the added security but oftentimes lack control.
Self-Hosted Payment Gateways
Self hosted payment gateways are the most common type of gateway out there for payments. These gateways use similar tech to hosted payment gateways, but require less external resources and oftentimes are much faster to process a payment.
With “self-hosted” you aren’t actually hosting anything other than a few lines of code at most.
Self-hosted payment gateways are typically much cheaper and far more integrateable with various ecosystems.
API Payment Gateways
API payment gateways are primarily going to be self-hosted instances that have an open API (like PayHawk, hey, hi!) that allow you to integrate with anything else with an existing API.
A few of these providers are stripe (self-hosted API gateway) & authorize (self-hosted API gateway)
PayHawk on the other hand, is a combination of both self-hosted, hosted and API. Our data layering works by allowing you to self host your gateway, and then rely on our API to connect to various endpoints, HOWEVER, when a transaction takes place, the security is handled through our server, making it much faster and more secure, and doesn’t rely on things like a slow web host.
In conclusion, that was a lot of words, but we truly hope we were able to help you understand how to find the best payment gateway for you.
If you’re ready to get started with the best payment processor / merchant service partner around (totally not biased) – fill out the form below and get a free statement analysis audit!