Payment gateways: your need-to-know guide
Your questions about payment gateways answered
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is essential for accepting card payments online. It is a secure link between your website and your merchant bank.
Why do I need a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is your key to securely accepting card payments online, as well as by phone/mail order. It increases the chances of someone buying by making it easy and safe for people to pay with their credit or debit card.
How do I choose a payment gateway?
It's a good idea to shop around and be clear about what you need from your payment service provider. Here are some questions to ask:
- Is the payment gateway compatible with your shopping basket? Check your shopping basket or cart is compatible with the payment gateway so they can be easily integrated. There are many shopping carts automatically integrated with a payment gateway. Ask your web developer if you’re not sure.
- Is fraud screening included? Does the payment gateway package include basic anti-fraud tools?
- What level of support is included? E-commerce is 24/7 so ideally you need 24-hour support. This is especially useful if you're selling abroad or your developer is based overseas.
- Will you be charged for extras? Are there hidden costs for setting up multi-currency payments, 3D Secure, different payment types or mail order and telephone order payments (MOTO)?
- Have you checked the small print? Will you be tied into long-term contracts, annual fees or to a particular bank? Flexibility and scalability is important to stay agile as a business.
- Are you able to analyse the sales figures? This is very important for managing your business. With some tools, you can pull management information, run reports, and reconcile the figures automatically into your accounting system.
What else do I need to know about payment gateways?
- Find out how payment gateways fit in to secure card payment processing online
- See what's included in our complete payment gateway package – Sage Pay Go