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Points to watch when selecting an online payment gateway

The choice of an online payment gateway can now be made directly by the final business user, rather than be imposed as part of a package offered by his acquiring bank. This leaves the interested business customer with a difficult selection process, and which keeps getting more and more difficult as new players and disrupting offers keep flooding the market. Here are the points to watch.


Online payment gateway

 Ease of implementation 

1) Integration of online payment gateways within popular e-commerce platforms

Gateways need to be effortlessly integrated into the most popular e-commerce platforms, so that any webmaster can install the solution :

• Shopify,

• Magento,

• Zoho,

• Volusion,

• Big cartel,

• 3D Cart,

• Virtuemart,

• WPshop,

• Akeeba,

• Drupal commerce


2) Additional services

It would be awkward to select an online payment gateway independently from an acquiring bank... if the lack of services offered forces the business customer to get back to his bank for vital needs such as:

• A merchant account, which may be provided by the gateway directly,

• An efficient and easily reached technical hotline, as the business customer will have to maintain the system himself


Online payment gateways and fraud protection

Protection against intrusion, fraud and other exploits may be the most important concern of business users. If an e-commerce site owner wants to be trusted, he will need to trust his gateway provider he has chosen himself, as the acquiring bank will not be there to help him in case of a security breach.


1) Necessary protocols

There’s a few data transmission protocols that need to be properly handled by the gateway:

• The gateway should be able to handle SSL connection requests,

• HSTS may be used to ensure browsers interact with the gateway over the HTTPS protocol,

• Advanced encryption methods should be handled, like AES-256 encryption


2) PCI-DSS compliance

The best way to ensure the gateway offers high-level security protection is to make sure it is PCI-DSS -Compliant certified. Aim for Level 1 PCI-DSS compliance.


International reach

Finally, why sell goods and services over the internet if some international customers cannot be served, because their payment method of choice, or local preferences are not handled by the online payment gateway?


1) Payment options

There’s more to online payment globally than the usual MasterCard/Visa or even American Express compliance. Locally preferred alternate payment methods include :

• JCB,

• Diner’s,

• Discover,

• China Union Pay,

• Entrust

And that’s not even counting the various online wallet systems available around the world.


2) Foreign currency payment processing

Quite obviously, foreign currency payments will need to be accepted.

But few gateways accept more than the usual British Pound, Euro, Yen, and US Dollar quartet.


3) Language options

E-commerce owners would be very sorry if they learn that they have spent thousands of pounds localising and translating their website... if the most crucial part, with payment instructions, solely handled by the payment gateway, can only be displayed in English.

Some gateways provide end-user interface in up to fifteen languages.


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