10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Payments Gateway

The accessibility and landscape of online payments have grown at a remarkable pace. With customers seeking innovative, seamless, and efficient payment methods, a secure payment gateway has become essential for online businesses, especially content platforms, e-commerce sites, cam operators and others in high risk industries.

Today, online merchants have a multitude of options when it comes to digital payment solutions. There are several important considerations when deciding which payment gateway is best for your business. Identifying the features that are important for your business, plus the types of tools necessary to your business are just two of the factors to consider.

Here is the ultimate 10-point checklist for finding the right payment gateway solution for your business.

Checklist for Choosing a Payment Gateway

There are many factors that can be considered when finding a payment gateway, but the ones mentioned below are critical features merchants should look for before making a decision.

1. Reliable Customer Support

Whether you are a merchant who needs technical support or a consumer trying to complete a transaction, reliable and expert customer support is an absolute necessity.

Problems with payment processing can cause an immediate decrease in sales for merchants. Guided, expert technical support helps merchants resolve issues, sometimes before they may even impact sales. From platform integration to authentication and dealing with fraud, the best merchant support teams are responsive to merchant needs and available to quickly resolve them. Consumer support also is a key consideration, to help smooth frustrations that may arise during the checkout process or dealing with invoice concerns.

Confirm the quality of merchant support offered by a payment gateway provider.

2. PCI Compliance & Security

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance rules ensure that payment gateways are using the appropriate operational and technical requirements to protect credit card data.

A security breach of credit card information can compromise merchant credibility with consumers. It’s critical to safeguard sensitive information and protect your customers from online fraud by using a payment gateway provider who holds the highest level of PCI certification. Before signing with a payment gateway provider, confirm whether they are PCI DSS Level 1 certified.

3. Data Analytics and Reporting

Data is more than just numbers–it can make or break a business.

Data gives valuable insights into consumer purchasing behavior, helps identify inefficiencies and fraudulent activities, and can provide a strategic advantage over competitors. Merchants can gain a complete picture of their business performance and customer preferences across demography and potential market.

Choose a payment gateway provider that uses the latest in innovative, AI-driven data tools and a merchant dashboard with useful analytics, reports, and all the essential information needed to run your business, make informed decisions, and get your questions answered.

4. User-Friendly Payment Interface

The overall design and the user interface of the hosted payment page should be simplified and user-friendly. A complex interface can be confusing to your customers, especially those who may not be tech savvy. A uniform and understandable interface design that aligns with your merchant website will help you provide a simple and clear purchasing experience.

5. Simple and Seamless Integration with Your Platform

A payment gateway does not function as a standalone entity on a business portal. Whether your website is based on WordPress, Magento, WooCommerce, or other platform, the payment gateway you choose must support integrations with the major e-commerce platforms. This will dramatically minimize your integration costs and efforts. Additionally, a payment gateway that offers technical support to guide you through the integration process, whether it is a simple API or plug-in integration or a custom solution, should be a key consideration.

6. Pricing

While cost typically is a prime consideration of merchants seeking reliable payment gateway options, a common mistake is to base the entire decision solely on price.

A more balanced approach is to compare the price to the types and quality of the services received. Each gateway provider has a unique set of fees, depending on the services offered. Pricing may include:

  • set-up fees
  • transaction charges
  • maintenance fees
  • Merchant Discount Rate (MDR)
  • chargeback fees
  • risk management
  • advanced reporting
  • customer service and merchant support.

Some providers may including all services in one fee, while others may offer a low discounted rate with per-transaction fees and additional costs for risk management and customer support.

7. Cross Border Payments / Localization

Online retailing is no longer confined by geographical boundaries. Consumers can purchase products or services from all over the world at their convenience. The growth and stability of your business depends upon seamless cross-border transactions.

If you have global reach, so should your payment gateway. The best providers offer localization of the transaction process so that buyers can see the purchase price in local currencies. Localization features also may include a checkout page translated into multiple languages. This helps build a sense of trust among consumers and a clearer, more understandable checkout experience.

8. Recurring Billing and Subscriptions

Recurring billing and subscriptions offer benefits to both merchants and consumers. Merchants can maintain long-term relationships with their customers, while customers can easily make recurring purchases of popular products. Automate your recurring billing and send invoices at an optimal time of month for your customer to avoid encountering accounts with insufficient funds.

Recurring billing and subscription plans, especially in the content platform, cam operator, and e-commerce industries, are becoming a standard offering. Make sure that the payment gateway you are considering has the experience necessary to support you with these features.

9. Discount Offers for Consumers

Discount offers can help merchants retain their customers, keep them engaged on the platform, and increase satisfaction with the product or service.

Discounts are not just a reduction in price though. They can be timed to customer needs or critical events. For example, special subscription prices can be offered to encourage potential customers to complete the sign-up process. When a customer decides to cancel a subscription membership, a cancel discount offer can be presented to keep their business. Discounts also can be timed to the expiration of an existing customer’s credit card by sending them an offer prior to the card’s expiration date to prompt them to renew their plan.

Choose a payment gateway capable of offering sophisticated discount offers to help retain your best customers and attract new ones.

10. Device Compatibility

With many consumers making purchases on cellphones and tablets, device compatibility with your payment gateway is a highly important, yet often ignored, factor that merchants must consider. Hosted payment pages on some gateways either process slowly on certain devices or do not automatically adjust to the device’s screen for an optimal user experience. Customers may face trouble in making smooth payments in these conditions. Verify device compatibility of your chosen gateway.

The Bottom Line

The payment processing experience is a key part of keeping customers loyal to your business. After all, nobody wants to wait for minutes on a slow transaction window or difficult authentication process, especially when a quality payment gateway provider can complete transactions within seconds. Use this checklist to guide your search to find the best, most competitive payment gateway solution for your high risk content platform, e-commerce, or cam operator business.

Vendo offers comprehensive payment processing services to high risk industries, including content platforms, cam operators, and e-commerce sites. Our innovative, AI-powered tools offer merchants simple, secure, and seamless payment solutions, along with expert customer support from integration to end-user concerns. Our expert team works 24/7 to shape your vision into reality. 

Connect with us to learn more about how Vendo can help transform your business.

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