A brief introduction to payment gateways and your options:
A payment gateway is a service application that allows you to accept credit card payments online, either on your website, or through the payment gateway’s site (a popular example would be PayPal).
There are many payment gateways, and two basic types of plans: low per-transaction fee + a monthly fee, or a higher per-transaction fee, and no monthly fee.
Monthly fees are typically between $20 – 30. You’ll need to consider your income stream and what will work best for you. Not all payment gateways offer both types of plans.
The following are several payment gateways I have either heard recommended, or have worked with. They are suggestions only. You will need to do your own research to decide what’s best for you.
- PayPal: Customer service # 073-713-7777.
- 2checkout: They actually have their pricing on their website. View here.
- Cardcom/Ishurit Zahav: 03-9436100. They work with UPay to provide a competitive per-transaction rate.
- Bluesnap: Go to their site, and click the “Get Started” link, and as soon as it gives you the opportunity, ask to speak with a representative. I have heard that their prices are negotiable, although I can’t verify that.
- PayPal Standard: Everyone knows Paypal :) Paypal is easy to get started with and can be good for low-volume or flexible income streams. All payments are redirected through the Paypal site, which means you don’t require an SSL certificate and dedicated IP address (more on those here).
- Stripe: Stripe’s per-transaction rates are clear and getting set up only takes a few minutes. They’re very easy to work with, for developers and business owners alike.
- Authorize.net. For higher-volume, Authorize.net offers a monthly fee + reduced per-transaction fee.
Many payment gateways’ websites don’t have all the information clearly available. I recommend getting in touch with them directly with questions.
Choosing a gateway
If at all possible, speaking to a representative is better than emailing, as you’re likely to get the information you need more easily and faster.
These are a list of questions you may want to cover with them. (Not all may be relevant to you):
- Hosted checkout vs. onsite checkout: Clarify whether you want to accept payments on your website, or via hosted checkout (on the payment gateway’s website). If a gateway offers both, you want to make sure the information they are giving you is for the type of plan you want.
- Currency conversion: I live in Country X and need to accept foreign currencies on my website. What fees would I incur with your plan? (Make sure to cover monthly fees, per-transaction fees, currency exchange fees, and cross-border fees.)
- Hold funds: Do you hold funds for a period of time, and if so, for how long? (Bluesnap, for example, holds money and gives it to you on the 15th of the following month. So you might wait up to 6 weeks to get your money.)
- Transfer fees: Is there a fee when transferring money to my account?
- Recurring billing: Do you allow automatic recurring billing? Do I need to do anything to set that up within XXX (name of company)?
Ultimately, selecting a payment gateway is a decision every business needs to make for themselves, but I’d be happy to weigh in once you’ve narrowed down your choices.