A payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an ecommerce application service provider that authorises credit card or direct payments processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar.
Similar to how customers check the payment methods accepted in physical shops, they go through the same thought process when selecting the ecommerce platform or website to make their purchases. These customers will want to know if their preferred mode of payment is accepted. This is even more prominent as more and more third party payment gateways appear and offer different benefits to their customers.
As merchants, it is also important to choose payment gateways that are suitable for the business type and budget. Some of the common payment gateways include credit card payments, bank transfers, and various payment aggregators that have gained popularity in recent years.
The most common payment methods would likely be Credit Card Payments. This payment method had been around even before ecommerce platforms existed. People are familiar with credit card payments, making the process easier for them to adapt to. Merchants get to choose the types of credit cards to offer and the most common ones in Singapore would be Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Credit card processing fees are usually a fixed percentage out of a transaction. An average credit card fee ranges from 1.5% to 3.5% per transaction.
Bank transfers are a traditional, reliable and secure payment method. It allows customers to authenticate each transaction with their internet banking mobile applications. The money is also directly deducted with little to no processing fees for both parties.
Mobile wallets have become highly popular in recent years due to the convenience it brings about since everything can be settled with just the mobile phone. In Singapore, there has been a rise of more and more mobile wallets. Common ones include Paylah!, Grabpay and Dashpay. These mobile wallets are enticing because of the various benefits which they offer to the customers who choose to pay through them. These benefits can be in the form of rewards, cashback or points.
Grab is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular ride-hailing mobile applications. Their online payment gateway — GrabPay provides an incentive for users to make payments via their Grab account to earn Grab Points. GrabPay is ideal for new business owners because payments are sent instantly and transaction details can be checked easily. Furthermore, they have invested in security features and offer full encryption.
Singtel Dash is an all-in-one mobile wallet for payment and lifestyle needs. Whether in-store or online, locally or globally, Dash enables their users to make safe and easy payments wherever they go. Users can also earn dash reward points for their daily expenditures.
Payment aggregators are service providers that allow merchants to accept debit or credit card payments on their e-commerce platform without having to go through a bank. Payment aggregators help to manage and process online transactions, streamlining the payment process, which is suitable for small businesses with low transaction volume.
Some common payment aggregators include:
Paypal is a very popular and reputable third party payment gateway because anyone can set up a paypal account for free. It is also used internationally because of the currency exchange services it provides. It also protects user’s information since money is transferred without financial information being exchanged. They have a good security system, with seller protection, 24/7 fraud monitoring and 2 factor authentication, making them a popular choice for many businesses.
Stripe is relatively new in the Singapore ecommerce landscape. However, it has gained a reputation of being trustworthy and highly flexible, used by Grab, Deliveroo and Kickstarter. Stripe is also appropriate for startups and small businesses, with a transaction fee of 3.4% on the total amount of sale, plus a $0.50 fixed transaction fee. Stripe provides both one-time payment and recurring payment options, and can even support more complex billing models depending on your business needs.
Worldpay offers competitive rates at as low as $35 a month for a basic Gateway Standard account. They support a range of credit cards and debit cards as well as recurring billings. A wide selection of the leading shopping carts integrate with the WorldPay payment system, this is convenient because WorldPay and the chosen shopping cart provider will provide full technical support, software cartridges where appropriate, and technical documentation to assist in the integration of your store and your shopping cart package with WorldPay.
Atome allows customers to make payments every month over 3 instalments at 0% interest and with no admin fee. On the other hand, their merchants receive the full transaction amount excluding fees, within 3 working days. Atome bears the full credit liability, eliminating the risks for merchants. Atome also has a loyalty program called Atome+ which extends beyond transactions, cashbacks and discounts; but amplifies the wallets of users through user-friendly features, flexibility in earning and redemption of points, in-app games, exclusive rewards and features. Atome is also very easy to integrate as they have their own e-commerce plugins. With one integration serving all countries, Atome is a popular option for businesses with international transactions.
HitPay adopts a robust technology that is stack-designed and built by banking & payments professionals. HitPay’s technology stack has been tested by external cybersecurity agencies as per the requirements of the MAS Payment Services Act.
Some interesting features to note is that Hitpay does not involve setup fees, monthly fees nor annual fees. They work on a pay per transaction system which might be more desirable for some businesses.
Some things to consider when choosing payment gateway
Understand all the fees involved in using each payment gateway. Consider the transaction fees, monthly fees and setup fees involved. Some fees are determined by volume of transactions so it is important to find the payment gateway that is most suitable for your business.
Some payment gateways also have refund, cancellation and charge back fees. Each payment gateway has their own policy and systems so it is important to understand what is the most suitable for the business.
Accepted Card Types
It is important to consider the card types accepted for your chosen payment gateway. It is best to select one that allows well-acquainted credit card types, such as Nets, Visa or Mastercard.
Reputation and user-friendliness
Your payment page should be user friendly for ease of payment and a smooth transaction. The payment gateway selected should also have a good reputation of being reliable. Stability of the payment page is one of the considerations of how reliable the payment gateway is. Since payment pages are the last stage of closing the deal, the loading time is crucial.
Depending on your business needs, choose the payment gateway that offers suitable features. For example, some businesses require payment gateways that allow for recurring payments.
The e-commerce market is highly competitive, however, it is a growing industry which businesses should consider venturing into. By ensuring your e-commerce website fulfils these requirements of a good e-commerce website, your business is one step closer to success in the e-commerce industry.
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