How to add a payment gateway to an ecommerce website
Nowadays, the intention of people to fulfil their needs online is growing fast, so the horizon is bright for ecommerce websites. At the same time, as the online shopping popularity grows, more market participants find it attractive to either take their existing business online, or start an online business to take advantage of such a growing market.
To succeed in such a competitive market, online businesses streamline their services to attract more users and convert them to loyal customers.
There are many areas that ecommerce work hard on, to facilitate the shopping process for their customers by providing new and innovative features.
Multiple Payment Options as a key factor for an ecommerce
One of the most important features that must be provided for customers in an ecommerce is the capability to make payments. It is quite important for ecommerce to provide multiple payment options for users, accompanied by a simple procedure for the sake of better user experience in order to improve SEO performance.
There are three main methods to add payment gateway on your ecommerce website, but before going through them, let’s see what a payment gateway exactly is.
What is a Payment Gateway?
Payment gateway refers to a software application that makes a website to process payments from major banks. It basically collects the customer’s information and after encrypting the information, makes contact with the relevant financial institution through an API (Application Programming Interface), shares the information with the bank and asks for authorization. Once the approval is received from the bank, the payment gateway allows the website to take the customer to the next step.
To be more specific, payment gateway secures the payment by getting the authorization from a financial institution for a particular purchase.
Payment gateway uses API to get the whole process done.
What is the payment API?
API stands for Application Programming software. In digital payment, API is basically a software that gets the whole process of collecting the customer’s required information, encrypt the data and send it to the relevant financial institute to get the approval for the payment that customer is intending to make, for a purchase. In addition, the financial institute’s response to authorize or reject the payment is received by API and it would allow or reject the purchase through the website accordingly.
How to add a payment gateway to my website?
As mentioned earlier, there are three methods to equip your website with a payment gateway, as explained below:
1- Hosted Payment Gateways
The hosted option is carried out in an external payment platform. In other words, the customer will be redirected to a website other than yours, and the payment will be processed there. The main benefit for a hosted payment gateway, is that you are not responsible for keeping customers’ sensitive information safe, as the payment information must be provided on the payment platform and not on your website. The disadvantage of this method is about bad user experience, as sending customers away from your website, would look unprofessional. This method usually impacts the conversion rate negatively, as users are not interested in being redirected to another website for making payments.
2- Integrated Payment Gateways
This option makes your customers able to make the payment right on your website. They will not be sent away to another website. This method is more user-friendly, so would not harm your conversion rate.
However, in addition to being more expensive in comparison with hosted methods, as you must be hiring some developers to do it for you, your website must be in compliance with PCI DSS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) as you are totally responsible for security of your customers’ private data.
Hence, while an integrated option would possibly improve your conversion rate, it is associated with more cost, risk and responsibility.
3- Custom Gateway
Even though this option is very expensive, it still can be an option for some online businesses, as no other option fulfils their needs.
The cost of this option might be the biggest disadvantage. It costs you at least USD 150’000 to develop a custom payment gateway and would go up, if additional features are needed. The beauty of this option is that the whole technology is in your hand, in order to make changes as needed.
The other great thing is that you will avoid fees and charges that integrated gateways would charge for every transaction.
As a conclusion, a custom gateway would suit an online business with a very large turnover.
Best Integrated Payment Gateway service providers
There are quite a few payment gateway service providers in the market. The number of such service providers is growing fast and the technology they utilize is enhancing over time.
PayPal is probably the most well-known payment system in the market now.
The other reputable service provider is authroize.net which is probably the oldest one, as it operates since 1996.
Stripe is a new service provider that is very cutting-edge. Stripe is growing fast due to being highly customizable and providing advanced features to users.
The most popular payment gateway service provider in Australia is now eWay. They provide a wide range of financial services across Australia and many Aussie online stores use their services, when it comes to payment gateway.
How to choose the right payment gateway for my ecommerce?
Like mentioned earlier in this article, all payment gateways are good to work with, as they are using almost the same technology.
However, the nature of your business, the features that you need to support your customers, and most importantly the cost must be considered, when choosing the payment gateway for your ecommerce.
Therefore, you must sit with a reputable SEO consultant as well as a professional web design firm, discuss your needs in detail, and seek their professional solution that works best for your ecommerce.
Here at Websima, we are more than happy to help, if you are in doubt on which gateway to integrate your ecommerce with.
In this case, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask for a free consultation meeting, so you will have the chance to discuss your needs and requirements and we will get back to you with a solution that suits your business best.