Top Online Payment Gateways: How To Choose The Right One

Congratulations. You’ve already conquered a significant number of difficulties and potential distractions by the time a consumer proceeds to checkout from your online store. At this point, your customer is ready to hand over their card information and place the order.

But that’s when things get a bit tricky. If your payment gateway doesn’t meet the expectations of your clients or imposes hefty fees, you’ll end up with high cart abandonment rates.

So, how do you choose the right payment processing without breaking the bank or losing your customers? Let’s take a look at the most popular payment gateway comparison to find out.

The Pillar Of Ecommerce Business

When you’re running an ecommerce site, you can’t get away without a payment gateway, i.e. online payment processing. It’s the ultimatum that you either accept or leave the game.

 A payment gateway can be described as the middleman between retail websites and the payment processor. It is essential to prevent credit card fraud and ensure a seamless customer experience. Moreover, payment gateways entail a great number of other strategic benefits:

  1. Accepts a variety of online payment methods

In a highly competitive world, your business has to provide a wide choice of options to cover every possible customer need. Payment gateways welcome different modes of online payments including credit and debit cards, digital money, Apple Pay, and others.

  1. Secured customer data

Payment gateways increase the safety and encryption of client data. Because of the boosted client security, business owners favor these systems to keep hackers at bay. Information is transmitted via HTTPS and encrypted with different keys. Users get a reliable service that does not transmit data to third parties.

  1. Full automation and fault tolerance

Payment gateways also store the credit card information for recurring payments. This way, your customers don’t need to waste time on filling their financial data over and over again. Also, businesses can eliminate friction by integrating multiple gateways into the site.

This is not an exhaustive list of benefits you can reap. But these are the main pointers that will guide you in your decision-making. 

Now, let’s have a look at the most popular options available on the market.


This ecommerce company would be the first name that comes to your mind in this context. Since 2015, it’s been dominating the market and processing online payments for over 659k companies. 

The tech giant also facilitates a gamut of related services such as debit cards for payments, credit card readers for small businesses, and others. Therefore, PayPay is probably the most popular option for ecommerce companies.

Besides, as the recent studies by Nielsen suggest, this payment option bodes well for retailers in terms of a higher conversion rate. Thus, you can expect an added traction of %44, which is a huge difference for online stores. 

PayPal version 2.11 comes complete with an overhauled PayPal integration built-in. This gateway version uses PayPal Checkout buttons that allow your store to process payments directly from the website. 

To integrate PayPal, you need to:

  • Connect to your PayPal account (if you don’t have one, you’ll be offered to set it up when installing)
  • Go to Downloads → Settings → Payment Gateways → PayPal
  • Check the connection status in the EDD admin settings,
  • Enable the gateway in general gateway settings

If you need to enable a credit or debit card payment option, sign up for PayPal Commerce Pro, which is a premium extension.

As for the fees, it’s 3.49% + fixed fee based on the local currency. Standard credit and debit card payments will cost you a %2,99 plus fees on the received currency. If your store processes international transactions, the fees are lower – %1,50 plus currency-related.

You can create your revenue stream on:

  • BigCommerce
  • Magento
  • Spree Commerce
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce


Square is an American fintech that accepts and processes electronic payments. It is also known for the fact that one of the founders used to shepherd Twitter and is now executive director of the social network.

The company is one of PayPal’s closest competitors. However, its market share is notably smaller – over 14k companies use Square. This getaway is the most popular in the United States and its main client is the Restaurants industry. It processed the equivalent of $6 billion a year in payments. With major players like Starbucks leveraging the system, this success can easily double.

The company offers 2 ecosystems for both personal and commercial use. Its cash app provides financial products and services that help individuals manage their money. Square’s seller system is what helps you start, manage and grow your business.

Although Square is not the best choice for bulk transactions, its flexible and customizable API is certainly attractive for small businesses. 

Let’s have a look at the core differentiators:

  1. Processing fees – %2.6 + $0,30 for basic transactions and 3.9% plus conversion fees for international transactions
  2. Supported locations – 6 countries
  3. Credit cards – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
  4. Integrations – WooCommerce, WordPress,  Wix, Weebly, Ecwid, BigCommerce, and 3dcart+custom-built websites. 

Overall, Square is both beginner-friendly for budding businesses and advanced enough for large corporations to use it as a multi-channel solution.


If you examine Square vs Stripe, the two payment gateways have more similarities than differences.  

Stripe is an international system for secure online payments, which provides services for individuals and companies of different sizes. Its main selling point is enhanced security. In fact, Stripe boasts the highest grade of payment processing security. 

Via this system, you can accept payments by cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and others), Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Since the platform was created with retailers in mind, you can embed it into any type of website, or ecommerce platform. Bigcommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento are the most common choices for Stripe integration.

As for the transaction fees, Stripe’s credit card processing fee is 2.9% plus 30 cents, international fees add another 1%. Other payment methods are also available within this system.


Braintree Payments is another popular option among online payment processors for retail. The gateway handles both online payments and trendy new payment methods, like Apple Pay.

Braintree also allows for old-school transactions via debit and credit cards. Its clientele features A-list companies, including Uber, Github, and Airbnb. Hence, you can rest assured this is a trustworthy payment processor. 

There’s one thing that differentiates Braintree Payments from its competitors. Unlike PayPal, this gateway offers individual merchant accounts. Thus, you can create your own, unique merchant account, which is a more personalized and secure alternative. 

Also, the platform offers a transparent pricing model. You’ll just pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. PayPal and PayPal Credit payments cost nothing. 

As for international transactions, you will need to pay 1% on top of the main fee for non-U.S. currency.


WePay’s flexible API is available for all B2B, B2C, and P2P financing options. In a broad sense, it’s not that different from other options. But if we have a closer look at this payment processor, we’ll see that WePay addresses the common pitfalls of its competitors. 

For example, it doesn’t redirect the user to an external website. Instead, the gateway keeps everything in the house. Thus, you save an additional $10-$35 compared with PayPal. 

Besides, WePay is a friendly alternative for non-techie business owners who lack time and knowledge to get into the debris of coding.

For processing credit card payments, merchants will have to cover a 2.95% plus 25 cents processing fee. As you see, WePay is not the most affordable option, after all.


Last on our list is the rapidly developing payment technology of Dwolla. Its low-code API streamlines the complex process of embedding various payment networks. 

The online gateway offers comprehensive security measures and guides businesses through integrating their internal software onto the platform. In this case, you get a low-cost method for processing payments that can also be customized to a tee. Pricing is quote-based.

The Final Word 

Back in the day, we had a scarcity of both e-commerce platforms and gateways. Today, the number of options is so huge that it’s hard to make the right call.

When choosing the perfect getaway for your ecommerce business, base your choice on the e-commerce platform in use, processing fees, and your location. And remember that time-tested solutions don’t always beat the budding ones.

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