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How to Choose the Right Payment Gateway for Your Website

So you finally put up your e-commerce website and now it’s time to think about sales. Before you get frustrated over why no one is buying from your online marketplace, ask yourself these questions. What’s your checkout process like? Do your customers have access to multiple payment options on your website? Are they secure? Do they have to write down your paybill number and manually pay through their cell phones? If your customer shopping experience is not seamless, it may be time for you to adopt a payment gateway for your website.

Why Go For Payment Gateway Integration?

Besides providing a seamless shopping experience for your customers, it saves you time and energy.

Payment gateways allow instant payments, offer security for your customers, and improve the credibility of your business.

Having a payment gateway on your website offers customers multiple payment options for the goods they purchase from you. A customer that doesn’t have PayPal may have some cash in their M-pesa. Payment gateway integration allows you to leverage this opportunity and sell to a wider consumer base.

Types of Payment Gateways

Depending on your business model, you will need to choose a payment gateway that fits your customer’s needs.

  • Hosted Payment Gateways (e.g. PayPal)

Your customers will be directed away from your site and onto the payment service provider’s page. There, they will input their details and after making the payment, they will be redirected back to your site.

In as much as this process is simple and secure, you cannot control the customer’s user experience past your site.

  • Self-Hosted Payment Gateways (Shopify Payments)

Here, your customers input their payment details on your website. The details are then sent to the service provider’s website.

With self-hosted gateways, the customer experience is uninterrupted as their entire checkout process is done within your site. However, this payment gateway may lack technical support in case of system failure, leaving you to work it out yourself or hire a professional

  •  Integrated Payment Gateways (M-Pesa)

Payments made through integrated gateways are processed through an API (application programming interface). Choosing this method means you will be responsible for the security of your customers’ information. On the other hand, payment gateway integration does not affect your conversion rates and can be used across multiple devices. 

Choosing the Right Payment Gateway

Before you settle on a payment gateway for your website, these are the factors you should consider:

  • Security

Since customers will input sensitive information into the gateway, make sure it is reputable and safe. 

  • Affordability

Every transaction processed on your website will cost you in terms of merchant account fees, statement fees, and chargeback fees. Ensure the gateway you are using doesn’t eat too much into your profits or charge your customers extra. 

  • Variety

Customers prefer multiple payment options. Use the analytics from your site and take note of the people that shop from you the most. What countries are they from? You could even run a survey on your customers and find out what payment methods they like to use.

Always put your clients first. Choose a payment gateway that will make create the most seamless shopping experience for your customers. 

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