Payment gateways are essential in the world of e-commerce. Indeed, to be able to receive money through your customers, you must have a gateway. In short, a payment gateway ensures the connection between your website and your banking institution. In some cases, this provides the connection between your site and your online wallet. The purpose of this article is to see how payment gateways work. We will also talk about the requirements imposed by the gateways owners, and finally, we will discuss the most popular on the market.
I – How do payment gateways work
Roughly speaking, a gateway is a web application or software that allows you to communicate with your bank through your website. Indeed, a direct connection between your website and your bank account is currently not possible. By being an e-commerce owner, you must use the supplier to give you codes to install on your site to accept payments by credit card.
How does it work?
Generally speaking, you should:
- Get in touch with suppliers offering this type of service. There are several depending on your locality, type of website or budget.
- Reassure you that they offer a possibility to connect with your platform. However, it is not possible to easily connect all gateways to all web solutions. For this purpose, you must see with a developer or make sure that the supplier supports your solution.
- Connect your website with their app. Alternatively, if you have access to their programming interface, you can use it.
- Establish a connection between your bank account and the software. Alternatively, you need to make sure you have a way to get hold of your money.
Some basic rules
The basic principle of setting up a payment method on a website is security. Several providers have established a list of conditions that must be met to use their service. Below are some rules to follow:
Have an SSL / TLS certificate (see HTTPS on the browser)
SSL certificates are intended to encrypt communication between your server and your visitor’s browser. In theory, if by chance a malicious person came into possession of the data sent by a visitor to your site, they would only see encrypted information. Traditionally, this is not always the case; because SSLs have several versions that provide security at different levels.
If your website uses tools such as cookies or software to collect data, you must specify them. Typically, the required pages are:
- Terms and conditions
- Return conditions
Other measures to ensure the security of your e-commerce
In addition to following your supplier’s recommendations, you must put in place a security process to avoid any future problems. Some of these measures are:
Protect your forms against spam
Unwanted emails or spam weaken your email server and can even cause several other security problems. To be able to fight spam effectively, you can install a Captcha.
You can also read our article on How to protect your website from spam with Google Captcha V3[PHP] “for how to install Captcha on your website.
Force your users to use more secure passwords
If the passwords used by your customers are not secure enough, it could be a loophole. Some tips that you can plan when setting up your payment processor creating an account can be:
- Require a certain length of character—for example, a minimum of 8 characters.
- Prompt user to include special characters
- Request a mix of character types.
A trick may be to automatically suggest a password to the user.
Filter the information sent through your forms.
The types of information submitted through online forms can never be trusted. Indeed, if you do not filter your forms, several people can use them to destroy your site. Some types of vulnerabilities you might have been:
- Sending malicious code via your forms
- Injecting your database
- Theft of your data
II – How to choose payment gateways for your website?
Before embarking on finding payment gateways for your website, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Can it be easily integrated with your web solution?
- Is there a way to sync the software with your bank account?
- What are the fees per transaction?
- What are the security measures implemented by the company?
- Will I be able to customize the payment page?
Can it be easily integrated with your web solution?
There are thousands of payment gateway providers across the world. However, not all suppliers have implemented the codes to integrate their solutions into all applications easily. You could still refer to their documentation to see how to do it “yourself.” In most cases, the most popular solutions give you access to their development interface to make the connections. However, if you are keen on using a solution, you can work with a developer.
Is there a way to sync the software with your bank account?
A good number of providers easily connect with bank accounts. However, it would be best if you took the time to educate yourself to avoid any surprises.
What are the fees per transaction?
The fees associated with integration or transactions may vary from vendor to vendor. As an example, PayPal’s fees are from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction in Canada. Yet stripe offers its services at 2.7% + $0.05. You should, therefore, take the time to compare before you decide. It would be best if you kept in mind that cost is not the only criterion to consider.
What are the security measures implemented by the company?
The security of your data and that of your customers is critical in online commerce. It would be best if you took the time to find out about the provider you want to use for this purpose. Some things to consider could be:
- Reviews from other customers
- The confidentiality and security policy in place
- Their approach to protecting data
Will I be able to customize the payment page?
Some providers only offer the possibility of using the ifs reams to integrate the websites’ payment gateway. As a result, it affects the performance of websites and reduces the number of online orders. Taking the time to reassure yourself that you can customize could be helpful. In most cases, if you have access to the API, you can control your payment page’s visual.
III – Some examples of payment gateway providers
There are thousands of solutions for websites. Among which we can cite:
- PayPal – Trendy gateway present in almost all countries of the world. It has the particularity of having several currencies depending on your country and to protect the consumer if a dispute. One limitation of PayPal for certain countries is that you must have a bank account to sync your account. For this, PayPal is not very suitable for countries that are still developing.
- Stripe – Fairly easy to integrate; but not available in several countries. At the moment, Stripe is only present in 34 countries (https://stripe.com/global), unlike PayPal, which is present in more than 200 countries and more than 25 currencies.
- We Cash Up – A better alternative for developing countries. (https://www.wecashup.com/en/). If you don’t have a bank account and are in a less industrialized country with people who don’t use banks as a financial transaction method, We Cash Up can help.