Payment Gateway: A Gateway to Hassle-Free Buying
Online stores are the new face of smart living. One can access a plenitude of products online, compare features, differentiate based on price, and place an order at the push of a button. The haunting of commuting through traffic and hopping from store-to-store to get the desired product has faded away.
Sitting at the heart of all online transactions is the ‘Payment Gateway’, an E-Commerce service that initiates the process of fund transfer. A payment gateway accepts plastic money (Debit Cards and Credit Cards) and other modes of online payment to transfer funds from the buyer to the seller. Upon entering the card details, the payment gateway authenticates the cards information first and then sends the transaction details to the buyer’s bank. Once authorized, the funds are transferred to the merchant’s account.
The global acceptability of a ‘Payment Gateway’ service can be attributed to the fact that the frequency and severity of credit card fraud have been marginalized. A payment gateway makes use of multiple levels of security to secure customer details. It encrypts and tokenizes customer data, makes use of HTTPS protocol to communicate data, and complies with security standards like Payment Card Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) to ensure maximum security.
Not only does a Payment Gateway safeguard the interest of the customers, but also helps merchants minimize losses and shield their business from unforeseen threats. Most present-day payment gateways accept multiple currencies and offer multiple payment methods. This takes a huge load off a merchant’s shoulder to meet individual customer needs. Moreover, merchants receive their payments within one or two business days, with little or no effort from their side.
Requisites to Buying a Good Payment Gateway Service
Selecting the right Payment Gateway service is no rocket science. As a merchant, you must ascertain that the service you wish to avail will suffice the payment needs of your online store and will ensure utmost safety in terms of safeguarding the interests of the customers. Albeit, there are innumerable service providers that guarantee to offer myriad services, merchants should take into account the following criteria to evaluate payment gateways:
Ease of Setup
Many a Payment Gateway services empower merchants by offering a combined merchant account and payment gateway. There is no need to have a merchant account before availing their services. Avoid making use of a Payment Gateway service that locks up the necessary customer data for a specific time frame, in case you wish to switch to a new gateway.
Price Does Matter
A merchant must keep a close eye on the fee associated with the gateway service they wish to avail. Setup fees, registration fees, processing fees, refund fees, chargeback fees, and cancellation fees can really add to your costs. Does your service provider charge you an exorbitant fee amount for accepting international payments or for converting currencies? All these factors are critically important when it zeroes down to choosing the right payment gateway service.
Hosted or Integrated
A hosted payment gateway service is one that re-directs customers from your website to their own platform, to collect payment details. Albeit, it can add to customer dissatisfaction, merchants are saved from the trouble of security compliance requirements. On the contrary, an integrated payment gateway service allows customers to stay on your website, feed-in their payment details and place an order. Though it can enrich a customer’s buying experience, it burdens a merchant with a lot of security compliances.
Most online stores are susceptible to problems of processing of orders or customers not being satisfied with the quality of the product. Merchants should never overlook this possibility and must ascertain that the payment gateway they opt for comes with an in-built dispute resolution feature wherein customers can interact with the merchants via live chat board.
Customer Support Service
A dedicated customer support service, on part of the payment gateway service provider, is an absolute must. A merchant must also ascertain how responsive the support team is. The quicker the solution offered, the more it adds to the credibility of the merchant’s business.
Will your service provider allow you to transfer all relevant information or data, without any friction, in case you decide to switch to a new payment gateway? Will they charge you an obnoxious amount for same?
Transaction Success Rate
Merchants must also try and figure out the success and failure rates on the processing of payment. Many-a-times, customers get dropped out even before reaching the payment gateway. This can really add to a customer’s dissatisfaction level, and can eventually mar the merchant’s business. One method of ascertaining this is to look for customer reviews across different platforms.
A business would suffocate to death without the availability of funds. Merchants must not have an element of doubt about the payment policies of their service provider. How long does it take your service provider to settle funds and what portion of your funds do they hold on to, is critically important from your business’ perspective.
One problem that haunts most servers across the globe is the downtime they experience due to a software glitch or any other major event. Merchants should thoroughly research the frequency of downtime the payment gateway experiences to ensure that the transaction success rate is relatively stable. Lesser downtime implies that the customers will be able to make uninterrupted purchases more often.
A good Payment Gateway service should be PCI DSS level 1 compliant. It should make use of the most advanced security tools to ensure that the payment details of the customers remain intact at all times. Being a merchant you should opt for a Payment Gateway that offers in-built features like tokenization and encryption.
Having a user interface to the payment gateway that gels well with your brand, can work wonders for your online business. It is, therefore, imperative that you settle in for a service provider that enables you to personalize the user interface as per your store’s requirement.
Mode of Payment
The more the payment options available to a customer, the more aggressively you can position your business amidst the target audience, and better are your chances of generating greater business. Merchants should look for a payment gateway service that supports multiple modes of payment like credit/debit cards, internet banking, digital wallets, etc.
Multiple Currency Acceptability
For merchants, who intend to cater to audiences outside the national boundaries, it is imperative to opt for a Payment Gateway service that supports multiple currency payments. You must also ascertain if an additional fee will be levied upon you for the same.
A good Payment Gateway service should easily integrate with your existing or preferred shopping cart, billing system, and accounting system to help avoid unnecessary overhead costs and reduce your development and integration time. In present times, most online merchants make use of SMS, Whatsapp and Social Media channels to market their products. A Payment Gateway that allows merchants to integrate their online business with the aforementioned channels, to sell their products and collect payments, is a big plus.
A dedicated online store that comes packed with freebies and premium tools, directed at adding value to a merchant’s business, is always an added advantage.
In addition to processing payment transactions securely and efficiently, a payment gateway should also help generate daily transaction reports like settlement report, payment modes report, failed transactions report, etc. to keep a tab on the flow of funds. Some service providers also empower the merchants to create custom reports that help keep a check on payment anomalies.
Top 5 Payment Gateways in India
The best payment gateway for an online store merchant is one that falls in line with his day-to-day business requirements. There is no dearth of payment gateways in India and the list seems to stretch endlessly. Different gateways offer different features and stand neck to neck in terms of performance and delivery. If one supersedes the other in terms of setup cost or annual fee, the latter might overshadow it in terms of performance and delivery. It is for the merchant to decide which parameter would influence his buying decision more.
However, based on the recent market trends and the aforementioned parameters, the top 5 performing payment gateways in India are as under:
CC Avenue is the leading and the most preferred Payment Gateway service provider in India. From hotel bookings to mobile recharge to
Shopping across hundreds and thousands of portals, CC Avenue is a name that mirrors the trust of most ecommerce merchants in India.
- It empowers the merchants by accepting payments in real-time, thus improving their liquidity.
- It extends the option of making use of a readymade shopping cart that can be customized as per the merchant’s website.
- The ‘CC Avenue’ dashboard really packs a punch by letting merchants create offers like ‘Cash Back’ and ‘Discount’ for their customers. This saves the merchants from the hassle of including this feature separately on their store’s website
- It offers the highest level of SSL encryption, VeriSign security certification, daily Hacker Safe audits and PCI DSS version 1.1 certification.
- It offers multifarious payment options like a Credit card, Debit Card, Net Banking, Cash Card and Mobile Payment.
- Setup Fee: Zero for ‘Startup Pro Plan’; Rs. 30,000 for ‘Privilege Plan’
- Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero for ‘Startup Pro Plan’; Rs. 1,200 – Rs. 3,600 for ‘Privilege Plan’
- Transaction Fee: From 1.99% + Rs. 3 to 2.99% + Rs. 3
- 100+ payment options
- Multiple Currency Processing
- Easy Customization
- Smart Dynamic Routing
- Card Storage Vault
- Easy to integrate with shopping carts
- Free entry-level ‘Economy’ payment gateway for start-ups
- Affiliates and forum links are not allowed. You can only sell products that are mentioned in the agreement.
- Transaction gateway is available only for one site.
- Relative high processing fee.
‘PayU money’ is a payment gateway that is primarily directed at individuals and unregistered businesses in India. With ‘PayU money’, you can start accepting payments in no time courtesy its lightning-fast activation policy that lets you set up an account within minutes. By furnishing details like your bank account number and IFSC code, you can link your existing savings or current account to receive payments.
- Offers multifarious payment options like UPI, Debit/Credit Cards, Net Banking, Digital Wallet
- You can manage transactions, refunds, disputes and settlements from one single dashboard
- Ensures lightning-fast payment without redirecting users from your website
- Automatically adjusts the checkout page for any device. Be it a mobile phone, tablet or a laptop, you are never left groping in the dark
- The automatic update feature keeps you up-to-date with new features and payment options
- Stay connected always with easy to integrate mobile SDKs for Android and iOS platforms
- Minimal connectivity or network issues
- Transactions are secured with 128 bit SSL encryption and two-factor authentication.
- Setup Fee: Zero
- Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero
- Transaction Fee: 2% + 18% of 2% (GST)
- Easy to implement
- Higher customer satisfaction and increased sales
- Easy to track the metrics
- The exhaustive list of T&C to comply with
- Inefficient Customer Support Team
Making digital commerce universally accessible, ‘Instamojo’ is yet another popular payment gateway that has gained a lot of popularity, off-late. From collecting payments for digital good to payments for eBooks, tickets, merchandise, services, etc., ‘Instamojo’ has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, in terms of utility. With their instant onboarding facility, all it takes is your bank statement and PAN Card to create a permanent account.
- Hassle-free account creation to help start collecting payments, instantaneously.
- Supports multiple payment modes like UPI, Debit/Credit Cards, Net Banking and Digital Wallets
- Allows merchants to collect payments using links via Whatsapp/Email/Facebook/Twitter/SMS
- On-Demand Payment App for android phones, to help collect and keep a tab on payments.
- Offers Payment analytics to help merchants gain a better understanding of customer demographics and payment trends.
- Lets you create an online store without hurting your pockets.
- Has a dedicated online store that comes packed with a lot of free and premium tools. Businesses can make the most of it gain mileage in terms of customer base and revenue.
- Provides online support for external integrations through developer APIs and plugins.
- Setup Fee: Zero
- Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero
- Transaction Fee: 2% +Rs. 3
- Integration with SMS, Email, and Social Media
- Offers a high level of security
- Allows integration with Google Analytics
- User-friendly interface
- Excellent customer support
- Helps prevent transaction failures
- Real-time Sales Reporting
- Sends a Weekly performance report via Email
- Doesn’t support international payments. Only accepts payment in Indian Rupee
- Lacks promptness in terms of Customer Support Service
Razorpay is the only Payment Gateway service provider in India that allows online merchants to accept, process and disburse digital payments through multifarious payment modes like Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, Net Banking and digital wallets. Razorpay offers the highest level of tech integration without burdening your pockets much.
- Razorpay ensures hassle-free integration with your online store. The account opening process is lightning quickly and you can start accepting payments in no time.
- Enables merchants to accept international payments.
- Does not redirect customers to a different webpage whilst they complete the payment process.
- Razorpay makes use of a pop-up window to complete the payment process. This enables the customers to retry completing their payment in case the payment gets stuck due to some technical glitch.
- With Razorpay, merchants gain access to a powerful dashboard wherein they can get hold of detailed reports of payments, settlements, refunds and much more that helps add credibility to their business decisions.
- Supports multiple payment modes like Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, Net Banking, and Digital Wallets.
- With payment security in its DNA, Razorpay leaves no stone unturned to ensure maximum levels of security. It is PCI DSS Level 1 compliant and makes use of third party audits to keep the data safe at all times.
- Setup Fee: Zero
- Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero
- Transaction Fee: 2% for payment with Indian Debit/Credit Cards, Net Banking, UPI, Digital Wallets, Free charge,
- Mobikwik, etc.; 3% for payment with Diners and Amex Cards, International Cards, EMI
- Powerful Dashboard that adds credibility to a merchant’s business.
- Easy of payment with 50+ Payment Modes
- Android and iOS SDK that come packed with rich features.
- Merchants experience discrepancies in customer support service in case they opt for a Standard Plan
- Only accepts payments in Indian Rupee. Does not support multiple currencies
‘Paytm’ Gateway service has come off as a blessing in disguise for e-commerce merchants and is one of India’s most trusted e-commerce payment system. It boasts of a gargantuan online customer base, courtesy it’s offering of ‘Paytm Cash’ wallet. It can be easily integrated with your android and iOS devices, thus empowering you to stay connected to your business even when you’re on the move.
- Accepts multiple modes of payment like Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, Net Banking, Paytm Wallet, etc.
- Yet another feature that adds a lot to Paytm’s likeability is the option of availing ‘Cashbacks’ and ‘Discounts’ on merchandise. This selling strategy on part of Paytm to woo customers helps online merchants gain mileage in terms of increased customer base and greater revenues. Paytm Payment Gateway rescues the merchants from the burden of including this feature on their store’s website that unnecessarily adds to overhead costs and eats a lot of time.
- Adheres to stringent security norms to secure your payments. Paytm makes use of 128-bit encryption and is PCI DSS compliant.
- Allows intelligent routing by making use of direct bank integrations, dynamic switching between gateways and card network.
- Paytm lets merchants gain access to a powerful dashboard that helps them keep a tab on their payments, settlements, refunds, etc.
- Empowers your customers by extending the service of instant refunds.
- Setup Fee: Zero
- Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero
- Transaction Fee: 1.99% + taxes per transaction
- The convenience of payment
- High levels of security
- One-click payment platform for your customers that lets you capitalize upon their impulsive buying behavior.
- Provides real-time user experience to the customers that influence their buying behavior.
- Allows direct transfer of money to the merchant’s bank account
- Has a dedicated application for merchants wherein they can manage their business account and transaction details.
- Helps merchants keep a track of the payments received in real-time.
- Inefficient customer service that falls short in terms of resolving issues on time
- Does not support overseas payment.
- Cumbersome physical KYC process that unnecessarily eats- up your time