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Pros and cons of eCommerce payment gateways

Selling online is a great way to get your product seen by customers all over the world, but you need to carefully consider which eCommerce payment gateway to use for your business.

You will learn

  • What payment gateways are available to you
  • The pros and cons of popular gateways

You need to make sure your customers feel confident buying from you, and you will need to be able to sell to them securely. If a customer does not feel like their bank details will be safe with you, they will not order from your business. Your eCommece payment gateway can make the difference between securing and losing a sale.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, it is your responsibility to keep customers’ data safe. By making sure you have got a secure payment gateway, you can make it much harder for information to get in to the wrong hands.

Find out more about storing and collecting customer data here.

You could look in to getting a Public Key certificate for your website to help keep data safe and to increase customer trust. The certificate lets people know that your website is authentic and protected. You will have seen the mark on websites before, it appears as a little lock next to the webpage URL.


What is a website merchant account and do you need one?

A website merchant account allows you to take credit card payment as well as debit card payments. Lots of your potential customers will have credit cards that they will want to spend on, so you could be missing out on sales if you cannot cater for these kinds of payment.

There is a monthly fee attached to a merchant account, so you will need to make sure that it is something that you can afford to invest in. Being able to take credit card payments can increase the number of customers buying your products or services, but some merchant account providers might require you to leave a percentage of your income with them so they are protected against chargebacks or fraudulent charges.

Which eCommerce payment gateway should you use?

You are probably wondering which payment gateway to use, because there are so many different options available. We will give you an overview of the most popular options to help give you a clearer idea of which might be best for you.


You will most likely have heard of PayPal as a way of taking online payments. PayPal is very recognisable and is widely trusted by customers, which will give them confidence in buying from you.

Using a basic PayPal account has no monthly fee, but they will take a small amount off each sale you make. How much this is depends on how many sales you make, so the more sales you make, the larger percentage PayPal will take.

Pros of PayPal:

  • There are multiple options for your customers to pay, including cheques
  • It can take international payments so you can get customers from all over the world
  • It is free for your customers to use
  • You do not have to share payment details online with your customers, keeping both accounts safe
  • There are no monthly, set up, membership or cancellation fees
  • Protected from payments bouncing or not coming through
  • It is very easy to set up and you are ready to sell almost immediately

Cons of PayPal:

  • You do not have much control of the money that sits in your PayPal account, it can take over if there is a customer issue or suspicious activity
  • You cannot talk to customer directly to resolve any potential problems
  • You cannot appeal their decision about a customer dispute
  • Customers can keep the product if PayPal provides a refund
  • If you have a high number of sales coming through, PayPal will take a bigger amount off each sale

Find out more about using PayPal here:


Stripe is great for taking payments using a website or on a mobile, so it is worth considering if you know lots of your customers access your business via their phones. Like PayPal, it takes a percentage of each payment it processes for you.

Pros of Stripe:

  • You can take payments from debit and credit cards in over 100 currencies
  • It has high security protection to keep payments safe
  • It has integrated fraud tools to spot false payments
  • If you are great with technology, you can do some really exciting things with it
  • Really easy to set up, without start up or monthly fees attached

Cons of Stripe:

  • Disputed payments have a £15 fee attached, which can be refunded if the customer’s bank resolves the dispute in your favour
  • Invoicing is not the most straightforward aspect of Stripe, so you might need a separate invoice system
  • You need to have a Public Key certificate to use Stripe

Check out Stripe here:


Worldpay provides your customers with lots of different ways to pay, including PayPal. They have a team of experts on hand to help you choose the right service for your business and have a flexible pricing plan.

Pros of Worldpay:

  • Prices go down with increased sales
  • They have 3D secure and are PCI DSS compliant so your customers details are very safe
  • They have flexible pricing plans
  • The can manage your invoices and transactions

Cons of Worldpay:

  • There can be a transfer delay when trying to access your money
  • Has set up and monthly fees
  • Takes a percentage of your sale as well as monthly fees
  • One currency is free, must pay to add additional currencies

Take a look at their website here:


Payoneer is great at handling international payments, so if your customers are mostly overseas, this might be the best payment gateway for you to look into. With this payment gateway, you actually receive an account card that you can use to withdraw funds or make payments with.

Pros of Payoneer:

  • Automatically converts payments into your currency
  • Money comes into your account quickly and you’ll get an email alert
  • Free to sign up to
  • You get a Payoneer bank account that can be used in America and Europe to receive or make payments
  • Invoices are automatically generated
  • Can transfer money easily between your Payoneer account and your business bank account
  • Securely handles transactions, protecting your customer’s data

Cons of Payoneer:

  • There is an annual fee and they will take a percentage of your payments
  • You cannot send payments that are not from one Payoneer account to another

Check out the Payoneer website here:

Sage Pay

Sage Pay helps you to take payments online, over the phone and in stores, so it is great if you are not just based online. They are great for first time online sellers as they have lots of experience and support you can access.

Pros of Sage Pay:

  • Free to set up
  • Takes payments in international currencies with no extra cost
  • Allows payment via PayPal as well to give your customers the choice
  • No minimum contract period
  • Payment time between 24-8 hours

Cons of Sage Pay:

  • Can take a while to get your account set up
  • Charges for processing payments for you
  • There is a monthly fee, but you can choose a package to suit your business

Take a look at the Sage Pay website yourself here:


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Written by:

Beth Ellin

How's Business content writer

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