In the digital age, eCommerce is a booming industry that will only continue to grow as time progresses. Maybe you’ve already begun your own eCommerce journey, or perhaps you’re just starting your eCommerce research. Regardless of where you are in your business endeavors, an essential element to running a profitable eCommerce business is choosing the right payment gateway. Read on to learn more about these popular payment gateways and what each has to offer your growing eCommerce business.

What is a Payment Gateway? If you’re just getting started on your eCommerce journey, you may know that you need a payment gateway, but you are still unsure about what a payment gateway really is. Simply put, a payment gateway is the payment processor that receives and processes every purchase you receive from a customer at your store. As soon as one of your customers clicks the purchase button, their data is automatically processed by your chosen payment gateway system.

There are a number of different payment gateway systems available on the market today, each with their own set of pros and cons. Some of the most popular payment gateways on the market today are PayPal, Stripe, Alipay, Braintree, and eNets. Check out the pros and cons of these various payment gateways below.

PayPalOne of the most popular and widely known payment gateways in the eCommerce industry is PayPal. Consumers know and trust PayPal as it has been around since December 1998. PayPal is a widely chosen payment gateway by eCommerce entrepreneurs of all levels. The platform already has more than 87 million active accounts and supports numerous types of currencies around the world.

Accepted CurrenciesPayPal accepts 25 different currencies from around the world. Transaction Fees Merchants using PayPal are charged a 2.9% + 30¢ transaction fee on every sale. Card TypesPayPal primarily accepts the supported payment methods of PayPal, Visa, American Express, MasterCard, JCB, PayPal Credit, Discover, Diner’s Club, and EnRoute.

Pros and Cons Pros:PayPal is a great payment gateway for all eCommerce businesses. The platform is proven, reliable, safe, and can be accessed in over 200 different countries around the world. It’s also easy to use and doesn’t require you to set up a merchant account. PayPal also allows you to create and send invoices through your account and allows you to set up recurring payments as well. Cons: While PayPal is a great payment gateway, there are some drawbacks when it comes to the platform. One disadvantage of PayPal is that there are hefty chargeback fees should you ever need to refund a customer. If you ever need help, it can also be challenging contacting PayPal’s customer service department.

Stripe Another extremely popular eCommerce payment gateway is Stripe. The platform was founded in 2010 by Patrick and John Collison. While Stripe has only been around for the last ten years, it has quickly become a staple in the eCommerce industry. There are no monthly fees with the Stripe platform, and merchants are given access to on-form payments, recurring billing, and mobile payments.

Accepted Currencies Stripe accepts over 135 various currencies from around the world. Transaction Fees Merchants using Stripe are charged a 2.9% + 30¢ transaction fee on every sale. Card Types Stripe primarily accepts the supported payment methods of Visa, American Express, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, Diner's Club, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Alipay, and most debit and credit cards.

Pros and Cons Pros:If you’re looking to do business on a global scale, Stripe is definitely a must-have payment gateway for your eCommerce business. The platform accepts over 135 various currencies from around the world and is available in 26 different countries. Stripe also offers excellent customer service support to merchants and charges low fees when it comes to refunds, disputes, and chargebacks. Cons:The main drawback when it comes to Stripe is that it isn't available in as many countries compared to the other major payment gateways on the market.

Alipay One popular eCommerce payment gateway is Alipay. Jack Ma originally founded Alipay in 2004. The payment platform was initially created so that customers on Alibaba could have an easier and safer time with their transactions. The goal for Alipay was to provide a payment gateway that catered to both the buyers and the sellers on Alibaba, making transitions faster for everyone. Alipay continues to provide this service. However, now their services are offered on a much larger scale that goes far beyond the confines of Alibaba.

Accepted Currencies Alipay now reaches far outside the Chinese borders. The payment gateway currently handles the nine different currencies listed below. AUD: Australian Dollar - A$ CAD: Canadian Dollar - $ EUR: Euro - € GBP: British Pound - £ HKD: Hong Kong Dollar - HK$ JPY: Japanese Yen - ¥ NZD: New Zealand Dollar - $ SGD: Singapore Dollar - S$ USD: United States Dollar - $ Transaction Fees Merchants using Alipay are charged a 0.55% transaction fee on every sale. Card Types Alipay primarily accepts the supported payment methods of Visa, MasterCard, JCB, bank transfer, Western Union, WebMoney, Boleto.

Pros and Cons Pros:Alipay is currently the number one used third-party online payment service provider in China. The platform has over 520 million active users and makes over 100 million daily transactions. If you’re unsure about how to integrate Alipay into your eCommerce business, don’t worry, there are many easy solutions and plugins to help you with this process. The good news for Stripe users is that you can easily integrate Alipay into your existing Stripe payment gateway. Cons:While Alipay now extends beyond the borders of China, most of its user base is still made up of Chinese individuals. However, accepting Alipay payments is still a must for any eCommerce business as it lets you tap into the 1.3 billion person Chinese market.

BraintreeFounded in 2007 by Bryan Johnson, Braintree is a division of PayPal that specializes in mobiles and web payment systems for eCommerce companies. Braintree was officially acquired by PayPal in 2013. To use Braintree, you will need a PayPal Business Account to begin accepting payments through PayPal on the Braintree platform.

Accepted Currencies Braintree accepts over 130 various currencies in over 45 countries around the world. Transaction Fees Merchants using Braintree are charged a 2.9% + 30¢ transaction fee on every sale. There is an additional 1% fee for transactions in non-U.S. currency and non-U.S. customer credit cards. Card Types Braintree primarily accepts the supported payment methods of Visa, American Express, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, Diner’s Club, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo, PayPal, and most debit and credit cards.

Pros and Cons Pros:Braintree is a tech-forward payment gateway option that comes with an impressive suite of developer tools. Braintree also provides all businesses with their own, individual merchant account. Braintree is also loaded with the same advanced fraud and data security tools found on other major payment gateway systems. Cons: If you don’t have a team of engineers or engineering skills yourself, the impressive developer tools may not be that helpful.

eNets The electronic payment service provider known as eNets was founded in 1985. The company is currently headquartered in Singapore, and Lawrence Chan serves as the current CEO. Essentially, eNets is an internet-based payment method that allows you to make payments from your bank account using your Internet Banking PIN and ID.

Accepted Currencies The eNets payment gateway accepts the following major currencies. AUD: Australian Dollar - A$ CNY: Chinese Yuan - ¥ GBP: British Pound - £ JPY: Japanese Yen - ¥ NZD: New Zealand Dollar - $ SGD: Singapore Dollar - S$ USD: United States Dollar - $ Transaction Fees Merchants using eNets are charged a 3.4% + 50¢ transaction fee on every sale. New merchants are also required to put down a security deposit of $200. Card Types The eNets platform primarily accepts direct debit in Singapore and all major credit cards.

Pros and Cons Pros: Utilizing eNets could be very beneficial to many eCommerce businesses. One benefit eNets has over other major payment gateways is that money is credited directly into the local Singapore bank account that you set up. This means that if customers raise a dispute that eNets will not directly deduct money out of your account to refund the customer, a common practice on other popular payment gateways when compared to other popular payment gateways. Cons: The eNets payment gateway system is focused more on cashless payments rather than being eCommerce focused. However, the system still has a lot to offer eCommerce businesses.

Why You Should Consider Stacking Payment Gateways Ultimately, each of the reviewed payment gateway systems could work successfully in your eCommerce endeavor. PayPal and Stripe are generally the two front-runners when it comes to selecting a payment gateway for most eCommerce entrepreneurs. However, you don’t have to choose just one payment gateway. You can always stack the payment gateways offered in your eCommerce store. This will maximize the options your customers have for making purchases, which increases your odds of actually making a sale.

Let Us Help! Choosing the right payment gateway systems is an essential element in every eCommerce business. If you still have more questions regarding what type of payment gateway would best suit your eCommerce needs, feel free to contact us for a no-obligation discussion on payment gateways. We would love to work with you on your eCommerce business and look forward to hearing from you soon.