If you are setting up an eCommerce store or selling digital products from your website, you’ll need a payment gateway to accept payments from your customers.
Until a couple of years back, setting up a payment gateway as a mammoth task. It used to involve a lot of documentation, verification, huge setup feeds and technical know how to make it work. But now, it has become very easy to set up a payment gateway for selling your products in India.
When we started ProfitBooks, we evaluated lot of payment gateway providers and finally settled for 2 of them. I’m sharing what we had learnt during past few years.
5 Things to consider before setting up a payment gateway
Payment gateway cost (Setup fee, TDR, Annual free, etc)
Time to setup everything
User Interface of the gateway
Payment options (Credit/Debit Cards, Netbanking, Mobile Wallets, UPI, etc)
From the growing list of payment gateways in India, I’ve carefully picked 5 best Payment Gateways suitable for small businesses. I have compared these gateways based on the above parameters.
Launched in year 2001, CCAvenue is one of the oldest payment gateways in India. It has recently overhauled the UI of their website and merchant dashboard. When I was talking with them for integration with our online invoicing software in 2014, they had the slowest onboarding period (15-20days). Nowadays, they are claiming to complete the activation in 24hrs.
CCAvenue supports almost every bank and payment option out there. Its reliable and used by high volume eCommerce websites like Snapdeal. I would strongly recommend this payment gateway to startups if they wave off the annual maintenance charges completely.
Go for CCAvenue if you are looking for a reliable payment gateway in India that is tried and tested.
Setup Fee : Zero for Startup Pro Plan, Rs. 30,000 for Privilege Plan
Annual Maintenance Fee
Transaction Fee: From 1.99% + Rs.3 to 2.99% + Rs.3
Brief Review Of CCAvenue:
One of the major advantages I liked about CCAvenue is that it supports multiple currencies. That means you can accept payments not only in INR but also in USD, EURO, etc. However, when I asked them about South African currency, ZAR, they said its not available. Interestingly, its listed on their website. So, its important to talk with their support executives before going for a multi-currency option.
CCAvenue also seems to have the support for the largest number of banks and payment options. For example, it supports EMI as a payment option from over 7 banks, 100+ debit cards, 53+ net banking, 4 cash cards, 2 mobile wallets and 40+ bank’s IMPS.
Top clients of CCAvenue:
MakeMytrip, ClearTrip, Naukri, AirAsia, Yatra, redBus, Myntra and Snapdeal
Cashfree is a next generation payment gateway that helps Indian businesses both collect and disburse payments via almost 100 payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, Rupay, UPI, IMPS, NEFT, PayTM & other wallets, Pay Later and various EMI options.
According to them, over 3000+ businesses have processed more than Rs 2500 Crores of payments using Cashfree offerings. Cashfree is backed by Silicon Valley investor Y Combinator and was incubated by Paypal.
They offer really unique features such as:
- Plug-n-Play international payments by connecting Paypal account
- PayTM account linking to offer PayTM was a wallet option
- Payout APIs to send money to any bank account, UPI ID, PayTM wallet instantly
- Collections by NEFT-IMPS
- Marketplace vendor settlement
- ‘Pay Later’ options like ePayLater, Lazypay, OLA Credit, and Cardless EMI options like Zestmoney and Flexmoney
We have integrted Cashfree with ProfitBooks so that our customers can send invoices with a payment link.
Setup Fee : Zero
Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero
Transaction Fee: From 1.95%
Brief Review Of CashFree:
Our personal experience with CashFree has been really good. Their rates are low and technical support is very responsive. I like the fact that CashFree folks are continuously evolving the product.
Top clients of CashFree:
Dunzo, Wedmegood, Commut, Eventshigh, ClubFactory, HappyEasyGo, Milaap, Ketto
The payment gateway solution provider, PayU India, rebranded both its products PayU Enterprise and PayUmoney to establish them as clear independent businesses in May 2015. Now, PayUbiz focuses on enterprises and is used by large enterprises such as Snapdeal whereas PayUmoney is the consumer brand of PayU India and has a wallet solution for consumers and payment acceptance solution for SMB businesses.
PayU India is the flagship company of Naspers group which is a $25 Billion internet and media conglomerate listed on London and Johannesburg stock exchanges respectively. In India, they claim to serve more than 4000 merchants.
Setup Fee : For PayUBiz, plans starts from Rs. 4900 and go upto Rs. 29000. For PayUMoney, its Zero.
Annual Maintenance Fee: For PayUBiz, its Rs. 2400. For PayUMoney, its Zero.
Transaction Fee: For PayUBiz, its between 2.20% to 3.90% based on the plan. For PayUMoney, its 2%.
Brief Review Of PayUMoney:
We evaluated PayUMoney for accepting payments in ProfitBooks and were really happy with the overall experience. Signing up is very easy and you can upload the documents directly on their site for verification. We specifically liked the option to create ‘Pay with PayUmoney’ button. Its easy to create invoices and send payment links to your customers. We also found the support to be responsive.
As wallet service is integrated with the payment gateway, it adds extra value to the overall proposition. We are not using it now but would highly recommend this payment gateway for a startup.
Top clients of PayUMoney & PayUbiz:
Jabong, BookMyShow, Freecharge, Zomato, Goibibo, Olx, Ola, ShopClues, Pepperfry
I would also like to make a brief mention of CitrusPay here. We are using Citrus at ProfitBooks to collect online payments for past 3 years. Our personal experience with Citrus support has not been very good and we found it non-responsive. Apart from this, we did not face any issue with the payment gateway.
Top clients of Citrus Pay include ProfitBooks, Emirates, Etihad, Airtel, Meru, Zivame, Esselworld, Kaya, PVR Cinemas and Healthkart.
Citrus has been acquired by PayU in Sep 2016. It will be interesting to see how this merger shapes up and what it means to the existing customers.
EBS is owned by France based Ingenio group, which is a global leader in payment processing services. You will find mixed reviews for this payment gateway. Some of the ProfitBooks customers are happily using it since past 4-5 users but some reviews are really very negative. All I can say is that EBS has been around for a while and considered as a reliable payment gateway.
EBS has recently lowered their charges due to competition and can be opted by small and medium sized businesses.
Setup Fee : From Rs.4799 to Rs. 23999 based on the plan
Annual Maintenance Fee: Rs.2400
Transaction Fee: From 1.25% to 3.75% based on the plan
Brief Review Of EBS:
EBS offers multi-currency processing and has significantly lowered the onboarding time for new users. It offers a decent UI and a good amount of payment processing options. However, I feel that the features like ‘Auto Pay’ are a double-edged sword and some merchants may not like it.
Top clients of EBS:
BabyOye, Snapdeal, FirstCry
This one is my favourite. Started in 2012, Instamojo initially offered a way to collect payments for digital goods. But now thousands of users are using it to collect payments for ebooks, reports, tickets, tutorials, merchandise, invoices, services, and much more.
Instamojo is super easy to set up. They have recently introduced instant onboarding. Now, you don’t require any documentation to begin a trial account with Instamojo, simply answer a few questions and get started in minutes. For a full account, the bank statement and PAN card remain the only requirements. You can create a payment link or button, a page where you can list your products or services or directly request a payment.
Setup Fee : Zero
Annual Maintenance Fee: Zero
Transaction Fee: 2% + Rs.3
Brief Review Of Instamojo:
We use Instamojo as an alternate payment gateway for ProfitBooks and are extremely happy with it. Support is very responsive and helpful. They keep releasing new features every now and then. With frictionless onboarding, low transaction rate and intuitive user interface, I would strongly recommend Instamojo as the best payment gateway for small businesses.
Top clients of Instamojo:
Snapdeal’s app Shopo, Online Prasad, UrbanClap, YourStory, Next Big What and others.
Other Payment Gateways to consider
Owned by Times Group, DirecPay has been around since past few years. It has not evolved with changing times and still offers limited payment options as compared to other payment gateways. It asks for lot of unnecessary documents and still takes more than a week to activation. I found it tough to contact then when I inquired last time.
Razorpay is also a good option if you want to accept payments online. It comes with a lot of features. Recetly, they have started supporting subscriptions or recurring payments in India.
Last one on the list of Indian payment gateways is Atom payment gateway. It started offering services in year 2006 and claims to have 1500+ merchants onboard. They also offer Point Of Sale (POS), IVR and Wallet options.
Indian banks like HDFC and ICICI also offer payment gateway services. Both – HDFC Payment Gateway and ICICI Payment Gateway are very expensive and difficult to setup as compared to the options mentioned above. These can be useful only when you have very high volume business transactions.
Top 3 Mobile Wallets in India
In 2015, we saw the rise of ‘payment wallets’. Suddenly, lot of wallet services popped up and started offering huge discounts to acquire new customers. Some of these popular wallets also offer payment gateway services to the merchants. These wallets can integrated as an add-on along with the above mentioned payment gateways.
What started as a mobile & DTH recharge service is now a $4 billion company. You can start accepting payments from PayTM users using their Pay With PayTM service. You can integrate this payment gateway in your website. Unlike other traditional payment gateways, it will allow payments only from PayTM wallet.
This service is used by Uber, Bookmyshow, Domino’s Pizza, Food Panda and many big companies.
Similar to PayTM, merchants can accept money using MobiKwik wallet. As on 2015, there are over 25 million users that have MobiKwik account and 650+ merchants who are using its payment gateway service.
Its used by online portals like TicketGoose, YepMe, ShopClues and Snapdeal.
Oxigen Wallet is India’s first RBI approved non-bank wallet to be integrated with NPCI allowing instant money transfer from the Wallet to 60+ banks and vice versa using the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).
Operating since 2004, Oxigen services already has over 1,30,000 retail touch points with over 40 million monthly transactions. You can use the Oxigen Checkout Services by registering as a merchant partner.
Collecting International payments
There are many companies in India – prominently tech startups that serve international clients. I would categorise these companies into 3 broad categories:
- Companies that raise one-time bill. For example, tech firms offering software development services.
- Companies raising recurring invoices. For example, tech startups working on SaaS model.
- Companies selling goods to international customers from e-commerce platform.
For collecting one-time payment, I would strongly suggest using Payoneer. It supports the largest number of currencies. We use it to collect payments from counties like Pakistan or Bangladesh where no other payment gateway works. Payoneer has some unique features and offers the lowest rates.
For recurring payments and e-commerce, Paypal is the best payment gateway. Their transaction fee is highest but its the most reliable payment gateway to collect international payments. Good news is that, Paypal has started supporting domestic transactions from India as well. I will soon be posting a review on that.
Nowadays, Indian payment gateways also provide multi-currency options. But these come at a higher price and less reliability.
Payment Gateway + Billing Solution
What if the payment gateway is already integrated with your billing or invoicing software and you never have to worry about any setup hassles? This is what ProfitBooks billing software offers. Just upload few documents from the application and you are all set. When you send invoices to your customers, they’ll see an option to pay using credit/debit card, netbanking and wallets.
Transaction fee is super low – 1.9% of transaction value or flat Rs. 99 – whichever is lower!
Know more about ProfitBooks and test drive it for free.
Whole payment gateway outlook in India is changing rapidly. Apart from traditional payment gateways, we now have options to accept money using mobile wallets. Government is also pushing for digital payments by launching UPI and Bharat QR.
As per my experience, you should give importance to a number of payment options provides, ease of integration and most importantly support while choosing a payment gateway in India. I would also recommend using 2 payment gateways to make sure you never miss a payment from your customer.
I would like to hear your feedback in the comments section below.
Also read –
How to sell online in India
10 Ways to fund your small business
Learn about new payment method – UPI
Ho to create professional invoices
Want To Systemize Billing? See How ProfitBooks Can Help