Top Payment Gateways In UK
If you already have an e-commerce store or if you are thinking about selling products online, setting up an e-commerce website can be quite a daunting task.
It is also important for you to understand what is happening behind the scenes of your polished e-commerce website. One of the first things you need to consider is a payment gateway because you’ll need a it to accept payments from your customers.
Online payments have become an indelible part of our daily lives. We’re transacting online not only through debit or credit cards but through numerous other modes like UPI, net banking and wallets as well.
Paying online is a fundamental feature that every e-commerce platform in the world offers. And they can provide this facility by integrating with a payment gateway.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway allows you receive payments from your customers and securely deposit it in to your bank account.
It is like a tunnel that connects your bank account to the platform where you need to transfer your money. It is a software that authorises you to conduct an online transaction through different payment modes like net banking, credit card, debit card, UPI or the many online wallets that are available these days.
It fulfills the important roles in e-commerce transaction processes between a merchant and customer. Moreover, it is is used to help online transactions get approved by issuer bank.
Types of Payment Gateways
First of all, there are two major types of gateways available:
- Onsite Gateways
An onsite payment gateway allows you to receive payments directly on your website. This means customers enter their debit card details on your website and are never directed away to the payment gateway providers website.
Pros: The checkout process is seamless and generally less customers abandon the checkout process
Cons: It requires a few extras (E.g. SSL Certificate) and costs are generally higher
2. Offsite Gateways
An offsite payment gateway takes the customer from your website to the payment gateways providers website to make a payment.
Pros: It is perfect for startups because of lower costs and is easier and quicker to setup
Cons: Customer trust in your brand can be lost and it can make more customers abandon the checkout process
Understanding the difference between the two types of gateways is important when choosing on the perfect payment gateway because it can mean more or less outgoings and transactions.
How to find the right payment gateway provider?
First of all, you should pick a type and research to find the payment gateway provider that best fits your unique needs. Consider the following:
- Security: Security of your customers’ information should be your first priority. Customers should trust that their financial information is secure when making an online transaction with your business. Look for a PCI-DSS certification such as anti-fraud protection.
- Customer experience: In addition to security, buyers are looking for a smooth and convenient purchasing experience. As more customers turn to online shopping, it is important that you offer them an experience that balances with what they are familiar with from big sites, even if you are running a small business. If it requires too much time, effort or personal information to buy through you, they may turn elsewhere.
- Domestic and international payment acceptance: We live and work in a global market. Make sure you’re not limiting your business to only local sales.
- Fees: Make sure your payment gateway fits into your company’s budget.
- UX: A few of the top factors for are directly associated with the UX that users get from the payment gateways. 28% of customers abandon a shopping cart for a complicated checkout process, and this makes the user experience design a significant aspect of any payment gateway.
With the plethora of options for payment gateways that are available, it can be difficult for you to choose one that is the most appropriate for your store.
Let’s make it easier for you.
We will list the top 6 payment gateways in UK that offer easy, quick, seamless, and secure transactions. So, that it will be easy for you to decide which one to pick for your e-commerce platform.
Therefore, make an appropriate choice for your online store that relies on quality standards and policies, and secures the available sensitive data.
The major benefit of PayPal is that it is really recognized and trusted by many internet users. But on the flip side, most users think they require a PayPal account to send payments – but this is not true. Customers can use either their PayPal account or pay via a debit/credit card.
PayPal comes with two options – PayPal Standard (Offsite) and PayPal Pro (Onsite) and both are relatively easy to integrate and offer great support. They are currently changing their interface which makes understanding your incoming transactions a lot easier.
Key Features of PayPal Payment gateway service are:
- International Payment / Credit card Support
- Multi-Currency Support: Paypal support over 100 currency globally and as a paypal merchant you can keep your earnings in 57 currencies.
- Withdrawal Fees: There are no withdrawal fees on PayPal.
- Settlement days: All payments received in your PayPal account will be auto-withdrawn to your local bank account on a daily basis.
- Customer Support: PayPal has a great customer support system.
Transaction Fees: 1.9%-3.4% + 20p per transaction
Monthly Fees: £20 per month (Web Payments Pro)
SagePay is popular with accountants due to their accounting software – Sage, so this gains trust knowing that it’s a good and secure payment gateway to use. Technical support from SagePay is excellent when dealing with queries of payments and setting up with them initially.
SagePay has become one of the biggest payment service providers in Europe and its payment gateway is considered to be one of the best. It offers two tiers of services—the Business package for small to medium businesses and the Corporate one for larger businesses and the public sector. Both packages will allow you to accept major credit and debit card payments including visa and mastercard as well as PayPal.
One of the main advantages of SagePay is that they also offer more than online payments – you can take orders over the phone and through EPOS systems.
Sage Pay has truly developed from being a small company in UK to one of the major payment processing services across Europe. It brings viable solutions that meet your business needs with top class security
Key Features of Sage Pay Payment Gateway are:
- Fraud screening
- Connect with your e-commerce website
- Seamless integration into Sage Accounts
- Range of payment types
- Industry leading security
- 24/7 UK based support
- Customisable payment pages
- Single click check out
- Real time analytics
Monthly Fees: From £20.90 for 350 transactions per month, £45 for 500 transactions per month (additional transactions at 12p each).
Stripe is the less well known of the above two payment gateways we recommended, but equally (If not more) brilliant. Stripe is a fairly new payment gateway with it only being established in 2010 but quickly became popular due to minimal hassle when integrating with an e-commerce website.
Signing up for this payment gateway is a lot easier compared to others but they only offer an onsite option. It is also very feature rich – making recurred billing (E.g. monthly subscriptions) & mobile payments easy.
Stripe is quite different from other gateway providers in the UK in that it offers it payment gateways in a range of APIs (an application program interface that you or your web developer can use to integrate your payment gateway into your online store). This gives you full control over the look and feel of your payment pages that should enable you to create a great shopping experience and minimise cart abandonment.
Key Features of Stripe Payment Gateway are:
- Financial Reporting
- Clean Canvas
- Open-Source Plugin
- Payment Options
- Mobile Customer Interface
- Embeddable Checkout
- Multicurrency Payouts
- Accounting Integrations
- Custom UI Toolkit
Transaction Fees: 1.4% plus 20p for European cards, 2.9% +20p for non-European cards.
Cardstream is the only company in the UK to provide a fully independent “white label” payment gateway. This is the system that allows you to accept card payments on your website and it also provides a real-time virtual terminal so you can take payments over the phone or by mail.
The key difference with Cardstream is it’s entirely independent from acquiring banks and any other payment company that actually processes the card payments. This means you can use Cardstream as your payment gateway, regardless of which bank is handling your card payments and seamlessly integrate a fully customisable gateway into your website.
That said, while Cardstream is an independent company, it has connections with a vast network of global acquirers and payment firms, which it can help you get set up with if you don’t already have one on board.
Key Features of Payment Cardstream Gateway are:
- Security: Cardstream offers ‘PCI DSS Level 1 Compliant’ anti-fraud features, as well as 3D Secure payments.
- Customisable payment page: Lets you integrate your virtual terminal seamlessly into your current website design.
- Customer Service: Cardstream has people manning the phones during normal business hours, and you can get in touch with them via email or social media 24/7.
- Merchant Management system: Helps you manage your eCommerce platform by analysing your transaction trends.
- Flexible payments: Allows you to accept single, one-off payments, or regularly scheduled ones. This makes Cardstream a good shout for subscription-based businesses.
5. Amazon Pay
Amazon’s payment gateway gives your customers a nice ride with a familiar name, and keeps you in control of your online payments.
Amazon Pay offers a secure checkout experience backed by Amazon’s technology, innovation, and robust risk management services.
With a single login, the customer is immediately identified and enabled to complete a transaction, a possibility that is also available on mobile devices. Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee makes these transactions 100% secure and charges no additional fees to do so. As with most payment gateways, clients are only charged a fixed percentage of the amount they are transferring.
Within their Amazon Payments package, merchants will also find a fully-featured e-commerce suite that will help them promote, sell, and manage products and orders
It cuts down on admin both for you and your customers by recycling the details you and your customers have already provided in Amazon accounts, so people can sail through the purchasing stage.
Key Features of Amazon Payment Gateway are:
- Automatic Payments
- Inline Checkout
- Merchant Website Integration
- Fraud Protection
Worldpay is the UK’s leading payment provider,processing around 42% of the country’s transactions
offers global payment processing solutions to both SMBs, as well as enterprise organizations. At the basic level, the solution offers an online pay page which can be linked to your online shopping basket, sending shoppers to a secure Worldpay page where their cards are processed and authorized before being sent back to your website.
You can also choose to integrate Worldpay into your existing website. This way card details are submitted on your own payment page and then sent to Worldpay for authorization, meaning your customers never need to leave your site.
Worldpay offers a virtual terminal that lets you take payments from customers over the phone, or from computers or tablets. Real-time reporting helps to keep track of all payments made. You can also set up a merchant account to store all payments in a secure password protected account.
The enterprise features of Worldpay include fraud & risk management, subscription & recurring payments, alternative payment methods such as e-wallets and bank transfer, currency conversion & language translation, and data & analytics.
Key Features of WordPay Payment Gateway are:
- Card Payments
- Alternative Payments
- Mobile Wallet
- Integrated Point-of-Sale
- Mobile & Tablet Point-of-Sale
- Recurring Payment
- Multi-channel Payments
Worldpay Transaction Fees: Varied
Worldpay Monthly Fees: Starting at £19.96
We have listed the best payment gateway providers for businesses in the UK that enable you to take card details online and they’re all highly capable options.
In reality, the best choice for your business is going to come down to additional factors, such as the other payment services you need from a provider and the transaction fees you can expect to pay, based on the number of card payments you expect to process on a monthly basis.
If you’re a small or new business, then PayPal, Stripe and Cardstream are going to be the best options to look at. It also comes down to how much flexibility you need vs how simple you want to keep things – and then, of course, the transaction fees come into play once again.
On the other hand, if you’re a larger merchant processing a lot of payment every month, you may be able to get the lower rates available with Worldpay and SagePay and the level of security that comes with these options is hard to beat. Something to keep in mind.
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 a 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.
The 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.