5 traps to avoid when choosing a payment gateway

23 May 2017

Business Insight

When you start an e-commerce business, you are likely thinking about the money you hope to make. Of course, a necessary step to be able to make this money, is to find the best way to get paid.

You want a payment gateway which will provide you with a great service at a reasonable price. Now there are many options available which might seem similar at first glance but there can be some important differences. These differences can be the difference between you having a great experience or a poor experience. Indeed, a quick Google search will reveal many customers of various products who are dissatisfied with the options they have chosen.

Here we will look at some traps to look out for so you can avoid unnecessary headaches.


1) Non integration with your current platform

If you already have your site set up with a particular CMS your life will be easier if the payment gateway you choose already has a pre-made extension available. Using an API instead is a viable option but can sometimes require assistance if you lack the technical abilities and so might take more time, depending on the combination of payment gateway and CMS. If you decide to go the API route, check that it is easy to integrate. If it is a bit tricky you might need some help from a developer.


2) Extra fees

Some payment gateways are less transparent about fees. You may find there is a base fee which is appealing but then there are additional amounts to pay, such as fees to open an account, terminate an account or process certain types of cards. Some charge you just to download the extension. Make sure you know the full cost of the service before signing up. For more information about calculating the real cost of different solutions, check out this article. Once you have a full idea of all the fees you can have a true idea of whether it is an economical option for your business.


3) Slow payment page

People are very impatient so you want your checkout process to go quickly and smoothly. If your payment processing is slow, some impatient customers could decide to close the browser. Also some payment systems require a customer to sign in to their account with that provider which can add an extra step to the process. Ideally your payment process should be as smooth as possible with a minimum of steps so you avoid shopping cart abandonment.


4) Hard to contact/poor customer support

One common complaint you will find for certain payment gateways is that it is very difficult to get in contact when there is a problem. Indeed some services do not even provide a phone number and take weeks to respond when there is an issue (they may be much faster to respond during the sign-up process).

You might have a great experience and never need to call but in the case that something does come up, such as a fraudulent chargeback request or a frozen account due to suspicious activity, you will be glad if you can easily contact somebody.


5) Delays to withdraw money

Payment gateways differ in how long it takes to withdraw your money. It can be frustrating to wait a week when it was advertised to be possible in two days.



If you do your research before choosing your payment gateway, you can avoid frustration and ensure everything goes smoothly for you and your customers. Good luck!