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5 best payment processing software

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Last editedJun 20234 min read

The best payment processor software ensures secure, efficient transactions with robust compliance with security standards and compatibility with multiple payment methods. It should offer a user-friendly interface, real-time tracking, and responsive support. 

An efficient payment processor can make or break your business. Good payment software makes the payment process effortless for customers, decreasing the chances of abandoned shopping carts and failed invoice payments. 

Businesses have dozens of options for payment processing software, including products designed for in-person sales and online purchases. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular payment processors.

Five payment processing software options


If you are looking for a modern payment collection solution that offers a high level of automation that reduces costs, manual admin and stress for business owners, GoCardless is at the top of the class. 

GoCardless helps businesses take  instant, one-off, and recurring payments via the UK’s bank payment network. We are also consistently rated best in class for customer satisfaction and customer service

By facilitating authorised payment collection directly from customer bank accounts, GoCardless significantly slashes processing fees compared to card payment costs. With a global account-to-account bank payment network, GoCardless merchants can collect payments worldwide without needing a foreign currency bank account.

Automating payment collection with GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit card payments.

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Stripe facilitates online and in-person transactions, allowing businesses to accept credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and international payments. This all-in-one payment infrastructure provider also helps companies to manage invoices and subscription payments. Another benefit is Stripe’s flexibility. 

The software is built for developers, so you can customise and adapt the product to suit your platform. However, one thing to remember is that Stripe specialises in card payments, so it might not be the best fit if you want to accept more cost-effective payment methods.


Square is the second well-known payment processor available for in-person and online businesses. It allows businesses to set up new merchant services, accept payments in various formats, issue invoices, and facilitate online transactions. It’s also free to get started. You’ll pay per transaction when you make a sale.


Most businesses will already be familiar with PayPal, one of the longest-running payment software options on the market. It’s easy to set up with a simple business account, making it ideal for merchants offering their payers a familiar PayPal wallet experience. However, it’s best suited to one-off transactions rather than subscription or recurring payments, and the fees are higher than many others on this list.


Another all-in-one solution is Adyen, which offers various payment methods, financial management services, and data analysis. It’s well suited to cross-channel payments, integrating easily with online and offline platforms. 

There’s built-in fraud protection and good international reach. Adyen’s best suited to card payments, which means it’s not as well optimised for alternatives such as bank payments.

What is payment software?

Payment software is any program that helps a business or individual accept online payments. It typically consists of three components:

  1. Payment processor – manages transactions, sending details between the customer’s and merchant’s banks.

  2. Payment gateway – handles the payments by connecting your website to the payment processor.

  3. Merchant account – enables online payments by providing a holding account for funds received from customers.

These are generally all included in the same all-in-one package, though some software will function solely as a processor or gateway. You can find out more in our guide to the basics of online payment processing here.

It’s important to highlight that with GoCardless, you won’t need any additional software or service to collect payments, only a bank account to receive money.

Find out more about GoCardless for small business.

Automating payment collection with GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit card payments.

What are the benefits of using payment software?

Payment software allows you to take instant payments from customers at a distance, making the entire user experience more convenient. Using the latest software also ensures you can secure your customers’ payment details with built-in tools like Secure 3D and encryption.

How to process payments with payment software

By comparing options like those mentioned above, you’ll be well-placed to find the right payment software for your business. Once you’ve selected, the next step is to integrate your software of choice with your hosting platform and payment page. 

GoCardless integrates easily with over 350 software packages, including accounting partners such as Sage and Xero.

How to choose the best payment software for your business

Choosing the right payment software for your business is a critical decision that can significantly impact your operations and customer experience. The ideal software should be reliable, secure, user-friendly, and flexible to accommodate your business's unique needs. Here are some key factors to consider when making your choice:

Flexibility: The best payment software should be able to adapt to your business needs. Look for options for collecting instant, one-off, or recurring payments. For example, GoCardless offers this flexibility, enabling you to tailor your payment collection to your business model.

Ease of use: The platform should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. A user-friendly interface like the GoCardless merchant dashboard can simplify tracking and managing your payments.

Customer support: Excellent customer support is crucial. You want a service that can help you resolve any issues quickly. GoCardless is well-known for its award-winning support, ensuring you have the help you need when you need it.

Integration capabilities: Your payment software should easily integrate with other systems you use in your business. GoCardless, for instance, has numerous integrations and partnerships, making it a versatile choice for businesses of all sizes.

Cost: Consider the cost of the service. Some providers require long-term contracts, while others, like GoCardless, offer their services without requiring any contracts or long-term commitment, meaning that you only pay for the funds you collect and nothing else.

Automation: The ability to automate payment collection saves you time (the one resource you cannot get back) and eliminates late payments, improving cash flow. Once authorised, GoCardless collects customer payments and automatically credits them to your account on your schedule.

Security: The payment software should have robust security measures to protect your business and your customers' information.

Regulatory compliance: Ensure that the payment software complies with all relevant regulations in your region to avoid legal issues.

By considering these factors, you can select a payment software that meets your business needs and provides a seamless payment experience for your customers.

Automating payment collection with GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit card payments.

Case study

In the challenging landscape of financial services, Plend strives to revolutionise credit scoring in the UK. Critical to their success is GoCardless's all-in-one payment processing capabilities.

Co-Founder and CTO Jamie Pursaill, notes,

GoCardless is the only provider we need to help customers make their payments. 

GoCardless streamlines Plend's financial operations and significantly reduces overhead. Co-Founder and CEO Rob Pasco states, 

The payment success we've seen from GoCardless is 100%. We've already saved upwards of £50,000 in costs with GoCardless, and that will only get larger as we put more volume through the business and the platform.

The introduction of GoCardless's Instant Bank Pay bolsters Plend's capacity to meet customers' changing needs amid the escalating cost of living crisis. Rob explains, 

Instant Bank Pay is a fantastic product that allows us to provide a very quick, easily authenticated payment link to the customer, which we can quickly reconcile on the other side.

Looking ahead to future growth and innovation, Plend recognises GoCardless as an integral partner that seamlessly integrates with their systems and processes, underlining the importance of a responsive and reliable payment processing partner for the successful scaling of any business.

You don't have to think about GoCardless, it's intuitive and reliable 

Automating payment collection with GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit card payments.

We can help

GoCardless is a comprehensive global payment solution designed to streamline your payment collection process, significantly reducing your team's financial admin tasks.

Boasting over 350 integrations and partnerships, GoCardless eliminates the need for supplementary software or tools when collecting Instant, one-time and recurring payments. Whether you're managing a substantial subscription base or looking to collect international payments, GoCardless has got you covered.

Automating payment collection with GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit card payments.

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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Try a better way to collect payments, with GoCardless. It's free to get started.

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