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5 best payment processing software

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Last editedJul 20222 min read

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

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

Five payment processing software options


If you are looking for modernised payment software that can handle all use cases with lower costs and stress, GoCardless comes in at the top of the class. This payments platform helps businesses take both one-off and recurring payments using instant bank pay or bank debit. It’s also consistently rated best in class for customer satisfaction, with a strong emphasis on customer service. By taking payments directly from bank accounts, GoCardless significantly slashes processing fees in comparison to card payments. With a global account-to-account network, businesses can collect payments across the world, settling transactions in the currency of choice.


Stripe facilitates both online and in-person transactions, allowing businesses to accept credit card, debit card, digital wallet, and international payments. This all-in-one payment infrastructure provider also helps businesses manage invoices and subscription payments. Another benefit is Stripe’s flexibility. The software is built for developers, which means you can customise and adapt the product as needed to suit your platform. However, one thing to keep in mind is that Stripe’s emphasis is on card payments, so if you want to accept alternative payment methods it might not be the best fit.


A second well-known payment processor is Square, which is also available for both in-person and online businesses. It allows businesses to set up new merchant services, accept payments in a variety of 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 who want to offer their payers a familiar PayPal wallet experience. It’s best suited to one-off transactions rather than subscription or recurring payments, however, and the fees are higher than many others on this list.


Another all-in-one solution is Adyen, which offers a vast range of payment methods along with financial management services and data analysis. It’s well suited to cross-channel payments, integrating easily with both 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 alternative payments and bank debit.

What is payment software?

Payment software refers to any type of 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 bank and the merchant’s bank.

  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.

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 that you can keep your customers’ payment details secure 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 made a selection, the next step is to integrate your software of choice with your hosting platform and payment page. GoCardless integrates easily with online business platforms as well as hundreds of accounting partners including Sage, Xero, and more. The GoCardless API makes it easier than ever to customise your payment page, and set-up is free.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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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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