3 min read
Payment gateways enable merchants to take debit and credit card payments, both at the point of sale and online. A good payment gateway is a must for any UK business. You need to take secure payments with a user-friendly checkout experience. Yet with so many gateways and processors out there, how can you choose the right fit for your online store? In this payment gateway comparison, we’ll look at five of the most popular options on the market today.
Naturally, we’ll start this payment gateway comparison with GoCardless. We specialise in taking Direct Debit payments directly from customer bank accounts, ensuring regular cash flow and reducing the involuntary churn that expired or cancelled cards can create. Customers sign a one-time mandate authorising payment to get started. You can customise the payment experience using the GoCardless API, or choose from a selection of hosted checkout pages. Our Instant Bank Pay is powered by secure open banking, making it ideal for one-off payments.
GoCardless also partners with software like Xero, Chargebee, Sage, and QuickBooks, meaning it’s easy to integrate right into your existing workflow. However, no payment gateway can cater to all payment preferences. If you want to attract customers who prefer to pay with a card or digital wallet, it’s worth using GoCardless in tandem with one of the gateways below.
Another popular option is Stripe, an all-in-one service focusing on card payments. Its solutions let you take payments online or in person, with built-in security features and invoicing. This makes it a good complement to GoCardless’s bank payments. Stripe offers a customisable API that lets developers integrate checkout into their website, with a selection of add-ons to pick and choose from.
One thing to note is that due to Stripe’s size, its customer support is fairly limited. It’s also better suited to developers or those with some development experience. Complete beginners might prefer a more user-friendly solution when just getting started.
If you’re looking for an international payment platform, Adyen is a great choice. It enables card payments as well as a wide selection of alternative payment methods from a single platform. Used by major names like Uber and Microsoft, Adyen also handles over 150 currencies. What sets this platform apart is its built-in analysis. Businesses can track and analyse buyer patterns to provide better services. However, this does come at a cost, as Adyen’s pricing system is more complex than others on this list. You’ll need to set up a separate merchant account to take advantage of Interchange pricing on top of the built-in transaction fee.
Another potential downside to Adyen is that it has limited functionality to take bank debit payments. It’s a card-first company, so while it can technically accept alternative payments these products aren’t fully optimised.
When it comes to brand recognition, PayPal is hard to beat. This makes it useful when you’re building trust with new customers. Buyers might be more willing to complete a purchase when it’s facilitated with a payment gateway they already know and trust. Many businesses and customers already have PayPal accounts, making it easy to get started. You also don’t need to have any technical knowledge to set up PayPal on your website.
On the other hand, PayPal’s fees are higher than some other options and you do need a PayPal account to use the service. Payment failure rates tend to be higher with this gateway. This is because customers use the stored details in their PayPal wallets which might be out of date. It’s best suited to one-off transactions, rather than recurring payments.
The final choice in our payment gateway comparison is WorldPay, one of the UK’s most popular gateways. It facilitates a wide selection of payment methods, including digital and mobile wallets as well as the usual card payments. You can use it for regular billing as well as one-off payments, with a live dashboard for monitoring orders in real time.
WorldPay’s size and success means that you might not have the same level of personalised customer service that you’d expect from GoCardless. It also requires some development knowledge to integrate the API into your website. Transaction fees are somewhat high at 2.75% + 20p per sale – in addition to the fixed monthly rates.
Payment gateway comparison verdict
As you compare your options, keep your core demographic in mind. Do you cater to a localised client base, or take payments worldwide? What is your monthly budget? Do you have a team of developers or need something easy to set up? To best cater to all customer payment preferences, many businesses opt to use more than one payment gateway. GoCardless is a leader in Direct Debit, making it the perfect companion to card-first payment gateways like Adyen and Stripe. It’s also easy and cost-effective to get started.
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.