So what is a credit card payment gateway?
A payment gateway in essence allows you to do a credit card transaction from your website. The most common use for payment gateways are for the following types of websites:
- Online shops / E-commerce shops
- Subscription / Forum websites
From a technical aspect, developers such as ourselves would “integrate” or “emerge” a client’s website with the payment gateway to ensure that a credit card transaction can be processed and suitable information on the transaction is captured for future reference for both client, payment gateway and purchaser.
What to consider when choosing a payment gateway:
Merchant Account or Not?
The first thing that we chat to our clients about is whether they have a merchant facility / account. Merchant accounts are often more likely to be available with clients who have a certain income being processed per month and the criteria for this would vary from the various banks.
Certain gateways are available for those with a merchant accounts and other gateways are available for those companies / individuals without merchants accounts e.g. small business owners, small transactional type websites, start up businesses or the individual on the street.
Payment Structures and Fees
Each payment gateway has their own payment / fee structure. Most have a monthly fee and then take a percentage per transaction. In some cases, once you have processed a certain amount, the transaction percentage can be decreased to make it more profitable for you, the client.
So, one of the most important things to check on, is the fee structures and workout which one will best suit your budget and needs.
Payment Processing & Fraud
Although not necessarily that important, it’s worth finding out how long the money is held for by the payment gateway before it gets transferred across to your bank account. This can sometime affect certain companies who need to ship things immediately.
In addition, one must check the protection you have against fraud and processing that potentially could happen. You want to know what protection you do / don’t have, so make sure to ask.
SSL standards for “Secure Sockets Layer” and basically ensures your data is secure when capturing your information. Most payment gateways take care of the SSL on their side and the purchasers generally have to capture their credit card details on the payment gateway’s site. In some cases though, a payment gateway may require the purchaser to capture credit card information on the client / your website therefore you will require SSL to be implemented on your website. SSL can be identified by https:// in the website address and a certificate which is usually displayed at the bottom of your browser. This also adds to the purchasers experience whereby they feel they can purchase online securely and safely.
Credit Cards Accepted
Make sure that the credit cards accepted by the payment gateway are the credit cards that you think / assume will be most used. If you target market, for example, are people in the United States, you want to ensure people can purchase with American Express cards. Other examples of cards to consider are The Diners Club and Discovery cards.
Make sure you look into whether additional transaction fees are incurred if accepting these particular cards.
Who to Use
There are a number of payment gateways in South Africa, but here are a few that we have worked with and the ones we would suggest you consider using for your website:
Probably the most well-known of the lot, PayPal, has recently partnered up with FNB(Fist National Bank), and has launched in South Africa. Read more about Paypal in South Africa
Iveri is offered by Nedbank. For this particular gateway, SSL on your website will be required as credit card capturing is done on the client’s website opposed to on Nedbank / Iveri’s side. No merchant account is required in order to use this particular gateway.
Visit http://www.iveri.co.za for more information.
Paygate is very well known as it’s used by companies who have a merchant account with the banks. Paygate has been around since 1996 and is therefore being used extensively on websites around the country. Credit cards accepted include Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club. Credit card capturing takes place on Paygate’s website, therefore no SSL is specifically required on your / client’s website.
Visit http://www.paygate.co.za for more information.
VCS has also become increasingly popular over the last few years. You require a merchant account to use VCS and no SSL as the credit card info is captured on the VCS website. Credit cards accepted include Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club.
Visit http://www.vcs.co.za for more information.
Pricetag has been running for approximately 9 years and from our experience has been used with small business / new businesses. Depending on how one chooses to integrate with Pricetag, SSL may be required – you will need to speak to your developers to ensure you know the best way forward. No merchant account is required to use Pricetag.
Another payment gateway that requires you having a merchant account is MyGate. MyGate has a few offerings that range from the standard online payment gateway facility PLUS the following features:
- Recurring Billing which can be useful for monthly and annual subscription based websites.
- Debit Card processing
- Credit card fraud detection services
Other services are currently being developed.
Visit http://www.mygate.co.za for more information.