5 Best Payment Gateway Options For E-Commerce

A social media manager trying to organize content.
A women holding credit card while ordering hoodie online from a Edmonton based clothing E-Commerce store.

When putting your business online, you want to be sure you do it correctly, including choosing the right payment gateway for your business. Running an e-commerce store is no easy feat. You need a polished website that is both on brand and user-friendly for browsing and purchasing. It’s the only way to grow your store successfully.

There are many payment gateways out there to choose from to use for your online e-commerce shop. We thought we’d make a reputable list of the top payment gateways to use in Canada that we can implement on your e-commerce website.

Payment Gateways

What Is A Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is software used for e-commerce that authorizes online payments for businesses. It connects to the online store’s e-commerce and allows customers to process payments seamlessly with credit cards, debit cards, online wallets, or online banking accounts.

A payment gateway is a secure 3rd party application that allows users to make secure and safe payments online. They act as the middleman between merchants selling online and their customers. It is equivalent to a point-of-sale terminal at a brick-and-mortar store.

How They Work

Payment gateways perform an essential role in online purchasing. It encrypts sensitive information such as credit card numbers and allows the information to be passed from customer to merchant securely.

Payment Steps

  • A customer places an order online and will checkout on the site.
  • The merchant transfers the customer’s payment information to the payment gateway. Then customer chooses how they would like to pay, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, etc. this information is then routed to the provider or the 3D secure page to request authentication to put the payment through.
  • After the authentication process is successful, the card is either approved for the money sent or declined.
  • If approved, the payment gateway sends a message to the merchant confirming the purchase.
  • The bank then settles the money with the payment gateway, and the payment gateway settles it with the merchant.
Women making the payment for her new shoes she bought from online store on internet.
Women making the payment for her new shoes she bought from online store on internet.

Other Benefits

Not only can these gateways provide a virtual terminal for your customers to make purchases from, but some payment gateways can be used in physical outlets as well.

Why It’s Important

Secure

For starters, payment gateways can help lessen the occurrence of credit card fraud in your place of business. Since it encrypts data, it secures your customer’s information, making it the smart choice for online payments.

Simple Setup

Payment gateways make starting a business much more manageable. It is straightforward to set up if you already have a website and easy to incorporate into a new site build.

User Friendly & Promotes Business Growth

If your payment gateways aren’t up to snuff, your customers will be more likely to abandon their carts which is bad for your business.

  • 15% abandon the shopping cart for a better in-store experience.
  • 6% abandon due to a lack of payment options.
  • 4% abandon due to technical issues.

A good gateway allows customers to stay at the merchant’s site with no hassle of pop-up windows that may look suspicious and unsecured. It also gives the store control to customize their online checkout to look and flow precisely how they want it. Having a secure and reliable payment gateway is necessary for a good user experience and business growth.

The Most Popular Payment Gateways Are As Follows

Stripe

Stripe Payment Logo. Stripe is a payment gateway Ullaco uses for mostly Calgary based E-Commerce store.
Stripe Payment Logo. Stripe is a payment gateway Ullaco uses for mostly Calgary based E-Commerce store.

Stripe is the simplest gateway because its straightforward fees and easy-to-use features make it perfect for small businesses and startups. It doesn’t require an approval period or verification process, so you can set it up and start making sales within minutes.

Stripe promotes its gateway as straightforward with controlled costs. It doesn’t require a contract or monthly fee. It is a pay-as-you-go plan, only charging you when a transaction is made. The price is a flat fee of 2.9%, plus $0.3 per transaction, which is affordable for small businesses.

Strip also offers a wide range of payment options such as credits card, including Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, debit and digital wallets like ApplePay, and more.

PayPal

Logo of PayPal, which is most preferable international payment system.
Logo of PayPal, which is most preferable international payment system.

This service allows you to accept payments for your online store from both credit and debit cards and PayPal accounts. It not only accepts Canadian payments but international as well, so you can sell to anywhere in the world.

PayPal is free of overhead costs, only charging a flat-rate fee of 2.9% and 0.3 per transaction. Again, this option is very affordable as you only pay when a transaction is processed.

There is a hitch. However, PayPal Standard doesn’t offer onsite checkout. It will redirect to a page hosted on PayPal. It isn’t a huge inconvenience but can impact conversion rate when a disturbance in the process, such as when a redirect occurs.

PayPal Pro

However, if you opt for PayPal Pro, it is fully customizable and has onsite capabilities, but it charges a monthly flat-rate fee of $35 per month for this option. Not only does the Pro version allow onsite capabilities, plus everything PayPal Standard has, it also lets you negotiate rates if you begin processing larger quantities of payments. This will lower your cost significantly when your business starts growing, and you begin processing more payments.

PayPal is simple and easy to use, and it is a trusted name many people will see as reliable. It is also supported by WordPress and WooCommerce, making it easy to integrate into your website.

Square

Logo of PayPal, which is most preferable international payment system.
Square logo.

Square is great for small businesses since they have no sign-up fees, no cancellation fees, and flat-rate pricing like Stripe and PayPal.

Since you can launch for free with no monthly fees, you only pay per transaction, 2.9% and $0.3 per transaction. They do have paid plans featuring more options, so if you need to grow your business and get more out of your payment gateway, they have more options. Square also allows for you to set up right away with no approval or verification period.

Another perk of Square is that if you are a store front or sell at markets, they offer a terminal to take in-person transactions as well as online transactions set up through e-commerce. This flexibility is excellent for those businesses that are just starting.

Bambora

Logo of Bambora.
Logo of Bambora. Ullaco recent integrated Bambora in a Calgary based welding E-Commerce Store.

Bambora has pricing that is suitable for new and smaller businesses. No matter which card the customer uses, each sale will cost you a fixed 2.8% + $0.3. It is a popular option for small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses in Canada.

Though Bambora has a $49 setup fee and a $25 per month fee with its integration, it lets you deal directly with online payments. Plus, this gateway can be coupled with a merchant account (in-store processor) from another company. For example, if you use a Moneris terminal in your storefront, you can still use Bamora for online payments.

Bambora offers your customers many options for making online payments, such as credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and direct payments (EFT and ACH).

Interchange Plus Pricing Options

Bambora also offers an Interchange pricing option if you are processing many transactions (over $5 million annually).

This will option offers a different pricing rate for each transaction method. So the cost for each sale is calculated by adding:

  • Interchange fee, set by the card brand (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
  • Scheme fee which are additional fees set by the card brands, issuing bank or country if international.
  • Processor fee, which is the fee Bambora sets.

The more premium a card is, the more expensive the interchange fee is.

This will bring the cost down significantly if you are processing more payments. It allows larger companies to have more influence over their processing frees.

Overall, Bambora offers room for company growth and extends a lot of control and transparency regarding cost.

Moneris

Moneris is a traditional payment processor that offers e-commerce services as well. It comes as a hosted payment page or can be integrated directly into your website.

Since you can use Moneris for running both a physical store or online, this is a great option for integrating an online purchasing option to an already established brick-and-mortar location that currently uses Moneris.

Price Quote

Moneris’s pricing is based on a quote, meaning each business will have different terms and pricing. Depending on the size of your business, transaction amounts, industry, etc., you will be quoted a different cost. Similar to the Bombora Interchange Plus option, the prices will vary. In some cases, they will lock their clients into a contract, so be wary of that when looking for payment gateway options.

Moneris is better suited for large businesses. They have many perks, including a Vault feature that stores recurring customer data, shopping cart integration, tokenization for security instead of encryption and PCI compliance (security measures).

With all these options out there to choose from, don’t worry if it’s still too overwhelming for you. We at Ullaco Corp will be with you every step of the web building process with our insights and opinions to make sure you get the best payment gateway option suited for your business needs. Contact us today to help you with your new e-commerce site.