Top 5 payment gateways for ecommerce websites

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Payment gateways offer consumers and merchants the ability to conduct business transactions online safely and securely. As many new businesses focus entirely on the ecommerce side of business, ecommerce websites are heavily focused on using consumer-approved and respectable payment gateways to ensure that their goods are available worldwide to anyone with the ability to pay. Moreover, being able to pay online in a safe manner is a hallmark of a quality site, as few people want to do business with an online company that fails to deliver an effective and secure method of payment. Payment gateways, then, offer consumers the safety and security of a verified third-party vendor common to many different product providers as well as making sure that their payments are handled in an objective and trusted fashion.

Though the market of ecommerce payment gateways is large, there are a handful of methods that are most commonly accepted. These companies, in order from first to last, are PayPal, Google Checkout,, Amazon Payments, and BrainTree. These companies offer a variety of options for online transactions for consumers and companies interested in providing online companies the ability to conduct their business in a safe and secured fashion. Though each of these organizations have potential drawbacks and can, in some cases, be the source of controversy with regards to their fee structures or questionable business practices, it is clear that these companies are, by and large, the most trusted of the online payment gateways.


was founded in the late 1990s as a company aimed at allowing online payments through handheld electronic devices, primarily Palm Pilots. The technology at the time limited PayPal to using email forms of invoices and payment processing, preventing the rise of large-scale automation for the company’s first year. The development of CAPTCHA, or a system that requires the input of a code obtained from viewing an image (and therefore impossible to break by automated spam bots) made it possible for PayPal to begin automating their systems and drastically increase their market share overall. Within a few years, PayPal moved into the business of online auctions and business and began working with sites like Billpoint and others to act as the single source of online transactions and payments for companies interested in doing business online. By providing a service for ecommerce websites, PayPal quickly catapulted itself to the forefront of online business transactions.

PayPal’s next move was to be acquired by eBay in 2002. This was a great move by PayPal as it allowed the online auction house the ability to utilize PayPal’s services for all of its transactions and it rapidly expanded to become the default method of payment methods online. With eBay offering PayPal in nearly every country in which the auction house has operations, PayPal had solidified itself as the primarily payment gateway online. The subsequent collapse and shutdown of many its auction house rivals meant that PayPal would become the industry standard for online transactions between consumer and merchants, eventually providing over 40% of eBay’s total revenue stream. This impressive figure is a testament to the power of PayPal and the ways in which it convinced consumer culture to side with it in the early years of online commerce marketing and competing payment systems.

PayPal functions by charging a small percentage fee on transactions above a certain dollar amount, or a flat fee on transactions under that same amount. The funds themselves are held in commercial banks and bear interest, though at any given time most of the users of PayPal withdraw their funds immediately and do not allow the funds to accumulate interest in the name of PayPal. For merchants, PayPal offers a discount fee rate and other incentives in order to induce more participation by ecommerce websites.

though smaller than PayPal in terms of overall monetary transactions, nonetheless maintains a much larger base of merchants. Sitting at nearly 350,000 online merchants, is the internet’s largest provider of online transaction services for consumer goods and products worldwide in terms of user base. As the largest online payment gateway service provider, offers an alternative to PayPal that merchants feel more comfortable using in mass. It allows merchants to accept payments of various types everywhere, and takes a smaller percentage and flat rate for all its service. Merchants are able to install on their systems and use it as a service with a flat setup fee, a small monthly charge, and a small transaction fee applied after each transaction is completed.

Authorize was founded in 1996, a few years before PayPal took form. As a primary method of acquiring payment capacity online, Authorize is not only the largest online provider of online payment options for merchants today is and most widely used in non-auction house areas where merchants feel more comfortable working without the relatively more expensive fee structure of PayPal.

Owned by Visa, chances are most consumers are processed through Authorize when they use their Visa card online.

Google Wallet

is Google’s response to the dominance of PayPal. Founded in 2006, Google Checkout offers a similarly priced product as PayPal with regards to the fee structure. eBay, given its ownership of industry rival PayPal, does not allow Google Checkout to be used in eBay purchases. Merged in 2011 with Google Wallet, Google Checkout offers users the ability to use their mobile devices to pay for products at agreed-upon locations and enables the sale and transfer of funds automatically through various Google processes. Even more impressive is the ability of Google Checkout to send and receive money through Gmail attachments.

Key Features

Brand Recognition helps in higher Clicks in Google Search

Certified Nonprofits get lower fees or fees

Moreover, unlike PayPal, Google Checkout offers certified and registered non-profit organizations the ability to process donations to their services online without any of the fees associated with commercial transactions present in other payment gateway models. A key difference between PayPal and Google Checkout is the discount rate that Google offers to merchants who experience higher traffic rates, as well as the now-discontinued practice of integrating merchant’s Google AdWords campaigns into the fee structure of Google Checkout. Overall, Google Checkout offers a strong alternative to the giant that is PayPal, and there is a clearly adversarial relationship between the two. eBay’s banning of Google Checkout from its services is most assuredly an effort put forth by the auction house in order to guarantee the success and dominance of PayPal as the default method of ecommerce websites, though Google Checkout appears to be a continued competitor against PayPal. Moreover, the launch and integration of Google wallet appears to be the start of a continued effort by Google to consolidate financial information and data within the complete package that is Google.

Amazon Payments, Inc.

is another payment gateway owned and operated by Amazon in order to compete with other online payment gateways as well as stress the importance of localized payment gateways for specific vendors. By offering their own payment methods, consumers are able to experience Amazon in the way that the company intends, and does not need to pay processing fees for a third party payment gateway or otherwise suffer from reduced profits given the integration of external sources. More importantly, Amazon Payments offers consumers the ability to make purchases from US-based websites using the information associated with their Amazon accounts.

Amazon Payments, similar to Google Checkout, offers consumers the ability to purchase goods quickly and efficiently. As both systems store shipping and payment information in their secured systems, the online payment forms can be automatically filled out by Amazon and the consumer needs to only confirm the purchase of the goods. Instead of worrying about correctly entering correct shipping and payment information, Amazon Payments instantly links purchases to the information contained in the consumer’s Amazon account, removing the need to risk inputting potentially incorrect information that could easily be wrong.


is another payment gateway for ecommerce websites that is poised to expand into the market at an incredible rate. Funded by venture capital and enthusiastic investors, BrainTree is unique in the sense that its program and code can be placed directly into a merchant’s online website. This removes the need for consumers to be directed away from the product provider’s website and can instead complete all of their business online and on the merchants site instead of worrying about inputting their information on a third party site that they had been directed to visit.

Key Features

International Payments (Australia, Canada, US, Europe)

2nd Day Payment

BrainTree focuses on offering new and emerging companies an online payment gateway that enables them to appeal to companies that may not want to deal with the fee structure and hassle that is PayPal and Important to BrainTree is the way in which it is interested in dominating the mobile payment industry. It took the first steps in this by acquiring Venmo, the popular mobile application that enables users to send and receive money directly from their mobile device. This deal was finalized in 2012, and BrainTree now dominates the mobile payment gateway. As it stands ready to expand more into traditional ecommerce websites, BrainTree is in a great position to challenge PayPal,, and other famous online payment gateways.


Stripe Payment gateway is fully integrated solution for ecommerce websites, in that the users do not leave the Website to a third party payment gateway like PayPal etc. Payment Gateway with Developers in Mind

Implementation with all Technology Platforms

Python, Ruby, PHP , Java, Node.js, and iOS

Key Features


Thousands of small and large companies use Stripe to power commerce for their business.

Certified PCI level 1

Stripe is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification.

Two-factor authentication

Add an extra layer of security to your account by enabling two-factor authentication.

Go global: 139 currencies included

Stripe automatically handles conversions so that you can instantly charge customers in their local currencies.

Rich 3rd-party ecosystem

You can use Stripe with lots of integrations that provide everything from email automation to hassle-free hosting.

Integrates with Ecommerce Platforms

3dcart offers everything you need to sell online. 24×7 phone support, PCI Certified and no transaction fees.

Big Cartel provides you with your own independent store to sell your stuff online.

Bigcommerce is the ecommerce software solution that gives you everything you need to sell online.

CoreCommerce is an easy to use e-commerce shopping cart, perfect for selling online.

Shopify lets you easily build and run an online store.

ShopLocket lets you sell things from your blog, from Twitter, or anywhere.

Space Box makes setting up payment forms super fast.

Spiffy Stores includes all the features you need to easily create an e-commerce store.

Squarespace is an all-in-one platform for easily creating websites, blogs, galleries, and stores.

Volusion is the leading ecommerce solution designed for the needs of small to medium-sized business owners.

Weebly gives everyone a surprisingly easy way to create a unique site, blog or online store.

X-Cart offers a downloadable PHP eCommerce platform: PCI compliant, mobile-ready & fully customizable.

Invoicing & accounting

Ballpark is an online time tracking and invoicing software program.

Blinksale lets you use your Stripe account to accept credit card payments through your Blinksale invoices.

FreshBooks enables you to invoice clients, track time & run your small business in the cloud.

GoDaddy enables you to simplify your invoicing and bookkeeping.

KashFlow is simple, effective, small business accounting software that removes the hassle of doing books..

Zoho brings easy invoice software to small businesses and freelancers.