E-commerce website payment gateway options

We can help you navigate the complex world of E-commerce website payment gateway options, finding & implementing the best solution for your business.

Trouble navigating e-commerce website payment gateway options? There are 3 main aspects involved in getting started selling online and accepting payments

  1. Merchant Bank Account:
    Essentially this is the bank account which receives funds from the payments gateway provider.  Should a merchant (you the seller) wish to accept credit or debit cards, they will need to complete an agreement with its card processing bank (known as the ‘acquiring bank’). This is referred to as a Merchant Service Agreement (MSA) and must be in place for the merchant to start accepting the cards in a ‘live’ environment. For example, if a merchant wishes to sell online it will require an Internet Merchant Agreement (IMA) Live payments cannot be processed until such an agreement has been finalised with the bank and the necessary merchant account details have been passed on to your chosen Payment Gateway provider(s).
  2. Payments Gateway
    This is the service that processes the card details from the customer – they charge their own commission for each transaction (often lower rates are offered if you sell over £1,500 per month) Payment gateways include : Paypal, Google Checkout,  Realex, Cybersource, GoCardless, Paypoint, Sagepay
  3. Website to payment gateway module
    This is a one time fee for the setup of the connection between your website and the payments gateway. From the customer’s point of view – this is the most important aspect of their experience shopping on your website – it needs to be clear and easy to pay.

Recommended e-commerce website payment gateway options

Sage Pay

  • Accept payments with: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Paypal, Amex
  • Commission fee: 0%
  • Monthly Fee: £25
  • Setup fees: None
  • Type:  Hosted – card details entered on an external page
  • PCI compliancy risk: Low
  • In summary: No percentage fees for under 1000 transactions per quarter. Then 1000+ transactions charged at 10p per transaction. They also offer a very low cost Merchant Account to keep both services together. Sagepay also allows you to accept payments from cusomers using Paypal – which is a big benefit and saves you from having to deal with Paypal directly.
  • http://www.sagepay.com/online-payments


  • Accept payments with: Paypal Credit, Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Amex
  • Commission fee: From 3.4% – reducing to 1.4% for transactions over £15,000
  • Monthly Fee: £20
  • Setup fees: None
  • Type: Onpage – card details entered on your website
  • PCI compliancy risk: Medium
  • In summary: Includes free Virtual Terminal for accepting card details over the phone
  • Read more

Google Checkout

  • Accept payments with: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Amex
  • Commission fee: 3.4% and less
  • Monthly Fee: POA
  • Setup fees: 0
  • Type: On your site
  • PCI compliancy risk: Medium
  • In summary: https://checkout.google.com/seller/fees.html


  • Accept payments with: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Amex
  • Commission fee: 0
  • Monthly Fee: £19
  • Setup fees: 0
  • Type:  Hosted
  • PCI compliancy risk: Low


  • Accept payments with: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Amex, Paypal
  • Commission fee: POA
  • Monthly Fee: POA
  • Setup fees: POA
  • Type:Payment details entered on your website but posted securely to Cybersource
  • PCI compliancy risk: Low
  • In summary: Read more Free Virtual Terminal included, to let you process orders from phone enquiries.

Go Cardless

  • Accept payments with: Direct Debit
  • Commission fee: 1% per transaction up to a maximum of £2 per transaction.
  • Monthly Fee: 0
  • Setup fees: 0
  • Type: Payment details entered onto a Hosted GoCardless Payments page for max security
  • PCI compliancy risk: VERY Low
  • In summary: https://gocardless.com/pricing – The cheapest option for accepting payments out of all the options. It avoids the need to use any VISA or card details, so bypasses their fees and means you don’t have to worry about PCI. Highly recommended to have this payment service as it is so cost effective. However some customers may be unsure about paying you in a single direct debit (its a rather new method of making payments)  so best to have it as the default method, but also offer an alternative using a more conventional VISA card processing service.


  • Accept payments with: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Amex
  • Commission fee: 0
  • Monthly Fee: £19
  • Setup fees: 0
  • Type: Both hosted and redirect for your security
  • PCI compliancy risk: VERY Low
  • In summary: http://www.paypoint.net/services/payment-gateway/


Recommended Merchant Accounts


Frequently asked questions

Definitely, this is vital and is a fundamental part of all of our designs.

Absolutely, with the majority of search traffic now coming from mobile browsers fully compatibility is a top priority for all of our websites.

This is affected by how your website is built but the most popular platforms we implement are: Paypal, Paypal Pro, Stripe, WorldPay, Sage Pay.

Paypal Standard – Your website comes with a built in Paypal Standard payment processing system, Paypal standard has it’s own commission rates for sellers. This system sends users to enter their card details onto a paypal hosted payments page

Information from the Paypal website (no monthly fees) and transaction charges
Small or new business can use Website Payments Standard. This system takes online payments securely on PayPal checkout pages with no application process or set up fees. It’s easy to integrate – you can start taking payments in minutes
For businesses turning over £50k or more online per year you’ll need Paypal Website Payments Pro. With Website Payments Pro, there’s no need for a separate payment gateway or merchant account, the systems uses 3D secure technology and advanced fraud management filters. There are no set up fees but it requires a short application process. You can customise and brand your checkout experience and you’ll have acecss to dedicated email and phone support. Read more here – external link

We can add a huge range of features to your shop including the following list. If you would like additional features don’t hesitate to ask and we’ll do all we can to accomodate you;.

Features include:
Advanced shipping processor
Advanced payment processing options
Advanced stock and inventory import from .csv functionality
Coupon/voucher system
Wishlist functionality
Customer email newsletters
Advanced stock control/bulk edit stock levels and print stock
Sell recurring memberships to your service/product
Live onscreen currency converter
Commission and affiliate marketing functionality
VAT validation before purchase
Advanced pricing rules/discount and multi buy offers
Personalised/message products – collect information at order
Zooming product photo gallery enhancements
Review a product to receive a discount
Sell products on your Facebook page
Newsletter integration – send and subscription system
Store credit system and gift cards

Identify successful landing pages and consider increasing your price to discover maximum profit per item.- eCommerce site structures need to be great – use breadcrumbs, internal searches, faceted navigation (such as Amazon use in their top nav) and filters.- Don’t hide images in JavaScript. Make them high res, easy to share, include alt tags and build a filter in Google Analytics for viewers by image search so you can see how they convert.- Rewrite or spin descriptions. Include long tail versions of keywords in descriptions as manufacturers don’t always use terms that users use.- Put delivery information on the product page to reduce drop outs and incentivise with special offers (e.g. spend x more to get free shipping)- Never 404 out of stock products, show relevant alternative products instead. Even if a product is discontinued you should 301 but never 404.- If products are being discontinued and people know, you can increase the price and let people know you can still get it from them- Make sure you are on Google shopping and build a filter to track this (see bada.ms/trackgoogleshopping for tips on making this filter)- Sign up for review sites, aggregate product reviews (such as by adding to them to Revoo or using Schema).- Prevent duplicate pages using: Robots.txt, Canonical tags, No index/follow, hide facet links in JavaScript, use XML Sitemaps and manage parameters in Google Webmaster Tools.- For link building use blogger outreach, awards, giveaways, guest posts, press releases, article marketing and blogger events.- Put social share buttons on every product page and order confirmation page

We can always investigate issues and carry out fixes as part of a one-off project, but we would strongly recommend your website is signed up to one of our maintenance plans for the security of you and your customers.

The default system is either free shipping or flat rate shipping (all products same shipping price), you can also use “class” shipping by specifying prices for different “classes” of goods.

Absolutely, we use content management systems (CMS) to make sure that you’re in control of your shop without needing to be a fully qualified developer. Of course, we’re always happy to help run the site if you need a hand.

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