Most businesses are going online. Even the traditional ones with mammoth brick-and-mortar set-ups have an e-commerce website. Similarly, consumers, too, are less inclined to go out shopping if an online alternative is available.
An e-commerce website facilitates interaction between a buyer and a seller. The buyer places an order, and the goods are delivered to her address. All this is possible because payment for the product can be made online, too, with the help of a payment gateway.
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What is a payment gateway?
Without getting into jargon, a payment gateway can be best described as a third party which takes money from the bank account of the buyer and deposits it into the bank account of the seller. The payment gateway is the digital manifestation of the point-of-sale machine.
The basic role of a payment gateway is to authorise the transaction between the buyer and the merchant. The payment gateway encrypts the data of an individual customer, like CVV, A/C number etc., while processing the transaction of the customer.
5 simple steps of how payment gateways work
Step-1: When the customer places an order and intimate their interest in payment by clicking tabs like ‘buy’ etc. The merchant transfers the order details to the payment gateway.
Step 2: Here, the customer chooses her preferred payment mechanism like UPI, Debit card, credit card, internet banking etc. The payment gateway routes the transaction to the bank of the customer for authentication.
Step 3: After the authentication is complete, the bank verifies if the customer has the requisite monies in his account for the transaction; otherwise, the transaction is declined.
Step 4: If verification is successful, the bank settles money with the payment gateway.
Step 5: Finally, the payment gateway settles money with the merchant.
Almost all websites you may have visited must usually have a payment gateway, but this doesn’t mean payment gateways are built into websites like any other tabs.
On the contrary, payment gateways are later integrated or added to a website. The services of payment gateways are hired for commission, and there are several payment gateways to choose from.
A website can go ahead and develop its own payment gateway, but they are better off hiring the services of the established players as it is less complicated and economically more prudent.
Integrating payment gateway to your e-commerce website
Integrating payment gateways is a cumbersome task, and it varies from operator to operator, but broadly they can all be integrated in a similar way. Integration of payment gateway starts from choosing the most suitable payment gateway to testing it on your website.
The following steps can be taken to integrate almost any payment gateway available in India into your website:
Step 1: Check for the most suitable option
Most e-commerce websites purchase an online store from web developers. It is recommended that you verify which payment gateways your online store supports. Some widely used payment gateways, like Razorpay, Cashfree etc., are supported by almost all online stores.
Another important aspect is the nature of the payment gateway, i.e. if it is hosted or non-hosted.
Hosted payment gateways take customers to other websites.
Historical research has shown that when customers are taken to other websites, they lose trust.
Thus its recommended that for a small e-commerce business, non-hosted payment gateways are used. But it must be kept in mind that hosted payment gateways are more secure to data breaches.
Step 2: Sign up for a merchant account
This merchant account will get integrated with your payment gateway and allow you to receive payment from your customer. It will charge a commission per transaction.
Step 3: Sign in with the selected payment gateway
This step is the lengthiest as you are supposed to share all your required information from the location of your business to bank account details. After the information is given and verified by the payment gateway, an authorisation key will be provided, which may include an ID and a password.
Step 4: Integrating payment gateway into your website
Most small businesses hire website developers for their IT needs. It is recommended that professionals are hired to add a payment gateway page to your website for it to work seamlessly.
If the payment gateway page starts defaulting, the customers are more likely to lose trust and avoid making transactions on your website. Thus expert supervision in this step is essential.
Step 5: Choosing the payment methods
While purchasing the services of a payment gateway, you must have selected all the methods by which you seek to receive payments. In this step, you will need to enter details about the mode of payments you intend to receive, for example, debit card, UPI net banking etc.
For a small business, the focus should be on including the maximum number of possible mobile wallets like Paytm, MobiKwik etc, as they are gaining popularity day by day.
Step 6: Checking your payment gateway
Most payment gateways provide verification services via sandbox accounts. Dummy IDs are provided to carry out fake transactions.
It is an essential step as it allows verification of all software operations undertaken by the e-commerce business while integrating the payment gateway into the website. The test must be conducted earnestly, and its results should be analysed thoroughly.
What is the cost of integrating a payment gateway?
Another important aspect of payment gateways is the cost involved. There are a number of payment gateways available to an Indian e-commerce vendor, and therefore the cost considerations are of foremost importance.
There may be a one-time installation charge accompanied by a monthly maintenance charge. But the most important charge is the per-transaction commission which may vary from 1.5%- 3% based on the medium of transactions.
Some payment gateways offer a package of services like UPI, debit card, and net banking Paytm etc. Grouped together, these packages are cheaper than opting for individual modes of payments separately. Thus these packages are often more beneficial, especially to small businesses. The charges are usually highest for international transactions and lowest for debit cards.
It is important that a small business target the group of services/modes of payment that are required by it more frequently. For example, for a small business, paying for the services of international transactions may not be prudent.
Hiring professionals for the acquisition of a payment gateway for your website
If you have read this far, you know that there is a lot of hassle in integrating a payment gateway into your website.
The verification process, documentation and creation of a merchant account is a cumbersome process and requires a degree of technical soundness.
Yet, it’s no rocket science. Undoubtedly, if you follow the steps mentioned above, you will be able to accomplish your goals to a great extent. But there are certain obvious advantages of hiring a specialist, which are discussed below:
- A specialist can identify the payment gateway for your e-commerce website. Thus ensuring minimum cost.
- She will take care of all your technical needs, from documentation to open up merchant accounts.
- The installation of the payment gateway to your website, which anyway requires a specialist, will be taken care of.
- He/She will act as a liaison and provide tracking of your payment gateway transactions.
- The testing of the payments gateway will also be done by the specialist, who is indeed in a better position to judge the performance of the gateway.
Top payment gateways in India and their USP
- CASHFREE: This payment gateway allows more than 120 payment modes with zero installation charges. But it’s best known for introducing the ‘instant settlement’ feature. This feature allows the amount to be credited to the seller’s account in less than 15 minutes. Moreover, Cashfree’s services are the most economical.
- PAYU payment gateway: Payu can boast one of the easiest and most convenient user interfaces, which allows a website to start with its services within minutes of starting its onboarding process.
- RAZORPAY: If you have heard of payment gateways, you must have heard of Razorpay. For one thing, it is the only payment gateway that allows payment with its product suits. Moreover, there is hardly any payment mode that Razorpay doesn’t include.
- PAYPAL: What Razorpay is to India, PayPal is to the world. Over 173 million users have subscribed to the services of PayPal. Its presence is in more than 170 countries. Additionally, Paypal accepts more than 100 currencies, so if you are looking for an international clientele, PayPal is the best option for you.
- PAYKUN: While hiring the services of payment gateways, the security of transactions is one of the top priorities. Paykun is one of the leading payment gateways when it comes to providing safety and security to your data and transactions.
Years of hard work to develop good quality products, accompanied by long-drawn marketing and sales strategy, may all go in vain simply because your payment gateway is inefficient and fails to carry out transactions. Indeed there is no worse experience than losing a potential customer simply because she was exasperated trying/failing to make payment via your payment gateway.
Never lose a sure-short customer. Make the payment gateway an integral organ of your website. For an e-commerce business, the payment gateway is as important as the website itself. Integrating payment gateways is indeed complicated, but if you are looking for a professional, reach out to us at Expand My Business, and we will take care of all your needs.
What is a payment gateway and why is it important for an e-commerce website?
A payment gateway is a technology that enables online businesses to securely accept payments from customers. It is important for an e-commerce website as it helps in processing transactions quickly, easily and safely, and is a crucial component for the success of any online business.
What are the steps to integrate a payment gateway on an e-commerce website?
The steps to integrate a payment gateway on an e-commerce website may vary depending on the gateway provider and website platform being used. However, in general, the steps involve setting up an account with a payment gateway provider, selecting and installing the gateway on the website, configuring the gateway settings, and testing the integration to ensure proper functionality.
What are some popular payment gateway providers for e-commerce websites?
There are many payment gateway providers available for e-commerce websites, including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, and Braintree. Each provider offers different features, fees, and integration options, so it’s important to research and select the one that best suits your business needs.
We are Team EMB the voice behind this insightful blog.