A Guide to Choosing The Best Payment Gateway For Your E-commerce Store
Choosing the best payment gateway for your e-commerce business is an essential task. Your customers need a way to pay you for your product.
You could build your own payment system, but why spend the money when existing solutions are both cheaper and probably more secure than what you can build yourself?
That’s why in this article we’re going to cover the major options you should consider for your South Africa e-commerce store.
We’re including baseline fees they charge for credit card transactions specifically, so you can get a rough idea. It should be noted most of them are willing to negotiate on the terms of your deal or offer different packages.
Best Payment Gateway For International Stores: PayPal
- Fees: 2.9% + 0.30 USD (Roughly R5 at the time of writing) per transaction.
- Setup: Easy. No merchant accounts required.
PayPal is one of the world’s largest payment services, and for good reason.
Aside from propelling the career of Elon Musk, it’s known for being very easy to use for merchants and customers as well as accepting a huge number of international currencies.
Their prices are very affordable once you get access to their preferred rates (you need over R50 000 in sales and 90 days registered on their platform). However, their services can get expensive, especially for small businesses, as they charge a part of their fees in US Dollars and their rates for smaller businesses can be quite high.
They are the easiest option if you want to do international sales, as they will handle currency exchanges for you in exchange for roughly another 4.5% of the transaction. Many local payment gateways also support international payments, but none are as easy or accept as many different types of payments as PayPal.
Go with them if you’re planning to sell internationally and you want an easy solution for handling international payments.
Best Payment Gateway For Ease of Use: PayFast
- Fees: 3,5% + R2 per transaction.
- Setup: Very easy. No merchant account required.
PayFast is a popular choice among South African e-commerce businesses for good reason.
They charge no monthly or setup fees like PayPal and their service is incredibly easy to set up, with various prebuilt options for integrating them into your online store if you use website builders like WordPress or Shopify.
Like PayPal they also don’t require that you register a merchant account, so you can start accepting payments through their service immediately.
It’s a great option for smaller or new e-commerce businesses. The only downside is that their rates do become less competitive the larger your business gets, as it may work out to be cheaper to pay a monthly rate in exchange for lower transactional fees.
Go with PayFast if you need an easy to use and beginner-friendly payment portal.
Best Established Payment Gateway: PayGate Plus
- Fees: R99 P/M and 3,5% per transaction.
- Setup: Moderately difficult. Merchant account required.
If you’re looking for a payment portal that has years of experience and learning behind it, look no further than PayGate Plus. Both PayGate and PayFast are now owned by the DPO group, who claim to be South Africa’s largest payment service provider.
PayGate itself has been around since 1996 at the very dawn of e-commerce. If you value organisations that have proven themselves to be resilient and sustainable, that’s a very good sign.
They offer a variety of payment solutions including the option to integrate the entire payment process into your site for a seamless buying experience. Many other portals instead redirect users away to their site and back again.
The downside is that their solutions can be harder to set up and install and you need to set up a merchant account before you can use their services. You may need help setting up their portal for the first time, but once you do it’s feature-rich and can scale with the size of your business.
Go with them if you want a trusted solution that’s survived the test of time, that can scale with your business’ needs.
Best Payment Gateway For Mobile & Developers: Peach Payments
- Fees: R200 P/M and 3,5% + R1,5 per transaction (for Wix websites).
- Setup: Moderately difficult*. Merchant account required.
Peach Payments is a relatively new payment gateway that describes themselves as being the “developer first and mobile-focused” option.
Their platform allows a seamless user experience where users transact entirely through your website, like the option provided in PayGate, and no redirects off your site. They also have an extensively documented API (Application Programming Interface) that makes it easy to integrate and customise their gateway if you have web development knowledge.
They also have the best suite of tools for integrating payments into your mobile website on this list, with options for both apps and mobile websites.
Go with them if you have some web design experience or someone to help you, and you want a seamless, mobile optimised, payment gateway
*We’re writing this from the perspective of a new e-commerce entrepreneur with no web development experience. If you are a web developer the setup is easy.
Best Up and Coming Payment Gateway: Fast
Newcomer to the industry Fast is already making waves with their revolutionary “one-click” checkout system. The platform is designed to let users log in and check out with a single click, streamlining the payment process significantly.
Why is this significant? Every additional step in your e-commerce store’s checkout process is another potential dropoff point that could mean lost sales for your business.
By having login and checkout be a single click, users are both less likely to drop off and more likely to purchase things because of the convenience and ease of use.
There’s no word yet on if, or when, they’ll support South African businesses but they’re worth keeping an eye on. Being an early adopter of their service could be a huge boost to your business, as they’ll no doubt be the best payment gateway for e-commerce conversion speed.
We hope this helped you decide on the right e-commerce payment gateway for your online business. Whatever you choose, remember to weight the benefits to your particular business and try to negotiate the best deal possible.
If you need any assistance with your e-commerce marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to us via the form below.