Payment gateway integration for your e-commerce website: A complete guide

Jul 13, 2021 | Featured, Mobile App Builder, WooCommerce App Builder, WordPress App Builder

The consumerization of technology has opened new horizons for businesses and customers equally. There are multiple tools, products, and services for all our needs and the route to accessing such products and services has also become easier.

For instance, if you are willing to complement your business with an app, there is no need to burn a hole in your pocket and go through the traditional and tedious process of app development.

There are efficient online app creators available in the market that can make your work easy and affordable. This ease of access, and availability of multiple options can take your experience several notches up.

While many businesses are enjoying this kind of ease themselves, they are also extending it to their customers. For example, eCommerce businesses are offering the ease of shopping, checkout, and payments to their customers by integrating multiple payment gateways with their websites and apps.

If this has been your topic of interest, then you have landed at the right place. Today, we will tell you all about the integration of payment gateways with website. So, stay tuned with us and learn all about them.

The basics of the science behind payment gateways

Let us begin with understanding what payment gateways are and how the basics of payment gateway integration work.

Payment gateways can be defined as the digital services or software applications that authorize and facilitate online transactions on different platforms, and also offer the necessary infrastructure for it. The gateways function like digital POS services and process card payment and other kinds of payment requests for online businesses.

In general, payment gateways execute the transactions in the ways described below:

  • Authorization: Here, the application checks whether the customer has enough funds and is capable of making the payment.
  • Capture: Here, the funds for the authorized payment are sent directly to the merchant’s account.
  • Sale: This method combines authorization and capture transactions. Here, the fund is first authorized and then captured by the merchant.
  • Refund: This is the process where the merchant pays the customer back in case of cancellation or other reasons.
  • Void: In this case, the transaction is canceled by a merchant or vendor before it gets debited or processed from the customers’ end.

When finding your perfect payment partner, you must look into all the aspects and then decide. An ideal payment gateway should meet the needs of both the parties, i.e., that business and the sellers, support a variety of secure payment methods, and be easy to implement and use. Some popular payment gateway examples include Amazon Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and Skrill.

Types of payment gateways

Based on the nature of partnership, payment gateways can be of the following types:

#1: Hosted Payment Gateways or Redirects

Hosted Payment Gateways are not directly integrated into your website. Here, customers are redirected to a platform of a host network where they input their information and the transaction is processed. In some cases, the checkout could be on site, but the payment happens off-site only. Clearly, these are easier to set up and most of the maintenance responsibilities fall on the service providers. PayPal and 2Checkout are some examples of hosted payment gateways.

#2: Integrated Payment Gateways

As the name suggests, Integrated Payment Gateways are directly linked and integrated with your website using an API (Application Programming Interface). Here, the payments are made on-site, i.e., directly to the store, and you pay for the installation and integration services. Evidently, this process turns out to be smoother and more frictionless for the customers. These gateways are more suitable for large and mobile-friendly businesses. However, these demand more accountability and involvement of the business owners.

How it works

Let us now understand the functioning of a payment gateway. In general, it is comprised of three main processes, as listed below:

  • Submission: The process begins with the customer submitting the request.
  • Encryption: Once a payment request is submitted, encryption is initiated. Here, the customer’s private information and sensitive card details are encrypted to facilitate a safe transaction.
  • Request & Fulfillment: Next, a payment processor upon getting the approval, processes the transaction of funds and the process is completed.

This process includes customers who make the request, merchants or vendors who receive the payment, payment gateway that supervises, payment processor that handles the to and fro transactions, and others depending upon the request and the transaction method used.

The step by step process that happens during a transaction are as described below:

  • The customer places an order by entering the relevant information.
  • The buyer’s web browser encrypts the information using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).
  • Next, the vendor forwards the information to the payment gateway via SSL.
  • The information is then transferred to a relevant payment processor which then goes to the credit card association or other relevant entities involved.
  • The request is evaluated and answered back to the processor, which is then transferred to the payment gateway.
  • The payment gateway forwards the answer to the customer and merchant, and the information is also propagated to the other parties involved.
  • The approved transactions are then processed.

Bonus Tip: Look for a payment gateway that adheres to the PCI standards. The Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS or just PCI) is a set of rules and security standards that facilitates safe transactions and ensures that you are protected from any fraudulent transactions or liabilities. Additionally, you can look for the one that also adheres to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and SCA (Strong Customer Authetication) compliances.

How to integrate Payment Gateways with website

The process of payment gateway integration differs from business to business. It will depend upon the gateway you choose. They provide you with their exact guidelines and you can follow them to integrate the gateway with your website, directly or indirectly.

If you want to go with a hosted payment gateway, you will have to connect your website to the gateway and also get an SSL certificate for security and threat protection. Thereafter, you can set up the payment process and customize it accordingly.

If you want to integrate a payment gateway directly with your website, then take the measures to make your website secure and hazard proof. You can pick the suitable APIs and modules available for the same.

Just remember to do your research properly and pick a payment partner that is secure, widely used and trusted, and also meets your requirements and demands. Follow all the guidelines listed by the payment gateway service provider and offer a secure and seamless checkout experience to your customers without any hassle.

Suggested Read: How to identify a secure hosting partner for your WordPress blog?

Benefits of integrating multiple payment gateways

Most businesses do not limit themselves to one mode of payment as integrating multiple payment gateways ensures multiple benefits as well. You can ensure the following benefits by offering multiple payment methods:

#1: Offer ease of use to customers

User-experience plays a crucial role in ensuring a higher rate of consumer satisfaction and conversions and suitable payment methods are crucial in achieving that. Multiple payment methods provide ease of usage to buyers as they get the option of choosing the mode they find comfortable and suitable. This adds more convenience as shoppers continue to purchase products and return for more.

#2: Reduce geographical barriers

A person residing anywhere on the globe can shop from your app if you can facilitate delivery and receive payments without geographical restrictions. As different gateways provide services in different currencies, integrating multiple payment gateways can give you more coverage. Hence, you will be able to expand your business infinitely.

#3: Inspire more conversions

Using the right payment gateways can also give a boost to your revenue. As the geographical, demographic and currency related barriers are reduced, your conversions can register a spike. You can successfully drive more customers upward the sales channel and also inspire them to return for more.

#4: Ensure scalability and growth

Businesses with multiple payment gateways can reach out to more people using different kinds of payment gateways, enable transactions in more currencies, and operate in various locations without any barriers or friction. All these factors can together give a boost to your growth and enable scalability for your business as well.

Suggested Read: How to enter a new mCommerce market: A guide to mobile app localization

How to pick the right payment gateway for your website

Picking the right payment gateway for your eCommerce is nothing less than an art. You must know the right strategy to make the most of it.

Choosing the right payment gateway is important as it influences the shopping decisions and behavior of your buyers. It might interest you to know that according to Invespcro, more than 23 per cent customers abandon their shopping carts because of complex checkout processes.

Clearly, your payment gateway can influence the buying decision of your consumers, affect your sales and also your overall brand image. Let us go through a list of factors that you must consider as you pick the payment gateways for your website. Let us begin:

#1: Nature of the business

You can choose your payment gateway based on the demands, scope, and nature of your business. Here, you can consider the following factors:

  • Location: The location of your business should be considered as different gateways can be popular and more feasible in different countries. If needed, you should be able to allow foreign customers to shop from your store.
  • Currency Support: This factor also depends on the country of operation and the expanse of your business. The payment gateway should support different currencies.
  • Payment Settlement Period: This factor determines the transaction between you and the service provider, so treat this crucial as well.

#2: Financial feasibility

The financial factors must be taken into account seriously as you select the payment gateways for your website. Learn about the same and pick one or more payment gateways based on the following factors:

  • Whether the transactional volume of your website and the strength of the gateway are compatible or not.
  • Learn about the set up costs and the charges levied on every transaction made on the website.
  • Ensure that your payment gateway partner customizes its services as per your needs and requirements.
  • Other logistical, infrastructural, and hidden charges that need to be taken care of by you.

#3: Popularity of the payment gateway

The public sentiment about a particular payment gateway also determines how the consumers interact with your website. If a payment gateway is popular and your target audience is likely to be using it already, then your task becomes easier.

A payment gateway that has a good reach amongst the masses and is scalable will turn out to be more productive. Therefore, you must choose the payment gateways that are common and popular.

#4: Security and performance

Security remains a primitive concern of sellers and buyers as they sell or shop online. It also becomes your responsibility to facilitate secure transactions for your customers.  This is one of the most crucial factors as buyers trust you with their finances and any loophole can lead to a blunder.

Therefore, you should pick a payment gateway that is both strong and secure. It should be able to meet the demands of your growing business and be bankable too. You should also ensure that the payment interface is smooth and load time is minimum.

#5: Support efficiency

Pick a payment gateway that offers smooth and frictionless service and has excellent consumer support as payments can lead to many grievances, complaints, feedback, etc.

Every online business is likely to face payment disputes, transactional failures, and other such issues, and thus the service provider you choose should be capable of dealing with the same. Their response time should be healthy and favorable as per the nature of your business. Ensuring the same will prevent any hassle and reduce the strain on you.

Suggested Read: Know how ratings and reviews can optimize the success of your mobile app

Need an app that supports all your website’s payment gateways?

integrating payment gateways

While websites are great for securing ranks on search engines and getting the necessary exposure, it is mobile apps where all the actual action is happening in the digital age.

Mobile apps have become essential for the wholesome growth and expansion of any business. The world is now dominated by smartphones and customers want the comfort of WooCommerce apps when shopping online.

However, just like your website, your app should also ensure that the end to end experience of your customers is smooth, frictionless, and motivating. Each and every app session should compel them to return back for more.

As discussed above, your mobile app can play a crucial role in ensuring the same for your potential, existing and returning customers. Thus, your app should support each and every payment gateway that your website supports and ensure a consistent experience for your users.

Sounds overwhelming? Do not worry! You can create app with AppMySite’s free app maker without writing a single line of code, and ensure the same. It enables you to create, customize and test premium Android and iOS apps that support every payment gateway your website supports.

There is more to it! You can explore our other blogs and learn about code-free and affordable app development in detail. Else, just subscribe to the platform for free and explore it yourself. Go ahead and build an app for your users and give them the awesome experience they deserve.