Best payment gateways of 2018

online payment from a laptop
Best payment gateways

1. Tipalti Accounts Payable

2. Authorize.net

3. Stripe

4. Ayden

5. PayPal

Read on for our detailed analysis of each service

If there’s one industry that technology has transformed hugely in recent years, it has to be retail. The fact is, most people are doing their shopping online rather than visiting physical stores. According to research, around 77% of UK adults buy goods online, with this statistic at around 79% in the US.   

As a market, e-commerce is clearly lucrative. Data from Statistica claims that it generated $2.3 trillion (£1.7 trillion)  of sales worldwide in 2017. And by 2021, online retail revenues could reach $4.88 trillion (£3.6 trillion). Besides major shopping sites such Amazon and eBay, PipeCandy estimates that there are three million e-commerce businesses of all sizes globally. 

The best thing about the e-commerce market is that you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley tech giant to create your own store. Thanks to technology, it couldn’t be easier to make a living by selling items online. But you need to ensure that you don’t just have an easy-to-use website so customers can find items effortlessly, you also need a reliable payment gateway for when punters hand over their cash.   

Payment gateways are services that handle credit cards and direct payments processing for e-commerce websites, as well as traditional brick and mortar outlets. Aimed at enabling smooth payment transactions, they usually connect payment portals to banking services. This services also have security processes in place to identify and block fraudsters from hijacking payments and credit card details. We've picked out the best of these solutions here.

Tipalti Accounts Payable

1. Tipalti Accounts Payable

A feature-packed payment gateway

Easy-to-use 
Lots of features 
Used by major firms 
Lack of upfront pricing 

As a company, Tipalti may be a more obscure name, but it’s developed one of the most popular payment gateway solutions on the market. Its platform aims to automate the entire payments process while ensuring that your business is compliant with tax laws and regulations.   

The software gives companies the tools to cut mundane financial processes and drive revenue growth, with it claiming to be capable of automating 80% of your workload. That’s quite a claim, but the software certainly offers some nifty abilities.   

For instance, it comes with self-service registration, payment data vetting and capture, information validation, invoice capture, purchase order matching, advanced approvals routing, tax form checking and annual financial reports. There’s also support for 120 global currencies. 

Aimed predominantly at mass payments, the Tipalti Accounts Payable solution is used by a range of major companies, including Indeed, Twitter, Amazon, Vimeo, Nikon and GoPro. Because this is a corporate solution, prices vary and firms are asked to contact Tipalti for a quote. However, there is a demo available.

Authorize.net

2. Authorize.net

A flexible payments solution

Support for credit cards and digital providers 
Wide range of currencies supported
Designed for any business
Limited use 

The main aim of these solutions is to streamline the payments process, and Authorize.net does exactly that. Developed with firms of all sizes in mind, the platform gives you the tools to sell items and take payments online, or in-person at a store.   

With the solution, you can accept payments from websites and transfer funds into a merchant bank account quickly. It supports all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club and JCB. As well as this, the platform is compatible with digital payment services such as Apple Pay, PayPal and Visa Checkout.   

Although the software can accept transactions made by customers all over the world, your business must be registered in the US, UK, Canada, Europe or Australia if you’d like to use this service. Just like Tipalti, you have to email the company to get access to a list of price plans.   

Stripe

3. Stripe

A developer-first payments technology platform

Built-in APIs and developer tools 
Mobile payments 
Tech understanding needed 

Stripe is yet another powerful payment platform designed for internet businesses, with the company claiming to handle billions of dollars worth of transactions annually. The main difference between this service and Tipalti or Authorize.net is that it isn’t an out-of-the-box solution. Instead, you’re provided with a range of flexible tools to develop your own payment processes. 

Designed for larger firms, it offers a plethora of APIs that allow you to create your own subscription services, on-demand marketplaces, or crowdfunding platforms. It supports a range of development languages, including Ruby, Python, PHP and Java. 

Furthermore, Stripe supports more than a hundred currencies, and offers features such as mobile payments, subscription billing and one-click checkout. Users also get access to a dashboard where they can visualize transactions. Clearly, then, this is a feature-rich payment gateway, although Stripe does demand a lot more technological knowledge from the user than most providers.

Currently, the price for European cards is 1.4% + 20p, but you can get in touch with the firm for a more in-depth quote. It's also worth noting that you only need to pay for the features you use, which is particularly handy if you find some elements of the system too tricky to use or superfluous.

Ayden

4. Ayden

An out-of-the-box solution for payments

Works from one platform 
Used by major firms 
Support for 250 payment methods 

Ayden is used by companies such as Uber, Netflix, Spotify, EasyJet and Etsy to handle business and customer transactions. The software lets you accept every payment made to your company from a single platform, as well as giving you tools to manage risk and track results.

Not only does Ayden accept more than 250 payment methods and 150 global currencies, but it also lets you analyze transaction data. For example, you’re able to identify buyer behavior and patterns, allowing you to tweak products and services appropriately. There’s also a built-in risk management tool that sifts through data to identify and fight cases of fraud. Processing fees start at €0.10, and you have the option to set up a test account.

PayPal

5. PayPal

A trustworthy payments solution

Easy to get to grips with
Suitable for personal and business use 
Affordable 
 

Boasting more than 220 million active accounts around the world, PayPal is clearly the most widely used payments platform. Founded in 1998 as Cofinity, it lets you make and receive payments all over the world.   

It provides payment processing services for e-commerce vendors, auction sites and other commercial entities globally. The business version of PayPal allows you to create and distribute invoices, accept payments through your company website or mobile application, and sell items internationally.   

The platform is normally associated with online marketplace eBay, but it’s worth noting that by 2020, it’ll cease to be its main payment option. While eBay will continue to offer PayPal as an optional payment service, it will instead use Ayden as its main payment processor. In a statement a few months back, eBay said it made the move to offer customers more competitive prices.