In a booming e-commerce market like India, scoring business wins pivots on delivering the best possible shopping experience to a customer base that is highly aspirational, tech-savvy, and impatient. As a seasoned industry player, you will probably agree that a long and complicated checkout process can ruin customer perception, leading to cart abandonment.
Therefore choosing the right payment gateway for your e-commerce environment is often the key to constructing a seamless buyer journey while smoothly raking in the revenue. But, considering the sheer volume of products available today, this is easier said than done.
To simplify your search, our e-commerce experts at BrandLoom Consulting have built a comprehensive checklist. While shopping for a payment gateway, this can help you cut the clutter and focus on things that matter the most.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is an e-commerce application provided by a third party that is integrated into your business cloud environment. It facilitates the flow of information to authorize payments in your customer’s preferred mode of transaction like a credit or a debit card.
You can consider the payment gateway a portal that allows secure communication between your e-commerce frontend (business website or mobile application) and an acquiring bank using security protocols and encryptions. The payment gateway drives a transaction initiated at your website or mobile application to the payment processor/bank and back into your e-commerce environment. Broadly, it authorizes the online payments from your customers using the following steps:
- Validating your customer’s payment credentials securely
- Ensuring that enough limit is available to complete a transaction
- Approving transactions and crediting funds to your business accounts
As transactions are routed through encrypted payment gateway servers on the vendor side, you can easily bypass the complexities of handling sensitive customer information and reduce the cost of compliance. Here is a flowchart to help consolidate your understanding of how a payment gateway operates:
Most payment gateways can handle the following type of transactions:
- Authorization to check that your customer has enough funds available to pay for the ordered items without an actual money transfer
- Processing of previously authorized payments results in funds being credited into your merchant account
- Flash payments involving simultaneous authorizations and processing of payments
- Refund for canceled payments allowing you to return money to your customers
By now, it’s probably clear to you that a payment gateway is pivotal to the secure and easy management of your cash flows. Here are the few things that you should watch out for while purchasing one for your e-commerce business:
Estimating the total cost that you will incur is the most crucial aspect of a payment gateway induction strategy to ensure its viability in the long term. Prices of payment gateway solutions are calculated on the type of your business transactions, sales volume, revenue flows, transaction frequency, and of course, your target markets. While selecting a payment gateway, it is essential to determine how your business model aligns with the product’s fee structure.
Usually, the cost of a payment gateway is segregated into one-time set-up fees, annual maintenance charges, and transaction fees. While the transaction fee depends significantly on the type of package you are opting for, in India, the set-up fee and annual maintenance charges of high-end payment gateways can go up to ₹ 50,000 and ₹ 3,600, respectively.
However, recently, companies like Worldline have been disrupting the market, redefining competition. For instance, its NextGen Payment Gateway is now available at zero one-time set-up fees, a flat price- tagged AMC well below the market average and waived off for the first year, and very nominal transaction charges, making the product exceptional from a costing standpoint.
These types of products are especially beneficial if you are into high-value businesses. The low transaction overheads and other cost advantages like zero withdrawal fees can significantly lower your expenses, increasing your bottom line.
E-Commerce is a great equalizer, allowing you to compete against the industry giants. However, it’s a system that’s fundamentally based on trust, and customers, while having a great shopping experience, must feel safe while transacting with you. It is a primary requirement that often gets overlooked to make the service more intuitive.
For example, some payment providers allow you to customize the whole payment experience on the vendor’s side with your brand’s typeface, logo, and color palette. Your customer may not even realize that they are being redirected to a third-party website to process payments.
Different payment gateways run on different security standards. The onus lies on you to choose a product that protects the confidentiality of your customer’s data under every circumstance. Choosing a level-1 PCI DSS compliant vendor has been the industry SOP in availing a secured payment gateway. However, you can look for a vendor with a robust data security culture, offering PCI DSS 3.0 certification, which is just being inducted into the Indian market.
For instance, a company like Worldline has a nearly obsessive attachment to security. Besides being PCI DSS 3.0 certified, it is an ISO 27001- 2013 compliant organization with regular third-party audits and a dedicated global internal security team to ensure customer confidentiality.
Amidst India’s booming economy, companies are getting connected with the globalized markets irrespective of size. Today, as a growth-oriented business, you are unlikely not to harbor such ambitions. However, while expanding your e-commerce business beyond the borders, you will need a payment gateway that can seamlessly handle payment in multiple currencies.
It is essential to provide your customers across geographies the convenience to pay in their local currency without going into the exchange complexities.
Ideally, to be future-ready and globally competitive, you should be looking for a payment gateway that can handle transactions in all the major currencies like:
- Indian Rupee (INR)
- American Dollar (USD)
- British Pound (GBP)
- Euro (Eur)
- UAE Dirham (AED)
- Qatari Rial (QAR)
- Omani Rial (OMR)
- Canadian Dollar (CAD)
- Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
- Singapore Dollar (SGD)
- Australian Dollar (AUD)
While this may indeed look like a tall order, at present next-generation payment gateway products are very much available in the Indian market that can even support 27+ major foreign currencies at a very nominal transaction fee.
Having the right payment gateway is crucial for your business growth. However, it is equally important not to disrupt your business as usual while rolling out the new system. Fortunately, with the latest version of the payment gateways available in the market, you can go live within a day of online activation and start receiving payment almost immediately. There is no reason for you to settle for anything less!
Also, it is essential to understand the settlement horizon that your payment processor is offering. Arguably, it should not take me more than T+2 days for the funds to be credited into your account to ensure a steady and competitive cash flow for your business.
Enough Payment Options
Recent research suggests that across industries, at least 9% of the cart abandonment is ascribed to
customers not having enough payment options for the ordered items. It adds significantly to revenue
leakages. So while choosing a payment gateway, it is important to look for the payment options that the
solution supports. Your payment gateway must support the following:
- All international debit and credit cards over networks like RuPay, Visa, Mastercard, and
- American Express
- Netbanking for all major banks
- All major mobile wallets
Also, a considerable buyer segment in India comprises new professionals, and the current economic
realities have made it difficult for many to undertake single bulk payments for high-value purchases. It has fueled the emergence of Equated Monthly Installments (EMI) as a favoured payment option. In fact,
recent studies have detected a 220% growth in EMI transactions since the pandemic.
Consequently, to broaden the choice of payment modes for your customers, especially if you are into the business of luxury goods and consumer durables, your payment gateway must support the entire
spectrum of payment options through EMI, including:
- Credit card EMI
- Debit card EMI
- Cardless EMI
- No Cost EMI
Easy System Integration
It is understandable if, rather than building your online store from scratch, you opt for using e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, or Woocommerce. However, in that case, it will be vital for your payment gateway to be easily integrated with these environments.
Also, it would help if you consider having your payment gateway plugged into your invoicing or accounting system. Instead of manually keeping track of your transactions, the corresponding invoices will be automatically updated in your books whenever an online payment is completed.
Therefore, you should be looking for a payment gateway that comes with various system integration kits. For instance, Worldline offers over 19 integration kits across systems, radically expanding your options.
Granular Error Fidelity & Responsive Customer Support
Irrespective of your decision to invest only in a top-end payment gateway product, the chances of transaction failure, however nominal, will persist. Error fidelity refers to how detailed is the information in the transaction decline messages. At present, payment decline may happen due to dozens of factors. It is important to find out whether your payment gateway vendor can assist you in understanding the pain points with high precision and thus help you improve your processes as necessary.
Further, your vendor’s customer support team plays a key role in identifying and resolving issues. It is vital to confirm that it will work with you as per the Service Level Agreement and will strive to keep your business downtime at a minimum. Here are some questions that you should be asking:
- What kind of customer support does the vendor offer?
- What is the standard response time of the customer support team?
- How can you report incidents and track the status of an open ticket?
Your business leaders need to have access to insights at velocity to make reliable decisions. While shopping for a payment gateway, see if it offers composite analytics dashboards for visibility into key metrics like the status of payments, refunds, transfers, subscriptions, and invoices.
Further, it will help if your payment gateway provides a Control Center approach for orchestrating all functions from a single location.
Mobile Payment Support
In 2021, mobile app-based transactions recorded a 106% growth in volume and an 82% surge in value over 2020 across India. It alone should be enough to justify having robust mobile payment support for your new payment gateway product. As most of your customers are now shopping from their mobile platforms, investing in a payment gateway that ensures a seamless experience across operating systems and devices is essential. It will only add to market exposure, inflating your revenue.
We hope that the tips will prove handy in zeroing in on a payment gateway that adequately meets your business. We can understand if it’s a bit of a challenge to find all the attributes in a single box. However, in India’s highly competitive payment gateway market that is evolving incredibly fast, it is difficult but not impossible.
Among companies leading the trends in providing end-to-end payment gateway solutions, Worldline has one of the best payment gateways for your online business with easy Integration, feature-filled checkout, and industry best success rate.
Trusted by over 5 million Indian businesses, Worldline’s Next Gen Payment Gateway offers a suite of attributes to manage payments online seamlessly. It provides easy payment gateway integrations with flexible APIs and plugins, 100+ payment modes, a frictionless checkout experience, and a powerful dashboard to give you complete control to access and manage your payments and refunds. Click here to check out the powerful Worldline Next Gen Payment Gateway features that can help you to boost your business online.