Best Payment Gateways for E-commerce Businesses

E-Commerce Seller Financing   •   February 22, 2021

Best payment gateways

Payment gateways enable sellers, both e-commerce and brisk-and-mortar, to accept payments via bank cards or digital wallets. As technology evolves and the popularity of e-commerce grows, payment gateways have become an indispensable part of running a small business.

There are multiple payment gateways available, each with its specificities, benefits, and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones and determine which the best payment gateways for e-commerce are.

What Is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a form of online service that enables, authorizes, and securely processes payments for different kinds of online businesses. In essence, it allows transactions between merchants and customers.

For an online transaction to occur successfully, two things are needed:

  • a payment gateway that processes the payments, and
  • a merchant account allows the seller to receive funds.

For larger businesses with large cash flow, having a separate merchant account and payment gateway service can be convenient and inexpensive.

Yet, for small businesses and especially startups that do not have a large income or are only building their revenue streams, using providers that combine the two services tends to be the more convenient and affordable route.

Below we’ve compared a few providers that offer payment gateway services as well as a merchant account.

6 Best Payment Gateways for E-commerce

1. Stripe

Stripe is one of the most popular as well as the best payment gateways available. That’s mainly because Stripe offers a wide array of services with no monthly fees. You only pay when you receive payments.

The downside is that Stripe aims to be an all-in-one payment processor, and due to that may be a bit harder to set up. So, you may need a web developer to assist you with certain tasks. If you ever need Stripe support, it is rather responsive, yet you may need technical knowledge to solve quite a few issues.

Here’s what you can expect from Stripe:

  • No setup or monthly maintenance fees
  • Fee per transaction is 2.9% + $0.30
  • Transactions are handled on-site
  • Buyers can use with most major bank cards
  • The merchant receives money in two days on a rolling basis
  • Merchants can accept payments from around the word
  • Ability to collect recurring payments and offer subscriptions
  • Recurring invoicing

2. PayPal Payments Standard

PayPal has been around for much longer than Stripe. As a result, it’s widely known and can promote the feeling of trust in a seller, making it one of the best payment gateways for e-commerce businesses. As with Stripe, you only pay the service provider when you get paid.

The downside is that PayPal Payments Standard takes shoppers of the site to complete payments on the PayPal site. For some businesses, this may be an issue as shoppers may not like being redirected. So, if you notice that this is affecting your payment process and sales, PayPal Payments Pro may be a better option for you.

Here are some of the PayPal Payments Standard features:

  • Easy setup and no setup, monthly, or termination fees
  • Option to accept payment via major bank cards and PayPal
  • Transaction fees are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Ability to accept a wide range of currencies from over 200 countries

3. PayPal Payments Pro

PayPal Payments Pro offers the same services as PayPal Payments Standard with a few additional features. With this payment gateway service, you can collect payments on your site and fully customize the checkout to match your e-commerce store’s branding. This service does charge a monthly fee, though.

Additionally, PayPal Payments Pro offers Virtual Terminal, a service that allows customers to pay via phone as well as PayPal Credit for US customers. PayPal credit allows buyers to pay immediately or later while the merchant receives funds right away.

Here is a quick summary of PayPal Payments Pro features:

  • $30 monthly fee
  • Transaction fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Payments on-site and a fully customizable checkout
  • Ability to accept payments via phone as well as offer a “pay later” option

4. Authorize.Net

One of the best and most secure payment gateways, Authorize.Net accepts most major credit cards as well as digital solutions such as Apple Pay and PayPal Pay without needing to additionally set those up.

In addition to that, it also offers Advanced Fraud Detection Suite and a service that automatically updates your QuickBooks account.

The downside is that this payment gateway service charges both a setup and monthly fee on top of the fees per transaction.

Here are a few of the Authorize.Net features:

  • Setup fee ($49) and monthly fee ($25)
  • Transaction fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • On-site payments
  • Ability to accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal Pay
  • Money transferred to the merchant on a two-day rolling basis

5. Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay offers merchants the same payment experience as they would have shopping on Amazon. Since Amazon is a well-known brand, it’s likely to create a feeling of trust when shoppers buy from you.

Here’s a summary of Amazon Pay features:

  • No monthly, setup, or termination fees
  • Transaction fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Inline checkout
  • Ability to accept any payment methods that Amazon accepts
  • Amazon payment fraud protection
  • Integrations via Amazon buttons

6. 2Checkout

Relatively similar to PayPal Payments Standard, 2Checkout is our final choice for the best payment gateways. It supports a wide range of currencies and languages in over 200 countries. Moreover, it offers the merchant the ability to choose between off-site and inline checkout.

Below a few of the 2Checkout features:

  • No setup, monthly, or termination fees
  • Ability to select between an off-site and an inline checkout
  • Ability to accept over 80 currencies in 15 languages in over 200 countries
  • Payments via major bank cards and PayPal
  • Easy integration


In order to offer your customers a great payment process, you don’t have to choose one of the best payment gateways but instead aim for a few and allow your shoppers to choose. This can provide a convenient option for any buyer regardless of their preferences.

Each of the best payment gateways we have selected offers features that can benefit small and medium e-commerce businesses. So, it’s up to you to select which fee model, checkout option, and coverage option suit your e-commerce business’s needs.

Which payment gateway offers the features that are best for your business?