When you set up your e-commerce site, you will need to decide which fits your needs – a payment processor or payment gateway.
If you want to become a large store, or if you are a large store, you have got strong branding, lots of transactions or that’s where you want to get to, then a Gateway is your best choice. If you have a small store, if you are just selling a few things online, selling things to a particular community parts or collectables, to people who are used to doing business that way, then a Processor maybe fine, that maybe the right choice for now.
If you have to start with the Processor or if you start with a small site, and use a Processor, you can move up to a Gateway later. The important thing is to listen to your customer feedback. If you are losing sales or people complain about having to go through a Processor, or you get emails asking if your processor is safe, listen to your customer feedback and then change or decide accordingly.
Payment Gateway Pros
- A Gateway is completely invisible to the customer (it doesn’t intrude on your branding) the transaction just takes place, they go through the process, they are told whether or not the transaction was successful, and you say, thank you, and they never leave your site or your visual representation as they go through the process.
- Provides instant feedback. If a customer makes a typo with their zip code, they can correct it immediately. This instant feedback helps maintain a flow, and it helps maintain consumer confidence. It offers a more professional solution. None of the large retailers use processors, they all use gateways.
- Most gateways have an excellent Fraud Protection Program – protection against credit card theft and id theft.
- The funds are automatically deposit in your bank – if the transaction took place and it was approved, it goes directly to your bank account.
- Gateways have better bookkeeping features
- Gateway transactions ares seamless and give your site a more professional look and feel.
Payment Gateway Cons
- More expensive initially, not practical for just selling a few items
- A Gateway requires a merchant account and an SSL
Payment Processor Pros
- Less expensive to sign up and set up.
- Doesn’t require a merchant account.
Payment Processor Pros
- Intruding on your branding is a very important thing if you are trying to establish a very serious growing site, with a strong branding message. The processor is visible to your customer; they have to choose at sometime to go to a PayPal or to Google or whatever processor you are using. And usually
at this point even if they allow you to modify the page you go to, to be similar to your site, you do present a little bit of a shock to your customer, a change visually.
- Delayed feedback. Impulse buying can be a large part of profit margin. If a customer is contacted later saying the transaction didn’t go through because perhaps because of a typo in a zip code, they could perhaps decide not to buy.
- You lose your branding, you jump out to a different site. It gives impression that this is not a real professional site.
- Payment Processors don’t always make automatic deposits. For example with PayPal, you have to actually go online to the PayPal site, request your money, and it may take two or three days to get the money deposited in your account. You have to physically do this every time you want to draw funds out of there. If you are dealing in small transactions and not frequent transactions this may not be a concern.