Why choosing the right payment gateway matters

Subscribe Pro

June 6, 2016

Payment gateways, the software that allows your eCommerce to do business securely, is an essential component for any eCommerce business. Unfortunately, not all payment gateways are built equally. Here are four things to consider when exploring a relationship with a payment gateway.


  1. Speed: Time is a resource, and on the internet, the speed at which your site and your payment gateway works can make or break your business. Believe it or not, it only takes about 10 seconds for people to get frustrated, and that’s not only a potential lost sale but also a potentially lost customer. An excellent resource for finding fast payment gateways is Spreedly, which publishes an index of payment gateways speeds.
  2. Up-time: Anyone who’s ever run a website knows that high level of up-time is essential to success. Think about this: Every time your payment gateway goes down, you can’t complete sales. Maybe that’s only 1% of the time, but payment is 5%. While 95% sounds good, that could be a vital amount of time that can leave a hole in your revenue stream. Do some research of independent sources and be sure to stay away from any gateway that’s had a ton of downtime.  
  3. Level of detail in their error codes (when a transaction doesn’t go through): Some payment gateways will bucket all your credit card declines together. Others might give you separate error codes, depending on the reason why a card was declined. There’s a huge difference between whether a card was declined because it was over the limit or if the account was closed, for example. And differences like those can make a difference between getting paid for an order or just needing to cancel it all together.  
  4. Price: We’re all value shoppers, and it’s no different if you’re buying these services or a car. Some payment gateways are bundled with other services, or bundle their pricing. For example, a company may combine a transaction fee with a percentage of the purchase. Some may not bundle these two things. Either way, the complicated thing is looking for the total cost of all of a payment gateway’s different components. There are a lot of options, and one vendor may offer one fee structure, while three other vendors may offer three completely distinct fee structures. Unfortunately, many companies in this industry try to purposefully make their fee structures opaque, and it’s therefore essential for you to get all the information about pricing and fee structures so you can compare apples to apples.

At Subscribe Pro, we work each of the most popular payment gateways, and hundreds of smaller ones throughout the world. Do you have questions about whether your payment gateway will work with Subscribe Pro? Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to give you the answers!

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