Online Payment gateways are means of receiving funds for the exchange of goods and services if you run an online business in order to accept credit card payments. Most business owners starting out are confused about what it meant by the payment gateway, thus the reason behind this article.
You will get to know what payment gateways are and they work out of the crowd, the best five payment gateways you can use if you run an online business in Nigeria. Before delving into the core of the subject of discussion, first and foremost let’s see what a payment gateway is.
What Is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway in a layman’s definition is a or are means by which you receive a payment from your customer for exchanging valuables or services or products through a third party (merchants) system or platform. These platforms are known as payment gateways.
More distinctively, a payment gateway is a mechanism that reads and transfers payment information from a customer to a merchant’s bank account. Its job is to capture the data, ensure funds are available and get a merchant paid.
When related to online, a payment gateway is a cloud-based software that connects a customer to the merchant. In-person, it’s the software built into a point-of-sale (POS) system or card reader that processes a transaction when the cardholder uses their card to make a payment.
A payment gateway is a technology used by merchants to accept debit or credit card purchases from customers. The term not only includes the physical card reading devices found in brick-and-mortar retail stores but also the payment processing portals found in online stores.
According to Wikipedia, a payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card or direct payment processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar.
The Importance of Payment Gateways.
The primary role of any payment gateway is to support the transaction between you and your clients. Therefore its importance cannot be overemphasized. Below are some of the importance of online payment gateways.
- Secured customer data: payment gateways reinforce the security and encryption of customer information which in turn boost customer security.
- Lessens credit card fraud: payment gateways are used mainly to minimize the instance and possibility of online payment fraud which are mostly encountered by online business owners and retailers during transactions that involve the use of credit cards to receive payments from customers.
- Easy to install and maintain: payment gateways are designed to help businesses with a free setup and some at a low maintenance cost and some can be automated.
- Impulse purchase: it is observed that more than 40% of customers cancel their purchase if the checkout or payment method is tedious or complex. But, according to a study, it is observed that impulse purchase is responsible for 40% of all online purchases, so being provided with an easy payment option will undoubtedly make increase sales
Types of Payment Gateways
Payment gateways can be categorized into three types. Namely
HOSTED ( OFF-SITE PAYMENT)
In this type of payment gateway, the customer makes a purchase on your website or at your retail location, and the payment information goes to the payment provider’s servers for processing. An example of a payment system that uses this kind of operation is square POS
SELF-HOSTED (ON-SITE PAYMENT)
In this type of payment gateway, the entire payment transaction happens on your servers.
Unlike the other types, this type of payment gateway simply takes a customer to a payment processor just like the system imbibed in PayPal or Stripe, to process the transaction.
How Payment Gateway Works
This explains the breakdown or chain mechanism behind payment gateways. That is to say, the processes involved. A payment gateway includes these active participants to be functional.
The business or any person involved in making the sale.
The customer making the payment or purchase
- Issuing bank
The financial institution that holds the customer’s account, either a credit card account or a checking account connected to a debit card.
- Card schemes
These are the credit card companies that manage the card, like Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
- Acquiring bank
This refers to the financial institution that holds the merchant’s account.
The Transaction Process Explained
The cardholder initiates a purchase for example when a customer clicks on the call to action button “buy now” at the merchant’s website. The payment gateway goes into action, first checking with the issuing bank to make sure funds are available.
This is to ensure that the transaction won’t exceed the customer’s credit limit or bank account balance. Next, the payment gateway sends encrypted card information to the card schemes to process the transaction. After which the card schemes approve the transaction.
The payment gateway then sends the information back to the merchant website to complete the transaction. The payment gateway then sends the information to the acquiring bank to move money from the customer’s issuing bank account into the merchant’s account.
Now that you understand what a payment gateway is and how it works, let’s look at the best 5 online payment gateways for small businesses in Nigeria.
Best 5 Online Payment Gateways for Small Businesses in Nigeria.
There are several online payment gateways you can choose from if you are in the online business space or considering doing business online. The aim of this article is to discuss the best 5 online payment gateways for small businesses in Nigeria from a host of others and which is a great choice when running an online business. The 5 best online payment gateways include
- Rave/ Flutterwave
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Paystack is a technology company that is solving payments problems for ambitious businesses owners with the mission to help businesses in Africa become profitable, envied, and loved. Paystack has over 25,000+ live merchants as of November 2018 and still counting and have collected over $2,900,000+ as of October 2018. They have also paid out to merchants over $27,500,000.
It doesn’t matter if you are operating on a small scale or large scale business, Paystack offers virtually everything you need to accept payments. It’s simple, secure, and affordable.
Paystack ensures you get paid. Payments can be completed in 2 to 3 easy steps. Your customers can make hassle-free payments directly on your website.
- Cheap and Easy
It’s very easy and cheap to get started on this payment gateway. You can set up Paystack on your site or app even without a developer in minutes.
- Customer support
Their system provides tools to help you grow beyond payment which is one of its core purposes. You get a reliable support system and business solutions to measure and improve your growth.
Its setup cost is free. Below is the cost accrued when transactions are made with this payment gateway.
1.5% plus 100 hundred Naira. The hundred naira fee is waived for transactions less than 2,500 Naira.
3.9 % plus 100 hundred Naira.
Flutterwave is a Nigerian fintech company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent. Founded in 2016 by Olugbenga Agboola, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, and Adeleke Adekoya with headquarter in San Francisco, California with operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and other seven African countries.
This payment gateway lets you receive funds locally and internationally with no hassles and zero setup fees. Their system makes payments online easy, safe, acceptable, and secure.
- Multiple currency choices
This payment gateway gives you the option to receive payment from different currencies and from different countries.
- Card and account payments
Flutterwave gives you a kind of power to charge your customer’s credit or debit cards as well as their bank accounts directly. With this, you can directly debit your customer’s bank accounts.
- Multi-tenancy possibilities
The payment gateway made provision for an interesting feature which is the automatic white label possibilities offered absolutely free at the flip of a click.
The setup cost for this payment gateway is free. Below is a breakdown of costs accrued on transactions made with this gateway.
1.4% cost is accrued on the transactions you make locally
About 3.8% of the cost is accrued on the transactions you make across local borders, that is international.
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Founded in 2012 by Mohammed Ibrahim Jega and co.
Voguepay is another secure and simple payment gateway that allows you to send and receive payments around the globe. The feature to receive funds globally on this payment gateway, allows customers and businesses to safely make and receive payments in virtually all major currencies not minding the location.
It is interesting to know that this online payment gateway also offers a secure and safe medium to accept payment in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. You can accept one-time payments, set up subscriptions, and even receive donations.
Easy and simple maintenance
You can select between the business or personal account options based on your needs
Multiple currency choices
The payment gateway allows you to accept payments in different currencies of your choice. You can also receive payments in cryptocurrencies.
The simple API documentation help to make integration easy, even for non-developers.
You can easily integrate payments to your website using the plugin libraries and extensions made available by the payment gateway.
The setup cost is free but you may have to pay if you are applying for customization.
You have to pay one thousand five hundred 1500( for CAC) and two thousand five hundred Naira 2500(with government-issued ID cards).
For naira cards, 1.5% transaction cost is accrued above two thousand five hundred Naira (2500) 1.5% plus thirty Naira (30)
Remita on the other hand is a payment solution that helps individuals and businesses make and receive payments, pay bills, and manage their finances across multiple banks over the globe. It is an online payment gateway for federal government funds generated from levies, taxes, and tariffs. Remita is more than just payment software. It also has HR and payroll functions that help businesses maintain comprehensive, online employee personal and payroll data. It comes with an innovative approach to managing electronic payments, collections, employees payrolls, and schedules, which encompasses all commercial banks. It is very powerful and it allows people and organizations to process intricate and complex financial operations while being intuitive and simple.
This payment gateway helps you receive and make payments on your website and apps. They offer ready-to-use plugins, SDKs, and APIs that make integrating a seamless and easy task.
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This payment gateway offers your customers multiple choices to pay you. Online Payments, eCommerce Plugins, Mobile SDKs, and Recurring Payments
Pay single or multiple beneficiaries from bank accounts you register on Remita. This ranges from Single Debit Single Credit, Single Debit Multiple Credit, and Funds Transfer Plugin.
View all your Balances, On One Screen
Remita lets you see all your bank account balances, from any bank, on one screen. All transactions are been recorded from the moment you start transacting on the payment gateway. With just a single click, you can see all transaction history on your screen from the first time you start using the gateway.
Get Paid Easier
Easily get paid by simply generating and sharing payment requests or known as e-Invoices with family, friends, and customers. This helps to keep a record of the transactions going out.
Experience True Work-Life Balance
This payment gateway presents you with a feature to enjoy the convenience of switching easily from your personal to business accounts, and back again, whenever the need arises with no bustle or hassle.
Easier Payroll for All Businesses
Whether you’re a 2 or 200,000 staffed organization, Remita can help manage your payroll as well as HR management needs.
The setup fee for this payment gateway is free, you get free support as well.
When receiving local payments 2% cost is accrued on your transaction (Min ₦100 to Max ₦2,500)
While on an international transaction, a 4% cost is accrued on your transactions.
Guaranty trust holding company plc also known as GTCO plc is a multinational financial services group that offers retail and investment banking, pension management, asset management, and payment services. One of the payment services is GTPay which allows you to accept payments on your Woocommerce store. It adepts both locally and internationally issued cards.
GTPay is another secure internet payment gateway developed by GTBank to facilitate payments online using debit Cards issued by banks on the Interswitch Network. Although a great choice but its only limitation is that, for you to have and operate on this payment gateway you must have an account with GT Bank.
GTPAY accepts both locally and internationally issued cards including Interswitch, MasterCard, and VISA. It doesn’t matter your country, you can make transactions on this platform from anywhere in the world.
Timely transaction processing
Merchants get value the next working day after the transaction takes place for local transactions and 48 working hours for international transactions
GTPAY monitoring log
GTPAY comes with a unique, online monitoring console that allows merchants to view transactions as they occur. This is done to tighten the security and manage user risk.
Unlike the previous ones whose setup fee is free, You have to pay for GTPay setup Fee. The cost is ₦75,000.
Other cost accrued using this payment gateway includes
for regional transactions, 1.5% of the transaction amount (subject to a maximum of N2,000) is been accrued on your account.
For MasterCard and VISA, 3% of the transaction cost is been charged to your account. You will be charged an (N5,000) five thousand naira monthly fee for using the international gateway monthly charge.
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An online payment gateway serves as live blood for any online business because, without them, you are not doing business. For you to receive payments when doing business online is only possible through online payment gateways. The research above presents you with the best 5 online payment gateways out of many choices out there.
Payment gateways are an important feature of the digital economy. By allowing customers to safely and securely share their credit card information, these systems reduce some of the barriers to online commerce. While the first payment gateways consisted of simple card-reading devices, there are now sophisticated systems to collect and authenticate PIN numbers, signatures, and other data for merchant transactions.
Payment gateways as earlier discussed, are important and serve as a lifeline to businesses and retailers as well. It is very important eCommerce and businesses in the online space cannot survive without them. At times, payment gateways can also monitor customer orders, employ geolocation for certain processes in transactions and customer purchases that involve checking locations. It can even gauge the costs of taxes in some states or areas.