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Understanding Payment Gateways For Your Ecommerce Store.

Posted in E-commerce by Emma

Why do you need a payment gateway?

Simply put – to accept money.  In order to process financial transactions online, you need a payment gateway that works as a line of communication between your site, your customer’s payment method and your online account that accepts funds. Understanding payment gateways is a little bit of a hurdle, but we’re here to help with that in our breakdown of all gateways integrated with IgnitionDeck below. Set yourself up for success using IgnitionDeck and your preferred gateway.

How does a payment gateway work?

The payment gateway acts as the line of communication between your site, your customer, your customer’s payment account, and your payment account.

  1. The customer chooses their method of payment on the site.
  2. If they choose PayPal, they will be prompted to sign in to their account at the next step.  If paying with a credit card, they fill out the credit card number, expiry, and security code.
  3. The payment gateway contacts the payment provider:
    1. this could either be to sign in with PayPal and choose the method of payment (balance, bank account, or credit card), or
    2. to submit the transaction to the credit card network (like Visa or MasterCard). The credit card network routes the transaction to the party that issued the credit card to the customer.
  4. Once the customer’s funding source has approved or declined the transaction based on the customer’s available funds, the transaction results are passed back to PayPal or to the credit card processor.
  5. The transaction results are stored by PayPal or the credit card processor and a transaction ID is sent to the website through the payment gateway for the customer and merchant to see.

blog_gatewaySteps

 

Which gateways does IgnitionDeck offer?

logo-paypal
PayPal
is the go-to payment gateway provider for online financial transactions.  In the last quarter, PayPal processed 1.2 Billion transactions and had 173 million active user accounts.  Founded in 1998, PayPal has become the most commonly used payment gateway for secure payment processing in stores, online, and with mobile devices.

logo-stripe
Stripe is a major credit card processor for online businesses and has received $300 million in funding to date by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and Elon Musk.  They process billions of dollars of business every year for start-ups to Fortune 500 companies and provide credit card processing for some of the most popular Crowdfunding websites.  They are a reputable and secure credit card portal. Stripe is available to 23 countries including Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe and South America (https://stripe.com/global).

logo-authorize
Authorize.net is a credit card processor by Cybersource, a subsidiary of Visa, that was launched in 1996.  Authorize.net processes billions of dollars of online and point of sale transactions. Authorize.net is available to Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe (http://www.authorize.net/international/).

logo-firstdata
FirstData is a credit card processor that was established in 1971 and began online processing of credit cards in 1998.  They are available for North and South America, Europe, and parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East (http://www.firstdata.com/global-selector.html).

logo-coinbase
Coinbase is a Bitcoin wallet and transaction platform that has processed $2.5B worth of Bitcoins since their inception in June 2012. They have received $106M in funding from investors and handle 20% of the worldwide Bitcoin transactions. They currently have 2.8M users and are used by 43 000 merchants.  Bitcoin allows you to instantly send any amount of money to anyone in the world without needing a bank.

 

Which payment gateway will work for me?

PayPal is available to 203 countries and supports transactions made in more than 100 currencies.  PayPal permits funds to be withdrawn to bank accounts in 57 currencies and /or hold a balance in the PayPal account in 26 currencies.  PayPal does not require any special set up requirements on your website but an application approval is required for a PayPal Adaptive account for chained or pre-authorized payments.

Stripe is available in 23 countries around the world including North America and Europe, and it’s in beta for countries in South America and Asia.  See the full list of supported and beta countries here: https://stripe.com/global. One of the security features that Stripe insists upon is having an SSL certificate on your site to ensure that the transaction is secure – this is one of their requirements to ensure yours and your customers’ safety.

Authorize.net is available for account holders in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Europe and can handle customer transactions from anywhere in the world.  Like Stripe, an SSL certificate is required to ensure the transactions are secure on your site.

FirstData is available in 36 countries around the world.  For a full list of supported countries, see their list here: http://www.firstdata.com/global-selector.html.  An SSL certificate is also required by FirstData to secure the transactions on your site.

Coinbase is available in 32 countries and will accept Bitcoin payments from 190 countries.  For a full list of supported countries, see https://www.coinbase.com/global.

Payment Gateways Checklist

All payment gateways are available in both the IgnitionDeck Echelon and IgnitionDeck Enterprise licenses.

The next three rows show the funding types that are found in the IgnitionDeck plugins and whether or not the payment gateway supports those payment options.

The final two rows show the cost of using those payment providers – please note that you should confirm these fees with your chosen provider as they are subject to change and are beyond IgnitionDeck’s control.

_PP StandardPP AdaptiveStripeAuthorize.netFirstDataCoinbase
Echelon
Enterprise22
Immediate funding
100% threshold
Subscription
Crowdfunding fees3
Acct cost$25/mo
Trans. Cost2.9% + $0.302.9% + $0.302.9% + $0.302.9% + $0.302.6% + $0.1004

2 Available options for charging crowdfunding fees
3 Crowdfunding fees can only be charged with the Enterprise license.
4 There are no charges for transactions by Coinbase for converting Bitcoins to local currency for the first $1M; however, there may be some fees for converting Bitcoins to local currency applied by your banking institution.

Summary

  • We recommend Stripe if you’re in a country that it supports, because it can be used with all versions of the IgnitionDeck plugins, is straight forward to set up, supports all funding options you could want to use, and provides the ability to charge crowdfunding fees when used on the IgnitionDeck Enterprise scenario.
  • PayPal is an excellent option because it is widely recognized and most people already use it, and if it works for you in your area of the world you’re likely to have few issues.
  • PayPal Adaptive can take some extra time to set up, but is worth it if you need the additional funding options of 100% Threshold and/or subscription payments.  PayPal Adaptive is also required if you are using IgnitionDeck Enterprise and wish to charge crowdfunding fees on your project owners’ transactions.
  • Authorize.net and FirstData maybe a viable choice for those that have a conventional business account set up for other uses and don’t wish to create another account for credit card processing online but it is important to note that neither of these options will permit IgnitionDeck Enterprise project owners to collect funds themselves nor will you be able to charge crowdfunding fees automatically.
  • Bitcoin may be the currency of the future so the Coinbase payment gateway is a great option for you!

The IgnitionDeck WordPress crowdfunding plugin provides many options for payment gateways.  Depending on the IgnitionDeck plugin license you are using, you will have several options and a little research into your own requirements will determine which payment gateway(s) will best suit your needs. Payment gateways are an essential part of conducting online commerce (which includes crowdfunding); IgnitionDeck provides the integrations so you can plug in your credentials and sit back while the payment gateways do the work.