A payment gateway is an e-commerce application that authorises online payments. It is the online version of a card machine that you would find at a shop till. All sales websites must choose a programme that is safe and reliable, as it will store sensitive customer data and will deal with any payment disputes and refunds.
On-site or Off-site?
At OpenPlay we mainly deal with on-site payment gateways. This is because your payments will be received directly through your website, which looks professional and trustworthy. The reverse of this is an off-site payment gateway, where customers are led from your site to that of a third party (eg.paypal). This option can seem drawn out and inconvenient to customers, so there is a greater tendency for people to leave the site before completing their booking. On-site payments make the checkout process seamless and lead to more customers completing their bookings.
There are three main companies offering payment gateways in the UK. All three companies offer secure payments with excellent support…
Stripe is the gateway that we, at OpenPlay, recommend. Founded in 2010, it is relatively new to the scene, but it is fast becoming the popular choice due to its quick set-up (it takes just five minutes) and easy integration with an e-commerce website. Stripe only offers onsite payments, preferring to keep your customers on your website and thus increase the number of completed purchases. Stripe is also ahead of the game in terms of features, with innovative developments being rolled out all the time. It has the capacity to save data, so recurred billing (e.g. monthly memberships) is automatic and repeat purchases are speedy. It is also the most efficient system for mobile payments.
*Once you’ve set up your account, it will be integrated with your OpenPlay account and seamless booking will commence.
Monthly payments: £0
Transaction fee: 1.4% plus 20p (European cards), 2.9% plus 20p (non-European cards)
This is the preferred system of accountants as it is delivered by the accounting software company Sage. SagePay not only offers online payments, but also contactless, over the phone and those made through EPOS systems. It is a highly secure payment gateway and is recognised by all major banks and card companies. SagePay is used by startup businesses and global brands alike. It is often the chosen brand for small companies, because of its comprehensive customer support.
Monthly payments: £20.90 (Flex plan: up to 350 transactions per month) £45 (Plus plan: 500 purchase per month). If you have more than 500 per month you will be placed on the Corporate plan which offers bespoke pricing.
Transaction fee: 0%
The most globally recognised brand, it is highly trusted by even the most novice of consumers. One of the issues with PayPal is that customers presume you need an account to book through the system, which in fact is not the case. Customers can choose between using their PayPal account or paying with credit or debit card. PayPal works as an off-site service, so their system will pop up as a separate frame within your website. It has a slightly clunkier feel to it then the other two providers.
Monthly payments: £0
Transaction fee: Depends on the volume of your sales. If you take less than £1500 per month it’s 3.4% plus 20p. £1500.01-£6000 is 2.9% plus 20p. £6000.01-£15,000 is 2.4% plus 20p. The percentage continues to drop as your sales intake increases.
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