What Should You Look For In A Payment Gateway?

The InstanteStore ecommerce solution, which comes complete with online shopping cart checkout website design, supports many payment gateways. There is the popular shopping cart Authorize Net, 2Checkout, PayPal Website Payments Pro and LinkPoint International, to name a few. Many ecommerce software packages are now integrated with echeck ecommerce shopping cart solutions as well.

When looking for a payment gateway, many merchants simply search for the most popular ones and select the one at the top of the list. Some will do a bit of homework to check out the features of particular gateways and compare rates but many do not even know what to look out for. Always select a payment gateway or payment gateways that can best serve your needs before making a decision.

In this article we hope to share a few insights on the characteristics of payment gateways that budding online entrepreneurs should look out for. Mind you, if you are looking for a perfect solution, you will not find it. That said, quite a few gateways out there have served many merchants well over the years.


Payment gateways that have been around for a few years are unlikely to shut down overnight. Their solutions are likely to be more stable and their customer support service should be top-notch. You can always do a background check with agencies like the Better Business Bureau to find out if a particular company is legitimate. Going through a list of the payment gateway’s customers would also reveal a lot about their integrity. If reputable companies are using the payment gateway, it stands to reason that it has something going for it.

Trial Version

Prominent gateways usually allow potential clients to try out their software before actually having to sign up. Clients can then see for themselves if the software is worth their investment.


Obviously, price also matters. Find out AND compare the setup and service cost of the solution with others that offer similar features. Make sure you locate all the hidden fees, if there are any. Per-transaction fees are something to keep an eye out for.

Merchant Account

Some payment gateways require that you have a merchant account and others don’t. Opening a merchant account can take a matter of weeks, whereas you could get started quicker with your business if you opt for a gateway that does not require a merchant account. However, the commission rate per transaction with some of these gateways can reach a whopping 15% for each item sold.

Also, if you have a merchant account, your company name will appear on the credit card bills of your customers. This will likely result in less disputes and less costly chargebacks.

Processing Speed

People get anxious when it takes a few minutes to process a simple transaction. A normal transaction should take less than a minute.

Multi-Currency Support

If you intend to market your store worldwide, then you should select a payment gateway that has multi-currency support or at least one with a built-in currency converter. If someone wants to give you money in return for a product or a service, you should do everything possible to make sure they are able to.

Recurring Billing

If your store sells items like magazines (via subscriptions) or other products that require a customer to be billed automatically after a certain period of time, then this is a feature that could be useful.

Payment Methods

As mentioned earlier, some gateways accept echecks as well as most credit cards. Integrated echeck ecommerce shopping cart solutions are gaining in popularity but an important fact to keep in mind is that just like conventional checks, echecks can also bounce.

We hope that you find these things to look out for useful when making your choice of a payment gateway.

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