What Merchant Service is Best for Your Website?
Are you looking to sell products or services online? No doubt you've done some research and found quite a few options out there to accept credit card payments on your website. We've built this merchant service picker to help you determine which provider would be best for you and your specific business. We encourage you to contact us with any questions!
Payment Gateway: A payment gateway is the service that allows you to accept credit cards on your website. It is the bridge that connects your website to a bank account or merchant service provider. A payment gateway is required in all situations where you want to accept payments on your website.
Merchant Service Provider: A merchant service provider functions similar to a bank account. It is the service that transfers money from one bank account, holds onto the money and then eventually distributes it to your bank account. A merchant service provider is not always required to accept payments online (see chart below). You may already have a merchant service provider if you accept credit cards over the phone or in person. Generally you can use your existing merchant service provider with any of the payment gateways below.
With PayPal's Website Payments Standard service users are taken off of your website to paypal.com to complete the transaction. Users have the option of paying with a credit card or their paypal account. This is often the cheapest option, but is often viewed as the least professional.
With Authorize.Net users stay on your website at all times to complete the transaction. This solution, while being the most professional, will have the highest costs in most cases. Authorize.net will become the most cost effective when high volumes of transactions are expected or you already have a merchant account that can be integrated with Authorize.net.
Stripe is our prefered solution for most situations. With Stripe users stay on your website at all times to complete the transaction for a profressional feel. Stripe has no montly fees so you only pay when a customer completes a transaction. Stripe also eliminates the needs for an additional merchant account. This reduces cost and allows account creation to be completed in under an hour!
* - Excluding SSL Fee