What are the Best Payment Gateways

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Finding the best payment gateway for your business

When searching for the best payment gateway to cater for your business it’s difficult to know what to look for and how it will affect your company. At Merchant Advice Service we don’t just compare payment gateways fees, we look at the services provided by the payment gateway companies to enable you to choose the right one for you. Our easy guide breaks down the things you should look out for when trying to find the best online payment gateway.

How to find the best payment gateway for your business

Payment gateway comparisons don’t have to be complicated. Here we look at the element to compare each provider;

PCI Compliance

PCI compliance is regulation to put in place to make sure your customer data is secure, to find out more CLICK HERE. When choosing a payment gateway provider it’s worthwhile taking their PCI compliance level into account. In most cases we suggest using providers at level one, making sure you offer the very best payment gateway security for your customers.


Payment gateway systems must integrate smoothly with your website. For example, if using platforms like WordPress, Woocommerce, Wix etc. you need to find the best payment gateways and shopping cart to work alongside the software that is well supported and regularly updated.


Online shopping is available 24/7, that’s why we love it right?! Therefore, you need a payment gateway that provides ‘uptime guarantee.’ Without the gateway running smoothly you will not be able to process orders.

Fraud detection

There is a fine balance between preventing fraudulent transactions (which will cause chargebacks) and making sure you don’t turn genuine customers away. The very best ecommerce payment gateway providers understand this and work with you, the merchant, to manage the correct level of fraud detection, enabling you to sell to legitimate customer without the risk of fraudulent transactions.

Payment options

Transactions don’t just stop at debit and credit card payments, some advanced gateways allow customers to pay via vouchers, PayPal, Apple pay etc. Making transactions more assessable to a range of clients. It’s not something which is regularly asked about when businesses owners compare payment gateways, however its worth bearing in mind when deciding which payment gateway is best for your business.


Although your business might be based in the UK, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will trade within the UK alone. Think about what currencies you might need to accept and check that the gateway provider is happy with this. TIP Foreign transactions may be charged at a higher rate, by some merchant account providers. If you plan to accept a lot of these payments we have access to a merchant bank which will actually pay cash back on these transactions! For further information call today.

At Merchant Advice Service, we work with industry experts to make this process as straight forward as possible. If you are searching for the following call us today;

  • A gateway for you small businesses
  • The best gateway solution for any international transactions
  • The best gateways for your UK transactions
  • Payment gateways for integration with online web software such as Woocommerce, Opencart, Wix, Shopify and Bigcommerce

International payment gateway providers

If you are searching for the best European provider, or for something a little further afield, our experts can point you in the right direction. A lot of businesses feel that this may be harder to secure however, if you have the correct licensing and a merchant account in place, this is relatively straightforward. Any issues are usually related to sourcing the right merchant account to pair with your payment gateway. We can help with this if you come across similar problems.

Payment gateway costs

Thinking about the different elements to choosing a payment gateway is all very well and good, however securing the cheapest payment gateway for your business needs is important too – no one wants to be paying over the odds. Payment gateway fees comparison is simple, you normally pay the following; set up fees (however some gateways offer this for free) monthly subscription, which covers some or all of the services above, and transaction fees. Do not confuse your merchant account costs with the ones of a payment gateway provider.

What fees should I expect when it comes to the cost and pricing of these payment gateway fees?

Each provider is different in their pricing and how they charge. Usually the charge is per transaction or an up-front charge for a set amount of monthly transactions and a set price for any transactions over that amount. The below should give you some idea of industry average:

Set up fees

Some providers do not charge a fee for setting up your gateway account, however others do. When comparing payment gateway costs, you need to work out if in the long run its better to pay the set-up costs for a lower monthly service fee. Set-up costs can be anything from £0-£200.

Monthly fee

These fees tend to be quite low, ranging from £10-£50 per month. To reiterate, not all payment gateway providers charge this.

Transaction fee

This should be below 20p per transaction, but again when comparing gateways, think of how your business will be processing payments, will you take fewer payments at higher amounts? Or will you be processing lots of smaller payments, in which case the transaction fee becomes rather important.


SO…what are the best payment gateways?

Finding a payment gateway that is suited to your business is relatively straight forward if you follow our tips. Our advice is not to just compare on gateway fees alone and to think about your business now and in the future. Once you have secured a merchant account (which we can help you with) you can begin your search for the best payment gateway for your business (which we can also help you with.) It doesn’t matter if you are searching for an offshore gateway or one for a small start-up business, our industry experts can guide you through every step of the way free of charge.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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