payment gateways for membership sites

Payment Gateways For Membership Sites: 5 Tips for Choosing the Right One

Payment gateways for membership sites should be a high priority if you own a website featuring memberships. And choosing the right right payment gateway that will be easy for your members and easy on your wallet is probably important, right?

There are a few factors to consider, that’s for sure. The truth is your payment gateway matters to your members and visitors. Consumers spent $933 billion on e-commerce in 2021, and that is expected to keep rising in the future. They want to work with a website that is reliable, secure, and safe. These days, no one wants to share their personal details on a platform they don’t trust.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most popular payment gateways, what to consider, and which one is right for your membership site

Your bottom line depends on it!

Payment Gateways for Membership Sites: An Introduction

Payment gateways are not just for the owner of a website anymore. It’s more important to pick the right payment gateway for your customer than anything else. 

So, here’s an introduction to payment gateways and everything you need to know before you make the choice to purchase one for your membership site. 

A payment gateway is an online payments’ service that, when integrated with a website or e-commerce platform, is used to make and receive payments. The procedure to receive payments includes the customer being required to fill in their details, like credit/debit card number, expiry date, and CVV.

These gateways act as in-between services, processing information provided during the checkout flow and facilitating the authorization or fulfillment of payments made. 

Why are Payment Gateways Important? 

Payment gateways aren’t just for transactions. They assist in helping you to take charge of purchasing tasks like keeping your customer’s information safe. For instance, payment gateways help encrypt sensitive data—like banking information—and help you meet required standards for data security, ensuring safe transactions for your customer. 

Gateways benefit you by saving you time and resources as well. You won’t have to manually input purchasing info on your end. 

Gateways also offer flexibility in the types of payments customers can choose from. This is key nowadays for fickle customers, who abandon carts quite easily. It increases the likelihood of sales by giving more options for customers with a variety of different payment types.

Customers are more likely to abandon their carts due to a lack of payment options. Give them options! 

payment gateways for membership sites

5 Tips to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway

Here’s the secret sauce of payment gateways. What to consider when you’re choosing the right payment gateway for your website? No problem. 

First, evaluate the unique features of each payment gateway plugin to make a choice based on the needs and capabilities of your e-commerce shop. Here are five key factors you should consider: 

1. Security

Security is the number one factor when considering a payment gateway—even over cost. 

Data security goes both ways, so you’re not just protecting your customer’s information, you’re protecting yourself as well. Look for a payment gateway that’s reputable and provides secure checkout experiences for your customers. 

Breaches also mean violating a data protection regulation or a few (CCPA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS), resulting in hefty fines.

If you can showcase a “security seal of approval” on your website, even better! Let the customers know how safe their sensitive information is. 

2. Cost

Next, you’ll want to consider the cost (as with every important decision). 

With cost comes some additional fees for your business, so be aware of your gateway’s costs for this. Do your homework before integrating it into your site so you’re not surprised with extra transaction fees. 

These fees charged can include: 

And not surprisingly, customers don’t really like hidden costs so be sure to avoid any roadblocks. 

3. Compatibility

Compatibility is how well your payment gateway will integrate with your website—from both a design and technical standpoint. You’re looking for something that will be easily incorporated into your existing website or platform, and that doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise (unless you’re techy!). 

This could mean checking to be sure the payment gateway is good with your website’s design, your brand, your purchasing choices, the checkout procedure, and more. 

Walkthrough it yourself first before launching it to the public. 

4. Payment Methods

Because online purchases have become the norm, there are many different payment options out there. The more options you offer people to make purchases, the more likely they are to buy. 

With a payment gateway that incorporates a wide variety of payment methods, you’re broadening your sales net, because most online shoppers will bail on a purchase if they can’t use their preferred payment method. 

It also helps to be more secure. When you offer more payment methods, your brand showcases more “street cred” when it comes to purchasing trends. It’s basic—people trust you more when you offer more payment options. 

5. Payment Location

This seems simple, but where your payment gateway is located, matters. Here are your options: 

  • Allow customers to complete a transaction within the checkout processes of the website.
  • Lead customers to another site to complete their purchases. 
  • Provide an API that incorporates directly into your site.
  • Reroute visitors to third-party payment sites. 

Consider what will provide the best shopping experience for your customers. The fewer clicks the better. 

Additionally, consider recurring payments, integrations, membership refunds, reporting and limitations when considering your payment gateway. 

Selecting the Right Payment Gateway For You

It’s time to select your payment gateway. You’ve considered the features, the cost, the security, and the payment options. It’s time. 

Here are some solid recommendations for the best gateway providers along with some key features and facts that may help you choose: 

Stripe

Stripe is tailored exclusively for e-commerce and provides extensive functionality regardless of your industry. Stripe is very well known for its flexibility and is widely used with big-name brands across the world. 

Stripe’s features:

  • Secure, customizable, and easy-to-setup e-commerce payment options.
  • The ability to allow customers to buy products directly from a tweet or one-click checkouts.
  • Stripe’s Sigma service allows businesses to easily view sales data and analytics in real-time, providing insight that can help you refine and improve operations for increased effectiveness and growth.
  • International retail e-commerce sales, offering businesses the ability to accept alternative payment forms, like Alipay, ACH, and Bitcoin

PayPal

PayPal is an e-commerce veteran and is one of the most widely accepted digital payment methods for retailers in the US. It’s a highly trusted payment gateway.

PayPal features:

  • Higher checkout conversion than most payment gateways. 
  • Fraud protection, live support, and extensive cart compatibility — it works with all major shopping carts and e-commerce platforms.
  • Offers multiple versions of payment solutions like PayPal Payments Pro and PayPal Express Checkout.
  • Customization, like the ability to add a PayPal button to your website. 

Amazon Payments

Amazon Pay is a service offered to Amazon customers (which is a lot) that allows you to check out with Amazon wherever you shop. Amazon Pay partners with your favorite online stores, you can pay by voice with Alexa, or manage your payments in your account on Amazon.com.

Amazon Payments features:

  • Amazon is a trusted brand and Amazon Payments gives shoppers a simple, familiar way to make purchases.
  • Integration with your website is API-driven, meaning it’s easy to customize Amazon Payments into your site. Often, it is as easy as adding a free plugin. And, transactions are completed on your site.
  • Amazon Payments is a leader in mobile responsiveness with a stellar highly-rated mobile app—150.6 million and rising. 

Authorize.net

Authorize.net is designed for small-to-medium-sized businesses. This payment service can help you grow your business with a host of flexible and trusted payment options.

Authorize.net features:

  • Extensive payment options that include checks and mobile payments cater to recurring or subscription billing.
  • Verified safety label from the site, in-site ordering, simplified PCI compliance, and custom checkout pages. 
  • Advanced Fraud Detection Suite helps identify, manage, and prevent fraudulent transactions, which is a free safety service.
  • Intensive support resources, including a custom online portal, phone support, online chat, eTicket response system, and email.

Apple Pay 

Apple Pay is among the fastest-growing contactless payment options. It allows customers to pay with the click of a button. The gateway accepts QUICPay, Union Pay, America Express, Mastercard, and Visa

Apple Pay features: 

  • Apple Pay gets 2% daily cashback on every purchase.
  • Accepted at over 85% of retailers in the U.S. Your card number and identity aren’t shared with merchants, and your actual card numbers aren’t stored on your device or on Apple servers.
  • Apple Pay is already on Apple mobile devices—built into iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad. No download is needed, which means no complicated processes to complete.

WooCommerce Payments

WooCommerce Payments is among the top preferred payment plugin by thousands of WooStore owners and is designed for integration with WooStores.

  • WooCommerce payments are free to download and integrate with just about any WooStore.
  • The ability to accept major credit cards, bank transfers, checks, and cash, along with 140 region-specific gateways to choose from.
  • The dashboard includes automated tax calculations, live shipping rates from leading carriers, options to print labels at home, and the mobile app for iOS and Android.

WePay

WePay is brought to you by Chase bank, and it’s a platform payments company that prides itself on conforming to the unique needs of your site or business—free!

WePay features:

  • Tailored for domestic and international customers, WePay offers a super helpful support center for businesses using the gateway.
  • Equipped to handle complex payment requests, like multiple payers or crowdfunding campaigns, and works for sites of different sizes. 
  • Offers various modern payment options, like Apple Pay and Android Pay.
  • Merchants with a Chase bank account can receive same-day payouts, at no additional cost and can begin accepting payments instantly.

2Checkout

2Checkout was founded in 2006 and serves over 180 countries. They help customizable hosted (in-site) checkouts with simple site integration and have multiple products under the Verifone brand. 

2Checkout features:

  • 2Checkout allows you to demo the platform and various settings to get a feel for how the gateway works before purchasing.
  • Multilingual options include 15 different languages and 87 currencies for international companies.
  • An easy-to-incorporate payment API so credit card processing can be embedded directly on your site. 
  • Knowledgebase resources make customization simple and easy.

Dwolla

Dwolla is a relatively new payment gateway technology and money-mover tool. As a bank transfer solution, merchants within Dwolla can accept bank payments simply, with additional e-commerce features like shopping cart plugins and website integration. 

Dwolla features:

  • Dwolla offers bank verification and multiple transfer options.
  • They strip typical fees from gateway infrastructures and same-day and next-day transactions for ACH payments.
  • Simple API integration to track your app activity, search transaction information, manage customers, and view key business insights within your dashboard. 
  • Dwolla’s security encapsulates rigorous monitoring, strong cryptography, and constant refining.

Square 

Square is an affordable payment gateway that has a free-to-download WordPress payment plugin that charges no monthly fees. 

  • Square is PCI level 1 compliant and offers anti-fraud and layered security for users making payments through the platform.
  • Square allows remote payments from a wide array of methods, which are then automatically transferred to your linked bank account on the next business day.
  • Square helps millions of customers with hardware for touchless payments. 

Simplify Commerce

Simplify Commerce, is a payment gateway under the MasterCard brand, and offers an online, in-app, and in-person option. 

Simplify features:

  • Flexible payment options for all types of shoppers. Whether your customers want to pay via MasterPass, Android or Apple Pay, Simply Commerce provides many different payment gateway options. 
  • Simply Commerce is developer-friendly with easy integration in a host of different programming languages (Ruby, PHP, Python, and Java, to start with) and software developments kits are also accessible for iOS and Android use. 
  • A trusted brand name like MasterCard fuels protection for your transactions. Right now more than ever, people are seeking security for their transactions as an owner and a purchaser. 

Online Wallets

Now you can set up online wallets on your mobile devices. Skrill sits at the top but there are also other options including Venmo and Google Pay

It’s believed that over 1 billion users will use online wallets within the next 5 years. Moreover, one should also consider alternative payment options like Bitcoin. 

Digital currency is fast gaining momentum and is already being accepted in several countries. 

Offline Methods 

Some membership sites still offer offline methods like bank transfers and checks, but it’s a little less popular these days. This can be suitable if your membership is being offered as an add-on to an in-person service. 

Wrapping Up

Payment Gateways for Membership Sites

When it comes to your membership site, your payment gateway is kind of a big deal! That’s why we hope this list of considerations and recommendations will help you make the right choice. There is a lot to consider! 

We know a thing or two about membership sites, so if you have questions along the way, please reach out to us at Restrict Content Pro and we can help. 

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