What Are the Top Payment Gateways?

Your business will require a payment gateway to help you accept credit card transactions. The specific gateway you’ll use should be chosen with care. Here’s a look at some of the best payment gateways you can use today, including a look at what you would spend for each one.


You can start your search with Authorize.net. This choice is a prominent option for how it supports transactions from all card networks and various NFC-based solutions like Apple Pay. You can even accept PayPal payments with your Authorize.net account. Authorize.net has been helping businesses manage their card payments since 1996.

Authorize.net features a straightforward gateway system that is easy to plan. It offers a package that includes a gateway and a merchant account with support for recurring payments, invoicing, and mobile payment assistance.

You can also use Authorize.net’s extensive fraud detection and prevention system to flag any questionable transaction your business finds. The setup uses machine learning to detect general fraud patterns. It saves data on chargebacks and other risks and helps you identify signs when someone may potentially try to scam your business.

The system also includes support for more than 400 platforms and extensions. It can support NetSuite and QuickBooks programs as well, giving you extra control over how you handle and protect your finances. Most integrations do not require any technical knowledge or programming, although some advanced choices may require extra help for work.

Authorize.net does not charge any setup fees. It costs $25 per month to use Authorize.net. You’ll spend 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction if you use the merchant account system. The system gives you a streamlined approach to accepting credit card payments, making it one of the best choices you can hire for your work needs. You can also move your Authorize.net gateway between different merchant account providers if necessary.

Authorize.net also doesn’t have any long-term contracts. You will be billed by the month, meaning you can stick with Authorize.net for as long as you wish.


Stripe is a payment processor that offers a free gateway to all users. Stripe focuses mainly on customization, as it works with many APIs to integrate with whatever platform you use. The system is convenient, but it does require technical knowledge for you to see how you can get your payments working. But after you set things up, you can accept ACH payments, recurring charges, and more.

Stripe does not have any setup, recurring billing, or per-transaction charges. It costs 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction to use the processor and gateway. Stripe also has the right to terminate a contract if you have an uneven revenue flow or you experience plenty of chargebacks.


PayPal is another payment gateway to note. PayPal is noted for helping people transfer funds online, but it can also help people with their gateway needs. The system accepts payments from all major card networks. It also integrates with Shopify, Squarespace, and WooCommerce platforms.

It costs $30 per month to use PayPal and 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. While it can accept PayPal payments in multiple currencies in hundreds of countries, it only accepts PayPal Credit payments in the United States.


Square focuses on payment systems that use smart devices instead of potentially expensive POS hardware. Businesses can accept Apple Pay and Google Pay payments for each processing needs, although it doesn’t support PayPal payments. Square offers a software platform you can set up in moments on any iOS or Android device.

Square charges different amounts for transactions. You’ll spend 2.6% plus 10 cents on transactions, but it costs 3.5% plus 15 cents to handle a manual entry or a card-on-file transaction.


The next option to see is BrainTree, a system that provides a merchant account and gateway in one package. Braintree provides a pay-as-you-go system that charges 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction. It also supports currency conversion, but a 1% fee will apply.

Braintree supports multiple third-party systems. It also offers fraud protection and includes order monitoring services that will identify when you’re handling the wrong transactions at a time.

You’ll spend extra on the BrainTree gateway if you want to use it while working with a different merchant provider. BrainTree charges $49 per month for access plus 10 cents for each deal you complete with the system.


WePay is a Chase-owned peer-to-peer system. It provides an omnichannel gateway, meaning you can use the same gateway over whatever payment systems you support. WePay also provides various APIs for you to create integrations, although that also requires technical knowledge to help you make everything work.

WePay charges 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction. It can also process ACH payments, but they cost 1% plus 30 cents to manage.

Amazon Pay

The last choice to review is Amazon Pay, an account provider that offers a free gateway. Amazon Pay helps you take credit card payments through your website and establish recurring billing setups.

You must have an Amazon merchant account if you want to use Amazon Pay. Most processing efforts will work through an Amazon Seller Central dashboard. It also costs 2.9% plus 30 cents to process domestic transactions. There are no monthly fees or contracts, but the system will not support physical transactions. You can only use the Amazon Pay system for online transactions. It also works best if you have an established storefront on Amazon. You’d have to build a new storefront there for the best results.

Which Is Right For You?

All these choices for a payment gateway work in many forms and can be beneficial for many purposes. But you must review your current business’ needs and see which option has the features you demand while also being affordable. Each choice offers unique features, but some options may come with limits over what you can get out of your work. Don’t forget to look at the prices, including what you’d spend on transactions and what fees may apply.

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