B2B eCommerce is a huge market that can be difficult to navigate. If you’re selling your products and services to other businesses, you need a payment gateway in eCommerce that will help you get paid while keeping your customers secure. The right B2B payment gateway will make it easy for B2B customers to pay securely and ensure they spend their budget wisely.
What is a B2B payment gateway?
A B2B payment gateway is a service that allows online merchants to accept credit cards and other payments. It’s usually part of an eCommerce platform or shopping cart software and processes transactions between the merchant and the bank. Using a B2B payment gateway means you do not have to deal with processing payments directly.
Payment gateway vs. payment processors
Payment gateway and payment processors are two different things, and they have additional responsibilities. A payment gateway is software that allows you to accept payments online. For example, if you want to sell something through your website or mobile app, you’ll need a payment gateway so customers can enter their credit card information securely and efficiently. Think of it as the brains of how your eCommerce site accepts payments.
A payment processor is more like the body—a company that processes all those credit cards for you (so long as your bank has an agreement with them). Payment processors are usually big businesses, but there are some smaller ones too—and some larger ones may offer both services. Choosing between them depends on what kind of business you’re running: If fraud protection is vital to keep customers happy, consider using both types together.
Research payment gateways
- Check the payment gateway’s reputation
- Check the payment gateway’s website
- Check the payment gateway’s reviews
- Ask other companies who use it and what they think of it
- Compare the price of different options available to you
Do they have integrations with your eCommerce platform?
It’s also essential to ensure that your payment gateway has integrations with your eCommerce platform and your payment processor. This will ensure that both can talk to each other seamlessly. For instance, if there is no integration between the two, you might have to manually transfer each order from your eCommerce system into the gateway separately.
Additionally, it’s imperative to check whether or not they offer integrations with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero. This feature will save you much time since it makes it easy to connect these two, so all information can be transferred automatically without any manual effort on your end. Consider looking into their integration capabilities with CRM (customer relationship management) software like Salesforce or Zendesk; this way, all orders are synced with these systems.
Do you need a merchant account?
If you’re accepting credit cards online, you need a merchant account. The difference between a payment gateway and a merchant account is that the former is used for processing payments for eCommerce websites and applications (using encrypted data). At the same time, the latter allows companies to accept credit card payments directly from customers over the phone or in person.
For most eCommerce businesses, this distinction isn’t essential—you can use PayPal as your gateway without having a separate account with them. However, suppose you want more control over your financial transactions or have specific needs (like setting up recurring billing). In that case, getting a separate merchant account from another provider like Stripe or Square (or even going through a conventional bank) might be worth getting a different merchant account from another provider.
Does it offer fraud protection?
Fraud protection is vital if you have a high risk of fraud. Fraud protection takes two primary forms:
- A monthly fee, or
- A percentage of transactions.
The monthly fee can range from free to $200 per month and beyond. If you’re starting with an eCommerce site, it’s probably not worth paying for fraud protection. However, suppose your business is proliferating, or you see much fraudulent activity on your site. In that case, it may be good to pay for this feature before it becomes more costly (and remember that buyers usually prefer to avoid paying extra fees).
How is customer support?
When choosing a payment gateway, you must consider how easy it is to reach customer support. Many factors determine this, such as:
- 24/7 availability of the team
- Responsiveness to inquiries from merchants and shoppers
- Ability to contact them by phone and email, or even through live chat if possible
- A knowledgeable support team that can answer all your questions about their product in both English and your language (if applicable)
What are the transaction and monthly fees?
The transaction fee is the amount you pay to your payment gateway whenever a customer processes a purchase. It’s usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price, but it can also be fixed. For example, your payment gateway charges 1% per transaction. If the item you sell costs $250 and your buyer pays with PayPal, then he will see $2 charged to his account by PayPal.
On the other hand, monthly fees are additional expenses that may apply depending on how often you process payments through your provider. Usually, providers offer different tiers for their services to accommodate different business needs.
However, some gateways charge less if you don’t need access to support or live technical help (which I recommend getting). Others have tiered pricing based on monthly volume; some even offer free plans if you have insufficient monthly transactions–usually under 100 per month (but these are rare).
Are there other fees?
Your payment gateway provider will likely also charge a fee for their services. In fact, it’s common for payment gateways to charge a flat monthly or per-transaction fee instead of taking a percentage cut from your sales. Some providers waive the fee when you have a high volume of transactions—but if you’re starting, this can be prohibitively expensive.
You’ll also want to consider whether your provider offers any additional services beyond the basics:
- Do they provide fraud protection? Some companies offer fraud protection at no cost; others charge extra. If you have an online store that sells luxury items and is frequently targeted by scammers, this could be important to ensure your customers’ money is in the right hands. You will definitely want some level of merchant refund abuse prevention as well, so look for solutions that have this feature.
- Does your provider offer additional features such as recurring billing or gift cards? These features can help enhance customer experience and allow you to grow more quickly over time by allowing customers who are already familiar with how things work on your site (and who trust in its integrity) to move through the checkout faster than those unfamiliar with the process might otherwise do so in person (or even via phone).
There are many options available, so choose carefully.
There are many options available, so choose carefully. If you’re considering a new payment gateway, consider how your customers will feel about the service and look for one that is easy to use and has a good reputation. It’s also vital for you to find an option that offers fraud protection so you can reassure your customers that their information is safe.
You’ll also want to ensure good customer service is in place should anything go wrong while processing payments through this system. If not handled properly, customer support can make or break a company’s success with its eCommerce platform—so keep it top of mind as you weigh your options.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the difference between payment gateways and payment processors and given you some ideas on what to look for when choosing one. At the end of the day, it’s about what aligns best with your business and customer needs.