Vladimir Sidorenko

Best Payment Gateway Comparison Guide for 2017

, , analytics , payments , django

Choosing a convenient payment gateway is key to future development for startup owners who deal with E-commerce. Any gateway has its pros and cons, which makes the decision to select one a pretty tough task. As such, we have prepared an ultimate online payment provider comparison that will help you make the right choice.

According to Statista’s forecast, global retail E-commerce sales will reach a value of $4.48 billion in 2021, compared to $1.86 billion in 2016; however, online shopping is still far away from traditional retail. The highest percentage of E-commerce sales is 19% in China, while the U.S. sell only 8.1% of products via the Internet. One way or another, online shopping is becoming more and more popular among adults.

The best payment gateways for E-commerce are:

  • PayPal;
  • Stripe;
  • Braintree;
  • Authorize.net; and,
  • Square.

Business Insider reports that the total retail growth was 2% in the first half of 2016, with 16% for E-commerce. The journal also states that U.S. customers will spend about $632 billion in 2020. The thing is that the most successful online retail businesses will be able to generate the highest profits, and the technologies they use will play a crucial role in it. This is why choosing the right payment method is important for any E-commerce company’s growth. Our payment gateway comparison will help make your online store more profitable.


PayPal can be called the best payment gateway among top providers. It appeared in the late 90’s and is still a powerful instrument for performing transactions. More than 165 million users entrust PayPal with their money and make purchases online using this service. According to Nielsen’s Online Buyer Insights, those online stores that use PayPal generate a 44% higher conversion rate than those who do not.

Accepting both direct credit card based payments and PayPal makes any custom online store a self-sufficient platform for selling goods. PayPal provides three different all-in-one services (Standard, Advanced, and Pro) that all charge competitive merchant fees of 2.9%+$0.3 per transaction. Besides these plans, PayPal also offers two other plans (PayFlow Link and PayFlow Pro) that allow business owners to use third-party services that may have lower fees in comparison to PayPal’s all-in-one plans.

PayPal Integration

To integrate PayPal, you need to create a business account and PayPal Facilitator account. You also need to activate Instant Payment Notifications (IPN) and set a particular URL for IPN Listener in order to receive notifications when a transaction is performed. Use the Payment Buttons setting to implement timely payments through PayPal.


One of the most important advantages of PayPal is that it guarantees 100% protection from fraud. It has competitive processing rates for sending money abroad, and it often provides shoppers with various discounts. Another amazing thing about PayPal is that it is the most popular and widespread gateway in the world. Most online shoppers have a PayPal account, which makes it logical to have this tool on your website as “a must”.


Along with all the pros of PayPal, it also has some disadvantages. The most serious con of this gateway is that it is known for its unreasonable account freezing. It can hold your funds if a specific transaction is suspected to be fraudulent, and it can take a lot of time until the issue is solved and the money is released.


Stripe is an E-commerce payment gateway that is known for its security features. During a transaction, the system receives payment information and processes it with its secure server, avoiding a store’s internal data. Stripe merchant services handles checkout security for online store owners. It also supports more than 100 different currencies, including Bitcoin. It is worth mentioning that Stripe raised funds in 2011 from Peter Thiel who was a co-founder of PayPal, so it is not a surprise that Stripe has a similar price as PayPal at 2.9%+$0.3 per transaction without any monthly fees. The gateway provides an all-in-one payment plan.

Stripe Integration

At first, you’ll need to create a Stripe account and fill in several forms that include your bank details. To integrate Stripe online payments in your web application, you’ll need to install the Node.js module using the following command:

$ npm install stripe --save

Then, enter your API keys and build a payment form using Checkout, an embedded payment instrument provided by Stripe.


Stripe has a comprehensive pricing policy. It is a simple tool that can satisfy the needs of most online stores. Stripe is well-known for its reliable security system and it supports both Android Pay and Apple Pay, using more than 100 available currencies. It has a secure open API that can be easily connected or even customized by your developers.


As Stripe is an all-in-one payment provider, it does not allow the integration of third-party payment gateways to decrease your expenses.


Braintree was launched in 2010 and, since that time, it has become a competitive player among top payment solutions for online stores. In fact, it was on the path to becoming the best online payment gateway before PayPal acquired it in 2013. Braintree accepts payments from Venmo, Coinbase, Android Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal. Indeed, they also accept standard card payments as well. This gateway charges a standard 2.9%+$0.3 fee per transaction, without any hidden costs or monthly fees.

Braintree supports the following platforms:

  • Opencart;
  • Magento;
  • WooCommerce (Wordpress);
  • Bigcommerce;
  • Spree Commerce;
  • Shopify, and more.

This payment gateway supports over 130 various currencies in 44 countries.

Braintree Integration

Braintree provides a well-documented API for easy integration in any kind of online store. In order to install Braintree using Node.js, you have to create a sandbox account, install Bower, and subscribe for a Braintree Recurring Billing Plan. Pull the library for your server by running the following command:

$ npm install braintree --save

Then, create a controller, export it out, and create a Braintree developer account. This account will help you set all necessary settings in order to start receiving payments through your web app.


Braintree allows business owners to easily set repeat billings on their web applications. The gateway offers a discounted rate (2.2%+$0.3) for eligible non-profit organizations. It provides advanced anti-fraud protection using reliable payment data encryption.


Braintree charges for each processed transaction and does not provide fixed pricing packages for enterprises. It also charges an additional 1% if the transaction is presented outside of the home currency. The companies, which have a turnover of $80,000, cannot count on discounted rates.


Authorize.Net has been providing its services for over 20 years. This is a classic payment gateway that handles transactions between your web resources and your customers. Authorize.Net offers both traditional gateway and all-in-one options. Like PayPal, Authorize.Net allows business owners to use third-party merchants in order to receive payments with lower fees. An amazing thing about this gateway is that it is much easier to get started with Authorize.Net than other solutions like PayPal. It is compatible with any processor, which eliminates the need to look for third-party merchants that support your gateway.

Authorize.Net Integration

You can use one of three available Authorize.Net integration methods: Advanced Integration Method (AIM), Server Integration Method, or Direct Post Method. To integrate the gateway using the AIM, you need to create an Authorize.Net sandbox account and set a customer form. To handle recurring billing and refunds, you have to implement a Silent Post and then activate a live mode to start receiving payments if you use the official SDK.


Authorize.Net allows a quick start for receiving payments through your online store. It provides both a traditional gateway and all-in-one options. Furthermore, it has the same transaction fee as other solutions do. You also can implement a third-party merchant service to decrease your expenses on processing rates.


Authorize.Net charges an additional setup fee of $49, and a $25 monthly fee. In comparison to Stripe, this gateway does not contain a high-security level. When you need to transfer your data, this task will be much harder than with Braintree’s migration service, for example.


Square is a young payment gateway that was founded in 2009. It is one of the most feature-rich mobile processing systems that does not require monthly fees. It has the same pricing policy for online transactions as its competitors in this comparison: 2.9%+$0.3. Its flat rate for keyed transactions is 3.5%+$0.15 and 2.75% for swiped ones. Square supports such E-Commerce platforms as WooCommerce (Wordpress), BigCommerce, Ecwid, and Weebly.

Square Integration

Square provides its payment APIs for online stores. It allows developers to seamlessly integrate the gateway into their checkout process with less than ten lines of code. You can also use other Square APIs to handle item and inventory management, employee management, and receive analytical reports.


Square has a comprehensive pricing policy and transparent processing rates. It provides free advanced analytics including a detailed and informative dashboard representing current sales data.


Square is known for its random fund holds on large transactions. Numerous complaints are sent to the company in order to solve such issues. Furthermore, Square has a lack of professional customer support as issue solving often takes too much time.

Payment Gateway Comparison Chart

Monthly Fees Transaction Fees Countries Currencies Card Types Limits On-Form Payments Recurring Billing Mobile Payments
PayPal 0 2.9%+\$0.3 203 25 9 $10.000 - V V
Stripe 0 2.9%+\$0.3 25 100 6 0 V V V
Authorize.Net $25 2.9%+\$0.3 5 25 6 0 V V V
Braintree 0 2.9%+\$0.3 44 130 6 0 V V V
Square 0 2.9%+\$0.3 5 5 6 0 V V V

The choice of payment gateways is always up to business owners. We hope that our reviews will help you make the right decision for your business, taking into account your needs and requirements regarding payment processing options and price. Whatever you choose, Geartheart recommends implementing several payment tools on your website in order to provide your customers with a more convenient service. When you build your web app and come across the need to integrate gateways, our professional team will help you do it in the shortest timeframe. Our professional experience and deep expertise will allow you to launch a fully functioning online store as soon as possible. Start receiving payments with Gearheart today!

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