Your guide to payment service providers

Your guide to payment service providers

You need a payment solution for your app – but how do you begin looking? There are a few key things to consider when you’re searching, so we’ve put together these handy tips so you know you’re covered!

The first thing you need to look at is price. Typically, you’re going to be paying per transaction, and you really want to keep this cost down. Card payments are the real heavy hitters when it comes to cost, with most providers offering a transaction fee of almost 2%. Some charge even more. 

It’s important to know where your customers are based, too, as some transaction fees vary depending on region. Stripe, for example, charges 1.4% plus 20p for payments with European cards, whilst non-European increases the fee significantly to 2.9% plus 20p.

If you’re dispensing with the card option and diving straight in for bank transfers, things start to look a lot more rosy. BACS fees are usually less than 0.5%. Payment processing solutions, such as Banked, offer an exceptionally low 0.1%. The trade off here is the lack of card payment support, and only you know if your customers will embrace the strange new world of open banking. If they will, you’ll feel the benefits.

Another deciding factor should be the ease of integration. Approach a provider’s website with a mission to discover whether they have SDKs for your target platforms, or how well documented their APIs are. Lacklustre documentation can spell disaster later down the line; you must be confident that you have all the information you need, or that you have someone on hand to get it for you. Poke their sales department if you have any concerns, they might be able to alleviate them… or exacerbate them. In either case, you have your answer.

Now your list of potentials comprises affordable, well-documented solutions, it’s time to start thinking about how flexible they can be. Examine whether it’s possible to style the checkout page, and to what extent. Some will be fairly inflexible, whilst others will allow you to create a truly immersive experience. Now is the time to consider how much stock you put into the age old ‘form over function’ adage. 

And now for security. If you’re wanting to implement card payments then you need to make sure your provider is PCI compliant. It should be fairly easy to find this information on their website, as they’ll be keen to showcase their compliance in order to ease your mind.

If you’re looking at a marketplace solution, you need to jump through a few more hoops. Keep an eye on regulation for holding money – you need to make sure your provider is an adherent. They must be PSD2 compliant, and follow the SCA guideline to ensure a private and secure payment process. And, perhaps most importantly from a functional perspective, be certain that it is possible to make payments from buyers to sellers! This is usually done through an eWallet system (PayPal being a great example).

If you keep all these points in mind when researching, you shouldn’t go far wrong when it comes to finding the right solution for your project.