payment gateway comparison ecommerce Blue Stout

The Best Payment Gateway Comparison Guide for a High-Converting Checkout

by Jenna Compton
February 18, 2016

Your payment gateway solution can be the reason your customers don’t complete their purchase.

Depending on how your development team customizes and integrates your payment processing solution, your customer checkout experience can good – one that highly converts – or poor – one that leaves a lot of money in an abandoned cart.

In this article, I’ll take a look at the most widely-used payment gateways in order to:

  1. Give you an overview of each solution,
  2. an idea of pricing and contract length,
  3. and (if applicable) examples of online retailers using them.

Hopefully, armed with this information you can discover which gateway can make your checkout UX a high converting one.

Let’s take a look at 7 of the most widely-used solutions:

Braintree payment gateway comparison


Braintree has become a competitive payment gateway since its launch in 2010. Eventually getting acquired by PayPal, Braintree now operates as a “PayPal Company” and could be one of the most progressive movers in the payment industry.

They accept payments from PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Venmo, and even Coinbase (bitcoin)!  And, of course, they process traditional online payments as well. What’s notable about the company is their expansion into alternative payment methods. If your target demographic purchases through one of these alternative methods, you might consider Braintree as your payment gateway.

Supported Platforms

Processing Rates

  • 2.9%+ $0.30 transaction fee (after first $50,000)
  • $15 chargeback fee
  • See all pricing details here


There are no contract requirements with Braintree, and you get to take all of your customer data with you for free!


Stripe payment gateway comparison

Stripe began with a simple purpose: make it simple for businesses to do business online. They have a bit of a different appeal in that they build for developers, not merchants. This is an interesting approach for the company and shows their true vision is in the future.

By listening to and working with developers first, the company can be on the forefront of building progressive payment solutions. This was the case with their recent launch of Relay for Stripe. You can read an article about Relay on our blog here.

If it is important for your company to be on top of capturing sales in a “non-traditional way” (through a third-party app, via marketplace, through subscriptions), then Stripe could be the right solution for you.

Supported Platforms

Processing Rates

  • 2.9% + $0.30 (after first $1 million)
  • $15 chargeback fee
  • See all pricing details here


There are no contract requirements, but you must have to agree to the Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.


  • Harry’s
  • Fitbit
  • Task Rabbit
  • Lyft
  • And more


Authorize.Net has been in the payment processing space for a while – since 1996. Because of its seniority in the space, this provider has maintained a decent portion of the payment gateway market share. Like the above-mentioned gateways, Authorize.Net provides similar fraud protection services, subscription capabilities, and simple checkout options.

The downside is that if you need to transfer your data, you cannot do it as seamlessly as Braintree’s free migration service. If you want to eventually leave Authorize.Net you will have to redo the entire process of collecting payment information from your clients for recurring billing and payment method. Not fun for you or for customers. On the bright side, Authorize.Net has a friendly interface and allows you to get fairly granular with your security settings so this is a nice plus for your development team.

Supported Platforms

  • Bigcommerce
  • Shopify
  • Volusion
  • WordPress
  • Magento
  • See other integrations here

Processing Rates

  • $49 – Setup Fee
  • $25 – Monthly Gateway Fee
  • 2.9% + $0.30
  • $25 chargeback fee


Authorize.Net has a month-to-month option with no early termination fees, but if you choose to go through a reseller, you may encounter a contract and termination fees. Here is a detailed list of the “fine print” of their services agreement.

PayPal payment gateway comparison


The name “PayPal” is synonymous with online payments because they spearheaded the movement back in the late 90s – and they’re still going strong today. As mentioned above, they’ve acquired Braintree and now have that and Venmo under their belt. PayPal has also since separated from eBay, so they are one powerful and progressive entity on their own.

PayPal is a great alternative or “back up” solution to any other gateway solution you may have on your site. You can, of course, use it as your sole solution, but many brands have it as an alternative choice at checkout. Why? It’s a time saver and an alternative to people who do not wish to dole out their credit card info to every retailer they are purchasing from.

With over 165 million users it’s definitely a trusted platform, and chances are a good portion of your demographic has a PayPal account. This could be a good “backup” gateway for you to implement and do some A/B testing on your checkout experience. It could be the difference in making or losing a sale.

Supported Platforms

ALL. Since PayPal usually redirects to its own site, no platform integration is necessary. If you want to integrate with PayPal Express, the redirect is skipped entirely and the necessary information is provided by the Express API.

Processing Rates

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction (with option for volume discounts)
  • 3.9% + fixed fee per international transaction
  • Additional add-ons may require other fees
  • See all pricing details here


Paypal does not have a contract obligation and you can cancel at any time. You do have to comply with the PayPal user agreement which you can read in full here.


You can see an exhaustive list of PayPal’s store directory here.

Amazon Payments payment gateway comparison

Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments launched in 2007 with the goal of providing users the same checkout experience they recieve from on other sites. Like PayPal, your customers’ transaction(s) can be conducted through Amazon Payments without leaving your website (conducted “inline”).

A plus about Amazon Payments is that your customers can have access to their 1-click shipping options, which is a feature of the checkout that highly increases conversions. (source) If your customer base shops on Amazon, introducing this feature could greatly speed up your checkout process and, therefore, increase conversions.

Supported Platforms

  • Magento
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Volusion
  • See other integrations here

Processing Rates

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • No setup fee
  • No fraud protection fees
  • $20 chargeback fee
  • See all pricing details here


Amazon Payments does not operate on a contract and you can cancel your account anytime. Read more about cancellation here.


  • Patagonia
  • Jockey
  • Honest.Co
  • Blick
  • And more

Orbital payment gateway comparison

Orbital Payment Gateway by Chase Paymentech

Chase is quite a big name to be moving in the payment gateway space. Naturally, it comes with pros and cons. One of the pros of choosing Orbital Gateway as your solution is that you may be able to get a much lower processing rate than offered by any company listed here (more on that below).

The main con stems from dealing with such a large entity. When companies are this large, they have problems maintaining customer service and providing a high quality product. Don’t expect the level of customer service from Chase that you’d get from PayPal. So, the processing rate is attractive, but it comes at a cost. Additionally, reviews of this gateway show that Orbital is very good at tailoring their pricing to the business versus a flat-rate for all types. If you are looking to lower your cost on processing rates, Orbital may be the right solution for you.

This solution has, however, racked up a lot of negative reviews.

Supported Platforms

Processing Rates

  • 1.65% + $.25 per transaction with your existing equipment
  • $9.95 monthly fee
  • See all pricing details here


Orbital Gateway has now moved away from a contract agreement (though if you purchase through a reseller you may still encounter this) and is now on a monthly model. However, if you sign up to receive equipment from Orbital, you will probably encounter a 24-month service agreement. (source)

World Pay payment gateway comparison

World Pay

Another one of the original online payment providers, WorldPay started processing online payments in 1994. They are a global solution and have over 150,000 clients in the U.S. alone. However, because they are such a large company their customer service suffers.

Additionally, there may be some cancellation fees depending on what your WorldPay rep sets you up with in the beginning (more on that below). WorldPay is attractive in its lower rates, but it seems to be laced with fees and charges. Like Orbital, if you are looking for a lower processing rate, this gateway could be the right solution for you – but it’s going to come with a tradeoff. Overall, this solution seems outdated in both interface and pricing model. Our advice would be to read as many reviews as possible before using this solution.

Supported Platforms:

Processing Rates

  • Signature debit transactions at 0.99%
  • Standard credit transactions at 1.99%
  • Rewards credit transactions at 2.6%
  • Corporate/T&E/Keyed-In credit transactions at 3.30%
  • $0.20 per-transaction fee
  • All of this is on a “limited offer”
  • PCI compliance fee
  • Chargeback fees


With WorldPay, you have a contract of 3 years. Should you choose to cancel early, your fees can be anywhere from $95 – $295. You can read more about their contracts and cancellation fees here, and also take a look at the actual Terms & Conditions on their site.

Select a Payment Gateway That is Optimal for Your Checkout User Experience

payment gateway comparison checkout UX

OK, now that you may have a good idea about what payment gateway is best for you, you need to understand how that choice can impact your customer’s checkout experience. When analyzing different gateway options, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Does this gateway integrate with my current platform?

Though we’ve listed the current platform integrations in each gateway profile above, chances are if your platform is not listed you can find a developer or ecommerce development agency to make it work.

However, that’s not usually the best choice.

If your gateway of choice does not integrate with your platform through an already-existing plugin or application, you’re going to have to go to extreme levels of custom development. That costs time and money. But, the worst part is thinking about your overall checkout user experience (UX). When you highly customize something in your checkout, it becomes quite difficult to streamline across all channels.

For example, if your development team crafts a connection between WorldPay and your Magento store, ensuring that this checkout performs seamlessly across all devices is going to require a lot more dev work and resources versus an already-built solution which has been tested.

If you discover that your platform is not supported in a payment gateway you’d like to implement, now is a good time to pose the question: “Is my ecommerce platform outdated?”

Related: The One Upgrade That Can Save Your Ecommerce Business

2. How does this gateway enhance my checkout user experience (UX)?

One of the top reasons that customers abandon their cart is because they experienced a problem in the checkout. These problems range from not providing a guest checkout to shipping costs and payment options.

So how does your gateway choice impact this experience?

Your payment gateway choice can actually improve your checkout process by eliminating some required information steps and speeding up the process. For example, if you choose to integrate PayPal Express of Amazon Payments, you can auto-populate some of your customer’s information through the gateway’s API.

Imagine eliminating the step where your customer has to enter their shipping! Save them a headache and they are not only more likely to buy, but more likely to return. And, increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% can increases profits up to 95%! (Bain & Co)

Related: Customer Retention: The Art of Turning New Customers into Repeat Buyers

3. How does this gateway promise to grow with my business?

Here at Blue Stout, we prefer to develop with Stripe if it makes sense for our client’s business goals. The reason? Stripe is built for developers. That means that the sky’s the limit in terms of customizing this solution to fit your checkout needs. More importantly, since Stripe is built for developers it shows the intent of the company is to focus on innovation.

For your ecommerce company to succeed, you need to be current with what your customers are using.

For example, if your target demographic has a high engagement level on Twitter, wouldn’t it be great if they could shop your products without ever leaving Twitter? No redirect?

That’s exactly a solution that Stripe just built with their product Relay. It allows customers to shop directly from a tweet. They never have to leave the platform, which encourages a conversion since they don’t have to deal with multiple redirects.

This is a true example of innovation from a payment gateway and brands that have chosen Stripe should feel confident about their growth and future success of reaching their customers – in an appropriate way – on the platforms where they are engaging and active.


Though we provided an outline of several payment gateway solutions here, it’s best for you to do an exhaustive search before making this choice. It is a choice that, if made incorrectly, could come with some serious backlash. The last thing you want is to make your customers angry about their private payment information, how it’s being used, and where it’s going.

In researching for this article I came across a very useful resource from Spreedly: their Gateway Index. It provides an overview of many gateway choices allowing you to get a bit more insight into the usage and popularity of the solution. Additionally, you can use sites like Merchant Maverick and Top 10 Reviews to compare payment gateway solutions.

What payment gateway is your company currently using? How is it impacting your checkout UX? Let me know in the comments below.

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Jenna Compton Jenna is our Director of Marketing and provides regular contributions to the blog. When she's not reading about business, she can be found running, drinking good coffee, and fiddling with projects.
  • Rikke M. Dam

    Thanks for the article, Jenna! Really great advises. I wish I had found it earlier. Now I am using Cardinity, really happy about it – the pricing is the most friendly I could find so far. It has integration to Magento, Woocommerce, Ubercart and others. Anyway, I think most important is to identify your needs. Then it is easier to choose the best option.