Evaluation Criteria for Payment Gateway

The independent authority on credit card processors, topcreditcardprocessors.com, is a research firm dedicated to identifying and ranking the best credit card processors in the United States. Through an in-depth vendor analysis, client evaluation, and the use of our proprietary evaluation criteria, we have put together a list of the top payment gateway services. Our analysis delves into a vendor’s business practices and compares them against industry standards to ensure that the service is quality. Often times we connect directly to the clients of a vendor and ask about their overall experience.

There are five key areas which we have identified as significant for a payment gateway service:

Since each merchant has slightly different needs that often increase as business increases, competitive pricing tiers are a must. Moving vendors can be difficult and providing several tiers of service helps the merchant grow with their vendor. Vendors that provide basic services for merchants starting out and advanced, full-featured plans for large businesses show that they value merchants and have the capability to grow with the business.

Payment gateways can become very complex as features and options are added. While some companies may do fine with basic features and options, other companies need more complex payment gateways. The ability to provide exactly what the business needs makes it possible to provide an excellent payment gateway service to merchants. Customers must be able to pay with a variety of payment methods from credit cards to online checks. Merchants need a way to monitor and flag potentially fraudulent transactions to prevent damage to their business.

As additional features are added, the design of the system becomes more complicated. Payment gateways that provide a strong list of features while still maintaining their ease of use provide the best value for merchants. Merchants that have complicated features and don't know how to use them correctly won't be able to get the most out of their systems. When the design becomes so overladen with complicated features that the simplicity and ability of the customers to use the payment gateway suffers, the overall efficiency of the system is reduced.

Online systems have a tendency to break and go down intermittently. Payment gateway providers must have several options in place to deal with these issues to make sure that the company has access to representatives that can help get systems back online, regardless of the hour. By providing a variety of methods to contact customer support, payment system providers can decrease the amount of downtime and frustration created for both customers and merchants.

Payment gateways must have strong security protocols to protect customers from phishing attempts. This helps make sure that customers don't have to worry about losing their private financial information and become a victim of theft. Payment gateways must use strong encryption and dedicated storefronts to reduce the possibility of a data breach. Information should be provided with each transaction to make it possible for users to verify that the transaction is legitimate. Firms are judged based on how well they follow security protocols and standards set by law.

General Questions:

  • How did you find your current payment processor?
  • What other payment processors, if any, have you used?
  • How many transactions do you process per month?
  • What would be three things you would change about your experience?
  • Rate your overall experience (1-10; 10 being the highest).

Specific Questions:

  • How quick does the platform process payments?
  • Have you experienced any issues caused by the payment platform? If so, how quickly were they resolved?
  • What types of fraud detection and prevention processes are put into place?
  • Which of their services and offering do you use? Which do you find to be the best?
  • How often do you communicate with their team? How does communication work?
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