How To Easily Integrate Payment Gateways Into Your Website
If you’re selling services online, then you need a way to accept payments from your customers. Period.
While there are a number of different payment processors out there, one option that you may want to consider is integrating a payment gateway into your website. But what is a payment gateway? And how do you go about integrating one into your site?
In this article, we at Service Provider Pro (SPP) will be answering both of those questions and more! By the end, you’ll know everything you need to know about payment gateways and how to integrate one into your agency website.
Let’s get started!
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is a service that allows you to accept card payments and electronic checks on your website. Payment gateways encrypt sensitive information (e.g., account holder information, credit card numbers, etc.) to ensure that information passes securely between all the parties involved in the transactions.
Who are these parties? In total, there are up to six parties involved in a typical payment gateway transaction, including:
Merchant: That’s you!
Client: This is the person (or business) buying your services.
Payment Gateway: The payment gateway is the service that encrypts and processes the client’s payment information.
Acquiring Bank: The bank that partners with the payment gateway to provide merchants with account details and merchant services.
Issuing Bank: This is the financial institution that issues the debit or credit card to the customer on behalf of a card scheme.
Card Scheme: These are payment networks linked to physical cards that any certified bank or financial institution can join (e.g., Visa, Mastercard, etc.).
There are many different types of payment gateways (as you’ll see in the sections to come), but they all have one thing in common: they provide a secure link between your website and the payment processor.
What are the different types of payment gateways?
There are two main types of payment gateways: hosted and integrated.
Hosted payment gateways
A hosted payment gateway is a service that hosts the payment page on its own servers. This means that when a customer goes to checkout, they will be redirected to the payment gateway’s website to enter their payment information.
Hosted payment gateways are often used by small businesses because they are easy to set up and require no programming knowledge. Additionally, hosted payment gateways typically have lower transaction fees than integrated payment gateways.
The benefit of hosted payment gateways is that they typically don't require your business to acquire PCI compliance since the customer’s card information is stored on the payment gateway’s servers, rather than on your own secure server. However, hosted payment gateways can be less customizable than integrated payment gateways.
Integrated payment gateways
An integrated payment gateway is a service that allows you to embed the payment page into your own website. This means that the customer never has to leave your website to enter their payment information.
Integrated payment gateways are often used by larger businesses because they offer more security, scalability and flexibility than hosted payment gateways. Additionally, integrated payment gateways typically have lower transaction fees than hosted payment gateways.
The downside of integrated payment gateways is that they can be more difficult to set up and require some programming knowledge. But this isn’t always the case—SPP makes the integration process as simple as clicking a few buttons!
Why do agencies need an integrated payment gateway?
Now that we’ve established what a payment gateway actually is, let’s cover a few of the reasons why you should think about integrating one into your website.
Here are five reasons why agencies should be taking advantage of payment gateways:
1) They’re secure
As we mentioned earlier, payment gateways encrypt sensitive information to ensure that all parties involved in the transaction are protected. This is important not only for your customers’ safety, but also for your own peace of mind as a business owner.
2) They’re easy to use
Payment gateways are designed to be user-friendly, both for you as the merchant and for your customers. They should be easy to set up and integrate into your website, and they should offer a smooth and seamless checkout experience for your customers.
3) They’re convenient
A payment gateway allows you to accept payments 24/7, even when you’re not physically present to do so. This is especially convenient for businesses that sell services online or offer appointment-based bookings.
4) They’re scalable
As your business grows, a payment gateway can grow with you. Most payment gateway providers offer various plans to accommodate businesses of different sizes, so you can always find one that fits your needs (and budget).
5) They help you get paid faster
A payment gateway can help you get paid faster by reducing the time it takes for payments to clear. With SPP, you can accept instant payments such as card payments that allow you to execute and deliver orders quickly. Other payment methods such as SEPA or ACH need a few days’ time to clear. They are better suited for recurring subscriptions than one-time services.
How to integrate a payment gateway into your website
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why agencies should use a payment gateway, let’s take a look at how to integrate one into your website.
Step one: choose a payment gateway provider
The first step is to choose a payment gateway provider. There are a number of different providers to choose from, so it’s important to do your research and select the one that’s right for your business.
When choosing a provider, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
Fees: Some providers charge monthly or annual fees, while others charge per-transaction fees. Make sure to compare the fees of each provider before making a decision.
Security: As we mentioned earlier, security is an important consideration when selecting a payment gateway. Be sure to check out each provider’s security features before making your final decision.
Integration: You’ll also want to make sure that the payment gateway you choose can be easily integrated into your website and other tools you use (e.g., SPP). Otherwise, you’ll likely run into some difficulties down the road.
Step two: set up your account
Once you’ve chosen a provider, setting up your account is usually a pretty straightforward process. Most providers will require you to provide some basic information about your business, such as your business name and contact information.
You may also be asked to set up a payment method, such as a credit card or bank account. This is typically done so that the provider can verify your identity and ensure that you’re a legitimate business owner.
Step three: integrate the payment gateway into your website
The next step is to integrate the payment gateway into your website. This usually involves adding a few lines of code to your website’s checkout page, but working with a service like SPP can make the process even simpler.
Here’s how you do it:
Stripe: To integrate into your SPP checkout, all you need to do is navigate to Integrations → Stripe from your dashboard. Once you enter your Stripe login information, you’re ready to go!
PayPal: To integrate into your SPP checkout, you first need to enable PayPal’s Instant Payment Notification (IPN) by navigating to PayPal’s Account Settings→ Notifications → Instant Payment Notification. Once you’ve done this, all you need to do is add https://clients.yoursite.com/paypal/ipn as the notification URL—simple!
Step four: test your checkout process
Once you’ve integrated the payment gateway into your website, it’s important to test the checkout process to make sure everything is working properly. This usually involves making a test purchase using a dummy account.
SPP makes it easy to test your checkout process with a built-in sandbox mode. You can enable it by going to Settings → Payments and then clicking the “enable test mode” checkbox. Just make sure you remember to disable it before your clients start placing orders!
If everything goes smoothly, congratulations! You’re now ready to start accepting payments through your website.
Streamline payment processing with an integrated gateway
Payment gateways are a great way for agencies to take advantage of the convenience and security they offer. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily add a payment gateway to your website and start taking advantage of all they have to offer.
With SPP’s Client Portal, agencies can streamline the payment process even further with easy payment gateway integration options that give clients payment flexibility.