A smooth payment process in e-commerce is the foundation of any successful online store. Ensuring a seamless checkout experience increases conversion rate, minimizes cart abandonment, and builds trust in your brand. It is also important to provide secure payment processing, which is essential for any eCommerce business. This includes using payment gateways, merchant accounts, and payment processing services that are PCI compliant. Using these secure payment solutions ensures credit card and other sensitive information, like customer data, is kept safe and secure.

This blog aims to provide all necessary information about eCommerce payment processing solutions, including the types of payment gateways and examples of payment service providers.

However, before we jump into payment gateways, let’s look at some terms first to understand today’s topic better.

Quick Jump

What is a payment processor and payment gateway?

Whether you are a business owner seeking to build an online business or just a regular customer, it is worth knowing what “payment gateway” and “payment processor” are. Both are terms that frequently show up when we read about doing business online. Nonetheless, some of them may be misleading or mixed up. Due to that, let’s take a look at these two terms together to understand the next parts of this blog fully:

Payment gateway – serves as a secure mediator between an eCommerce business, the online payment processor, and the customer’s bank or card issuer. Its role involves accurately capturing and encrypting the customer’s payment information throughout the checkout process. An example of a payment gateway is PayPal or Przelewy24.

Payment processors – as the name indicates, it is responsible for handling the payment processing aspect of a transaction. It works with the payment gateway to retrieve encrypted payment details and ensures a secure transfer from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account.

Moving on, the money is transferred to the merchant account at the end of a transaction. A merchant account allows eCommerce sellers to receive electronic payments as it’s connected to Visa or MasterCard networks. This way, customers can easily pay for goods or services on the merchant’s website. When the transaction is completed, the money goes from a merchant account to a traditional company business account.

As we are familiar with the important terms, let’s focus on eCommerce payment gateways.

Types of Payment Gateways

The main difference between payment gateways is integrating a payment gateway with your website. The choice depends on individual business needs and customer preferences.

Hosted payment gateway

The first option is a hosted payment gateway. It is a convenient solution where a third-party payment service provider (PSP) authorizes online transactions between a customer and the merchant. Processing payments that way provides a secure environment for customer transactions without the need for the merchant to handle sensitive payment information. Furthermore, hosted payment gateways often come with added benefits such as fraud protection, simplified checkout processes, and support for multiple eCommerce payment methods, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to offer their customers a smooth and secure online shopping experience.

Self-hosted payment gateway

On the other hand, a self-hosted payment gateway is a payment processing solution where the merchant hosts the payment processing infrastructure. With a self-hosted payment gateway, the merchant has more control over the payment process, including the user interface and customization options. They can create a payment flow that matches their website or application’s look and feel.

However, the merchant is responsible for managing the security aspects, such as securely handling and transmitting payment data, complying with industry regulations, and maintaining the necessary security certifications. This flexibility also may come with increased complexity and responsibility for the merchant. Self-hosted payment gateways are often used by large enterprises that prioritize security and compliance.

API-hosted payment gateway

An API-hosted payment gateway is a payment processing solution where the payment gateway provider hosts the entire payment processing infrastructure. It provides merchants with an API (Application Programming Interface) that they can integrate into their websites or applications to process online payments. Due to that, customers can complete the payment process without leaving the store’s website.

The API-hosted payment gateway takes care of all the security measures, including handling the customer’s payment data, securely transmitting it, and conducting the necessary verification and authorization steps. Merchants have limited control over the user interface and customization options but benefit from the simplicity and reduced security burden.

Local bank integration gateway

The last option is integration with a local bank. By doing so, an eCommerce business can integrate with local banks and provide customers with region-specific transaction processing. This is usually an entry-level solution as many local banks lack many features like recurring payments or returns.

What is payment tokenization?

Worth mentioning here is also payment tokenization. It is a security measure to mitigate the risks posed by storing card details directly. This technique involves substituting sensitive information, like credit card numbers, with a distinctive token or identifier that holds no value if obtained by unauthorized individuals. The original data is kept securely in a designated token vault. When a transaction occurs, the token is transmitted instead of the actual card number, allowing the payment processor to access and authorize the genuine payment information using the token. By utilizing tokenization, the hazards related to handling and transmitting sensitive payment data are minimized, resulting in safer transactions.

What should you pay attention to when choosing a payment gateway?  

To make choosing a payment gateway a little bit easier for you, we’ve prepared a list of things that should be considered when making a choice.

Transaction fees

First and foremost, get familiar with the transaction fees of each solution. Whenever a customer pays with credit and debit cards for goods or services, the company incurs a processing charge. There are three main fees:

Interchange free – this cost is directed to the financial institutions issuing consumer credit cards, for instance, The Deutsche Bundesbank or Bank of America.

Assessment fee – this fee goes to the bank networks, like Mastercard or American Express.

Payment processor fee – this fee, in turn, goes to the company that is responsible for getting card payments processed for your business, e.g., during PayPal transactions on the website. 

Apart from that, there can be more fees related to payment processing, such as setup fees or monthly fees, and they differ among payment service providers. Taking this into consideration, carefully read the service agreements and get familiar with the fee structure.


Secondly, security is not optional. To provide a secure environment both for business and customers, check if the payment gateway encrypts sensitive information, such as credit card details, protecting it from unauthorized access and online dangers like hacking and fraud. This not only helps in building trust between sellers and buyers but also meets important regulatory requirements, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and 3D Secure tooling, aimed at safeguarding payment systems from data breaches and cardholder information theft.

Available online payment methods

The third important aspect is choosing the available payment options. Naturally, people have their own preferences when it comes to paying for goods online. Online payment gateways offer various types of eCommerce payments, starting from the most common ones like credit and debit card payments or mobile wallets (Apple Pay and Google Pay) and ending with local payment options that can be trusted by customers, for instance, BLIK in Poland.

Additionally, the “Buy Now, Pay Later” payment model become especially popular in recent years and can be implemented in the store. It offers consumers the flexibility to purchase goods and services immediately while spreading the cost over a series of payments or paying after some period of time (e.g., Allegro Pay or Amazon Pay Later).

Remember, preferences for payment method vary by country and geography, so make sure to understand how and where purchases are being made online in your target markets

 Selling internationally

Next, think about the customer base and the countries in which you want to sell products. Selling internationally requires the payment gateway to have multicurrency capabilities. It should have a wide range of accepted currencies and the capability to process payments from various countries. This is important for businesses that operate internationally or have customers from different geographical locations.

With the rise of eCommerce and international transactions, customers from various countries expect the convenience of paying in their local currency; it not only enhances the user experience but also eliminates the need for customers to calculate conversion rates and deal with additional fees, for instance, by exchanging PLN to EUR.

Speed of transaction processing

Another key functionality of a payment gateway is the processing speed. Customers expect a fast and seamless checkout experience when making online purchases. If the payment gateway is slow in processing transactions, it can lead to frustration and potentially abandoned shopping carts. In today’s digital world, customers value efficiency, and a slow payment gateway can negatively impact customer satisfaction and overall conversion rates.

Furthermore, transaction processing speed is crucial for businesses that experience a high volume of transactions. Delayed or sluggish transaction processing can create bottlenecks and negatively impact the scalability of the business.

Integration and compatibility with the eCommerce platform

Lastly, always check if the payment gateway integrates with your eCommerce platform and what the process looks like. The best and easiest way to integrate an eCommerce store with a payment gateway is by using a dedicated plugin or utilizing well-documented APIs that describe the process of integration. A well-integrated payment gateway with the eCommerce platform allows for a smooth and efficient payment experience for customers and ensures that all necessary information is accurately transmitted and synchronized, reducing the risk of errors or discrepancies during the payment process.

Moreover, compatibility between the payment gateway and the eCommerce platform ensures that all features and functionalities can be fully utilized within the platform.

Available payment gateways on the market

In the last part of this blog, let’s review some of the most popular payment gateways available on the market to get a broader picture of eCommerce payment processing. As this sentence may seem a bit confusing, it is worth mentioning this change in modern eCommerce payment solutions – most of them are now all-in-one solutions that act as payment gateway and payment processing services. Due to that, we can have a single payment service provider (PSP) that will handle the whole payment process in the online store.


Firstly, let’s say a few words about Adyen. It offers a comprehensive payment solution that covers various channels, including mobile-app payments and eCommerce websites, as well as in-store payments. It connects to payment methods around the world, including international credit cards, local cash-based methods, such as Boleto in Brazil, Internet banking methods, such as iDEAL in the Netherlands, and mobile payment methods, such as BLIK in Poland.

Adyen provides the flexibility to debit and credit users when necessary, instantly transfers funds to cards or bank accounts, and simplifies transaction tracking and reconciliation through centralized reporting. What’s more, Adyen can be integrated with eCommerce platforms like Sylius, where eCommerce payment methods can be easily added to Adyen via a drop-in feature.


Another great payment gateway is Mollie, as it provides a secure, flexible, and compliant environment for online transactions. By being easy to implement and easy-to-use, Mollie is especially valued by new eCommerce businesses. Moreover, it allows businesses to review their daily or monthly revenue by providing a clear overview and statistics page of all processed transactions.  

Thanks to pre-built integrations, Mollie can be easily connected with many eCommerce platforms. However, it mainly operates on the European markets, and the support outside Europe may be limited.  


Our third example is imoje – a payment solution offered by ING Bank Śląski. By accepting multiple payment options in Poland, like BLIK, e-transfers, and BNPL, it is another solid choice for a payment gateway. imoje is a relatively new solution on the market and is constantly improved, allowing for tailoring it to advanced eCommerce systems.


PayPal is most likely the most popular payment solution on the market. It offers a seamless way to send and receive money, both locally and internationally, without the need for sharing sensitive financial information. PayPal accounts can be linked to numerous bank accounts or credit cards, and funds can be easily transferred between them. PayPal also provides a robust buyer protection program, ensuring that customers can dispute and receive refunds for unauthorized or unsatisfactory transactions. Additionally, it offers a range of services for merchants, including the ability to set up a personalized online payment gateway, accept payments in multiple currencies, and manage transactions effectively.

With its widespread usage and ease of use, it has become a popular choice for both businesses and individuals around the world.  


Authorize.net is one of the oldest payment gateways available on the market. Nonetheless, its continued presence in the market proves its effectiveness and reliability. For decades, it has provided secure, reliable, and convenient payment processing services. With features such as fraud prevention, secure data handling, and support for multiple payment types, Authorize.net provides a comprehensive suite of tools that empower businesses of all sizes to grow and manage their online transactions efficiently.

Also, the platform’s user-friendly interface and robust backend infrastructure make it a popular choice for businesses seeking seamless integration with their businesses.  


Understanding the market of payment gateways is essential for any online business aiming to run a successful eCommerce store and offer seamless and secure transactions to its customers. We hope that this blog has equipped you with the necessary knowledge to navigate the world of online transactions. Whether you’re a small business looking for a user-friendly payment interface or an enterprise aiming to expand your payment options, the insights provided here can serve as a solid foundation for selecting the right payment gateway that aligns with your business objectives and customer needs.

If you have any questions about eCommerce payments or development, please contact us or visit our services page.