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1. Evaluating the top five international payment gateways

Top 5 international payment gateways for expanding global businesses

Global businesses in today's digital age require an efficient, secure global payment processing solution to facilitate international transactions. 

International payment gateways have emerged as crucial, ensuring seamless monetary transfers across borders. 

With several options available in the market, choosing the right payment gateway for your business can be overwhelming. 

This article will explore the top five players that facilitate international payments and will discuss critical factors to consider when selecting one.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • A worldwide payment platform enables businesses to securely process global transactions, ensuring efficient and secure handling of payments across different currencies and methods.

  • The top five global online payment platforms are Amazon Pay, World Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and Adyen.

  • Consider business scale, global vs. local reach, transaction fees, security protocols, and ecommerce platform integration.

  • Partner with Gelato to streamline other aspects of your global ecommerce business, such as product production and delivery with quality assurance, hassle-free integration into ecommerce platforms, and an eco-conscious approach to production.

What is an international payment gateway?

An international payment gateway is a technology service that enables businesses to process and accept payments from customers globally. It facilitates secure transactions across different currencies and payment methods, leading to smooth financial exchanges between buyers and sellers in various countries.

How does it work?

A worldwide payment gateway works by securely transmitting payment information from the customer's device to the merchant's bank. When a customer initiates a purchase, the gateway encrypts their payment details and sends them to the acquiring bank. The bank then contacts the customer's bank for authorization.

Upon approval, the transaction is completed, and funds are transferred to the merchant.

Evaluating the top five international payment gateways

Let's explore a comprehensive evaluation of the top five international payment gateways, assessing their features, security, and performance in a global ecommerce landscape.

1. Amazon Pay


Amazon Pay is a digital payment solution offered by Amazon. It is considered the best international payment gateway, according to most online sellers. Here's why:

  • One-click purchase: Leveraging Amazon's user base, Amazon Pay enables customers to make payments using the details stored in their Amazon accounts, reducing the need for repeated data entries.

  • Voice payments: With devices like Amazon Echo, Amazon Pay offers voice-activated payments.

  • Integration with Amazon Prime: Prime members might occasionally get exclusive offers or benefits.

  • Subscription payments: Businesses can set up recurring payments for their services.

Security measures
  • Amazon's A-to-Z guarantee: Amazon's A-to-Z Guarantee backs most purchases, protecting both buyers and sellers.

  • Fraud detection: Amazon employs advanced algorithms and data analysis tools to monitor transactions and detect suspicious activities.

  • Secure data storage: Payment details are stored in Amazon's secure environment, ensuring that personal details aren't accessible by third parties.

Transaction fees

The transaction fee for this payment processor comprises a domestic processing fee and an authorization fee, plus tax, where applicable, charged when the purchase is successfully authorized and processed.

If the transaction amount for web & mobile is $10, then domestic processing fees will be 2.90%, which is $0.29, and authorization fees will be $0.30, which means total transaction fees are $0.59 for web and mobile solutions.

Ease of integration

Amazon Pay offers APIs and SDKs for various platforms, making it relatively straightforward for developers to integrate into websites, mobile apps, and other platforms. As a leading worldwide payment gateway provider, Amazon Pay offers integration guides, best practices, and technical documentation to aid developers.

Differences in regional preferences

Amazon Pay adjusts its offerings based on regional preferences. Local bank integrations or support for regional cards might be available in some countries. Localized promotions or partnerships might also be more prevalent in certain regions.

Currency conversion capabilities

Amazon Pay supports multi-currency functionality. Businesses can present prices in local currencies, but currency conversion fees may apply. Understanding the conversion rates and associated costs when selling to international customers is essential.

Mobile payment support

Mobile is a crucial platform for ecommerce, and Amazon Pay is optimized for mobile transactions. The user experience is tailored for smaller screens, ensuring smooth checkout, even on mobile devices.

2. World Pay payment gateway


World Pay, now a part of FIS after a merger, is one of the leading payment processing companies globally. Key features of World Pay include:

  • Omni-channel payments: This global payment gateway platform facilitates payments across multiple channels, in-store, online, or mobile.

  • Global payment acceptance: Merchants can accept payments from all around the world, including credit cards, online banking, and more.

  • Advanced payment link: Merchants can send a link to their customers, allowing them to make payments without a website or app.

  • Dynamic 3D secure: An authentication step that offers an added layer of security for online payments.

Security measures
  • End-to-end encryption: World Pay offers end-to-end encryption to ensure that sensitive payment data is always protected.

  • Tokenization: This replaces sensitive payment data with a unique token, ensuring merchants never directly handle this data.

  • FraudSight: World Pay's AI-driven fraud detection tool is designed to predict and prevent fraudulent transactions without affecting legitimate ones.

Transaction fees

WorldPay has two payment plans:

Pay as you go is at 2.75% + $0.22. One flat rate applies to both credit and debit card payments.

Pay monthly is at $21.42. A fixed monthly payment, plus 2.75% (credit cards) & 0.75% (debit cards).

Ease of integration

World Pay provides an array of APIs and SDKs suitable for various platforms and programming languages. This flexibility ensures a smooth integration process for developers, regardless of the systems they're working with.

Differences in regional preferences

With its global presence, World Pay has tailored solutions for different regions. They recognize local payment preferences, whether credit cards in the USA, bank transfers in Europe, or mobile money in parts of Africa.

Currency conversion capabilities

World Pay excels at offering multi-currency solutions. Merchants can accept payments in over 120 different currencies, and they also offer dynamic currency conversion, letting customers see prices and make payments in their preferred currency.

(Mobile payment support

World Pay recognizes the importance of optimizing for mobile transactions in today's mobile-first world. They offer mobile wallet integrations, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, ensuring a seamless transaction experience for mobile users.

3. PayPal payment gateway


PayPal is one of the most widely recognized and used payment gateways globally. Its key features include:

  • Global Reach: PayPal operates in over 200 countries and supports multiple currencies, making it easy for merchants to sell internationally.

  • Buyer and seller protection: Provides coverage to users in case of a dispute, unauthorized transaction, or undelivered merchandise.

  • Flexible payment options: PayPal allows users to link multiple bank accounts, credit cards, and debit cards.

  • Express checkout: Offers quicker checkout for users by using saved payment information.

  • Recurring payments: Businesses can set up subscriptions or recurring billings for their services.

Security measures
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol: PayPal uses SSL technology to secure transaction data.

  • Fraud detection: Uses proprietary software and employs 24/7 transaction monitoring to identify suspicious activity and protect against fraud.

  • Data encryption: PayPal's systems are heavily encrypted and are certified to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.

  • Two-factor authentication: Offers an added layer of security for account logins.

Transaction fees

PayPal has a 3.49% processing fee in place as well as a $0.49 per transaction on top. It means the more transactions occur, the more you will pay out in processing fees.

Ease of integration

PayPal provides developers with various APIs, SDKs, plugins, and extensive documentation, making it relatively easy to integrate into websites, mobile applications, and other platforms.

Differences in regional preferences

PayPal acknowledges the diverse payment preferences across regions. In Asia, for instance, QR codes and local bank transfers might be more popular, whereas direct debit might be a preferred method in Europe. PayPal continuously evolves to integrate these region-specific features into its platform.

Currency conversion capabilities

PayPal has robust multi-currency features. It supports over 25 currencies, allowing users to hold balances, make payments, and receive money in different currencies. However, it's essential to note that currency conversion comes with a fee, which varies depending on the type of transaction and regions involved.

Mobile payment support

PayPal understands the prominence of mobile transactions in today's digital age. Their mobile app is user-friendly and offers integrations for other mobile payment platforms, such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. Additionally, PayPal's mobile SDK provides a seamless mobile checkout experience.

4. Stripe payment gateway


Stripe has rapidly gained prominence due to its developer-friendly features and comprehensive payment solutions. Its primary features include:

  • Customizable checkout experience: Stripe offers a customizable checkout flow that fits seamlessly into any website or app.

  • Subscription management: Allows businesses to set up and manage recurring payments quickly.

  • Marketplace payments: Stripe Connect enables platforms and marketplaces to facilitate payments between buyers and sellers.

  • Multi-platform payments: Payments can be accepted online, in-person, or through mobile apps.

  • Advanced reporting and analytics: Provides detailed insights to help businesses make informed decisions.

Security measures
  • End-to-end encryption: Stripe uses the best-in-class encryption methods to secure transactional data.

  • Tokenization: Payment information is replaced with unique tokens, ensuring merchants never handle sensitive card data.

  • Radar: Stripe’s machine-learning fraud prevention system helps detect and prevent fraudulent transactions.

  • PCI compliance: Stripe simplifies compliance by managing card data on behalf of the businesses, ensuring they meet stringent industry standards.

Transaction fees

Stripe is free to set up, and the company does not charge a monthly or annual fee for its services. Instead, all Stripe fees are per transaction with transparent pricing. Online sales cost businesses 2.9% plus $0.075 per transaction. There is an additional 1% fee for international and currency conversion transactions. In-person transactions cost 2.7% plus $0.0125 per transaction, with the same added 1% for any currency conversion or international card use. These fees are charged automatically and deducted from the merchant’s final payout.

Ease of integration

One of Stripe’s most celebrated features is its ease of integration. With well-documented APIs, SDKs, and plugins, developers find incorporating Stripe into websites, apps, and other platforms convenient.

Differences in regional preferences

Stripe is continuously expanding its global presence and has a deep understanding of regional preferences. This includes integrating with local banks and offering region-specific payment methods like Alipay in China, Bancontact in Belgium, and iDEAL in the Netherlands.

Currency conversion capabilities

Stripe supports processing charges in 135+ currencies, allowing businesses to present prices in a customer's native currency. It can also automatically convert these charges to the business's preferred currency, albeit for a conversion fee.

Mobile payment support

Mobile commerce is indispensable in today's market. Stripe provides SDKs tailored for mobile applications, ensuring smooth transactions. Additionally, they support mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, providing users with a seamless and familiar payment experience.

5. Adyen payment gateway


Adyen, a Dutch-based company, has swiftly risen in the ranks, thanks to its holistic and unified payment solution. The key features of Adyen include:

  • Unified commerce: Adyen offers a single platform for ecommerce, mobile, and in-store payments, making it more straightforward for businesses to manage their finances.

  • Local payment methods: Supports many global and local payment methods, allowing businesses to cater to a broader audience.

  • Revenue accelerate: Tools and features that help increase authorization rates and boost revenue.

  • Real-time data insights: Provides detailed transaction data, allowing businesses to get insights and adjust their strategies.

Security measures
  • Encryption & tokenization: Adyen uses robust encryption standards, and the tokenization process ensures sensitive payment details are not exposed.

  • Risk management: Built-in risk management tools help to reduce fraud by leveraging machine learning and data insights.

  • Full PCI compliance: Adyen manages all the intricacies of PCI compliance, ensuring transactions are always up to industry security standards.

Transaction fees

Adyen's transaction fee is $0.12, and the payment method fees vary according to the payment method used, but it is between $3- $4.

Ease of integration

As one of the popular global payment gateway providers, Adyen offers a range of integration options, from pre-built plugins for popular platforms like Magento and Shopify to extensive APIs for custom integrations. Their well-documented developer resources ensure businesses can easily integrate Adyen into their infrastructure.

Differences in Regional Preferences

Adyen's global reach has made them acutely aware of regional payment preferences. Whether credit card payments in North America, direct debits in Europe, or mobile wallets in Asia, Adyen offers tailored solutions for various regions, ensuring businesses can cater to local customers effectively.

Currency conversion capabilities

Adyen supports over 150 currencies, allowing businesses to present and settle transactions in multiple currencies. Their dynamic currency conversion also lets customers see prices and make payments in their chosen currency, providing clarity during checkout.

Mobile payment support

Recognizing the ubiquity of mobile transactions, Adyen has optimized its payment solutions for mobile devices. They support popular mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and WeChat Pay and also provide SDKs for businesses to integrate payments into their mobile apps seamlessly.

Choosing the right payment gateway

  • Understand your business scale: Are you a startup, a mid-sized company, or a large enterprise? Each global payment gateway platform may cater to different scales with its features and pricing structures.

  • Global vs. Local: If you're selling internationally, you need a gateway that supports multiple currencies and complies with international financial regulations.

  • Transaction fees: While some platforms offer lower monthly charges, their transaction fees might be higher. Do the math based on your projected sales volume.

  • Security protocols: Ensure the gateway complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This not only keeps transactions secure but also builds customer trust.

  • Integration with ecommerce platforms: Your chosen gateway should seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform. This ensures smooth checkout processes and a better user experience.

Gelato’s global print on demand solution

While you focus on selecting the right payment gateway, Gelato can take care of other critical aspects of your ecommerce business: product production and delivery.

  1. Global reach with localized production: Gelato's extensive network means your products are produced closer to your customers, resulting in faster delivery and reduced shipping costs.

  2. Quality assured: Gelato's commitment to quality means every product, including t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and wall art, meets high standards and caters to local preferences.

  3. Hassle-free integration: Gelato's platform can be seamlessly integrated into popular ecommerce platforms, ensuring your products are available to customers worldwide without any technical hurdles.

  4. Eco-conscious: With local production, your business's carbon footprint is significantly reduced, making it an eco-conscious choice.

International Payment Gateway FAQs

What are the International payment gateway charges?

International payment gateway charges typically include a combination of a processing fee and an authorization fee. For example, with Amazon Pay, a transaction fee might comprise a domestic processing fee of 2.90% and an authorization fee of $0.30 per transaction. These fees can vary based on the payment method, region, and specific gateway used. 

There might be extra costs for currency conversion when dealing with international transactions, making it important to understand the full fee structure before selecting a gateway.

How do international payment gateways work?

International payment gateways enable cross-border transactions by securely transmitting payment information between the customer, the merchant, and the respective banks. 

When a customer initiates a payment, the gateway encrypts the payment data and sends it to the acquiring bank. The acquiring bank then communicates with the customer’s bank for authorization. Once approved, the transaction is completed, and funds are transferred to the merchant’s account. The entire process is end-to-end encrypted to protect sensitive information.

What are the limitations of the payment gateway?

Payment gateways can have several limitations, including geographical restrictions, where certain gateways might not support transactions in specific countries or regions. They often involve various fees, such as transaction, processing, and currency conversion fees, which can accumulate and affect profitability. 

Technical integration can also be a challenge, requiring compatibility with the merchant’s existing systems and possibly necessitating developer support. There may also be delays in fund transfers and limitations on the types of payment methods supported.

What is a 3D payment gateway?

A 3D payment gateway, also known as 3D Secure, is an additional layer of security for online credit and debit card transactions. It involves a three-domain model (the merchant/acquirer domain, the issuer domain, and the interoperability domain), where cardholders are required to authenticate themselves via a password or a temporary code during the transaction process. This verification step helps reduce fraud and chargebacks by confirming the cardholder’s identity before the payment is processed.

How secure are international payment gateways?

International payment gateways employ various security measures to protect transaction data and prevent fraud. These include data encryption, tokenization, and compliance with standards such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). 

Many gateways offer fraud detection tools and support for authentication protocols like 3D Secure, which add layers of verification to ensure that only authorized transactions are processed.


Next steps

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