Best Payment Gateway Services for Startups

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As a startup, you have a lot on your plate. You're working hard to get your product or service off the ground, and you probably don't have time to research all of the different payment gateway services out there.  In this article, we will discuss the best payment gateways for startups and give you a breakdown of the pros and cons of each one. 

Top Payment Gateways

The type of payment gateway service you use will depend entirely on the type of business you have and how big or small your business is. The different payment systems offer specific features for in-person stores, ecommerce stores, or even high-risk merchants.

What Types of Payment Gateway Services Do Startups Need?

It's important as an online business to have a payment gateway that is reliable, secure, and easy to use. You also want something that is affordable and will scale as your business grows. 

The different types of payment gateway services include :

  • Hosted payment
  • Self-hosted
  • API hosted
  • Local bank integrations

Let's take a closer look at each of these types of payment gateway services to see which one is the best for startups.

Best Payment Gateway Overall for Startups: Stripe

Stripe has been around since 2010 and is one of the most popular payment gateways in the world. It's known for its simplicity and ease of use, as well as its low processing fees.

Stripe also offers a wide range of features, including instant activation, fraud prevention tools, third-party integrations,  and more. It's a great choice for startups that want a simple, all-in-one payment gateway solution.


  • Flat-rate and straightforward pricing with no hidden fees
  • Handles multiple payment methods and currencies
  • Fully customizable checkout process
  • Customer support is available 24/7
  • Easy to use


  • Using open API and other more advanced tools will require development experience.
  • Not ideal for in-person or retail businesses

Price Breakdown

  • Integrated: 2.9% + $0.30 per successful card charge.
  • Customized: Custom packages for businesses with large payment volumes or unique business models. Contact the sales team for pricing.

Best for Online Merchants: PayPal

PayPal was created in 1998 and was one of the first payment gateway services available. It's a trusted service that has won credibility with a number of small, medium, and large-sized businesses.

It's a popular choice for businesses because it's easy to use and offers a wide range of features, including an escrow service, fraud protection tools, and more. PayPal is a good choice for startups that need a comprehensive payment solution.


  • Very straightforward and easy to use
  • Excellent level of security and fraud protection
  • Extensive payment methods offered


  • Popular target for scammers
  • Customer service is poor

Price Breakdown

  • Standard invoicing and checkout: 3.49%
  • Sending or receiving money for goods/services: 2.89%
  • Credit card/debit card payments: 2.99%

Best for SaaS Companies: Paddle

Paddle is a newer processing payment gateway started in London in 2012. It's a great choice for startups that need an all-in-one solution as it offers everything from subscription management to fraud prevention tools.

Paddle also has a user-friendly interface and is known for its excellent customer service.


  • Very user-friendly platform
  • Offers subscription management and other advanced features
  • Excellent customer service


  • Isn't as widely used as some of the other payment gateways
  • Higher fees

Price Breakdown

  • Ready-to-use: 5% + $0.50 per transaction
  • Integrated Payments: 2.5%–3% + $0.30
  • Subscription Management: 0.5%–1%

Best for Conversions: BlueSnap

BlueSnap started in 2001 and has distinguished itself from more popular brands by expanding on the same basic services that are generally offered. They have focused on creating a better checkout experience that drives more conversions. 

You'll be able to use Intelligent payment routing, third-party integrations, and subscriptions with recurring billing. The company has even improved features for tablets and smartphones.


  • Focuses on a seamless checkout experience
  • Offers multiple payment methods
  • Collects deep payment analytics 


  • Fees are not always straightforward
  • Customer service is lacking

Price Breakdown

  • Quick Start: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Customized Pricing: Contact sales team

Best for Low Fees: Payoneer

Payoneer is a great choice for businesses that need to send and receive international payments. They offer low transaction fees, a wide range of currencies, and even allow you to hold balances in multiple currencies.

Payoneer is also one of the few payment gateway services that offer a prepaid Mastercard so you can easily access your funds. You don't even need a merchant account to access the platform.


  • Fee-free for transfers between Payoneer accounts 
  • Extensive customer service offered 24/7


  • Lack of payment features
  • Account freezes and terminations may be unexpectedly applied

Price Breakdown

  • Credit card payments: 3%
  • Echeck and local bank transfers: 1%
  • Transfer between Payoneer accounts: No fee

Best for Ecommerce: was created in 1996 and has since become one of the most popular payment gateway services for ecommerce companies because of its age and reliability. 

The company provides a basic payment gateway system and simplified checkout system that's easy for first-time users. You can also get advanced fraud protection and check processing but for an additional fee.


  • Adjustable security settings and enterprise features
  • Provides a virtual point of sale with card reader


  • Bad user interface
  • May experience errors in refunds and authorizations

Price Breakdown

  • All-in-One: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction (and $25 monthly gateway payment)
  • Payment Gateway Only: $0.10 per transaction + daily batch fee of $0.10 (and $25 monthly gateway payment)

Best for High-Risk Merchants: PayCafe

PayCafe isn't your typical payment gateway system in that it focuses on working with merchants with higher risks. This means if you are looking for a second-chance system you won't have to go through a long underwriting process. 

They are a relatively new provider created in 2017, so there isn't as much reliability in the brand as other companies like PayPal and Stripe. They offer many of the same features like point of sale, payment gateway, virtual terminal processing, and mobile payment processing.


  • Great for high-risk merchants
  • They are considered a PSP which means faster set-up time


  • Very new company with not much experience
  • Charge higher fees

Price Breakdown

  • No upfront pricing, but charges as low as 2.49% per transaction

Best for Small Ecommerce: Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay is relatively new and allows customers to use their Amazon account information to checkout. It works with major ecommerce sites like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

AmazonPay is an ideal choice for online merchants who don't have large transaction volumes or need customized accounts. In other words, small to medium-sized businesses who work in ecommerce will benefit from Amazon Pay.


  • Very secure as it's one of the biggest companies in the world
  • Integration and set up is extremely easy


  • Payouts can be delayed due to reserve policies
  • Does not integrate with all ecommerce platforms

Price Breakdown

  • Online and mobile payments: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Alexa payments: 4% + $0.30 per transaction