Payment Portal Options For Startups

Startups often face critical decisions, such as choosing the best payment portal for their business. Understanding the available options is important as they can significantly impact customer experience.

Startups have different needs and priorities, and choosing the right option is essential. Each type has specific advantages and considerations, and it’s important to understand them.


Types Of Payment Gateways


Virtual payment gateways come in three main types:


1. On-Site Payments

On-site payments are a popular payment processing method among large-scale businesses.

With this method, both the checkout process and payment processing occur on your own servers, giving you more control and responsibility over the entire payment process. Improvements to the shopping experience can have a significant impact on your profits, especially for retailers with high sales volumes.


2. Checkout On-Site, Payment Off-Site

In the checkout on site, payment off-site method, the front-end checkout happens on your website, but the payment processing takes place through the gateway’s back end. This method offers simplicity and increased security on the back end, but you lose some control over the user experience. If you choose this option, it’s essential to trust the security of the payment gateway.


3. Redirects

Redirects are another payment processing method that involves directing customers to an external payment page, such as PayPal, to complete the transaction. This option is convenient and secure for small businesses, providing access to larger platforms. However, it means less control for the merchant and an additional step for customers.

On-site payments provide complete control and responsibility throughout the payment process, which makes it an ideal option for those who prioritise user experience. On the other hand, checkout on-site, payment off-site is a simpler and more secure option, but with less control. For smaller businesses, redirecting to external payment pages like PayPal can be more convenient, but it comes at the cost of sacrificing some control.


Payment Portals For Each Gateway Type


1. On-Site Payments





Stripe is a leading online payment system known for its easy integration and clear pricing structure. Users can accept card payments, set up recurring billing, and offer direct debit services. There are no setup, monthly, or hidden fees, and users benefit from real-time fee reporting. European card transactions are charged at 1.4% + 20p, while non-European cards incur a fee of 2.9% + 20p. Additionally, SEPA Direct Debit services are available at 1% + 20p (£5 cap).




sage pay
SagePay provides comprehensive payment processing solutions for businesses, both online and offline. With 55,000 businesses already using their services, they offer flat monthly fees for many products without transaction charges. As one of the top-rated payment processing companies in the UK, SagePay stands out for its reliability and simplicity. Their plans, such as Flex and Plus, offer various features like eInvoice, phone payments, and support for local European payment types. Additionally, they boast an impressive 9.7 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot.



Adyen is a Surinamese company focused on revolutionising online payments. Their goal is to provide a seamless infrastructure connecting directly to global card schemes and payment methods. Currently, they offer their Checkout solution for websites, mobile sites, and apps.

Adyen boasts no setup fees and transparent pricing, with competitive rates for Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and SEPA Direct Debit transactions. Users benefit from the ability to manage multiple bank accounts and currencies on one platform. However, there’s a minimum invoice requirement of €100 ($120).


2. Checkout On-Site, Payment Off-Site


WorldPay Online


WorldPay Online is the UK’s leading payment processing company, facilitating over 40% of card transactions nationwide. Their services cater to businesses seeking to accept card payments online. Offerings include an Online Payment Gateway, supporting over 116 currencies and major cards including PayPal, Online Merchant Account for direct customer payments, and Pay By Link for secure transactions sans website. Pricing options range from Pay As You Go to Fixed Monthly plans, with added benefits like flexible pricing, fraud screening, and subscription payment setups.




GoCardless facilitates easy collection of recurring payments for businesses of all sizes, globally. Their mission is to simplify payment processes, reducing stress, cost, and time. With services available in over 30 countries and support for multiple currencies, they offer a standard package without monthly fees or minimum commitments.

Businesses can customise their payment page or use the API. Integration with over 350 partners like Xero and Salesforce streamlines operations, although there are transaction limits, subject to review.




2Checkout is a global leader in online payments, serving over 50,000 merchants worldwide and facilitating transactions in 196 countries. They offer 8 payment methods, support 26 currencies, and operate in 15 languages. In the UK, they provide global payment acceptance, hosted checkout options, payment APIs for website integration, compatibility with leading online shopping carts, and recurring billing for memberships or subscriptions.

Their fees include a standard UK fee of 2.4% + 30p, a 1.5% cross-border fee, and £25 chargebacks. With a wide range of services and ease of use, 2Checkout appeals to businesses seeking comprehensive online payment solutions.


3. Redirects




Shopify is the leading e-commerce platform in the UK, offering a comprehensive solution for online businesses. Unlike Paypal, Shopify provides everything necessary to start and manage an online store, including web hosting, payment processing, and integration with various sales channels like Amazon and POS systems. With a user-friendly interface and a free 14-day trial, it’s easy to get started.

While not the cheapest option, Shopify’s fees for online selling are competitive, ranging from transaction fees of 2.2% + 20p to 1.6% + 20p. Additionally, Shopify offers over 100 professional themes and features like abandoned checkout recovery.


Amazon Pay


amazon pay
Amazon Pay offers merchant services that enable businesses to accept payments through customers’ existing Amazon accounts. This can supplement or serve as a standalone payment solution alongside existing online payment systems. With Amazon’s widespread presence in the UK, it presents a compelling option for online payment acceptance.

Fees range from 3.4% + 20p to 1.4% + 20p, depending on monthly transaction volumes. Benefits include leveraging customers’ trust in Amazon, streamlined checkout using existing Amazon logins, and easy integration with partner eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.




PayPal, a leading online payment platform, serves over 20 million UK shoppers annually and supports transactions for 7 million global businesses.

It offers user-friendly solutions, particularly advantageous for those already using PayPal accounts. However, users should consider fees, ranging from 1.9% + 20p per transaction to 3.4% + 20p, depending on sales volume. Additional benefits include mobile-friendly checkout, fraud protection, and the ability to accept international payments. Implementation of PayPal’s Web Payments Standard requires no advanced technical skills.