When accepting payments to your ecommerce website you need a secure, trusted payment gateway.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of ecommerce. According to market research firm eMarketer, internet shopping now accounts for 7.5 per cent of worldwide retail sales. As a global leader in ecommerce, the UK market alone is worth £60 billion; it’s been estimated that global online purchases will equate to over $3.5 trillion by 2019.

Such meteoric growth clearly requires effective payment systems, but laboriously entering credit card numbers and CVC codes is not a particularly efficient method of completing online transactions. The future of bitcoin remains shrouded in uncertainty, while cash and cheques are clearly unsuitable. When selling online you need to provide your customers with a secure, trustworthy payment gateway. Through a payment gateway you can accept payments with ease while your customers benefit from a quick, easy and secure transaction. Two of the world’s most trusted online payment gateways involve dedicated funding accounts like PayPal and Stripe – two broadly similar methods of paying for something directly from a customer’s bank account.

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For the uninitiated, Stripe and PayPal are California-based companies with a degree of shared lineage, and both specialise in handling online money transfers. While consumers can access straightforward personal accounts via two-factor authentication, the main focus of both Stripe and PayPal is on corporate customers, ensuring that companies have an interface through which currency transactions can be securely and reliably completed.

PayPal has been around for almost twenty years and has its logo on some of the world’s biggest retail websites, but Stripe is regarded by many industry observers as a more user-friendly and technically advanced platform. Both offer a variety of ecommerce features, including online invoicing and the option of subscriptions. Both target web developers who need payment functionality on their websites, rather than focusing their energies on the end consumers who will occasionally log in to pay for goods and services. Both also charge corporate clients roughly three per cent of each transaction as a flat rate, with an API designed to minimise the risk of third-party interference or data theft.

Security is one area where the differences between Stripe and PayPal become more evident, though both are robust and diligent in their defence of customer funds. Stripe receives payment data directly rather than via the ecommerce website, so companies don’t need to install payment gateways or reinforce their servers against data breaches. There is no temporary redirection of customers to the Stripe website. PayPal’s standard account temporarily takes customers onto its own site while they log in and approve their payment, although this still means the retailer has little responsibility for protecting customer data or ensuring the robustness of transactions. PayPal’s monthly-fee Advanced and Pro accounts fully integrate into client websites, and funds are received within one business day. Stripe requires an extra day, but it is compatible with Apple Pay.

With UK2’s Online Shop Builder ecommerce package you can integrate payments via PayPal and Stripe into your new websites. These payment methods will increasingly become the future face of online transactions, delivering security and simplicity in equal measure, and will allow you to accept payment with ease. With Stripe able to integrate with programming languages from Python and PHP to cURL and C#, and PayPal enjoying a long track record of integration into WordPress sites, it’s more important than ever that ecommerce companies offer one or both payment platforms at their checkouts.

Get started with your own ecommerce website by checking out our Online Shop Builder.

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