Choosing the Right Payment Platform: Transaction Fees

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Every single online company, no matter how big or small, will require a payment gateway to support online transactions. A payment gateway is a technology that connects the buyer, seller, and appropriate bank to complete an online purchase. Payment gateway security is of the utmost importance as they serve as virtual cash registers. However, for performing this service safely, payment gateways charge a fee. For businesses, it is critical to understand which payment gateways can get the job done while maintaining manageable rates. 

Look below for a comprehensive comparison to make the best choice.

Comparing Platforms

While there are advantages and disadvantages to several platforms beyond cost, fees are a critical factor to take into account. Additionally, many gateways require minimums, thresholds, and cost tiers based on the number of monthly transactions. When evaluating, be sure to consider business growth projections as well as the business’s current state.


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  • Online Cost: 
    • 3.49% + $0.49 for PayPal Checkout
    • 2.99% + $0.49 for credit and debit cards
  • Safety First: PayPal’s biggest benefit is its security and protections for business owners. They not only offer more advanced risk assessment than other gateways, but they also offer chargeback and reversal protections for business owners. These protections can be especially helpful for new or small businesses as fraudulent charges or reversals can result in hefty fees.


  • Online Cost:
    • 2.9% + $0.30
  • Perfect for Customizations: Flexibility is the name of the game with Stripe. This platform is great for both beginning and seasoned businesses with its easy and varied customizations, including accepting 135 currencies and 27 different payment methods. Stripe is a great option for providing customers with many different options at checkout. Stripe’s new fast-checkout solution, Link, allows customers to quickly re-use their saved payment method, regardless of whether they initially saved it on the checkout page of a different business.


  • Online Cost: 
    • 2.59% + $0.45 for credit and debit cards
    • 3.49% + $0.49 for Venmo
  • Premium Security: Braintree, with its parent company of PayPal, also prioritizes safety and security. Braintree has not only been awarded Level 1 PCI compliance credentials— the highest level in the industry—but they also do not charge additional PCI fees or maintain a minimum transaction threshold, perfect for small to mid-sized businesses.


  • Online Cost: 3.5% + $0.15 for Virtual Terminal
  • Evaluate Your Business Size: Square is one of the smaller gateway options on the list, and its fees are built to favor small businesses. Square can be compelling to start with, but be aware that its fees will be more costly for businesses with more transactions.


  • Online Cost: 3% + $0.25 for Etsy Payments
  • Other Fees: 
    • Listing fees: $0.20 per listing
    • Transaction fee: 6.5% per transaction
  • Be Aware of Additional Fees: Etsy is not only a selling platform; it also offers its own payment gateway called Etsy Payments. While Etsy Payments appears fairly in line with other gateway costs, be aware Etsy also charges two additional fees for using their platform. The listing, transaction, and payment fees added together can prove a burden for burgeoning businesses.


  • Online Cost: 
    • 3.3% + $0.22 for Visa, AmEx, and Mastercard
    • 3-12% + $0.12 for other forms of payment
  • Customer Support, Complex Model: For those less tech-savvy, Ayden offers 24/7 customer support. However, their pricing model is one of the most complex options on the list. Be sure to review and thoroughly understand how each fee tier will impact the business.

Finding the Right Solution for Your Business

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Choosing the right payment gateway is pivotal for businesses. Beyond balancing fees and different payment structures, payment gateways also greatly impact customers’ checkout experience. When choosing a payment platform, consider security, features for business owners, customer service, and integration requirements alongside the cost.

Partners like Payment Plugins can make the process easier by offering seamless payment integrations with major providers like PayPal and Stripe. Additionally, we also offer customer support options to ensure your business runs smoothly. Find out how we can establish or increase your site’s payment options today.

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