ECommerce Payment Systems: Comparison and Review

ECommerce Payment Systems: Comparison and Review

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ECommerce Payment Systems: Comparison and Review

If you have an e-Commerce or are planning to open it sooner or later you will have to deal with the various payment systems for eCommerce, and choose the best payment method for your online business.

What is the best payment method? What are the advantages of the various payment systems? and what are the disadvantages? In this article we will look at the main payment methods available with their advantages, disadvantages and costs.

You will find in this article both online payment wallets and more classic methods; the use of one does not preclude the other, tries to offer your customers a wide choice of payments.

What are the best eCommerce Payment Systems?

The question lends itself to many answers, I will present below all the payment systems for ecommerce that I have tried in person, giving you information that can allow you to assess which is best for your e-Commerce project.

In eCommerce Online Payments it can be said that there are 3 different types:

  1. Virtual Bank Payment or Pay GateWay,
  2. Virtual payment wallet,
  3. Other electronic payment systems for ecommerce.


Virtual Bank Payment or Payments GateWay:

These are the payment systems provided directly by the banks or by the service with which they are associated. The convenience of these systems is that the money is effective on the bank account at the time the transaction takes place and the movements are identifiable on the current account, very convenient at the end of the month for those who deal with the accounting of SRL or SPA. The disadvantages are higher integration costs, documentation for absurd activation, very high implementation times, often higher commissions.

Virtual payment wallets :

These are alternative methods, even if they are identical systems, but that they come from banks with a gear more than the Italian ones. the various PayPal, Braintree, Stripe companies belong to this group. The fact that they are aimed at a global and non-domestic audience, are much more flexible in activations, back-end spent very advanced, excellent guarantees for customers, often advantageous additions with free forms; on the other hand, the receipt of money is not immediate as they are bridges and must then be decanted manually or automatically from the wallet to your account or credit card for availability.

Other electronic payment systems for e-commerce :

In the other systems there are all those not referable to the high two sections such as bank transfer.

Now let’s see all the payment systems we have examined, defining their merits and weaknesses, remembering that what follows will be a very personal judgment, conditioned by personal experiences and by eighteen years of eCommerce

A-GateWay of Bank Payment for eCommerce

These payment systems for eCommerce are not much appreciated to me, it is often a company only to have authorization from the bank, to pass to long waits also for activation.

Online virtual payment systems or foreign Pos are, fortunately, not so cumbersome in their activation, but those in the hands of Italian banks are torture.

I bring an example just occurred: 2 months ago for its ecommerce that we are developing, our client has requested activation of  Setefi MonetaWeb of the Intesa San Paolo Bank , after the enormity of 30 days from the request, the bank calls us to ask for the credentials and the data of the agency that will develop the e-commerce and personal data of a technician responsible for the integration. It would have been to kick his ass, but unfortunately it is for our client. Activation of the system takes place exactly 50 days after the request.

The customer in question has a huge turnover and has multiple services with the bank in question, as well as about ten physical POS for more than 20 years.  Now listen to what the person in charge of silks with whom we have spoken says: to which I asked for costs and commissions to be integrated into the management system:

The basic fees are 5% but since XY is an excellent customer we decided to bring it to 3.5% on the transaction and 45 € per month of management costs.

Add incompetent and even thieves.

Let’s not forget that Italian payment gateways have BackOffice interfaces that are really disgusting.

For the record, I had the same problems with Banca Sella, Consorzio Triveneto, MPSshop, X-Pay, Pagonoline. On balance I tend to advise them not to use those that you can see below, but do not forget that every system has both strengths and weaknesses, and your choice should not be influenced by my judgment, if you have decided to use a GateWay payment banking, do it without being influenced by me because mine is a personal judgment.

B- Wallet: Virtual Payment Systems for eCommerce

Below I list a set of payment methods with which I have dealt either directly or for my clients, are in effect methods that can be substituted for Bank Payment Gateways, which I do not particularly like

1- PayPal

PayPal in Italy is the undisputed payment system, covers about 30% of online transactions, has taken hold because it forced eBay sellers to use it as preferred payment methods, and eBay in past years has been the main global eCommerce now largely outclassed , said this PayPal still holds the pace and is the main payment method in the world, but slowly he is losing market share.

Manage recurring payments.

Advantages :

Very easy to integrate, all Open Source CMS for ecommerce  integrate it by default in payments, so it is very easy to start. All users know this method of payment because it arouses great security, well done the backend even if it should be revised.


Not very low commissions, ranging from 1.8% to 3.4% + € 0.35 per transaction.

The percentage change depends on the turnover, the somewhat odd thing is that at the turnover achieved, you have to ask for more discounts.

The system is extremely customer-guarantor, in some sectors it is very easy to receive blackmail from the customer, where they often block payments on non-receipt or defective receipt or even empty packages. PayPal Stops the money and almost always gives the final customer a reason .

Commissions even if the transaction is canceled.

1a- PayPal Pro

PayPal Pro is the older brother of PayPal, uses the same system and base, but makes use of some advantages such as a more advanced front end interface, with PayPal pro you can avoid transferring to ebay your customers for payment , then make the transaction directly on eCommerce. It has the advantage of multi-user, useful in companies where there are more people who can access the system.

Manage recurring payments.

Rates are more advantageous when the volume transacted exceeds € 5000 per month, ranging from 1.7% to 2.5% + € 0.35 per transaction + € 29 monthly subscription.

2- Stripe

The payment method Stripe quickly became the real alternative to PayPal created by Peter Thiel and Elon Musk former of PayPal, they took the royalties and defects of PyPal to create Stripe.

Manage recurring payments.

Advantages :

Much easier to integrate since the APIs are simpler and allow greater customization, a much more versatile and customizable payment interface, intuitive backend and convenient to use, payments directly on e-Commerce with integrated interface in the site, control card security for a reduction in fraud, balance between customer and merchant attention, no commission on fraud or transfer of transactions. Excellent Support. Very high number of accepted payment systems including Sofort, Sepa, GiroPay, fewer clicks than paypal as they do not require registration, the user can not ask the supplier to block funds.


Rates not in installments, rate canceled only if the customer’s bank closes the dispute and your favor, otherwise very high commissions, it takes 7 days to credit the funds on the current account after the transfer from Stripe to the bank account.



1.4% commission + € 0.25 for European cards.

commission 2.9% + € 0.25 for non-European cards


Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:


European credit cards : (rate 1.4%) 140 € + (0.25 x 100) 25 € = 165 €

Non-credit cards : (Rate 2.9%) 290 € + (0.25 x 100) € 25 = € 315


3- Braintree

Braintree is a very versatile payment system , integrating among other things also payments with PayPal, has a back-end system very easy to use, advanced statistics, many accepted payment systems, among them also android payment, apple payment , Venus and Bitcoin.

Manage recurring payments.

Advantages :

Well done interface both backend and frontend side, payments directly on the site. Integration with many payment methods, manages many credit cards including Amex,. Assistance via ticket, chat, telephone.

Disadvantages :

Credit payments after non-immediate request, it is not possible to customize the frontend, fraud protection not really the best.

Rates :

1.9% commission + € 0.30 per transaction,

+ 1% for transactions outside the country of registration

discounts over € 60,000 per month

Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:

Domestic transactions : (tariff 1.9%) 190 € + (0.30 x 100) 30 € = 220 €

Foreign transactions: (rate 2.9%) 290 € + (0.30 x 100) 30 € = 320 €

4- Skirill

ex  Moneybookers ,  Skirill is an excellent online payment system has a good interface both the user and admin, much used in the world of gambling for its shopping experience and for the possibility of being used as a payment method through a link, you can for example requesting the payment of an invoice or eCommerce order to be paid by sending a link.

Advantages :

Possibility to request balance payments by sending links via email, interface translated into many languages, user interface very simple and intuitive, well done backend.

Disadvantages :

Very complex commission system, availability on the Italian current account in over 7 days from the request

Rates :

Trumpuses are the real problem when many transactions are free, such as transfers to Skirill or the payment of skirill to Skirill while the use of credit cards changes by varying:


Visa: 1.90%

Mastercard: 2.25%

Bitcoin: 1%

Sofort: 1.9%

Neteller: 3%

Swift: Free

American Express: 2.50%

Diners Club: 2.50%

JCB: 2.50%

PaySafe Card: 7.50%

Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:

Visa : 190 €

Mastercard : 225 €

Amex : 250 €

5- MultiSafePay

The payment method MultiSafePay   is a very broad and versatile system, has excellent possibilities for integration and modification thanks to its API, has the ability to send mail with payment link to which to link the payment of the ecommerce order, the panel is very versatile and allows for example the export of transactions that can be imported or integrated with the management software.
The thing that I really like is a sort of cart recovery abandoned after the payment with MultiSafePay has not been successful, the system sends an email with a direct link to the personalized shopping cart to complete the payment, (from our test, unofficial, recovery is around 7% of orders).
Ideal then those who do CrossBorder ie companies that want to sell abroad, without making any accents with dozens of partners one counts several dozen.

Manage recurring payment,
Advantages :

Advanced payment system, with multi-user, with the possibility of silent accounts. Excellent interface, great personalization of appearance and additions thanks to the API system.

Ability to create many forms of payment to then give the name of the service, such as PayPal, Credit Card, Mister Cash, Giropay, Sofort, etc., BankTransfer to Sofort

Excellent anti-fraud security system, for those transactions that the system considers suspicious, freezes, and the ability to investigate merchant on the buyer and then authorize the transaction manually, eliminates several headaches.
Disadvantages :

Even if the assistance is rather quick, with answers in 30 minutes maximum 24 hours, they answer only by ticket and support to today is in English only, will open in Italian but do not know when.


Rates :

Rates among the lowest on the market, the basic system involves € 75 one-time activation (free if you pass through us, as we are partners)

commissions of 1.8% + 0.15 € per transaction, percentages and loads that may fall on the basis of monthly turnover.

Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:

Commissions  : (rate 1.8%) € 180 + (0.15 x 100) € 15 =  195

6- Google Wallet

Google Wallet was born with great intentions, from my point of view well done and above all economic, as it is free. But unfortunately it has big limits to decide to use it, for example it only works for the US and UK markets. NOn all commercial activities can use it, and allows exchanges only with those who registered the credit card on the system, the principle is intended is that of PayPal Me, so the change of money, between users, the same method of payment has implemented facebook but we have not tested it.
Advantages :

Zero cost very fast to integrate and very easy to understand interface

Disadvantages :

Active only for US and UK users, it has a lot of limitations, it works only between users registered to google wallet

Rates :
0% + 0 €
Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be: 0 €

7- Amazon Payments

the payment system of Amazon Pay  is a payment method that is slowly seeing light, in Italy it is still little used while the other European nations and without even mentioning the United States, implement the most substantial moo.
There are plugins for Woocommerce, Magento, Prestashop, OpenCart, Shopify and ZenCart, almost all the most important Open Source e-Commerce platforms In essence, the customer who decides to pay using Amazon Pay tells Amazon to pay the supplier on his own, then Amazon will access the funds or credit card registered on the Amazon site.

Rates not really low, even if aligned with PayPal

Advantages :

From our tests we noticed an increase in credibility, thanks to the Amazon payment card, even though we noticed a lot of abandonment before authorization and switch to other payments, probably due to the idea that the merchant has the data of the credit card.

Disadvantages :

Terrible interface, high costs, signing of the Amazon contract on the policies rendered, so at each sneeze of the final customer the merchant will have to lower his head. Money recovery in percentages reduced only 2 times a month

In case of dispute, where Amazon considers it applicable (therefore always), asks for a fee regardless of how it evolves, of 20 € just to make it clear that NO MERCHANT NEVER CONTEST AMAZON.

Rates :

customer payments in the Merchant nation 2.90% commission plus 0.30 € per transaction
non-Merchant customer payments 3.90% commission plus 0.30 € per transaction
Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:

Domestic transactions : (rate 2.9%) 290 € + (0.30 x 100) 30 € = 320 € 
Foreign transactions: (rate 3.9%) 390 € + (0.30 x 100) 30 € =  420 €

8- Sofort

Sofort is a beautiful payment system that provides authorizations directly from bank accounts of half of Europe, is in short an immediate transfer.  I honestly have not yet seen it applied, and in those customers where we have included no Italian transactions have been made, but it is widely used in Germany, England and France, so excellent for those who sell in these countries.

Advantages :

The transfer is immediate, so the merchant will have the money directly on the account as for a credit card, without having to wait two days for verification. Another not insignificant advantage is the verification of payments received, in this case it is automatic while with the classic SEPA wire transfers it is necessary to carry out a manual check and authorization.

Disadvantages :

users who do not know this system will feel uncomfortable in having to log in with their home banking account on the SOFORT screen.

Rates :
fee A Tantum of € 39 commission 0.9% + € 0.25 per transaction

Transaction Hypothesis:
Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:
Commisions  : (rate 0.9%) 90 € + (0.25 x 100) 25 € = 115 

9- Payza, also known as AlertPay

Payza is another online payment system that has nothing more and nothing less than many other payment methods, I talk about it because some customer had it and I then made it known.

Almost unknown in Italy but quite used in the United States and much more in England, until a few years ago it was called AlertPay

BitCoins are also accepted as a payment method.

Advantages :

Very easy to integrate, versatile bike and backend panel very intuitive and well done nothing to see with the inconvenient Paypal. Accept various payment methods such as transferring money between Payza’s account, payPal, BitCoin, Credit Cards


Disadvantages :

Almost unknown in Italy, one of the many systems, assistance only in English and only via tickets with waiting times of about one working day.

Every transfer of money on the current account costs € 2.50 and takes about 7 days.

Rates :

2.9% commission + € 0.130 per transaction

Transaction Hypothesis:
Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:
Commisions  : (tariff 2.9%) 290 € + (0.30 x 100) 30 € = 320 


10- Payoneer

Payoneer is a payment system widely used in affiliations, many systems use this method such as Amazon, AirBnB, Cdiscount, Rakuten, Fiverr, GAffiliate, etc.

For the big costs I have always advised against my customers as a method of payment in ecommerce, but many bloggers who make affiliations use it, so in the case of affiliate marketing strategy , it is worth it

Advantages :

The most used payment method in affiliations, the same payoneer has an affiliate program, good backend interface

Disadvantages :

Careful transactions, they charge every move, they even charge the unsuccessful wire transfers. It is not convenient to use it as a payment method for goods transactions in the shop or you also pay for returns.

Rates :

Commission of 3%
transfer of money on the current account: 2% if the money is of a different currency from those received, € 1.5 per credit of euro over euro.
Transfers not successful € 1

Transaction hypothesis:
Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:
Commissions  : (tariff 3%) 300 € = 300 

11- Paymate

PayMate is an excellent payment tool both online and physical, used in Australia and New Zealand, in the rest of the world is almost unknown, I speak because I used it and I loved it.

Use the same concept of the various Braintree, PayPal, etc so it allows transactions to those who have an account and a wallet, but also accepts payments of various types

Advantages :

Accept credit cards and systems used in Oceania, possibility of sale all over the world, possibility of using physical pos, excellent anti-fraud system, control their transactions and approved ones are guaranteed.

Disadvantages :

Not known outside the Oceania

Rates :

d 2.60 to 3% per transaction plus an admixture of 0,50 $ (0,35 €) Australian

Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:
Commissions  : (tariff 3%) 300 € + (0.35 x 100) 35 € = 335 

12- ClickandBuy

ClickandBuy is a payment method very similar to PayPal and the other payment methods with wallet, I do not particularly appreciate it, it had a client who worked with the German market.

Advantages :

Very attentive to customer privacy, excellent anti-fraud system of the best visas.

Disadvantages :

High costs, assistance only answers via ticket and takes about 2 days in the answers. Almost unknown outside Germany.

Rates :

about 3% per transaction and 1% commission for withdrawals, minimum withdrawal € 11

Transaction Hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:
Commissions  : (tariff 3%) 300 €

13- Hipay

Hipay is a   very interesting online payment system , although it is almost unknown in Italy I advise you to take a look at it. For micro payments, its HipayMobile version is far ahead of those who, like Facebook, Google and PayPal, are investing.

Allows payment through SMS or phone calls, the user who wants to make a payment of a few € can call a phone number or send a text message and get a code that will use for payment.

Very versatile and well done.

Hipay is integrated about 200 payment methods in the world, aggregates in it many methods, I have known thanks to ePrice, I consider it more an aggregatone of payments than a single system.

Advantages :

The HipayMobile version is an excellent system for micro payments, easy integration, well done backend.
Hipay has a very wide range of integrated payment systems, ideal for those who sell all over the world, an excellent system for those who have a market place , excellent fraud control system, one of the best tested, has a quality service of excellent transatl the merchants in safety.

Disadvantages :

Virtually unknown in Italy, the price table is rather complex

Rates :

Commissions on sales that vary depending on the monthly volume transacted, and the type of payment or credit card with variations from € 0.90 to € 2.90

Transaction Hypothesis:Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:

Commissions  : (rate 2.5%) 250 € = 250 

14- GestPay

Gestapy is a multi  -bank saddle payment system that allows you to accept payments from around the world with many payment methods such as PayPal, Sofort, virtually all credit cards available and much more.

Manage recurring payments

Advantages :

Excellent interface, payment system directly on the site and with customizable graphics, quick assistance in responding, but also depends on the type of contract, possibility of payment also via call center
Disadvantages :

High rates, expensive base contract and with little chance. more floors with different rates and options, really bad backend not to deny the Italian gatway.
Rates :

Two rates:

Base : € 16 one-time activation fee + 3.00% commission + € 0.35 per transaction
advanced : € 166 one-time activation fee + € 15 per month + 3.5%
Transaction hypothesis:

Assuming 100 orders of 100 € the costs will be:
Base : (rate 3.00%) 300 + (0.35 € x 100) € 35 = € 335
advanced : € 15 (monthly fee) + (tariff 3 , 50%) 350 = 365 €

Price Comparison Rates Methods of Payment

We have used a simple calculation of 100 orders of 100 € for the comparison calculation for the prices. Clearly these values ​​can vary depending on the turnover or the number of transactions, for example a higher number of transactions penalizes those who have a fixed cost to sell, compared only for turnover.


Service Rates Calculation 100 orders 100 €
PayPal from 1.8% to 3.4% + 0.35 € for each transaction 305 €
PayPal Pro from 1.7% to 2.5% + € 0.35 for each transaction + € 29 monthly subscription 234 €
Stripe commission 1.4% + € 0.25 for European cards.
commission 2.9% + € 0.25 for non-European cards
European credit cards: € 165
Non-credit cards: € 315
Braintree commission 1.9% + € 0.30 per transaction,
+ 1% for transactions outside the country of registration
Domestic transactions: 220 €
Foreign transactions: 320 €
Skirill Visa: 1.90%
Mastercard: 2.25%
Amex: 2.50%
Visa: 190 €
Mastercard: 225 €
Amex: 250 €
MultiSafePay commission 1.8% + € 0.15 per transaction – € 75 one-time activation fee 195 €
Google Wallet 0% + 0 € 0 €
Amazon Pay commission 2.9% + € 0.30 for domestic transactions
commission 3.9% + € 0.30 for non-domestic transactions
Domestic transactions: 320 €
Foreign transactions: 420 €
sofort commission 0.9% + € 0.25 per transaction – € 39 one-time activation 115 €
Payza fee of 2.9% + € 0.30 per transaction 320 €
Payoneer 3% commission =  300 300 €
PayMate commissions from 2.60 to 3% + $ 0.50 Australian (about € 0.35) 335 €
ClickandBuy 3% commission = € 300 + 1% on the withdrawal of money 300 €
HiPay Commissions from € 0.90 to € 2.90 variation on volume and type of payment 250 €
GestPay Basic fee 3.00% 0.35 € per transaction
Advanced plan fee: 15 € monthly fee + 3.50% fee
Base :  € 335
Advanced: € 365


C- Other electronic payment systems for e-commerce

Other payment systems include Mark, although in truth it is a shipping service, the classic bank billing (or sepa), Poste Pay top-ups and loans.
It must be said that the mark is typical of the Italian market quite distrustful people, while payments such as bank transfer and financing are used only for some types of amount, for the post pay there is much to say.

1- Cash on delivery

The method of payment by means of cash on delivery or payment, is widely used in Italy, even if there is a counter trend also thanks to market place  such as spartoo, amazon ibs etc ..

The mark is a way to make customers safe of delivery, but it brings with it many problems for the merchant:


  1. Cost of the mark,
  2. No customer withdrawals,
  3. Storage costs,
  4. Costs for any returns to the merchant,
  5. Long time to credit the current account for money.


So the mark is a balance between the security offered to the customer and problems that must be borne by the merchant, often it is not worth having it as a method of payment, because the margins are eroded by costs and problems, not least for those who do dropshipping, is located in stock goods that often will not be able to resell.

Evaluate if you activate it or not, if you do, maybe avoid doing it for products over a certain cost or on which you have little marginality.

Defining a cost of marking is impossible because much depends on the agreement taken with the courier, often we talk about 3 or 4 € in some cases of a percentage on the proceeds. Try to get the best deal possible, but especially pay attention to the additional clauses such as storage costs on average around € 10.

2- Transfer

The advance bank transfer is the method preferred by the merchant because it has no real cost of collection, even if in truth brings with it work commitment, every day you have to check the arrivals, match them with orders awaiting payment, make a matching and in manual mode to authorize the shipment of the product. These operations take away at least 5 minutes if not 10 for one orders a day may not be a problem, but becomes expensive when the orders become many for 20 orders means losing at least 2-3 hours.
There are systems like Sofort that improve these problems by reducing waiting times and, above all, avoiding control work in the following days.

3- PostePay

I hate the visceral PostePay. true that for end customers it is a nice way to have a rechargeable card and in case of theft the damage can be minimal.

But the mails are the vortex of incompetence, not within the cost, which is only € 1 for the withdrawal of money every € 500 daily maximum, so if you clone the card you can not even take all the damn to avoid the theft.

Guarantees for the zero merchant, scams are many, and the merchant loses money without any guarantee, not by chance are very used for online purchases of electronics.

All this is due to a series of concatenated facts, ebay was transformed into the biggest denial of scammers and for many Venetians Truffaldini use PayPal in which they had to pay commissions and could have the funds blocked, the choice to push to refills by Posteay is was the next step.

unfortunately in mid-2000 there was a very high number of frauds both from merchants and buyers, and the common denominator was the pay as no guarantees were given to anyone.

I strongly discourage you from accepting payments on top of top up payments, but allow your credit card circuit to accept a pay slip as a credit card.

Man advised …

4- Financing

As a method of payment, the financing is used mainly in goods whose cost exceeds € 500 600, which is very often used in sports equipment (sector from which I come with my first e-Commerce) white (in the jargon are appliances).
Today Thanks to Agos and Findomestic (there will be others but I know these two products) it is possible to make funding online, ie without the customer being physically in the shop, and above all without having to send documents to the merchant, this payment method is a ‘excellent tool to push the purchase of goods whose cost is not indifferent.
There is a trend that I have experienced over time, who opens a loan is not then brought to make returns, while it often happens to me that it touches me to withdraw treadmill paid in cash. A real annoyance, once I understood that the financing gave me this advantage too, I started using it as an acquisition system, therefore offering zero interest loans.with Findomestic I was able to pay 5% commission for zero-rate loans (to the customer, but someone has to pay interest) for 10 installments.

This stratagem gave me a big increase in sales and a very low, close to nothing, requests for returns.
I advise you to hear the companies mentioned and get a quote, it could be a good idea to implement your financing as a method of payment in your company.

Undecided people can be enticed by the possibility of rateation.


Of payment methods there are a lot of sleep the range of offers is very wide, the first choice you have to do is related to the commission costs, the second is related to the market, because to propose in Italy an unknown payment is useless, in the same way to propose in united the mark if you send from Italy is impossible, or too expensive.
Another choice should be made based on the problems you may incur, for example due to lack of assistance or as a matter of postpay for all security issues.

Above all, always experiment, if you have a doubt: Experiment.