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Top 5 online payment gateways for your startup

Almost all businesses have moved over to online payment options to reach out to the global market and make online transactions quick and easy for their customers. As a startup, more than half your revenue may come in through online purchases so you need to set up an easy transaction process for your customers. A payment gateway authorizes a payment from the customer’s bank account into your merchant account. Depending on the number of transactions, security of your site and pricing, you can choose a gateway that’s best for you. We’ll compare some of the major gateways used today along with their pricing.

Factors to consider:

  • Platform you’re using

    – does the gateway have a plugin that can be used on your website?

  • Security

    – There are 3 ways of using a payment gateway on your website.

    1) Customers enter their payment details on your site and then send it to the payment gateway server through the website server. However, this is the least secure and will require expensive security measures on your site.

    2) Customers are redirected to a payment page or to an iFrame – a secure page on your site from which it will it be sent to the gateway server. However, the looks of the form may not match your website.

    3) Customers enter their details on your site which are sent directly to the payment gateway server, without passing through the website’s web server. This will involve less security measures than having your own form.  However, not all gateways support this.

  • Fees

    -An overview of pricing plans of the top 5 payment gateways is mentioned below.

  • Functionality and target market

    – Depending on your location, the gateway should support the currencies and online wallets/banks your customers are likely to use.

Comparing some of the most popular payment gateways in India (in no particular order):

  1. CCAvenue

    One of India’s oldest payment gateways, CCAvenue supports almost all banks and payment options. It’s highly reliable, has 24/7 support, comes inbuilt a dashboard, iFrame integration retry options, real time analytics, and supports over 27 currencies. However, it takes some time to set up and has a lengthy verification process. CCAvenue is generally used by high volume companies like Snapdeal, MakeMytrip, Naukri, Myntra etc.
    Visit CCAvenue at – https://www.ccavenue.com/

  2. Instamojo

    Started in 2012 for the payment of digital goods, Instamojo quickly became a popular payment gateway for merchandise, tutorials, event tickets etc. Its extremely easy to set up (only a bank account and PAN number), doesn’t require any physical paperwork and is good for startups or small businesses. Instamojo also offers payment analytics and a user friendly dashboard. Its clients include  UrbanClap, YourStory, Next Big What etc.
    Check out their website – https://www.instamojo.com/

  3. DirecPay

    DirecPay is one of the largest payment gateways in India and offer a variety of payment options. They provide easy integration, 5 day activation period, EMI options and is PCI-DSS and Norton Secure. DirecPay is used by Google India, PolicyBazaar, Indiatimes, payTM etc.
    Check out their website at – http://www.direcpay.com/direcpay/home.jsp

  4. CitrusPay

    CitrusPay started in 2011 with the aim of making online payment simple, secure and quick. Citrus is popular with TinyOwl, Etihad, Airtel etc. They also offer a wallet service to their end users (customers who buy products through the gateway) as well as cart integrations, analytics, email-invoices and support for all mobile devices to their business clients.
    Visit their website at – http://www.citruspay.com/merchants/

  5. PayU

    PayU is fast to set up, allows you to upload documents (for the verification process) directly onto their site and you can go live extremely quickly. PayUMoney is desgined for small businesses and comes with a wallet service, email invoice feature, a free webstore and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. PayU is used by Jabong, BookMyShow, ShopClues etc.
    Visit their website at – https://www.payumoney.com/sellertool.html

Many payment gateways offer special deals for startups from time to time, check out their websites to find out.

Pricing plans :

Set up fee

Annual maintenance fee Transaction fee (credit cards/debit cards) Transaction fee (netbanking)


Free for basic

Rs.30,000 for Privilege plan

Rs.1200 for basic  2.99% + Rs.3 1.99% + Rs.3
Instamojo Free Free

2% + Rs.3

5% + Rs.3 for digital products



Free – Rs.30,000 Rs.2400 1.25%  -debit cards

2% – credit cards

CitrusPay Free Rs.1200

1.99% + Rs.3


Free Free

Flat 2%


About the author

– Srishti is passionate about learning new things, writing and understanding the startup landscape. Currently studying computer science and interested in business and technology

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