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The Low-down on Payment Gateways for E-Commerce Businesses

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Known to be one of the world’s leading cities with excellent digital and physical infrastructure, it comes as no surprise that Hong Kong’s e-commerce sector is developing rapidly. With a B2C e-commerce market already worth billions of dollars, its expected penetration rate in 2022 demonstrates the growth potential of its e-commerce market.

Moreover, major transformations brought about by the pandemic led to an increase in digital transactions, pushing retailers to realise the importance of shifting from standard brick-and-mortar practices. In 2020, e-commerce sales grew by 27%, and 50% of consumers stated their preference to shop online. In addition, more off-shore companies are continuing to pave a way for post-pandemic growth by leveraging the generous tax exemption that frees them from tax liabilities. As new retail standards are established, consumers’ demand for convenience requires innovation on a business’ part to grow with the evolving landscape. One such solution that helps e-commerce businesses adapt to market changes is a payment gateway.

What is a payment gateway solution?

A payment gateway is an online payment technology integrated with an e-commerce platform. This channel facilitates electronic funds transfer, efficiently processing payments for online purchases. Also known as a metaphorical cash register, it validates customers’ credit card details and supports smooth online transactions by ensuring that retailers are paid promptly through quick authorisation by the issuer bank.

How does a payment gateway work?

Involving several stakeholders, payment gateways follow a specific procedure to settle the payment of a purchase. When an order is placed online, credit or debit card details are entered by the customer. Functioning as an interface between a merchant’s website and a payment processing bank, the payment gateway encrypts this sensitive data before forwarding the transaction to the issuing bank to authenticate the information provided by the customer. Upon confirmation, the payment gateway leverages the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to forward the transaction information to the payment processor for completion of the online transaction.

The best e-commerce payment gateways

There is an extensive list of payment gateway options to choose from to improve business operations while selling to a global market. Here are four of the top payment methods to consider for your business.

1. PayPal

Globally renowned, PayPal makes it easy for businesses to connect with millions of PayPal customers. The multinational financial technology company accepts a wide range of credit and debit cards, in addition to providing a range of protection features for safer transactions.

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The standard rate for Hong-Kong based PayPal users starts from 3.9% of the total transaction value, with an additional HK$2.35 fixed fee. International transactions cost higher, with a 4.4% fee in addition to the currency conversion fee. However, with several checkout options like PayPal Express that eliminates the need for shoppers to re-enter shipping and billing information with every order, PayPal is a good option to get your business up and running quickly. Listed as one of the payment gateways on BigCommerce and Shopify, regardless of the size of a business, PayPal opens businesses up to the world swiftly with its easy setup process.

2. Adyen

Labelled as the platform to help your business grow, Adyen accepts payments everywhere. Allowing customers to pay wherever and however they want, it supports many major payment methods globally, with multiple modes of payment that can be used outside of Hong Kong. Some of these include Alipay, Google Pay, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal. Established brands like Nike have also chosen Adyen as their payment processor to solve issues regarding consolidating payment data and the high costs of subscribing to different payment gateways and service providers. 

Adyen currently possesses local acquiring licenses across Europe, North America, Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore — with more to come. It also offers companies the ability to team up local partners located in areas Adyen does not have a license yet. This makes the viewing of all transactions across varying regions, channels, and payment methods possible within the same platform. As a single partner with local acquiring licenses in regional markets, businesses can rest assured that operations will be streamlined with Adyen. BigCommerce with payment gateway integration also has Adyen as one of its many payment providers. Shopify, which has partnered with leading international payment providers to support all sale efforts and payment processing, has partnered with Adyen too.

3. Stripe

Known for being user-friendly, the Stripe payment gateway is internationally popular, though only recently entering the Hong Kong e-commerce landscape. Compatible with commonly used e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce and other applications, Stripe comes with a wide range of powerful tools. Not requiring a merchant account, you can easily add the gateway to your e-commerce site. Users can even design a custom package for their business to enjoy volume discounts and country-specific rates. Accepting over 135 currencies, 24/7 support, local payment methods, data security and encryption, and more, business owners and customers have much to gain.

4. AsiaPay

A Hong Kong based payment gateway, AsiaPay is a digital payment service provider offering services such as white label payment gateway, payment processing, mobile payment, amongst others. Supporting over 126 currencies, this one-stop online payment platform resolves processing of most payment methods on any channel, language and device. With a vision to provide corporate entities the ability to maximise business efficiency and global opportunities, AsiaPay is a good fit for companies targeting the regional market.

A well-rounded approach

Choosing the best payment gateway requires much consideration. From payable fees to currencies accepted, there are many factors to consider to support business growth and keep customers happy. Beyond choosing the right payment gateway for your e-commerce business, there are a range of other solutions that can further scale your business. One of which is to leverage the help of an experienced logistics partner to ensure that your customers get their orders in the nick of time. To simplify your logistics and shipping processes, DHL Express has several delivery services. Be it urgent, time-sensitive deliveries or tracking shipments with MyDHL+, open a business account with us now to start scaling your online business.