Written by Lucas Pistilli Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 1 September 2023 On this page What is a payment gateway? 1. Till Payments 2. eWay 3. Shopify Payments 4. Worldpay 5. Square 6. SumUp 7. Stripe How does a payment gateway work? Top 6 things to consider when choosing a payment gateway provider Our methodology Our verdict and next steps FAQs Expand All providers have been reviewed and tested by our Research team. By requesting a quote, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral Being able to charge customers virtually is a must for online business owners – and according to our research, Till Payments is the best payment gateway provider to help you with that.There are plenty of reasons to sell over the internet instead of in person, not least saving on the costs of keeping a brick-and-mortar shop — and therefore reducing the effects of the rising interest rates in Australia (as of July 2023, the rate set by the Reserve Bank is 4.1%). You can also use the online platform to grow your venture and eventually, with the help of the best card machines for your small business, expand into a physical location.To do any of that, first you'll need to be able to take payments online – and with nearly 15 years covering the market, we know you'll be looking for a payment gateway that's fast, reliable, and insightful. What are the Best Payment Gateways? These are recommended providers based on our research. Use our cost comparison tool to find the best service for your businessTill Payments – Best for customisationeWay – Best for low transaction feesShopify Payments – Best for website buildingWorldpay – Best for integrationsSquare – Best for faster payoutsSumUp – Best for simplicityStripe – Best for reportingThe fastest way to find out which payment gateway provider is best for you is to use our free comparison tool. It'll allow us to match you with trusted providers who'll then contact you with bespoke quotes for you to compare. However, if you're keen on hearing the findings of our extensive payment gateway research, just head to our ranking below. How do you need to take card payments? In Person Online Over the Phone Multiple / Other Submit The best payment gateways for small businessesThe table below summarises our top seven picks of payment gateway providers for small Australian businesses, along with their basic pricing information and their scores from our expert researchers. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Till Payments eWay Shopify Worldpay Square SumUp Stripe Best For Customisation Best For Low transaction fees Best For Website building Best For Integrations Best For Faster payouts Best For Simplicity Best For Reporting Monthly Fees Custom Monthly Fees From $0/month Monthly Fees From $42 Monthly Fees From $20 Monthly Fees None Monthly Fees None Monthly Fees None EFTPOS machine cost Custom EFTPOS machine cost N/A EFTPOS machine cost $69 EFTPOS machine cost From $20/month EFTPOS machine cost From $65 EFTPOS machine cost From $39 EFTPOS machine cost From $89 In-person transaction fees Custom In-person transaction fees N/A In-person transaction fees From 1.75%/transaction In-person transaction fees From 0.75% In-person transaction fees From 1.6% In-person transaction fees 1.75% In-person transaction fees From 1.75% + 30c Online transaction fees Custom Online transaction fees From 40c Online transaction fees From 1.4% + 30c/transaction Online transaction fees From 0.75% Online transaction fees 2.2% Online transaction fees 2.1% Online transaction fees From 1.75% + 30c Are you ready to start taking payments online? Get started What is a payment gateway?A payment gateway is a piece of digital infrastructure that allows you to accept card payments. It’s the software that processes the customer’s card data and enables a quick, secure transaction to take place.Payment gateways aren’t just for selling online, either. Whether you’re taking a card payment through your website, or face-to-face with a PDQ machine or mobile card reader, it’ll be passing through a payment gateway.Need more information? Read on for more thorough reviews and comparisons of our top seven payment gateway services that will help you make a decision with confidence. 1. Till Payments – Best for customisation Till Payments Online fees Custom Get free quotes Quick overview Till Payments has been helping Australian businesses to take payments since 2012. Our experts found the provider to be big on customisation: it offers custom prices for EFTPOS terminal rentals as well as personalised transaction fees.This allows merchants to negotiate fees that fit their budget, but this non-transparent pricing structure means it may not be ideal for business owners who are in a hurry and don't have the time to go through the whole process of quoting. Read more + Read less - Strengths PCI-compliant payment solution Supports in-app purchases 24/7 help line Weaknesses Pricing isn't transparent No live chat support channel Pricing See more See less Custom Based on factors such as business type and monthly revenue What we think of Till PaymentsOur research team was impressed by Till Payments' versatility: besides being integrated into websites, its payment gateway also supports in-app purchases in platforms such as Instagram. This is a great way to connect with clientele that shops through social media. Also, in all its iterations, you can use Till Payments to personalise your checkout and payment pages with your branding, creating a smooth customer experience. That said, it doesn't allow you to build and host a website like Square does.Till Payments is also quick on payouts, as it allows you to receive funds in the same business day if you sign up for its Same Day Settlement offering. While it doesn't beat Worldpay's amazing 30-minute payout, it's a very good timeframe — and it does make Till Payments better than Square (next business day) and SumUp (up to 5 working days) in this regard.Till Payments offers customer support through email and a 24/7 phone line. The only downside we found with the provider on this front is that it doesn't offer a live chat channel like the one Stripe packs. This can be a problem for business owners with minor queries who would like fast responses, but for our money, having experts always on call more than compensates for this.Till PortableTill Payments pricing: brill or nil?Till Payments' pricing is entirely custom, so you'd have to contact the provider to find out exactly how much you'd pay to use its payment gateway. Because its fees would ultimately vary a lot, depending on factors such as your business type and monthly revenue, we can't offer a general idea of how they compare to the ones offered by Till Payments' competitors. 2. eWay – Best for low transaction fees eWay Online fees From 40c Get free quotes Quick overview Founded in 1998, eWay is one of the leading payment gateway providers in Australia. Recognised as the Best Payment Provider at the National Online Retailers Association (NORA) Awards three times, the platform is a convenient tool to take payments online. eWay is particularly flexible in that it allows business owners either to set up a merchant account up with the provider or to keep using their previous one alongside eWay's payment gateway. Read more + Read less - Strengths Straightforward, easy-to-grasp pricing Integrates with over 250 third-party platforms PCI-compliant payment solution 24/7 help line Weaknesses Doesn't offer EFTPOS machines Extra data security is provided for additional fees Pricing See more See less ProductMonthly feesTransaction fees Online Payments None 1.5% + 25c Gateway Services (Community Plan) $20 50c Gateway Services (Budget Plan) $30 60c Gateway Services (VIP Plan) $60 40c What we think of eWayWe were impressed by eWay's ease of use and easy-to-grasp pricing plans. It offers two main products: Online Payments and Gateway Services. While the latter packs a combo of payment gateway and merchant account, the former is solely a payment gateway offering, allowing business owners to keep on using the merchant account they already have alongside eWay.eWay packs email and phone support channels. However, the latter is provided Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm AEST — a far cry from Till Payments' 24/7 help line.The main drawback we found in eWay is that it doesn't offer EFTPOS machines. If you plan on keeping your business strictly online indefinitely, that isn't an issue, but if expanding into a physical location (or more than one) is in the cards, than you'll likely to be better served by a provider that makes that transition smoother, like Square or SumUp.eWay pricing: yes way or no way?On its Online Payment solution, eWay doesn't charge setup nor monthly fees and sticks to a simple flat rate transaction fees that covers Amex, Visa, and Mastercard payments: 1.5% + 25c. This is considerably cheaper than SumUp's 2.1% and Square's 2.2%, for example, and we consider it to be a good deal. Granted, this is more expensive than Worldpay's starting transaction fee of 0.75%. That said, Worldpay's operates on a varying fee scale, while eWay's fixed fee makes it for a more transparent price.On its Gateway Service solution, because it includes a merchant account, eWay charges a monthly fee (between $20 and $60 per month). However, it's coupled a very economical transaction fee (between 40c and 60c per transaction) — both of which vary according to the plan you choose. As far as monthly fees are concerned, eWay is on par with Worldpay (whose monthly fees also start at $20), though it's beaten by providers such as Square and SumUp, that don't charge them. However, eWay's transaction fees are among the cheapest we've seen and in line with some of the best merchant account rates in the market. Because of that, they're likely to offset the fixed monthly cost if your sales volume is high. How do you need to take card payments? In Person Online Over the Phone Multiple / Other Submit 3. Shopify Payments – Best for website building Shopify Payments Online fees From 1.4% + 30c Get free quotes Quick overview Founded in 2006, Shopify is a global ecommerce powerhouse, offering everything from POS systems to website building platforms. Shopify Payments is the provider's payment gateway, which you can conveniently integrate with its other products to make up a complete, omnichannel commerce experience. Read more + Read less - Strengths Offers a website builder Integrates with POS system 24/7 help line Weaknesses Not available separately from Shopify's main plans Expensive monthly fees Pricing See more See less PlanMonthly feesOnline transaction fees Basic From $42 1.75% + 30c Shopify From $114 1.6% + 30c Advanced From $430 1.4% + 30c What we think of Shopify PaymentsUpon testing, we found Shopify Payments to be great if you plan on building and hosting your website on Shopify. This way, you can easily integrate both, while fully using all of the features Shopify packs in its plans – like reporting and shipping discounts.If you have already built your website elsewhere, we don't think Shopify Payments is a good choice as it doesn't offer is its payment gateway on its own. In this scenario, you'd up paying for a plan while only needing one of the features included in it.That said, by integrating with its native POS system, Shopify Payments can be scaled up to take in-person payments, should your business expand that way. EFTPOS machines costs start at $69 and you can buy them outright, instead of renting them.Also, it's worth noting its customer support offering is outstanding: it offers support through email, live chat, and a 24/7 phone line.Shopify has just one model of card reader for the UK: The WisePad 3 Terminal (£49 + VAT).Shopify Payments pricing: friend or foe?If you use Shopify Payments, you won't pay third-party transaction fees. You'll only pay Shopify card rates for online sales, which range between 1.4% + 30c to 1.75% + 30c, depending on you plan. Plan fees range from $42 and $575 per month, depending on your billing cycle.To the provider's credit, its chargebacks are deducted from your Shopify Payments' payouts, rather than directly from your bank account. That keeps business funds a bit neater. 4. Worldpay – Best for integrations Worldpay Online fees From 0.75% Get free quotes Quick overview Our experts were impressed by the sheer breadth of integrations Worldpay's payment gateway packs. Overall, it comes with over 100 integrations across 26 categories. These categories include customer relationship management, accounting, and analytics — which makes Worldpay a solid choice for business owners keen on running its payment gateway alongside other sides of their venture. Read more + Read less - Strengths Over 100 integrations 30-minute fund transfer time Weaknesses Reporting is a paid add-on Pricing See more See less Monthly feesTransaction feesEFTPOS cost From $20 0.75% - 2.75% From $20/month What we think of WorldpayWe recommend Worldpay to small businesses looking to branch out and grow. With over 100 integrations, Worldpay fits in around existing apps, making it easy to scale your payments and accounting procedures. You won’t need to change providers as your business grows, instead, you can opt for the integration you need as your business' needs change and develop.Worldpay’s 30-minute fund transfer time blows all other transfer times out of the water; it's even faster than Square's next day window. This super speedy timeframe makes Worldpay a good fit for businesses accounts that need predictable cash flow.Worldpay's customer support options also don't disappoint. Like Till Payments, it packs 24/7 phone support, as well as email and live chat options.Worldpay pricing: should you invest?Worldpay's pricing isn't the most transparent considering the other providers we tested, which makes it not the ideal choice for business owners keen on knowing quickly whether it can fit their budget.Its monthly fees start at $10 per month, which is cheaper than eWay's entry-level $20 per month, but more expensive than providers that don't charge it at all, like Stripe. Its transaction fees vary between 0.75% and 2.25% and the one you'll end up paying will be defined upon quoting.On that note, we think Worldpay will be interesting from a pricing perspective depending on where within that range you land. If you get quoted a transaction fee closer to the more expensive end of its spectrum, eWay and Stripe will be more economical picks.Also, Worldpay’s reporting is hidden behind a paywall of $10 per month, which is frustrating because other providers, such as Square, include several reporting options. 5. Square – Best for faster payouts Square Online fees 2.2% Get Quotes Quick overview Square is a payment gateway provider that packs a plethora of features, and it transfers funds by the next working day, which is pretty speedy, although not as speedy as Worldpay’s time of 30 minutes. While fast payouts are one of Square’s highlights, it also comes with a free EPOS app and hundreds of integrations. Read more + Read less - Strengths Payout by the next working day High customer score Free EPOS system Weaknesses Transaction fee fairly high Pricing See more See less Monthly feesOnline transaction feesIn-person transaction feesEFTPOS cost None 2.2% From 1.6% From $65 What we think of SquareOur experts found Square’s customer support very comprehensive, as it offers email, phone and, live chat support. That means fixing any problems will be quick and efficient. That said, Worldpay's offers the same three channels, with the extra edge of offering phone support 24/7.If your business is in need of a free and comprehensive EPOS systems to use alongside your reader, then Square is a good fit. In fact, its EPOS integration, which allows you to build your own webstore, makes it one of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses we found in our research. However, if you’re after a traditional card reader, then Worldpay is a good choice – especially if you’d rather receive funds within 30 minutes.Square pricing: worth it?Our expert team found Square's pricing average when compared against its direct competitors'. This is partly because its online transaction fees are 2.2%, which are fairly steep when compared with Worldpay's, which start from 0.75%.However, this competitor's pricing is on a sliding scale, whereas Square offers a flat fee. The simplicity of which is suited to market traders, seasonal enterprises, and micro-merchants. Also, if you plan on expanding into a physical location in the future, Square's economical card machines can help you save on POS systems costs down the line. 6. SumUp – Best for simplicity SumUp Online fees 2.1% Get free quotes Quick overview Founded in 2012, SumUp is a merchant account provider that offers a reader and a payment gateway to Australian businesses — therefore helping both in-person and online merchants to process transactions. Our experts were wowed by its simplicity: it doesn't lock users into contracts, and it operates clear, flat-rate transaction fees. Read more + Read less - Strengths Very transparent pricing Easy to operate Can also be used to take in-person payments PCI-compliant payment solution Weaknesses No live chat support channel No website builder Pricing See more See less Monthly feesOnline transaction feesIn-person transaction feesEFTPOS cost None 2.1% 1.75% From $39 What we think of SumUpOur experts really appreciated SumUp's ease of use and overall no-frills approach to taking online payments. It works through payment links, allowing you to sell via social media and messaging platforms. This solution even removes the pressure and expenses of creating a website — through a link in a message or embed in a profile, you can charge your customer directly in no time.We were also impressed by the provider's data compliance: SumUp offers a PCI-compliant solution and utilises 256-bit encryption, the current industry standard for fraud prevention.That said, customer support options are not perfect: SumUp lacks a live chat option which is frustrating if you don’t have the time to make phone calls or wait around for an email response. That said, it does offer support via email and via a phone line that's open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm AEST.SumUp pricing: how does it stack up?SumUp’s pricing is fairly average for a payment gateway providers. At $39, its reader is really economical, but at 2.1%, its transaction fees are considerably higher than Worldpay's (which start at 0.75%) and eWay (which vary from 40c to 1.5% + 30c).Overall, we think SumUp is a good choice for business owners that are looking to take payments online but avoid the website route. If your business really needs a web store to showcase itself, then we would recommend Square. 7. Stripe – Best for reporting Stripe Online fees From 1.75% + 30c Get free quotes Quick overview Our final company is Stripe, a payment gateway provider that also offers POS systems and various financial services. When testing it, we found Stripe to have the highest reporting capabilities of all of the mobile providers we analysed. It includes reporting on real-time charges, fees, and refunds, as well as payment methods and currencies. For businesses that need comprehensive reporting on transactions, Stripe is a good choice. Read more + Read less - Strengths Good reporting capabilities Solid customer support Weaknesses EFTPOS readers are pricey Transaction fees for international cards are expensive Pricing See more See less Monthly feesTransaction fees (domestic cards)Transaction fees (international cards)EFTPOS cost None 1.75% + 30c 3.5% + 30c From $89 What we think of StripeWith pre-built API integrations for just about any ecommerce apps you work with (Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce all come to mind), Stripe should slot seamlessly into your online business’ current setup.Stripe offers live chat, email, and phone support, which is better than SumUp. Also, Stripe doesn't perform a credit check, allowing customers who might have a poor credit score to use its taking payment solution.Stripe pricing: good value for money?Stripe charges differing transaction fees depending on where your customer's card was issued: 1.75% +30c for Australian cards and 3.5% + 30c for international cards. The latter is really expensive, to the point in which we wouldn't recommend the provider if you sell (or plan on selling) massively to customers abroad. For comparison, Worldpay's transaction fee starts at 0.75%.For its part, the transaction fee for domestic cards is more aligned with the rest of the market, being cheaper than SumUp's 2.1% and Square's 2.2%. However, for business owners keen on going the physical store route later down the line, it's worth pointing out that Stripe’s EFTPOS machines are expensive when compared to these providers'. While SumUp and Square start offering card readers at $39 and $65, respectively, Stripe's cheapest reader comes at $89. How do you need to take card payments? In Person Online Over the Phone Multiple / Other Submit How does a payment gateway work?A useful way to think of this technology is that it’s like… a gateway! It’s a place one thing (the customer’s card details) needs to go through to get somewhere else (authorisation of the card by the bank involved).Let’s take a look at where a payment gateway sits in a typical card transaction:There is one more detail to note: you’ll need a merchant account before you can start taking payments. A payment gateway makes the transaction happen, but you still need somewhere for the money to go.Payment gateways commonly come as part of a package when you set up a merchant account. Some providers may charge an additional fee for this service. Other payment services, such as a virtual terminal, pay-by-link feature, and invoicing tool, are also often included as standard with this type of package.However, other payment gateway services offer a service that can work alongside a merchant account from a different provider. This does offer more flexibility and customisability, but it typically comes at a greater cost – and with more hassle. Top 6 things to consider when choosing a payment gateway providerWhen shopping for your payment gateway provider and considering how to get a merchant account, be sure to bear the following factors in mind.1. International supportIn today’s world, you can’t afford to lose business from abroad – or because a buyer didn’t have the right credit card. Make sure your payment gateway supports different card types and currencies. This will help keep your business blossoming beyond borders.2. Transaction volumePayment gateway fees are fickle things; transaction rates often go up and down depending on your turnover. Have a think about how much you’re expecting to sell, and how many transactions will be going through your gateway. It’s important when it comes to selecting the cheapest supplier for your business.3. Customer supportTime is money. If there’s an issue with your payment gateway, you’ll need it sorted as quickly as possible. That, or risk missing out on sales.What kind of customer support does your provider offer? Is it just a web-based service like a chat bot, or can you call up and speak to a real person? Is it available 24/7, or just during business hours?4. Hosted or API?At some stage, you’ll also need to think about how you want to add a payment gateway to your website.The easiest option is to host it on the payment provider’s site. This is also ideal because it means you don’t have to worry about tricky PCI compliance. However, your customers get redirected away from your site to pay – not great for brand-building, or the customer journey at large.The other option is to use an API integration to slot your payment gateway straight into your website. It makes for a smoother payment experience for the customer, although you’ll need some technical knowledge to implement this.5. PCI DSS complianceThis is the Payment Card Industry’s (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). It’s designed to help protect cardholder data and reduce fraud. No matter how big your business is, you’ll need to stay compliant – if you’re taking card payments, that is.Make sure your payment gateway provider is PCI DSS compliant before you go anywhere near a contract!6. Cart compatibilityA payment gateway processes the transaction, but your website will still need a shopping cart system in place. That’s where your customers browse your products, add stuff to their carts, and eventually hit ‘checkout’.Your payment gateway and your shopping cart system need to talk to each other, ensuring your buyer’s journey is a smooth one. This is why you’ll need to make sure your payment gateway provider offers integration with whatever current shopping cart you’re using, or are planning to adopt. Our methodologyOur independent research team compared 11 different research providers to find the best on the market. The 11 were separated into two categories: traditional and mobile and whittled down to the top five. The providers in this list were scored against the following criteria:Price – fees, including transaction fee, minimum monthly account fee, hardware costs, and any other additional charges.Features – whether or not they offered the following features: invoicing, integrations, reporting, and multi-currency support.Customer support – the range of support avenues a customer could accessBrand reputation – online reviews and ratings balanced against the popularity of their brand online. Our verdict and next stepsTill Payments' high customisation made it stand out in the research we carried out. Its pros include reporting, fast payouts, and 24/7 customer support. However, its pricing isn't transparent and you need to request a quote to know how much you'd pay to use it.That said, other providers might serve you better depending on your needs. You might prefer one that offers a super speedy fund transfer time, such as Worldpay, or you want the free EPOS system that Square offers.Whatever your business’ needs are, we’re confident that one of the above providers will meet your requirements. But, you can also use our free quote comparison tool to get matched with trusted suppliers. Just give us a few details about your business and you’ll be matched with trusted providers that contact you directly with obligation-free quotes. FAQs Which is the safest payment gateway? Of the providers in this list, our team of researchers were most impressed with SumUp's data compliance. SumUp is PCI-compliant and utilises 256-bit encryption, the current industry standard for fraud prevention. Which payment gateway is cheapest? eWay is the payment gateway with the cheapest transaction fees among the ones we researched. They vary from 40c to 1.5% + 25c. Which payment gateway is fastest? Out of the 11 providers we've compared, Worldpay has the fastest transfer time of just 30 minutes. Our site is reader-supported. Some featured providers are our partners, so we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through our site. This is at no extra cost to our readers, and this doesn’t affect the independence of our reviews. Whether or not we have a partnership with a company does not affect our rating and review of the service. Written by: Lucas Pistilli Business Services Expert Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS systems, merchant accounts, and franking machines. Having covered business, politics and technology for many years, he’s driven by his passion for the written word and his goal to help people make well-informed decisions. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.