When picking a payment gateway provider, you’re probably going to be looking at a few things:
Scalability: can the provider grow with your business?
Pricing: what would be the most cost-effective pricing model for your company?
Payment methods: does the provider allow me to offer the right payment methods for my customers?
Fraud prevention: does the provider have the right processes in place to reduce chargebacks and prevent fraud?
Whether you are starting a new business, bringing one to Australia, or just looking for better payment gateway providers in Australia, we have gathered a selection of solutions to help you decide on the best option for you.
In this article, we will discuss:
Looking to get started with a payment gateway? At Zai, we help Australian businesses accept multiple payment methods and set up payment workflows that work for their business. Get in touch with us to learn more.
At Zai, we’re a full-suite, solutions-focused payment partner that provides payment gateway solutions for tech-focused companies in Australia. Here are some features and benefits that come with working with us.
We’re a payment partner that can scale with you
When you work with us, you won’t get a hands-off, “do it yourself” experience. At Zai, we work with you one on one to make sure we’re providing a payment solution that fits your needs.
Some of the other solutions we offer include:
Multiple payment methods via a single API. With us, you can accept card payments, direct debits, BPAY, NPP real-time transactions, and a lot more. If you’re unable to accept card payments, we can set up an alternative solution for you.
Set up custom payment workflows. We have experience building payment workflows for companies with complex payment needs via APIs. With Zai, you can collect funds, split payments and set up instant transfers.
Reconcile payments automatically. You won’t have to manually upload ABA or CSV files. With Zai, each of the customers in your platform are assigned a unique virtual account that will automatically match, reconcile and track all your transactions in real time with API webhooks. Streamline your accounting processes with our bespoke reconciliation solutions and settlement APIs.
Recurring billing integration, ideal for subscription-based businesses.
Bringing these features together has allowed us to support innovative online marketplaces and platforms as they overcome their challenges with a payment solution designed to work for them.
For example, Anywhere Auctions needed an innovative way to process payments and reduce fraudulent transactions.
We helped them to:
Provide their customers with a seamless, hassle-free experience in bidding on items using multiple payment methods on a single platform.
Give their customers and the host the security that funds are safe during bidding and the assurance of completed payments on sold items.
Reduce costs in terms of fees and automate the payment processing so that manual reconciliation or a dedicated credit department isn't necessary.
Read more about the case study here: Anywhere Auctions: Bringing Real Estate Sales Home
Our card fees are affordable
Whereas other companies charge high card fees, we keep ours to one of the most competitive in the market for both domestic and international transactions.
We charge 1.5% + $0.16 for domestic cards and 2.8% + $0.16 for international cards.
Here's more information on our cards offer:
Accept more than just card payments
Zai connects to the payment gateway on your behalf so you don’t have to. This means we can scale with you by allowing you to offer more than just card payments.
We support almost all Australian payment options:
Credit (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) and debit cards.
NPP real-time bank payments, including PayTo.
By using real-time account-to-account payments that are made even easier with PayID, we can clear and settle transactions in minutes as funds become available. This is especially important for time-sensitive marketplaces such as delivery apps, perishable food deliveries, crypto platforms or online auctions.
Have the right fraud protection in place from day one
In the payment world, customers are often the best protected. But what about your business? With our fraud protection and transaction monitoring tools, we can ensure you have the proper protection against unreasonable chargebacks and fraud. While we offer safeguards for your end customers, such as PCI DSS, we also care about protecting your business.
Our suite of tools can make your payment systems more secure by:
Automatically tracking transactions to detect anomalies instantly.
Verifying customers to ensure funds flow from and to the right people.
Investigating disputes before issuing chargebacks to confirm the authenticity.
Adding extra layers of protection against fraud with solutions that consider your platform's unique features.
We’re API first, so you can design payment flows exactly as you need them
By working with Zai, you can offer multiple payment methods with just one API. Our technical documents are clear and easy to follow, and we’ll help you set up the API in the way that works best for your business.
We’re one of the very few direct debit providers that offer direct debits and other payment methods via API, which means you can set up a fully automated and tailored solution that fits with your current setup.
Our API compiles a list of transactions and cross-references it with your customers’ data. You’ll get notifications via webhooks when a payment is processed, and it’ll be automatically reconciled with your own set of transactions.
Who is Zai best for?
Zai is best suited for companies that need the following:
Companies with complex payment workflows requiring customised payment solutions. For example, a proptech company that wants to split payments according to percentages.
Growing, fast-paced companies that need payments to arrive fast and securely.
Innovative companies looking to reimagine the industry landscape that need more than one-size-fits-all alternatives.
Australian firms looking for a local payment partner who will help them grow.
We know that Zai might not be a good fit for everyone, so here are some other payment gateway providers that might be worth considering:
Stripe is one of the world's largest payment processors and is best known for providing online stores with credit and debit card payment options.
It's present in over 135 countries but has dual headquarters in the US and Ireland. Its main features include:
Easy-to-use interface and an API they claim you can install in minutes.
Standard, out-of-the-box solution with by-the-numbers onboarding.
A global presence that supports e-commerce expansion into new markets.
Stripe charges 1.75% + $0.30 for domestic cards and 2.9% + $0.30 for international cards.
There are some drawbacks to using Stripe, particularly for online businesses with more complex payment processing needs. Stripe's size also translates into higher transaction fees and the potential for being de-platformed as the company takes an impersonal approach to onboarding and dealing with customers.
Who is Stripe best suited for? Online shops that need a simple solution to get paid and are looking to expand globally.
PayPal is one of the most trusted names in online payments. They have been around since the early days of online transactions and have the advantage of name recognition. This helps customers trust their available payment options.
PayPal offers features designed for e-commerce companies. It has its own digital wallet system that allows millions of people to pay without getting out their cards. Its main features include:
Industry-standard payment platform that allows businesses to receive credit card payments and transfers from the company's own wallet system.
Internal dispute resolution system providing trust for platform customers and encouraging shopping.
Global presence, multi-currency payment, and some customisation of tools.
PayPal charges 2.6% + $0.30 for domestic cards and 3.6% + $0.30 for international cards.
As a large company, PayPal has some of the same trade-offs as Stripe, such as relatively high fees and one-size-fits-all solutions. PayPal's solution to KYC and dispute resolution is to hold funds for longer, which gets in the way of more disruptive companies looking for instant payment solutions.
Additionally, paying through PayPal requires the customer to go to a different webpage to pay through its own software, adding unnecessary steps and time to complete payments.
Who is PayPal best suited for? Online businesses and retailers who need an effective way to receive payments from credit and debit cards. It's the entry-level payment solution for e-commerce and small businesses online.
Braintree is PayPal's solution to providing more tech-forward solutions for developers.
While PayPal offers simplicity and getting started quickly for businesses of all sizes, Braintree targets more advanced developers who need sophisticated payment solutions. It's for businesses that need more than just credit card processing. Some of its features include:
The same global reach and features as PayPal (as its subsidiary).
Contains most of the popular payment methods, such as Apple and Google Pay.
Optimised for web and mobile.
Braintree charges 3.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
Also, as a subsidiary of PayPal, it has some of the same drawbacks, such as high fees. It also targets more prominent companies, focusing on providing scale over personalisation. But, unlike PayPal, it allows the payment solution to be integrated into your website.
Who is Braintree best suited for? E-commerce platforms growing in size and sophistication (outgrowing PayPal) with a relatively comfortable budget.
Autorize.net is the mirror image of Visa. While Visa cards allow customers to pay for things, Authorize.net allows businesses to accept credit cards and other payment methods such as Apple Pay and PayPal.
Its primary function is as a payment gateway provider, both online and offline, and it has limited solutions for more advanced tech development. Some of its features include:
Online businesses can accept payments from major card providers as well as Apple Pay and PayPal.
Solutions for different levels of expertise, from businesses who need to accept payments for products to advanced developers needing specific tools.
Brand recognition and the ability to integrate the payment solution into your own website.
Authorise.net charges a monthly gateway fee of US$25 and 2.9% + US$0.30 per transaction.
As a counterpart to the largest credit card provider in the world, Authorize.net has a better fee scheme than many of its competitors. But its main focus is on providing credit and debit card payments, so additional services such as digital wallets and customisable payment schemes are more "add-ons" than main features.
Who is Authorize.net best suited for? E-commerce companies looking to get a reliable, if not the most sophisticated or customisable, way to get card payments.
What matters most when choosing a gateway payment partner?
With so many payment gateway providers in Australia, it can take time to figure out which is the best for you. Although some seem relatively similar, there are some striking differences between them. Here is what our experts believe might help you pick the perfect option for your business.
1. What fees do they charge?
Payment gateway providers are eager to woo clients with competitive pricing, but there are some significant differences among them.
More prominent firms might offer lower prices but less flexibility, whereas bespoke solutions come with customised prices. New companies looking to disrupt the way services are provided might focus on their business needs before worrying about price. On the other hand, smaller companies that are looking for a simple, out-of-the-box solution to allow card payment on their site might put price as a higher priority.
Using pricing to pick your payment gateway provider in Australia can be a double-edged sword. Often, when confronted with various options, you may want to pick the more budget-friendly. The issue is that you might miss out on a solution that best suits your needs.
Although you always want to look at the pricing of a payment gateway provider, make sure that what they offer actually fits your needs.
2. Do they offer an integrated or hosted API?
Some websites allow customers to make payments on their platform. In contrast, others require opening a pop-up window to verify the customer account and process the payment on a partner platform – for example, PayPal.
While it's reassuring to know the payment is processed by a company customers recognise, it also takes them out of your platform. It also increases the complexity of making payments.
When choosing between the two, make sure to have a discussion internally about which option might be better for your customers. If you have a complex payment workflow and want to have control over the customer journey, then an integrated API will be better. If you are looking for an off-the-shelf solution that works, a hosted API will be a better option.
However, you’ll also need to consider your PCI compliance requirements with this option.
With a host form solution, the impact of PCI compliance and PCI assessment overheads is reduced. With a more integrated approach, the PCI burden is completely on the business.
3. What’s the settlement time?
With certain payment gateways, it can take up to ten days for a payment to process. Other companies offer "buyer protection" by not releasing the funds until the buyer acknowledges receipt of the goods or services. If you are selling items overseas, which can take weeks to arrive, this could mean waiting a long time for your funds to become available.
This can be an even bigger problem if you're looking to disrupt the current market by offering a faster service through new technology. For example, food delivery apps must ensure they complete payments quickly and allow tipping.
When choosing a payment gateway provider, make sure to ask what the settlement time is and if it’s fast enough for your business.
4. Do they offer good customer service?
Many of Australia's best-known payment gateway providers are large multinational corporations with a set way of doing things. They might have offices in Australia, but they provide their customer service elsewhere and not within your business hours.
This can increase the lag time in dealing with problems as they arise. It also means that company representatives might not be aware of Australian legislation and payment practices.
For example, if one of your customers in Sydney has a payment issue and your payment service provider representative is in San Francisco, you risk losing that client.
With fast and local customer service that is based in Australia, you’ll help reduce stress and be able to escalate major issues to your clients immediately. If this is important to you, make sure the payment gateway has offices based in Australia.
5. Are you well protected as a business?
Payment gateway providers go to great lengths to protect customers, but they don't make nearly the same effort to help businesses.
Some payment gateway providers, for example, are notorious for offboarding businesses. Many credit card companies simply reverse payments at consumers' request, leaving the business to pay. Many of these practices open the door to abuse and fraud.
This is why it's essential to check what protections a prospective payment partner sets you up with as a business. This includes Know Your Customer (KYC), which allows the pre-screening of customers to ensure payments go smoothly and reduce the risk of (sometimes expensive) chargebacks.
At Zai, for example, we allow for geo-referencing to prevent payments from specific demographics or locations so that you can make sure your product or service reaches customers who will be happy.
If this is important to your company, make sure you pick a payment gateway provider that can protect you as well as your customer.
What makes Zai the right payment gateway provider in Australia?
Zai has been providing gateway payment solutions in Australia for ten years. Our team of experts has been helping some of the major online marketplaces and platforms to start up and grow.
By offering a full suite of customisable solutions tailored to your business, we help you reduce the complexity of managing payments and support your future expansion.
Want to learn more about how we can help you? Get in touch with one of our experts today.
This information is correct as of December 2022 This information is not to be relied on in making a decision with regard to an investment. We strongly recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment or significant financial transaction. This article is purely for general information purposes.