When it comes to apps, monetising your user base can be a crucial means of generating revenue for many businesses. One obvious way of achieving this is to sell via the app: through in-app purchases that add functionality, perhaps, or by offering direct purchase of “real-world” products and services.

Just as with a website, however, in order to accept payments via an app, you are going to need to select a payment gateway. This is simply a service which helps the seller acquire payment for your product – but it needs, of course, to be secure, reliable and smooth to use.

The payment gateway is a complex piece of it. It helps transfer data between the customer, your acquiring bank, bank networks and the issuing bank. It can also perform fraud checks and provide other security measures. Despite all this work it’s doing, it also needs to be light and intuitive – a seamless, secure process that inspires confidence in your users.

PayPal is one of the best-known payment gateways, of course. Amazon Payments, Stripe and WorldPay are good examples of others. The trick, then, is to choose the right provider for you.

How to do that? First and foremost, check that your app framework is supported. Not every payment gateway accepts every type of app. Once you’ve confirmed that the two are compatible, you can go ahead and integrate – each provider gives access to what are known as SDK kits, which offer detailed instructions on how to do this.

Of course, you also need to consider your budget. The various payment gateways each operate a different charging model. For this fee, they add additional features to your app to ensure security and stability: for example, storing protection for the card data, modules for managing refunds, channels for linking a financial institution with your app and so on.

All this is great, but you need to know how much you’ll be charged, and by what mechanism. Review carefully each gateway’s terms: do they employ a subscription or commission arrangement, a flat fee or a flexible one? Compare the various offers.

Finally, you’ll want to ensure your network is secure. If you’re offering online payments, you need to keep your customers safe – and for them to feel that way. Regular testing of your security infrastructure is critical, as is ensuring that your transactions meet PCI DSS standards. Give your due diligence here: it matters.

There’s a great run-down of eleven of the best payment gateway options available here. Looking at each, in turn, keeping in mind all of the above, and considering how they would work for your specific app and particular needs, is the smartest way to choose the best payment gateway for you.

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We provide mobile app design and development for all project requirements, both consumer and business apps. If you’re in need of a mobile app or just have an idea for a project you wish to discuss, please contact us to arrange a consultancy.

Call us on 024 7683 4780 or email us at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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