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International Payment Gateways

International Payment Gateways Harry Jones

Written by

Harry Jones

Updated 15th April, 2024

Contents

We cover popular payment gateways that are worth considering for UK companies with multinational locations or those looking to process international payments. 

If you are just operating in the UK, we’d recommend you compare the top payment gateways for UK businesses

What is an international payment gateway?

A payment gateway is software that communicates the customer’s payment data with the acquirer.  What makes it international is that for customers around the world, the checkout experience will be localised and with local payment methods, currencies, and languages.

Top international payment gateways for UK SMEs

Worldpay

Worldpay markets itself towards companies of all sizes and offers comprehensive all-in-one international payment solutions. It supports 135 currencies from 146 countries and reportedly processed over $2 trillion in 2022. It’s one of the largest payment gateways and a truly global solution, but it can feel a bit like a legacy system at times.

Worldpay’s checkout can be integrated in various ways. However, it offers strong enterprise solutions with many payment types, including Visa Checkout, PayPal, digital payment links and phone payments. It facilitates over 300 payment methods, and because of its heavy weight infrastructure, it’s a highly safe and reliable option for international payments.

Worldpay Fees

Worlday advertises its standard payment gateway at £19.95 per month with a standard 1.5% transaction fee for Visa/Mastercard payments. In reality, the fees will vary depending on the business type and card turnover. Many businesses will be offered bespoke rates that are lower than this and no monthly gateway costs.

Stripe

With a Total Payment Volume nearing $1 trillion annually, Stripe has become a go-to payment gateway for international sellers.

Stripe facilitates payments in over 135 currencies and is supported in 46 countries. Even more impressive is the suite of integrations that allows it to support local payment methods from around the world, such as iDEAL, PayNow, and various international cards.

The checkout experience (either self-hosted or API) for customers is adapted to their location – up to 34 languages are supported and they will see their local payment options by default.

Stripe shines through as a simple, transparent choice for an international payment gateway. With world-class documentation, it’s ideal for developers, but its great checkout UX makes it worthwhile for many low-code business owners.

Stripe Fees

Stripe’s fees are relatively high compared to the competition.

There’s a fairly consistent fee of 1.50% + 20p for standard domestic cards, but this soon rises to 2.50% + 20p for EEA cards and 3.25% + 20p for non-EEA cards (plus 2% if currency conversion is required).

However, Stripe is pay-as-you-go with no monthly fees, making it a convenient option for low-volume businesses.

Opayo

Opayo (formerly Sage Pay) is a relatively new payment processing brand, but its parent company, Elavon, is an industry giant. Opayo serves a range of businesses and has many solutions, from multi-channel tracking to custom reporting. It accepts the typical large payment processors like PayPal and Visa/Mastercard and has a similar fee structure to Worldpay.

Opayo accepts Pay By Link, but also has a fully customisable checkout and a flexible API. Opayo is perhaps more focused on large business solutions, with its dedicated account manager and strong risk management.

Opayo Flex is the cheapest monthly package but lacks international capabilities. Opayo Plus accepts a strong range of payment methods from Europe.

Opayo Fees

 FixedPay as you go
Monthly fee£25£0
Transaction FeeFrom 0.99%*1.99%*
Other Differences350 Free Transactions£0.12 gateway click-fee
Joining Fee£0£99

*Transaction fees are subject to card volume and fees will reduce as card volume increases.

Checkout.com

Founded in the same year as Stripe, Checkout.com a global payment gateway that processes over 150 currencies in almost 50 countries. When it comes to settlement, there are 20 currencies to choose from, making it a popular option for a multi-currency payment gateway. They also have an impressive 19 offices around the world with customer support in 15 countries.

Checkout.com has both a strong API and hosted gateway, along with zero set-up or foreign transaction fees. Direct debits, Klarna, Alipay, AMEX, and many local payment methods are accepted. Their sophisticated fraud protection and reporting make them popular in a broad range of industries, including high-risk sectors like crypto.

Checkout.com Fees

Either a flat rate or Interchange++ can be used for card processing, whilst varying gateway and payment method fees will apply to alternative payment methods.

Mollie

Mollie is a Dutch payment service provider that has raised almost $1 billion in funding so far. With the FCA granting their payment institution license in 2023, they’re now another option to consider. With no contracts and easy onboarding, Mollie provides localised payments to your global customer base.

Mollie is available in all EEA countries, along with Switzerland and the UK. It provides payouts in eight currencies (EUR, GBP, DKK, NOK, PLN, SEK, CHF, USD). Mollie also supports customer payments in a modest 29 currencies, some of which are just using PayPal, just using credit cards or a mix of both. Around 31 local payment methods are accepted, such as SEPA, iDEAL, and P24.

Mollie Fees

Mollie charges 1.20% + £0.20 per Visa and Mastercard and 2.90% + £0.20 for other cards. Lower fees are available for larger companies processing over 2,500 transactions or €50,000 per month.

For EU customers, Mastercard and Visa payments are charged at 1.8% + € 0.25, while commercial & non-EU cards are 2.9% + € 0.25. These fees are reasonably competitive but also beneficial to have just two primary prices.

CardStream

CardStream is a relatively small payment service provider based in rural England. The payment gateway has a comprehensive set of features, from 3-D Secure and DDoS mitigation to recurring payments and velocity checking.

Unlike Mollie, CardStream offers an independent white-label payment gateway for software providers, payment services providers, acquirers, ISO’s and value added service providers.

It integrates with 400 acquirers including Worldpay and Elavon. Its white label nature makes it easy to rebrand and it supports over 150 alternative payment methods.

International Payment Gateways cardsteam partners

CardStream supports:

  • 400 Acquirers
  • Card schemes from 120+ countries
  • 100+ Reseller Partners

CardStream Fees

Cardstreams transaction fees will depend on the acquirer, card scheme and payment method.

Adyen

Adyen is yet another Dutch payment company with a focus on enterprise solutions. It has advanced development tools and strong revenue protection fraud features. Adyen’s omnichannel focus makes it powerful for global online and in-person payments.

In-person payments are supported in five American countries, six APAC countries, most of Europe, the UAE, and supports 30 languages. Online payments are made in the customer’s local currency with a strong range of local payment methods.

It’s possible to configure payouts in multiple currencies depending on the merchant account, and the local payout currency options will depend on your location.

Adyen Fees

Fees are dependent on the payment method and location. Standard cards like Visa and Mastercard have transaction fees based on the interchange plus pricing model and are charged at 0.60% + 10p + Interchange Fees +  Scheme fees.

Other cards will be charged at significantly higher fixed rates such as Amex which fees of 3.95% globally or 3.3% + $0.10 in the US.

There is no monthly fees for using the Adyen gateway despite strong development tools and features.

Revolut

Renowned for being a multi-currency wallet unicorn, Revolut is not commonly known for its international payment processing. Revolut integrates with WooCommerce, Shopify, and a few others, whilst offering API access to its Revolut Business customers. Otherwise, payment links and invoices are also an option.

Revolut’s payment gateway prioritises Revolut Pay, but also accepts card payments within the checkout experience, along with Apple and Google Pay. A merchant account can accept payments in up to 30 currencies.

Subscriptions and fast checkouts are possible, but ultimately, the biggest benefit is the existing multi-currency infrastructure.

Revolut Fees

Revolut’s merchant account uses per-transaction pricing.

  • 1% + £0.20 for UK Visa & Mastercard cards (0.8% + £0.02 in-person), Revolut Pay, and Easy Bank Transfer
  • 1.5% + £0.20 for UK AMEX cards
  • 2.8% + £0.20 per transaction for commercial cards or consumer cards outside the UK (2.6% + £0.02 in-person).

Transfers from the merchant account to the business account are free. From here, a freemium model is used, with a £1,000 monthly limit on its interbank-rate currency exchange.

PayPal

PayPal continues to be one of the leading international payment systems. It scores very high in trustworthiness and is very easy to set up. Despite being available in more countries than are formally recognised by the UN, it only supports 25 currencies.

PayPal has a simple but effective hosted gateway which has no set-up or monthly fees but instead has per-transaction pricing and expensive currency conversion. It also offers PayPal Payments Pro, which caters to more customisable solutions, and these may be better suited to an international checkout experience.

PayPal has an API which has a high number of locale codes. However, PayPal is one of the few gateways that may still be effective in its out-of-the-box form all around the world.

PayPal Fees

PayPal has a long list of processing fees that vary widely, with high currency conversion costs and varying currency-based fixed fees. The gateway itself can be free if hosted on PayPal, otherwise PayPal Payments Pro costs £20 a month.

Braintree

Braintree is a PayPal-owned US company that accepts online payments through major cards, PayPal, and digital wallets like Google Pay. Its strength is in having access to PayPal’s infrastructure, strong fraud detection, and simple onboarding and reporting. Braintree is limited in payment methods that it accepts, which is not ideal as an international payment gateway.

Building the checkout experience can be done with ‘Drop-in’ with just a few lines of code, or ‘Cusom-UI’, which has greater flexibility and more integrations.

From the Braintree API, 135 currencies are accepted in 44 countries, though there are fewer currencies for settlement (subject to being approved by relevant banking partners). Payouts can be scaled globally to recipients in over 200 countries using Hyperwallet.

Braintree Fees

The payment gateway, reporting, integrations, fraud tools, and support come free – while additional features like 3D Secure and custom fraud protection have enterprise pricing.

For payment processing, a relatively high 1.90% + £0.20 is charged per transaction. For transactions outside of the UK, an additional 1% is applied, which is reasonably competitive. Discounted rates are possible when processing over £50,000 per month.

Interchange plus pricing is available for European merchants, while a separate 1.5% is applied to multi-currency transactions (3% if the currency is “exotic”).

Total Processing

Total Processing is a medium-sized payment company that was acquired by NomuPay towards the end of 2023. Total Processing claims to have a safe, 24/7 payment gateway that specialises in high-risk accounts. This means it will serve businesses within gambling, Forex, adult entertainment, cryptocurrency, and so on.

Total Processing has a strong checkout UX with real-time validation and localised payment methods and language. Various e-commerce integrations are possible too.

Over 198 payment methods are available from over 180 currencies, including PayPal, Klarna, and pay by link, as well as recurring payments and a virtual terminal. Comprehensive features are included, like real-time insights and fraud prevention.

Total Processing partnered with IFX Payments in order to help clients manage a 39-currency account.

Totalprocessing.com Fees

Pricing is bespoke due to the nature of accepting high-risk merchants and transaction fees will depend on the payment methods used.

Cashflows

Cashflows is a medium-sized merchant payment with offices in the UK and Netherlands. Cashflows cater to varying business sizes, with features such as:

  • 3DS 2.2
  • Card-on-file for returning purchases
  • Pay by link
  • Virtual terminals
  • Facilitates purchases with most major wallets and card types.

Multi-currency payments are possible in “most major currencies”, and merchant account services are available to firms in the EEA and UK. Its omnichannel solutions and real-time monitoring make it similar to Adyen, which is also Dutch.

Cashflows.com Fees

Cashflows.com uses Interchange++ pricing.

Fondy

Fondy is both a one-click payment page and a banking platform that focuses on cross-border payments. With over 300 payment methods, Fondy uses the geolocation of the end user to display the most relevant payment options. This allows payments in 150 currencies from over 200 countries, as well as displaying the local language.

Fondy has a very strong website with clear pricing, and its customer support team speaks 16 languages. Payments can be made in-app, on social media platforms, with a link, QR code, and many other ways.

There’s a strong focus on security, API development, and funds can be settled in the same currency. Split payouts (i.e. for commission and multiple partners) are possible and in multiple currencies. It also has local routing for payouts in over 35 countries and 20+ currencies.

Fondy.io Fees

Fondy has no set-up or monthly costs. Its pricing model for UK-based firms starts at:

  • 1.40% + 20p for major consumer card payments
  • 2% + 20p for domestic commercial card payments
  • 2% + 20p for EEA cards
  • 0.5% + 20p for alternative payment methods
  • 3.2% + 20p for international debit cards
  • 1.2% + 20p for bank transfers

Unlike Stripe, Fondy doesn’t charge for invoicing, advanced analytical reporting, advanced fraud monitoring, or recurring billing.

Factors consider when choosing a payment gateway for international transactions

What can add up with international sales are the cross-border and currency exchange fees. It’s really important to have a localised checkout experience so it’s responsive to the customers’ language and preferred payment method, but also cost-effectively managing those multiple currencies.

Secondly, smaller businesses may want to opt for per-transaction pricing (Stripe, Fondly), while larger firms may benefit from volume-based pricing (Worldpay, Mollie). But, assess what proportion of your sales are international first.

International payments are at higher risk of fraud, so having strong fraud protection technology, revenue-protection services, and PCI compliance are also key considerations.

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