When Raghav Belavadi set out to find the best payment gateway for his business website, he didn’t know what exactly to look for. As the CEO of Hype – Luxury Mobility, Raghav wanted a payments solution that was as tech-driven as his own startup. 

While understanding the benefits for a startup to integrate with a payment gateway is easy, choosing the right payment gateway is not. Like Raghav, many startup founders, small business owners or product managers find it difficult to narrow down on a payment gateway out of all the options available to them. 

But as is seen in the case of Hype, making the correct choice can go a long way in boosting business. In their case, Hype saw 100% efficient systems and 0% downtime in national as well as international transactions. Their transaction speeds became 40% faster, POD efficiency went up by 23% and overheads came down by 72%. All because they integrated with the right payment gateway. 

So, how can you make a choice like Raghav did for Hype? What should you look for in a payment gateway? And which are the best ones? Let’s answer these questions.

What is a payment gateway?

In layman terms, a payment gateway is a software that allows a business to accept digital payments for its customers. 

A payment gateway acts as a bridge or tunnel between the business and the customer by allowing the customer to pay the business through various payment methods like netbanking, credit cards, debit cards, UPI, and more. 

Let’s say you’re looking to order food from Swiggy. After you add items to your cart, you are asked to select a payment method. Depending on the method you choose, you will be asked to enter a PIN, OTP or password. Once the correct information has been given, your transaction is processed and order is placed. All of these payment-related steps happen on a payment gateway that Swiggy has integrated with. 

Businesses like Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon, Flipkart, which see a high volume of orders and transactions every minute integrate with multiple payment gateways. 

What should you look for in a payment gateway?

Any decent payment gateway will come with a standard set of features like:

  • Easy online onboarding
  • Developer-friendly APIs
  • Different payment methods
  • International payments acceptance 
  • Dashboard for insights and analyses
  • PCI-DSS Level 1 security
  • Competitive pricing 

Since most of these features will be common among the top payment gateways, you should do some research to find out what their success rates are, how their customer support is, and do they have additional features.

These additional features could be:

  • A payments app
  • Ability to run offers
  • Facility to offer card and cardless EMIs
  • Customisable checkout options
  • Instant refunds to customers
  • Quick and on-demand settlements

Now, all of this brings us to the primary question we’re trying to answer here – Which is the best payment gateway for you to go for? Well, the answer to that depends on various factors, but here is a shortlist of top ones available for Indian businesses.

Which are the top payment gateways in India?

Disclaimer: All of the information below has been taken from the respective payment gateway’s website.

1) Razorpay

Razorpay is the only payments solution in India that allows businesses to accept, process and disburse payments with its product suite. It gives you access to all payment modes including credit card, debit card, netbanking, UPI and popular wallets including JioMoney, Mobikwik, Airtel Money, FreeCharge, Ola Money and PayZapp.

Razorpay says that you can supercharge your business with their payment gateway, because they offer the easiest integration, completely online onboarding and feature-filled checkout. You can go live quickly with Razorpay. 

They are used by brands like Zomato, Aditya Birla Capital, Airtel, Grofers, Zoho, IRCTC, BookMyShow, etc. 

Some of the features of the Razorpay Payment Gateway are:

  • Accepting payments on all modes
  • Checkout and global card saving
  • Powerful dashboard
  • Built for developers
  • Robust security
  • Easiest integration
  • International payments

Their pricing is as follows:

  • 2% per transaction on Indian consumer cards, debit cards, netbanking, UPI and wallets
  • 3% per transaction on Diners and Amex cards, international cards, EMI and corporate cards 
  • Zero set up fee
  • Zero annual maintenance fee

For more: Razorpay Payment Gateway.

2) PayU

PayU India is the flagship company of Naspers Group. PayU provides payment gateway solutions to online businesses through its cutting-edge and award-winning technology. In India, PayU serves more than 4,50,000+ merchants with over 100+ payment methods.

PayU says that its payment gateway offers the best success rates so that you can give your customers a seamless checkout experience when they transact on your website.

They have helped businesses like Airbnb, Netflix, Cred, Dream11, Goibibo, BookMyShow, Redbus, Ola, etc grow.

Some of the features of the PayU Payment Gateway are:

  • 100+ payment options
  • International payments
  • World class security
  • Production-ready designs
  • Beautiful checkout UI
  • Powerful dashboard

PayU hasn’t listed their pricing on their website but they have mentioned that the price they offer to their merchants for carrying out transactions are the best in the industry, and legal. There are zero set up charges or annual maintenance charges.

For more: PayU Payment Gateway

3) Instamojo

Instamojo is India’s largest, full-stack SME platform. Their mission is to make MSMEs truly empowering. Micro-entrepreneurs, startups, MSMEs use Instamojo to instantly start, sell, manage and grow, using their suite of offerings like payments, free online store, logistics, credit, financing, and more, across mobile & web.

Instamojo says they are the simplest and most powerful payment gateway in India. They are a new-age payment gateway and an end-to-end payments solution.

Some of the features of the Instamojo Payment Gateway are:

  • 100+ payment methods
  • Easy integration
  • PCI-DSS compliant security
  • Multi-channel payment collection
  • Payment tools
  • Customer insights and analytics

Their pricing is as follows:

  • Free NEFT and RTGS transactions
  • 2% plus ₹3 per transaction on UPI, debit cards, credit cards, netbanking and wallets
  • 3% plus ₹3 per transaction on international and Amex cards
  • No setup fee
  • No annual charges

For more: Instamojo Payment Gateway

4) Cashfree

Cashfree is a next-generation payment gateway that helps 50,000 Indian and global businesses collect and disburse payments via almost 100 payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, Rupay, UPI, IMPS, NEFT, Paytm & other wallets, PayLater and various EMI options. Cashfree is backed by Silicon Valley investor Y Combinator and was incubated by Paypal.

Cashfree says it is a domestic and international payment gateway for India. You can use it to choose from a range of integrations to give the best checkout experience to your customers. 

Some of the features of the Cashfree Payment Gateway are:

  • 100+ payment options
  • Fast settlements
  • International payments
  • Customizable checkout page
  • Recurring payments
  • High success rates

Their pricing is as follows:

  • 1.95% per transaction on UPI, credit cards, debit cards and netbanking
  • 2.5% per transaction on PayLater and Cardless EMI
  • 3.5% plus ₹7 per transaction on international cards
  • 2.95% per transaction on Diners Club and American Express
  • Zero setup fee
  • Zero maintenance fee

For more: Cashfree Payment Gateway

These are some of the top or best payment gateways in India. They are listed on the basis of the features and integrations they offer.

You should also ask around in your network for personal recommendations of payment gateways that your contacts would have used or are using. Finally, choose the payment gateway that fits your requirements the best.