How to Accept Online Payments on your Website

accept payments online

In this post I will explain how you can accept online payment via your website. 

How Do I Accept Online Payments On My Website?

Watch this video where we explain in detail…

In this video I’m going to explain:

  • The different options for accepting online payments
  • How much you can expect to pay to process payments
  • I’ll show you why you always need a fallback plan in place
  • & I’ll give you my recommendation for the best way to accept online payments

Hi, I’m Tony Messer – the founder of Pickaweb, the web hosting company that helps businesses get online, get found and get more customers.

I’ve worked with thousands of businesses of all sizes and my businesses have sold millions of pounds worth of online services so I’ve got plenty of experience with online payments.

So traditionally to accept online payments you’ve needed 2 things:

First you’ll need a Merchant account from your bank.

Then you’ll need a front end payment gateway service.

The Merchant account is basically a special type of bank account that allows your business to accept debit & credit card payments.

The Payment gateway is like the front end that integrates with your website and then links up with your Merchant Account.

What Payment Gateways Should I Use?

In terms of payment gateways there are plenty available such as WorldPay or SagePay and some of them will even include the Merchant Account so you can keep it all under one roof.

They’ll also store the card details in their systems so that you don’t need to keep card details yourself.

The way that they work is that they will take a small percentage from each transaction and they may also charge a monthly fee for their services.

There are loads of options out there. But overall you’ll be paying anywhere from 1.5% to 3.5% in total per transaction plus any other monthly fees that apply.

Regardless of who you use you just need to factor in these costs – it’s the price of doing business online.

When you make an application for these you’ll need to provide details of your new business and include projections of sales as well as details of any directors or major shareholders of the business.

Then you’ll need to sit tight for a few weeks while their underwriting team verify your application and consider the potential risks. At the end they’ll either approve or decline your application.

Now that’s a really important point so I’ll repeat it: They have the ability to reject your application.

Don’t consider it a forgone conclusion that you’ll automatically be accepted for a Merchant Account or the Payment Gateway.

I bring this to your attention because the last thing you want is to be ready to launch your new online store but you can’t take payments.

Imagine how you’d feel if that happened.

So consider some alternatives.


Whichever card option you eventually choose I would always recommend that you offer your customers the option to pay with PayPal anyway.

Some people just prefer to pay with PayPal.

Another option with PayPal is that they allow customers to pay you using a debit or credit card even if they haven’t got a PayPal account.

The beauty of PayPal is that it is quick and easy to apply. There are checks that you need to go through to prove your identity and to confirm your bank account details but these are pretty straightforward.


Another service we would recommend is Stripe for accepting card payments.

As with PayPal the application process is quick and straightforward and your account is set up instantly so you can integrate it very quickly with your ecommerce store.

They do have certain business sectors that they won’t work with so do check these before applying.

But the great thing about Stripe is there’s no waiting about for weeks to get approved.

The Stripe interface is really slick and easy to navigate and it has tons of features that can help you sell more such as recurring payments so your customers don’t need to keep adding their card details.

Their charges are reasonable and certainly not excessive.

Obviously they will monitor the payments coming into your account which is how they measure the risk of your business.

If you start to get lots of customer disputes then they may suspend your account whilst they investigate your business further.

But overall I think Stripe is a great option for new Ecommerce merchants.

So there you go. That’s how to accept online payments.

Being able to accept online payments on your website it´s easy.

Payment gateways are essential for accepting online payments from your customers. Without them, they would have to give you their card details over the phone. Or they’d have to send a payment such as a cheque or postal order to you.

I hope you found this post on how to accept payments from your website useful.

Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.


  1. 1

    “Thanks for explaining all the Payment Gateway Provider together in one post. I enjoyed reading this, I’m surprised that Some of those online store solutions don’t support a variety of payment gateway options since it is necessary in today’s digital world.”

  2. 3

    Many of the commercial banks offer ways to may payments online. I recently set up a company in the UK whereby their payment gateway is from Barclay’s where their merchant account is located. Thereby bypassing all the fees the 3rd parties charge. It has saved them 1000’s in fees even though Barclays charge per transaction, they do this anyways because they use their point-of-sale system in the physical place.

  3. 4

    Hi I really want to start up a small business selling online homeward. I have been to the bank to ask for a business account which is now open and I have told them I want to accept online payments through my website. Have I opened the wrong type of bank account?

    • 5

      You need a business bank account.
      But you also need to get an account with an online payment gateway so that you can accept online payments.
      The easiest one is PayPal.

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