Some people prefer to rent accommodations. Others think that nothing is better than “a place of your own”. But what does the term “place of your own” mean? Is it a house you build from scratch? Or is it just a room in a dorm with your name on the door? After all, anyone can visit you in a dorm, in a rented apartment, or in your own house. And from the visitor’s viewpoint, the experience might feel more or less the same.
Similar situation is witnessed at the payment gateway services market. With the advance of merchant services industry many people and companies are considering the option of becoming payment gateway providers.
Most companies that accept electronic payments initially use third-party gateway solutions. Then their processing volumes grow. And their needs become more sophisticated. So, they start thinking of providing gateway services under their own brands. As a result, we are hearing such terms as “your own payment gateway” or “white-label gateway solution” more and more frequently. What do these terms actually mean? It seems like everyone using them has some specific interpretation in mind.
In fact, there are many options you can follow when it comes to payment gateway services. They range from third-party gateway solution to a payment gateway product you truly own. Between them lies a wide spectrum of white-label solution flavors.
Let us take a closer look at the 4 shades of white-label payment gateway solutions.
- An ordinary white-label payment gateway product. This is a gateway that is yours only in name. Similar to a room in the dorm with your name on the door. Actual service is provided by the third party, but in the eyes of your customers, you are the service provider. Such a solution is good for boosting your image and reputation. It does not cost you much. All the major issues, such as PCI compliance, integrations, etc are handled by the third party. But you have almost no control over payment processing. You can add almost no new features to the product. (You are not authorized to rebuild a rented apartment or a dorm room, are you?). Plus, you have to share the service with other customers. This may result in frequent slowdowns.
- A dedicated payment gateway instance. No slowdowns, because you are the primary user of the payment gateway product instance. You can add some new features to the product. And you still do not have to handle PCI compliance and integrations, because the third party still takes care about these issues. You are using dedicated servers. Consequently, the solution is a bit more expensive, than an ordinary white-label gateway, because server maintenance is an additional cost. Its capacity is limited by capacities of the servers.
- Virtual payment gateway solution. The advantages are as follows. No physical installation of the product on dedicated servers, as in the previous case. No PCI certification required. Your virtual gateway is located on dedicated nodes within a cluster. As a result, at peak times other cluster nodes can absorb the load. Consequently, the solution is even less expensive than a dedicated instance. However, it provides you with only a limited control over the process. It also limits you ability to add new features, schedule updates and outages.
- Licensed payment gateway solution. This one is similar to an apartment of your own. You can change and reorganize it is you please. Just pay the utility bills on time. And if something goes wrong, you can always call the plumber or the electrician to fix the problem. In payment gateway terms, the situation looks as follows. If you license a gateway solution with open source code, you can customize it as you please. For that end you can use your own development efforts, or turn to experienced development team of the license provider. Same applies to tech support. Usually, the license owner’s team is there to help. You have to assume responsibility for PCI compliance, certifications, and integrations of your gateway product. However, licensed gateway products are often already complete with integrations with some of your target processors and acquirers. So, to put it shortly: almost boundless control over the process, but higher costs and responsibility levels.
So, which flavor of white-label payment gateway solution should you choose? Well, everything depends on your particular situation, needs, and processing volumes. If you are seriously considering the options, feel free to consult payment experts at unipaygateway.com.