The complete guide to online payment gateway systems in Nigeria

Posted by Osaze Osoba | May 15, 2017 | News
a complete guide to online payment gateways

Why this guide?

We already wrote about online payment gateways before now. And while it was a good post, it wasn’t complete. Never felt like it was either. I receive a lot of calls from entrepreneurs looking to set up online businesses, and a major concern is online payment. How do users pay with their debit cards? How much does it cost to set up the gateway? What technical requirements are needed?

The questions are endless and there’s no one resource that answers it all. That’s the purpose for this guide. We’d talk about the currently available payment gateways, how much they cost, ease of implementation and their unique features.

Who is this guide for?

If you’re looking to setup an ecommerce (online) store, this is for you.This guide also helps developers figure out what the best approach is for client websites.

How to use the guide

If you already have a specific online payment gateway system you’re trying to look up, check the table of content. If you’re not sure what Nigerian payment gateway system you need to use, I’d recommend taking a look at all of them. I’ve also posted a checklist of features you should check for while deciding on a payment gateway. You might not find one gateway that has it all, but you should get something pretty close. Remember, your customers are going to be using this to make card transactions online, which are the best types of orders, so pay extra attention to detail.

We have also included links to download free & paid plugins that let you integrate these payment gateways into the most popular ecommerce CMS platforms. Most of these plugins are plug and play and don’t require any coding experience. You can check out the full list here

Quick links to key areas

Quickteller / Interswitch payment gateway
Paystack
Voguepay
Simplepay
Amplify pay
GTPay
Table of comparison
Plugins for integration with CMS platforms
Conclusion – Which gateway is right for you?

 

Quickteller / Interswitch payment gateway

This is one of the oldest payment gateways around, only other payment system that has been around that long is etranzact. And this is Quickteller’s biggest selling point, it’s age, which comes with a lot of trust from users. It’s important to note that a lot of other payment gateways still connect to them and act as middle men.

I’ve personally had to integrate Quickteller in the past. Even after installing the plugins and testing things on my end, took me almost a month of emails back and forth to go live. I do hope their services are much better now

Pros    Well known brand
   Trusted by most users
   Largest payment gateway
Cons    Difficult to integrate without plugin
   Redirects out of your website
Cost    N150,000 license fee
   1.5% per transaction up to N2,000

 

Paystack Payment Gateway

Paystack is one of the newest entrants into the Nigerian payment gateway ecosystem. But it has fast become one of the preferred gateways, especially for developers. It’s simple UI and ease of implementation are two of the most common factors. Paystack offers a few new features including allowing users save their card details while making payments. Which means repeat users have a faster checkout process. Although it’s active user base is still small (only about 100,000 transactions last month), paystack looks like it’s the next big thing. It also doesn’t require an upfront fee

Pros    Liked by developers
   Easy to integrate and open an account
   Clean and modern UI
   No redirect. Transaction happens on your website
Cons    Higher per transaction fees
   Still lacking in public recognition/trust
Cost    No upfront license fee
   1.5% + N100 per transaction

 

Simplepay Payment Gateway

Simplepay has been around for a while now. It was one of the first few gateways that acted as middlemen between clients and Interswitch to reduce the effect of the upfront cost  charged by Interswitch. The platform recently rebranded with a cleaner UI and simpler payment process. I cannot say at the moment if it still runs on Interswitch’s Webpay. The simplepay payment gateway is quite good and customer service for developers and clients isn’t bad too.

Pros    Easy to integrate and open an account
   Clean and modern UI
   No redirect. Transaction happens on your website
Cons    Higher per transaction fees
   Not enough recognition/trust
Cost    No upfront license fee
   1.9% + N10 per transaction

 

VoguePay Payment Gateway

Voguepay is very similar to Simplepay and has been around for some time too. And while they have similar features, Voguepay tries to diversify a little. You can send and receive money from local/international accounts through the platform. The homepage does mention an option of offline transactions but I haven’t used that before and I’m not sure how it works. Compared to Simplepay though, I’d say Simplepay looks to be a better option to go with.

Pros    Easy to integrate and open an account
   A few more features for businesses
 Cons    Higher per transaction fees
   Not enough recognition/trust
 Cost    No upfront license fee
   0.99% + N99 withdrawal fee
   1.5% + N30 per transaction
   N1,500 merchant verification fee

 

GTPay

While a lot of the banks (almost all of them) have payment gateway systems that feed off Quickteller, GTPay is the most noteworthy. It is easily accessible to all of its business customers. And yes, you do need to have a GT account opened with the bank to use this gateway. It is largely supported by the trust from the GT brand and so is seen as a preferred gateway. And although the platform still connects to Quickteller to function, the upfront fee is reduced by half to about N75,000.

Pros    Highly trusted brand
   Reduced upfront fee for Interswitch integration
   Get paid directly into your GTBank account
 Cons    Still more expensive than some payment gateways
   Must own GTBank business account
   Tougher account opening processes
  Cost    N75,000 license fee
   1.5% + N30 per transaction

 

AmplifyPay Recurring Payment System

The last mention on my list is a gateway I haven’t seen take off just yet but is worth mentioning. AmplifyPay was one of the first gateways to really focus on recurring payments for proper subscription models. Which is something else that isn’t really big in Nigeria today but has a lot of potential. The gateway focuses on business models that require users to pay periodically, like a monthly payment for magazine subscriptions. And while I have not had a chance to work with this personally, the API documentation seems pretty clear.

Pros    Easy to integrate and open an account
   Clean and modern UI
   No redirect. Transaction happens on your website
   Focus on recurring payment models
Cons    Not enough recognition/trust
Cost    No upfront license fee
   1.5% + N20 per transaction

 

Comparing online payment gateway fees and features

This table gives you a breakdown of the current fees charged by the payment gateways and features they have. It should give a bird’s eye view of what you’d get if you go with any of them. Keep your customers in mind, if you don’t offer subscriptions, don’t make recurring payments a key factor.

*Withdrawal fee is the fee charged by the gateway when you request funds paid on your website to be sent to your bank account

  •  
  • Setup Fee
  • Per Transaction Fee
  • Withdrawal Fee
  • Recurring Payment
  • Save Card Feature
  • Website

 

Free / Paid Integration plugins for your ecommerce store

A payment gateway is only of use to you when you can integrate it with your website right? And because most entrepreneurs start out using popular CMS platforms, most gateways have ready to use integration plugins. This means all you have to do is download a file, upload it to your website and voila! Gateway installed and ready to be used once you fill out a few credentials.

It’ll be very hard for each payment gateway to provide resources for every CMS. So a lot of times, individuals take the time out to build these integration modules and give them out to the public. In some cases, they offer them as paid plugins. Still, not all CMS platforms are covered. We’ve taken the top 8

  •  
  • WordPress
  • Woocommerce
  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Opencart

 

Conclusion – Which payment gateway is best for you?

There’s never really a straight answer for this. But it all comes down to what features you need and how much loose cash you have on you. If you have a good developer and money to spare, you can consider Interswitch, the trust factor stands strong. And if you’re lean on cash, go with Paystack. If you don’t like the extra N100 fee, charge that to customers as a convenience fee or put it in the product cost.

There’s a lot to consider when deciding on a payment gateway, because it could make or break your customer experience. I’d say go with what best suits you. And consult with your developer before you do (if you have one). Personally, I use Paystack for everything.

If you found this post useful, be kind enough to share it, someone out there needs it.

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Osaze Osoba
About The Author

Osaze Osoba

Osaze is an engineer by design, but he bailed for Marketing. Probably one of the only guys you know who'd insure his laptop. He's that much of a geek, but he denies it. He also loves scientific advertising and trains a lot.

Blog Comments

I’m sorry but your information about Etranzact being the only other platform as old as Interswitch is wrong.
Unified Payments (Valu Card) is older than both and they have their online payment product (Pay arena)
They also provide Access control System and somne other services for some of these guys

Osaze Osoba

Shoot, totally forgot about Unified Payments man, thanks for juggling my memory. I remember using it a few times. Haven’t seen them anywhere recently though, so it’ll likely still not make the list.

But yes, certainly another platform that’s been around for a while.

I use Interswitch and besides the initial set-up process, it has been a breeze after integration.
I personally have a problem with paying even 1kobo in addition to the 1.5% transaction cost because in the long run, with 1,500 transactions you’ll have paid N100 up to N150,000 and it continues…

I also don’t like the idea of transferring that cost to my customers…I love them too much 🙂

As the accountant that I am and also running a high volume business, Interswitch made more financial sense in the long-term.

Osaze Osoba

That’s great Jess! And thanks for sharing your experience.

I agree, the Interswitch gateway doesn’t really give issues after the setup process, it basically autoruns itself after that.

Checking out your website now, thanks again

Good job Mr,

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