How to Choose a Payment Gateway, Simplified!

How to Choose a Payment Gateway Simplified

When choosing a payment gateway it is important to look for some key features to protect your business, your customers, and your bottom line. There’s no one single feature more important than another when it comes to protecting payment data, limiting your exposure to fraud liability, and charging you the most competitive rates, putting more money back in your pocket. We will dive into each of these topics, but first, here are some of the high-level benefits of choosing Apriva to be your Payment Gateway provider:

  • 99.99% uptime and reliability minimum
  • Highest level of protection from fraud, being one of the only P2PE Certified and PCI Level 1 gateways in the industry.
  • Our gateway uses both standard encryption and card on file or card not present card tokenization.
  • Accept any payment type, from credit and debit and mobile wallets, to campus and military ID cards.
  • 24/7 live US-based customer service for merchants and resellers.
  • Our gateway has been in operation since 2003, a little after payment gateways were first invented, so we have deep market-tested knowledge and expert experience to draw from.

Fast and Easy to Set Up and Use

Your job is to worry about running your business. Your payment gateway’s job is to worry about helping you accept payments quickly and securely, no matter how your customers want to pay. Look for a gateway with easy integration, that is easy to use, and easy to sell (if you’re an ISO, MSP, or re-seller). Make sure the gateway can support your business or merchants with mobile payment acceptance, register payment acceptance, self-service payment acceptance, and more.


If your payment gateway can’t keep up with the transaction demands coming in from the businesses they support, it means sales loss for your company and lost customers. In fact, recent studies have shown that more than 50% of US customers would walk away from a purchase if the checkout process is complicated or long (like if payment systems are down because of a Gateway outage), 42% of customers will walk away if their preferred method of payment isn’t accepted, and still yet 43% of customers avoid spending money with businesses that require repeat entry of payment credentials. So, when looking for a payment gateway, ask about their availability, also known as uptime. You’re looking for an answer with lots of 9’s. Ideally 99.99%. Ask if they have redundancies built into their infrastructure as well, in case of a localized natural disaster that could put that Gateway in jeopardy, for example. By the way, Apriva has 99.99% uptime with a diversified infrastructure with appropriate redundancies built in.


Make sure your payment gateway is secure – protecting your data, your customers data, and protecting you from the liability of fraud, should such a data breach occur. You want an API that is secure, and ideally you want a gateway to be a PCI Level 1 and P2PE certified service provider. Apriva is a PCI Level 1 Service provider, independently validated by VISA®, MasterCard®, American Express®, and the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council™ (PCI-SSC). We are one of the only P2PE Certified Gateways in the industry. Period. Others claim P2PE, but they are “self-assessed”. We are certified by a PCI Council Auditor every 2 years. This means the odds of you being responsible for a data breach are as low as they can possibly be.

Supports Any Payment Method

Some Gateways aren’t able to accept all payment methods. This depends on the gateway’s technology and certifications, as well as what kinds of devices they have EMV certified. Apriva helps you accept any way your customers want to pay – behind the counter, at the curb, on the go, or self-service. Accept traditional credit and debit, NFC payments like mobile wallets, even closed-loop payments like campus and military ID cards. This one is rarer for a gateway to support, but it means if you operate on or near a college or military area, you can better serve those populations that commonly use their closed-loop cards for payments on-campus. We even support transactions that take place without a POS terminal, called “virtual terminal”, meaning you can use our mobile and register app or online companion to manually accept card payments. You can generate digital invoices via SMS or email, and we enable Card Not Present (CNP) tokenization. This is another feature that is rarer. While all gateways perform basic data encryption and tokenization, not all Gateways can accept CNP payments such as biometrics, QR codes, stored subscription information, and more. In fact, last year Apriva became one of the first US payment gateways to deploy 3DS technology for CNP cardholder authentication. Click here to learn more about this latest payment method.


Be wary of payment gateways that are only a few years old. They may have fancy looking technology and websites, but they don’t have the years of market-tested experience that can give you the best rates and the highest level of protection and security. Apriva is one of the oldest payment gateways in the United States, in operation since 2003, just a little bit after payment gateways were first invented. We have deep knowledge and expert experience to draw from, and we currently process over $3 Billion in transactions every year, and support over 2 Million merchants at any given moment without breaking a sweat (or our 99.99%+ uptime), across the United States, Canada, U.K., and Mexico. 


Look for a gateway with transparent pricing. While not all companies can publicly list all of their pricing like some of the bigger names that primarily sell direct to merchants, your payment gateway should be able to provide you with accurate, consistent, and easy to understand pricing for your needs. Also make sure that the contract process is smooth and simple, and that you can cancel at any time. While Apriva can’t list our pricing publicly since we do cater heavily to re-sellers like ISOs and MSPs with wildly varying needs and MID quantities, our pricing is consistent and easy to understand. Just ask us! Oh, and all our products and services – including our payment gateway – are all covered by a single easy flat-rate contract. In fact, our monthly gateway services start from just $6.25/month depending on your needs and device volumes. Actually, our lowest price product comes with a $0/month gateway fee! Our Virtual Terminal, also known as AprivaPay Mobile Lite, is a pay-as-you-use-it configuration starting at just 20 basis points per TID.

24/7 Help

Many of Apriva’s customers come to us because they fell for a flashy modern brand-name, and then were over-charged and could never talk to a real human when they needed support. Don’t let that happen to you. At Apriva, we treat you like a human, providing 24/7 live U.S. based customer service center for merchants and resellers. Our dedicated account management and sales liaisons provide further support as your business grows with Apriva. That’s the way we believe businesses should operate. So go ahead! Contact us today.

Supports Growth

Make sure you choose a gateway that can grow with you. That can not only handle an increase in transactions from you or your merchants but can also do other things like support the latest in payment technology (like card not present payments), or that can support multiple languages and currencies. By the way, Apriva can do all these things too. This will prevent you from dealing with service interruptions, fraud liability, or frozen funds.

Choosing a payment gateway provider is a very important decision for your business, or your merchants. You want to choose someone that is going to be your partner, supporting you, and growing with you, every step of the way. Choose carefully so that you don’t have to worry about your payments. That’s our job. So go ahead! Contact us today to learn more or to get started. We guarantee to check all your boxes.

Apriva Now Offers Dual Pricing!

Apriva merchants can now use either a cash discount or a convenience fee with the AprivaPay mobile app!