ECommerce (electronic commerce) is currently one of the fastest-growing sectors in the digital landscape. For businesses who currently have, or are looking to build an eCommerce offering, it is important to understand the process behind eCommerce payments.

As with any transaction, whether that’s in a physical store with cash or cards or using a digital wallet, there are several protocols that must be followed to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

But for many, this process has remained something of a mystery, with very few businesses fully understanding how their payments are processed and why certain protocols are upheld.

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of eCommerce payments, investigating the key elements that make up the process as well as the different forms of digital payment that you may encounter when operating in the eCommerce space. can help your business to optimise and enhance its payments processes using sophisticated technology – fill out our online contact form and we’ll get back to you with all the information you need to start revolutionising your online payments!

What payment methods will you be handling?

Before we start looking at how to process payments, we’re going to take a look at the different types of payment methods that you’ll probably encounter when taking eCommerce payments.

Compared to in-store payments, online stores present many additional options which give customers more freedom when choosing their preferred payment method.

While this is good news for the customer – it’s not always the easiest thing for businesses to provide.

As you offer additional payment options, you may need to take on additional internal resources to monitor and execute transactions across these different platforms.

This is where a payment specialist like can be highly beneficial.

Our team of payments experts are on hand to help you create a slick, streamlined payments processing experience that works to your advantage.

We don’t offer a one-size-fits-all service; we design a payment solution that’s tailored to solve your pain points and optimise your eCommerce offering by processing payments in a much more streamlined and strategic way.

Let’s explore some of the most common payment methods that eCommerce businesses need to be aware of:

Credit cards

Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment globally. When using a credit card, customers pay for their purchases using a line of credit from their card provider rather than their own funds.

Direct debit 

A direct debit is a simple, straightforward form of payment that’s low cost and easy to utilise.

During a direct debit, the service provider has more control over the payment, which reduces dependency on the customer to manually action their payment when it is due.

It’s an automated form of payment that reduces admin, is easily maintained and updated, and is cheaper than many alternative types of payment methods.

If your business operates on a subscription or recurring payment model, direct debits will be a key form of payment that you need to be able to support.

Alternative digital payment platforms

Alongside the growing popularity of eCommerce, there has been a massive increase in the number of digital payment solutions, such as digital wallets, contactless payment applications, and buy-now-pay-later options.

Some of the most common alternative payment methods include:

Many of these payment methods are popular with smartphone shoppers thanks to the seamless user experience and one-click payment.

Digital currency 

Due to a rise in adoption in recent years, some eCommerce websites have taken steps to future-proof their eCommerce payment experience by adding cryptocurrency options, which allow customers to pay using digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Although this form of payment is not currently seen as a critical offering, it is one to make note of for the future as adoption continues to grow across the globe.

How do eCommerce payments work?

With so many different payment options required by customers, it’s clear to see that payment processing is something that needs to be taken seriously when building and operating an eCommerce business.

On the face of things, there are three key parts of the payments process that you need to understand when it comes to processing eCommerce payments. These are:

  1. Payment gateways

Payment gateways help you to relay information relating to a transaction from the customer to your payment processor.

The role of the payment gateway is to start the transfer of information from your website through to the payment processor, where the transaction will be assessed, verified, and executed.

The payment gateway is a key part of the customer’s journey, so it’s important to ensure that this part of the payment process is clear and easy to follow.

  1. Payment processors

Your payment processor is the next stage of the payments journey – this is where the customer account is verified and funds are collected and deposited into your account.

Payment processors are a vital part of the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that your transactions happen quickly and efficiently, whilst also monitoring risks such as fraud.

  1. Merchant accounts

The merchant account is the final element of the payments process that you’ll need to be familiar with.

Your merchant account is the safe location where processed funds will be deposited. The merchant account serves a simple purpose, but you’ll still want to ensure that you’ve got the right account for the job to avoid any security breaches or miscommunications.

The eCommerce payment journey: a step-by-step guide

The payment journey is more complex than it may first appear.

It’s not as simple as sending money from one place and then appearing in another.

Many steps in the process must be followed to ensure that both your business and your customers are protected as the money is transferred between their accounts and your merchant account.

It’s not just funds that will be transferred, either – there’s a collection of personal data related to each purchase that must be handled with care and compliance, which is why working with an expert eCommerce payments provider is key.

With the team, you know that every action taken throughout the payment journey complies with the latest guidelines, using innovative technology to keep everything moving quickly, efficiently and, most of all, safely.

With, the average eCommerce payments process will follow these steps:

  1. The customer’s payment details are entered into your website’s checkout page
  2. The payment processor gets to work checking the information with the credit card network to make sure that the account has enough funds to complete the transaction
  3. The issuing bank will then accept or reject the payment request based on the information supplied
  4. The payment processor sends the results back to the payment gateway and the customer will receive confirmation of successful or unsuccessful payment.
  5. If approved, the transaction is complete!

One thing that you might notice is that this process seems like a long one, with so many different functions occurring one after another.

But that’s not the case – with’s integrated solution, your transactions happen in the blink of an eye, reducing instances of checkout failures and getting the funds where they need to be as soon as possible.

Prepare for future payments with intelligent automation

At, we’re passionate about payments.

As one of the UK’s largest independent payment specialists, we take pride in making things easier than ever for businesses looking to provide their customers with the best payment experience possible.

But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a hands-on approach at all times.

We think that automation, when used correctly, is a crucial tool for any business striving to streamline payments.

By embracing automation, you’ll save time and make it so much easier to scale when the time comes – as you grow, your payments processing solution grows with you.

So, what kind of processes can we automate to help you increase payment efficiency?

Here are a couple of the most effective options:

  • Dispute handling: From time to time, you’re going to need to handle payment disputes. Unfortunately, this can be a very time-consuming process when you’re handling each dispute manually. With, you’ll have access to our automated disputes system, which helps you view and handle every payment dispute in just a few speedy clicks.
  • Recurring payments: If you’re operating on a recurring payment model, there’s no need to manually process these payments every month – our systems will handle it all for you. Once the initial subscription has been processed, you can sit back and relax, with the knowledge that your payments have been collected automatically – say goodbye to the end-of-month rush and say hello to your highest collection success rates ever.
  • Real-time notifications: It’s good to be kept in the loop when it comes to payments and with our real-time notifications, you’ll never miss a beat. You’ll be alerted whenever there’s an action required on your account, so whether it’s a declined payment, a suspected fraud case, or any other error, you’ll know about it straight away, with a suggested action ready to implement.

Take your journey further with our WooCommerce extension

WooCommerce is one of the largest eCommerce tools for merchants operating utilising a WordPress website.

If you’re currently running a WordPress website, the WooCommerce plugin makes it easier than ever to instantly turn your site into an eCommerce store and with the WooCommerce extension, you’ll have access to simple, effective payments processing without having to break a sweat.

When designing our WooCommerce extension, we had one goal in mind:

Create a payment platform that gives every WooCommerce user the perfect payment solution, tailored to the specific needs of their store.

And that’s why we’ve kept our extension as flexible and agile as possible. The WooCommerce extension supports all major card networks such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, and there’s even support for Apple Pay and Google Pay. No matter how your customers want to pay, there’s an option to suit them.

As standard, we also ensure that your store meets all of the necessary payment compliance requirements. Our platform is PSD2 certified and features EMV 3DS integration, which keeps your payments safe and compliant every time.

If you’re operating a subscription model, you’ll love our integrated tool – the user-friendly interface gives you all the options you’ll need to create recurring payments, control scheduling, and organise factors such as fees and renewals, taking all of the stress out of subscription payments.

If you’re looking for a payment extension that’s easy to install, simple to operate, and robust when it comes to tackling fraud, the WooCommerce extension could be the ideal solution.

Streamline your eCommerce payments with

If you’re ready to revolutionise your eCommerce payments process, it’s time to get in touch with the expert team here at

We’ve been helping businesses to overcome their payments challenges since 2015 and since then, we’ve continuously improved our platform to give users the features they’ve been searching for.

By combining a customer-centric approach with a commitment to software development, we’re able to support businesses of all sizes – our solutions are fluid and flexible, giving you the ability to scale up or down whenever you need.

If you’d like to learn how our solutions have helped businesses like yours tackle their toughest payments challenges and holistically improve their payments journey, check out our case studies here on the website!