Digital Payment Solutions: How to Choose a Provider & 3 Ways to Earn

Fora Soft
7 min readFeb 9, 2023

If you’re building a platform that involves payment processing, you’ll have to integrate a payment system into it. You need it to validate and store bank card information, process payments, and manage funds in general.

A payment system will also let you accept payments in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Etherium.

In the article, we talk about the online payment solutions you should choose for your digital product. And also explain how you can monetize your platform with it and how to choose the right one.

What do you need a payment processing provider for?

They process all money transactions within your product: one-time purchases, subscription charges, etc. They mainly profit by retracting a fee from each transaction.

It’s a big headache to switch between providers as it takes a lot of time and effort. So it’s crucial to pick “the one” from the very start.

How to choose a payment service provider?

When choosing a provider, you should take into account these three parameters:

  1. Your business’ country of registration
    Every payment service provider works within a certain territory and might not be supported in some countries. For example:
    - Stripe doesn’t work with businesses in the Cayman Islands. One of our clients had to register their enterprise in the USA for that reason
    - MangoPay only works within the European economic area
    - RazorPay only works in India. So if your company is registered in India and you’d like to expand internationally, you’ll have to integrate a new payment system.
    Note: You should only consider YOUR company’s legal address. It doesn’t matter where the funds are coming from. This only defines the fee percentage. For instance, if you’re on Stripe, when your users pay with European cards, the fee is lower.
  2. Payment systems
    Payment systems are Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay, and others. There might also be some limitations considering the country that issued the card. But generally most cashless payment solution process the transactions from any Visa and MasterCard cards, in any currency.
  3. How your customers will pay you
    That’s basically how your users will pay while / for using your product. Besides the usual way of paying with a credit card, you can integrate Apple or Google Pay into your platform. The fewer users need to do to pay the better.

Stripe vs PayPal vs others: pros and cons

There’re plenty of payment service providers, each serving different needs. In the last 17 years, we have worked with many payment providers all over the globe. But now we recommend sticking with these 5 and here’s why:

  • Stripe
    Simple yet powerful. Full stop. Stripe offers a wide range of functionalities that would fit any payment requirements: subscriptions, bonuses and coupons, advanced statistics and reports, and more. It’s also known as the most developer-friendly provider. Stripe would be a great choice for enterprises from the United States and Canada, but it works well for other countries as well. See what countries Stripe works with. We in Fora Soft personally work with this provider the most.
  • PayPal
    An alternative to Stripe but works in more countries, yet a bit less modern. It works well for the basics and is easy to set up, but it lacks agileness when it comes to customization. There’re also these major drawbacks:
    > you cannot customize the checkout flow
    > it’s impossible integrate Apple Pay, Microsoft Pay, and a number of other payment methods
    > limited personalization: PayPal is simpler to set up, but it can’t be customized to fit your specific needs
    > it’s costlier than Stripe
    > no CRM
  • MangoPay
    Might be a good choice for businesses registered in Europe. The fee percentage is quite low and the payout is almost free. But you’ll have to waste a couple of hours on bureaucracy. For instance, in MangoPay a user can withdraw money to their bank account but they’ll have to use their ID or even an entire folder of docs if we’re talking businesses. Another drawback — you can’t connect MangoPay to neither Apple nor Google Pay.
  • RazorPay
    The best option for India, works only there, with Indian rupees. RazorPay is widely used in the country as it’s a quite reliable payment service provider. The one and only drawback is that you can’t connect it to Apple Pay. Feel free to integrate Google Pay though.
  • Braintree
    PayPal but a little bit more modern. Braintree offers more opportunities than the original system. For instance, it processes crypto currency operations and has additional customization tools for which you don’t have to overpay.

Monetization types and how to implement them

The monetization type you want for your product depends on the business model you’ve picked for it: subscriptions, one-time payments, etc. Here are the most common ones:

One-time payment

Would work well with, for instance, online movie lease (like in Vodeo), online stores, or any service where users have to pay for each unit.

For web platforms one-time payment works in 2 possible scenarios:

  1. Request user data within the platform sent it to the provider, and receive and display the response. A few nuances:
    > You’ll have to spend much time for a decent UI that will not only look good but will also display the errors correctly.
    > Users might not trust a new platform that asks for their bank details
  2. Forward users to the checkout page by a known payment service provider. You might have experienced it yourself when you push that “Pay” button and here you are on a completely different page asking for your card details.
  3. What’s good about it:
  • integrating checkout takes less time than developing your own page from scratch = saves you money
  • Apple and Google Pay support
  • users can manage their coupons and discounts, taxes like VAT, etc.
  • you can customize the checkout page if necessary

What your users can’t do though is save their card details for further fast purchases.

What it looks like

Stripe checkout page
MangoPay checkout page

Subscription

Users pay for a certain period they have access to the platform and a certain bunch of features, depending on the plan.

There’re 2 ways to implement this monetization plan:

  • on your own, within the platform
  • with Stripe Checkout

Integrating it into your product is easier and quicker than developing your own. Stripe Checkout is a complex payment processing system that also works well for subscriptions. Yet, it definitely can cover all the requirements your product might have. In Stripe Checkout you can:

  1. Set the price, trial period, payment frequency
  2. Keep track of the subscription status (paid / not paid)
  3. Add Stripe Customer Portal to have your users manage their subscription and change the payment method on their own
  4. Set the scheduled payments

Why reinvent the wheel?

Paying for a subscription on Stripe
Managing subscriptions on Stripe

User-to-user or Platform-to-user

Marketplaces, online workout services, and any other products where a platform “pays” to its users are usually on this monetization type.

How it works

There’re two parts to the process:

  1. Money gets into the system
  2. It gets out. Easy, right?

We all know what happens with the first step: a user enters their card details within the system or on the checkout page.

To make the second part happen you can either develop it manually or use a ready-made solution. We usually go with the latter and pick Stripe Connect.

But as a third-party solution, it has limitations. When making a transaction both your platform and the user have to be registered in the same country. International transfers are only available for companies registered in the USA.

How to accept crypto payments as a business?

Many companies including Virgin Airlines, Microsoft and others accept cryptocurrency payments. But not all payment service providers are ready to process them for the lack of security.

However based on what Stripe itself and Bloomberg claim, the named platform processes payments in at least 2 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum.

PayPal and Braintree work with cryptocurrencies as well.

Final words and recommendations

We’ll be glad to come up with a specific solution picked individually for your project. Contact us to discuss your ideas.

And if you’d like to decide on your own here, you want to base your decision on 4 things:

  • your business’ country of registration
  • payment methods and systems
  • availability of cryptocurrency operations
  • monetization type

Our general recommendation for most systems would be turning for a checkout page instead of developing an own one. Going with a highly customizable solution (like Stripe, for example) will ensure you have a flawlessly working page that looks the way you need.

Stripe checkout page. Source: Stripe

The only possible drawback here is that there’ll be a provider’s logo. But that’s the price you pay for reliable solution, saved time and budget, as well as better user experience.

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