Payment gateways are crucial in Singapore’s digital economy, enabling seamless online transactions. 

With e-commerce on the rise, choosing the right gateway is key to success. Digital wallets like GrabPay and DBS PayLah! are set to overtake credit cards by 2024, as per The Strait Times, indicating a shift towards more efficient payment solutions. 

Innovations such as “buy now, pay later” are reshaping the payment landscape, as noted by Ian Kelsall of Thoughtworks. This guide explores the role, features, and top players of payment gateways in Singapore, providing valuable insights for both businesses and consumers in the evolving digital payment sector.

What is a Payment Gateways and Why it Matters

A payment gateway is a technology used in e-commerce to process, verify, and accept (or decline) credit card or direct payments on behalf of merchants. It acts as a bridge between a merchant’s website and the financial institutions involved in the transaction, ensuring the secure transfer of payment information. 

Payment gateways encrypt sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, to protect it during transmission and help prevent fraud. They play a crucial role in the online payment ecosystem, enabling businesses to accept customer payments over the internet.

According to Mr Ian Kelsall from Thoughtworks, understanding the role of payments in your business is critical. “Organizations need to go back to basics and define what constitutes payment for their business,” he advises.

He added that businesses need to define what payment means to them, whether it’s the checkout experience, the exchange of funds, or the financial product behind the transaction. This clarity allows companies to choose between developing a proprietary system or adopting an existing solution. 

For instance, an online retailer might opt for a bundled payments solution, while a bank looking to innovate may require a complete platform overhaul.

Top Payment Gateways in Singapore

At a Glance

Payment GatewayBest ForFeesAccepted Payment MethodsBest Feature
StripeGlobal Businesses and Developers3.4% + S$0.5 per card transactionCards, eWallets, Bank debits and transfers, Cash-based vouchersSeamless Integration
PayPalSecure Online and Mobile Payments3.49% + S$0.69 per transaction (domestic)Credit and debit cards, Bank transfers, PayPal balance, PayPal credit, Local payment methodsBuyer and Seller Protection
DBS PayLahSingaporean Consumers and Merchants3% for card transactionsUnionPay, JCB, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, DiscoverQR Code Payments
eWay SingaporeBusinesses Seeking Robust Security1.5% + S$0.25 per transactionMajor credit and debit cards, Mobile payment, Apple PayAdvanced Fraud Protection
AdyenUnified Commerce and International ExpansionFixed fee of S$0.13 + payment method-dependentMajor credit and debit cards, Bank transfers, eWallets, Local payment methodsComprehensive Payment Insights

Key insights: Stripe and PayPal serve different business needs, with Stripe excelling in global integration and developer-friendly features, and PayPal known for its security and customer trust. DBS PayLah and eWay cater to local preferences and security, offering QR code payments and advanced fraud protection, respectively. Adyen stands out with its comprehensive payment insights for global expansion.

stripe

1. Stripe – Best for Global Businesses and Developers

Stripe, a leading payment gateway in Singapore, has evolved from facilitating startups in processing online payments to serving larger enterprises. In its pursuit of growth, Stripe has attracted major clients such as Amazon.com and Zoom Video Communications, showcasing its capability to handle high-volume transactions and complex payment needs.

In a report by Reuters, Keith Rabois, a former vice president at PayPal and now a proponent of both Stripe and Square, forecasted, “I would expect that both (Stripe and Square) could be larger than PayPal.”

Top Features:

  • Seamless Integration: Stripe offers extensive APIs and developer tools, allowing businesses to customize their payment experience and integrate Stripe’s functionality into their websites and apps with ease.
  • Advanced Security: With features like Stripe Radar for fraud detection and PCI DSS compliance, Stripe ensures that transactions are secure and customer data is protected.
  • Global Reach: Stripe supports over 135 currencies and various payment methods, enabling businesses to accept payments from customers worldwide and expand their global presence.

Payment Methods: Cards, eWallets, Bank debits and transfers, Cash-based vouchers, and more.

Fees: Transaction fees start at 3.4% + S$0.5 for card payments

paypal logo

2. PayPal – Best for Secure Online and Mobile Payments

PayPal stands as a premier global payment gateway, renowned for its secure and user-friendly platform that facilitates online transactions. Established in 1998, it has significantly shaped the digital payment landscape, boasting nearly 400 million active accounts worldwide by 2021.

Catering to a broad audience, PayPal accepts an array of credit and debit cards, providing features like seller protection, around-the-clock fraud monitoring, and two-factor authentication for enhanced security. With offerings such as PayPal Standard and PayPal Express, it tailors to diverse needs, solidifying its status as a preferred choice for both e-commerce ventures and individual users seeking reliability and convenience in their financial transactions.

Top Features:

  • Buyer and Seller Protection: PayPal offers comprehensive protection for both buyers and sellers, including fraud detection and dispute resolution services, to ensure safe and secure transactions.
  • One-Touch™ Checkout: This feature allows customers to pay quickly and securely without having to enter their payment details every time, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
  • Global Reach: PayPal supports payments in over 200 markets and 25 currencies, making it easy for businesses to accept payments from customers around the world.

Payment Methods: Credit and debit cards, bank transfers, PayPal balance, PayPal credit, and local payment methods.

Fees: Transaction fee of 3.49% + 0.69 SGD for PayPal Checkout (domestic transactions)

DBS Paylah

3. DBS PayLah – Best for Singaporean Consumers and Merchants

DBS PayLah is a prominent payment gateway in Singapore, offering a versatile range of services that cater to modern consumer and business needs. What sets PayLah apart is its comprehensive suite of features, including instant peer-to-peer transfers, mobile payments, and seamless integration with a wide array of merchants and services. 

Its user-friendly interface and innovative solutions, such as QR code payments, make DBS PayLah a distinctive and convenient choice for those navigating the digital economy in Singapore.

Top Features:

  • QR Code Payments: Users can easily make payments by scanning QR codes at participating merchants, providing a seamless and contactless transaction experience.
  • Enhanced Security: DBS PayLah! employs robust security measures, including biometric authentication and transaction alerts, to ensure the safety of users’ funds and personal information.
  • Lifestyle Services: Beyond payments, the app offers a variety of lifestyle services, such as booking movie tickets, ordering food, and paying bills, all within a single platform.

Payment Methods: UnionPay, JCB, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Fees: 3% for card transactions and 2% to 4% for installment plans

EWay Singapore

4. eWay Singapore – Best for Businesses Seeking Robust Security

eWay Singapore stands out in the competitive payment gateway landscape with its robust and flexible services tailored for businesses of all sizes. Renowned for its seamless integration capabilities, eWay offers a comprehensive suite of payment solutions, including online payments, mobile payments, and subscription billing. What distinguishes eWay is its commitment to security and customer service, providing advanced fraud protection, 24/7 support, and detailed reporting tools to help businesses manage their transactions effectively. 

Ben Cleary-Corradini, who co-founded Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers and users of eWay, shared, “Eway provides us with a low-cost option to transact online. You get your funds faster with Eway compared to some other platforms, and this was critical in keeping the cash flow going through COVID-19.”

Top Features:

  • Fraud Protection: eWay provides advanced fraud detection and prevention tools, including real-time monitoring and customizable security rules, to safeguard transactions against fraudulent activities. Certified with level 1 PCI DSS compliance — the highest level of encryption available
  • Rapid API Integration: The platform offers a fast and easy integration process with its robust APIs, allowing businesses to quickly set up and start accepting payments on their websites or mobile apps.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: eWay prides itself on offering round-the-clock customer support to assist merchants with any issues or queries, ensuring uninterrupted payment services.

Payment Methods: Accepts major credit and debit cards including Visa and MasterCard, mobile payment, and Apple Pay (alternative payment methods vary based on region)

Fees: Pay-as-you-go pricing at an affordable flat rate of 1.5% + S$0.25 per transaction

adyen

5. Adyen – Best for Unified Commerce And International Expansion

Adyen is a cutting-edge payment gateway in Singapore, acclaimed for its sophisticated platform that offers more than just transaction processing. It stands out by delivering valuable insights into payment data, empowering businesses to refine their payment strategies and elevate customer experiences. This capability has made Adyen the chosen partner for several top global brands, such as LinkedIn, Booking.com, and SHEIN, which rely on its comprehensive solutions. 

One of its users shared: “The platform makes our life easier. It is easy to use so we don’t have to waste time on extensive training. Everyone from the team can use it and check the information they need. It also helps us by offering more payment options to all our international clients without having to stick only on the main card issuers.”

Top Features

  • Unified Commerce: Adyen offers a single platform for all payment channels, enabling businesses to provide a consistent payment experience across online, mobile, and in-store transactions.
  • Advanced Fraud Protection: Adyen’s platform includes sophisticated fraud detection and prevention tools, leveraging machine learning and real-time data analysis to protect businesses and their customers.
  • Global Payment Processing: With support for over 250 payment methods and 150 currencies, Adyen enables businesses to accept payments from customers worldwide, facilitating seamless cross-border transactions.

Payment Methods: Accepts major credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX, bank transfers, eWallets like PayPal and AliPay, and local payment methods

Fees: Fixed fee of S$0.13 + a fee determined by the payment method

Choosing the Right Payment Gateway for Your Business

Selecting the ideal payment gateway for your business requires careful consideration of various factors. These factors should align with your business size, transaction volume, and specific needs:

  • Reliability: Choose a gateway with a proven track record of uptime and reliability. Downtime can lead to lost sales and damage your reputation.
  • Supported Currencies: If you’re targeting international markets, ensure the gateway supports multiple currencies to facilitate seamless transactions for global customers.
  • Payment Options: Offering a variety of payment methods, including credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers, can cater to different customer preferences and boost conversion rates.
  • Market Integrations: Your payment gateway should integrate smoothly with your existing e-commerce platform, accounting software, and other business tools for efficient operations.
  • Security: Prioritize gateways with robust security features, such as PCI DSS compliance, SSL encryption, and fraud detection, to protect sensitive data and build customer trust.
  • Pricing and Other Fees: Compare transaction fees, setup fees, and any other associated costs. Look for transparent pricing structures without hidden fees.

By considering these factors, you can choose a payment gateway that not only meets your business requirements but also enhances the overall customer experience.

Future Trends in Payment Processing

The landscape of payment processing in Singapore is poised for significant transformation, driven by innovative technologies and evolving consumer preferences. As we look toward 2024, several key trends are expected to shape the future of payment gateways and influence their selection:

  • E-Wallets and Mobile Payments: E-wallets, linked to bank accounts or cards, enable smartphone payments via QR codes or NFC. Their growth is reshaping payments, with their use expected to expand further.
  • B2B Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL): BNPL is moving into B2B transactions, prompting payment gateways to offer deferred payment options for businesses.
  • Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): The rise of CBDCs in Asia signals a shift in payments. Payment gateways must adapt to include these digital currencies, potentially changing transaction methods.
  • Cloud-Based IT Architecture: The shift towards cloud-based, flexible IT solutions is transforming the payment sector. Gateways using ‘as-a-Service’ models can quickly adapt to new technologies and market needs.

These trends highlight the dynamic nature of the payment processing industry and the need for payment gateways to continuously innovate and adapt to remain competitive in the Singaporean market.

Read Also: Best Wealth Management Services in Singapore & Best P2P Lending in Singapore

Conclusion

This comprehensive guide to payment gateways in Singapore highlights the critical role these platforms play in the digital economy, from enhancing customer experiences to streamlining business operations. As the landscape evolves with trends like e-wallets, B2B BNPL, and CBDCs, businesses must stay informed and choose gateways that align with their needs and market trends. 

Key Takeaways

  • Payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, DBS PayLah, eWay, and Adyen cater to different business needs, from global integration to robust security. Understanding your specific requirements is crucial for selecting the right gateway.
  • The payment gateway landscape is rapidly evolving with trends such as e-wallets, “buy now, pay later” options, and the emergence of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Businesses must stay informed and adaptable to remain competitive.
  • As digital payments continue to grow, ensuring secure and convenient transactions is paramount. Payment gateways play a vital role in protecting sensitive data and providing a seamless checkout experience, which can significantly impact customer satisfaction and sales.

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