The global mobile payments market is growing at a tremendous pace, with its value predicted to increase to over $12.06 trillion by 2027.
There are few markets untouched by digitisation. Almost all transactions can be done via the Internet, with most of those now by mobile phone.
As can be seen in the chart above, cash transactions are becoming a progressively smaller proportion of payments. Mobile payments are taking over, the annual growth of which has been estimated at 26.93%. Mobile commerce has become a crucial topic for any modern platform that wants to attract as many customers as possible.
Looking back for a moment, we see that PayPal’s innovation, as far back as 1997, was to enable easy online money transfers when paying for products or services, or making transfers to personal contacts. E-commerce and m-commerce (mobile commerce) now go hand-in-hand with shopping, no matter what the venue, online or in-store. Customers have come to expect to be able to make transactions with convenience, security, speed and reliability.
The next generation of mobile payment providers in the form of Google Pay and Apple Pay, to name just two, has been growing rapidly since the widespread use of smartphones. Gateways like Braintree and Mollie lie just beneath the surface of the customer mobile payment experience. They have been designed to offer application developers straightforward implementation, but it is a large and competitive market with more than 20 credible providers.
What sets each apart, and how do you choose the most suitable for your scenario?
I’m Tomasz Michlewski from AllBright.io. I will take you on a journey through the most important aspects of the best payment processors for mobile applications. We will focus on issues such as integration complexity, geographic availability, costs (the obvious and not so obvious ones), and the availability of default payment methods for mobile applications like Google Pay or Apple Pay. The article consists of three parts. The first one you are reading is an overview of the topic and briefly describes the differences between each of the solutions we suggest. The next parts present a more precise comparison of the five payment processors. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Before we get to the list of the best options, it is worth mentioning that some popular payment processors are not on the list, because they do not offer direct implementation in a mobile application. That’s why we focus here on those that provide a comprehensive solution.
In a few words, the payment processor is a layer that deals with the processing of online payments between two entities. The system is responsible for collecting customer data such as payment card details or transaction details and transferring them to the merchant’s preferred bank account. When carrying out such a transaction and checking data, the company that is the provider of such a payment gateway takes care of all data security. Thanks to this solution, for many years we do not have to log in to the bank and manually enter all the necessary data when paying for some goods on the Internet, which made the payment and verification process itself much faster. Nowadays, companies providing these services are necessary because customers already expect these solutions. Fortunately, payment processors have been working for many years to make the process of delivering and implementing their services on a specific website or in a mobile application as easy as possible. Thanks to this, even the smallest websites can afford access to such a service.
Now that we know what the payment processor is, let’s move on to our suggestions and why we recommend them.
The solutions in this article are all capable of integrating payments into mobile applications, and their providers all offer ways to make that process faster and easier. If you specifically need a full solution - one that integrates payment processing into web and mobile apps - you are in the right place. All the payment gateway providers in this article provide excellent support for both e-commerce and m-commerce.
Let’s move on to our first recommendation.
Braintree is a division of PayPal that specialises in mobile and web payment systems for e-commerce companies. With a strong focus on mobile, the company delivers a high-quality solution that helps developers implement a mobile payments layer that supports all the most popular payment methods used across the world. Users are not limited only to debit cards, Google Pay or Paypal, because Braintree also supports many local banks, such as EPS in Austria or MyBank in Italy.
Braintree is a solution we highly recommend.
Stripe is an American financial services and software company. Similar to Braintree, the company offers payment processing software and an API for e-commerce and m-commerce. As with Braintree, the services Stripe provides are of the highest quality, so it is easy to see how Stripe has become a competitor for the title of the world’s largest payment gateway provider. However, this company focuses primarily on the development of its solutions for the web; mobile applications come second. Still, there is nothing to worry about; hundreds of companies already trust Stripe and therefore following in their footsteps is a safe bet.
If your website is your priority and your mobile application works in support of it, then Stripe is a great choice.
The next giant on our list is Mollie, a company that provides payment processing that’s used in most countries across the world. Their solutions support online payments for both web and mobile applications. Mollie payment services are used by some of the largest companies in the world, including Acer, Dyson and Unicef. They support dozens of Plugins and Packages, which makes implementation extremely simple. It’s true that they are still working to make their solutions perform just as well for mobile apps as it does in web applications but, having said that, they are already offering some of the best support for integration of payment processing for mobile platforms. If you are interested in a solution that will scale well in the long term and will provide support in most parts of the world, then Mollie is a great choice.
If you want to know more details about this solution, please read the next part of the article where Braintree, Mollie and Stripe are discussed and compared in detail.
Square, Inc. is an American financial service, merchant aggregator, and mobile payment company. In contrast to the other solutions described above, they operate within a rather limited territory. The company specializes in English-speaking countries, especially the USA. Nonetheless, Square provides the highest quality services to companies both big and small. Their solutions for mobile applications are unrivalled and are the easiest to implement on the market. Furthermore, Square enjoys a positive opinion among its customers. In 2020 Square had submitted $873 million in payment applications to the Small Business Administration on behalf of 80,000 applicants. They are the best solution for companies operating only in English-speaking countries. If you are interested in the English-speaking market and do not plan to develop the service outside of those regions, then Square is a great choice.
PayU is a provider of payment processors which, like our company, comes from Poland. It operates in somewhat different markets than the other companies listed above. They focus on Eastern Europe and a number of Asian countries. In the countries where they offer their services, they are unrivalled. Moreover, PayU is a regulated financial institution. It holds licenses from national banks and local regulators. Countries where their services are available can count on the support of payment methods from most local banks in that area. If you are interested in a solution for countries such as Eastern Europe, India or most of Asia, PayU is a good choice.
When selecting the right payment gateway provider, regional restrictions are one of the most important criteria. Sometimes the best and easiest solution cannot be considered due to your business’s regional requirements.
Which solution is available to me? The answer to this is in the table below, which shows the parts of the world this article’s solutions work within.
Once we determine what solutions are viable in terms of geographical availability, we can compare the costs of each service.
The table below shows cost breakdowns for each of the discussed payment gateway providers. The costs in the table relate to transactions made using discount or American Express cards, and each price is for a single transaction. Please note that costs for transactions through local banks may vary. In addition, other costs, such as subscription fees, which may relate to some of the solutions mentioned, are not included here.
|EU Cards||Non EU Cards||America Express||Registration|
|Braintree||1.9% + €0.30||1.9% + €0.30||2.9% + €0.30||—|
|Stripe||1.4% + €0.25||2.9% + €0.25||2.9% + €0.25||—|
|PayU||1.25% - 2.3% + 0.3PLN||1.25% - 2.3% + 0.3PLN||N/A||yes|
|Square||2.9% + 30¢||2.9% + 30¢||N/A||—|
|Mollie||1.8% + €0.25||2.8% + €0.25||2.8% + €0.25||—|
Implementation possibilities are an equally important consideration in decision-making. The table below presents our subjective assessment of the complexity, and the opportunity to implement each solution using different technologies. Each payment processor can get from zero to three stars in this category. Zero stars means no implementation is possible or very poor support, and three stars means full support and additional facilities in the development process.
Of course, there are many more payment processor systems than just these five, but in Allbright’s experience, this shortlist contains the ones to consider first.
Maybe you want to avoid setting up a specific merchant account? Or is the European Union’s Payment Services Directive relevant? We would be happy to discuss these and other questions in detail with you.
If you want to look beyond this shortlist, you can look at the Chargebee payment gateway provider page where you can see the available providers for 20 or so countries. If you need a system in a specific country, or you have particular security requirements, this page will allow you to find it.
We hope you now have a good idea of these five ‘most-notable’ solutions for integrating mobile commerce payments. It’s a fast-moving market, with innovations and improvements arriving almost by the day and - as mentioned earlier - there’s still more to learn. In the next two instalments of this article, each of the solutions is discussed and compared in detail.
We know we might be risking your enjoyment of the next instalments, but anyhow, we thought we’d include a quick overview of our recommendations here. The awards we’ve given them are:
The “Best overall payment gateway” award is given to Braintree
The “Best for a US-localized market” award is given to Square
The “Best for the global market” award goes to Mollie
The “Best if you want easy and straightforward implementation” award is given to Braintree
The “Best for Eastern market” award goes to PayU
And Stripe wins the “Best if you need a perfectly balanced solution” award.
That’s it! I hope by now you have a better idea of which solution is best for you, or at least you are slightly better informed as to what is out there. If you need help from a specialist in the field of mobile applications, or the implementation of payment processors in a mobile app, please contact us on email@example.com.