The best payment gateways in Hong Kong for international eCommerce
So you want to start an eCommerce business in Hong Kong. You’ve filled up your inventory and got your website up and running. You have a long waiting list of customers eager for your products to come out. Before you launch your product, you need to first set up your eCommerce payment gateway. So when the orders start coming in, you can accept payments securely from your customers.
If you’re planning to launch your product internationally or to break into the overseas market at some point down the line, you should opt for a payment gateway that allows your business to collect payments globally. This is because payment gateways that cater to local transactions often come with hidden charges and other nuances when it comes to accepting payments in multiple currencies, which can easily cut into your profit margins.
Let’s take a look at the best payment gateways in Hong Kong for international eCommerce, and we can help you make the decision of which one is right for your business.
So, what is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is an eCommerce tool that processes online payments from customers to your business account. When integrated with your eCommerce site, it authorises debit or credit card purchases made online and transfers the customers’ payment information to your account.
As you can imagine, your payment gateway plays an important role as the conductor between your business, your customers, and your bank account.
Here’s another way to think about it. Since there are no physical card-reading devices to process customer payments on your online shop, your payment gateway serves as an online solution to facilitate the transactions for you.
It’s a relationship built on trust
There’s a high degree of trust involved when choosing the best payment gateway. You need to trust that the platform has the security to safely handle the transaction. And there’s also the trust that your customers’ details are entered correctly.
This trust and security are where these online payment platforms shine. They handle the payment details within a highly secure environment, reducing instances of card fraud and machine tampering. They also check the legitimacy of the users’ details at the point of sale, ensuring they’re using the right details, they are who they say they are, and they have enough funds in their accounts.
The best payment gateways have built this trust over time, and their names alone are bywords for safe online banking.
What to look for in a good payment gateway
There are a few key things that will help in choosing the right eCommerce payment gateway for your business.
Much like a financial institution, you want to ensure that your selected payment gateway isn’t charging you through the nose just to use it. So check for monthly fees, the cost per transaction, international exchange fees, and make sure you’re getting the best value for your use.
Payout in multiple currencies
When you’re running a global eCommerce business, it is important that your website offers prices and payment methods in various currencies to make it as easy as possible for customers from around the world to place an order with you. This means that your chosen payment gatement should allow you to charge your customers in foreign currencies and pay out in these currencies.
An effective global payment gateway should be able to process payouts in various currencies, allowing you to transact in different currencies with suppliers and customers in different countries.
Ease of implementation
You don’t want your payment gateway becoming a headache, so make sure it’s easy to set up, intuitive to use and suits your business’ needs.
Look at the integrations
Does your selected online payment platform integrate with your CMS — or your eCommerce store? Choose a plug-in that integrates seamlessly, with an API that fluidly connects with your site and allows you the flexibility you need as a growing business.
Choosing your eCommerce payment gateway
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names on the market.
Airwallex offers a groundbreaking payment gateway solution for global businesses. With easy to use payment flows for customers across the globe, a smooth and fast checkout experience is available to businesses of all sizes.
Airwallex is one of the first online payment processors that allow flexible settlement in up to 10 different major currencies, meaning customers can pay in their local currency, like USD, and you can receive in USD without being forced to convert back into Hong Kong Dollar. This flexibility enables merchants to receive multiple currencies without being hit with exorbitant currency conversion fees while also offering the flexibility to payout in foreign currencies, or convert when the time is right.
The plug-in integration methods are also incredibly flexible; businesses can integrate into their existing checkout or payment flows via an API, embedded payment fields, a simple drop-in method or a complete customer checkout journey fully hosted by Airwallex — the options are endless. Pricing is also incredibly competitive, with fees as low as IC++ 0.6% (Interchange fee + Scheme fee + Acquirer fee) for Visa and Mastercard payments.
PayPal is almost ubiquitous online. As the original payment gateway, it has had the time and the chance to perfect its offering, so it clearly understands the pain points of both businesses and consumers. It has got built-up brand equity that leads users to barely give it a second thought during use.
Supported in over 203 countries, PayPal is a wide-reaching, flexible eCommerce payment gateway solution that integrates with most platforms.
PayPal is also one of the few payment gateways that offer payouts in multiple currencies for Hong Kong-based businesses. But where PayPal excels in ease of use and name recognition, its big drawbacks are the fees and its speed. You can expect delays of up to 3-5 days when withdrawing funds to your bank account.
For fees, you can expect to pay the following, starting from:
Domestic sales: 1.2% + a fixed HK$0.80 fee
International sales: 1.7% + a fixed HK$0.80 fee
Micropayments: 5% + a fixed $0.39 fee
Currency conversion: 3% above the base exchange rate
Withdrawing USD to a nominated USD account: 3%
Stripe follows closely on PayPal’s heels and has the added benefit of existing in the physical realm too. It’s highly flexible and allows API access to build a custom solution, including one-click checkout. It’s quick too, with funds able to be directly deposited into your nominated bank account.
The one major downside to Stripe is that it charges your account different add-on fees depending on the payment method and currency that the transaction is completed in, so you’re at the mercy of Stripe’s surcharges. These are:
For credit and debit card sales in Hong Kong: 3.4% + a HK$2.35 fixed fee
For Chinese wallets: 2.2% + HK$2
For USD payouts: 1% of USD payout volume with a minimum fee of US$5
Shopify Payments comes as the pre-integrated platform for Shopify sites, so by nature, it’s easy to configure and to get started. It’s designed to get your Shopify store up and running as quickly as possible.
One bit of benefit is that it enables foreign currency accounts for your withdrawals, which reduces your banking fees. It also accepts a range of credit and debit cards. There are no transaction fees for Shopify users.
Its fees start at:
Online Hong Kong credit cards: 3.1% + a HK$2.35 fixed fee
International payments and AMEX cards: 3.7% + a HK$2.35 fixed fee
Choosing the right payment gateway depends on your eCommerce business’ needs
Choosing the best payment gateway for your business will largely be driven by your website’s CMS, and which platform natively integrates into it. If you’ve got the know-how and the budget, we recommend opting for an international payment platform that can integrate using API, as this provides a much smoother experience.
And as a business looking to grow your international customer base, you should choose a flexible platform that allows you to settle in multiple currencies.
But keep an eye on their fees. These start to build up, and can easily eat away at your profit margin.
Airwallex helps your business make the most of international eCommerce
Created with a customer-first approach to online payments, the Airwallex global accounts empower eCommerce businesses of all sizes to seamlessly send and collect payments from around the world.
Our global accounts are optimised for quick and easy integration with popular payment gateways like Paypal and Shopify, enabling your business to receive payments in local currencies.
You can open multiple currency accounts for free, allowing you to collect, spend, and withdraw in these currencies without needing to exchange any money. This can help your business save on unwanted foreign exchange fees and minimise the cost of breaking into new overseas markets.With up to zero transaction fees and access to our market-beating FX rates, our Global Accounts are made to maximise your international eCommerce profits.
Release Notes: March 2022