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Top PHP Payment Gateway & Merchant Account Providers

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Whether you’re setting up a web shop, integrating a payment gateway into a PHP-based CMS like WordPress, or want more control over checkout pages, choosing to integrate a payment gateway with PHP makes that possible.

While most payment gateways use JavaScript on the front end, many allow PHP integration and may offer PHP libraries alongside API.

  • PHP integrates into most shopping carts
  • Merchant account providers like First Data and Barclays offer PHP API solutions
  • Payment Gateways like BrainTree and Stripe are very developer friendly
  • PHP Payment gateway rates start at 1.4% + 20p


So let’s see the top PHP payment gateways now.


In this guide you will find


If you’re choosing a PHP-based payment gateway, you can likely find most options with API integration solutions. However, you still want to know that you’re getting a good deal, make sure you’re paying a fair price, and ensure that your gateway is compatible with your shopping cart or website.


Payment Gateway Integration


Payment gateways are available as either hosted or integrated solutions.

Hosted – The payment gateway provider offers a copy-paste code or click-to-integrate interface you can simply plug into your website or shopping cart. This can be PHP, HTML, node.js, iFrame, or any of a number of other code languages depending on the developer. HTML is the most common but some options (like First Data) allow you to integrate via PHP and process over XML.

Developer API – Most integrated payment gateway solutions work using a developer API (Application Program Interface). This is typically available in a number of languages with a support library designed to make it as easy as possible to update the page or integrate new branding or functionality. API is typically served as HTTP, available in XML or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format.

Some payment gateway developer APIs are available with PHP libraries. You may also be able to get a payment gateway with a PHP SDK (Software development kit)


Best 5 PHP Payment Gateways


While many payment gateways are available with some form of PHP integration, the following options are some of the best available.

PayPal Pro

PayPal Pro starts from £20 per month, but offers a full PHP SDK with sandboxing and PHP integration via hosted or integrated checkout. The payment gateway integrates directly with nearly all PHP-based shopping carts and offers a great deal of customisation and developer tools.

PayPal also charges simple fees, making it easy to see what you are paying and when.

Sales Volume Transaction Fee
>£1,500 3.4% + 20p
>£6,000 2.9% + 20p
>£15,000 2.4% + 20p
>£55,000 1.9% + 20p

Importantly, PayPal’s transaction fees are significantly higher than many competitors serving small business. However, the brand does offer some perks because consumers receive a buyer guarantee, which will improve buyer confidence if you’re selling as a new brand on your own site.

First Data Payment Gateway

First Data is one of the largest payment processors in the world, and the bank’s FullPay payment gateway solution is available with an API. While your payment gateway will process all transactions in XML, you can also integrate via PHP when using the First Data Payment Gateway in FullPay Mode for hosted pages. Therefore, First Data offers two separate PHP payment gateway solutions, although one option only enables PHP-based redirect pages.

Fee Cost
Online Transaction Fee 1% + 25p – 2% + 35p
Monthly Fee £10+ per month
Online Payment Gateway £15 + per month
Account on File Fee £5 per month
Minimum Monthly Charge £15
PCI Non-Compliance Fee £35 per month
Paper Statement Fee £5.95 per month
Customer Service Fee £10 +
Early Termination Fee None
Chargeback Fee £25
Chargeback Review Fee £250

The First Data API does not support PHP development, all SSL, HTTPS, and HTTPS POST connections support a PHP cURL extension for PHP integration.


Stripe is one of the most developer-friendly payment gateway solutions available, with developer API libraries for PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, Node.js, Go, .NET, iOS, and Android, with direct download or installation via Composer for PHP. The payment gateway provider also offers plugins for most major shopping carts and ready-to-use code for copy-paste installation into nearly all major shopping carts.

Stripe uses a simple pricing structure, charging 1.4% + 20p for European and UK cards and 2.9% + 20p for non-European cards.


Braintree is another small-business oriented payment gateway solution, offering support for server SDKs including Java, .NET< Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby. BrainTree also offers quick integration via plugins and apps to most existing shopping carts, so you can also choose a hosted solution.

BrainTree charges a flat-rate fee with a standard transaction rate of 1.9% + 30p for most cards, and 2.9% + 30p for Amex and international cards.


Barclaycard is one of the most popular UK-based merchant banking services, and its payment gateway supports PHP integration. The solution starts at £20-£75 per month and includes custom API solutions for PHP, ASP, and .NET via their DirectLink software.

The basic payment gateway costs £20 per month and includes 350 transactions valued at 10p each. After 350 transactions, you will pay an additional 10p fee per transaction.


Card >£2,000 >£10,000 <£10,000
Credit 2.01% 1.46% 1.41%
Debit 1.02% 0.66% 0.47%
Business Debit 1% 0.90% 0.62%
Business Credit 2.70% 2.05% 1.95%


Barclays also offers a flat-rate pricing contract where most merchants pay 1.4% for every card. Monthly fees are higher, but you can save money if you primarily accept high-value cards.

Like other major merchant account providers, Barclays also charges a variety of additional fees:


Item Cost
Monthly Fee £15+
Online Payment Gateway £20-£75 per month
Virtual Terminal £15-£75 per month
Chargeback £9
Early Termination Fee (Varies)
Setup Fee £150
Cancellation Fee £115 + VAT
Minimum Monthly Transaction Fee £20
Data Security Management £2.40 + VAT per month
Authorisation Charge 3p
Non-Secure Transactions +0.85%
PCI Non-Compliance +0.30%
Refunds 30p

Barclaycard has a lot to offer, and with full PHP integration, can be an ideal solution for big business as well as smaller merchants.

Comparing PHP Payment Gateway Options

The best way to find the best PHP payment gateway solution for your business is to check features, compare your options, and determine which features and pricing structures work best for you.


Merchant Account Stripe First Data BrainTree PayPal Payments Pro Barclays
Online Payment Gateway £0 £15+ £0 £20 £25-£75
Online Transaction Costs 1.4%-2.9% + 20p 2% + 25p – 1% + 25p 1.9% + 30p – 2.9% + 30p 1.9%-3.4% + 20p 1.41% + 10p – 2.01% + 10p
Monthly Fee £0 £10 £0 £0-£20 £10+
Payment Processing Time 7 Days 7 Days 0-7 Days 0-2 Days 7 Days
Set Up Fee £0 £0-£150 £0 £0 £150
Termination Fee £0 £0-£150 £0 £0 £115
Chargeback Fee £15 £25 £15 £14 £9
Contract Length Monthly 12-18-Month Monthly Monthly 12-Month


Traditional merchant account providers like First Data and Barclays typically offer the lowest base rates, but do not always work with small businesses. You’ll also often pay more if you have a lower transaction volume, because reduced transaction fees do not make up for monthly fees and costs. Small-business oriented solutions like Stripe and BrainTree are also more developer friendly, typically make it easier to create your own custom solutions, and offer API in more languages.


When Not to Use PHP


Many payment gateway solutions use node.js, iFrame, or another form of integration. However, you may not want to use your own checkout page at all. Choosing a hosted solution from a major provider often means 1 to 3-click integration with major shopping carts. Hosted pages are also PCI compliant, because they are hosted on the provider’s server, covered by their security. This can dramatically reduce costs on your end, and will remove the need to pay for PCI DSS or pay fines for not complying with PCI standards.

Therefore, the smaller your business, the less ideal a PHP payment gateway solution. If you can meet PCI DSS standards on your own without incurring extra costs, an integrated PHP payment gateway may be a good solution for you.

PHP is versatile, suitable for most online shopping carts, and gives you more control over server-side data collection. Many developers prefer to use PHP for its ability to handle calculations, pull data from multiple sources, and collect user information for creating accounts, one-click checkout, and customer recognition. If you’re using a PHP payment gateway, there are plenty of options, but make sure you request quotes from major providers to ensure you’re getting a good deal



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