Were you perplexed as to why there are so many payment gateways available or why so many businesses inquire as to how they may develop a payment gateway for their own app? Then, consider how much money businesses can make from mobile purchases.

Presently, 79% of gaming apps and 50% of non-game apps use in-app purchases, and they do so to the tune of $380 billion in app purchases globally.

But you first need a payment gateway before you can allow your app's users to make in-app purchases. Any business that wants to accept debit and credit card payments through their applications must now pretty much have a gateway account. However, picking the best payment method could be a little challenging.

In the prior post, we discussed what a payment gateway is and how it functions. Keeping with the theme, we will now discuss if you should

Create your own payment gateway from scratch or, alternatively, incorporate a third-party payment gateway.

Does it make sense to develop your own payment gateway?

There are two basic approaches to implement a payment gateway in your application, as you probably observed if you recently considered doing the same and looked into your alternatives. Specifically, either utilizing one of the several third-party payment gateways or creating your own payment solution. Which one is preferable? Let's be honest: creating a payment gateway specifically for your business typically has more disadvantages than advantages. Simply put, creating a brand-new one from scratch merely to add payment acceptance to your app is too expensive and complex.

You would need to establish a collaboration with a provider of payment processing services, develop your own tech specifications, and take care of the necessary security requirements like PCI DSS, EMV, EMV 3D, Tokenization, and P2PE. Contract negotiations with various acquirers would also be necessary if you wanted your gateway to accept a variety of payment options, including international payments (banks or financial institutions). And that's just the tip of the iceberg; another requirement of having a payment gateway is that you must consistently pass audits on your methods for storing and managing cardholder data as well as the instruments you employ to safeguard transactions that flow through your gateway.

Making a payment gateway from scratch is therefore not really worthwhile unless you intend to base your entire business around it and have a well-thought-out plan for how you will develop, secure, and manage your new product. To create the application and adhere to payment processor standards, you would need to engage someone with fintech and payment regulatory experience. The building process would also be quite time-consuming and expensive.

Going with one of the various third-party payment gateway solutions will be a lot better choice if you only want to offer in-app payments because they are cheaper and much faster to setup.

White label online payment systems are an alternative to creating your own payment gateway.

Okay, so creating your own gateway isn't really an option; however, acquiring a pre-built gateway integration would be much less expensive and time-consuming. What if, though, you still want to modify the pre-made application in some way to fit your brand? In that situation, what about selecting a white-label payment gateway? 


White label gateways function similarly to regular gateways in terms of features, degree of security, and certifications. However, as they are not branded by the provider, businesses are free to add new features they require or modify the online checkout process with their own names, logos, or brand elements.

Nevertheless, why should you consider white label gateways? Most importantly, you'll save a ton of time using those. You would need to invest time developing technical regulations, establishing your token system, requesting certifications, and negotiating contracts with the payment providers while building your own gateway. Third-party gateways, on the other hand, already have all those technical needs prepared; all you need to do is take the ready-made solution, configure it, and personalize it to reflect your brand.

And also:

  • You can leave handling all purchase-related issues, maintenance, security certifications, and audits to the getaway provider. If you built a gateway yourself meanwhile, then all those things would be on your side.
  • White label gateway providers regularly add new features, technologies, payment methods, and security measures to their platforms. And as their partner, you can use those features straight away after implementation, with no extra costs.
  • Gateway providers have several anti-fraud mechanisms and strategies already implemented, so you can be sure that the gateway and all data passing through it is fully secure. With your own payment gateway, you would have to design the security measures yourself. Also, most white-label gateways can be easily integrated with third-party security, anti-fraud, and KYC Solutions if you need an extra security layer.
  • White label payment gateways can be easily integrated with your main system, back-office, and any applications you might need through an API. Plus, many of those platforms also have features that can help you with filling reports for tax and compliance purposes.

Of course, white-label gateways have drawbacks as well, though they don’t really outweigh the benefits. For example, when you build your own payment gateway, you won’t have to pay transaction fees or any costs associated with using a third-party service.

That might seemingly look like a reason to go for the custom gateway, but actually, the third-party fees and transaction costs are minimal when compared to the costs of building and maintaining your own payment gateway.

When making your own gateway, you can also have full control over the design, navigation, features, and integrations inside the gateway – which means you could create a custom-fit gateway for your business. The white label applications meanwhile are typically pretty limited regarding what you can (and what you can’t) customize.

Again though, creating such a custom-made gateway will take a large amount of time. You would need to first build a project team with members that are specialized in creating financial applications and have enough experience to keep the entire process smooth and then watch out for any unexpected issues during the development process.  That kind of project could take months if not years to be completed successfully – while implementing an out-of-the-box gateway will take far less time.

What choices do you have for white label payment gateways?

As we previously indicated, it would be more faster and less expensive for you to choose one of the many fintech companies already providing their own gateways rather than getting a custom application. What precisely can you buy on the market, then? Let's first examine the many payment gateway kinds that are available:

  • Hosted or onsite. Hosted gateway is a third-party checkout system that redirects users to the payment service provider’s (PSP) page when they want to make a purchase. Basically, this means that the user will have to leave your website to pay for the product and then be sent back to your website to finish the checkout process. Onsite gateways work as a part of your website meanwhile.
  • Dedicated. If the regular white label gateways don’t exactly match your needs, then you should look in the direction of dedicated payment gateways. Besides having more checkout customization options and specific features added to the gateway at your request, you would also get a dedicated server (or servers) for hosting the gateway.
  • Licensed. This one is the “best of both worlds” as it allows you to customize the gateway in any way you need but without having to build an entirely new one (though you still need to go with the PCI audit and certification). After you buy a license for a chosen payment gateway software, you can adapt it to suit your business needs. Since you typically also get access to the source code, you get full control over the gateway infrastructure and can change the source code as much as you need.

Each type has its own benefits and its own set of drawbacks. For example, hosted gateways are the easiest ones to set up, but you don’t have any control over the gateway’s security. Dedicated and licensed meanwhile can give more features and customization options, but they come with a higher price tag as well.

Which payment companies enjoy the greatest popularity?

Connecting your new payment gateway to various banks, card issuers, and payment services is one more disadvantage of putting up your own payment gateway that we haven't yet mentioned. You would need to negotiate with numerous issuing banks, payment services, and credit card processing businesses before integrating the payment gateway with each of them, and the more payment methods the gateway can support, the better.

The largest payment service providers (PSP) in the meantime already have those connections set up and secured, and they can supply your online store with a variety of payment options, including credit cards, e-wallets, cash cards, rapid payments, and even cryptocurrencies.

Let’s take a look at a few payment solutions that are especially popular with businesses.


Paypal is an eCommerce payments platform that allows people to pay for their purchases without sharing any of their bank information (like their credit card number). And as it works in 200 countries and accepts 25 currency types, it’s one of the most popular gateways when it comes to online shopping. More than 1.6 million websites now use PayPal – the gateway is equally popular for mobile purchases.


Like Paypal, Stripe helps merchants accept and manage online transactions coming from anywhere in the world and in various types – credit cards, mobile wallets, cryptocurrency, and even the buy now, pay later services. Currently, Stripe is available in 120 countries and can process over 130 different currencies – so it works great for international brands.


Skrill (previously Moneybookers) is a payment gateway and digital wallet provider from the UK, established in 2001. Since its launch, Skrill has expanded to work in more than 120 countries and accepts 40 different currencies and over 100+ local payment methods, including cards, digital wallets, instant bank transfers, and cryptocurrency. Skrill is also a very popular purchase method among online casino and sports betting players. 


Braintree has been created by Paypal as a payment system aimed at higher-volume eCommerce businesses that want more control over their transactions. Along with a payment gateway and merchant account, Braintree offers small-business customers tools and services to streamline internal processes, such as customizable sales reporting, recurring billing, and integration with third-party apps. Braintree operates in 45 countries worldwide and supports 130 currencies.

Authorize.Net processes over one billion transactions for over 430,000 merchants every year. However, it has a short list of accepted currencies compared to its competitors. For U.S. and Canadian businesses, only supports payments in USD and CAD. For U.K. and European businesses, it supports eight currencies, and for Australian companies, three. A plus for them is that they offer several features for the merchants – recurring payments, invoicing, mobile purchases, a virtual point-of-sale (POS) system, and an optional card reader. 

Apps using payment gateway – examples

Nearly every type of application, from productivity tools, e-learning apps, weather widgets, and of course, games, has a built-in freemium model. Freemium means that the app is free to download and use, but if you want to access any of the extra features, then you need to pay for those. And since app users nowadays are not really eager to pay for an app they’ve never tried before, using a freemium model to let the users try the app before buying a subscription is an excellent way of convincing them the app is worth their money.