Choosing a payment gateway for your eCommerce business is hard. There are so many options and it can get quite overwhelming fairly easily. 

This guide is to help you decide between the multiple options and get an idea about their charges, integration time & complexity, along with how often customers in Pakistan might use it. 

 Question 1: How do you want your customers to pay you?

There are 4 methods by which your customers can pay you (and while some payment gateways offer multiple methods others only offer one.

  1. Debit/Credit Card
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • UnionPay
  1. Mobile Wallets
  • EasyPaisa
  • Jazzcash are the two biggest ones here
  1. Over The Counter (OTC)
  2. Account Based Transfer
  • Offered by providers such as 1Link but individually by HBL, BAF and other big banks as well.

We have found that Card based payments and OTC are the most popular. It’s a good idea to integrate with both if you are focused on local customers across all socio-economic classes.However, if you are targeting just the high social economic groups, only having a credit card option will be good enough. 

Question 2: Which Payment Gateway offers which services?

There are multiple payment gateways in Pakistan some of which are operated by the large banks, while others are fintechs (PSO/PSP/EMIs) who are operating under a license by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). 


As a side note it is always safer to go with a payment gateway operated by a bank as those being operated by the fintechs have had restrictions placed on them in the past which resulted in their gateway being shut down for periods of time which is not ideal. 

Question 3: Which offers the easiest integrations?

When you are starting a new eCommerce store or are just looking to scale up, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and resources integrating with a payment gateway.

The most popular eCommerce platforms are WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento and OpenCart within Pakistan and unfortunately very few payment gateways have plugins developed for these platforms, and if they do you are not given access until you reach out to their team. If you are looking for a self-service platform then you are unfortunately going to struggle.

Question 4: Which add-on features should I aim to install as well?

There are multiple core features one needs to look at before you integrate. While the basic integration is all that the majority of eCommerce startups need, however, aiming for a higher feature set could increase your customer trust and conversion rate significantly.

Hosted / On-Page Checkout

This is a critical feature if you want to increase your conversion rates. As everytime you redirect

your customer away from your checkout you are risking a loss of sales. 

Tokenisation / PCI DSS

To further increase your conversion rates you should ideally save the customers payment information so that the next time they come to conduct a transaction they do not have to enter all their information in again. The best way of doing this is to save the data yourself, however, this required that you become PCI DSS compliant which is both a long and costly process. The other option is to choose a payment gateway which offer tokenisation. Tokenisation results in the gateway saving the customer's payment information and taking responsibility of it. However, the bad news is that if you decide to leave the gateway, then you lose all that payment information as well. 

Question 5: What are the costs of each payment gateway?

The costs that you pay to a payment gateway varies based on the payment method used and the size and volume you process. There is usually an MDR (Merchant Discount Rate) that you have to pay, which is a very oddly termed way of saying the fee the you pay to the bank in terms of percentage of revenue. I.e a 2% MDR means that for a 100 rupee transaction the bank will pay you back 98 rupees. Some payment gateways also charge a per transaction fee, which is a set rupee value that you will pay per transaction. Its also always a good idea to check whether the fees include WHT (withholding tax). At the time of writing WHT in Pakistan is calculated at 0.16% of the total amount. 

For Credit/Debit Cards you can expect an MDR of between 1.8 - 3.3% depending on your overall volume that you give to the payment gateway. Some gateways also charge a higher rate for international transactions. 

Mobile Wallets usually offer the cheapest MDR of 1% which you can get with JazzCash and EasyPaisa. 

OTC MDR’s can range from 1.5% to 2%

Account Based Transfer also have a high range, with some offering the services for free to charge upto 2%. There are also some services which offer tiered based pricing based on the volume of the transaction. I.e for an order upto Rs 10,000 the charge will be a fixed fee of something like 20 PKR or higher. 

Depending on your payment gateway they might also charge you for processing refunds/chargebacks or disputes, its always a good idea to check this beforehand when you are negotiating your fees. 

bSecure the Universal Checkout Solution 

We built bSecure because as eCommerce entrepreneurs we were sick and tired of having to do a lot of difficult integrations and offer the customer experience we wanted to experience as customer on our own website. This is why we created bSecure. 

With bSecure you got integrations with all the payment gateways available in Pakistan and even some international ones (coming soon) while being able to offer your customers the ability to save their payment details without entering it every time (coming in Q1 2021). By integrating with bSecure you know your money will be safe as well as you will have a direct relationship with a bank and the bSecure Architects will help guide you through the myriad levels of paperwork that you need to fill out at the bank. 

Want to learn more sign up for a no string attached beta today at and get started with our multiple integrations for all major eCommerce platforms such as Shopify & WooCommerce. 


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