Best International Payment Gateway Comparison 2019

National and International Merchant Accounts

With a national merchant account and payment gateway, you can accept credit and debit card payments only from UK customers. If you just sell directly from a UK store and only sell online within the UK, a national merchant account and national internet merchant account is all you need.

If you intend to sell to customers in other countries, and you wish to accept online card payments in currencies other than your own, then you will need an international merchant account. An internet merchant account allows you to take your UK business to the next level by allowing you to accept payments in a wide range of other countries, UK payments in foreign currencies, and various other multi-currency solutions.

international payment gateway

Who Needs An International Merchant Account?

  • Merchants who wish to accept UK payments in foreign currencies either face to face or online
  • Merchants who wish to accept online payments in foreign currencies
  • Merchant who wish to extend their market and leverage extra income streams using dynamic currency conversion (DCC)

How Much does an International Merchant Account Cost?

Most, though not all, international merchant account providers price their services on an individual basis. As there are likely to be higher risks associated with international merchant accounts than with national merchant accounts, the costs are likely to be a little higher.

Typically card processing charges will be between 4% and 6% for new merchants without a solid trading history, while more established merchants should be able to find processing charges of between 2% and 4%.

International Payment Gateway Comparison

These are some of the more popular international payment gateway providers for UK merchants.


worldpay logo

The WorldPay global payment gateway is designed for larger merchants who operate in global markets. The main selling point is the cost compared to similar providers. WorldPay claims to be able to reduce costs by up to 85% compared with traditional channels.

Payment integration options are a hosted payment page or full API integration for PCI DSS accredited businesses. The gateway includes a virtual terminal for processing MOTO payments. WorldPay uses some of the most up to date advanced security and fraud protection tools in the industry. Worldpay is also an acquirer and can provide merchants with merchant accounts.

Pricing is provided on application.


netbanx logo

The NETBANX international payment gateway is a sophisticated solution that leverages the company’s expertise understanding the subtle differences between card payments in different countries. The gateway can be used to accept domestic payments in foreign currencies and to allow foreign customers to pay in their own currencies. The payments are settles in the currency chosen by the merchant.

The payment gateway is certified with most major banks globally, allowing around 105 options for multi-currency payment processing and settlement. NETBANX also offers intelligent transaction routing where transactions can be routed to an acquirer depending on the country of the transaction and the card type.

Pricing is provided on application.


realex logo

Realex Payments is based in Dublin and with offices in London and Paris. It provides payment gateway services throughout Europe. It has around 12,500 merchants in Europe and processes around £24 billion per annum. Realex was acquired by Global Payments in March 2015.

The Realex international payment gateway is fully featured with Dynamic Currency Conversion and Multi-Currency Processing; hosted and API integration is available. It offers multi-channel processing including MOTO, Internet and Mobile. All card schemes can be processed; 3D Secure and CVN authorisation is supported; and it includes advance fraud detection.

Pricing is provided on application.


sage pay logo

The Sagepay international payment gateway can process payments in around 25 currencies. It provides a hosted payment solution with its payment pages being fully customisable enabling merchant to provide their customers with a smoother and more consistent shopping experience. Fraud protection is provided by some of the most advanced tools in the industry.

An important selling point is that Sagepay offers rapid settlement, meaning that merchants gain access to their funds within two days of payment rather than seven days which is typical in the industry. Unlike many of its competitors, Sagepay offers transparent pricing.

Price: Gateway fees from £19.90 a month inclusive of 350 transactions.


cardstream logo

The Cardstream international payment gateway can process all currencies worldwide, and settle in any currency accepted by the merchant’s acquiring bank. As the company is independent, it can work with a wide range of acquirers. The gateway accepts all major credit and debit cards. Security includes MasterCard SecureCode, 3D Secure and Verified by Visa.

Cardstream offers three integration methods: a standard hosted payment page, a customisable hosted payment page which incorporates the merchant’s CSS design; and a fully API integrated solution for PCI DSS accredited merchants. Recurring payments can be processed using tokenisation. A virtual terminal is integrated with the gateway.

Price: Gateway fees from £19.90 a month inclusive of 350 transactions.


When it comes to accepting international online payments you need a gateway whose features matches your business needs. While all of those featured here are excellent choices for the right kinds of business, there are considerable differences between them.

Worldpay focuses in large businesses while smaller merchants might be better advised on selecting gateways such as Sagepay along with the others mentioned here.

Next Steps

There is a wide range of alternative international payment gateway providers, and there are many differences between what they have to offer and their pricing, though some of the differences are subtle. Rather that approach them all individually, if you fill in our web form you will be contacted directly by suppliers with quotes tailored to your specific business needs; a great way to save some time.

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