How Startups Can Accept Online Payments

Launching a startup is both exciting and overwhelming. Make accepting payments easy by choosing the right payment system. Find out more in this blog post.

Accepting payments online is essential if you want to run a successful business today. However, as a startup business owner, you’re in a unique position. The payment system you choose will likely look different than the system of a traditional business with years of success under its belt.

With a lower cash flow to start, you need a payment solution that’s flexible and easy to use, while also being affordable. The good news? There are several options that can suit your needs perfectly. Here’s what you need to know about each.


What Does a Startup Need in an Online Payment System?

From a technical standpoint, every business needs three key elements for a full payment infrastructure:

  • Merchant account: A type of bank account that allows you to receive credit card payments.
  • Payment gateway: A service that connects your store to your merchant account.
  • Payment processing: A service that securely transmits data and allows banks to transfer money from a customer’s account to your merchant account.

Luckily, you don’t need to go out and sign up for each of these services individually. is a payment service provider that includes a full payment infrastructure, taking away the stress and waiting time of signing up for each of the above elements on your own.

From a business point of view, you should review two key aspects when choosing a payment system. First, consider its simplicity. You have enough work on your plate, so it’s typically best to avoid going the DIY route when it comes to your payment system. The solution you choose should be fast to set up and easy to adjust. Then, it needs to run on its own without much maintenance.

Then there’s the cost. As a startup, you’re working with a limited cash supply. You likely don’t have the funds (yet) to take on huge payment system expenses. So, the solution you choose must include a transparent, affordable pricing structure. 

3 Ways a Startup Can Accept Online Payments 

There are a variety of ways your startup can accept online payments. The best solution will depend on your business model, who your target market is, and what you sell. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you choose.

1. Payments APIs 

If you plan to sell products via a website or application, you’ll need a checkout page. The most customizable option for accepting online payments in this way would be with an API (application programming interface). With a checkout API, your developer can embed hosted payment fields into your website or app.

This method provides you with access to everything a payment service provider has to offer. With’s APIs, for example, you get Level 1 PCI DSS compliance. Our system scans for security threats, encrypts and tokenizes data during transmission and storage, and offers comprehensive support for security issues. 

With our payments API, your business also gets the capability to support a variety of payment methods. That includes everything from credit and debit cards to bank transfers, mobile wallets, PayPal, and more. You get all of the benefits of working with a payment service provider while still using your own website or app environment.

This approach ensures that you provide a streamlined, cohesive experience for shoppers. They remain on your interface throughout their entire customer journey, all the way through checkout. You might use a checkout API if your startup sells products at set prices, like physical goods or digital downloads. You’ll also need to know how to code yourself or have a developer help you with setup.

2. Hosted Checkout 

With a hosted checkout, you use a prebuilt checkout page from your payment service provider. A third-party provider, like, creates and hosts the checkout page for you. When a customer decides to make a purchase, your website redirects them to the hosted checkout page. 

You can customize your hosted checkout so that it looks and feels like the rest of your website. For example, you can add your branding, including copy, font, brand colors, and logo to match the rest of your site. 

Customers may have security concerns when redirected to enter their payment details on another site. While this is a valid consideration, it’s also a fairly standard process in the world of payments. 

Any website using hosted checkout options from a payment processor or ecommerce platform will use the redirection method. Alleviate customer concerns by personalizing your checkout page to look like the rest of your site.

Hosted checkout is best if you sell products that remain at a fixed price, like luggage, cosmetics, or online course content. It can be especially helpful if you’re in a hurry to get up and running. You can customize a hosted checkout page with just a few clicks and start making sales right away.

3. Direct Payment Links

Direct payment links allow you to send a payment request to a customer, usually via email or SMS. This method is similar to sending an invoice, except the customer receives a link. When they click it, they’re taken to a checkout page that you can personalize. Here, you can add your branding elements and a personalized message.

Just like a checkout page, customers can pay you with a variety of payment methods via the direct payment link. You can choose which payment methods to accept - options include credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, and digital wallets.

Direct payment links can work for a variety of business models but are especially helpful if you’re a service provider or freelancer. They make it easy to send customized bills that include hourly or project-based pricing that changes, rather than set pricing. 

Direct payment links are also a helpful solution if you don’t have a website or lack the technical experience necessary to use APIs. Plus, they’re quick to set up and send, so they can help you start accepting payments fast.

The Benefits of Working with as Your Payment Service Provider 

No matter how you want to get paid, provides the infrastructure for you to quickly and easily get started. You can use our developer-friendly APIs to embed Pay components into your website or app, getting the full range of benefits while remaining within your own environment.

In a hurry with no coding experience? You can easily customize a Pay-hosted checkout page. Add your brand colors, logo, font, and more with just a few clicks. Or, if you’re selling a service, you can send your customers Pay Links through email or text. Your clients will get a link to a personalized and professional checkout page so they can make a payment.

Regardless of which way you accept payments, you can add a variety of payment methods to your website or invoices. Choose from popular options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and more. 

We protect each transaction with advanced security measures per our PCI DSS Level 1 compliance, including tokenization and two-factor authentication. uses a transparent, flat-rate pricing model. You pay a set fee for each sale, and you only pay for successful transactions. You can even track your fees in the Pay Dashboard so you’re never left with a surprise bill. Plus, the Pay Dashboard also provides you with in-depth analytics and insights to help you make business decisions as you grow your startup.

Click here to create your account now!

The Bottom Line

Creating a startup is no easy feat. From creating a viable product to raising funds, there’s plenty of work to keep you busy. Don’t let payment systems hinder your progress. When searching for the right solution for your business, you just need to ensure that you’re getting a well-rounded payment infrastructure with transparent pricing. 

By signing up with, you get access to a powerful payment system and a robust selection of tools to help grow your business. Whether you want to utilize our checkout APIs, hosted checkout pages, or Pay Links, we can provide a flexible solution that fits your needs.


What's the easiest way to accept payments online?

The fastest and easiest way to start accepting online payments is by signing up with The account-creation process is simple, and after a quick onboarding process, you can start customizing your checkout page or sending out Pay Links.

How can a small business accept payments?

Small businesses can accept payments by signing up with a payment service provider. is an effective payment infrastructure that allows your business to securely accept various payment methods. With, you can set up a checkout page, send Pay Links, or send payment requests with Pay Checkout.

How can I accept payments without a website?

You can accept online payments with even if you don’t have a website. You have a few options, including Pay Links and Pay Checkout. You can even take payments over the phone by manually entering your customer’s payment information into the Pay Dashboard.

Which payment method is best for online payments?

Credit cards are generally the best online payment method, as they’re extremely common and include features like fraud monitoring and encryption. That said, alternatives like PayPal, Apple Pay, and ACH transfers are also becoming increasingly common and include extensive security features.

Meet the author
Ginny Dorn
Ginny Dorn is a finance and business copywriter specializing in credit card processing and fintech. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences.
The Best Way to Accept Payments as a Startup gives you access to a powerful payment solution and a variety of useful tools. Customize your checkout page, send payment links, add payment methods, track sales, review in-depth reports, and more – all from one intuitive dashboard.

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