Top 12 Payment Gateways in Colombia That You Need To Know About

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Anta Pattabiraman

Published 

April 19, 2022

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Columbia is considered the fastest growing eCommerce market in Latin America (LatAm), with annual revenue of US$7 billion in 2021, it’s predicted to grow by a CAGR of 6% by 2025. While 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, it ensured that global eCommerce markets grew considerably. In turn, Colombia ranked as the fourth largest e-commerce market in Latin America, a position it is expected to maintain through 2021.

Where there is eCommerce, there is a rise in alternate payment methods. In this guide, you’ll learn more about what payment methods are widely used in Columbia, how to start accepting them via payment gateways, and what are the best Columbia payment gateways out there. 

The Current Payment Landscape in Colombia

1. Credit cards with installments: Visa / MasterCard / Amex 

Used by 51% of the population, credit cards are the most popular payment method in Colombia, which is pretty standard. However, one interesting factor is that Colombians prefer to pay with installments. Merchants will need to ensure that this is something their payment gateway provides or they risk low checkout conversions. 

2. Paying with cash 

While Colombia has a thriving eCommerce market, a large amount of the population lives in rural areas and mainly relies on cash payments. Cash-based payments take 21% of all eCommerce purchases in Colombia. 

Though there are a number of alternative payment methods that allow customers to easily pay for online goods and services with cash. One of those methods is Davivienda cash payment which enables shoppers to pay for purchases at any ATM, post office, or physical store.

3. PSE (Pagos Seguros en linea)

Pagos Seguros en linea, or PSE for short, is the most popular payment method in Colombia, provided by a national bank consortium, ACH Colombia. (PSE) is a payment option that allows customers to complete the payment via bank transfer online without leaving the merchant's checkout. As such, the payment method is growing in popularity due to the low risk of fraud and chargebacks. 

Criteria to Look Out For Payment Gateways in Colombia

There are many payment gateways in Columbia, so you’ll need to factor in the best one for you. When choosing the right partner it’s best to look into the fraud management systems they have, how easy it is to integrate, what payment methods are available, as well as their transaction fees. 

Security

By 2021, nearly 22 million Colombians were shopping online, accounting for more than 60% of the internet-using population. However, a rise in adoption also means a rise in bad actors. An Intel security study stated that 15% of crime against merchants in Colombia is associated with cybercrime, resulting in approximately USD $600 million in losses.

Colombian Payment gateways use a range of methods to uphold recent legislation that helps to protect merchants and customers from online fraud. These security methods include data encryption, machine learning, PCI DSS Compliance, Tokenization, and more! Read more about the security measures that payment gateways use and how to integrate them into your fraud management strategy. 

Reliability

There is a range of payment gateways in Colombia, so choosing the right one for you will mainly fall on how easy it is to integrate with your webshop or store. You’ll want to choose the right partner that can be ready to go in no time and promptly be on call if there are any issues that need to be ironed out. 

Supported Currencies

Of course, you want to be able to pay in and payout in the currencies of your choice without incurring conversion fees. By offering more currencies to your users, you’ll be making your webshop more accessible and see rising conversion rates. 

Market integrations

When expanding and adding more payment gateways to your checkout, you’ll want the ones that offer a smooth integration experience and fast onboarding. This will ensure that your engineering team doesn’t spend valuable time and resources on integration. 

The payment methods available

Of course, to create a smooth user experience for shoppers and ensure high conversion rates, merchants need to have the right payment methods in their arsenal. Which will be provided by your payment gateway. To be successful, merchants will need to ensure that their Colombia payment gateway has the most widely used payment methods. 

Pricing and fees

Last, but not least, you’ll want the payment gateways that offer the best bang for your buck. Transaction fees and pricing can easily add up, so you’ll need to be wary of the pricing structure each payment gateway offers so that you get the best deal. 

12 Best Colombia Payment Gateways

12 Best Colombia Payment Gateways

1. Stripe

On your search for a payment gateway, you’ll be hard-pressed to miss out on hearing about Stripe. As one of the world's most widely used payment gateways, Stripe is popular amongst large tech companies and start-ups. 

A global presence, a huge array of plug-ins for website integrations, and low transaction fees are just some of the many reasons to integrate with Stripe.

Setup: Free / Premium accounts available

Transaction fee: 1.4% + €0.25 per transaction for European cards and 2.9 + €0.25 for non-European cards.

Customer support: email/phone/live chat/social media

Supported payment methods: N/A

Fraud management: yes

Market integrations: They release hundreds of features and enhancements each year to help their customers stay ahead of industry changes (they deploy their API an average of 16 times a day).

Supported currencies: all major currencies. 

Onboarding time: 1-2 days

Source of info: btodigital, nerdwallet, stripe

2. PayU LatAm

PayU LatAm is the most popular payment gateway in Colombia. Merchants choose them based on their free setup costs and easy integration. With PayU LatAm you can get complete coverage over the whole of South America, due to the many payment methods available. 

Merchants can also enjoy access to PayU LatAm’s fraud management system that comes with fraud detection and machine learning. 

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: rate is 3.49% + $900 

Customer support: email/phone

Supported payment methods: All major credit cards. Bank transfer: avivienda, Banco de Bogotá, Bancolombia. PagaTodo, Gana, Acertemos, Apuestas Cúcuta 75, Su Chance, La Perla, Apuestas Unidas, JER.

Fraud management: yes

Supported currencies: all major currencies. 

Source of info: btodigital, ecwid, PayU

3. PlacetoPay

PlacetoPay is a payment gateway that acts as a virtual dataphone, allowing merchants to receive payments and collect invoices. According to Statista, in 2018, PlacetoPay processed more than 12 million payments and reached 34 million by 2020. 

PlacetoPay facilitates all the necessary payment methods and offers a complete fraud management system with online verification of transactions, an anti-fraud module, and certifications.

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: Dependant on transaction volume

Customer support: email/phone

Supported payment methods: All major credit cards. Bank transfer: avivienda, Banco de Bogotá, Bancolombia. PagaTodo, Gana, Acertemos, Apuestas Cúcuta 75, Su Chance, La Perla, Apuestas Unidas, JER.

Fraud management: yes

Supported currencies: all major currencies in LatAm and USD. 

Source of info: btodigital, evertecinc

4. ZonaPAGOS

Founded in 1998, ZonaPagos is one of the oldest Colombian payment gateways. Merchants can be safe in the knowledge that they are dealing with one of the most experience payment gateways in Colombia and easily integrate their webshops through a restful API plugin. 

With ZonaPAGOS, merchants will get access to all of the payment methods available in Colombia. 

Setup: N/A

Transaction fee: N/A

Customer support: email, phone, Skype 24 hours 7 days a week. 

Supported payment methods: All major payment methods. 

Fraud management: yes

Onboarding time: N/A

Source of info: Zonavirtual

5. Wompi

Wompi is a Colombian payment gateway developed by Bancolombia that's popular among eCommerce merchants. Its operation is quite simple, it has a user-friendly interface and allows anyone without experience to be able to generate payment links ​​and share them directly on social networks, WhatsApp, or your website. Wompi has an official plugin to integrate with WooCommerce. 

However, it does not yet have a plugin to integrate with other systems such as Shopify, Prestashop, Magento, or Vtex, however, merchants can easily integrate with Wompi via their developer docs. 

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: Their fee depends on how often they will put money into your account:

Daily: 2.85% + $800 + VAT

Weekly: 2.75% + $700 + VAT

Monthly: 2.65% + $700 + VAT

It‘s important to note that the VAT on this gateway is based on the value of the rate.

Customer support: email/phone

Supported payment methods: All major credit cards. Bank transfer and Payment link

Fraud management: yes

Supported currencies: N/A

Source of info: btodigital, wompi, 

6. PayZen

Last but not least, we have PayZen. PayZen is the only Colombian payment gateway solution to receive online payments securely, manage recurring payment subscriptions, generate payment links, and make collections. 

Interestingly, PayZen has a feature that generates payment orders by WhatsApp and sends them, practically transforming WhatsApp into a virtual dataphone. All without the need for the user or buyers to download additional apps

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: 99,000 COP per month plus a cost of 400 COP per transaction. The first 100 transactions are free.

Customer support: email/phone

Supported payment methods: All major credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Diners, Amex, and private cards such as Codensa. Digital wallets such as Nequi, Daviplata, and PSE payments.

Fraud management: 3D secure

Supported currencies: all major currencies. 

Source of info: btodigital, Paymentez

7. Braintree

Braintree by PayPal is a full-stack payments platform that makes it easy to accept payments. Merchants choose Braintree because of its flat-rate transparent pricing structure and a vast amount of plugins and integrations. 

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: USD 0.30.

Customer support: email/phone/social media

Supported payment methods: All major credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Diners, Amex, and private cards such as Codensa. Digital wallets such as Nequi, Venmo, Daviplata, and PSE payments.

Fraud management: 3D secure

Supported currencies: all major currencies. 

Source of info: Braintreepay

8. WePay

WePay is supported by hundreds of apps and services. Their low transaction fees make it affordable to accept payments online. Deposits are made within a day or two. WePay has quite extensive reporting features, such as reconciliation and easy-to-use dashboards to see what payment methods are working best for you.

Setup: N/A

Transaction fee: N/A

Customer support: Open 24/7

Supported payment methods: All major Credit/Debit cards PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, PSE

Fraud management: Yes

Currencies: N/A

Onboarding time: N/A

Source of info: WePay, 

9. 2Checkout

2Checkout is one of the most popular payment gateways, with tens of thousands of merchants choosing them to be their payment partners. Merchants can enjoy the easy setup, with minimal and with 2Checkout they can quickly process payments for the most popular methods in Colombia. 

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: 3.9 % + $0.45 USD1.5% cross-border fee

Customer support: Open 24/7

Supported payment methods: All major Credit/Debit cards PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, PSE

Fraud management: Yes

Currencies: All major currencies

Onboarding time:1-2 days

Source of info: Devathon, 2CheckOut

10. Rapyd

Rapyd is a payments platform that inserts fintech services into any app and simplifies the complex offering of local payment methods. With a focus on mobile-friendly solutions, merchants and consumers seem to love Rapyd! 

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: N/A

Customer support: 24/7

Supported payment methods: Local payment methods including cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and cash

Fraud management: yes

Currencies: N/A

Onboarding time: N/A

Source of info: Rapyd

11. EBANX

EBANX is one of the best payment gateways in Latin America and is mainly used by B2B merchants. Merchants will be able to use EBANX for full coverage in Latin America and get access to more than 100 local payment methods, including cards, cash payments, and digital alternative methods, with high performance in approval and conversion rates.

Setup: Free

Transaction fee: Varies per currency

Customer support: email

Supported payment methods: 100 payment methods, Direct integration with 70 banks, acquirers, and payment processors.

Fraud management: yes

Currencies: All major currencies

Onboarding time: N/A

Source of info: Ebanx, 

12. Directa24

Directa24 is a payment gateway that specializes in emerging markets and as such is the only 360 payments technology platform for Latin America, APAC, and Africa. Dubbed as the fastest-growing global payment processor in LatAm, Directa24 specializes in processing payments for the gambling and adult entertainment sectors. 

Setup: N/A

Transaction fee: N/A

Customer support: Email

Fraud management: N/A

Supported payment methods: 31 payment methods

Currencies: All major currencies

Integrations: Java, PHP, Javascript

Onboarding time: N/A

Source of info: Directa24, Payments

Local Payment Gateways and the Rising Complexities for Businesses

As you’ve probably guessed, with the sheer size of the Colombian payment gateway market, it’s pretty hard to select the gateways that are the right fit for your business. For merchants, it's becoming difficult to integrate many gateways and costs hundreds of hours of manpower and resources for the engineering team to integrate and maintain. Unfortunately, gateways are also prone to failure and have downtime. 

Something which businesses cannot arm themselves against - and also means that your customers won’t be able to make a transaction. Luckily there are platforms like inai that can help! 

How inai Helps you Address Multiple Payment Gateway Integrations in Colombia?

When taking your business across borders it's important to have the right payment partners on your side. However, payment gateways offer only varying degrees of coverage for alternative payment methods in Colombia.

With an inai integration, you can get started in less than 60 mins with no code. You'll even be able to customize your checkout to your branding and direct each customer to a designated payment gateway based on the best transaction pricing and success rate.  Working with a payment unification layer like inai ensures that you connect with every payment method your customers could desire!

inai  - schedule a demo

About the author
Anta Pattabiraman is the co-founder and CEO of Inai, a global payment stack simplifying native payments within a single integration. Over the last 5 years, he has worked with 200+ businesses ranging from SMEs to Bigtechs.
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