Discover which are the top payment gateways and payment systems in the European Union and across Europe.

A payment gateway is a crucial component of payment processing for merchants. It authorizes the transfer of funds between the merchant and customer, ensuring funds are available for merchants to get paid. 

Choosing the wrong payment gateway can cost you large fees, create unnecessary risk, and lost sales, especially when transferring funds internationally. Not to mention slow payment processes won’t fly anymore as consumers continue to raise their standards for online efficiency. It has become even more important to explore the top payment gateways and payment systems in the European Union and across Europe, so you can be sure to avoid hefty fees and optimize your payment strategies.

What To Look For In a Payment Gateway In the European Union

While all international payment processing should be smooth, fast, secure, and trustworthy, there are other important details to consider and features to seek out when looking for a payment system. Not only do many consumers prefer contactless payment, the global market is quickly working to improve in other ways from the days of paper checks and slow transfers. Here are essential features to look for in a European Union payment gateway: 

  • Local and Alternative Payment Methods: Every country in the EU is different, so the best European payment processors optimize for both in-country preferences and cross-border payments.
  • Merchant System Integration: Merchant accounts can differ from company to company and it can become confusing and expensive to juggle varying systems. A good payment gateway seamlessly integrates international merchant credit card processing from one company to another. 
  • APIs: The best payment gateways in the European Union take an API-first approach, making certain that the widest range of users/clients can use the app to both send and receive payments. Developers can easily integrate your payment processor into their projects in the future and it gives merchants full control to integrate new payment options.
  • Plugins: It is important to note, especially for convenience and cross-stream ease of use, whether an international payment processor has plugins that can be easily added to your website platform for eCommerce purposes.
  • Fraud Management: Many businesses do still rely on paper checks to remit payments, but the world is rife with check fraud and wire transfers are irreversible and provide no protection from unscrupulous actors. A good payment gateway ensures, without a doubt, that funds are available and that international credit card processing is safe while still operating efficiently.

For many merchants, distilling the features of the various payment gateways down can be an arduous task. We’ve collected the top payment gateways in the European Union based on their features and functionality.

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Top Payment Processors In the EU

  • Paypal: Paypal is one of the oldest names in the world of online payments. They have many tools to simplify day-to-day operations and do well with international credit card processing. 
    • Pros: You can transfer to over 200 countries and the interface is easy to use. Paypal can help you get your money back in the case of fraudulent transactions. 
    • Cons: Paypal’s international transfers aren’t free, and can end up costing your business a pretty penny. It can take up to 2-3 days to receive your payments, and then it is not transferred directly to your bank account. 
    • If you reside in Armenia, Belarus, the British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, Macedonia, or Montenegro, you cannot receive payments via PayPal
    • Features: Accept online payments, provides international credit card services, online invoicing, PCI Compliant


  • Stripe: Stripe stands out in the way of APIs and support for local payment services. They are known for their support options and favorable opinion among developers. 
    • Pros: Stripe accepts payments in a wide range of currencies and offers instant withdrawal. The fees are market-comparable. 
    • Cons: Stripe is a less user-friendly interface. Disputing fraudulent payments can be a long and difficult process. Not available for merchants who are based in Central and Eastern European countries, such as Belarus, Croatia, and Georgia, or smaller nations like Monaco and Gibraltar.
    • Features: PCI Compliant, custom UI toolkit, consolidated checkout, mobile interface, recurring payments, fraud protection, 24/7 technical support


  • Amazon Pay: Amazon touts a simple user interface and low fees. 
    • Pros: Due to its global presence, Amazon is a trusted household name and has extensive multi-currency capabilities. Integrations with Amazon and WordPress are relatively simple. 
    • Cons: Fund transfer from Amazon wallet to your bank account can take up to 2-3 days.
    • Features: Automatic payments, website integration, fraud protection, Inline checkout


  • Worldpay from FIS: An old giant in the realm of international credit card services, Worldpay has robust capabilities for global payments. 
    • Pros: Security against fraud and as a direct processor, no third-party issues arise. 
    • Cons: Notoriously poor support due to it being a large international processor. Hefty termination fees. 
    • Features: Fraud & risk management, recurring payments, alternative payment methods such as e-wallets and bank transfer, currency conversion & language translation, and data & analytics


  • Rapyd: By connecting companies to all the ways consumers like to pay around the world, Rapyd creates frictionless eCommerce solutions. 
    • Pros: Expertly designed local solutions and plugins. Easily the most efficient and innovative way to send and receive payments. Available for merchants based in nearly every European nation and territory.
    • Features: 24/7 support, recurring payments, ACH payment processing, international credit card processing, localized checkout, pre-built payment solutions, receive payments instantly, developer-friendly APIs, fraud protection, merchant system integration

Emerging Solutions For International Payment Processing

The world of international credit card processing can be challenging to navigate with such varying features. While most payment processors will accept payments from other nations, not all gateways serve the entire European Union and actually have restrictions about the merchants they can serve based on their home location. 

Why not choose a payment gateway that covers all the bases and can be found throughout  Europe? Rapyd Collect has all of the best features of the top payment processors for the European Union and offers quick payments, API-first functionality, fraud protection, multi-currency support, PCI compliance, and more. 

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