A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Payment Gateway in Kenya

March 19th, 2023 by Felix Cheruiyot


As the world continues to advance technologically, more and more businesses are moving toward the digital space. E-commerce has become the new normal, and with this shift comes the need for secure and reliable payment gateways. But what exactly is a payment gateway in Kenya, and why is it so crucial to choose the right one?

At its core, a payment gateway is a tool that allows businesses to accept online payments securely. It acts as a bridge between a merchant's website and the payment processor, enabling the processing of transactions made through credit or debit cards, mobile wallets, and other digital payment methods.

Choosing the right payment gateway is vital for any business, whether big or small. A poorly chosen payment gateway can result in lost revenue, security breaches, and poor customer experience. On the other hand, a well-chosen payment gateway can offer a smooth and secure payment experience for customers, increased revenue for the business, and overall peace of mind.

In Kenya, the payment gateway landscape is diverse, with various options available to businesses. From mobile payment solutions like M-Pesa to web-based payment gateways like IntaSend, businesses have a wide range of options.

To make an informed decision, businesses need to understand the types of payment gateways available, their advantages and disadvantages, and the factors to consider when choosing one. In this guide, we will delve into all these aspects, providing an in-depth analysis of the payment gateway landscape in Kenya and how businesses can choose the best payment gateway for their needs.

So, this guide is for you whether you are a small business owner just starting in the e-commerce space or an established business looking to optimize your payment process. Join us as we take a journey through the world of payment gateways and learn how to choose the best payment gateway for your business in Kenya.

Understanding Payment Gateways

To understand payment gateways, we need to go beyond the surface level definition and explore how they work. Essentially, a payment gateway acts as a virtual POS (Point of Sale) system, facilitating the transfer of funds between a customer and a merchant securely.

When a customer initiates a payment, the payment gateway encrypts the sensitive information (such as credit card details) and sends it to the payment processor for verification. The payment processor then communicates with the bank to confirm the availability of funds and authenticates the transaction. Once the transaction is approved, the payment gateway communicates the same to the merchant, who can then confirm the order and proceed with fulfilling it.

There are various types of payment gateways available, including hosted payment gateways, integrated payment gateways, and self-hosted payment gateways. Hosted payment gateways redirect the customer to the gateway's website to complete the transaction, while integrated payment gateways allow the customer to complete the transaction without leaving the merchant's website. Self-hosted payment gateways offer the highest level of control, but they require a higher degree of technical expertise.

Each type of payment gateway has its advantages and disadvantages. Hosted payment gateways are generally easy to use and set up, but they may not offer the same level of customization or control as other types. Integrated payment gateways offer a seamless checkout experience, but they may require more technical expertise to set up. Self-hosted payment gateways offer complete control and flexibility, but they require more technical expertise and maintenance.

When choosing a payment gateway, businesses need to consider various factors such as security, integration options, transaction fees, customer support, user experience, and the payment methods accepted. It's also essential to ensure that the payment gateway is compliant with relevant regulations and standards.

What to Look for in a Payment Gateway

Choosing the right payment gateway is critical for any business that wants to accept online payments. In Kenya, businesses have a variety of payment gateways to choose from, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. Here are the factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway in Kenya.


One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway is security. You want to ensure that your customers' sensitive information is protected, and their transactions are secure. The payment gateway should have robust encryption protocols in place to protect against fraud and data breaches.

A secure payment gateway not only safeguards your customers' trust but also helps maintain your business's reputation. Failing to prioritize security could lead to financial losses and reputational damage that may be difficult to recover from.

Another thing about security is regulatory compliance, such as adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which is essential as it ensures that payment gateways meet the necessary security requirements to protect sensitive customer data.

Integration options

Another factor to consider is integration options. You want to choose a payment gateway that integrates seamlessly with your website or e-commerce platform. The payment gateway should have APIs that allow for easy integration with your website or e-commerce platform. This ensures a smooth transition between the user's browsing experience and the checkout process, maintaining a cohesive feel throughout the entire transaction.

Furthermore, versatile integration methods can lead to higher conversion rates, as they reduce the likelihood of potential customers abandoning their purchase due to technical difficulties or a disjointed interface. In short, prioritizing integration options when selecting a payment gateway greatly contributes to a seamless customer experience and, ultimately, business success.

Transaction fees

Transaction fees are another critical factor to consider. Payment gateways charge different fees for transactions, and these fees can add up quickly. You want to choose a payment gateway with transparent and reasonable transaction fees that fit within your budget. Ignoring transaction fees could lead to unexpected costs that eat into your profits or negatively impact your customers' experience. A well-informed decision can help optimize your revenue stream and encourage customer loyalty. Selecting an appropriate payment gateway also allows for smooth integration with your business model, ultimately contributing to long-term financial success.

Customer support

Customer support is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a payment gateway provider in Kenya. You want to ensure that you choose a payment gateway provider that offers reliable and accessible customer support services. This is particularly important in case of any technical issues or payment disputes that may arise.

When evaluating customer support services, consider the payment gateway provider's response time, availability, and communication channels, such as email, phone, or live chat. You can also check online reviews to see what other users say about the provider's customer support. Efficient customer support ensures that any issues are promptly addressed and resolved, minimizing potential interruptions to your business operations.

Accepted payment methods

Different payment gateways accept different payment methods. You want to choose a payment gateway that accepts a wide range of payment methods to accommodate your customers' preferences. This may include credit cards, mobile payments, and bank transfers. Considering the accepted payment methods when choosing a payment gateway is essential for ensuring a smooth transaction process for your customers.

By offering a variety of payment options, you cater to a broader audience and reduce potential barriers to purchase. This flexibility allows customers to utilize their preferred payment methods, which can enhance their overall shopping experience and contribute to increased customer satisfaction. In turn, this can lead to higher conversion rates and a strong foundation for customer loyalty.

Choosing the Best Payment Gateway in Kenya - IntaSend

If you have an online business in Kenya and you’re looking for the right payment gateway to help you collect payments from your customers and clients in the most seamless way possible, IntaSend is always the best choice. With thousands of trusted customers all across Kenya, IntaSend has made a name for itself as one of the best payment providers in Kenya. Whether you’re a small business in the e-commerce industry looking to integrate payment APIs or you’re a big business looking for a payment system that can be used to disburse large and bulk payments, IntaSend is the go-to solution. Let’s explore some of the best features of the IntaSend brand below;

Multiple payment methods

IntaSend understands the importance of offering multiple payment methods to its users, ensuring customer satisfaction and convenience. By providing options such as mobile money payments, credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and even Bitcoin, it caters to a diverse range of payment preferences. This adaptability not only allows for seamless transactions but also encourages customer retention and loyalty. As a result, businesses utilizing IntaSend's platform can expect an improved user experience and increased revenue potential.

Fast settlement

IntaSend's fast settlement of transactions has become a game-changer for businesses relying on regular payments. With its cutting-edge technology, IntaSend ensures that payments reach their preferred destinations swiftly and securely. This prompt processing enables businesses to maintain a healthy cash flow and eliminates any potential bottlenecks in their financial operations. As a result, both businesses and their clients can experience seamless transactions, fostering long-term relationships and trust.

Bank-level security

In the realm of payment processing, IntaSend emerges as a knight in shining armor, wielding its bank-level security to fend off the dragons of fraud and data breaches. Like a trusted guard, this impenetrable fortress of protection ensures businesses can rest easy, knowing that their financial transactions remain safeguarded within these virtual walls. Having the weight of the digital realm's equivalent to precious metals and gemstones - sensitive customer information - carried with unmatched care and precision contributes to the overall success and reputation of any enterprise. With IntaSend's unwavering commitment to security, businesses now possess the power to thrive, secure in the knowledge that their financial interests are valiantly defended.

API integrations

IntaSend's API integrations offer developers and businesses a seamless way to harness the power of innovative payment solutions. By integrating with IntaSend, organizations can quickly and efficiently manage transactions, enhance their overall digital capabilities, and cater to the evolving needs of their customers. IntaSend's flexibility and simplicity ensure that businesses from various industries can take advantage of this cutting-edge technology. Regardless of the size or scope of a company, IntaSend's API delivers a smooth and secure payment experience, making it an essential component in the modern digital landscape.

24/7 customer support

IntaSend's unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction manifests in the form of an exceptional round-the-clock support system. IntaSend's skilled support team ensures that assistance is only ever a call or message away, day or night. This rare fusion of technical expertise and ceaseless dedication has established IntaSend as a distinguished player in the industry. The resulting customer loyalty stands as a testament to the unparalleled experience offered by this enterprising company.


In conclusion, embarking on the journey to select the ideal payment gateway in Kenya can be both exciting and daunting for beginners. By assessing factors such as transaction fees, security measures, and integration options, one can confidently choose the best solution to suit their unique needs. Fortunately, Kenya's diverse and expansive payment landscape offers numerous opportunities to accommodate businesses of all sizes and industries. Remember that the perfect payment gateway is one that not only serves your current requirements but also adapts to cater to your business's growth and changing needs in the future.

Get started on IntaSend today by creating a free account.

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