Update Sep 2, 2016: I wrote this article way back in 2010, since then the start-up ecosystem has completely changed in India. Several new payment gateways sprung up and others shut. My team has assessed almost all of them.

As of now, for India payments, we advise you to go with InstaMojo. No fuss, clean, fast payment gateway.
If you are looking for payments from outside India, PayPal is still the best. Do check my insights on PayPal. They will surely help you.

My software startup caters mainly to the market outside India. Off late we are seeing a growing interest in our products and services from people in India. Now PayPal has been very good with payment-gateways-india us till now. The issue with PayPal is that one can not accept payment from people in India if the merchant also happens to be from India. Moreover PayPal does not accept payment in INR (Indian currency). Also on a more personal note and experience over the years we have found people in India will readily spend in rupees for a particular product but would be reluctant to spend an equivalent dollar amount.

Due to these reasons we started a search for reliable Payment Gateways services in India. Our first Google search landed us on Pluggd.in and StartupDunia. These are a bit dated but still relevant articles on payment gateways in India. In case you are looking to integrate payment gateways I would suggest you to check them and come back to check my experience and review of various payment gateways.

As per my research, some of the major e-payment gateways operating in India are

  • ccAvenue
  • EBS
  • DirecPay
  • HDFC
  • ICICI Payseal

My search started with visiting websites for each of them (except ICICI. I normally desist from dealing with anything that starts or end with an abbreviation ICICI) and sending a query through their contact forms. In fact this is something standard that I always do to gauge the responsiveness of the support. In case pre-sales support is lousy, in all probability you won’t get a good after-sales support.

EBS folks were the quickest to respond with a personalized reply to my query, this was followed by ccAvenue and DirecPay canned replies. HDFC folks never responded. I ruled out DirecPay instantly, first because they do not accept American Express credit cards and second because they sent me a canned reply.
The impressive list of clientele and the fact that ccAvenue accepts almost all credit cards and almost all banks in India for payment through netbanking kept me hooked to ccAvenue. So in the end it was EBS vs ccAvenue. Though EBS also does not support AmEx cards but EBS folks were excellent on support and responsiveness while ccAvenue folks never responded to my follow-up query after a canned reply from them. When I had almost made up my mind to go with EBS, I thought of directly calling ccAvenue, to give them and myself a last chance.

Speaking over the phone was a much better experience, person was knowledgeable and provided me some good suggestions on how to get started. A primary concern I have seen from people who have applied for ccAvenue is that ccAvenue won’t easily enable your payment gateway for credit card transactions. (I guess this is for credit card fraud prevention). The person over the phone suggested to first apply through the website and make sure that the site gets approved by ccAvenue and then only proceed ahead with the one time non-refundable payment and other formalities. Fair enough.
I was told my application will be looked within 48 hrs. I waited for more than 96 working hours and there was no response. I decided again to call them up and within 20-25 mins of my call I got an approval email from the ccAvenue team. Learning? While dealing with ccAvenue always contact them through phone and not rely on email/contact form.

Now I am done with all documentation and have sent one time non-refundable fee to ccAvenue. I “ll keep you guys posted on further developments. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions, also let us know your experience with payment gateways of India.

Here is a list of tools and software that we use at our start-up.

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