A Payment gateway comparison for small businesses and freelancers in the UAE

Payment gateways provide merchants with the ability to accept debit and credit card payments, both in-store and online. It’s essential for any online business to have a reliable payment gateway. This is because it guarantees a secure way of taking payments while providing customers with a smooth checkout experience.

However, with so many available options, it can be challenging to select the ideal payment gateway for the online store. In this comparison, the focus is specifically on payment gateways that cater to small businesses and freelancers, thus excluding bank gateways and large international players .

Understanding the SME needs

Payment gateways that cater to small businesses and freelancers generally have different characteristics than those that are designed for large ecommerce players. Some of the main differences include:


Payment gateways for SMEs and freelancers typically have lower transaction fees and monthly fees than those for large ecommerce players. This is because freelancers typically have lower sales volumes and don’t need as many advanced features as larger businesses.


Payment gateways for SMEs and freelancers are often simpler to integrate with existing systems, such as a website or invoicing software. They may also offer more streamlined and user-friendly interfaces for creating and managing transactions that don’t require a large tech team to install.


Payment gateways for large ecommerce players will typically have more advanced security features, such as fraud detection and prevention tools, to protect against large-scale cyber attacks. They also comply with several certifications and compliances. Any regulated payment gateway must have their PCI compliance and regulation regardless of size or client base.

Customer Support:

Payment gateways for large ecommerce players will generally have a dedicated customer support team available 24/7 to assist with any issues that may arise. While small companies and freelancers may not have the same level of customer support available or required even.

Payment methods:

Payment gateways for freelancers may not support as many payment methods as those for large ecommerce players, especially when it comes to international payment options. For instance, a freelancer might only need to accept payments via credit card, while a large ecommerce player might need to accept payments via multiple methods including ACH or bank transfers.


Most gateways catering to freelancers and SMEs have different scalability readiness levels since the volumes per merchant are usually smaller than larger ecommerce websites. It is not necessarily one of the other though, many SME focused gateways are ready to scale.
Some payment gateways providers may offer plans that cater to both, thus having features from both sides, it’s always best to discuss the growth plans with the payment provider in order to make the best informed decision.

Below is a list of SME friendly payment gateways in the UAE, this list does not include all the gateways in the UAE, it specifically focuses on the ones who are truly suitable for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small companies taking into account factors such as the speed of onboarding, rates, customer service, and product options

1. Paymennt.com

Naturally, let’s start this payment gateway comparison with Paymennt.com. We specialize in working with small businesses from all aspects, starting with the flexible pricing model that allows businesses to start transacting with no upfront or monthly fees, to the quick onboarding process where 93% of accounts being open within the same day. The key products used by most freelancers and small businesses are payment links, online payment for ecommerce stores, recurring payments (subscriptions), tickets for events and QR code payments. That also includes multi currency processing, international card payments and Buy Now Pay Later payment options.
On the other hand, one of the most important aspects of Paymennt.com’s growth among small merchants in the UAE has been the focus on customer support and helping new companies start their online journey. From the technical point of view, Paymennt.com has an extensive API library and integrates with major ecommerce shopping carts such as Woocommerce and Shopify, along with third party apps such as Zoho Books and Xero. It is not the best option for merchants processing millions per month though, other larger players are more suitable.

2. Stripe

Stripe is another well-known choice that specializes in handling card payments. It offers various ways for merchants to accept payments, both online and in some physical locations, with built-in security and invoicing options. Stripe’s API is customizable, which enables developers to easily integrate it into their website and to select from a variety of additional features. In fact they are known for being integrated with almost every third party app, development tool or marketplace so it is an excellent choice for merchants using templates and tools such as Wix and Quickbooks. The onboarding process for Stripe is simple, and it has been a reliable option for small businesses for many years, providing them with all the necessary tools and support as they grow.
However, it’s worth noting that Stripe’s customer support may be limited due to the company’s large size. Additionally, it may be better suited for those with some development experience rather than those who are completely new to the field.

3. Nomod

For merchants looking to combine payment links for their business along with in person payments, Nomod offers a good payment platform that is also very user friendly especially for business beginners and starters. Their product features also include multicurrency, international payments and fast settlement. Their in person payments app is a good choice for small merchants looking to periodically exhibit at markets or exhibits. This could also be especially useful for small service businesses such as maintenance companies where charges are usually not fixed.
Nomod is limited to app use however, so at the time of writing of this article it does not yet integrate with websites or provide any ecommerce support once the merchant is ready to fully start selling online.

4. Ziina

One of the latest incomers to payments processing and focusing on small businesses with a great product is Ziina. With an excellent product and design team, Ziina is an easy to use product that allows merchants to quickly add a remote payment option to their arsenal and start collecting card payments easily. One of their flagship products is the Ziiboard, which is an easy keyboard plugin that can be used in chat applications and potentially reduce the time it takes to issue a link to clients. Their product includes multiple payment methods, fast settlement to merchant accounts and their rates are also SME friendly.
The limitation with Ziina however is still their reliance on the app experience only, with no desktop dashboard launched yet and no extension for online payments on the merchant’s website. This could be a limitation for entrepreneurs who are not exclusively using the app for their business or have multiple interfaces they prefer with clients.

5. MamoPay for Business

Another popular option is Mamo Pay, with their SME product being called Mamo Pay for Business. Its solutions let you take payments through their app using payment links, with additional features such as QR code payments, ecommerce plugins and the newly introduced event payments. Their onboarding is also fully digital and has a clear focus on good customer experience and product. MamoPay pricing and packages is also convenient for small businesses, albeit a bit more expensive than others in the market.

Mamo Pay started as a peer to peer digital wallet and is now focusing on business to business payments as part of their growth. So they also offer wallet payments, tipping and money transfers between people who do not have a registered business.

Payment gateway comparison verdict

As merchants compare the different options, it is important to keep in mind what is actually the 1 or 2 most important key factors for the business. Is it the rate? Is it the integration tools? Perhaps the need for international card acceptance or simply the level of customer service instead. The choice of a payment partner is an important decision and although many companies claim to be the best, ultimately contacting the different gateways to discuss the payment needs today and as the company grows is the best way to have a fair comparison and make an educated decision.
Get in touch with Paymennt.com to know more about how we help businesses process payments and if it is the right solution for your business.

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