You’re thinking about making your own online store? Or you already have one? Then you’re on the right path to create a productive online business. But have you put enough thought into choosing how to get paid for your sales?
You really should, if you want your online market to work as smoothly as it must. This way you can make sure to gain a better performance for your store.
In this article we’ll look at some of the must be known facts about payment gateways for WooCommerce. Also you’ll be able to choose those that best suit your store from our list of the 10 best WooCommerce payment gateways.
But first, let’s see what a payment gateway is and how does it work:
What is a Payment Gateway?
In short, a payment gateway is a service that allows your clients to pay for the items they purchase from your online store. If you think about it, this is the most important part of your store. So it really matters what you use to take care of the payment processing.
Usually, when your visitor finishes an order, a new page or a new request appears in the browser. This will ask the client to choose a payment method for his/her order. This payment method is basically the payment gateway.
Why Use Multiple Payment Gateways?
The idea is that you can add multiple payment gateways to your store when you’re building it or even later if it’s already up and running. This will allow your clients to choose from a wider range of payment methods.
Let’s say your client finishes an order and he notices that the only way to pay for it is by using bank transfer. But he only knows how to use PayPal. This is where the multiple payment methods come in place. If you have PayPal added as a possible payment method, the client will be able to complete his order and you’ll receive the money for it.
But you might ask: ‘’so I have to add every possible payment gateway to my store?’’. Of course not, but you should have the ones that are most commonly used in your area. We’ll check these out later in the list.
What’s another reason to add more than one payment gateway? If you do this, it will influence your store in a positive way.
You made this online store to earn money from it, right? These days most online markets tend to become worldwide online stores. If you want to get there, you should consider adding more payment gateways to ensure payment from all over the world.
Even until this day there are countries that do not accept certain payment methods. If you want to reach these potential clients, it’s better to have at least one payment gateway that covers that country too.
For example, if in a country payments made through PayPal don’t work yet, you must look for others that do. Maybe add a payment via credit/debit card. This works in most places around the globe.
Now that you know what a payment gateway is and how it might have an influence on your business let’s see what are the 10 best payment gateways for WooCommerce. Most of these accept the usual payment methods everyone knows.
We’ll see some facts about each of them. You should know up front that all of these have pros and cons too. So it’s up to you to decide which the ones that work best with your personal situation are. The list is the following:
- Amazon pay
- Pay fast
- Sage pay
Below I’ll talk about each of these payment gateways in a bit more detail.
One of the most widely used payment gateways for WooCommerce is called Square. It is an extension you can install for free. Square is developed by those behind WooCommerce.
A big plus that attracts many stores to this WooCommerce extension is the fact that Square helps you sync everything in your store. All your products, product images, categories, prices, inventory numbers and sales are in sync. So you don’t have to do this manually.
Let’s say you have a store and you sell accessories for electronic products. Consider this: someone just bought 10 pieces of the available phone case. The amount of that specific phone case should decrease by 10 pieces in WooCommerce.
The good thing is that if you have Square installed as a payment gateway, it will automatically decrease the number on Square too. This way you make sure that every sale is up to date.
Square comes with a full POS system. Those who want to take care of online sales and in-person or in-store mobile sales, this POS system really come in handy. It will help you manage everything you have on your mind regarding sales.
It’s worth mentioning that Square is the only one that provides such a tool for managing your sales. It’s great that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for using this extension. You can install it for free and pay only when you make a sale. There are no ‘’surprise’’ fees using this extension.
You pay 2,9% + 30c per transaction using credit card payment. If you’re using in-store or mobile in-person payments, you pay 2,75% per transaction. And for virtual terminal processing, phone in sales you pay 3,5% + 15c per transaction.
What are the downsides to using Square? One of them is, though it supports recurring payments, it doesn’t work if you’re selling subscriptions. Another downside is that it does not have online conversion for currencies. This means that all your sales are made in your own country’s currency. The prices are also shown in your country’s currency.
But if you’re not looking to have such options available, they shouldn’t be a big downside. It really depends on your own requirements.
The second payment gateway you should consider is PayPal. I’m sure anyone who’s reading this article happened to buy something online. If you did, there’s a high chance you made your payment through PayPal.
This payment method is well known among those who make online purchases. Just think about these numbers for a second: in 2016 only, PayPal has handled 6.1 billion transactions; this means 193 transactions per second. More than 140 million people use PayPal worldwide to pay for their online shopping.
The numbers speak for themselves. If you’re an online store owner PayPal should be one of the first bets when setting up your payments for the site. Just like Square, PayPal is also free to install and you pay for the sales you make.
It costs 2,9% + 30c to process a payment for a WooCommerce site. In-store payments cost almost the same amount: 2,7% per transaction.
A great plus is that it accepts payment via all major credit cards and debit cards. So you’re set to reach a wide range of clients.
However, you won’t have so many payment options, like if you’re using Square. For example it doesn’t support in-person payments like Square does. And if you want to have virtual terminal allowed then you have to pay an additional $35 per month to use PayPal Pro which grants you permission for that.
Contrary to Square, PayPal Standard does not have recurring payment processing for subscriptions. If you need it, you have to pay $10 a month and $35 for PayPal Pro to use this feature.
But there’s a BIG PERK with using PayPal: when a payment was made, you can receive your money deposited in your PayPal account within minutes from the transaction. You get your money the same day the payment was approved.
The third option to think about is Stripe. As the ones above, this also comes with free installation but with payment for every sale you make.
Stripe also supports ACH direct debit payment for which you pay 0,8% per transaction + $5 fee. Alongside this option, it works with any major credit or debit card. The WooCommerce Stripe plugin also includes Apple Pay, Google Pay and Payment Request API support. With this option the desktop and mobile checkout will be faster.
Stripe comes with a great manager, a dashboard that will come in handy. You can see every payment in every form that was made on your store. You can check out your activity using the transaction-level balance breakdown in the dashboard. A monthly report is also available up to the latest payments.
Having so many features isn’t always the best thing, especially if the platform isn’t too user friendly. Unfortunately this is the case with Stripe. It possesses great options in its platform, but it can be hard to make your way around them.
Because Stripe was firstly built for developers, it’s not as easy to set up, like PayPal for instance. It is known that it doesn’t protect you that well against fraud. It definitely has features for such situations, but it is not the simplest thing to turn them on.
4. Amazon Pay
What’s a big issue that many store owners come across when dealing with payments? Most payment gateways will open up a new page or move your client to a new page off your store’s website when processing the payment.
It is an issue if your client goes away from the site because of the payment method, you could easily lose him and he may never come back. But if you can somehow avoid this, he could stay on the site even more and while he’s there, who knows? Maybe he’ll buy something else.
That’s why Amazon Pay is so good for payment processing. It works a bit differently from some of the other candidates on this list. When the client purchases an item and goes on to make the payment, Amazon will keep him on the site. The payment will be made on spot, without leaving the store’s page.
Amazon Pay also supports recurring payments. Another positive feature is the fact that your clients can make the payment using only their Amazon username and password, without leaving the store’s page.
Amazon Pay is using widgets that ensure a safe and fast checkout for your visitors. These widgets are adapting for mobile use, like tablets and smartphones, thus enabling a better user experience.
There is a negative part when using Amazon Pay: it isn’t available in too many countries yet. The ones that accept this payment gateway are the following: USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Denmark, and Japan.
Let’s move on to the next payment gateway on this list:
This is also an extension you can install into the WooCommerce store. PayFast is a South African payment gateway, but you can use it to accept payments from all over the world. But there’s one condition to doing it: your store’s currency must be ZAR (South African Rand).
If you decide to give it a try, you can test PayFast on your store before going live with it. It’s easy to know why this is a beneficent option: this way you’ll know from the start if something isn’t compatible with your market. You wouldn’t have to stop your store only to take care of the issues.
Doing this test will save you time and possibly money if something goes wrong with the setup.
But is PayFast good for accepting payments? If you choose to use it you’ll have 7 different payment methods to integrate into your store, making it much more likely to gain traction. Your clients will be able to pay you using their debit cards, credit and cheque cards, through instant EFT, MasterPass, Scode, Mobicred and even Bitcoin.
The fees for using these methods range from 2% to 4,50% + R5,00. They have competitive rates compared with the already mentioned gateways.
The main feature of this payment gateway is the reliable credit card processing. But why is it so trusted by many stores worldwide? Let’s see some of the reasons:
If you use this payment gateway, you can choose what your payment processing and checkout will look like on the site. This means a better customization for the whole process. You can make your own checkout design that will make your store stand out from the dozens of markets around the web.
While the client takes care of the payment, Authorize.NET will keep him/her on the site for the entire checkout process, just like Amazon Pay. We already talked about why this is such an important part to keep in mind.
Authorize.NET is great for mobile payments too. If your client makes a purchase from a tablet or smartphone, the payment gateway will show a numerical/telephone field for an easier input of the card number and the other details. This option makes sure to have a better payment processing experience and reduces the number of possible errors during the input.
But what if the client is still making an error while typing the payment details? Now you can choose to show a detailed message box to make sure the client will know what to correct in the form. ‘An error occurred’ messages are no longer mandatory.
If the buyer has an active eCheck account from Authorize.NET, he can use his bank account information for a savings account.
Authorize.NET is compatible with Accept.js. If you enable the Accept.js support, you’ll have a more secure credit card payment processing. The buyer will notice no difference during the checkout, but the information he provided will be more secure. It won’t go through your usual server, but instead the payment will be handled by Authorize.NET directly.
Having so many options available, doesn’t come for free though. To install Authorize.NET into your online store you have to pay a fee of $79 per site. But if you choose the option for 5 sites right from the start you can get the extensions for $99.
7. Sage Pay
Sage Pay is a UK based payment processing service. It mostly concentrates on credit/debit card payments like Authorize.NET. But there is a big difference between them: Sage Pay has 2 different payment handling methods that both do what they should.
The first one is the Sage Pay Form. As the name suggests, a simple and encrypted form is sent from your site to the Sage Pay systems. Because of this, the client is forwarded to a page where the card details will be securely introduced then captured by the Sage Pay system.
In this case, Sage is the one taking care of the payment processing, so there is no SSL certificate needed for your store to be able to handle the sale. Once the payment was successfully completed, the client will be taken back to your site and a confirmation of the payment is shown.
The second method Sage uses is called Sage Pay Direct. This is different than the first method we talked about. If you use this, an SSL certificate will be required because the payment will take place on your website, this being the main difference. It also lets the buyer save his credit card info for other transactions.
There are some pros if you opt for the Sage Pay Direct method: you can use the WooCommerce Pre-Orders extension to manage such situations; the Subscriptions extension is also available for use. Sage Pay Direct allows you to handle refunds, in the WooCommerce admin panel.
Just like Authorize.NET, Sage Pay also costs $79 per site for a one year installation. The cost for 5 sites from the beginning is also $99.
Realex is another extension that provides credit card payment processing. Just like its competitors, Realex accepts all the major credit and debit card payments such as Visa, Master Card, American Express and other widely used cards.
Just like with Sage Pay, you can customize Realex to save the credit card details of your customer for further purchases. WooCommerce Subscriptions also work with Realex.
Realex has a built-in Address Verification Service that will check the buyer’s billing addresses.
The cost for using this payment gateway is just the same as Sage Pay and Authorize.NET: $79 per site for a one year installation.
eWay also handles credit card payments. Contrary to the already mentioned credit card processors, this service is free to install on your store. It works just as Amazon Pay, keeping the client on your site while taking care of the payment.
It supports WooCommerce Subscriptions, Refunds and also token payments which help the buyer save their card details for other purchases.
eWay lets you create flash sales in real time and gives you the ability to generate discount coupons for your customers. It has a product review tool included as well.
Getting an SSL certificate is advised by the company to have a greater security assured for the payments.
Paytrail is a payment gateway from Finland and it extends globally. The cost for this service is $79 per site for a 1 year installation.
It will let you enable credit/debit card payments on your store checkout page. Also comes with integrated direct debit payment. When the buyer makes the payment, Paytrail will redirect him to the checkout page, but when the payment is finished he gets back automatically to your site.
Paytrail contains an invoicing option too to help you in the sales managing. To be able to use Paytrail, your store’s currency must be in Euros.
In this article we covered some facts about payment gateways. Now you know what they are and why you should choose more than one for your online market.
From our list of the top 10 WooCommerce payment gateways you should be able to pick those that best go with your store.
But don’t forget: be pretentious in this matter because you want to make money from your store. So install only those payment gateways that will boost your store’s ranking and get you more customers in the future.
If you want to learn more about WooCommerce shopping cart, please consider reading the following related articles:
Updated: November 23, 2018