All You Need to Know About WooCommerce Payment Gateways
Did you know that shoppers’ average cart abandonment rate is 69.8%, and 6 out of 10 are associated with payments or payment methods?
Shocking, isn’t it?
You have a beautiful WooCommerce store, your online store works fine, and you offer a seamless shopping experience to your customers on your eCommerce store. But as soon as the buyer decides to purchase, the most critical step comes — payments.
So, why is having a suitable payment method so important? Why should you bother having different payment options in your eCommerce store, and how can you avoid payment disputes?
We are going to talk about all these and more in this article about WooCommerce payment gateways.
What are WooCommerce Payment Gateways?
For a WooCommerce store, selecting the right payment gateway or the payment method is essential. Let’s discuss the WooCommerce payment solution in a little more detail, look at how they work, and what factors you should consider before choosing a payment gateway plugin for your WooCommerce store.
These are WordPress plugins that add certain payment functionalities to your online store. Customers must fill in their payment information (credit card and debit card details, bank details, PayPal credentials, etc.) These are your online checkout tills.
While some redirect the buyer to a different external site for the payment process; others allow them to pay directly on your store.
The first thing a seller who wants to use a payment gateway needs to keep in mind is opening a merchant account with the payment gateway provider.
How does a WooCommerce Payment Gateway work?
A payment gateway is ready to use as soon as it is activated and installed.
Essentially, there are four parties involved in the successful operation of a Payment Gateway.
The WooCommerce store: The online store/ Merchant or seller of the products.
The customer: The person who is buying the product or someone who initiates the transaction.
The customer’s bank: Also known as the issuer of the card or digital wallet to the customer that is being used to make the purchase
The merchant’s bank: The bank account linked to the payment gateway will receive the customer’s payments.
When the customer heads to the checkout, the payment gateway provides an interface that allows the customers to fill in the details of their credit and debit cards, their bank details, or log in to their online payment app.
Once customers fill in their payment details, the payment gateway validates them by encrypting the customer’s payment details and sending them to the issuer (the customer’s bank). The issuer then sends a message back to the gateway once they locate those details in their database. Top payment gateways will immediately flag the transaction if the customer is fake or a fraudulent transaction takes place.
After verifying the customer’s details, the payment gateway sends the purchase request to the issuer. The money is moved to the merchant’s bank once the issuer approves the request.
Seven things to remember when choosing a WooCommerce payment gateway
It is always advisable to exercise extreme caution and prudence while choosing the right payment gateway for your WooCommerce store. The reason is simple. This is money we are talking about, and you or your store wouldn’t want to get embroiled in forgery, let alone carry out unsafe transactions.
Let’s look at a few things that are vital when choosing a payment gateway.
The first and foremost thing to consider is whether the gateway has advanced security features. Since online transactions entail dealing with sensitive financial information, security automatically becomes the most important thing.
Hence, it would be ideal to opt for the ones that ensure strict security measures to protect your information. Your payment gateway must be equipped to identify and prevent fraudulent attempts.
2. Charges and Transaction Fees
Before selecting a payment gateway, get clarity on the transaction fees charged to process payments. Transaction Fees are the amount you will pay as part of services provided by the payment gateway provider. For instance, some will charge a flat rate for successful payments, some for all payments irrespective of the type of transactions, and some monthly fees or a certain percentage of the amount processed.
It is recommended that you go for a provider that is beneficial for your business model. It would help if you also were mindful of hidden charges. We would advise you to always get in touch with the service provider’s sales team and get a demo, if possible.
3. Geographic reach and currency
Some payment gateways are restricted to specific continents, countries, and regions catering to only certain currencies. Since you would be the best judge of where your target audience is located, your choice of payment gateway should consider the geographical location and currency of your customers.
Most people would ideally like to shop in their local area and local currency. So, you need to select a payment service that works in the residing country of your customers and accepts the relevant currencies. Remember, a payment gateway that caters to multiple currencies will eventually allow you to reach out to international markets if that’s your long-term goal.
4. Recurring payments and subscriptions
WooCommerce subscriptions are ideal for you if your business requires automatic subscription billing and recurring payments. This is a premium extension for WooCommerce stores that allows them to accept such payments automatically or manually.
This extension has a list of compatible payment gateways, making it easier for you to start. A payment gateway that supports Subscriptions can also be helpful in the long run if you plan to offer subscriptions in the future.
5. Multiple payment options
A good payment gateway will have more than one payment option. It will have Amazon Pay, PayPal, Google Pay and accept credit card payments from all top credit cards. Hence, it is ideal to select a payment gateway that makes it easy for your customers to choose their preferred payment method or local payment methods and seamlessly complete their order on your website.
Most gateways operating in your region should offer local payment methods. If your payment gateway cannot make all of your local payment methods work, that is not ideal for you. There should always be room for alternative payments. Some gateways would only accept payments with debit cards and won’t accept credit card payments. Choose wisely.
6. PCI Compliance
The best payment gateways will be Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant. PCI compliance is what secures your customers. This means businesses receiving and accepting financial information from customers protect this information (or data) in a secure online environment.
Not being PCI compliant means you are exposing your customers’ sensitive financial information to hackers and cybercriminals.
A hosted gateway will typically take your customer to the payment gateway’s website to complete the transaction. However, the only drawback here is that customers leaving your site may not trust the external gateway website, and you might end up losing customers’ reviews and sales. The best WooCommerce payment gateways, however, won’t have this issue.
On the other hand, Integrated gateways enable you to connect your WooCommerce store through an API of the gateway. Unlike hosted gateways, the customers are not redirected to an external site for processing. While you might not lose customers in this case, providing security and such things as PCI compliance then becomes your responsibility.
How to Install a Payment Gateway
You will follow the same process to install any WooCommerce payment gateway plugin to your online store. However, today we’ll walk through the process with the SEPA payment gateway for WooCommerce.
Step 1: Purchasing and downloading a payment gateway WooCommerce plugin
You can get a free version of this plugin, and there is also an option to buy this premium plugin online.
Step 2: Adding the plugin to your WordPress dashboard
Login as WordPress admin and click Plugins on the sidebar menu. Then choose Add New.
Step 3: Uploading the plugin zip file
Click on Upload and Choose File to upload the plugin zip file.
Step 4: Installing the plugin on your store
Press OK, then Install Now to start the installation.
Step 5: Activating the plugin
Once installed, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and click Activate.
Step 6: Turning on your payment gateway in WooCommerce Settings
Open Settings in WooCommerce, and click Payment Methods. Here you should see your payment gateway as an option. Toggle it to ON position. You can activate as many options as you want.
Step 7: Configuring your WooCommerce payment gateway
Although the plugin you choose will offer additional details about configuring it to your specific business needs, in SEPA, you will click the Set Up button (if you are a first-time user). To make any additional changes after setup, you’ll need to click the Manage button. SEPA Direct Debit will show as an option.
Your WooCommerce Payment Gateway is all set to process transactions and ready for the very first seamless checkout process.
10 of the Best WooCommerce Payment Gateways you will love
Speaking of WooCommerce payment gateway plugins, there are quite a few available online for you to explore. However, if you want the best payment processor and are looking for a payment system that streamlines the entire checkout process, is transparent about their transaction fee, is ideal, and will help take your online business to the next level, we get you covered.
Let’s look at some of the top WooCommerce payment gateways
1. WooCommerce Payments
WooCommerce provides its payment solution known as WooCommerce Payments. It doesn’t have any setup fee or monthly charges. It offers a complete checkout experience. The flip side is, it is currently available only in 10 countries, and it is not PCI compliant by default, unlike other third-party ones.
Of course, as far as the transaction fee is concerned, it offers a pay-as-you-go structure set at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for cards issued in the US and an additional 1% fee for cards issued outside the United States. It also accepts payments in over 135 currencies.
Stripe is one of the best WooCommerce payment systems. Stripe’s integration with WooCommerce making it easy for mobile shoppers to pay for their purchases.
Stripe is also PCI compliant and is considered one of the best WooCommerce payment gateways. Stripe’s compatibility with WooCommerce Subscriptions makes it a good fit for stores with recurring payments.
Due to its complexities, Stripe’s transaction fees might be a difficult pill to digest; they are very transparent about all their charges coupled with a friendly support team.
It supports more than 135 payment options and currencies, which help complete transactions in a jiffy. It also accepts all major debit and credit cards and local payment options from customers in over 40 supported countries.
PayPal is another very popular payment gateway for WooCommerce. WooCommerce PayPal Payments is an end-to-end WooCommerce extension. It accepts local and PayPal mobile payments and all other major credit and debit card payments.
It is PCI compliant and also has a 24/7 fraud detection monitoring capability. You will need a PayPal business account or a PayPal Pro Merchant account before start using it with your WooCommerce store. PayPal is available in more than 200 markets and accepts payment in over 100 currencies. This WooCommerce payment gateway plugin is recognized globally, and people trust PayPal as a brand.
4. Amazon Pay
Amazon Pay is a payment gateway by Amazon. With Amazon Pay, your customers can pay through your Amazon account. Usually, your email address and password are the only things required for merchant account validation. You need to have an active Amazon account to use Amazon Pay.
If you want your payment gateway to accept payments directly without redirecting your customers to a third-party website, then Amazon Pay is the payment system for you. Users can make payments by credit card or direct debit into your account.
There is a domestic processing fee of 2.9% and an authorization fee of $0.30, plus tax, if applicable.
5. Apple Pay
This payment service is available to users of Apple devices only. Although you can offer your customers to purchase with Apple Pay, it is also possible to make integrated purchases with this payment system in specific applications, like Starbucks, Kickstarter, or Airbnb.
The service is now available in countries like the US, France, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Apple charges 0.15% per transaction on US purchases, supports all major credit and debit card payments and payments through American Express.
Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill follows the concept of prepaid cards and is one of the best WooCommerce payment gateways. Skrill is one of those WooCommerce payment gateway plugins that never communicate customer bank data to merchants.
The only disadvantage of owning a Skrill Prepaid card is that the customer will always need to make sure that money is in it. Skrill charges a 1.9% transfer fee and takes an additional 3.99% margin on the exchange rates. This payment service operates in more than 200 countries.
If you are looking for easy integration and smooth payment processing, Authorize.net is the best payment gateway. One of the great features of this WordPress plugin is that it keeps your customers on your WooCommerce site while processing payments which establishes that sense of security and trust in your customers.
This WordPress plugin accepts all major credit cards, including Mastercard, American Express, Visa, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB. The plugin will cost you a one-time fee of $79 a year for a single site subscription and does not entail a monthly fee.
8. WooCommerce One-Click Checkout
When we talk about a seamless checkout process with a single click, this is your go-to plugin. It connects your customers directly to the checkout page and not to the cart. It stores your customer’s predefined information, thus, reducing your cart abandonment rate.
Bolt is another plugin that claims to provide the fastest checkout with only a few fields and minimum user input on the checkout page. A fantastic feature of Bolt is that it removes the signing up for other payment systems and WooCommerce shopping carts. Bolt for WooCommerce manages all other processes related to checkouts single-handedly.
Braintree is a very safe WooCommerce payment gateway with a global presence available in more than 40 countries. It is free to install and accepts payments from all major credit cards. Braintree is also an official partner of PayPal. It has a fee of 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. And the first $50,000 transaction comes free of charge.
Why Should You Use Multiple WooCommerce Payment Gateways?
Payment gateways help you collect your revenue online. And we would advise that you use more than one.
The reason is simple.
Firstly, not everyone will be comfortable using the same payment gateway you use. Multiple gateways will make sure that you can reach out to more people.
And secondly, in a situation where your only payment gateway breaks down or doesn’t function properly, the other WooCommerce payment gateway can come to your rescue.
Hence, using multiple ones simultaneously always gives you that contingent plan for when things seemingly go wrong.
What is the best payment gateway for WooCommerce?
There are several WooCommerce payment gateways that you can choose from. However, what you choose depends on the nature of your business and what payment systems are available to you and your customers.
Does WooCommerce include a payment gateway?
WooCommerce comes with built-in support to select Stripe as your payment gateway. It supports all major credit and debit cards. Customers also have the option to pay using Google Pay, and Alipay among others.
Can I use multiple payment gateways on WooCommerce?
Yes, you can use multiple payment gateways on WooCommerce for your WordPress site.
Using a payment gateway can help reduce the severity and frequency of online credit card frauds within the eCommerce ecosystem. Good payment gateways ensure security, credibility and signify a credible business.
By now, you would have a reasonably good idea about payment gateways that you can use with your WooCommerce site. If you want to know more about it, do write to us.