How do you know which payment gateway to use for your Woocommerce ecommerce website?
Payment gateways are not just for woocommerce. Technically they can be plugged in or used for any website application, mobile app.
There are probably only 12 that you should consider (out of hundreds). You may have tried one already and feel its not working as it should. Recommendations from business colleagues should be taken seriously. But cross referenced against your specific needs. Write down the main questions you have, there are answers out there and they will be echoed!
With hundreds, thousands of checklists and guides on how to create an ecommerce website it should be easy! Then there is Shopify! The all in one solution. No need to think about anything. It's all done for you!
Is that how successful businesses are run? NO!
What percentage are you paying for your card transactions? Is this even a consideration at startup stage? It should be if your intention is to be successful.
All payment transaction / card processing including PayPal come with a charge! Stripe isn't free! In fact, Stripe is one of the most expensive. PayPal is only free if you are transferring money to friends and family. You're not running a successful online business if you are only selling to friends and family and using PayPal!
Which ecommerce platform are you using? We work with clients using either Drupal Commerce or WordPress Woocommerce. The most popular ecommerce. The payment gateway of choice and recommendation for many years was Protx! Protx was sold to Sagepay and so Sagepay was our recommendation. Then, in 2021 things changed again! Sagepay is no longer Sagepay and is no longer our recommended choice, at least not for Drupal Commerce!
The choice of payment processing recommended to clients has changed over the years. And there are very good reasons for this. Top of the list for reasons for our recommendation is reducing failed payments and errors causing failed payments.
Having a reliable payment gateway to process your customers orders is critical to success. Failed payments equals bad experience and reduces the chances of repeat orders.
Because change is constant in the world of technology it is best practice to make sure everything is up to date. Payment plugins and modules have to keep up with change too. Quite often in the world of open source, code updates are slow and compatibility issues arise. This is one of the reasons why errors happen.
The 2 main reasons for updated code is Secuirty and Speed. As long as an update somewhere in the transaction flow does not conflict with another everything remains consistent. However, some updates cause conflicts. Worldpay carries out approx 400 transactions every minute. Security, Speed and Consistency!
Recently Paypal have updated the Woocommerce plugin and for some websites this has caused a problem. A new Pay Later button has appaeared! Who wants their customers to Pay Later ?
A recent takeover by Opayo has caused changes for the Sagepay modules and plugins.
Changes can cause problems when service providers fail to inform stakeholders.
If you use shopify you reduce the risks of conflict with payment providers but you pay the price for your success. Why? Because the transaction rates are higher! If your online sales volume are high you should be using a payment gateway that settles into a merchant account.
Because of the ease to setup an ecommerce website store without a merchant account payment gateways such as Stripe have become popular. As a result they have become very good at what they do. Is there a difference between payment gateway providers? Yes! Absolutely yes! Why?
Because their available API and code is different. In simple they are carrying out the same set of transactions but they use slightly different code / sotware. and here lies one of the problems for ecommerce websites that made the effort to setup a merchant account to settle payments.
Setting up a merchant account is a hassle but it is also essential if your online retail store is to succeed.
Some of the above touched on some basic points but are also complicated in their origin from a technical aspect.
Basic point, create a Stripe account is easy. Once created install the Stripe plugin to Woocommerce, fro your Stripe account copy the 2 tokens and paste in the Stripe plugin settings in Woocommerce. Done! Your woocommerce website is seup and ready to take payments using Stripe. Paypal is equally as fast to setup! You can install the Paypal Plugin in Woocommerce and follow the connection guide and you'll be setup and ready to take payments within 5 - 10 minutes!
The 2 examples are needless to say recommenations. We do not get paid by Stripe or Paypal and have nothing to gain financially by recommending these 2 payment gateways. They just happen to be secure, reliable and consistent. As for the fees, there will be more cost effective payment gateways but unless the volume of transactions is high we'll be splitting hairs! Not spitting, splitting 🙂
We would be spitting hairs if, the payment gateways was causing failed transactions, charging above the average % for each transaction and simply causing your business pain.
The top(ish) 12 payment gateways to consider for Woocommerce (and almost all other ecommerce platforms)