Regardless of the kind of e-commerce platform you want to set up, a few things hold true.
You design it in a way that brings in customers and convert every meaningful session on the site into sales. And once you have figured out the perfect formula for converting your website traffic into paying customers, you need to make the payment process as easy as possible.
That is where payment gateways come into the picture. Finding a payment gateway that can seamlessly integrate with your website can greatly boost your overall customer experience.
Why is choosing the right Payment Gateway important?
When it comes to making the payment at checkout, customers can even leave a purchase unfinished if they don’t find a reliable or preferred way of payment on the final stage. Or worse, the problem may be caused by an unreliable payment gateway that can cause transaction failures and discourage your customers from coming back. For your customers, making the payment is still part of their buying experience on your website and they expect it to be consistent with the rest of the website.
Thus, it is safe to infer that choosing the right payment gateway is critical for your online store’s performance. This is not a decision to be made in a hurry and definitely not the one where you can afford to be uninformed. In this piece, we will, therefore, discuss what exactly payment gateways are, how you can add them to your WordPress website, and which are the best eCommerce payment gateways for WordPress.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is essentially a third-party service or tool that you integrate into your website for evaluating and processing online payments. It is usually included in the final step of a transaction and is a natural part of customer experience on your website. A payment gateway captures the payment information of your customers and processes their payment done through various instruments like credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, etc.
More often than not, you are required to set up a merchant account linked with the payment gateway that you integrate with your website. All payments processed by the payment gateway are automatically routed to your merchant account, with a processing fee charged for each transaction.
Simply put, a payment gateway offers a platform for your customers to securely pay you for the products and solutions they buy from you. So every purchase on your online store becomes a three-party transaction between your customer, your payment gateway, and you.
Most existing payment gateways like PayPal have dedicated integration plugins to help you add them to your website. You can also customize payment gateways to suit your business needs.
Finding The Best Payment Gateway For Your Website
There are more than 100 payment gateways available on WordPress and each has its own sets of benefits and limitations.
However, there are few globally acknowledged and popular payment gateways which businesses of all sizes have adopted and benefited from. Not only do these gateways offer a secure platform for your customers to complete their transactions, but their transaction fees also are transparent, interfaces are user-centric and payment processing is very fast.
The best and most popular WordPress payment gateways are selected by thousands of online business across the world, primarily on the basis of their –
- Region-wise availability,
- Data security,
- Awareness in the customer market,
- Transaction or processing fees charged,
- PCI compliance,
- Degree of integration, and customization offered.
So, to help you decide which payment gateway to select for your online store, here is a list of the best eCommerce payment gateways for WordPress, on the basis of these evaluation criteria.
PayPal operates in 202 countries and makes it possible for you to accept payments in 25 currencies. Thus the likelihood that this WordPress payment gateway is available in your region is very high. The service charges a $30 monthly fee for use of its gateway and processing fees for every transaction, which is dependent on your account type and the volume of business.
Customers are routed to PayPal’s website to complete the payment transaction and thus will have to leave your website to make the purchase. As a payment partner, PayPal is known for offering 24×7 account monitoring, advanced encryption, and fraud protection. PayPal is also PCI compliant which makes it a payment gateway of choice for your website customers as they feel assured of a smooth and safe transaction.
Woocommerce PayPal Checkout Payment Gateway is presently the most preferred integration plugin, but you can also explore PayPal Payments Standard or PayPal Pro and choose the plugin that best suits your needs. This gateway can also be integrated with several other plugins, hence in terms of customizability and integration, PayPal can be at the top of your list when you are looking for a suitable WordPress payment gateway.
If PayPal is the market leader in the payment gateway segment, then Stripe is most definitely a strong challenger. Stripe is available for business use in only 26 countries but if it is available in your region, you can accept payments from your customers in more than 135 currencies.
Transaction or processing fee is charged by Stripe but if the average transaction size is small on your website (let’s say $10 or less) then compared to PayPal, Stripe charges a lower transaction fee. Furthermore, you don’t have to set up any separate merchant account to receive your money, which can be automatically transferred to your linked account within 2 days.
Stripe is PCI compliant and even offers client-side tokenization if you want to keep the customers on your website while completing the payment. The WooCommerce Stripe Payment gateway is the most popular plugin extension for this option, but Stripe can also be integrated with several other payment plugins. Some of the pre-built integrations offered by Stripe are AmazonPay, ApplePay and Venmo.
Authorize.Net is widely popular . This PCI certified plugin is available for an initial setup fee of $49 and you will be charged a $25 monthly fee as well to maintain this plugin. Furthermore, a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.3 is also charged, making it one of the pricier options in the top payment gateways.
But Authorize.Net has superior solutions to back this pricing. You can accept payment from a wide range of payment methods and the plugin also offers an anti-fraud detection suite. If many of your customers return to your website and you accept recurring payment or payments via e-checks, then Authorize.net is the payment gateway for you.
Authorize.net integrates easily with other plugins like Shopify, Magento, Moolah, and Quickbooks. You will need a merchant bank account to automatically receive payments from Authorize.net and you can completely customize the design as well as the payment location of the plugin. If your website runs on WooCommerce, you can use the Authorize.net integration plugin.
4. 2Checkout (now Verifone)
The fact that 2Checkout can process payments from PayPal along with standard credit card and debit card options, makes it a flexible choice. 2Checkout is level 1 PCI compliant and offers all the standard security as well as anti-fraud arrangements to its users.
A separate merchant account is needed to accept payments through this gateway. Regional availability of 2Checkout is unparalleled with over 200 markets covered, 87 currency options and the payment gateway interface customizable in 15 different languages. However, along with standard per-transaction fees, 2Checkout charges additional fees for international transactions and currency conversion. So if your online store attracts a global audience, paying in different currencies, then this payment gateway can prove to be an expensive option for you.
The gateway can be integrated with WooCommerce, Zoho, Shopify, and WPecommerce among many others. You can also manage your pricing plan, billing schedule, and automate payment withdrawal. 2Checkout was recently acquired by Verifone.
As one of the more affordable payment gateways out there Square has a free to download WordPress payment plugin that charges no monthly fees. The per-transaction fee of 2.2% is also comparatively lower than some of the other top payment gateways, making it a plugin of choice for small businesses as well as online stores with physical outlets. Square is PCI level 1 compliant and offers anti-fraud and layered security for users making payment through the platform.
Square allows you to accept payments from a wide array of methods, which is then automatically transferred to your linked bank account on the next business day. However, the regional availability of Square is limited and you can only use it if your business is located in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, or the UK. WooCommerce and WP EasyCart are some of the square-supported WordPress plugins.
Since we are discussing the best WordPress payment plugins for your online store, how can we leave out WooCommerce Payments, which is specially designed for smooth integration with WooStores. Although this plugin can only be used by US-based merchants, it is still among the top preferred payment plugin by thousands of WooStore owners.
WooCommerce payments is free to download but charges a per-transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.3, making it one of the pricier options out there. The plugin can only process payments in US dollars but can accept a wide variety of payment methods. Although WooCommerce Payments is not completely PCI compliant, it can be made secure, especially since it ensures that your customer doesn’t leave your site to complete the transaction.
In sum, the selection of the right payment gateway can greatly improve your customers’ purchase experience on your site and give them the confidence to view you as a trusted and secure seller.
Knowing which payment gateway is right for your online store and your customers is a step in the right direction and can help you build a site that your customers will love coming back to.
Sometimes, integrating a payment gateway with your website can be a complicated process. But it’s worth the trouble. If you need any help you can always reach out to us!
If you have any questions or other recommendations, so leave us a comment! 🙂