Payment gateways also known as online payment processors are integral to every online store. Without them you wouldn't be able to take payment from your customers. Depending where you are in the world there are hundreds to choose from. There is no one perfect solution as there are advantages and disadvantages with each one. I will provide an overview of some of the more popular Shopify payment gateways.
Note this list is limited to Shopify and there may be gateways available to you which do not feature on the list. The first factor I would recommend when choosing a Shopify payment gateway, well its' not so much a choice but it's, your location. For a good breakdown of available payment gateways in your region, have a look on Shopify.
Cost is the next biggest factor. This will dictate your profit margins and how your price products. Don't just look at rates per transaction also look at monthly payments which some payment processors charge. You will have to work out if a higher transaction rate and no monthly costs works out cheaper or more expensive than a lower rate with a monthly transaction fee.
There is no one size fits all solution, but if you are just starting up I would go for a gateway with no cost and once your orders reach a decent level you could revisit your options to see which is more profitable for you.
Time - not all processors take the same time to create. PayPal can be set up in less than a day, whereas Sage pay can take around 4-5 weeks. So when creating a website, don't leave selecting or setting up your payment gateway for when your store is complete. So what are the options? As there are hundreds of gateways we can't cover them all, but I will start with the most popular Shopify payment gateways and add more over time with a general overarching look rather than go into too many specifics about fees and prices, to which they are bound to change over time. ****
Shopify Payments powered Stripe
If you are using Shopify, their own payment platform is definitely worth taking a look at. Shopify already charge a standard 2.2% transaction fee for the privilege of using their platform, which would be removed if you select their gateway, effectively halving your transaction fee cost. The process to setup is quick as you can get going straight away after filling out a form. Prices vary depending on which Shopify plan you are on. Payments can take up to 3 business days to reach you. You also get a free Card reader too if you need to take physical payments!
As a payment gateway developed by an ecommerce provider it comes with a number of advantages. This includes better integration into your store's backend and lower transaction rates. Here are some reasons provided by shopify for using their own payment gateway:
- No more Shopify plan transaction fees
- Lower costs with an online credit card rate of 2.4% + 20p (Basic), 2.1% + 20p (Professional), or 1.8% + 20p (Unlimited), and no hidden charges or extra fees
- Identify suspicious orders with built-in risk tools unique to Shopify Payments
- Manage orders, payments and payouts directly within Shopify
Well we can't talk about payment-gateways without talking about the Goliath that is PayPal. So big is this payment gateway that it has outgrown, at time of writing, its parent company eBay to become its own entity. PayPal can be set up in less than a day and has options for free and paid merchant accounts. It also has a great support system should you run into any problems. Paypal charges a fee of 3.4% of all transactions + 20p, so you will have to factor that in when you are calculating margins.
Set up in 1989, Worldpay is possibly the 2nd biggest payment gateway platform after PayPal. Worldpay is accessible in over 120 countries and they have a helpful support and sales team. World pay have two different payment methods. You can either pay a monthly fee of $19.95, which is a good option if you are making a lot of transations. The alternative is their monthly, rolling contract, where you pay 2.75% of each transaction.
Sage Pay is a popular Shopify payment platform here in the UK which also allows your customers to also pay via PayPal if they so wish. Sage pay has a couple of different pricing options, starting a £19.90 for 350 transactions. The next step is £45 for a further 500 transactions, or you could opt for a bespoke corporate plan, where the fees are tailored to you. It can take around 4-5 weeks to create a Sagepay account and they will do a variety of checks on your website such as payment logos on your cart page and contact phone details on your website. They may also speak with your developer for payment processing tests. Learn more about Sage Pay.
So as you can see there are a lot of options and pros and cons to weigh up when selecting your chosen Shopify payment gateway, so ensure you do your research and find out the key items below:
- Account set up time
- Transaction fee options and how they affect your profit margins
- Length of time it takes to receive your payments
- Protection against fraudulent payments
- Technical support system.