Ultimate Guide to WooCommerce Payment Gateway

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Providing a smooth and secure WooCommerce payment gateway is a key element in every WooCommerce store’s success. No matter how beautiful your website design is or how great your WooCommerce theme, you are going to end up with a bunch of abandoned carts if you failed to provide a flexible, secure, and easy payment experience for your shoppers. 

How do you offer such a payment flow for your buyers in your WooCommerce store? 

This article has covered everything you need to know about making it real. Read on and find out how.

What is a Payment Gateway?

Let’s start with the basics, a payment gateway is a software application that payment service providers use to process checkout for online purchases on a merchant’s or seller’s website. In simpler words, It allows your customers to enter their payment information (credit or debit card details, bank account details, etc.) and pay for the products you sell on your eCommerce store. 

Why Your WooCommerce Store Needs it?

It is the digital equivalent of a point of sale in retail stores. Imagine how your customers would feel when they are unable to find the payment section in your store after loading their cart.

The WooCommerce payment gateway works as a middleman that connects the seller and buyer to facilitate transactions between them regardless of their physical, social, or temporal distance. 

In a nutshell, a payment gateway takes care of the following responsibilities.

  • Validates a customer’s card details and permits the rest of the proceedings to take place.
  • Transfers money from the customer’s bank account to the merchant’s bank account.
  • Records the transactions and share them with the parties concerned.

How do WooCommerce Payment Gateways Work?

To easily understand how payment gateways work on WooCommerce, you first need to know about the key players of the process. Here they are.

  • The merchant: An online business offering a product or service to its customers.
  • Customer: The customer also called the cardholder to access the products or services that the merchant is selling, and initiates the transaction.
  • The issuing bank: Customer’s bank that issues the cardholder’s credit or debit card on behalf of the card schemes (Visa, Mastercard).
  • The acquirer: It is the financial institution that maintains the merchant’s bank account or the merchant’s account. 
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Now that you know all the key terms, let’s see how a payment gateway works.

1. A customer after choosing the product they need places the order. 

2. Once on the payment page, the customer enters all the required payment information in it. This includes the credit/debit card details such as card holder’s name, card expiration date, CVV number, etc.

3. The payment gateway then encrypts the card details and performs fraud checks before sending the data to the concerned acquiring bank.

4. This acquiring bank then forwards the transaction info to the card schemes.

5. The card schemes check the payment data for any fraud and then sends it to the issuing bank.

6. The issuing bank authorizes the transaction after another layer of screening and sends a response (whether transaction approved or declined) back to the acquiring bank.

7. The acquiring bank forwards the message back to the payment gateway who then transmits the message to the merchant. 

8. If the payment is approved, the acquirer collects the payment amount from the issuing bank and deposits it to the merchant account.

9. Based on the message the merchant either displays a payment confirmation page to the customer or asks the customer to provide another payment method.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Payment Gateway for WooCommerce.

There are plenty of payment gateways to choose from for your WooCommerce site. But you can’t randomly choose one. There are certain things that you need to consider before you make your choice. 

Classic or Modern?

Payment gateways are widely divided into two. Classic and Modern payment gateways. The type of payment gateway you choose can make a lot of difference in your store’s payment flow. The major point that differentiates a classic and modern payment gateway is the requirement of a merchant account.

While classic payment gateways require you to have a merchant account for transactions, modern payment gateways don’t. Although most payment gateways supported by WooCommerce are classic, there are a few exceptions. Other than merchant accounts, there are a few differences between classic and modern payment gateways. Let’s find out what they are.

Classic Payment Gateways

Classic payment gateways come with a lower transaction fee but a longer setup process. Since you need to integrate it via API, you need to have a minimal level of technical knowledge as well. The best examples for classic payment gateways are; Authorize.net and WorldPay.

Modern payment gateways

Modern payment gateways are easy to set up but come with a higher per-transaction fee. Popular modern payment gateways are; Authorize.net and WorldPay.

Security

Security is an essential requirement for payment gateways. One of the major security measures that a payment gateway must follow is data encryption with SSL ( it encrypts the information so that the card details and all other sensitive data is protected).

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance is another must for ensuring secure payments. Thus make sure that your chosen payment provider is one with PCI level 1 security. Its also important to make sure your payment provider comes with other security features such as tokenization, 3D security, and other effective anti-fraud tools.

Customer support

Quick and efficient customer support is a must for any payment gateway that you choose for your store. When issues arise with payments it can quickly jeopardize your payment flow and make customers leave without completing transactions. In some other cases, it may adversely affect security as well.

Thus whatever issues may come up it’s important to quickly resolve them by communicating with the customer support team of your payment provider.

Location

If you are selling internationally or plan to do so, it’s better to go for payment gateways that support a large number of countries and currencies. This will reduce the chances of having to change your payment gateway once you widen your market.

Another important point to take note of while choosing your payment gateway is the fee charged by your payment gateway provider as they often vary from country to country.

Payment options

It’s always better to choose a payment provider having many different payment options to offer. If you have a large number of customers or clients it would be very appealing for them. It is proved to be one of the best ways to reduce cart abandonment. 

Thus before choosing a gateway make sure it accepts all major credit and debit cards, accepts credit cards that are local to the area you are doing business in, and supports Apple pay, Android pay, etc. 

Best WooCommerce Payment Gateways

Here are the most popular, widely used, and most trusted payment gateways you can choose from. You can also learn how to integrate each of these payment gateways with your WooCommerce store.

PayPal

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PayPal is a great payment platform that is designed to serve the needs of both your business and your customers. Whether you are a small, medium, or high-end brand, PayPal offers you diverse tools to run your business and help it grow.

With PayPal Commerce, you can accept payments using a variety of payment methods. For online mode, it allows your customers to pay using credit cards, debit cards, alternative payment methods, PayPal, and PayPal credit. 

Quick and steady cash flow is vital for your business. With PayPal, you could ensure fast access to your funds, move money from your PayPal business account to your bank, pay for goods or services online, or in-store with your PayPal account balance. It even lets you transfer funds to pay vendors electronically.

Security is another major requirement of a payment gateway. It should be able to manage the risks and provide you and your customers with a secure way to make transactions. With PayPal’s advanced fraud-protection technology you will be guarded against various security threats such as Phishing, Identity theft, etc.

It also offers seller protection, which helps protect your business from chargebacks, reversals, and fees.

To integrate PayPal with your WooCommerce store you can use one of the following plugins.

PayPal Express Checkout for WooCommerce

This PayPal for WooCommerce plugin is one of the best options for connecting your WooCommerce store with PayPal. Following are the major features offered by the plugin.

  • Allows your store to accept payments via credit/debit cards
  • Enables faster checkout (cart checkout)
  • Live mode/sandbox mode
  • Set up PayPal checkout logo and banner
  • Order review page

WooCommerce PayPal Checkout Payment Gateway

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WooCommerce PayPal checkout is another option for integrating WooCommerce with PayPal. It comes with the following features.

  • Supports payments using Credit cards, Debit cards, and PayPal.
  • Customization options
  • Supports recurring payments.

Stripe

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Stripe is another popular WooCommerce payment gateway that’s used by many businesses across the world. It’s an affordable, simple to set up, and easy to use payment gateway for both the merchants and its customers.

It comes with a wide range of payment options including cards (accepts all major debit and credit cards from customers in every country), wallets, local payment methods such as Giropay, Bancontact, SOFORT, Alipay, EPS, FPX, and more. 

Stripe supports over 135 currencies, allows you to process charges and display prices in a customer’s preferred currency to improve sales and help customers to avoid conversion costs. Another major advantage is that it allows you to accept payments from your iOS app, Android App, or mobile website.

It ensures incredible security and helps you fight fraud with powerful features such as Stripe radar (a machine learning fraud system that’s fully integrated with your payments), Dynamic 3D Secure, etc.

Use one of the following plugins to enable Stripe checkout in your WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce Stripe Payment Gateway

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This WooCommerce Stripe plugin is one of the smoothest ways to enable Stripe payments in your WooCommerce store.

  • It lets you pay using credit cards, Alipay, and via Stripe checkout.
  • SCA ready and 3D secure platform.
  • Full and partial refunds
  • Capture authorized payment later.

WooCommerce Stripe Payment Gateway

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The Stripe plugin is another great choice to enable Stripe payments for WooCommerce. By adding this plugin to your store you can enable the following features. 

  • Supports Giropay and Alipay
  • Supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Microsoft Pay for mobile and desktop.
  • Supports recurring payments

Wrapping Up

WooCommerce Payment gateways are one of the major components of your business and choosing the right payment gateway is even more important. 

By considering the security, payment options provided, customer support, and available currencies it will be easier for you to choose the right payment solution for your business. So choose wisely and ensure a smooth payment flow on both yours and your customers’ end.

Have a great time running your business!

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