WordPress Payment Gateway Plugins: How Best to Collect Money
By May 2021, the global value of eCommerce reached $26.7 trillion. And since then, its value has only increased.
There’s room for plenty more entrepreneurs to tap into that market. With a website, anybody has the chance to connect with potential audiences across the globe.
But how do you convert your audience into customers? There are plenty of options. For many digital entrepreneurs, the path to success is through a WordPress payment gateway.
What is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is a tool that facilitates eCommerce. A WordPress payment gateway, specifically, is a plugin that enables the site owner to accept and process payments from customers and clients.
How Does Payment in WordPress Work?
A payment gateway manages transactions among five stakeholders. The stakeholders are:
- The customer (cardholder)
- The retailer (merchant)
- The customer’s issuing bank
- The merchant’s acquiring bank
- The customer’s central payment network (card scheme, ACH network, etc)
When a customer makes an online purchase, the first thing the gateway does is check the cardholder’s issuing bank. This lets the gateway see if the customer’s card has enough available funds to pay.
Then, the payment gateway encrypts the customer’s card or eCheck information and sends it to the payment network. The payment network processes and approves the transaction.
The network then sends the data back to the WordPress site.
Finally, the payment gateway signals the acquiring bank. That bank proceeds to move the money from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account.
WordPress Payment Plugins: Key Features
Before you add a payment gateway to your WordPress site, consider which features are must-haves for your business. Then, think about which features are just nice-to-haves, and which ones you can do without.
Payment Types Accepted
It’s important to incorporate your typical customers’ preferred payment types into their profiles.
For instance, members of credit unions are more likely to use electronic checks than others. White-collar workers between 25 and 45 are more likely to use cryptocurrencies than other groups.
And, in South Korea, the government has increasingly incentivized debit card use over credit cards, to reduce the average citizen’s debt. A payment gateway might accept the following types of payment:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Cryptocurrency payments
- Electronic checks
- Wire transfer payments
A payment gateway processes payments using computer power. As such, it must be hosted on a server—either on-premises or via the cloud. Payment plugins use one of three models of processor hosting:
- Redirect to payment processor
- Off-site POS processing
- On-site payment processing (self-hosting)
PayPal is one gateway that redirects customers to its own site when they make a purchase. After processing completes, customers are sent back to your site.
Off-site or cloud-based processing is the more popular option. This relies on the payment processor’s security features and servers, which are usually high-caliber. But, rerouting the customer to a new site can disrupt their flow.
On-site payment processing costs more. But, it cultivates a seamless shopping experience for your customers. It also gives you control over security measures, which is a plus if you’re a cybersecurity expert.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, or the PCI DSS, is an international security council. Payment processors must meet PCI DSS standards.
If a processor is substandard, do not consider it secure. PCI DSS mandates complex security measures, including:
- Fraud protection measures
- Quarterly vulnerability scans
You can read PCI DSS regulations and implementation options in its document library.
Merchant Account Options & Fees
Some payment gateways easily interface with the merchant’s existing bank account. Others require the merchant to create an account on the gateway’s platform. Look out for the following types of fees:
- Transaction fees (interchange, processing)
- Signup fees
- Account closure penalties
- Assessment (fees imposed by credit card company)
All of the largest payment processors serve customers in Canada, the United States and the UK. But if you have customers beyond those countries, make sure the processor you choose is one they can use. Look at different processors’ lists of:
- Supported countries
- Supported currencies
For example, PayPal cannot receive payments from certain countries, including Monaco and Nigeria. If your customers live in lower-GDP nations, look for a more inclusive processor, like 2Checkout (Verifone).
Automated Payment Options
Some plugins that process payments in WordPress include automated features. The most popular features are:
- Automated payment upon booking
- Automated recurring payments
The latter is particularly useful if you’re selling a subscription product or service.
Design, Branding Options
When you integrate a payment gateway into your site, you don’t want it to look jarring. Certain payment processors let site owners customize the font, logo, and colour of the eCommerce buttons and icons to fit your site’s theme.
Of course, your payment gateway needs a plugin that’s compatible with WordPress. It’s worthwhile to explore other potential integrations.
Some payment gateways are compatible with point of sale technology, which makes selling products in real life as easy as it is online.
High-Risk Payment Options
Finally, it’s important to learn if a payment gateway can process high-risk payments.
High-risk payments are payments that carry a high risk of credit card chargebacks. Certain categories of goods and services have a documented history of high rates of customer disputes and fraud. High-risk categories include:
- Luxury goods
- Gambling and online gaming
- Sex-related products and services
- Firearms and weapons
- Health supplements
Financial companies may also see specific individual merchants as high risk if they have a poor credit history.
Many payment processors refuse to take on a chargeback risk greater than 1.8%. Some set even lower thresholds.
Best WordPress Payment Gateway Plugins: 2022
In 2022, nine payment gateways stand out as potential winners for your WordPress site.
You can integrate any of these processors into your WordPress API as a plugin. If the prospect of editing your site to accept payments seems overwhelming, use an editing service.
A WordPress editor can help your site grow with your business. They can even recommend which payment gateway might work best for you, based on what they’ve learned about your site’s unique needs.
PayPal is the most popular online payment gateway worldwide. It’s available in over 200 countries.
Customers largely trust PayPal for its state-of-the-art encryption and fraud protection. Merchants may choose from a Standard, Pro, or Business Paypal account. Each offers unique benefits.
But, this gateway sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to transaction fees. And, PayPal unilaterally prohibits payments from certain countries.
With Stripe, your eCommerce store can accept payment in over 135 currencies. Stripe is a popular choice for retailers with a broad, international customer base.
Stripe’s fee per transaction is generally comparable to PayPal’s. But, it offers lower fees than PayPal on transactions under $10.
Square is best known as a point-of-sale service. Yet, its eCommerce plugin offers benefits for small businesses. It offers lower transaction fees than PayPal and Stripe, and it never charges a monthly fee.
Unfortunately, Square only works in six countries, currently. Its capacity to accept international currencies is strictly limited.
Authorize.net’s plugin is available for a $25/month fee. But, for many, it’s well worth it. Retailers typically use it as an all-in-one payment solution.
This Visa-owned processor easily integrates with other plugins, including Quickbooks and Magento. It also offers premium fraud protection services.
With this plugin, you can accept a wider range of payment methods. It’s also compatible with unique, bespoke payment processing solutions like Gravity Payments.
Developers designed WooCommerce Payments to integrate seamlessly into WooStores. It’s arguably the easiest to use with the WooCommerce platform. WordPress users have rated its plugin highly.
But, it’s only available in the United States. And, it charges higher per-transaction fees than PayPal.
Third-party evaluators consistently rank Easy Pay Direct among the best high-risk payment gateways. They cite the processor’s top-level security features, timely customer service, and free virtual terminal among its selling points.
Like most high-risk processors, Easy Pay Direct costs more than PayPal and Stripe. It also charges a set-up fee.
PeachPay offers incredible customization options. It’s easy to use this processor to build a sleek, seamless checkout flow for your customers. Many site owners create custom one-click options with PeachPay’s WordPress plugin.
Beyond its streamlined flow, PeachPay offers a zero-fraud guarantee. The payment processor’s clients enjoy 24/7 customer support.
2Checkout (Verifone) offers more payment and withdrawal methods than any other gateway on this list. It accepts 87 different currencies.
You can also integrate the 2Checkout WordPress plugin with Payoneer, which lets you accept payments from almost every country on the planet.
Moreover, this platform offers real-time fraud detection, and it meets full-PCI compliance.
2Checkout is great if you want automated features and streamlined mobile options. You pay a flat rate to use this gateway, which may be more expensive than PayPal if your business is fairly small.
PaymentCloud is another high-risk payment processor. It charges clients different rates depending on their assessed risk level. You can integrate PaymentCloud into your WordPress site.
Benefits of PaymentCloud include excellent customer support, merchant lending options, and shopping cart integrations. It also accepts a wide range of payment types, including electronic checks and cryptocurrencies.
The biggest downside of this gateway is its hidden fees.
WordPress Optimization, Hosting, and Monitoring
Choosing the right WordPress payment gateway can take your eCommerce business to the next level.
Discover WordPress site management, maintenance, and premium services with WP Assist. Book a call today, and learn what we can do to help your business thrive online.
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