If you’re setting up a WooCommerce site, then you’re probably looking for a payment gateway to allow you to accept payments online. In this article, we’ll discuss how to find the best payment gateway for WooCommerce.
With over 21,000,000 downloads, WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms today. Because it’s free and open source, many merchants are able to adopt WooCommerce and adapt it to their needs with additional plugins and extensions. But one of the most confusing parts about setting up a WooCommerce online store is choosing a payment gateway. How can you know that you’re making the right choice?
What is a payment gateway?
First of all, let’s define what a payment gateway is. And to do that, we must first understand what happens during a credit card transaction.
Swiping your credit card or hitting the submit button on your online order takes only a second or two, but in that brief window of time, a dozen complex steps occur. Think about all of the different entities involved in a single transaction—the customer’s bank, the merchant’s bank, the credit card processor, the credit card network. All of these separate entities must communicate with one another to transfer funds.
That’s where the payment gateway comes in—it plays a part in facilitating communication between the different entities.
A payment gateway shouldn’t be confused with a merchant account—while a payment gateway facilitates transactions, a merchant account is an agreement between a merchant and a credit card processor. You’ll need both a payment gateway and a merchant account if you want to accept payments through your WooCommerce store. So what features will the best payment gateway for WooCommerce have?
What to look for in a payment gateway
1. Integration with WooCommerce
Some payment gateways, like EBizCharge, integrate directly with WooCommerce. Our integrated payment gateway can save you money by lowering your processing costs—EBizCharge pulls line-item details from each transaction to qualify cards at the lowest possible interchange rates with absolutely no additional work on your part.
2. Lower costs
One of the biggest concerns for WooCommerce merchants is pricing. Hundreds of online stores sell the exact same products and can only differentiate themselves from competitors by offering slightly cheaper prices. And since many WooCommerce stores operate on a shoestring budget, this pricing arms race means that profit margins can become razor thin.
In this climate of pricing competition, every penny counts. So why spend unnecessary money on your payment gateway? Avoid fees and charges and do your research to ensure you fully understand the pricing model you’re signing up for. If possible, find a payment gateway that offers flat rate pricing options. And to truly get the most out of your payment gateway, search for gateways that can lower your processing costs and save you money every month.
In addition to concerns about costs, many WooCommerce retailers struggle with data security. Customers are extremely wary about disclosing their data online—in the wake of many high-profile data breaches at major companies like Home Depot, Yahoo!, and British Airways, customers are increasingly paranoid about sharing their credit card information online.
So how can you reassure your customers and protect them from data breaches? Find a payment gateway that’s PCI compliant and uses the latest data security techniques like tokenization and encryption to guard against attacks. When your payment gateway is secure, it benefits both you and your customers. Your customers will feel safer and will be more likely to return to your online store, while you’ll be protected in the event of an attack.
What happens if your WooCommerce store isn’t PCI compliant? It can have drastically negative effects for both you and your customers. If an attack occurs, you may be responsible for paying damages that add up to thousands or even millions of dollars. And you’ll undoubtedly lose the trust and respect of your customers, who will be forced to deal with the consequences of stolen records.
As a WooCommerce retailer, you can’t afford to spend hours on hold while you wait for support to solve your problem. You need answers, fast. So look for a payment gateway that offers in-house, 24/7 support.
Some credit card processors offer both merchant accounts and payment gateways—if possible, apply with these processors so that you have a single point of contact when you encounter problems with your WooCommerce credit card processing.
Also, look for payment gateways that offer chargeback services. Chargebacks are a serious problem for eCommerce retailers, as customers are likely to forget or regret their purchases. Some payment gateways provide chargeback services or teams to notify you when chargebacks occur, helping you to resolve the situation quickly.
If the installation for your payment gateway requires a significant amount of time, you can lose valuable time when customers could be purchasing from your site. Be sure to read the fine print about the setup process and look for payment gateways that can be quickly and easily integrated with WooCommerce. If possible, search for a gateway that can help you with the installation or even do it for you.
You’re about to embark on an exciting journey—the opening of your new WooCommerce store. Don’t start out on the wrong foot. Be sure to begin your online business the right way by finding the best payment gateway for WooCommerce.