Choosing the correct Shopify payment gateway is a decision that eCommerce retailers should not take lightly. This decision affects the customer experience as well as profit margins. Each payment gateway has its own series of benefits and challenges associated with the service. Before diving into the five payment gateways on this list, let's briefly discuss what a payment gateway is.
Payment gateways are often referred to as payment processors. A payment processor is a technology that is leveraged by eCommerce merchants in order to complete transactions from a multitude of channels such as credit and debit cards from various banks. This technology is the final touchpoint in the customer’s purchasing phase.
Paypal has been in business since 1998, originally under the name “Confinity.” In 2000, the technology company rebranded to its current business name. PayPal was one of the first technologies which allowed for safe online transactions and has cemented itself in the eCommerce marketplace for over 20 years. PayPal’s ability to handle transactions from over 200 countries is one of the reasons that it’s the most used Shopify payment gateway.
PayPal offers its services to merchants with no initial setup fee. Due to this fact, many small businesses choose to accept payment through PayPal. It allows merchants to create invoices, collect payments, and track payments over time. In addition to creating manual invoices, PayPal natively integrates with all eCommerce platforms including Shopify.
One major reason why consumers choose to check out with PayPal is the payment security that is offered. If a user is the victim of eCommerce fraud, they are able to contact PayPal support in order to correct the issue.
There are downsides to using PayPal as your store’s Shopify payment gateway as well. QR code transactions are charged at 1.7% + a fixed rate. Charity transactions are charged at 2.2% + a fixed rate. Highest of all, standard eCommerce transactions are charged at 2.7% + a fixed rate.
Other negatives that PayPal has as a Shopify Payment gateway include the lack of a free trial, no consultation or integration services, and the lack of good customer support for agents.
Check out PayPal’s site for more information on PayPal as your next payment gateway
Authorize.net has been around even longer than PayPal, Founded in 1996 with the same goal of allowing online businesses to conduct transactions, Authorize.net has become a staple in the eCommerce payment gateway ecosystem.
As one of the most established payment gateways, Authorize.net is a secure and reliable technology that hundreds of thousands of businesses depend on daily. With integrated fraud protection, Authorize.net is a safe bet for eCommerce retailers processing hundreds of orders daily.
In addition to offering a standard eCommerce payment gateway, Authorize.net offers a backend gateway in which transactions can be manually entered and tracked. This is a major benefit for companies that do not have a standardized pricing model for bulk or specialized items.
One downside that is often heard in the eCommerce industry is that the Authorize.net user interface is clunky and hard to navigate. For long-time users of this service, navigating through the interface becomes second nature, and this issue fades into the background. Authorize.net could take some tips from this blog, Analyzing User Interface vs User Experience
Authorize.net charges a monthly $25 fee for access to the gateway, in addition to a 2.9% fee and a fixed $0.30 fee per transaction. These rates are high in the eCommerce industry but make sense when considering the enterprise-level technology and security that is offered.
A more recent entry into the Shopify payment gateway ecosystem, Stripe focuses on eCommerce businesses with little support for brick-and-mortar stores.
What we like best about Stripe is that they provide 24/7 customer support to both retailers and customers. Payment gateways can be a confusing landscape to navigate, and allowing retailers to speak with a real person over the phone helps to eliminate those worries.
Stripe is also very easy to set up for retailers looking for their next Shopify payment gateway. By integrating directly with Shopify, retailers are guided through the streamlined setup process. Stripe also offers an open API for retailers with a custom-built website to integrate their services.
As mentioned above, Stripe does not have a competitive offering for in-person businesses. By focusing their efforts on eCommerce merchants, they have managed to overtake legacy players in the space such as PayPal and Authorize.net. Merchants may also have difficulty implementing the open API without a dedicated team of eCommerce designers and developers.
Everybody knows Square from the simplistic credit card readers and tablet interface often used at pop-up shops and food trucks. Square has infiltrated the standard brick-and-mortar ecosystem as well, now being used in restaurants and legacy stores for its ease of use.
Square offers some of the lowest transaction fees in the industry and has been rewarded for it. With a 2.6% standard rate + $0.10 per transaction, many eCommerce retailers choose Square as their Shopify payment gateway. This allows merchants to keep overheads costs low as they grow.
The second best part of choosing Square is that almost everybody knows it and is comfortable with using it. We can not stress enough the importance of a frictionless customer experience, and we believe that Square provides this across all channels.
Unfortunately, Square does have some of the least favorable customer service offerings for merchants in its class. However, payment processors do not typically need much micromanaging. Once they’re set up, payment gateways tend to operate as they were intended to unless something gets changed on the backend.
Add-on services are offered by Square but can add up to the point in which the service may cost as much or more than the competition. Ultimately, you will need to decide if Square is right for your business depending upon the exact features needed.
Finally, a non-traditional option like Klarna is great for consumers who would like to pay for their big-ticket purchases over the course of monthly payments. The benefits and challenges that Klarna offers impact the customer more than the retailer. Retailers receive their entire payment up-front with Klarna collecting the payment installments post-purchase.
This Shopify payment gateway enables buyers to purchase products that they do not have the capacity to purchase in a single lump sum. With no membership or annual fees, Klarna is a viable option for many consumers. In addition, if a consumer purchases with Klarna, there is no associated interest unless the customer does not pay on time.
Retailers are liable to pay returned payment fees in most cases. Additionally, implementing payment gateways of this type can add an increased level of complexity to financial reporting which many retailers may not want to take on. Klarna may also negatively impact the perceived exclusivity of your high-end products by inferring that it is typically to pay off the purchase over time.
Before making a decision on your Shopify payment gateway, we recommend exploring all options and finding the best fit for you. All businesses do not operate the same and will need unique features that some but not all payment gateways offer.
If you need help building your next eCommerce website in order to implement a new payment gateway, fill out the form below to connect with our team of eCommerce design and development experts.
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