The top 5 Payment Processor plugins for WooCommerce online stores
7 minutes reading
An eye-catching, gorgeous, and user-friendly online store is simply not enough to have a successful online retail business. Your product and marketing may be outstanding, but your business is as good as dead if you don’t have easy, secure, and trusted payment processing. While there are many ways to receive payments, people will always be allured to the easiest option. Undoubtedly, there is no more straightforward way to make online transactions than using a payment processor integrated into your website. Thankfully, there are various payment gateways (as the processors are also known). However, this can be a double-edged sword, as all of them have pros and cons, and you need to know which one is the best fit for your website. Today we will focus on those of you having your websites based on WooCommers, and more particularly, we will review the top 5 payment processing plugins for WooCommerce.
What is a Payment Processor
Before we discuss the gateways themselves, you might wonder what a payment processor is. It is a platform that allows you to receive payments via debit, credit cards, or other methods. It handles the entire process without sharing any crucial bank card information, meaning you do not need to go through the lengthy and difficult financial and legal requirements that will allow you to operate with money. Instead, you are using a third-party operator. The best part is that all the sensitive financial information is managed and stored by the operator, meaning you are not liable for keeping it safe.
Naturally, the gateway is responsible for transferring the funds, and in some circumstances, it can block the transaction, which may protect you or the card owner from fraud.
Probably the best part is that if you use WooCommerce, you have a huge choice of trusted payment processors. All you need is a store account and a payment gateway account, making the entire setup process straightforward and extremely fast.
How does it work
While different processors have different features and characteristics, they all follow the same operating pattern. It’s a 5-step process, which is anything but complicated.
Step 1: Register an account with your WooCommerce payment gateway (PG) of choice.
Step 2: Connect your PG account to your personal or corporate bank account
Step 3: Use the payment processor’s plugin for WooCommerce to attach your PG account to your online store. Rarely do payment processors not have direct plugins and need some extra work. Nonetheless, we won’t mention any of them today.
Step 4: You are ready to operate. Whenever a customer adds one of your products or services to the cart, the processor opens a secure link, allowing the transaction from the customer’s bank account to yours to be completed. If everything is in order, both parties will receive a message that the financial transaction has been approved.
Step 5: You receive the funds in your bank account. Depending on the provider you use, this may take a few days.
What to look for
Naturally, not all payment gateways are built equally, and when trying to create an online store, you should always push for the best option. Therefore, you must look for several key features when choosing a payment processor for your WooCommerce store.
Transaction Fees are crucial for pricing, as you’d want to retain your margins despite using this convenient application. Most often, payment processors use two-component compensation for their services – a small fee for the transaction (usually around $0.30) and a minimal percentage of the total price. Note that there might be different pricing for chip credit cards, invoices, etc.
Some gateway providers charge a monthly fee on top of the transaction fees. Before creating an account anywhere, ensure you understand how much you will pay for the service and whether you will have to pay some extra charges due to the specifics of your business. For example, if you offer a subscription-based service, your customers’ payments may be charged extra. Moreover, some processors charge extra for international transactions, which may add some cost to the overall spending.
WooCommerce compatibility is a must if you want to have a smooth experience. Most providers already have WooCommerce plugins, which helps with another key point you should consider – is it user-friendly?
You should research the processor’s supported payment methods and the countries and currencies they operate with. Naturally, credit cards and e-wallets are a bare minimum, but you must strive for gateways that accept all popular payment methods such as PayPal, bank transfers, and others.
Finally, you need to consider the most important payment aspect – Security. No one would willingly give their crucial financial information to a suspicious vendor. Moreover, you will connect your bank account to the same, so security is mandatory.
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But when it comes to a payment processor, the decision is tough. That’s why we checked about two dozen payment gateway service providers and picked the best five for your WooCommerce online store.
Undoubtedly, Stripe is the most well-known payment gateway on the market, and for a good reason.
It has a meticulously clean design, its user-friendliness is incomparable, and it comes with all the documentation a developer may need. Moreover, the set-up is as easy as 1,2,3. Among the Stripe users, we see some websites with colossal financial transfers like Amazon, Peloton, Kickstarter, Squarespace, and others.
Stripe prides itself on the variety of payment methods it supports. Along with all major credit and debit cards, the payment processor can be used with Apple Pay, AliPay, Google Pay, and at least a dozen more.
The best part is that the check-out is not just user-friendly but also outstandingly beautiful and customizable. In addition, it’s easily integrated with your WooCommerce store with plugins and offers some handy reports in its dashboard.
The pricing is pretty adequate for what you receive. You’ll need to pay 2.9% per transaction and another+$0.30 per card charge. Moreover, you will be charged an extra 1% for international dealings and another one for currency exchange if such is needed. On the plus side, there are no annual or monthly fees.
The only downside is that the payment processor is available in only 42 countries, which is quite significant. However, if you want to deal with most Asian countries, Stripe is not your gateway.
Stripe is perfect for all kinds of businesses, big or small. It’s simply one of the best payment processors out there.
PayPal has been a household name for quite some time now, and people, who are not comfortable with sharing their personal information with vendors, often prefer to pay them via PayPal. PayPal Pro is the business solution to this unique problem.
The most significant benefit of PayPal is its brand, which inspires trust. It’s a well-known corporation, and using them can transfer some of their reliability to your website. In addition, it’s easily integrable with an easy-to-set-up WooCommerce plugin.
Among its key features, you will find a highly customizable API, professional invoice generation, and, best of all, it’s available for over 200 countries.
The biggest problem with PayPal Pro is its pricing. It heavily depends on your location and is quite convoluted. In addition, it has international charges, as well as per-transaction and monthly fees.
Nonetheless, Paypal remains one of the most well-known payment processors and is the perfect choice for those who are just starting.
Square was originally designed for an in-store payment method. However, it can also be used as an online store payment method. It’s one of the best-designed payment gateways with the most user-friendly interface. If your store has a physical location, this payment processor is indeed irreplaceable.
Square can be easily integrated into your online store via a WooCommerce plugin, as well as with your in-store Square device. It has some fantastic SEO tools, accepts almost all payment methods, allows coupon usage, works with invoices, and can even book appointments. To make it even sweeter, it can be easily integrated with Instagram.
The fees are standard, as they charge 2.9%+ $0.30 per transaction, and some features may need a monthly payment plan.
Its biggest problem is the small number of countries and currencies it supports. Generally, it can be used in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the UK.
Square is the perfect solution if your online store is just a compliment to your physical location. The integration it provides between the two is simply marvelous.
On the number 4 spot, we have one of the most secure and trustworthy payment processors, Authorize.net. The Visa-owned gateway has some highly-advanced fraud detection features, which prevent scams and save you a lot of trouble in the process.
Authorize.net allows almost all payment methods, including Visa (of course), MasterCard, Discovery, American Express, PayPal, Apple Pay, E-check, JCB, Chase Pay, and many others. It can seamlessly integrate into your WooCommerce store with a customized plugin and is extremely easy to use. Furthermore, the price is quite affordable as they charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction (at the moment, at least).
Naturally, there are some downsides. Probably the biggest one is that although it’s easy to use, it takes some time to set it up correctly. Moreover, it’s available only in the US and Canada, which is not a problem if you don’t intend to expand outside of these countries.
Moreover, it has a monthly fee, which, although small ($25 as of writing this post), is still a deterrent for businesses operating with small margins.
However, if you have big ambitions, good margins, and generally have a large business, Authorize.net is the perfect choice for you.
5. Apple Pay
Being owned by Apple is always a good sign for any product or service. The company is well-known for its high-quality and outstanding support.
Like most of their products, Apple Pay is extremely user-friendly, exceptionally secure, and perfectly designed. It can be used both online and offline, which is a good option for stores with physical locations.
The brand is highly recognizable, which gives it an extra layer of trustworthiness.
The biggest plus of this payment processor is that it’s basically free. The only charges are related to the credit card provider’s fees.
Integrating with WooCommerce stores is quite easy, but it requires a third-party plugin. However, since the plugin is Stripe (for which we will talk a bit later), we don’t consider this a bad thing.
When it comes to the cons, there are some significant deficiencies. Firstly, Apple Pay works only in Europe, North America, and about half of the Asian countries. Naturally, that’s not a huge problem if you’re not doing business outside these areas. However, the payment processor is mainly intended for Apple users and is much better integrated with IOS products. The biggest downside, however, is that Apple pay supports only Apple Cash, which is still available only in the US. Other than that, it can be used with most credit and debit cards, but no other methods.
Apple Pay is a good choice for businesses that predominantly target iOS users living in the United States. In such cases, this payment processor is genuinely brilliant.
When choosing the right payment processor for your WooCommerce store, there are various factors to consider. If your business is predominantly in the US and your customers are IOS users, Apple Pay has some outstanding features that will make their check-out experience sublime. On the other hand, if you are targeting a broader customer base in North America and you have a significant business, Authorize.net, with its Visa backing, is probably the better choice. If you have both a physical location and an online store, Square will integrate both places seamlessly. PayPal is a dream-come-true for those with little to no experience who just want to start selling. Finally, Stripe is truly the goldilocks when it comes to payment processors. It’s perfect for every business, regardless of size, product, or margin. Undoubtedly, Stripe can easily claim the title of the best WooCommerce payment processor out there.