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Choosing the right payment gateway for your WooCommerce store

Sakkun Tickoo Sakkun Tickoo - 29th May, 2024

From optimising transactions to reducing fees- selecting the right WooCommerce payment gateway could be a game-changer for your WooCommerce store

Are you a WooCommerce enthusiast ready to dive into the world of payment gateways and select the best fit for your business?

Choosing the right WooCommerce payment gateway in the UK is critical for increasing transaction speed, minimising costs, and providing a seamless customer experience across multiple touchpoints.

But before we dive in, let’s take a closer look at the WooCommerce market.

Recent WooCommerce data

  • WooCommerce commands a market share of around 39% of all e-commerce stores worldwide.
  • Their user base is approximately 6.3 million websites
  • According to a research on The State of WooCommerce 2024 by Store Leads, WooCommerce recorded an increase in the number of online stores by 9.6% quarter-on-quarter in 2024 Q1 and 50% year-on-year till Q1 this year.
  • The UK has 3.9% of WooCommerce stores, which is the second highest in the world.

Why is selecting the right WooCommerce payment gateway so important?

Payment gateways play a pivotal role in several areas of your business. Here are some of the reasons for being critical about choosing an appropriate platform:

Customer experience:

2024 Cart abandonment rate statistics published by Baymard, revealed that the average cart abandonment rate stands at a staggering 70.19% for e-commerce retailers. Thus, the consumer experience at checkout is vital. A well-integrated WooCommerce payment gateway not only ensures a seamless checkout process but also provides customers with multiple payment options, ranging from open banking methods to digital wallets to traditional card-based payments. The result? Satisfied customers who are likely to complete the transaction.

Cost-effectiveness:

Different WooCommerce payment gateways have varying fee structures. If you run a high-volume business, switching to a gateway that charges less per transaction could help trim those hefty operational costs. Keep an eye on the extras that can catch you off-guard—setup fees, ongoing monthly payments, and charges for added features might just tip your budget over the edge. This is where a transparent and cost-efficient service provider like Wonderful can change the game for your business.

Safety and compliance:

Are you worried about e-commerce fraud? According to eCommerce fraud statistics of 2024, with about 43% of customers complaining of fraudulent transactions, nearly 75% of e-businesses are keen to ramp up their budgets for fraud prevention. WooCommerce payment gateways come with robust security measures and are equipped with fraud detection and prevention mechanisms. They further safeguard your business from any legal issues by ensuring you meet the required regulatory compliance.

Global expansion:

If you are a local business looking to scale beyond borders, a reliable payment gateway is an essential supporting tool. The best WooCommerce payment gateways can handle international transactions in various currencies. This is a vital pre-requisite for penetrating regional markets and catering to a large global audience.

Scalable integrations:

A payment gateway that scales with your business can handle growing transaction volumes and expanding operations effortlessly, ensuring smooth performance throughout. Seamless integration with your WooCommerce store and other business tools like accounting software and CRM systems ensures streamlined operations and better data management.

How to add a payment gateway to your WooCommerce store?

WooCommerce payment gateway integration requires a few simple steps:

  • Install plugin: Access your WordPress dashboard, select Plugins > Add New, and search for the payment gateway plugin. Select the "Install Now" option to install the chosen plugin.
  • Activate the plugin: Once installed, you have to select the "Activate"
  • Configure the settings: Navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Payments after activation. The gateway that was recently added is located here. To modify its configurations, simply click on it.
  • Set up your account: Please provide the payment provider with the necessary information, including API keys, account credentials, and any other specific details.
  • Gateway evaluation: Before going live, it is crucial to test the payment gateway in a sandbox environment to confirm that transactions are processed accurately.

What is the WooCommerce payment gateway API?

If you are keen to add a custom payment gateway, then WooCommerce has a robust API to facilitate hassle-free integration. The API comes with unique hooks and filters for customising payment methods. Some of the key components are:

  • Classes: Extend the ‘WC_Payment_Gateway’ class to create a custom payment gateway.
  • Functions: Utilise functions like ‘init_form_fields’ for defining settings and ‘process_payment’ for handling transactions.
  • Webhooks: Implement webhooks to manage asynchronous events such as payment notifications and refunds.

For a more detailed understanding, check out the WooCommerce payment gateway API resource.

How to integrate a local bank payment gateway with your WooCommerce store?

For both local and global businesses, adding a local bank payment gateway can open up new business prospects. Let’s go through the simple steps to integrate the payment gateway for a local bank with your WooCommerce store.

  • Procure API documents: First, you need to get the required API documents from your bank. This will include endpoint URLs, API keys, and all other security protocols.
  • Create a Custom Plugin: Utilise the WooCommerce Payment Gateway API to create a custom plugin that communicates with the bank's payment system. Implement the necessary methods, including init_form_fields, process_payment, and validate_fields, by extending the WC_Payment_Gateway class.
  • Verify the integration: As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to validate the integration in a sandbox environment. This allows you to check and rectify any glitches. You can seek WooCommerce support for this or connect with your bank for assistance if required.
  • Make sure you meet local regulations: To guarantee the security of sensitive payment information, it is imperative to comply with local financial regulations and security standards, including PCI-DSS compliance.
  • All set to go live: Deploy the plugin to your live WooCommerce store after satisfactory testing. Initially, supervise the transactions to guarantee that they are executed without any complications.

6 best WooCommerce payment gateways in the UK

Payment gateways are the tools that help leverage the potential of WooCommerce to maximise business outcomes. WooCommerce subscription plugins support subscriptions that integrate with various payment gateways to process transactions.

The following WooCommerce payment gateway list dives deep into 6 platforms that come with several interesting features that can transform your e-Commerce experience. 

  1. Wonderful: One of the key considerations for small and medium businesses is the upfront investment and recurring costs. This is where Wonderful is redefining payment processing for WooCommerce stores in the UK. Wonderful leverages the Open Banking system to provide one of the cheapest WooCommerce payment gateways with zero percentage fees, making it an ideal solution to minimise your transaction cost while availing of a host of useful features.

    Key features: The Plus Plan subscription for Wonderful's WooCommerce payment plugin includes 2,000 monthly transactions for just £19.99, and those made outside the bundle are still only charged 1p per transaction. Businesses may control costs with this predictable pricing approach. With Open Banking, merchants can receive direct bank transfers from customers, making payments secure and fast. WooCommerce connection is simple, letting merchants accept payments without a complex technical setup. Wonderful's bank-level security and rigorous consumer authentication prevent fraud. Transferring funds instantly creates a positive working capital reserve and prevents payment bottlenecks. You can also add Wonderful to your existing WooCommerce payment gateways to provide a more robust experience.

  2. PayPal: One of the most subscribed payment gateways, PayPal has wide global acceptance. A simple user interface and a host of attractive features make it a popular choice for WooCommerce stores.

    Key features: If you're looking to cater to clients worldwide, using PayPal can help since it handles transactions in over 200 countries. Whether you choose to swipe a credit card, punch in a debit card number, or tap into your PayPal funds, you're covered! The integration with WooCommerce is uncomplicated, and ordinary accounts have no monthly costs. PayPal prioritises security, including enhanced fraud detection and buyer protection, to protect both merchants and customers from fraudulent activity. When you team up with PayPal, the well-known dependability it brings can elevate how much customers trust your company.

  3. Stripe: This is another efficient payment gateway that has a developer-friendly API and useful features.For WooCommerce stores looking for adaptability and scalability, Stripe could be a good choice.

    Key features: Stripe is adaptable to the needs of a variety of customers since it accepts a broad variety of payment methods. These include major credit cards, ACH transfers, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. With Stripe, you can enjoy the simplicity of one-click checkouts, deep-dive into transaction data through comprehensive analytics, and manage subscriptions effortlessly. Businesses can modify their payment processing to meet their unique requirements thanks to the platform's rich application programming interface (API).

  4. Square: Does your WooCommerce store have an offline option as well? Then Square, with its unified payment option and flexible features, could be a gateway worth exploring.

    Key features: To provide your customers with a seamless experience across physical and virtual domains, Stripe is a suitable solution. It has a simple setup process that allows you to start accepting payments immediately. With no hidden cost, it helps you predict the actual cost implications. Its comprehensive set of tools includes sales reporting, inventory management, and customer engagement, which provide holistic support for your enterprise.

  5. Authorize.net: One of the USPs of Authorize.net is its robust security and compliance mechanisms.

    Key features: With its Advanced Fraud Detection Suite (AFDS), Authorize.Net protects against fraudulent transactions. It accepts multiple payment modes, such as credit cards, digital payments, and e-checks. The platform offers businesses efficient recurring payment processing for subscriptions. Authorize.Net's Customer Information Manager (CIM) securely maintains payment information for repeat transactions, improving the customer experience and payment processing. Businesses that handle sensitive payment data rely on its reliability and security.

  6. Amazon Pay: The trust behind Amazon’s brand image and ease of checkout has made it a widely used WooCommerce payment gateway.

    Key features: Amazon Pay allows customers to use their familiar Amazon account to make payments, leading to increased subscriptions from e-commerce stores. Easy installation, a streamlined checkout process, and access from multiple devices like tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc. make them convenient for both customers and businesses. With a quick setup process, you are good to go.

Choosing the best payment gateway option for your WooCommerce store

Apart from ease of transaction, every business has a different objective behind selecting a particular WooCommerce payment gateway. If you are looking for a feature-rich and flexible platform, you may consider Stripe. For global acceptance and scalability, PayPal is often the chosen partner.

However, for a cost-effective solution with low transaction fees and seamless integration, Wonderful is an ideal choice. With payment processing at 1p per transaction, no extra charges for increased AOV (average order volume) and instant settlements, Wonderful is one of the best and cheapest payment gateway providers for WooCommerce stores in the UK.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CRM)- the Wonderful way

By associating with organisations which support various charitable causes and are committed to making a positive social impact you can become an integral part of important social initiatives. Wonderful is one such FCA-authorised payment provider which partners with businesses that emphasise social and environmental effects and support many philanthropic projects. Apart from eliminating the high costs of card-based transactions, they also support charitable institutions in the UK by providing services free of charge.

FAQs

Do I need coding knowledge to set-up WooCommerce payment gateways?

You don’t need coding knowledge or any specific technical expertise to use a WooCommerce platform. The payment gateway set-up comes with user-friendly instructions, tailored for non-technical business owners.

Does WooCommerce support multiple payment gateways simultaneously?

WooCommerce payment gateway integration has the flexibility to allow you to use multiple payment gateways at a time. You can cater to a larger customer base with wider payment alternatives, thus increasing your conversion rate.

How do I enable recurring subscription billing in WooCommerce?

The WooCommerce subscription extension enables the invoicing of recurring subscriptions. You can set an automated recurring payment option for your subscription-based products by integrating this plugin with several WooCommerce payment gateways.

What are the key factors in deciding the ideal WooCommerce payment gateway for international buyers?

International payment methods that support multiple currencies and a robust global network are the main considerations for choosing a payment gateway for international customers. PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net are great choices, as they offer a robust currency conversion feature and an active international support team.

Which WooCommerce payment gateway settles funds instantly?

Using the power of Open Banking, Wonderful ensures instant settlement of funds through direct bank transfer. This eases out cash flow management, particularly for small enterprises, by eliminating settlement bottlenecks. Wonderful also has one of the best WooCommerce payment gateway fee structures to further contribute to your business growth.

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

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