WooCommerce payment gateways are a vital component of online stores, enabling them to accept payments from customers.
Choosing the right payment gateway for a UK-based WooCommerce store is crucial for ensuring smooth transactions, meeting customer payment preferences, and maintaining a secure and trustworthy online shopping experience.
When starting a new eCommerce business, selecting the appropriate payment gateway is a significant decision that can have a long-term impact on the success of the online store.
The right payment gateway can streamline the payment process and contribute to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the online business.
What are WooCommerce Payment Gateways?
WooCommerce payment gateways are third-party services that allow online businesses to accept payments from customers.
These gateways integrate with the WooCommerce platform to automate customer purchases, reduce the risk of fraud, and comply with industry standards.
There are two types of payment gateways: redirect and direct.
Redirect payment gateways bring customers to the service provider’s page to complete the transaction, while direct payment gateways keep financial transactions on the online store’s site.
The choice between redirect and direct payment gateways can impact customer experience and security.
When selecting a payment gateway for a UK-based WooCommerce store, businesses need to consider various factors such as transaction fees, supported payment methods, and compliance with UK banking systems.
Luckily, WooCommerce provides various payment plugins to simplify integration with third-party payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and WooCommerce Payments.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway
Choosing the right payment gateway in the UK is crucial for businesses as it ensures smooth transactions, customer satisfaction, and security. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Transaction fees: This is the most common fee, usually a percentage of each transaction (e.g., 2.9% + $0.30). Consider your transaction volume and value to see which pricing model suits you best.
- Monthly fees: Some gateways charge a fixed monthly fee, regardless of transaction volume. This might be advantageous for businesses with low transaction volume.
- Setup fees: Check if there are any one-time setup fees involved.
- Compliance: Ensure the gateway adheres to industry standards like PCI DSS for secure data handling.
- Fraud prevention: Look for features like fraud detection and chargeback management.
- Encryption: Verify the strength of encryption used to protect sensitive customer data.
- Compatibility: Ensure the gateway integrates seamlessly with your existing platform (e.g., shopping cart, website).
- Ease of integration: Check if the integration process is developer-friendly or requires technical expertise.
- Additional features: Some gateways offer features like recurring billing, invoicing, and subscription management.
- Payment methods: Does the gateway support the payment methods preferred by your target customers (e.g., credit cards, e-wallets)?
- Global reach: If you have international customers, ensure the gateway supports international transactions and currencies.
- Customer support: Choose a gateway with reliable and responsive customer support.
- Scalability: Consider your future growth potential and choose a gateway that can scale with your business.
- Reputation: Research the gateway’s reputation and user reviews to ensure its reliability and trustworthiness.
Remember, the best payment gateway for you depends on your specific needs and priorities.
Weigh each factor carefully and compare different options before making a decision.
7 Best WooCommerce Payment Gateways in the UK
Choosing the best WooCommerce payment gateway for your UK business depends on several factors, including your budget, transaction volume, target audience, and the payment methods you want to offer.
Here are some of the top options to consider, along with their pros and cons:
A highly recommended payment gateway that supports most major debit/credit cards and offers a user-friendly interface.
- Pros: Widely used and trusted, easy integration, supports various payment methods (credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Klarna), competitive fees (2.9% + £0.20 per transaction), mobile-friendly checkout.
- Cons: Higher fees for larger transactions, may not be suitable for high-risk businesses.
A widely trusted and international payment gateway suitable for WooCommerce stores with an international customer base
- Pros: Highly recognizable brand, widely accepted by customers, easy setup, buyer and seller protection.
- Cons: Higher transaction fees (1.9% + £0.30 per transaction), limited customization options.
Popular for its wide usage, especially when businesses take payments within their physical stores.
- Pros: Supports a wide range of payment methods, including international payments, competitive fees for high-volume merchants, good customer support.
- Cons: Complex pricing structure, monthly fees apply.
Known for its ability to handle payments and subscriptions, it is a third-party integration that works well with WooCommerce.
- The Barclays payment plugin for WooCommerce is efficient and highly secure, ensuring a safe payment processing experience for customers
- Does not charge fees for spending overseas, including cash withdrawals, which can be beneficial for businesses with international transactions
- The Barclaycard Rewards Credit Card has a relatively high APR, which can be a drawback for cardholders who carry a balance
- The card does not offer a 0% period on purchases or balance transfers, which may be a disadvantage for those seeking introductory benefits
A comprehensive payment gateway that offers various features for online businesses, including in-person payments and e-commerce transactions.
- Square offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies payment processing for businesses and customers.
- Allows users to accept payments online, in-person, or via mobile devices, making it a more versatile option.
- Offers all-in-one pricing with a clear fee structure, making it easier for businesses to understand their costs.
- Provides 24/7 customer service and support, ensuring businesses can resolve any issues quickly.
- Square has limited customization options, which can be a disadvantage for businesses seeking a unique checkout experience.
- Has less flexibility with integrations compared to other payment gateways, which can limit the ability to customize the payment process.
- Charges higher transaction fees for the free plan, which can be a drawback for businesses with high transaction volumes
A reliable payment gateway that provides a wide range of features and supports various payment methods.
- Authorize.Net is a reliable and secure payment gateway that offers robust security protocols to help against chargebacks and fraud.
- Offers a comprehensive suite of features, including fraud detection, recurring billing, and compatibility with over 150 pre-integrated, certified third-party shopping carts.
- Compatible with various e-commerce platforms, including WooCommerce, making it a convenient and flexible solution for businesses of all sizes.
- Authorize.Net has a somewhat complex pricing structure that may not be suitable for all businesses.
- Primarily focused on domestic transactions, which may not be ideal for UK-based businesses that deal primarily with international transactions.
- Transaction fees for Authorize.Net can be higher compared to other payment gateways, which may be a disadvantage for businesses with high transaction volumes
7. WooCommerce Payments
An in-house payment gateway provided by WooCommerce, offering integrated solutions for securely accepting major debit and credit cards, as well as local payment methods.
- WooCommerce Payments offers lower rates and a straightforward pricing model compared to some other payment gateways like PayPal.
- It provides a native checkout experience on WooCommerce stores, allowing buyers to pay directly on the site and providing fast access to earnings.
- Does not have monthly fees, making it a cost-effective option for store owners.
- It is limited to the US and US dollars, with some limitations in functionality and compatibility with third-party applications.
- There may be a loss of historical data when switching to WooCommerce Payments.
- While it offers the potential for negotiated rates for larger businesses, smaller stores may not benefit significantly from this feature
Other options to consider:
- Klarna: Popular buy-now-pay-later option, can increase conversion rates but may come with higher fees.
- Apple Pay: Convenient for Apple users but limited reach.
Ultimately, the best way to choose a payment gateway is to compare the different options based on your specific needs and priorities. Consider factors such as:
- Transaction fees: How much will you be charged per transaction?
- Monthly fees: Do you need to pay a monthly fee, regardless of transaction volume?
- Supported payment methods: Does the gateway support the payment methods your customers prefer?
- Ease of integration: How easy is it to integrate the gateway with your WooCommerce store?
- Customer support: Does the gateway offer good customer support?
- Security: Is the gateway secure and compliant with industry standards?
WooCommerce Payments and Stripe are both popular payment solutions. Here are some key points to consider when comparing the two:
- Cost: WooCommerce Payments charges a 1.5% fee for international payments, while Stripe charges a 1% fee for international transactions.
- Functionality: WooCommerce Payments is a payment gateway, while Stripe is a payment processor. This means WooCommerce Payments can support additional payment options such as PayPal, while Stripe cannot be used to accept payments from other popular payment processors.
- Integrations: WooCommerce Payments integrates seamlessly with WordPress, making it a good choice for businesses already using the platform. On the other hand, Stripe is available in more countries and is generally more cost-effective for international transactions.
- Availability and supported currencies: WooCommerce Payments is available in the U.S., UK, and Canada, and offers the option to accept in-person payments using a card reader device. Stripe, on the other hand, is available in more countries and supports a wide range of currencies.
Both solutions have their own advantages, and the choice between them depends on the specific needs and priorities of the business.
How to integrate payment gateway in WordPress with WooCommerce
Now that you have the perfect payment gateway for your WooCommerce store in the UK, how do you integrate it?
Integrating a payment gateway in WordPress with WooCommerce is a straightforward process, but it can vary slightly depending on the specific gateway you choose.
Here’s a general guide to get you started:
1. Choose a payment gateway:
- Popular options: Stripe, PayPal, Square, Razorpay, Paytm (for India).
- Consider factors: Transaction fees, supported countries/currencies, ease of use, security features.
2. Install the plugin:
- Most gateways have dedicated plugins for WooCommerce.
- Search for the plugin in your WordPress admin panel (Plugins > Add New).
- Install and activate the plugin.
3. Configure the gateway settings:
- Locate the payment settings in WooCommerce (usually WooCommerce > Settings > Payments).
- Find the plugin you installed and enable it.
- Enter your API credentials provided by the payment gateway.
- Configure additional settings like currency, order status, etc.
4. Test the integration:
- Make a test purchase on your website using a valid payment method.
- Ensure the transaction goes through smoothly and the order is reflected correctly.
Here are some resources that you might find helpful:
- WooCommerce documentation on payment gateways: https://developer.woo.com/docs/woocommerce-payment-gateway-api/
Remember, if you encounter any specific issues during the integration process, consulting the documentation or support resources of your chosen payment gateway is always recommended.
How to troubleshoot payment gateway integration issues in WooCommerce
When troubleshooting payment gateway integration issues in WooCommerce, consider the following common issues and solutions:
Insufficient Funds Error
Customers receive a message about insufficient funds even if their account has a sufficient balance.
Solution: Advice customers to contact their bank to ensure their card or account is not blocked or limited.
Payment Gateway Compatibility Issues
Some gateways may have compatibility issues with your WooCommerce setup. Ensure that the chosen gateway is compatible with your WooCommerce version and other plugins.
Expiry Date Error
Verify that the expiry date for the payment method is entered correctly.
Address Verification System (AVS) Mismatch
Ensure that the address provided by the customer matches the address on file with the card issuer.
Browser Cache Issues
Browser cache can interfere with payment processing.
Solution: Advise customers to clear their browser cache and try the transaction again. Consider implementing cache-clearing plugins for your website.
Incorrect Currency Settings
Verify that you’ve set the correct currency in WooCommerce and ensure that your payment gateway supports the selected currency.
Third-party API Limits
Some third-party APIs may have limits that affect payment processing. Check the API documentation and ensure that you are not hitting any limits.
Additionally, ensure that the payment gateway plugin is correctly installed, activated, and configured in the WooCommerce settings.
If issues persist, consider reaching out to the payment gateway provider for further assistance.
Above all, keep your payment gateway and WooCommerce plugin updated to the latest versions to avoid any compatibility issues.