You have selected, designed, and written all the website elements you want, and are prepared to launch your online presence. You want to be able to handle payment processing directly through your ecommerce website, and you do not want to lose money through processing fees.
Are you hoping for payments through an embed in your website? Do you care if payment is processed in a third party window? What about additional features, like stored information for ease of checkout with routine customers? Do you have analytics in place to review purchases and conversion rates? Don’t be overwhelmed, here are a few pluses and minuses for some of our top options for Canadian businesses.
If you have made the decision to turn your WordPress site into an eCommerce storefront, there are a lot of factors to consider as you begin this process. There are a lot of choices and benefits to different options, you will need a host, possibly a theme, a payment gateway, and some financial information. One thing you want for sure is a reliable and consistent hosting service. The right kind of host, like CanSpace, is available to consult with on any issues you may have. CanSpace has 24/7 customer service at hand to assist with any issues related to your site.
Once you have a reliable host, and you have a domain and a live site, you will need a storefront theme. Your WordPress site will integrate easily with WooCommerce, but there is a bit of a learning curve here. WooCommerce offers a suite of functionality options and customizable themes, some for free and some on a reasonable sliding scale.
Users who invest time into researching WooCommerce’s interactivity will see that it allows you to customize themes to your brand. There is much more though, you can optimize SEO using WordPress’ SEO advantage, you can control how you accept payments and how you receive payments, and it works with 100+ payment gateways.
For payment gateways you want to leverage the amount you will pay per transaction against the cost of service, the functionality of the service, and your own business needs. In Canada there are several popular options.
Often referred to as the “Developer Friendly” gateway, Stripe offers a little more hands-on integration and optimization. Many popular applications use Stripe as their in-app Point of Sale (POS) system. Stripe allows third party payment processing for a standard fee of 2.9% +$0.30 for each transaction. There is no introductory monthly fee. You can opt to pay more for more automated features. There are also certain features, like currency conversion or international cards, where you will pay more per transaction.
Square is extremely common. Almost every small business at a Farmer’s market uses it, because there is no monthly minimum of sales. Most POS transactions, unless payment is entered manually, will cost you more than 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. If the payment is processed through Square’s eCommerce API the price per transaction raises to 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Certain other transactions can cost 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction, these are charged for manually entered card payments, POS API keyed payments, and manually entered virtual terminal payments. There is no upfront monthly charge, however there are suite options. They offer an excellent referral program as well, which essentially offers free processing for 6 months. Square also offers great back-end sales reporting, inventory which is shared across POS, and other excellent value adds.
PayPal has been used since “the eBay days.” It is a tried and true third party payment processing system. PayPal runs the usual transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, but this can lower depending on the volume you run. Users can also opt for PayPal “pro” to offer Mastercard, Visa, and American express payments. This will add an additional $35 a month to your fees paid to PayPal. Payments through PayPal will also require your customers to process payment through a page hosted by PayPal. If your users are PayPal proficient, this is no problem. However if your users must sign up, authorize, add payment, check email, check text messages, enter code to reauthorize, “tell me which images have cars”— they may lose interest and you may lose conversions. It is the risk you take.
Moneris is used by BMO, and offers versatility for small businesses. Like Square and Stripe, they have integrated options for inventory and sales reporting. Moneris offers a very nice flat 2.75% per transaction, but they do have a monthly fee of $19.95
If your business deals strictly with online payments, this is a very popular option for Canadian businesses. Bambora charges a $49 setup fee, a $25 monthly fee, and 2.8% + $0.30 per transaction. No matter the charge type, you get the easy flat rate pricing. This is a common option because of the consistency and ease of use. Before you can begin using Bambora, though, you will need to call a sales representative and request to join. This process can take a while, and sometimes people are denied from their application process. Bambora has an added bonus for you if your business is completely online, and your customer base is international.
There are many options, and none of them are wrong. The most important factor is that the gateway you choose is the right one for your brand and business. If you are a newly launched WordPress eCommerce site, or you’ve been a CanSpace customer for years, there’s no harm in reaching out and seeing if we can’t help find your next solution. We’ve been doing that for our customers for a long time.