Choosing to take payments through an online shopping platform can come with varying degrees of difficulty but ultimately, it provides the added convenience that’ll benefit your business.
From your ease-of-use platforms such as Shopify to your mid-level platform such as WooCommerce to your more developer-centric Magento; plug-ins, in general, have long-existed to enhance both the consumer and merchant experience through their levels of customisation.
Payments are available to merchants in a variety of forms. Whether it’s via a custom developed solution, multi-channel platform solution, via hosted payment forms or namely, payment plug-ins – the inclusion of service is the same across the board.
With the introduction of payment plug-ins, the integration of payment taking capabilities that turn a site into a store has truly turned into a plug-and-pay solution.
But, how does it work?
What Is a Payment Plug-In?
A payment plugin integrates your e-commerce platform – aka your website – with your merchant account. By connecting the two, merchants can offer customers who visit their site the option checkout with payment options such as Google Pay and Apple Pay and other major card schemes (as offered through their payment processor’s payment gateway).
What Is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway enables payments to take place between consumers and merchants.
The gateway, as it is aptly named, enables businesses to facilitate e-commerce by providing access to and executing a payment flow between the merchant, bank and consumer.
When a consumer makes a purchase via their online checkout, their issuing bank will push their transaction through to the merchant’s acquiring bank that sits on the gateway. Depending on whether the payment is accepted or declined by the acquirer; it is then settled into the merchant’s bank account.
How Does it Work?
Access to a payment plug-in can typically be found via the marketplace of your e-commerce platform or directly via your payment processor.
Once you have purchased and/or downloaded your plug-in, your integration instructions may vary depending on the platform you’re using and the developer who created it.
The most popular e-commerce platforms typically offer a one-click solution that is managed on the back-end within your platform’s dashboard.
This means that merchants do not have to log in to another system to manage their orders or transactions.
The Benefits of a Payment Plugin:
When you use a payment plug-in provided by your payment processor, you’re minimising the scope of compliance you need independently as a merchant, as all of the transaction data is processed securely through the processor’s PCI compliant payment gateway.
The ability to tokenise payment details to enable ‘remember me’ and account logins via a payment plug-in, also reduce the scope of PCI compliance you need to hold.
Tokenisation replaces sensitive payment data with digital tokens and is unique to each online retailer. You can read more about tokenisation [here](https://www.totalprocessing.com/blog/what-is-tokenization).
Tokenisation is a unique substitution process that aims to protect the consumer from breaches made by consumers. When choosing a payment plug-in also look for features such as 3D Secure 2.0 authentication to protect against any fraudulent purchases.
Alternative Payment Methods:
The right payment plug-in should either cater to or work alongside other third-party add-ons, to provide a number of local and cross-border payment methods for your global consumer. Offering the right payment method to your consumer will not only cater to global outreach and reduce cart abandonment, but methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are quicker checkout processes that comply with strong customer authentication requirements in protecting the merchant against potential chargebacks.
Look for customisation features that allow you to decide where your checkout appears on your online store. Extended features can be managed directly within your store’s back-end dashboard.
Speed and set-up:
For some e-commerce platforms, the speed at which you can integrate and set up your payment plug-in is quick and seamless. In additionally saving merchants the cost of purchasing a developer account to access certain APMs, your payment processor will typically handle or assist in the integration of your plug-in – depending on the level of access required.
The Most Popular E-commerce Platforms and Their Plug-Ins:
Nearly a third of all e-commerce stores utilise WooCommerce for their checkout flow. With 29.36% of sites utilising a variation of WooCommerce’s easily customised checkout facilities, more than 3,876,748 stores are actively using a WooCommerce payment plug-in – though the number of installations is much higher.
Shopify popularly offers its own ‘Shopify payments’ to merchants that can be used alongside third-party providers to execute a successful checkout flow and it can be customised to cater to customer experiences worldwide. Less popular than WooCommerce, Shopify still caters to over 1,000,000 business worldwide with notable ease of use for m-commerce.
Magento is considered a developer-centric e-commerce platform. Requiring a heavier hand in integration and customisation, Magento is used for upwards of 12% of all e-commerce stores.
Total Processing is proudly able to facilitate payments to merchants in the e-commerce space across the world’s leading platforms including WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.
To learn more about our payment plug-ins for WooCommerce, get in touch today!
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