Learn the pros and cons of the official WooCommerce payments extension to determine if it’s right for you.

WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin designed for merchants who have WordPress websites. The base product is free and has thousands of extensions and plugins to customize your online store. The WooCommerce Payments Extension is WooCommerce’s own payment gateway plugin. It is known for being both free and simple to install. 

But will your business get by on the free functionality, or will you end up losing out on potential sales because of a lack of payment options or poor customer check-out experience?  There are many WooCommerce payment methods options available for stores outside of their branded plugin. It is important to compare their capabilities and understand their differences to find the perfect solution for your business.

What are the WooCommerce Payment Gateway Options Available For Your Online Store?

WooCommerce offers several different payment method options to customers, including their own proprietary method. But which payment method is right for you?

The Official WooCommerce Payments Extension

  • Fees and Location: The WooCommerce Payments Extension is free to install, with no setup fees or monthly fees. Pay-as-you-go fees start from just 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction in the US. It is only currently available in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and is in preview in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. 
  • Security and GDPR: WooCommerce Payments is not automatically PCI-DSS compliant. Ultimately, it’s up to the business owner using WooCommerce to file a SOC-1, to ensure their site is configured to be PCI and GDPR compliant.
  • Subscriptions and Direct Payments: You can integrate with WooCommerce subscription and collect online payments directly from your site.

The WooCommerce Payments Extension is an attractive option with its promise of free and streamlined functioning, but is limited to just six countries and may not have all of the security and privacy settings for doing international business.


Core (i.e. Free) WooCommerce Gateways

  • Fees and Location: The WooCommerce Core payment gateways are options like PayPal, Braintree, Stripe, and direct bank transfer. While there is no WooCommerce subscription cost associated with them, merchants will face fees on transactions and potentially other hidden costs. Many countries, services, products, and currencies will be excluded in basic plans or with certain gateways, so be sure to check that your business will be able to utilize them before committing to set up.
  • Security and GDPR: Depending on which WooCommerce payment gateway integrations you choose, you will need to update the privacy policy and alert customers of what data the gateway automatically collects. Otherwise, you will not be GDPR compliant. It is also advised to check whether an SSL plugin is needed. 
  • Subscriptions and Direct Payments: Depending on which gateway you choose, you may or may not have subscription capabilities. Some will redirect customers to another page to complete their transaction, adding effort to the user experience.

Core Gateways are good on a budget, but some may have high transaction costs, others poor support, and others have potential security issues Core gateways can be adequate, however, merchants must read the fine print when choosing a core gateway to ensure they’re using an appropriate payment provider. 

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Premium Gateways

  • Fees and Location: Premium gateways are considered premium for a reason! While you will pay a WooCommerce subscription to utilize them, they save money in the long run because you will not need to purchase extra plugins for special features, security, and subscriptions. Rapyd’s eCommerce plugin for WooCommerce features competitive fees and the best global accessibility on the market.
  • Security and GDPR: As merchants scour the premium payment gateways for WooCommerce, they should pay close attention to local licensing and regulations to maintain payment compliance. Some gateways emphasize security more than others, and hefty fines can be levied when conducting cross-border business if security doesn’t align.
  • Subscriptions and Direct Payments: Most premium gateways will allow you to provide subscriptions, but many will redirect your customers to a third-party site for payment.

While Premium gateways initially seem like a larger investment, they are best for merchants looking for a comprehensive solution that will cover all of the bases encompassing pricing, global accessibility and security compliance, as well as having capabilities for subscription services. 

What Is The Best Payment Gateway for WooCommerce?

Navigating WooCommerce payment gateways for your business can feel like a big job. While it may seem initially attractive to utilize the official WooCommerce Payment method to align with an existing WooCommerce store, it may not have all of the functionality needed for security, international transactions, subscriptions, and more. 

If you’re looking for a payment solution that accepts hundreds of payment methods in 50+ countries, consider Rapyd’s eCommerce Plugin for WooCommerce. With simplified pricing, easy set-up, comprehensive support, PCI compliance support, and more, merchants can rest assured that Rapyd covers all the bases for online payment acceptance.

Instantly Add Secure Card and Local Payment Method Acceptance to Your WooCommerce Store.  Learn more about Rapyd’s eCommerce Platform Integrations.


Photo by Sam Lion for Pexels.

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