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6 Best Shopify payment alternatives

Shopify Payments is the default payment provider for Shopify merchants. But what if it isn't quite the right fit for your store or your customers?

Luckily, store owners have options when it comes to how they accept payments. There are many third-party payment processing platforms that can integrate with your Shopify store to provide more features, options, and flexibility for you — and for your customers.

So if you're looking for a Shopify payment alternative, read on to learn how different payment methods work, how to choose the best one for your store, and the pros and cons of some of the most popular solutions.

How do Shopify payment alternatives work?

Shopify payment alternatives are all of the ways other than Shopify's built-in payment processor that you can accept payments for orders from your Shopify store. Since the rise of ecommerce, online payment processors have become more common and refined, offering safe and secure ways to send and receive payments for goods and services purchased online.

These payment platforms integrate with your Shopify store via APIs or plugins. They act as a go-between for you, the store owner, and your customers; customers make their payments via the payment platform, and you receive payouts from the platform (usually minus a percentage or fee that represents the cost of using the platform).

How to choose the right Shopify payment gateway for your store

When choosing the right Shopify payment platform, there are some important factors to consider.

Customer experience

First and foremost when choosing a payment platform should be the experience it offers your customers. Look for an intuitive platform with a smooth checkout process. Also consider the customer support the platform offers — should anything go wrong, you want to know it will be addressed promptly and thoroughly.

Global availability

Consider the part(s) of the world where your target customers live. Is your chosen payment platform available there? Does it accept the right currencies? What are the requirements for use in different countries or regions (like having a local bank account or using an external checkout page)?

Payment methods accepted

Most payment platforms accept traditional payment options like debit cards and credit cards (but make sure you look for a platform that accepts a wide array of cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and any others your customers may use).

But you should also consider what alternative payment methods a platform accepts. For example, do you need to be able to accept money orders? Mobile payments? Digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay? Not all platforms accept all of these, so look for one that meets your needs.

Cost

Another important consideration is the cost to use an alternative payment platform. Different platforms have different pricing that can include monthly fees, processing fees, and/or transaction fees, all in flat rates or purchase percentages. Watch out for added costs, too, like chargeback fees or currency exchange fees.

Security and fraud protection

Worldwide, fraud is increasing — especially when it comes to identity and digital payment related fraud. Whatever payment platform you choose needs to be secure to protect both your business and your customers. Look for advanced fraud detection capacity and security compliance.

Shopify Payments pros and cons

Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments is already built into Shopify stores, making it the path of least resistance for many merchants. It doesn't require setting up a third-party gateway or a separate merchant account — it can be activated from your Shopify settings in just a few minutes.

Shopify Payments allows you to accept digital wallet and credit card payments online. Local payment options vary by country and region, and some take extra steps to authorize before they can be used.

There are both pros and cons to using Shopify Payments — let's take a look.

Pros:

  • Simple setup and clean integration with your existing Shopify store.
  • Solid security features.
  • Quick and simple checkout process.
  • Lower processing fees than many payment services, plus no additional transaction fees.

Cons:

  • Only available in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, and Sweden.
  • Can't be used if you sell items in Shopify's prohibited categories (like alcohol).
  • Can't be used if your products have prohibited ingredients (like CBD).

That means that if you sell certain types of products that Shopify Payments prohibits, or if your business is registered in a country the platform doesn't support or makes sales globally, Shopify Payments might not be the best payment solution for you. If that's the case, consider the six alternatives below.

6 Shopify Payments alternatives to consider

From DTC to wholesale, one of the most important parts of any ecommerce store is its payment solution. Below are six of the most popular options for Shopify store owners, and the pros and cons of each.

PayPal

PayPal

PayPal is available in more than 200 countries and boasts nearly 400 million users worldwide, making it easily one of the most popular payment platforms available. It integrates with a number of ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, and its widespread availability makes it familiar for many shoppers around the globe.

Pros:

  • Easy and quick to set up.
  • Wide global availability, with support for more than two dozen currencies.
  • Intuitive interface on all devices, including mobile.
  • Good flexibility, with easy-to-process refunds.
  • Wide range of pricing plans, with predictable, flat-rate options.

Cons:

  • Some users have complained that customer service can be inconsistent.
  • PayPal reserves the right to close and limit accounts without warning, and is somewhat known for doing so. This can majorly disrupt businesses that rely on PayPal for getting paid.

Stripe

Stripe

Stripe has fast established itself as one of the most flexible and powerful payment solutions on the market. It allows you to accept a wide variety of payment options — including credit cards, digital wallets, and international currencies — both in-person and through your online store. It also supports integration via API for more than 300 tools and products, allowing merchants to create subscription services, on-demand marketplaces, and more.

Pros:

  • Very fast setup for Shopify store owners.
  • Intuitive, one-click checkout for customers.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Predictable pricing tiers, with a flat-rate per credit card transaction.
  • Flexible and customizable, with API integrations and other tools to support different types of stores and sales.

Cons:

  • Has a bit of a learning curve for new users.
  • Has some global limitations, with availability only in about 40 countries.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay

Apple Pay boasts 1.5 billion users worldwide, making it one of the fastest-growing payment platforms available. It allows for instant contactless and online payments from any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac), and allows customers to add an external payment method or use Apple Card, a credit card that offers cash back on their purchases. But while Apple Pay is popular among its user base, it has some significant drawbacks and limitations.

Pros:

  • With SSL and TLS encryption, Apple Pay is one of the most secure payment platforms available.
  • Extremely easy to use, with one-step checkout for users.

Cons:

  • Only available on Apple devices. Customers without Apple devices cannot use Apple pay.
  • High fees for each transaction.

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay

Amazon has hundreds of millions of customers around the world, so a payment method that allows your customers to check out using information stored in their Amazon account just makes sense. That's what's helped make Amazon Pay one of the most popular Shopify Payments alternatives out there. Amazon Pay has many features that make it a flexible, powerful choice, plus the name and brand recognition of Amazon behind it

Pros:

  • Very easy to use, with a checkout process that will be familiar to existing Amazon customers.
  • One-click checkout can be enabled for your store.
  • Easy to set up, with tight integration with Shopify.
  • Flexible options that allows customers to defer payments, split payments, or set up recurring payments.

Cons:

  • Not available in all countries.
  • No support for PayPal payments.
  • Users are subject to Amazon's terms and conditions, and you run the risk of your account being shut down if you're suspected of any violations.

Worldpay

Worldpay

With Worldpay, the big benefit is right there in the name: It's widely available in different countries and regions. It's also an older payment platform that's well established and trusted by many sellers all over the globe.

Pros:

  • Available in over 200 countries worldwide.
  • Known for having excellent customer service that will step up to help swiftly with any issue.
  • Industry standard fraud protection.
  • Straightforward, flat-rate pricing tiers based on the number of sales you process.

Cons:

  • Can take several days to set up and start accepting payments.

Streamlined

Streamlined

Many of the payment solutions we've covered so far are perfectly suitable for DTC ecommerce businesses. But when it comes to wholesale sellers, who issue invoices, arrange credit for customers, and reconcile bulk payments, most of them are lacking features that would streamline accounts receivable processes — both for your store, and for its wholesale customers.

Enter Streamlined.

Streamlined is the payment platform for wholesalers on Shopify, bringing intelligence to invoicing, bulk payments, reconciliation, and other accounts receivable tasks. Streamlined users save hours on back office tasks and get paid three times faster than other wholesalers, all with software that integrates seamlessly with both Shopify and popular accounting programs like Quickbooks.

With Streamlined, your wholesale customers can continue to pay however they want to — by check, ACH, or credit card — while you receive fast payments electronically. And all payments are automatically matched to invoices, saving you hours of time on reconciliation.

Meanwhile, customers can access their own statements of account to see all their invoices in one convenient place. Bulk payments are automatically applied to multiple invoices, and overpayments are automatically applied as credits. Invoices are customizable to include your own branding, and you can schedule automatic reminders for due dates and past due invoices.

Pros:

  • Tight, seamless integrations with Shopify and your existing accounting software.
  • Wide variety of payment options for customers, including check, ACH, and credit card.
  • Automated invoice reconciliation, credit tracking, and due date reminders.
  • Customizable invoices.

Cons:

  • Only for wholesale sellers.

Streamlined is the way wholesale sellers on Shopify are simplifying their payment processes, saving themselves hours of work, and getting paid faster. Find out how Streamlined can optimize your store's accounts receivable processes — sign up for free today.

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