Shopify Payments by Stripe: A Guide for New Store Owners
Recently valued as a $5 billion company as a result of a large investment by Visa, Shopify is going through a period of tremendous momentum generated by a group of top-tier investors.Consequently, Shopify Payments is quickly becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the world of online shopping, and for new e-commerce storeowners, it’s essential that you become familiar with its distinct advantages.
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What is Shopify Payments?
One of the most user-friendly aspects of launching an online store with Shopify is being able to take advantage of Shopify Payments. Included for all storeowners in the USA, Canada, and the UK, Shopify Payments is Shopify’s payment gateway that lets users take advantage of low credit card rates. Powered by Stripe, Shopify Payments is integrated with all Shopify plans, removing much of the need to get involved with third-party payment processors,banks and typical hassles of setting up an online payment system. Transaction fees for using Shopify Payments vary depending on the Shopify monthly plan chosen.
How Does Shopify Payments Work?
New Shopify stores based in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. will be set up with Shopify Payments by default, which is extremely convenient for storeowners. This means that you’ll be able to track all of your transactions and payouts directly from your Shopify dashboard, so you’ll know exactly where all of your money is at all times.
After making a sale, American merchants will have to wait 3 days before the money is transferred to their accounts, while those in Canada and the U.K. must wait 7 days. This minimal delay is put in place in case of chargebacks, a growing concern for many online vendors. Fortunately, in the event of a chargeback, going through the process with Shopify Payments is less of a hassle than with other payment gateways.
Integrating with PayPal
Even though using Shopify Payments is extremely convenient for new store owners, it’s worthwhile to offer customers the ability to use additional payment options, such as PayPal. Paypal is a very popular and comfortable payment option for online buyers as it was the primary payment method on eBay and first generation eCommerce sites.
The primary reason why this is advantageous for your store is because some customers have a preference for a particular payment gateway, such as PayPal, and may only purchase from your store if that option exists. It’s an easy way of generating more sales by catering to the preferences of more customers, some of whom may have security concerns or technical difficulties dealing with an unfamiliar payment processor.
Moreover, there are certain debit card payments which may be declined by Shopify Payments—more on that below—and having PayPal as a backup can allow these consumers to purchase from your store.
With Shopify Payments, you’ll be able to accept payments from anywhere in the world, using more than 100 currencies. In addition to every major currency, a great perk of using Shopify is that alternative currencies such as Bitcoin and Alipay are accepted. Although Stripe, which powers Shopify Payments, is in the process of expanding to more countries, it is now only available to businesses based in 21 countries. The list can be seen here. The list includes the U.S., Canada, Australia, and many other countries, but it is still a work in progress.
Shopify Payments Debit Card Approval
E-commerce storeowners have noticed that certain transactions are occasionally declined by Shopify Payments, particularly those coming from Visa or Mastercard debit cards. This raised concern among some e-commerce storeowners, particularly since the Shopify website clearly states that “Businesses in the United States can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club debit and credit cards.”
A prominent Shopify entrepreneur and storeowner, Susan Bradley of Wee Squeak, shed some light on the matter on our Shopify support forum, merchantconnect.org, by explaining that the issue is with the banks which issue those cards. Part of this stems from the lack of a business relationship between Shopify and Interac, an industry leader in electronic payments, which would add more credibility from the perspective of many banks.
Moreover, another complication is that many stores have Shopify Payments accounts based outside of the U.S.—even if they are registered and pay taxes in the United States.—and therefore banks consider these purchases to be foreign transactions. For example, Susan’s store is considered Canadian due to an IP address, even though her business is based in America.
As a simple workaround, it’s recommended to offer PayPal Express as a checkout option, since these aforementioned banks will allow the charges to go through.