5 Best Card Providers For WordPress eCommerce Websites

We have compiled the 5 best card providers for WordPress based on customer popularity, and also how easy it is to integrate with WordPress and setup the account. Before we jump into the actual card providers there are several things you need to consider when deciding on which provider is the best fit for your business.

Does the payment gateway provider support the payment methods your target market uses?

You need to take into account what your customers feel the most comfortable and prefer using when purchasing your products. Is the most popular card AMEX amongst your customers, if so make sure your payment gateway solution offers support for this card type. If your customer like using PayPal then you should consider using PayPal as your solution. The alternative is to select a card provider that also allows you to accept PayPal as a payment option.

Does the payment gateway provider have a good reputation?

This is extremely important for both yourself and your customers. You want to make sure that whoever you decide to trust with processing your card payments, they are reputable, reliable and are helpful should they need to resolve any processing issues.

What are the fees?

Processing fees can vary. Normally you are charged a monthly fee by your payment gateway provider which will average between £19 to £25 per month. This fee will include a certain number of monthly transactions after which you will be charged a fee on top for every transaction over the monthly limit. Your merchant account may also charge you a monthly fee and a processing fee for every transaction. These fees depend on the merchant account and do vary. Also it is worth checking with your bank to see what they will be able to offer you, as they tend to offer a better deal if you have a good relationship with them.

Do you want your customers to enter their payment details directly into your ecommerce website?

There are normally three ways of integrating your payment solution:
Direct – this method offers the smoothest and most professional checkout experience for customers. Your customers will enter their payment details into a form on your site and this is then encrypted and sent off to your provider for processing. Unfortunately, as payment details are being entered on a page hosted by your ecommerce solution, you will need to take certain steps and security precautions to remain PCI compliant. Your hosted platform will need to pass a PCI compliancy test and you will need an SSL certificate installed on your server.

iFrame – rather than taking payment details directly through your ecommerce website, an alternative method is to embed the checkout form in a secure iFrame. An iFrame is an externally hosted web page which is embedded into your website page. Whilst there may be some design restrictions on the externally hosted web page, this method is relatively easy to implement and as you are not taking payments directly into your webpage, security & PCI compliance is handled by your payment gateway provider.

Redirect – this tends to be the easiest and most popular method. Like the iFrame method, payment details are not entered on your website. Instead users are forwarded to a payment form hosted by your gateway payment provider and once payment has been successful (or not) users are redirected back onto your website. The main drawback with this method is you are limited to the design customisation of your payment form.

Do you want an all-in-one payment service provider which will include the payment gateway and merchant account?

Some payment gateway providers will just offer the payment gateway solution and will require you to have your own merchant account. There are other payment providers that will offer a combined payment gateway and merchant account facility. Using one of the providers that will offer a combined account does tend to be easier than getting a merchant account separately and tends to involve fewer setup and monthly fees. The per-transaction processing fees can cost a little more but you will save on the monthly fees. You will need to work out your average transaction amount and estimated volumes in order to calculate if paying a higher transaction fee is more cost effective than saving on the monthly fee.

Once you have considered the above, you are ready to select the best provider for your ecommerce business. Here are our top 5 recommendations (please note we have included details for PayPal and PayPal Pro):

Gateway Provider All-in-one payment service provider? Typical Monthly Fees Typical Processing Fees (monthly) Direct Integration Method Available? Cards Accepted
Realex Y £19 350Transactions included

(9p per extra transaction)

Y Realex Cards
Stripe Y n/a 1.4%  + 20p per transaction N Stripe Cards
PayPal Y n/a 1.9% to 3.4% + 20p per transaction N PayPal Cards
PayPal Pro Y £20 1.9% to 3.4% + 20p per transaction Y PayPal Cards
SagePay N £19.90 350Transactions included Y SagePay Cards
Authorize.net Y £19 10p per transaction Y Authorize.net Cards

Prices and features are for illustrative purposes and may vary on application. Prices are correct as of June 2016