BigCommerce Payment Gateways: A Beginner's Guide

Updated: February 01, 2024

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This is the basic information you need to know about BigCommerce Payment Gateways.

In this in-depth post, you’ll learn:

  • What BigCommerce Payment Gateways are
  • What 3 Types of Payment Gateways are
  • How to Set up your payment gateway
  • What Top 5 BigCommerce Payment Gateways and their pros and cons are

What are BigCommerce Payment Gateways?

A BigCommerce payment gateway is a service that allows BigCommerce store owners to collect payments online from their customers when they make a purchase on BigCommerce.

Two popular examples of payment gateways are credit card processors and digital wallets. In particular, BigCommerce offers over 65+ payment gateway integrations to digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, etc.

The payment gateway is different from the payment method. The payment method refers to the way you want to transact money — by cash, wire transfer, or digital wallet. Meanwhile, the payment gateway describes the behind-the-scenes process of how money is transferred from one wallet to another.

How do BigCommerce payment gateways work?

BigCommerce gateways make it really fast to transact money online. The process basically is:

  1. The shopper fills in the checkout page with their credit card information to make a payment on BigCommerce.
  2. After that, the BigCommerce payment gateway will verify the data, and then request the bank to proceed with the payment.
  3. At this point, the bank will send you a code to verify if the shopper is making a legit payment.
  4. They will then approve or reject the payment, sending the result to the merchant bank and the payment gateway.

If not transferring directly with the credit card, then you need a merchant service provider.

A merchant service provider (MSP), such as PayPal, accepts electronic payments like credit cards or debit cards. It connects the business and the bank.

Benefits of BigCommerce payment gateways

Why should you use a payment gateway?

Well, because it provides a lot of benefits that are critical to your business’s success.

  • Payment gateways help you access the global markets.
  • They improve the conversion rate – by allowing customers to choose the payment method they prefer.
  • Transaction speed is fast.
  • Most of them are very secure – meaning payments made are secure.

3 Types of BigCommerce Payment Gateways

There are three types of Bigcommerce available payment gateways as below, divided by the function of the system and its use.

On-site transaction

For your BigCommerce store to use this type of payment, the checkout process happens on the merchant’s secured website. That means businesses have the most control and responsibility over the customer’s database. This will certainly help them to measure the customer’s entire experience and thus can improve it in the future. This payment type is ideal for any BigCommerce retailer with a high sales volume.

Redirects

This payment type is usually used by companies that allow digital wallets such as PayPal. When customers choose this type, say PayPal, it will direct customers from the merchant’s website to PayPal’s checkout page to complete the transaction. That’s why it’s called a Redirect.

Its simplicity makes it best for small businesses on BigCommerce, but it’s worth noting that there will be an extra step for customers and the least control for the merchant.

On-site checkout with Off-site payments

As its name suggests, this type is the combination of onsite transaction and redirect. The checkout process still takes place on the merchant’s website, yet the transaction happens through the gateway.

Note that using this method means that you only have a part of control over the user’s entire experience (during on-site checkout).

How to add a payment gateway to BigCommerce

It is quick and simple to set up a payment gateway.

  1. Go to Settings › Payments and click on Online Payment Methods.
  2. Find a suitable payment gateway and click Set up.
  3. Fill in the required information and click Save.

It’s all set. You can now start using the payment gateway.

Can you have more than one BigCommerce payment gateway?

Surely you can have 2 payment gateways on BigCommerce or even more at the same time.

Indeed, using multiple gateways allows your customers to choose whatever method suits them. This is proven to reduce purchase friction and improve your conversion rate.

But we recommend that you shouldn’t choose too many gateways. This is because there could be time and effort-consuming issues from merchant service providers, such as technical problems, fraud, etc. These issues are out of your control and could again create friction for customers to purchase your products.

Top 5 BigCommerce Payment Gateways

Every payment gateway has its own pros and cons, and your task is to find which is the most suitable for your business.

When it comes to choosing the most suitable payment gateway, you should consider:

  • Supported countries
  • Supported currencies (not all payment gateways are available for all countries and currencies, so we recommend that you check this first)
  • All kinds of fees
  • Product restrictions (some gateways restrict certain products)
  • Customer service
  • Fraud protection
  • Address verification
  • 3D secure
  • Pre-Authorization

Some other features to consider are Capture, Refunds, Stored Credit Cards, and Embedded Checkout.

Some of these are the basis for our below analysis of the Top 5 Payment Providers On Bigcommerce.

PayPal

Paypal is considered the most widely used BigCommerce payment provider. With this global spread, if you use Paypal, your store is accessible to different types of shoppers worldwide, which is essential to your store’s conversion rate. This payment gateway is set up as a default gateway in BigCommerce if your country is the US. And here are its pros and cons.

Pros

  • It is available to around 200 countries (except: India; Israel) and supports 25 currencies
  • Has many different payment solutions (among them, PayPal powered by Braintree is the most comprehensive solution)
  • Is a secure payment gateway that doesn’t offer any fees for fraud protection security
  • Allows to set up a personal account along with the business account
  • Charges pretty reasonable transaction fee, compared to other top-rated gateways (2.59% + $0.49 per transaction for all BigCommerce plans)

Cons

  • Expensive chargebacks
  • Has harsh currency conversion rates
  • Doesn’t store credit card information

Stripe

Stripe is a popular BigCommerce payment gateway and is regarded as an alternative payment gateway to Paypal. It actually handles everything in house, including the gateway, processing, and merchant account.

What’s remarkable here is that Stripe also provides open API sources for tech-savvy customers to customize desired features such as credit card autofill. So if you want to have features of your own, think of Stripe.

Pros

  • Is suitable for large-scale businesses
  • Is available in 42 countries and supports 135+ currencies
  • Offers one-click checkout
  • Protects businesses against fraud
  • Offers online customization option for tech-savvy customers

Cons

  • Its processing time is slower than PayPal
  • It can take a long time to resolve a Stripe dispute
  • The processing fee is high (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for merchants in the US)
  • Can be technically challenging to use for non-tech-savvy business owners

Square

If you are a small business with low volume, then perhaps Square is for you.

Square provides a BigCommerce payment gateway for a smartphone that allows users to swipe credit cards. It’s no longer necessary that you worry about whether a customer wants payment by merely tapping a card.

Pros

  • Is a good option for low-volume merchants
  • Has the contactless card reader
  • It offers online store-building functionality
  • It has simple invoicing

Cons

  • Operates in only 5 countries
  • Its flat rates make it an expensive option for high-volume merchants
  • Customer service is rated as highly as its competitors
  • The time of submitting proof of payment documentation is very limited
  • The processing fee is high (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • Multi-Currency and Stored Credit Cards are not available

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay has become the top-selling BigCommerce payment gateway. It allows shoppers to easily save their delivery and purchase information in a single place. Then it will automatically send out payment details and delivery info to users who have an Amazon account on this site.

To use this payment gateway, customers need to link their Amazon account with a third-party website or mobile app. Payment information is then passed to the website or app securely, which makes it easy to use. It also allows the customer to order products online and make purchases on Amazon.com. It should be noted that native payment integrations like Amazon Pay and PayPal use built-in fraud tools.

Pros

  • Is available in 105 countries worldwide
  • Has free setup fee, fraud protection fee and doesn’t require a contract
  • Guarantees secure payment details
  • Alexa voice integration to place and track orders.

Cons

  • Operates in 19 countries
  • Has high transaction fee (starting at 2.9% on domestic payments (US) + $0.3 per transaction; 3.9% on international payments + $0.3 per transaction)
  • Doesn’t offer high volume discounts
  • Stored Credit Cards and Embedded Checkout are not available

Authorize.net

Authorize.net is widely regarded as one of the best payment gateways for BigCommerce. It offers customers two types of plans — one is for those who already have a merchant account and the other is for those who don’t (all-in-one option).

Moreover, other payment types in this payment gateway include debit cards and other digital payment methods. Authorize.net has reassuring security features that offer fraud protection in velocity filters, SAQ-A level compliance, IP filters, and much more.

Pros

  • Does not have any hidden fees
  • Allows a mobile option and provides access to transaction data anywhere
  • Provides satisfactory customer service
  • Is a good payment option for billing and building account reports
  • Low transaction fee for a merchant account (10 cents per transaction)
  • Provides fraud prevention, monthly payments, quick checkout functionality with no extra charges
  • Recurring billing included

Cons

  • Is only available in 5 regions with limited supported currencies
  • Has fixed monthly fee (Monthly: $25; Per transaction 10¢, daily batch fee 10¢ for those who already have a merchant account)
  • Cannot adjust security features optimally
  • May have additional fees depending on your sales volume
  • Has poor UI on the website
  • Its net API is outdated
  • Doesn’t have 3D Secure feature
  • It may be more expensive to sign up its merchant account than your own merchant services provider

Is there any free BigCommerce Payment Gateway?

There is no completely free payment gateway on BigCommerce. BigCommerce has no transaction fee, yet third-party gateways still charge you some money.

Regarding the cost for a payment gateway, there are 3 types of costs for you to consider:

  • Joining fee
  • Fixed monthly fee
  • Transaction fee

For instance, PayPal doesn’t charge you a set-up fee or fixed monthly fee, and its transaction fee is 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction for all BigCommerce plans.

Final thought

So far, we have provided you with general information about potential payment gateways, giving you a big picture of their pros and cons. If it’s still hard for you to pick one, we suggest that you think again about your current sales volume, the scalability of your business, the need for fraud protection, and, of course, your budget for long-term usage of any payment gateway. After that, hopefully, you’ll find the most suitable payment gateway for your online stores.


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