When you install WooCommerce, you’re entitled to a set of default payment gateway options. These are:
- Check Payments
- Cash on Delivery
- PayPal Standard
The first three are are offline and PayPal Standard is a much-loved online option that supports numerous online stores around the world. Let’s look deeper into the merits of each of these options. If you need step-by-step instructions on how to set up these payment gateways, please read our WooCommerce Quick Guide Article on Checkout & Payment.
Bank Accounts Clearing System (BACS) is a payment option where there is a direct bank transfer between one bank account to another. Generally, this transaction will take two to three working days to complete, and understandably not the most preferred option in the fast-paced world of eCommerce.
By default, WooCommerce keeps orders using BACS in ‘Processing’ status until the payment is cleared by the store owner. You have to verify your bank account to ensure the payment has been credited, and then manually process the order to the next level.
The longer turnaround time and the inconvenience of manually processing every order prevents most store owners from opting for this payment gateway. However, if you’re selling niche products and are not really taking too many orders at a time, it might just work fine for you.
Check (or cheque) is a document that instructs a bank to pay the specified amount of money from a person’s account to another person or company whose name the check has been issued to. Though it is somewhat of an olden days’ mode of transaction, WooCommerce provides it as a default option. Similar to BACS, the orders made using this payment gateway will be on hold with ‘Processing’ status until the store owner manually approves it. Though not preferred as an ideal option for busy transactions, check payments might prove to be useful to test your order management process while you setting up your products.
Cash on Delivery
In Cash on delivery (COD), the payment is made by the customer during the delivery of the product. COD payment gateway is much loved by the customers of many countries where there is a general apprehension about fraudulent card transactions. For small businesses, it’s a good way to start out as customers who don’t have credit cards also will be able to make purchases on their stores. However, there is a marked risk for store owners here. If the customer doesn’t pay for the product, it is naturally returned to the store owner. COD can thus turn out to be a logistical and operational challenge for businesses, and therefore setting up this payment gateway store requires a well-thought-out strategy.
WooCommerce shows the right intent by allowing the store owner to set COD only with certain shipping methods or with a minimum order amount. In addition, there are premium extensions available in the WooCommerce marketplace that adds more customization features to restrict this payment gateway in terms of location, order amount, shipping costs etc.
A globally-preferred payment gateway option, PayPal is a safe, simple and hassle-free mode of payment for online stores. Store owners need to have a Premier or Business account with PayPal to accept payments. In PayPal Standard, there is no monthly fee, but PayPal may charge a fee for payment processing, proportional to the amount you receive. The fees depend on the currency used, the payment option, the location of the customer, the location of the store, the payment amount, and the account type of the store owner.
Even when you opt for premium payment gateway extensions, you can keep PayPal Standard as a secondary payment gateway. It can be be a good alternative in case you come across any issues with your primary payment gateway. Lot of your customers may have personal PayPal accounts and many of them might just choose to pay by PayPal.