E-Commerce Integration

How to choose an online payment integration method?

2021 March 26


How to choose an online payment integration method?

You’ve decided to open an e-shop. Chosen an e-commerce system, bought or created a nice-looking theme for your website and imported your products. Your e-shop is up and running! However, there is one thing missing. In order to be able to accept payments for the products on your website, first you must decide the payment method you will offer to your customers. An answer to this question for most of the merchants is a online payment integration using external payment service provider (PSP).

Is payment service provider necessary?

Technically – no, actually – yes.

You can manage your store payments by yourself – using offline payment methods. After your customer chooses a product, instead of letting your customers pay at the checkout, you ask them to leave their contact information. Then you contact them to agree on a payment method or they pay directly via bank transfer.

This is not only inconvenient for you, but also for your customer. It stretches the customer’s buying time and adds extra workload for the merchant (you have to create payment invoices for every customer, contacting them and etc.). According to recent data, highest cart abandonment rates are related to checkout processes being too long or complicated, people not trusting the site with their credit card information and the absence of more payment methods. By only providing offline payment methods to your customers, you over complicate their purchasing experience and they will probably not finish their purchase.

You spend a lot of time and effort to make a sale and customers cancel at the final step.

Having a payment service provider integrated to your e-shop makes you seem reliable, trustworthy and simplifies the purchasing process for your customers.

Which online payment method to integrate?

There are many online payment methods to choose from and offer to your clients. Should you decide on a single payment method? No. Nowadays, most merchants offer multiple payment method solutions, for their clients to choose from. You should to that too. Do not settle for a single solution. Let your clients choose for the most convenient method for them. By offering a wider variety of payment methods at the checkout you may reduce your cart abandonment rates.

Every day more and more payment methods reach the e-commerce merchants offering new solutions. However, one remains always reliable when talking about international payments – accepting credit and debit card payments. It is still a go to solution for merchants around the world

How do I integrate a payment gateway?

To be able to accept credit and debit card payments you should integrate a payment gateway.

There are usually two types of payment gateways used by e-merchants: third-party payment gateways or self-hosted payment gateways.

Technically, everyone is able to create and have their own self-hosted payment gateway. However, it comes with huge costs. To be able to handle online transactions, payment gateways usually have to be PCI compliant. In addition, the time and effort it takes to develop a self-hosted payment gateway is usually not worth it. Also, if you do not take every security measure, you may be easily exposed to scammers and fraudsters. Being able to sustain an e-shop AND a payment gateway requires too much to be worth it. That is why most online merchants choose to integrate with already existing, established payment gateway service providers.

Which online payment integration method to choose?

The most popular payment gateway integration methods are the following:

Integration methodProsCons
Module integration
  • Substantially less work required to make it run.
  • Minimum technical knowledge/skill required.
  • Only available for the popular platforms.
  • Less flexible.
API/Non-hosted payment gateways
  • Flexibility – ability to implement what you need and want. 
  • Easier to handle compatibility.
  • Extra work to implement.
  • Some development knowledge required.

Module integration

Merchants want a smooth and easy payment process for their clients, to reduce card abandonment rates. Payment service providers want exactly the same thing. Usually payment gateway service providers offer easy to complete integration methods using their modules for particular e-commerce systems. Even those who lack knowledge in coding and IT can easily integrate using this method.

The process of completing online payment integration using this method is simple. Most e-commerce systems offer a marketplace in which you are able to browse throughout many payment gateways. Install process is usually automated, so you just need to be able to press a few buttons. Then you must configure the plugin you have downloaded. After a successful registration with a chosen payment service provider, you should have gotten your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret (or API keys). Enter them to your plugin’s configuration page.

Both installation and configuration is made easy.

Which module integration methods are the hardest?

Recently, we asked our marketing department at Cardinity to complete the payment gateway module integration process for the most popular e-commerce systems. In the table below, they have provided which integration methods are the easiest and which are the hardest for a person without IT knowledge to complete.

E-commerce systemModule integration difficulty level
ShopifyVery easy
WooCommerce & Easy digital downloadsEasy
Magento 2Very hard

This evaluation was made by people with close to none development knowledge. So even hard or very hard integration methods are pretty easy to implement if you have at least some technical knowledge.

Integration using API

Furthermore, if a merchant wants to implement a payment gateway to a system which does not support modules – he should use the API integration. Using this method, you are able to integrate the payment gateway to any system (let’s say an app or a fully self-built system). However, this method is harder to implement and needs development knowledge. It is usually used by developers and more tech-savvy people. By putting more effort in integration using this method, you unlock more flexibility.

For a typical merchant, module integration is a better solution. It provides a simple integration process and sufficient options of customization. So if you are using a popular e-commerce system, you should use your payment gateway provider’s modules for that system. If you are using a custom website, a platform for which a module is unavailable, building a full system by yourself or have very specific needs of the payment gateway you should use API for online payment integration.

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