Shopify built in payment gateway vs third party payment processors

Shopify built in payment gateway vs third party payment processors

Last Updated | July 4, 2023

Table of Contents

In an age defined by digitalization, the relevance of eCommerce has seen unprecedented growth. A central part of this boom is the need for a reliable, secure, and efficient payment gateway. Payment gateways form the heart of any online store, ensuring that transactions between merchants and customers occur seamlessly and securely.

To understand better, let us delve into what built-in and third-party payment gateways are. A built-in payment gateway, like Shopify Payments, is a system that integrates directly into your online store. It provides a smooth and coherent customer experience as the checkout process occurs within the store’s site. On the other hand, a third-party payment gateway refers to an external payment service. While Shopify hosts the online store, customers are redirected to the service provider’s platform to complete the payment, like PayPal or Stripe.

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The objective of this blog post is to provide an in-depth comparison between Shopify’s built-in payment gateway and third-party payment processors. We will look at various aspects such as costs, customer experience, compatibility, security, and more. Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed choice for your eCommerce store. Therefore, whether you are a new business owner or an established merchant looking to optimize your online store, this guide will serve as your comprehensive resource. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the world of payment processing, comparing two of its biggest players.

 Overview of Shopify’s Built-in Payment Gateway (Shopify Payments)

Shopify Payments, the built-in payment gateway of the Shopify platform, streamlines the process of online transactions for both merchants and their customers. Integrated directly into your Shopify store, this user-friendly gateway eliminates the need for third-party gateways and allows sellers to manage all their financial transactions in one place.

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 Brief History and Development of Shopify Payments

Launched in 2013, Shopify Payments was developed as a solution to simplify the checkout process and improve user experience on Shopify’s e-commerce platform. It was designed in collaboration with Stripe, a renowned online payment processing service, to provide secure, efficient, and seamless transactions. Over the years, Shopify Payments has continuously evolved, adding new features and expanding its reach to various countries worldwide.

Features and Functionalities

Shopify Payments offers a host of features for its users:

– Unified Shopify Platform: Merchants can track orders, payments, and payouts directly from their Shopify dashboard.

– Multiple Payment Options: Shopify Payments accepts all major payment providers like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and also digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

– Accelerated Checkouts: Features like Shopify Pay offer customers the ability to save their shipping and payment information, leading to a faster, more convenient checkout process.

– Chargeback Management: Shopify Payments has integrated mechanisms to handle chargebacks, making the process easier for merchants.

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One of the significant advantages of Shopify Payments is its competitive transaction fee structure. While fees vary depending on the Shopify plan chosen by the merchant, the standard rates range from 2.4% + 30¢ for the Basic Shopify plan to 2.6% + 30¢ for the Shopify plan and 2.4% + 30¢ for the Advanced Shopify plan.

 Payment Processing Time

The payment processing time with Shopify Payments typically takes between 24-72 hours for credit card payments. However, the time can vary based on the country and the specific bank.

 Security Features

Shopify Payments complies with the highest level of Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards and uses advanced fraud detection tools. This guarantees a secure transaction process, safeguarding both merchant and customer data.

Supported Currencies and Countries

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Shopify Payments supports multiple currencies, allowing international transactions with ease. Moreover, it is available in several countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and many countries in Europe and Asia.

 Pros and Cons

 Advantages of Using Shopify Payments

  1. Seamless Integration: Shopify Payments is directly integrated with your store, simplifying the setup process.
  2. No Additional Transaction Fees: Unlike third-party gateways, Shopify does not charge additional transaction fees when using Shopify Payments.
  3. Real-time Tracking: Merchants can easily track their sales and payments from their Shopify dashboard.
  4. Chargeback Assistance: The integrated chargeback feature helps to contest fraudulent chargebacks.

 Disadvantages or Limitations

  1. Limited Availability: Shopify Payments is not available in all countries, limiting its use for some merchants.
  2. Hold on Funds: In some instances, Shopify may place a hold on funds due to issues like high-risk transactions or sudden spikes in sales.
  3. Lack of Customization: Compared to third-party payment processors, Shopify Payments offers fewer customization options.

In summary, Shopify Payments offers a host of advantages for e-commerce business owners, especially those already using or considering the Shopify platform. However, its limitations should be weighed before deciding if it’s the right choice for your business. Always consider your business needs, sales volume, and target.

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Overview of Third-Party Payment Processors

The world of e-commerce has expanded immensely over the last decade. This growth wouldn’t have been possible without the introduction and development of third-party payment processors. In this blog post, we will explore what these processors are, discuss some popular examples, identify their key features, and delve into the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

1. What Are Third-Party Payment Processors?

Third-party payment processors are service providers that facilitate online transactions between buyers and sellers. They enable businesses, especially e-commerce sites, to accept a variety of payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets. Essentially, these processors act as a conduit, managing the complex process of transferring funds from a buyer’s account to a seller’s account, ensuring a smooth and secure transaction.

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2. Popular Third-Party Payment Processors

There are many third-party payment processors available today, each offering a unique blend of services, fees, and supported currencies. Among the most popular ones are PayPal, Stripe, Square, and Braintree. These platforms have gained significant popularity due to their ease of use, comprehensive features, and global acceptance.

3. Features and Functionalities

Different third-party payment processors come with varying features. However, there are some key functionalities to consider:

4. Transaction Fees

Each payment processor charges a fee for their service. This fee typically comprises a fixed amount and a percentage of the transaction value. For example, as of my last update in September 2021, PayPal charges a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. Be sure to evaluate these charges when choosing a payment processor.

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4. Payment Processing Time

This refers to the time it takes for funds to move from the buyer’s account to the seller’s account. While some processors can transfer funds almost instantly, others may take a few business days. A shorter processing time can enhance cash flow for businesses.

5. Security Features

The protection of sensitive financial data is crucial in online transactions. Reputable third-party payment processors should employ robust security measures, including encryption, tokenization, and compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) regulations.

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5. Supported Currencies and Countries

The availability of a payment processor can vary depending on the geographical region and the currencies it supports. Companies with a global customer base should opt for processors that support multiple currencies and are accessible in numerous countries.

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6. Pros and Cons of Third-Party Payment Processors

Every coin has two sides, and so do third-party payment processors. Here is a look at their pros and cons:

  1. Advantages

– Ease of Setup: Third-party payment processors are generally easy to integrate with existing websites and e-commerce platforms, reducing the need for complex coding.

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– Security: They handle the security of transactions, relieving businesses of the burdens associated with data protection and compliance.

– Multiple Payment Options: They allow businesses to accept a wide range of payment methods, improving customer convenience and potentially increasing sales.

  1. Disadvantages

– Transaction Fees: High transaction fees can cut into profit margins, especially for small businesses and startups.

– Potential for Account Freezing: In some cases, suspicious activities can lead to temporary freezing of accounts, disrupting business operations.

– Limited Customization: Although they are easy to implement, third-party payment processors often offer limited customization options compared to developing an in-house payment system.

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To conclude, third-party payment processors have reshaped the landscape of online transactions, providing businesses with the means to operate seamlessly in the digital world. As a business owner, understanding your specific needs and weighing them against the pros and cons of each option can help you select the best.

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Comparative Analysis: Shopify Payments vs. Third-Party Payment Processors

In today’s digital world, businesses need reliable, user-friendly, and cost-effective ways to process payments. In this blog, we will compare two popular options: Shopify Payments and third-party payment processors. These comparisons are crucial for understanding which payment platform offers the most advantages to your online business.

1. Transaction Fees Comparison

One of the most significant considerations when selecting a payment processor is transaction fees. Shopify Payments charges a standard fee depending on your Shopify plan. The rates are 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction for the Basic Shopify, 2.6% + 30¢ for the Shopify plan, and 2.4% + 30¢ for the Advanced Shopify. These rates include both the payment-processing fee and the credit card fee.

On the other hand, third-party payment processors’ rates can vary greatly. Some, like PayPal, charge a standard 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction, similar to Shopify Payments, while others like Stripe offer volume discounts for larger businesses. The advantage here may depend on your specific business needs and transaction volume.

2. Security Features Comparison

Security is paramount in e-commerce. Shopify Payments is fully PCI compliant, meaning it adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. It offers fraud analysis and 3D secure checkouts.

Most third-party payment processors also provide robust security features. For instance, PayPal has a robust anti-fraud system, and Stripe offers advanced fraud protection and detection methods. However, the integration of these features may be more complex than with Shopify Payments, particularly for smaller businesses.

3. Ease of Integration with Shopify

As Shopify’s in-house payment processor, Shopify Payments provides seamless integration with your online store. It is automatically available and easy to configure, making it a great choice for those looking for simplicity and convenience.

Third-party payment processors often require additional setup and may need some technical knowledge to integrate with your Shopify store. While they usually offer comprehensive setup guides and customer support, the integration process is typically more complicated than with Shopify Payments.

4. User Experience Comparison

In terms of user experience, Shopify Payments offers a seamless, integrated checkout experience, which can increase conversion rates by reducing the number of steps customers must take to complete a purchase.

Third-party payment processors like PayPal and Stripe also provide smooth checkout experiences, but customers might be redirected to another website to complete the payment, potentially disrupting the shopping experience. Moreover, customers who prefer a specific payment method, such as PayPal, might have a better experience with a third-party processor offering this option.

5. Global Reach Comparison (Supported Currencies and Countries)

Shopify Payments supports transactions in numerous countries and multiple currencies. However, its availability is not worldwide. At the time of writing, Shopify Payments is available in select countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, among others.

Third-party processors like PayPal and Stripe, however, are available in more countries and support a wider range of currencies. They offer a significant advantage if your business operates in, or targets customers in, regions not supported by Shopify Payments.

6. Resolution of Disputes and Chargebacks

Shopify Payments has a comprehensive system for managing disputes and chargebacks, providing guidance and support throughout the process. However, the responsibility for resolving the dispute rests largely with the merchant.

Third-party processors also have dispute-resolution systems. For instance, PayPal is known for its comprehensive, albeit sometimes controversial, buyer protection policies. The efficacy of the dispute resolution process can vary from one processor to another, so it is crucial to read their policies thoroughly before making a choice.

Briefly, both Shopify Payments and third-party payment processors have their pros and cons. The best choice for your business depends.

Factors to Consider in Choosing Between Shopify Payments and Third-Party Payment Processors

Whether you are starting an online store or looking to switch payment processors, you have likely come across Shopify Payments and various third-party payment processors. Both options have their unique advantages, but the question remains: which is right for your business? Here, we outline key factors to consider when making this crucial decision.

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  1. The Nature of the E-commerce Business

Your business model should play a significant role in your decision between Shopify Payments and third-party payment processors. Shopify Payments integrates seamlessly with your Shopify store, providing a smooth experience for both you and your customers. This makes it an ideal choice for e-commerce businesses looking for an all-in-one solution.

Conversely, if your business model involves complex transactions, such as recurring subscriptions or international sales, third-party payment processors like Stripe or PayPal may offer more flexibility and specialized services. Some processors are even industry-specific, catering to unique needs like high-risk industries.

2. Target Market and Geographical Location

Your target market’s geographical location will also affect your choice. Shopify Payments currently supports a limited number of countries, whereas most third-party processors cater to a broader international market. If your target audience resides in a location unsupported by Shopify Payments, a third-party processor becomes an essential choice.

3. Cost Efficiency

Cost is a significant factor for any business. Shopify Payments offers the benefit of lower transaction fees compared to third-party processors. Additionally, it also eliminates the need for paying for a separate payment gateway.

However, third-party processors might turn out to be more affordable for businesses making international sales. They often offer competitive exchange rates, which can offset the higher transaction fees. It’s essential to calculate your potential transaction volumes and associated costs with each option before deciding.

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1. User Convenience

A frictionless checkout experience is crucial in eCommerce. Shopify Payments offers a seamless, integrated user experience, which can lead to higher conversion rates. Customers can complete their purchases without being redirected to a separate payment gateway site, reducing the chances of cart abandonment.

In contrast, some third-party processors may require redirection, potentially causing friction. However, well-known options like PayPal could instill trust in your customers, leading to higher conversions. It’s all about understanding your customers’ preferences.

2. Customer Support

Reliable customer support can save you time, money, and frustration. Shopify Payments support is combined with your overall Shopify support and maintenance, which is beneficial for streamlined service. On the other hand, using a third-party processor means you’ll need to reach out to them separately for any payment-related issues. This can be a drawback, but keep in mind that some third-party processors offer excellent customer support as well.

3. Compliance with Regulations

Finally, it’s crucial to consider regulatory compliance. Shopify Payments takes care of compliance with payment card industry data security standards (PCI-DSS). But if you’re operating in a regulated industry, like healthcare or finance, some third-party processors offer specific tools and features to ensure you meet industry regulations.

Choosing between Shopify Payments and third-party payment processors is a decision that should be tailored to your business’s specific needs. By understanding and evaluating these key factors, you can make a decision that enhances your operations, satisfies your customers, and contributes positively to your bottom line.

4. Summary of Key Points

Shopify’s built-in payment gateway and third party payment processors each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Shopify Payments is designed to seamlessly integrate with your store, offering a smooth checkout process for your customers. It eliminates the need for third-party accounts, making setup easier and quicker. Additionally, it has a straightforward pricing structure with no hidden fees. However, it is available only in certain countries, limiting its global reach.

Third-party payment processors, like PayPal or Stripe, offer the advantage of wider Global availability and customer familiarity. Many customers already have accounts with these platforms, which can enhance trust in your site and streamline the purchase process. However, these gateways can sometimes come with higher transaction fees, and more complex pricing structures, and may require additional setup.

5. Personal Recommendation and Rationale

While both options have merits, I would recommend starting with Shopify Payments if it is available in your region. It offers seamless integration, a user-friendly setup, and transparent pricing, which can be particularly beneficial for new or small businesses. This choice simplifies the process and keeps everything in one place, which is often easier to manage.

However, consider integrating a third-party payment gateway like PayPal as well. This will cater to customers who prefer using these platforms and increase the potential trust factor. This approach allows you to offer flexibility to your customers, which could enhance the customer experience and potentially increase sales and revenue.

6. Encouragement for the Reader to Choose the Right Option Based on Their Unique Needs and Circumstances

Ultimately, the best choice between Shopify’s built-in payment gateway and third-party payment processors depends on your unique business needs, your target market, and the countries you are operating in. Consider factors such as your customers’ preferred payment methods, the transaction fees you are willing to absorb and the ease of integration into your online store.

Remember that the goal is to provide your customers a smooth, secure, and user-friendly checkout experience. So, take the time to explore each option, consider your specific circumstances, and make an informed decision that will best serve your business and your customers.


What is the key difference between Shopify’s built-in payment gateway and third-party payment processors?

Shopify’s built-in payment gateway, Shopify Payments, is directly integrated with your Shopify store, allowing seamless transactions without needing to set up a separate payment gateway. On the other hand, third-party payment processors are external services that need to be integrated with your store to process payments. They may include popular options like PayPal, Stripe, and

Are there any transaction fees associated with using Shopify Payments vs. third-party payment processors?

If you use Shopify Payments, you are exempt from transaction fees on Shopify, though there is a card-processing fee. However, if you choose to use a third-party payment processor, Shopify charges an additional transaction fee, which varies depending on your Shopify plan, in addition to any fees the third-party processor might charge.

Which offers a better checkout experience: Shopify Payments or third-party processors?

Generally, Shopify Payments offers a seamless checkout experience because it’s integrated into the platform. With Shopify Payments, customers can stay on your site during the entire transaction, which can help increase conversions. However, some customers may prefer to use familiar third-party processors like PayPal.

Can I use both Shopify Payments and third-party payment processors in my online store?

Yes, Shopify allows you to use multiple payment methods. You can use Shopify Payments and provide other payment options through third-party processors for your customers’ convenience.

Are there any limitations on the types of products I can sell using Shopify Payments vs. third-party payment processors?

Shopify Payments does have a list of prohibited products and services. If you are selling items from these categories, you may need to use a third-party processor. However, the same restrictions could also apply to third-party processors, so you need to check their individual terms of service. Always verify the payment gateway’s policies before setting up your store.


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