OpenCart – Payment Gateways
Written by Joe Stenhouse Thursday, 14 March 2013
This article will give you a general overview of the Opencart Payment Gateways in what they are, how to use them, and which one you should choose.
WHAT IS A PAYMENT GATEWAY?
A payment gateway facilitates the transfer of information between a payment portal (such as a website, mobile phone or IVR service) and the Front End Processor or acquiring bank. When a customer orders a product from a payment gateway-enabled merchant, the payment gateway performs a variety of tasks to process the transaction. In short, it is a way for store owners to charge customers online at the point of purchase. There is a direct communication between the payment gateway, the card holders’ bank and the merchant bank. In a way it could be considered a conduit.
A simple diagram
Opencart currently has 20 Payment Gateways that come with the default installation. Each comes as an Extension and must be installed/edited before used. To decide exactly “which” to use is not something we can decide for you here but we can offer basic pointers on guiding you to the correct one. Just a reminder, there are FAR MORE than just 20 total but you will have to shop in the extension store to grab one that does not come with the default installation. Developers have worked hard to offer as many as possible.
Some common questions to ask yourself when deciding which payment gateway to choose:
- What does my budget allow? You’ll need to compare rates for the different gateways and figure out what type of fee’s you can afford off the bat. Typically the cost of using a Payment Gateway is offset by your profit coming in (at least that is the hope). There will possibly be Monthly Gateway Fee’s, transaction fees whether batch or single and merchant account fees. In general just about all of them are right around the same price except if you are talking about a Payment Gateway such as OGONE who focus on clients in EUROPE and the UK.
- What are of the world do I live in? Certain payment gateways are only available for use in certain parts of the world for example Authorize.net is a US based organization and does not support overseas use. Paypal “is” considered International but in certain parts of the world some of their gateways are not available. Here is a nice diagram to show the current regional restrictions for Pay Pal : https://www.x.com/developers/paypal/products/international-availability
- What is my overall business description and how would a payment gateway affect maximum success? Some companies choose to re-direct their traffic to the actual payment gateways website for checkout while others prefer a more professional approach by keeping customers on their website at all times. These are questions to be asked because not all Payment Gateways offer Dynamic Links to allow IN-HOUSE CHECKOUT.
- These are just a few of the basic questions that are often asked.
PayPal, the worldwide leader in Payment Gateways
Currently, Paypal takes the cake in being the most popular payment gateway. It is available in most areas of the world, accepts most currencies and best of all….it has AMEX BUILT IN (American Express). Why is this important? It is important because establishing an AMEX merchant account on your own can be a bit of a nightmare with gateways that do “not” offer it as a default. Here are the current Paypal Gateways and a description of each https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/compare-business-products
However, there are a couple that are not mentioned because they are considered specialty services such as Paypal Recurring Payments/Subscriptions. Opencart has a really wonderful Recurring Payments Integration that was just released and is for sale in the store.
USING A PAYMENT GATEWAY WITH OPENCART
You simply have to login to your administration and go to EXTENSIONS > PAYMENTS and click INSTALL on the gateway you choose. Once installed you then click EDIT to fill in the correct configuration parameters. Some will be minimal configuration and others require more extensive parameters. Once ENABLED it will show up in the list upon checkout where your customers can actually choose from a list if they wish.