October 14, 2021
Emmanuel Cohen

Shopify Payments is the simplest way to accept payments online. It eliminates the hassle of setting up a third-party payment provider or merchant account and having to enter the credentials into Shopify. With Shopify Payments, you're automatically set up to accept all major payment methods as soon as you create your Shopify store, but there are some stores that might not be able to accept payment due to location.  If one or more of your stores aren't able to use Shopify payment due to store location, you'll need to find another payment option.

Generally, this is good and most merchants migrating to Shopify will already have a payment processor they can use if they need to, but the issue stems from the effect most payment processors have on the checkout experience. Some of the most used payment providers, such as Braintree integrates directly with the Shopify checkout, but many processors can't. Although you can integrate with these payment providers using a third-party checkout that takes you outside of the Shopify checkout to receive payment, it's not a pleasant experience, and it deviates from the desired journey and Shopify's accurately optimized checkout.

It is important to note that these payment gateways can only accept credit card payments, so you'll have to interface with other payment options such as iDeal separately through other apps like Mollie. However, before mentioning a few payment processors we’ve worked with, let’s talk about the strength and weaknesses of using Shopify Payments, as well as help you figure out when to seek an alternative payment gateway.


Strength of Shopify Payments

  • Multiple payment gateways are already integrated with Shopify payment, giving merchants the opportunity to accept payments in most parts of the world.

  • Pricing is competitive

  • It supports 3D secure and PSD2 requirements out of the box

  • Using Shopify payment helps you integrate better with Shopify

  • It's quite simple to set up and maintain

Weaknesses of Shopify Payment

  • It is not ideal for international store setups as Shopify payment doesn't work in a few locations, albeit you can split your stores so Shopify can accept payment for you in most countries

  • It is not as good as some other payment providers when it comes to fraud prevention

  • Shopify Payment is not the best fit for merchants selling subscription products. Although great subscription management platforms like Chargezen integrate with various payment gateways so their merchants can sell subscriptions seamlessly

  • Shopify Payment is not as flexible when it comes to accessing information

Difference between direct payment gateways and external payment gateways

A direct payment gateway is one that integrates directly into the Shopify checkout and allows credit card payments to be made directly within the card payments section of the Shopify checkout, which is identical to Shopify Payments, giving the end-user the same experience.

While an external payment gateway is one that takes the user away from the Shopify checkout to an external page or website to complete payment.  Although it's still a simple process, some merchants don't appreciate it because it adds an extra step to the checkout process

When do I need to use a payment provider other than Shopify Payments?

Although seeking external payment options has become a common practice, especially among Shopify Plus merchants, Shopify payments remains an economic, and viable option for most stores. But in the following instances, you might need to look into other payment options besides Shopify Payments.

  • If you sell things that are listed on Shopify Payment prohibited businesses such as virtual currency, sexually-oriented items, gambling among others

  • If your products are items that Shopify  forbids such as tobacco, e-cigarettes, e-liquid, online pharmacies, and so on

  • If your business operates in a particular country that you don't have a registered business or a local bank account

  • If you run a catch-all store that is not location-specific

  • You're selling in a country that doesn't accept Shopify Payments, some parts of Africa, for instance

With all of this in mind, you'll want to choose an alternate payment source that can interact with Shopify efficiently. is great for Shopify because it integrates seamlessly with Shopify payment and provides payment processing and payment management to help businesses accept credit card and e-check payments including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diner’s Club, Discover, and JCB. It is ideal for all e-commerce businesses, both small and large, and comes with different plans. Plus, it offers easy, safe, and affordable credit card and e-check processing. Their payment gateway integration also helps merchants take advantage of several features offered by Authorize.Net, like e-check processing, card tokenization, and customer profiles.

Apart from giving merchants the tools to sell items and take payments both online or in-person at a store, Authorize.Net also supports digital payment services like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Visa Checkout.


From Startups to Fortune 500 companies, over 20,000 companies in over 180 countries use 2Checkout. Like, 2Checkout supports all major credit cards such as Mastercard, Visa, Diners Club, American Express, and many others. It is also used in combination with other payment gateways in many developing   


Stripe is one of the most used gateways for Shopify users in the U.S. and it comes with an array of flexible tools to customize your own payment processes. Merchants using it can accept a wide variety of payment options—credit cards, wallets, and international currencies—both in-person and online.

Stripe is user-friendly and can integrate up to over 300 tools and products. It’s designed with larger stores in mind and offers a range of APIs that allow merchants to create their own subscription service, crowdfunding platforms, or on-demand marketplaces.

Stripe has a customized plan with volume discounts for larger merchants, supports over 135 currencies, and has features like one-click checkout, subscription billing, and mobile payments. It also supports development languages including Python, Ruby, PHP, and Java.


As a Shopify merchant, PayPal is another noteworthy gateway you should know. With PayPal, it takes less than a day to set up Shopify pay and it gives merchants both options for free and paid merchant accounts. I like it because it has an incredible support team and can be activated with any of your Shopify packages.

PayPal comes with seamless functionalities such as multiple customization options, facilitates credit card payments over the phone, easy cart integration, and online invoicing. It is no surprise that it is now an accepted payment gateway in more than 200 countries, and has more than 20 million active merchants account and almost 300 million customers globally.

Final Thoughts

In summary, Shopify Payment is great, but it's also a great idea to adopt other payment gateways when the need arises. While boosting traffic to your Shopify store is important, assuring your customers that you have the most secure, reliable, and user-friendly payment gateways solutions is equally important to increase customer confidence.

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