For businesses looking to accept payment online, there is much to be considered when choosing a payment solution or gateway.
With the growth in ecommerce over the last year jumping up almost 100% due to covid-19, businesses are looking to adapt to push their sales online.
Payment gateways allow businesses authorize and process credit cards, accept Interac payments and connect with their banks digitally.
WordPress is the leading content management system today that powers nearly 1/3 of websites on the internet.
If you’re looking to start selling online, ecommerce functionality can be easily integrated into a WordPress website by adding WooCommerce through the plugin library, which also happens to be the leading ecommerce solution.
By default, WooCommerce already includes integrations with PayPal and Stripe, however adding additional gateway integrations isn’t difficult.
Choosing a payment gateway can be a challenge for any small business as there are several factors to consider such as monthly payments, transaction fees, customer support, ease of integration and other offerings.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 top payment gateways ideal for Canadian small businesses. Since every business may has its own set of requirements, we will explore how each payment gateway differs and hopefully help you find the one that is right for your business.
Top Payment Gatways for Canadian Small Business
Moneris is a Toronto-based payment processor that is our usual recommendation for Canadian businesses looking to accept payments online.
They provide a suite of tools for businesses both online and offline including their own store, POS systems, inventory & sales tracking and can integrate with most shopping carts including WooCommerce.
Moneris charges a monthly fee of $35. Each transaction is charged $0.10 cents and 0.07%.
They offer 24/7 customer support via phone and live chat which is an important factor when selecting a payment gateway.
WooCommerce Integration: Several plugins are available if you’re looking to setup Moneris with your WordPress website. WooCommerce.com provides a Moneris Gateway plugin that is developed by SkyVerge. It can be easily integrated by entering your Store ID and API token retrieved from your Moneris account. It can handle both US and Canadian currencies and all major credit cards.
PayPal is the most widely known third-party payment processor with more than 17 million merchants using it worldwide. For businesses, it’s also the easiest to configure and a great choice for small businesses.
One drawback is that PayPal is a third-party processor which means that the company onboards merchants as sub-users. Getting approved as a PayPal processor is easy but be warned they can withhold funds and terminate your account permanently without any notice.
They offer 24/7 custom service and are active on social media. They have a resolution centre on their website with the option for live chat but be earned they aren’t as responsive as expected by some customers.
They have plans available depending on your online needs. PayPal also offers a pay-as-you-go service. Unfortunately their processing fees are typically higher than other payment processors and transferring money to your bank account requires a waiting period.
PayPal Standard has no setup or monthly fees, no hidden costs or termination fees. This plan charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
PayPal Pro costs $35 monthly allows access to a virtual terminal and a hosted checkout page rather than being redirected to PayPal to complete the transaction. Same processing fees as the Standard plan apply.
WooCommerce Integration: Setting up PayPal with WooCommerce store is not only simple but no additional plugins are necessary. Configuration settings can be setup in the payments tab in your WooCommerce settings.
Another ideal payment solution for Canadian small businesses is Stripe. It has become the most developer-friendly payment processor and biggest rival to PayPal. Today it is used by over one million companies in over 120 countries. Some of Stripes notable clients include Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Uber.
There are no setup, monthly or hidden fees. Stripe offers the same transaction fees as PayPal at 2.9% plus 30 cents.
Unfortunately Stripe does not offer over the phone customer service however do provide top-tier email support.
Stripes API is is ideal for businesses looking to setup subscription payments. Through the Stripe Dashboard you’ll have access to a wide range of add-ons such as the Stripe terminal, advanced reporting and billing. Stripe also makes it easy to integrate with CRM systems, mobile apps and shopping carts such as WordPress.
WooCommerce Integration: Similar to PayPal, Stripe can be configured without installing any additional plugins and can be setup through the Payment Settings in your WooCommerce Dashboard.
Elavon is a US-based payment processor based in Atlanta Georgia and is known for innovation with their POS systems.
Their all-in-one payment system is able to handle almost every global credit card and foreign currency without the need of a third-party payment processor. They also accept eCheck and ACH transactions at checkout.
Elavon has offices based in Canada and provides 24/7 multilingual phone support. Sales reps will work with businesses on a case-by-case basis to provide other solutions such as POS.
Elavon has a $249 setup fee, a monthly fee of $10 and charges 2.29% + .20 cents per transaction for Visa/Mastercard/Discover and 4.66% + 20 cent transaction fee for American Express.
The Elavon dashboard includes several features when it comes to reporting for businesses with single and multiple locations.
WooCommerce Integration: If you’re looking to integrate Elavon’s payment processor with your WordPress website then you can install the Elavon plugin specifically made for WooCommerce for $79 USD. This plugin has several features including the ability to refund directly from the dashboard, customers can save payment methods and supports multi-currency.
Originally BeanStream, was founded in Canada in 2000 but was eventually acquired by the Swedish payment processing firm called Bambora in 2015.
They are pioneers in the ecommerce industry and offers businesses several solutions including risk management, authentication and POS solutions.
They offer plans for small businesses in Canada and the United States but are secretive about pricing. If your business account is setup with Toronto Dominion Bank then you will want to look into setting up your ecommerce website/gateway with Bambora.
Customer support is available weekdays from 6am to 9pm, Saturdays 8am-4:30pm and Sundays/holidays from 7am-3:30pm. All times are in PST.
WooCommerce Integration: If you’re looking to integrate Bambora with WooCommerce, you can install the Bambora gateway plugin for $79 USD developed by SkyVerge. The plugin allows you to process refunds directly from WooCommerce, capture authorized transactions and accept all major credit cards.
Trying to choose the ideal gateway can be a challenge for any business and there a number of factors to consider. It’s helpful to narrow your choices down to cost, security, payment coverage and customer support.
However, most articles on payment gateways choose to rate customer support but in reality this can vary based on who you’re connected to by phone or by email. 24/7 customer support is certainly a recommended factor.
When deciding on cost, it’s good to look at the fine details including startup costs, monthly fees and per-transaction rates or if there are any hidden fees. While monthly fees may deter Canadian businesses, it’s important to note that per-transaction fees can quickly add up depending on the volume of sales.
It’s important to provide customers with several payment options. With the growing use of etransfer and debit card payments, Canadian businesses should consider this additional benefit which is offered by companies such as Moneris.