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Shopify Payments Review: The Pros And Cons Of Shopify’s Integrated Payment Processor

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If you’ve spent any time on our blog, you know that Shopify (read our review) is one of our favorite shopping cart solutions, primarily because it provides an all-inclusive solution to a wide range of merchants. One monthly rate gives you access to Shopify’s hosting, security, administrative abilities, customer service features, inventory management features, web design tools, and more.

With the addition of Shopify Payments, an integrated payment processor, you can even access built-in payment processing features. Shopify Payments allows you to quickly begin accepting credit cards at your online store. You won’t have to worry about integrating a third-party processor, and Shopify will waive its own shopping cart transaction fees.

However, despite its convenience, Shopify Payments is not perfect. Customers often complain that they do not qualify to use the service. Others say that Shopify Payments has frozen their accounts or is holding payments.

How does Shopify Payments work? Keep reading to learn if you qualify for Shopify Payments and if it’s right for your business.

A quick look at Shopify’s services

MobilePOSOnlineSocial Media
Mobile App + Free Card ReaderPoint of SaleOnline StoreSocial Media Selling
Get StartedGet StartedGet StartedGet Started
Low-cost POS for iOS and Android with free hardwareAll-purpose POS integrated with all sales channelsBuild a store or integrate with your current websiteSell on Facebook and other platforms
Starts at $9/monthStarts at $29/monthStarts at $29/monthStarts at $9/month
Free TrialFree TrialFree TrialFree Trial

In this article, we’ll be discussing payment service providers (PSPs). If you’re new to the world of payment processing, we’d love to help get you oriented. Download our free ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Payment Processing, to get started.

Visit Shopify Payments

Our Top Picks For Credit Card Processing

What Is Shopify?

Before we dive into the details of Shopify Payments, let’s take a brief look at the shopping cart platform itself.

Shopify is a SaaS (software as a service) solution, which means that in order to use the software, you much sign up for a Shopify subscription. A subscription gives you access to an easy-to-use admin panel, simple design editing tools, and marketing and analytic features. Shopify will also take care of your site hosting and security.

How Much Does Shopify Cost?

There are two components to Shopify’s cost structure:

  1. Monthly Subscription Fee: Shopify pricing plans range from $9/month to $299/month, and each step up in pricing offers additional features.
  2. Shopify Transaction Fee Per Sale: This is different than the fee your credit card payment processor charges per sale. The Shopify platform takes its own cut of each sale you make, and the amount depends on which monthly subscription plan you select.

Here’s a brief summary of the five Shopify plans:

Shopify Lite Plan (No Online Store Included): $9/month

  • Shopify Transaction Fee: 2.0%
  • Features
    • Sell in person
    • Sell with “buy” buttons
    • Sell on Facebook
    • Chat & email support

Basic Shopify Plan: $29/month

  • Shopify Transaction Fee: 2.0%
  • Additional Features
    • Unlimited products, bandwidth, & storage
    • Online store & blog
    • 24/7 email, live chat, and phone support
    • Abandoned cart recovery
    • Discount code engine
    • Shopify Shipping
    • Free SSL certificate
    • Free Shopify card reader (new US merchants)
    • Two staff accounts (in addition to owner’s account)

Shopify Plan: $79/month

  • Shopify Transaction Fee: 1.0%
  • Additional Features
    • Gift cards
    • Professional reports
    • Five staff accounts (in addition to owner’s account)

Advanced Shopify Plan: $299/month

  • Shopify Transaction Fee: 0.5%
  • Additional Features
    • Advanced report builder
    • Third-party calculated shipping carrier rates (beyond those from Shopify Shipping)
    • Fifteen staff accounts (in addition to owner’s account)

Shopify Plus (Enterprise)

If you’re making over a million ecommerce dollars per year, you’ll need to contact Shopify for special pricing. Check out our full review of Shopify Plus.

Additional Expenses

Another Shopify cost you should consider is the expense of adding extensions to your platform. Many merchants find that while Shopify comes with many of the basic features they need, the platform is missing more advanced functionality. Most of the add-ons in the Shopify App Store are priced on a monthly basis, which can add up.

What Is A Payment Processor?

When using Shopify, you’ll need to connect some sort of payment processor (a.k.a. payment gateway, payment services provider, credit card processor) to your store so that you can securely accept credit and debit payments from your customers. Your processor will take a cut of each sale (and may charge separate fees as well). The current ecommerce starting rate for most flat-rate payment processors (like Stripe and Square) is 2.9% + $0.30 on every sale you make. In-person rates run a bit lower.

Visit Shopify Payments

What Is Shopify Payments?

Through a partnership with Stripe, a popular payment gateway provider for ecommerce merchants, Shopify has created a special “in-house” credit card processor — Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments is now one of the payment processor options Shopify merchants can select, in addition to around 100 alternative third-party gateways (such as PayPal).

If you sign up for Shopify Payments, there is no need to integrate a third-party processor or coordinate payments with a separate company. Shopify Payments is already integrated into your Shopify account, so it requires very little setup. All you have to do is select Shopify Payments in your admin and add your banking information, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and the average price and shipping time for your orders. Transactions and payouts that come through your store via Shopify Payments are then easily viewed and managed from within your main Shopify dashboard. 

What’s more, Shopify Payments comes with a few additional features, including chargeback management and fraud analysis.

There are two main financial advantages to using Shopify Payments in conjunction with Shopify:

  1. No Shopify Transaction Fee: Shopify will wave the 0.5%-0.2% commission it would otherwise charge on each of your sales.
  2. Discounted Payment Processing: Remember we said that most flat-rate credit card processors charge 2.9% + $0.30 per ecommerce sale? Shopify Payments also charges this processing rate for transactions if you’re on the Lite or Basic subscription, but this rate decreases if you’re on the $79/month or $299/month plan.

What Are Shopify Payments Fees?

As mentioned, users on higher Shopify plans benefit from lower rates with Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe). Here are the credit card processing rates with each plan:

  • $9 Lite Plan + Shopify Payments
    • 2.9% + 30¢ Online
    • 2.7% + 0¢ In Person
  • $29 Basic Plan +  Shopify Payments
    • 2.9% + 30¢ Online
    • 2.7% + 0¢ In Person
  • $79 Shopify Plan + Shopify Payments
    • 2.6% + 30¢ Online
    • 2.5% + 0¢ In Person
  • $299 Advanced Plan + Shopify Payments
    • 2.4% + 30¢ Online
    • 2.4% + 0¢ In Person

Shopify states that they do not charge any monthly fees, hidden fees, or setup fees on their payments service.

Who Can Use Shopify Payments?

Perhaps we’re stating the obvious here, but let’s be clear that only Shopify users have access to Shopify Payments!

Beyond this, Shopify Payments is only available to merchants in the following countries and locales:

  • US
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • US territories: Puerto Rico only

Furthermore, you must also follow Shopify’s Acceptable Use PolicyIf you do not comply with Shopify Payments’ Terms of Service, you will not be approved or the service may be revoked.

Take a look at the extensive list of products and services Shopify Payments does not support below:

Visit Shopify Payments

When Do I Get Paid?

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Payday is on everyone’s mind. One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Shopify Payments is how long you’ll have to wait to receive your customers’ payments.

This period — the time between when a customer places an order and when those funds are sent to your bank account — is called a pay period. You should keep in mind that this pay period does not include the amount of time it takes for your bank to process that deposit after it’s sent (typically between 24-72 hours).

Your pay period with Shopify Payments depends on the country in which your company is based. You should also note that funds from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are grouped and sent together as one payment. Here’s the pay period by country:

  • business days: US 
  • 3 business days: Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Australia
  • 4 business days: Hong Kong, Singapore
  • 5 business days (Friday paydays only): Japan

Make sure to factor this delay in payments into your business plans. It might be worth setting up a business credit card so you always have funds on hand.

Pros, Praises, & Positive Reviews Of Shopify Payments

Customers choose Shopify Payments for a number of reasons. Here are the primary benefits of using Shopify Payments:

  • No Shopify Transaction Fees: While there will always be processing fees, when you use Shopify Payments, you’ll no longer have to pay the extra 0.5%-2% Shopify transaction fee associated with your Shopify plan. 
  • Potentially Lower Processing Fees: As I’ve said before, higher-level Shopify merchants benefit from lower rates. You may find that Shopify’s rates are competitive with those of other major processors.
  • Already Integrated: You won’t need any developers to connect with Shopify Payments, and payment management is seamlessly integrated into your admin panel.
  • Integrated Fraud Prevention: Shopify Payments helps you reduce fraudulent transactions. You can choose to enable an address verification system and a card verification value upon checkout to ensure customers are real cardholders.
  • Shopify Pay: Your customers can save their billing and shipping information on all websites (including yours) that use Shopify Payments. Faster checkout and higher conversion rates often go hand-in-hand.

Shopify Payments is a great solution if you meet the requirements and are looking for a processor that’s easy to integrate.

Cons, Complaints, & Negative Reviews Of Shopify Payments

While Shopify Payments is great for convenience, I’ve seen numerous reports blaming the service for being unreliable and difficult to contact. Here are a few of the most common complaints and disadvantages of using Shopify Payments:

  • Ineligibility: Shopify users often complain that they are not eligible for Shopify Payments. For some, this is because Shopify Payments is not available in their country. In other cases, Shopify has actually revoked payment services because, for one reason or another, the business was deemed “high-risk.” Shopify’s Terms of Service states: “We reserve the right to modify or terminate the Service for any reason, without notice at any time.”
  • Shopify Holds Funds: Merchants frequently complain of their funds being withheld for an extended period of time. Here’s what Shopify Payments’ Terms Of Service says about that: “Stripe, on behalf of Shopify and/or Wells Fargo reserves the right to change the Payout Schedule or suspend payouts to your Bank Account should we determine it is necessary due to pending disputes, excessive or anticipated excessive Chargebacks or refunds, or other suspicious activity associated with your use of the Service or if required by law or court order.”
  • Difficulties With Chargebacks: Chargebacks are an unfortunate and inevitable part of running an online business. If customers file too many chargebacks against you, Shopify may withhold your funds, further complicating the issue.

Make sure you read the Terms of Service for every solution you sign up with, including Shopify and Shopify Payments. It could save you a world of pain.

Final Thoughts

I’ve seen enough negative reports about Shopify Payments to advise merchants to use extreme caution before signing up. Many merchants have been denied payments or had the service revoked entirely.

However, without knowing all the specifics of individual situations, it’s difficult to determine whether Shopify was justified or not in these actions. If merchants were not complying with Shopify Payments’ Terms of Service, Shopify was within their rights to cancel the service.

As you make your decision, please (please!) read every word of Shopify Payments’ Terms of Service to ensure your business qualifies. More importantly, keep in mind that no matter how clearly terms are outlined by any payment processor, they’re still subject to the interpretation of each user. If you have the even the tiniest inkling of doubt as to whether your business qualifies for Shopify Payments, I’d recommend speaking with the risk department directly before signing up. It’s better to be super explicit about your business details from the get-go than to assume, guess, or hope it will all work out.

There are some great benefits to integrated payments, and if your store follows all the rules, Shopify Payments could be the best choice for your store. But, don’t stop your research there. Take a look at our complete review of the entire Shopify platform (and the real customer comments below) to learn more about the software, and be sure to read up on Shopify Payments in their knowledgebase. Best of luck!

Visit Shopify Payments

Our Top Picks For Credit Card Processing

Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz Hull is an eCommerce Writer for Merchant Maverick. In her two years with Merchant Maverick, she has tested and reviewed over 40 eCommerce platforms and published two ebooks on the topic of online selling. Liz has also been published in Startup Nation and Home Business Magazine Online. Liz has a BA in English and Spanish from George Fox University.
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13 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Deanne

    I have 2 separate businesses one that is service based and one that is product based. Can I use Shopify Payments for the products and use stripe to connect with my other software of service so payments are in one place?

      Rose Holman

      Hi, Deanne. I’m not 100% sure I’m understanding your question properly, but I’ll take a stab at it. Shopify Payments, while built on Stripe’s payments infrastructure, is not the same as Stripe on its own. As far as I know, a Stripe dashboard and a Shopify Payments dashboard for managing payments won’t be integrated or accessed in the same place — especially if you’re using Shopify software for your physical products and integrating Stripe with different software for your service business. In the sense that payments will both ultimately pass through Stripe-based systems as some point, they’ll be in the “same place,” but that’s about it.

      The bottom line: you can definitely use both processors at the same time, that shouldn’t be a problem — but your interaction with your transactions and reporting may not be quite as “all in one place” as you’re envisioning. It’s best to think of Shopify Payments as a separate payment gateway.

      Hope that helps, let us know if we’ve misunderstood what you were asking!

        Valerie Trainer

        If I integrate my store from Etsy, how does Shopify get paid. Will they automatically take their money from my sales like Etsy has started to do, or will I have a payment that is due once a month? As a small business a lot of sellers on Etsy feel betrayed by their last move to do this!!!! Please explain because I’m sur a lot of sellers on Etsy would like to know!! Thank you for TRANSPARENCY!!!

          Rose Holman

          Hi, Valerie. There’s a couple components to this depending on your situation.

          If you use Shopify Payments as your payment processor, a card processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 (or less if you’re on a higher Shopify subscription plan) will be taken out of each sale in real time, and you will receive the net sales amount in your account. You will also be billed your monthly subscription to Shopify, of course.

          If you do not use Shopify Payments and choose an alternate gateway instead, Shopify will also charge an extra commission per sale on top of your card processing fee, which will also be taken out in real time. This fee ranges from 0.5% to 2% depending on which Shopify subscription plan you have. Meanwhile, you will be charged separately for card processing fees from your chosen alternative gateway (you’ve got over 100 options to choose from for alternative gateways to use with Shopify.). These card processing fees will also mostly likely be taken out automatically in real time.

          The reason it’s done this way is that they don’t want you to be able to withdraw funds before fees are taken out, so the fees have to be taken out as the transactions come in.

          It’s kind of confusing, so I hope that helps answers your question!

            Diggy

            Question…..can i use my Square mobile app to manually process payments from customers? Would I just send an invoice to the customer myself?

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Hi Diggy,

              You can send an invoice directly from within Square, but Shopify Payments also has the same ability and costs exactly the same. As far as we know, Shopify and Square don’t integrate directly, so you’d need a third-party tool that would cost more money. Shopify does integrate with PayPal and you can use PayPal alongside Shopify Payments without incurring additional transaction fees. That would also allow invoicing. But again, it’s the exact same cost.

              I would recommend that you first check out Shopify Payments’ invoicing tools and decide whether you like them as much as Square’s invoice tools, and go from there.

                Anahit

                Hello, I am a little bit confused about Shopify payment, that’s why i have a few questions.
                If I use basic Shopify payment (monthly price 29$) shopify charges me 2.9%+30c per transaction. is that right? But if I use Shopify payemnt+ an external gateway such as paypal, does it mean I should pay for per transaction 2.9%+30c + 2%(for transaction fee) or it only charges me 2% as transaction fee?

                  Liz Hull

                  Hi Anahit,

                  I’m happy to clear things up!

                  Shopify Payments works as your payment gateway for your Shopify online store, so you won’t need to add another gateway on top of it. However, you may choose to do so. If you choose to list multiple gateways, you may need to pay Shopify’s transaction fee. Here are your options below (assuming that you’re accepting payments for an online store rather than in-person):

                  Basic Shopify Plan ($29/month) + Shopify Payments (2.9% + $0.30 credit card rate) – NO Transaction Fee
                  Basic Shopify Plan ($29/month) + External Gateway (gateway’s credit card rate, likely around 2.9% + $0.30) + Shopify’s Transaction Fee (2%)

                  If you choose to combine Shopify Payments with an external gateway in order to give customers more payment options, you will have to pay that 2% Shopify transaction fee on any payment that goes through your external gateway. You will never have to pay the transaction fee on payments that go through Shopify Payments.

                  There is one exception to this rule, and that is PayPal. Shopify has negotiated with PayPal to offer you a deal on using Shopify Payments and PayPal together. If you choose to use Shopify Payments and add on PayPal, you will not have to pay that 2% Shopify transaction fee on any payments. Keep in mind that you will still be paying the 2.9% + $0.30 credit card rates on all your Shopify payments transactions, and PayPal credit card rates on all your PayPal transactions.

                  Hope that helps!

                  Liz

                    Darren

                    I have just been advised I cannot use shopify payments as I have been deemed high risk, does this mean if I accept PayPal, I will be charged the additional 2% on toof PayPal fees?

                      Liz Hull

                      Hi Darren,

                      That is correct. You will have to pay the additional transaction fee on top of PayPal Fees. That fee is 2% on Shopify’s Basic Plan. Higher plans have lower transaction fees (1% on the Shopify Plan and 0.5% on the Advanced Shopify Plan), but if you don’t/can’t use Shopify Payments, you will always have that fee.

                      Liz

                        Jason

                        Their pay period so short, that’s good news for sellers. i may start selling sooner on shopify.

                        Thanks for your good post.

                          Emanuel

                          Hello! A quick question. If one builds an ecommerce site with Shopify+Shopify Payments, who is the merchant of record?

                            Jessica Dinsmore

                            Hi Emanuel,

                            Great question! Shopify Payments is powered by Stripe, and as a third party processor we suspect the merchant of record would be Stripe, but we can’t say for sure. What we do know, is that the merchant in this scenario, would not be listed as the merchant of record.

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