How can I accept credit cards?

Credit cards are the most common way to pay for things online.  Easy Digital Downloads makes it possible for your customers to use credit cards via a variety of payment gateways.

A payment gateway is a piece of software that works as a go-between for your web site and Merchant Processors like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree.  This allows you to process many types of payments from credit cards to bank transfers, paypal, and many others.

In the context of Easy Digital Downloads you could use one of the built-in payment gateways or use an extension.  See our complete documentation on payment gateways.

Step 1: Choosing a Payment Gateway

There are several different criteria to consider when choosing a Payment Gateway.

Features

Payment Gateways can have many features beyond simple credit card processing. Some can do recurring payments, some have particularly simple refund systems, and some can split payments among multiple vendors.  Lastly, not all payment gateways allow credit cards, so if that's your goal be sure to find one that allows for credit card processing.

Familiarity

If you already have another online store, or perhaps even a brick and mortar store, and you already have a relationship with a Merchant Processor then it's probably worth it to stick with them, OR this could be an opportunity to experiment with a new one.

Availability

Not all gateways are available in all countries. With any gateway you're considering please make sure they do business in your country.

Terms and Conditions

Every payment gateway has rules about what may or may not be sold, or HOW things may be sold.  Please make sure that you're not violating the payment gateway's terms and conditions.

Finances

This should be the last thing you consider because it's more important to get the proper tool than the cheapest tool.  That said, Merchant Processors charge different amounts per transaction, and for the sake of due diligence you should look at what your ongoing costs are going to be.

Step 2: Finding your Payment Gateway

Built-In

EDD comes with two built in payment gateways that allow for credit card processing;  PayPal Standard and Amazon.

In the EDD Store

There are nearly  100 payment gateways available for sale in the EDD store with a variety of feature sets and cost levels.

On WordPress.org

There are  some free payment gateways available on WordPress.org.  Please be sure that they're for Easy Digital Downloads, and not another e-commerce platform.

Common Options

There are literally many dozens of payment gateways, here are a few examples and the customer experience.

Built In Options

PayPal Standard

PayPal is one of the most recognized payment methods online today. With this payment gateway your customers may pay with either PayPal or credit cards.

Experience:

When the buyer clicks the checkout button they'll be taken to PayPal. The link to pay with credit cards looks like this:

Once they click it they'll be taken to a screen that looks like this: 

At this point the customer can use a debit, credit, or prepaid card to pay for the transaction.  After the payment is complete the customer will be redirected back to your store.

See our PayPal Standard documentation here.

Amazon

Another option is to use the built in Amazon payment gateway. Once it's configured properly customers will be able to pay with whatever credit cards they have already stored in Amazon.

Experience:

The customer will be taken to Amazon to authenticate and then returned to your store. At that point they simply choose the credit card they'd like to use and make the purchase without leaving the site again.

See our Amazon documentation here.

With Extensions

Many Easy Digital Downloads extensions provide credit card processing functionality.  Here are some common extensions:

Stripe

Stripe provides a very streamlined process for accepting credit cards.  Customers do not need to leave your site to pay, and the documentation and support are excellent.

Experience:

Stripe offers two experiences.  If a Buy Now option is used then when the customer clicks to buy a small modal window appears asking for credit card information.  once it's filled out then the modal window goes away and the customer is taken to the receipt page where they may download the product, having never left the site.

If an Add To Cart button is used then when the customer is finished shopping they can go to their cart and full out the purchase form and buy everything in their cart at once, still never having left the site.

See our Stripe documentation here.

2Checkout

2Checkout is best known for extremely wide availability. Rather than a list of countries they support they keep a short list of countries they don't support.

Experience:

The customer uses your cart page to fill out the purchase form, never leaving the site.

See our 2Checkout documentation here.

PayPal Website Payments Pro

This payment gateway uses PayPal, but with an experience similar to Stripe.

Experience:

The customer may choose to either use your normal cart page, never leaving the site, OR use a Buy Now button and see a small modal window appear for the transaction.

See our PayPal Website Payments Pro documentation here.

Authorize.net

Authorize.net is one of the oldest payment gateways and is used very widely. If you're already doing digital commerce in a physical storefront it's quite possible you're already using Authorize.net, and this can make it an easy choice.

Experience:

The customer uses your cart page to fill out the purchase form, never leaving the site.

See our Authorize.net documentation here.

Braintree

Braintree is very similar to Stripe but has different availability and costs

Experience:

The customer uses your cart page to fill out the purchase form, never leaving the site.

See our Braintree documentation here.

PayPal Payments Advanced

PayPal Payments Advanced allows the customer to remain on your site without leaving to pay. Its biggest draw is availability and cost.

Experience:

The customer uses your cart page to fill out the purchase form, never leaving the site.

See our PayPal Payments Advanced documentation here.