It doesn't always have to be PayPal. In the meantime, there are many online payment services that are just as uncomplicated for users and can usually be easily integrated via Plugin in WordPress resp. WooCommerce respectively. From Apple Pay to Google Pay: We introduce you to PayPal alternatives for the European and international market.
PayPal is considered the number one when it comes to digital payment services. The service is still the most popular online payment method in many countries. But there are good reasons to offer your customers PayPal alternatives. For example, reports of security breaches or phishing emails surfaced with PayPal. The payment service has also been criticized for allegedly arbitrarily freezing the accounts of its users. It is good to be able to switch to one or more other services if necessary.
A wider choice of different digital payment options can be a useful addition for your users. That’s why we’d like to show you a range of PayPal alternatives, weigh up their pros and cons, and show you how to integrate them into WordPress and WooCommerce.
PayPal is still one of the most popular online payment services worldwide. The service is easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices. Users connect PayPal with one or more private bank accounts.
For private customers PayPal is usually free of charge. The use is simple and allows, in addition to classic online shopping, to send money to friends. In addition, PayPal offers buyer protection, where the service takes over the costs for returns or fraud under certain conditions. However, there are numerous restrictions that you should be aware of as a customer.
However, PayPal is headquartered in the US, where data protection regulations are not as strict as within the EU. In the case of successful hacking attacks, hackers can also carry out debits without these being protected by additional security measures such as a TAN procedure. Merchants also have to pay fees for using PayPal. However, the integration into WordPress or WooCommerce isrelatively uncomplicated.
There are numerous PayPal Plugins for WordPress . With these you can easily integrate payments but also donation or subscription buttons into your website. The prerequisite for this is that you have a PayPal account. You should test the individual Plugins and your shopping cart with PayPal well in advance, on a separate test system. This is because the extensions sometimes interfere deeply with the logic of WordPress and WooCommerce , which can cause a wide variety of errors. This also applies to all other services, which I will list in a moment.
Legal compliance in Europe
You operate your portal in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or in the European market? Or do you have customers from this area? Then make sure that the Plugin, the payment service provider or the integration complies with the guidelines such as GDPR or PSD2. There are also many other regulations that apply to online shops. See our blog post WooCommerce to make it legally secure.
Apple Pay is now also available in several European countries. Buyers use the Apple Wallet to pay and can purchase apps and order from online shops.
Contactless payment in shops is a significant benefit of Apple Pay and could increase the number of Apple Pay users in the long run. Payments are not stored on the device with Apple Pay. The security standards are generally considered high. The service is, however, only available to Apple users with an iOS device. As with nearly all providers, merchants are charged a proportion of the sales value per transaction.
For WordPress there is a free Braintree WooCommerce Plugin, through which Apple Pay can be integrated (Braintree is a service of PayPal). You can also add Apple Pay as a payment method via the gateway service Stripe at WordPress . To use this service, however, you need a Stripe account. This, in turn, will provide you with the security keys you need to set up the service at WordPress .
You then enable the payment methods you want on Stripe - in this case, Apple Pay - and shoppers can use that option through their Apple devices. For more Apple Pay integration solutions, see the team's notes at WooCommerce.
Google Pay follows Google Wallet as Google's latest attempt to roll out a mobile payment service. As more consumers in Europe use Android than Apple products, Google Pay is certainly a significant option for online purchases.
Provided the retailers have integrated the payment option, you can also use Google Pay in retail stores, to purchase apps, and in online shops. Users need to enter their credit card information one time to use Google Pay. The service is free to use. It can also be used independently of Google as a separate app. But this form of payment isn't very widespread in Europe yet.
If you want to offer Google Pay on your website with WordPress as a form of payment, you can do this, just like with Apple Pay, via the Plugin combination of WooCommerce and Stripe. There is a separate for this Plugin from WooCommerce. The former WooCommerce Plugin to Google Wallet, however, is no longer being developed, alternatively you can implement the integration yourself.
In Germany, paydirekt is one of the youngest alternatives to PayPal. The service was created as a conscious effort of various German banks to offer users an alternative to PayPal.
Accordingly, you need a German current account that allows internet banking to use paydirekt so it's not relevant for users outside the country. There's also buyer protection according to the providers. Moreover, paydirekt adheres to the German data protection regulations. But paydirekt isn't as popular as PayPal yet.
For those who would also like to integrate paydirekt at WordPress , the provider provides a free Plugin (there under "technical connection").
The Dutch company Adyen is one of the most successful pay services in the world and yet few people have ever heard of it. That’s because Adyen acts as a payment service provider in the background.
Adyen is particularly useful for merchants as it takes care of all the intermediate steps, including the cooperation with banks, payment gateways, and technical integration. According to Adyen, this ranges from the checkout, fraud detection to credit checks.
This is how it works: the buyer’s money first goes to Adyen and only goes to the seller once the payment has been verified. Large online platforms such as Netflix or Eventim and transport companies including Easyjet and Flixbus use Adyen. It does, however, currently charge a processing fee of €0.10 per transaction and, in some cases, the fees for the individual payment methods themselves are added. The service offers a large number of systems that can be integrated.
For merchants who only record a few transactions per month, the service can thus become more expensive than other digital payment options. For WordPress , Adyen only indirectly offers a Plugin (there under "Built by the community"). The company lists another alternative directly for WooCommerce here.
Another service only available in Germany is giropay. Like paydirekt, giropay is a merger of several German credit institutions. Here too, the prerequisite for buyers is a current account with one of the participating banks. Anyone paying online through giropay is forwarded directly to their bank account via the service.
The service giropay is free of charge for customers. No additional registration is necessary. However, merchants currently have to pay a setup fee of €99 as well as a monthly fee of €9.90. Fees are also incurred from the 101st transaction onwards. Moreover, giropay lacks buyer protection and returns are not covered. As a company with servers in Germany, the company maintains the level of security is high even though phishing attacks are on the increase. As a result, any emails allegedly sent in the name of giropay are flagged with a warning but this also applies to nearly all credit institutions and payment services.
You can find the giropay-Plugin here. After you have installed and activated it, you then define the different payment methods and activate them. For identification you have to enter the seller ID, project ID and project password. These can be found in the giropay user account ("girocockpit").
Klarna SOFORT, also known as "Klarna app" in some countries, is a fast transfer from a customer's bank account to the retailer. Buyers don't have to register separately. The procedure forwards buyers to their own bank institute. Here, users log in using their online banking data and process the payment.
Customers don't pay any fees. However, merchants must forward a percentage of the invoice amount and an additional fee per transaction to SOFORT. But according to the provider, there's no setup fee and no monthly payments. Buyer protection is also partially available.
SOFORT is very easy for buyers to use. In addition, the service partially assumes credit and fraud risk. One restriction: Klarna SOFORT is currently only available to merchants in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, and the UK.
For integration in WordPress and WooCommerce there is the Plugin Klarna SOFORT Überweisung for WooCommerce. Before you can use SOFORT, Klarna has to activate you as a merchant.
With Amazon Pay, customers can use the payment information stored on their Amazon account to make purchases in online stores. In addition to payments for Amazon merchants, there are many other shops where buyers can use Amazon Pay. These include major brands such as Dyson or National Express.
The service is also free of charge for customers. Merchants in turn pay a commission and a fee per transaction. One advantage is customers don't have to enter any new sensitive payment information or set up a new account. At the same time, you need a customer account with Amazon - and that strengthens its dominance over data and the market. Data protection concerns have also come to light as Amazon gains a precise insight into the purchasing behavior of customers outside its own platform.
Amazon Pay offers an official Plugin for WooCommerce. This requires SSL certification, which must be standard for every (WordPress )Shop must be. The installation and insertion into the website is therefore uncomplicated.
In the configuration screen you link your existing Amazon merchant account or create a new one. Ultimately, you just need to click the "Transfer Access Key" button to connect your Amazon account to WordPress. There's also the option for manual installation in addition to the automated installation wizard.
Conclusion: PayPal alternatives
Depending on the products you have in your web shop and how often you carry out online transactions, one payment service may be more profitable for you than another. However, your customers will appreciate having other payment alternatives besides PayPal. This way, you can test other or new providers first to see if and how they are accepted by your customers.
However, be sure to look out for reputable providers and follow current events - take Wirecard as an example. For the service, which is currently in insolvency proceedings, there is or was also a WordPress integration.