Accepting Online Payments in New Zealand
If your launching a WooCommerce site in New Zealand you will inevitably come to a point where you need to decide on a payment processor to use for your online transactions. Of course, there are many options available but the features and costs vary enormously — it can quickly get very confusing. We published a blog post about this some time ago and it’s still the most-read post on our blog.
Payment Express is probably the most recognised NZ-based payment gateway — and there is an extension available for WooCommerce — but this costs USD$79 and requires annual renewal to maintain updates and support. Accepting payments via Payment Express also requires a merchant account and they charge a fixed monthly fee in addition to per-transaction costs. For small businesses starting out, the set-up costs, bank fees and minimum monthly transaction costs of these types of payment gateways can be prohibitive. Other similar options include eWay, ANZ and WorldPay.
For these reasons, payment gateways that don’t require a merchant account can be an attractive option, such as PayPal, 2Checkout and Flo2Cash. The PayPal Standard Payments option is included free in WooCommerce, while the others cost from USD$50 – $80, plus renewals.
Since launching in 2011, Stripe has taken the online payments industry by storm. They have particularly won over the web developer community with their awesome API, simple fee structure and beautiful user interface. Stripe is consistently voted one of the top payment processors for online businesses and they continue to innovate with fantastic new features, additional currencies and launching in new countries.
Stripe supports all the major credit cards, over 100 currencies, Bitcoin payments, recurring billing, charge-backs, trial periods and industry-leading fraud protection. One of the other reasons for Stripe’s popularity is that you don’t require a credit card merchant account — Stripe deposit funds directly into your bank account on a weekly basis (other payment gateways offer this as well, such as 2Checkout.com).
The only problem is … New Zealand businesses can’t use Stripe — but that’s about to change.
Stripe NZ — coming soon
Stripe has recently launched in New Zealand under private beta, meaning that you need to apply for an account and not all features are supported yet. Sometime in the future they will go to public beta (which is suitable for production use) before it’s made fully available with all features enabled. This will be a welcome addition to the NZ payment gateway market and we’re betting that Stripe NZ is going to be huge. For WooCommerce users, there’s even more good news…
WooCommerce Stripe Extension is Free
Testament to how important Stripe payments has become for WooCommerce, WooThemes recently decided to make the extension available for free.
“Receiving payments is integral to running an online store,” WooCommerce Product Team Lead Matty Cohen said. “Publishing the WooCommerce Stripe integration for free is one way we are helping merchants to get their stores set up quicker, and to easily receive credit card payments through their stores.
Simply put — this is massive news! WooCommerce is free, the Stripe extension is now free — and with Stripe launching in New Zealand — implementing super-slick credit card payment processing for your WooCommerce site is about to get a lot easier, not to mention cheaper! Remember, Stripe does not require a merchant account, they support recurring subscription payments and they have no monthly fees.
It’s an exciting time to be a WooCommerce user in New Zealand. Bring it on!