Accepting Payment

14.11.2017 |

Episode #5 of the course How to start an online store by Patrick Rauland


Hey, hey, hey and welcome back!

We’ve picked out a platform, launched the site, and created a decent product page. Now let’s focused on getting paid. It used to be incredibly hard to get paid online, but in the last few years, a few really easy-to-use solutions have come out. You can set it up in less than 15 minutes if you know what you’re doing.


Before Accepting Payment

There’s only one real requirement before accepting payment: a secure site. If you’re using a hosted solution like Shopify or BigCommerce, they take care of this for you, and you can skip over this section.

If you’re using a self-hosted solution, like WooCommerce or Magento, then you need to get an SSL certificate. This will allow your pages to load in HTTPS, which encrypts them and protects the data from hackers.

You can get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt and then ask your host how to set it up. It shouldn’t take you much time; for example, I use WPEngine and was able to set it up in five minutes.

Once you have a secure site, you can accept money a number of ways.


Credit Cards

One of the most popular ways to get paid is to accept credit cards. There are hundreds of payment gateways that help you process them, such as Stripe,, and Braintree.
Credit cards are the standard way to pay online. So, if you only have one way to pay for things on your store, it should be credit card. (By the way, if you’re on Shopify, it’s called Shopify Pay. It’s basically Stripe but they removed all the Stripe branding.)



Besides credit cards, the next biggest way to accept money is PayPal. PayPal offers a bit more protection for the buyer. It’s easy to ask for a refund with PayPal, and if you have many international customers, they might be more comfortable with PayPal than a credit card.

Also, for some people, PayPal is “fun money,” so once it’s in there, they spend it easily without too much fuss. Some store owners I’ve talked to report that 50% of their sales come from PayPal, so it’s definitely worth testing.


Apple Pay

You’ve probably heard about Apple Pay. It lets users check out and use the payment method saved in their Apple account. It works on iPhone and now some browsers. If you’re using Stripe and the user has Apple Pay setup, they’ll be prompted to use it automatically. You don’t have to do anything extra. But Apple Pay is quite new to websites, so basically only Stripe has it built in.

Key takeaway: Ensure your site is secure before start accepting online payments. Start accepting credit cards and gradually experiment with other methods like PayPal and Apple Pay.


Recommended reading

“When You Should Get a Merchant Account”: for more information about how credit card payments work.


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