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PayPal or Stripe? It Wasn’t My Choice

Choosing a payment gateway for a WooCommerce site requires a little thinking. When the question comes up,as it invariably does, I tell my workshop students and coaching clients that there are many factors that come into play, depending on their goals and needs.

Sorry folks, but when it comes to gateway payments, there is no magic bullet.

What is a payment gateway, anyway?

In a nutshell, when you have an online store, you need a way to receive payments for your products or services. Often that is through a credit card or debit card. For example, you are probably familiar with PayPal. Well, that’s just one payment gateways. Others may use merchant accounts or one of the many other options out there.

But I’m not here to get into a discussion of all of these options.

Instead, let me tell you a story

When I started one of my past membership sites, I had been using PayPal. It worked for me— and has for years. I’m not here to weigh the the pros and cons of PayPal or to have your share your horror story. Like I said, it has worked for me.

Well, after I had this site up for a bit, I began to think about some of the other options. A lot of my friends and colleagues had been raving about Stripe . The question was, PayPal or Stripe?  I had looked at it briefly before, but decided to explore it some more. After some pondering, I was ready for the switch. I liked how it worked, how it looked on my site, and even though I was not collecting data on my own site, no one had to leave my site to use it.

Maybe I was weak and followed the crowd because of all the great comments about it. I purchased my SSL, which was required, and set it up easily with the WooCommerce Stripe extension. I removed PayPal. I was ready to roll.

Then the emails came

Within the timeframe of 24 hours, I received at least six emails asking me why PayPal wasn’t an option. Most were adamant about using it, and refused to use Stripe. I didn’t ask them why, though I am sure they had their reasons.

I responded to each one of them and told them, give me a moment, I’ll hook it back up.

The moral of the story

Options are good. It was no longer PayPal or Stripe. It was PayPal and Stripe. Don’t think that giving your customers more than one choice will confuse them or cause them to leave undecided. It was the best move I ever made.

And if you are curious about the split of who uses PayPal vs. Stripe on my site?

It’s roughly 50-50.

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