New Shopify users have a lot to learn about setting up the platform before ever accepting that first order. Assuming most new users already understand the fundamentals of running a small business, learning the ins and outs of Shopify should not be too challenging. It is a matter of understanding terminology and how it applies to the platform.
A good case in point is accepting payments. Once you understand the terminology, you can quickly decide how you want to configure Shopify to handle payments. Here are four payment terms for the new Shopify user:
1. Payment Method
Shopify designates payment methods as that set of choices customers have to pay for their purchases. You are familiar with all of the most common options: credit cards, money orders, personal cheques, and cash on demand (COD). Shopify even allows you to accept manual payment in person simply by creating that option within your settings. More on that below.
Note that you can change your payment options at any time. Just because you decide not to offer a COD option to start does not mean that the option is forever off the table. Shopify is flexible enough that you can change your options whenever you need to.
2. Merchant Account
A merchant account is a kind of bank account the business owner establishes independently. Merchant accounts are required in order to accept credit card payments and direct debits directly through Shopify. You can set the option to accept credit cards or direct debits within the platform as long as your Shopify account is linked to your merchant account.
In the absence of a merchant account, you may choose to use a third-party payment processor. That leads us to our third payment term.
3. Third-Party Payment Processing
Accepting payments through a third-party payment processor involves setting up an account with a company such as PayPal or WorldPay. The third-party processor takes payment information from the customer, completes the payment transaction, and deposits money into the business owner’s account – all for a fee that is usually equal to a certain percentage of the transaction.
Setting up third-party payment processing in Shopify is relatively straightforward. Just establish your third-party account and then enter the appropriate information into the Shopify platform. You can find a complete list of third-party processors Shopify supports on its website.
4. Manual Payment
Although manual payments are rare in this day and age, they are still possible with Shopify. To accept manual payments, you would simply create a new payment method within your Shopify settings and designate it accordingly. Within that option, you can then provide customers with instructions on how to complete a manual transaction. They can mail you payment or bring it with them for in-person pickups.
Now you know the basics of accepting payments in Shopify. The platform’s designers have made this as simple as possible. For more information about each form of payment, consult the official Shopify documentation found on its website.