Do You Need a Merchant Account for Shopify?

Online Merchant Account

Shopify is an exceptional e-commerce platform ideal for businesses looking to establish and scale their online presence. When you set up a Shopify account, you can take credit card payments through Shopify Payments, eliminating the need for a separate merchant account. This is not to say, however, that third-party alternatives aren’t available and, in some instances, preferred. Let’s dive into the details.

Shopify Payments

Setup fee: None

Monthly fee: None

Transaction fee: 2% + 25p (with Shopify Basic) 1.5% + 25p (with Shopify Advanced)

Shopify Payments is Shopify’s proprietary payment processing system, first introduced in 2013. Behind the scenes, Shopify Payments is run by payment processor Stripe.

Shopify Payments is technically an aggregated merchant account, which means millions of companies share the same merchant ID. This makes Shopify Payments the easiest way to take credit and debit card payments through Shopify.

One of the significant benefits of using Shopify Payments is how seamlessly integrated it is with the rest of the Shopify platform. You don’t need to go through the hassle of third-party integrations or additional setup processes.

Shopify Payments consolidates your payment processing and order management within the Shopify dashboard. This streamlined approach allows you to manage your orders, inventory, and payments all in one place.

Using Shopify Payments also results in an excellent experience for your customers, as they can complete their purchases without leaving your website. This seamless checkout experience can reduce cart abandonment and increase conversion.

Shopify Payments supports multiple payment methods, including major credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, offering convenience and flexibility to your customers.

Other Merchant Accounts for Shopify

While Shopify Payments offers many advantages, you might prefer to use other third-party merchant account options with Shopify. Perhaps because you have an existing merchant account you use in multiple stores. Or because you want a payment processing service with a lower per-transaction rate due to your high transaction volumes.

In the UK, you can use Shopify with over 15 third-party payment processors. Here are some of the best to consider.

Worldpay

Setup fee: None

Monthly fee: £17.50 (card terminal), £19.95 (online gateway)

Transaction fee: 1.50% + £0.15

As a renowned payment processing platform, Worldpay is trusted by more than one million merchants globally and processes an astounding 110 million transactions per day. Offering compatibility with 116 currencies, Worldpay caters well to businesses with international customers. In addition, 24/7 UK customer support is available.

Authorize.net

Setup fee: £35

Monthly fee: £19

Transaction fee: 2.49% + £0.15

A veteran in the payment gateway field, Authorize.net stands out with its robust security features, such as advanced fraud screening and address verification service (AVS). The platform provides the flexibility to accept credit cards directly on your site and allows you to control the look of your checkout page. Authorize.net integrates with QuickBooks and supports various types of payments, including mobile and face-to-face payments.

2Checkout

Setup fee: None

Monthly fee: None

Transaction fee: From 3.5% + £0.15

2Checkout is a US-based payment platform that offers a comprehensive and scalable e-commerce solution for businesses worldwide, including those in the UK. Known for its global reach, 2Checkout provides businesses access to customers in over 200 countries. Setup is quick, with most businesses able to start taking payments within 24 hours. While 2Checkout has no setup or monthly fees, its per-transaction pricing is significantly higher than Shopify Payments.

Summary

You don’t necessarily need a separate merchant account when selling through Shopify, as the company has a built-in solution called Shopify Payments. This provides an integrated solution for accepting payments on your Shopify store at competitive rates, but it isn’t your only option. Providers like 2Checkout, Worldpay, and Authorize.net offer alternative merchant account solutions you can use with Shopify, each with its unique advantages and cost structures.

Frequently asked questions

What is a merchant account?
A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept and process customer credit or debit card payments online or via credit card machines. It serves as a temporary holding place for funds before they are deposited into the business’s primary bank account.
Does Shopify come with a merchant account?
Yes, Shopify comes with its own integrated merchant account, known as Shopify Payments. However, Shopify also supports various third-party merchant account services.
Is Shopify Payments a merchant account?
Shopify Payments is an example of an aggregated merchant account. In this arrangement, multiple companies share a single merchant account administered by Shopify. This means that businesses can accept payments without the hassle of setting up individual merchant accounts with a third party.
Written by:
Richard has more than 20 years of experience in business operations, computer science and full-stack development roles. A graduate in Computer Science and former IT support manager at Samsung, Richard has taught coding courses and developed software for both private businesses and state organisations. A prolific author in B2B and B2C tech, Richard’s work has been published on sites such as TechRadar Pro, ITProPortal and Tom’s Guide.