August 13, 2013, 10:45 AM

E-commerce platform provider Shopify launches its own payments service

Merchants can access revenue data from within the e-commerce platform.

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Shopify has launched its own service to accept and manage payments. The e-commerce platform provider says its Shopify Payments eliminates the need for e-retailers to work with a separate credit and debit card processor and allows merchants to track live transactions along with the corresponding orders, Shopify says.

Previously, a Shopify merchant that wanted to see its financial information needed to go through its payment processor separately and piece together which revenue went with which online orders, a spokesman for the vendor says. “With Shopify Payments, merchants are getting all their payment and financial information in the context of the orders that were placed,” he says.

Shopify built the payments service together with online payments company Stripe, which provided some of the underlying technology, the spokesman says. “This kind of payments integration will be very difficult for any other e-commerce platform to replicate,” he says. Stripe provides a code base that developers can modify to create their own tools to accept payments on the web or in mobile apps. It takes a fee for each transaction processed.

Merchants that have a Shopify account and sign up for Shopify Payments can begin processing transactions immediately. It took just two minutes for David Wurtz, founder of e-commerce sites ArmorMount.com and DockPlus.com, which sell TV wall mounts and iPhone and iPad docks, respectively, he says. “Now, everything is in one place and I have a single blended rate to accept payments.”

When Wurtz first began selling online, he says he was intimidated by the large payment-processing companies he had to deal with because he didn’t understand all the nuances of their services. For example, processing transactions for American Express credit cards typically incurs an extra fee, while debit card transactions cost less than credit cards. “I had no idea what I was actually going to be charged,” he says. Shopify says it does not charge extra fees for processing American Express or international credit cards.

“Also, payment reports in my previous processor were completely unaware of their corresponding Shopify orders,” Wurtz says. “I needed to log in to a separate system just to see payment details and respond to chargebacks.”

Shopify Payments automatically generates forms with the order, shipping and customer details for any chargebacks, the company says. Chargebacks occur when customers dispute charges to their payment card accounts.

For merchants that sign up to process transactions with Shopify Payments instead of another vendor, Shopify says it will charge a per-transaction fee that varies based on the plan the merchant chooses. The entry-level plan costs $14 per month plus 2.9% of the amount of each transaction plus 30 cents. For its professional plan, which costs $79 per month, the per-transaction fee is 2.5% plus 30 cents; the unlimited plan, which includes unlimited file storage and product listings, the fee is 2.25% plus 30 cents per transaction.

Diamond Candles, No. 791 in the 2013 Second 500 Guide, and PupLife.com, No. 996, list Shopify as their e-commerce platform provider.

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