A Straight-to-the-Point Guide to WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateways

Rishi Lodha
Last Updated: 19/12/23

WooCommerce supports two of the largest payment gateways in the world, PayPal and Stripe. It offers extensions to let you accept payments through these payment gateways.

However, what if you want to look beyond these two payment gateways? You may need a third-party solution when you’re looking to add WooCommerce custom payment gateways to your store.

How to Add WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateways?

There are a few major solutions available at your disposal that help you add custom payment gateways to WooCommerce. You can either use a plugin or get a WordPress expert to add a custom code to your site that would help accept custom payments or offer another way to make payments for your users.

Use a WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateway Plugin

The first solution that would come to your mind is using a plugin, which is a given when you’re using WordPress and WooCommerce for your site. However, it isn’t exactly ideal when you’re looking to add a custom payment gateway to WooCommerce.

Sure, there are many WooCommerce PayPal plugins and even Stripe payment plugins that let you add these popular payment gateways to your store without using WooCommerce’s extensions designed for them. Some of those plugins even let you use the variations of these payment methods, such as PayPal recurring payments.

However, things aren’t as straightforward when you’re looking to add a completely different and not-so-popular local payment gateway, for instance.

To tell the truth, no plugin offers a real custom payment solution in the way that doesn’t require you to have any knowledge of code. That said, there are plugins that allow your customers to submit their orders without making a payment.

These WooCommerce custom payment gateway plugins will also allow your customers to mention a note about which payment gateway they are comfortable paying with.

WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateway by WPRuby

If you think you can make things work with that kind of a plugin, you can go ahead and install the WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateway plugin by WPRuby. It allows your customers to submit an order without making a payment and mention in the notes the payment gateway they would like to use for their payment.

WooCommerce custom payment gateway plugin
You can customize the message that’s shown to your customers as seen in the above image.

Now, this plugin also has a pro version that claims to help you create unlimited WooCommerce custom payment gateways. But you will not be able to do so without adequate knowledge of code and the functioning of APIs.

Custom Payment Gateways for WooCommerce by Imaginate Solutions

But if you have the technical know-how, then you also have another option in the plugin Custom Payment Gateways for WooCommerce by Imaginate Solutions. It lets you create one WooCommerce custom payment gateway for free.

Create a WooCommerce custom payment gateway

Create a WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateway Plugin

Now I know this might sound daunting, but if you want a “real” WooCommerce custom payment gateway plugin that actually adds a specific, custom payment gateway to your store, then creating one from scratch is pretty much the only option.

Needless to say, you need to know your way around code. By doing some searching around you may be able to find sample or reference code for a major part of the entire project code, but there will be a lot of customizations and modifications to the code needed according to the payment processor you want to use.

The one significant customization here would be creating a link between the plugin and your payment processor’s API, and code functions that send and receive information back and forth between the customer and your payment processor.

I know it sounds complicated, but it is what it is. If you don’t have any experience playing around with code, you will need to hire a WordPress agency or professional to create a custom plugin for you.

Modifying WooCommerce Class Code

There’s another solution but another one that involves working with the code. Depending on your requirements though, this could be simpler than developing your own plugin.

WooCommerce offers payment gateway extensions through a form of code that are known as core classes. You can get a coding professional to use these core classes and add custom functions to them to extend their functionality and cover the custom payment gateway you need.

Since you would already have a solid base to work with here, the work involved or the development cost could be much lower. However, this would probably only be possible if your custom payment gateway can be integrated within these WooCommerce core classes.

Create a WooCommerce Custom Payment Gateway Redirect

Some store owners also want to set up their WooCommerce custom payment gateway solution in a way that lets them redirect their customers to the payment gateway when they land on the payments page.

Now, if this was any other page, you could use our plugin Profile Builder to create a custom redirect. This functionality allows you to create a WordPress redirect to another page or an external URL.

However, the case here is unique and complicated. It’s not just a matter of redirecting your customers to a different page, but the ‘live’ information transfer that takes place between the last customer action on your store and your custom payment gateway.

And this is why you would again need to do some messing around with the code here. It would basically involve using your payment processor’s API so that your store can transfer the payment information to it.

Again, if you have never done something like this before, you will have no option but to seek the help of a professional coding expert.

Consider Paid Member Subscriptions as a Possible Alternative Solution

I understand that you’re looking for a custom payment gateway solution, but a lot of store owners don’t really need one. Moreover, there are certain issues associated with one that we would talk about in more detail below.

That being said, if you don’t have a real, specific reason for using a custom payment gateway, then Paid Member Subscriptions can probably offer everything you need in terms of payment management.

Paid Member Subscriptions is a WordPress membership plugin. It’s specifically designed to handle WordPress recurring payments as well as help you create subscription products and sell memberships.

So if you’re running a WooCommerce store that sells subscription products or memberships, then using Paid Member Subscriptions is likely going to be your best bet. In fact, if you only wanted to go for a custom payment gateway because some WordPress payments plugins don’t offer support for recurring payments through PayPal Standard, then Paid Member Subscriptions is going to be a perfect fit for you.

It lets you accept recurring payments through both PayPal and Stripe. In addition, your customers will also be able to pay using their credit cards through PayPal Standard.

Apart from accepting and managing payments, Paid Member Subscriptions offers a whole lot of other features that make it a complete WooCommerce membership plugin.

Paid Member Subscriptions Pro

The easiest way to accept recurring payments through PayPal or Stripe for your WooCommerce subscription products.

Get Paid Member Subscriptions

Some store owners just want to try and cover as many local payment gateways as they can, without thinking of all the issues that might come with them. They believe having payment options on their store will somehow increase conversions or offer a better customer experience.

But in most cases, it does neither. A lot of customers are going to use their card to make a payment anyway, so you’re going to be covered with a good WordPress payments plugin like Paid Membership Subscriptions as we discussed above.

It would probably be very rare for a customer to not be able to pay via any of the options covered by PayPal and Stripe. So your custom local payment gateways might just be additional payment options for them, and not necessary payment options.

Common Issues Associated with Custom Payment Gateways

In addition, as we mentioned above, you might run into some serious issues with custom payment gateways regardless of whether they would offer any real benefit to you. This is especially true if you’re bad at technical troubleshooting and correcting and modifying snippets of code.

The lack of standard support for these custom payment gateways is going to be a major cause of concern for you. And this might make it difficult for you to offer a seamless payment experience to your customers.

Even if you hire a professional developer to create a WooCommerce custom payment gateway plugin for you, it doesn’t guarantee a foolproof payment integration with your custom payment gateways forever.

If your custom payment gateways make some significant changes on their end, specifically anything that involves their API, you might end up with a broken connection and need help with the code again.

Similarly, smaller, local custom payment gateways going down at random times isn’t exactly uncommon. So is having issues with your account with them that could lead to your account being no longer able to accept payments temporarily.

Managing multiple custom payment gateways is going to be quite a hassle in itself.

All of these issues are going to lead to lost conversions and a loss in revenue. In addition, payment management may turn out to be an entire job too.

All said and done, I’m in no way trying to scare you away from using a custom payment gateway. If there’s a local custom payment option that’s very popular among your customers and you have solid tech support to handle any integration issues then you can certainly add that custom payment gateway to your store.

However, if it’s not necessary and you’re neither good with code yourself nor have someone very good at it assisting you, then it may just not be worth the hassle.

Paid Member Subscriptions May be the Way to Go!

After going through all the analysis we shared above, a lot of store owners may find it pointless to take on the trouble of adding custom payment gateways to their stores. If you’re one of them, know that Paid Member Subscriptions can build a solid payment infrastructure for your store, especially if you’re dealing with subscription or membership payments.

However, even if you’re going to add a WooCommerce custom payment gateway, Paid Member Subscriptions might still be useful. You see, you will likely still need to offer PayPal (if not both PayPal and Stripe) as a payment option to your customers. After all, it’s one of the most popular payment platforms and would handle credit card payments for you. So either way, you must consider purchasing the Paid Member Subscriptions Pro.

It will not only make payment management a breeze for you, but also take care of a lot of other things related to payment and user management. So give it a try today and it will allow you to focus more on the areas of your business that matter the most and bring in the dollars!

Paid Member Subscriptions Pro

Accept (recurring) payments, create subscription plans and restrict content on your website. Easily setup a WordPress membership site using Paid Member Subscriptions.

Get Paid Member Subscriptions

Do you have any more questions on WooCommerce custom payment gateways? Ask them in the comments below!

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