Shopify Payment Gateways & Merchant Accounts

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Unlocking Shopify’s Potential

Shopify is more than just a website platform; it’s a comprehensive e-commerce solution that encompasses web hosting, Shopify Payments Gateways, and Merchant Accounts. Whether you’re a retail business in the UK or operating globally, Shopify provides an end-to-end umbrella-shaped solution.

Expanding Beyond Retail

Initially catering to retail merchants, Shopify expanded its reach by introducing a Point of Sale (POS) system tailored for customer-facing businesses. This move extended its influence into the hospitality sector, making Shopify’s EPOS a cost-effective choice for start-ups and SMEs.

Demystifying Payment Gateways

Before delving into customer payments, understanding payment gateways is crucial. These gateways, like the one provided by Shopify, encrypt customer card details, ensuring secure transactions. Shopify’s payment gateway integrates seamlessly with approved merchant accounts, streamlining the entire process.


Benefits of Shopify’s Payment Gateway

Choosing Shopify comes with perks:


A 14-day free trial

24/7 customer support

Valuable advice through the Shopify Blog

Diverse sales channels and enterprise plans


Do You Need a Merchant Account?

While Shopify offers a merchant account and payment gateway, you’re not bound to use them exclusively. You can opt for your own or a third-party payment processor. However, integration with the Shopify platform is crucial for effective payment processing.


Navigating Payment Gateway Choices

Choosing the right payment gateway is essential for minimising overheads. Shopify’s gateway suits smaller retail businesses considered lower risk in card payments. However, as businesses evolve, alternatives might be explored, either by switching platforms or integrating third-party payment providers compatible with Shopify.


Navigating High-Risk Terrain


Shopify stores generally don’t support high-risk merchant accounts, making it challenging for businesses in industries like Vape, CBD, Travel, Gaming, or High-Ticket Sales. Understanding the criteria set by payment processors is crucial, and Merchant Advice Service can help navigate these complexities.


Understanding High-Risk Costs


For high-risk industries, both banks and gateways may increase costs, often necessitating a rolling reserve on the account. Shopify, too, charges a fee for using third-party payment processors.


The Quest for Alternatives


High-risk businesses seeking alternatives to Shopify’s payment gateway face challenges. Integration with the platform and connected merchant accounts becomes crucial. Understanding the costs involved, including Shopify’s fees for using alternative gateways, is paramount.


Combatting Chargebacks


Chargebacks pose challenges for online businesses, including those on Shopify. Some fintech gateways can work with Shopify, managing chargebacks effectively and limiting rolling reserves, offering an alternative with added service benefits.

Empowering Businesses with Alternatives

Business growth or high turnover might prompt businesses to explore alternative merchant accounts to optimise costs. Shopify-approved gateways can be used with alternative merchant accounts, providing flexibility based on business needs.


Navigating the Challenges of Shopify Termination: Consequences and Considerations

Facing termination by Shopify can be a challenging experience for businesses relying on the platform for their e-commerce operations. Shopify typically terminates merchants for violating its terms of service, and this could be due to reasons such as engaging in high-risk activities, violating Shopify’s acceptable use policy, or consistently failing to meet compliance standards. The termination process can have significant consequences, including the immediate suspension of the merchant’s storefront and the potential loss of customer trust. It underscores the importance of carefully adhering to Shopify’s guidelines and policies to maintain a healthy and sustainable e-commerce presence on the platform. In such situations, seeking guidance from e-commerce experts or consulting with Merchant Advice Service can be beneficial in navigating the aftermath and exploring alternative solutions for the business’s online presence.



Commonly Asked Questions
How do I choose the right payment gateway for my Shopify store?
Selecting the right payment gateway for your Shopify store is crucial for smooth transactions. Consider factors like transaction fees, security features, and compatibility with your business model.
Can I use my own payment processor with Shopify?
Yes, Shopify allows you to use your own or a third-party payment processor. Ensure seamless integration with the Shopify platform for effective payment processing.
What industries does Shopify consider high-risk, and how does it affect my business?
Industries such as Vape, CBD, Travel, and Gaming/Gambling are often considered high-risk by Shopify. Understanding the impact on your business and exploring alternatives is essential for those in such sectors.
How can I prevent chargebacks on my Shopify store?
Chargebacks can be a concern for online businesses. Implementing measures such as transparent product descriptions, excellent customer service, and effective dispute resolution can help minimise chargebacks.
Are there alternatives to Shopify’s payment gateway for high-risk businesses?
For high-risk industries not supported by Shopify, exploring alternative payment gateways with connected merchant accounts becomes crucial. Consider the costs and benefits of such alternatives.
Can Merchant Advice Service help me find the best payment gateway for my business?
Absolutely! Merchant Advice Service offers free, unbiased advice to help businesses navigate the complex landscape of payment processing. Our experts can assist in finding the best payment gateway tailored to your business needs.
What happens if I exceed Shopify’s sales limits on my plan?
If you surpass the sales limits of your Shopify plan, you may be automatically upgraded to a higher plan. It’s essential to regularly review your plan to accommodate your growing business.
How do I migrate away from Shopify if it no longer suits my business needs?
If your business outgrows Shopify or your needs change, consider alternatives. This might involve a complete platform and website redesign or keeping the Shopify platform and integrating with the best third-party payment providers. Evaluate all options based on your unique business requirements.

Merchant Advice Service – Your Guide in the Payment Landscape

Merchant Advice Service offers unbiased, free advice to help businesses navigate the complexities of payment processing. Whether you’re committed to Shopify or exploring alternatives, our experts provide the tools needed to make informed decisions.


How We Can Help You


Merchant Advice Service is dedicated to helping you understand your business’s card payment and banking needs. Reach out to our experts today to discuss your Shopify site and discover how we can assist you.


For more advice like this, visit our blog page


Shopify has evolved into a vital tool for businesses, particularly in the realm of e-commerce. It’s not just a website builder but a robust platform supporting various payment methods. Its integration with Shopify Payment Gateways and Merchant Accounts offers a holistic solution for business owners looking to expand their customer base online.


For businesses operating in various sectors, Shopify ensures the safe handling of products and services transactions. Its flexibility in accommodating different payment methods helps businesses adapt to the evolving preferences of potential customers, including the rise in mobile payments.


Understanding and navigating the financial landscape of e-commerce is crucial for long-term success. Shopify’s user-friendly platform simplifies this process. Allowing business owners to focus more on growing their business and less on the complexities of online transactions.


Merchant Advice Service complements Shopify’s offerings by providing expert guidance tailored to each type of business. Whether it’s a startup or an established enterprise, their advice can be pivotal in optimising your e-commerce strategy. Particularly in selecting the most suitable payment gateway that aligns with your business needs and bottom line.

Need help choosing the right merchant account?

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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