WooCommerce Payments Allows Shop Owners to Manage Payments Without Leaving WordPress Admin

WooCommerce Payments decorative image with a laptop accepting a credit card.

Automattic-owned eCommerce platform WooCommerce launched its new WooCommerce Payments feature today. The company seeks to make it easier for plugin users to manage the entirety of their shop from a single location. For users based in the U.S. with WordPress.com-connected accounts, they can begin managing payments directly from their WordPress admin.

WooCommerce Payments is available as a free download via the WordPress plugin directory. Any costs associated with the plugin are on a per-transaction basis. Fees start at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for cards issued in the U.S. An additional 1% fee is tacked on for cards outside the U.S.

Under the hood, payments are handled through Stripe Express. The WooCommerce team developed the front-end so that it would match the look and feel of WooCommerce, making it function like a native part of the plugin. Stripe handles the processing from the backend.

The team began work on the system in 2019 and launched an invitational beta in late February 2020. Since then, it has seen over 1,000 accounts connect to WooCommerce Payments.

“New users have been able to add it to their stores in onboarding,” said Paul Maiorana, General Manager of WooCommerce. “Current customers have heard about it through either our newsletter or virtual community meetups. Through this period, we’ve learned what store owners like about WooCommerce Payments — managing their store and payments in one place; intuitive dashboard views; ‘flow’ and ‘ease.’ We’ve also heard their questions, which are mostly related to features we’ve got planned and are working hard to make available as soon as possible.”

WooCommerce Payments creates an integrated payments dashboard in the WordPress admin. It allows shop owners to manage charges, deposits, refunds, and disputes without leaving their store. By not having to toggle between the store and third-party payment processors, administrators should be able to enjoy a more seamless experience.

The following are some screenshots from a demo install of the WooCommerce Payments plugin:

On the customer end, the experience should also be more convenient for shoppers. Instead of being redirected to a processor like PayPal, customers can make payments directly on the site. This may also help curb cart abandonment, which can often happen when shoppers are redirected.

“Now that we’re announcing general availability in the U.S. and putting focused marketing effort behind it, we’re hoping to draw more store owners to join us on the journey,” said Maiorana.

New account holders will need to wait for seven business days before receiving their first deposit from sales. Afterward, the payments system will bundle daily revenue into a single deposit and automatically transfer it to the users’ bank accounts. This also cuts out the process of logging into an account with a payment processor to manually deposit earnings.

On the Roadmap

Currently, WooCommerce Payments is only available to U.S.-based shops. However, the team expects to begin rolling out support for more countries and local payment methods in 2020.

“We’re launching in the U.S. to start to manage scope, but WooCommerce is a global platform and global support for WooCommerce Payments is a priority for us,” said Maiorana. “Payments is obviously a complex and highly-regulated space. We have a three-year roadmap for WooCommerce Payments that includes feature and geographical expansion. Our legal and business teams are investing the appropriate time and resources to lay a strong foundation for future growth.”

Upcoming releases of the WooCommerce Payments plugin are slated to receive support for subscriptions, saved cards, wallets, and instant deposits.

The WooCommerce team also has no plans of stopping with online sales. It is already taking some steps toward moving into the physical world. “WooCommerce’s mission is to democratize commerce — not only eCommerce — so yes, we’re thinking a lot about how to bring this great payment experience offline to point-of-sale devices too,” said Maiorana.

It would be interesting to see small store owners with physical locations — from a fruit stand to a collectibles shop to a mom-and-pop restaurant — be able to manage payments from a central location, all backed with WooCommerce and the WordPress platform.

The new system does not currently support CBD merchants. WooCommerce has a partnership with Square, and shop owners who are selling CBD-derived products can still use that particular payment processor for the time being. This is likely tied to Stripe’s policies on restricted businesses.


22 responses to “WooCommerce Payments Allows Shop Owners to Manage Payments Without Leaving WordPress Admin”

      • Hi Matt,

        While I have you there, when will WooCommerce go to the block editor? I don’t mean in terms of blocks for front end layout, more in terms of UI for the WooCommerce data entry.

        I have a rudimentary plugin that removes the block editor parts on custom post types. It just leaves custom field metaboxes that one might create when using ACF and Toolset. Good for where you might be restricting a user to data entry where the front end is catered for by template made elsewhere with blocks.

        The reason I like this set up a lot more now rather than the classic UI is the fact that the block editor UI saves and updates asynchronously. This saves a lot of time where the older classic UI has to reload for these actions to take place (3.8Mb bandwidth where I work).

        I appreciate that converting the WooCommerce UI is probably not a trivial task for developers.

    • Developers of payment gateways are remunerated by the payment providers/collectors on a revenue share basis, in this case, it’s Stripe.

      But those agreements are usually time bound (at about two years). However, with this new “private label” payment gateway, WooCommerce/Automattic has a stronger position in negociations for a longer time period or even an unlimited one. The reason being they could try to switch their payment collector if they don’t get the period length they would like.

  1. While the feature itself looks good minus the Jetpack requirement, I don’t understand why all of WooCommerce’s menu items aren’t all placed under the WooCommerce menu item?

    The addition of the standalone analytics menu item was bad enough, but Payments is just ridiculous. If a Not-for-profit is using WordPress for example, they are more than likely going to be collecting payments through a forms plugin and a donation plugin in addition to Woocommerce. The expectation of a user is going to be that Payments is an all-inclusive payment area for their site. Already seeing a similar thing with people being frustrated with the Analytics menu link.

  2. Hi Callum, thanks for the feedback. The Woo design team are reviewing the WooCommerce navigation to look for ways to fit everything it takes to manage a successful store within WordPress.

    To give some idea of the scope of the challenge, the team just stated usability testing on their 3rd iteration since February.

    I don’t understand why all of WooCommerce’s menu items aren’t all placed under the WooCommerce menu item?

    The key reason WooCommerce Payments has its own top level menu right now is because it has sub-menu items for screens a store owner will visit regularly (potentially many times per day for active stores).

    With the current design, a store owner can get to their deposits, disputes and other transactions in a single click. If we were to add Payments as a submenu on WooCommerce and hide those pages behind tabs, we’d require store owners to make extra clicks to get to those pages. We’d also make it harder to discover those pages for new merchants.

    When putting WooCommerce up against pure eCommerce competitors, like Shopify, this would make WooCommerce, and by extension WordPress, the sub-par experience for eCommerce. Something we need to avoid.

    If a Not-for-profit is using WordPress for example, they are more than likely going to be collecting payments through a forms plugin and a donation plugin in addition to Woocommerce.

    It seems like the core issue in that scenario is two independent eCommerce systems being used on a single site. The WooCommerce top level menu item is a symptom of that and there would be others, potentially worse, like if the merchant needs to have PayPal Standard sending two IPNs back to the same site with different payloads which can conflict.

    While it’s inevitable in an open ecosystem that this can happen, the ideal situation for site owners is to have one system that serves their needs. IMO that’s what we should all be working towards, whether we are working on WooCommerce, a forms plugin, or a donation plugin, because the impact of plugins conflicting usual ends up in reputation damage to WordPress itself.

    • I think the main point was that WooCommerce is often an add-on to an existing site that handles many aspects beyond eCommerce.

      A sub-menu item does cause more clicks potentially for eCommerce tasks. Using a dashboard or tabbed interface is in my opinion a great solution, because I believe that too many menu items cause confusion. If you take for example a blog, portfolio, business, or non-profit site they all may have eCommerce but also many other functions for their site. Having made many destination resort sites that handle everything you can imaging the best solutions were fewer menu links where possible to funnel users, and then provide options.

      For this reason, I also have to agree with Callum and his original assertion that a single main menu item is more appropriate.

      Further, that on existing installs I have to use the following filters to hide overhanded implementation on the main menu is telling.

       * Remove WooCommerce Admin Notices
      add_filter( 'woocommerce_helper_suppress_admin_notices', '__return_true' );
       * Disable the WooCommerce Marketing Hub Menu
      add_filter( 'woocommerce_marketing_menu_items', '__return_empty_array' );
      //add_filter( 'woocommerce_admin_disabled', '__return_true' );
  3. Presumably this plugin is largely based around the Stripe API (even if not calling it directly). It might be nice for someone to fork it, strip out the woocommerce.com stuff, and make it work directly with the existing WooCommerce/Stripe extension. As the article says, managing your payment inside your dashboard is nicer than switching between multiple dashboards.

    Taking that thought further, it would have been better for the ecosystem generally if the plugin was split, so that the dashboard/interface bits were available for all payment gateways, and the woocommerce.com-linked bits separate. It’d be nice to have something that all payment gateways could hook into. Even for people using the woocommerce.com gateway may have other gateways on their site for payment methods that Stripe don’t handle (e.g. PayPal).

    • I don’t know enough about cryptocurrencies to know whether it’s worth it. However, is the user base wide enough for it to be a default part of the plugin rather than as an add-on payment gateway like it is now? What percentage of users are going to pay with Bitcoin, for example, in comparison to a standard debit/credit card?

      • So here in Argentina, our national fiat currency has collapsed due to hyper inflation. Lot of vendors accepting the USD and bitcoin payments. Entire society is going through a sea of change.

        We really do not want to transition to another fiat currency which the government prints and supplies their relatives who use it to purchase prime properties devaluing the currency for everyone. If WordPress can adopt BTC and help spread usage that would be great.


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