The Problem with Shopify Payments


Popular eCommerce platform Shopify recently launched its brand new joint payment processing service with Stripe dubbed Shopify Payments. The built-in payment processing service allows merchants to begin to accept credit card payments in a very short amount of time, typically 1-2 business days. For vendors using the service, Shopify will waive their shopping cart transaction fees automatically.

The venture may be attractive to merchants who fall into the low to medium risk payments category, but for merchants in high risk industries like vape/eCig, nutraceuticals, subscription boxes, or a plethora of other businesses that are prohibited, they will find new fees hoisted upon them with the launch of the service. Since Shopify Payments is supported by payment processing giant Stripe, they will not approve a high risk merchant to accept credit card payments due to the inherent high rates of credit card chargebacks.

Additional Fees for High Risk Merchants

Since Shopify is pushing its service on to every merchant that uses its platform, high risk businesses will be saddled with higher transaction fees because they will be forced into using an external payment gateway to process credit card payments. The transaction fees charged depend on a vender’s Shopify subscription plan that range from 0.5 – 2.0% of credit card sales.

For a business with a high volume of sales, the fees associated with using the Shopify platform will put a dent in gross profits. If you own a business that is considered high risk, below are a few alternative eCommerce platform options that will not level extraneous fees if you need to use an external payment gateway.


Bigcommerce offers really wonderful e-commerce store management features (such as product management, order fulfilment, online payments, vouchers, analytics, etc.), good-looking designs, and countless customization features.

They are priced by a tiered subscription model giving merchants the option to expand if needed. Their lowest tier allows for unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth. Its store builder is extremely user-friendly that merchants with low tech savvy can manage with no problem. If problems do arise, they provide 24/7 tech support through live chat, phone, or email support.

Bigcommerce does not force you to use one particular payment processor and will not penalize users if they one choose payment provider over the other. For merchants looking to migrate from the Shopify platform, Bigcommerce would be a very welcoming alternative.


WooCommerce is WordPress’ eCommerce plugin of choice. The lowest tier of the plugin is completely free and the additional extensions are moderately priced. The plugin is very easy to manage and update and due to its popularity, there are tons of additional external resources published around the web to help users if issues are encountered.

WooCommerce comes with a PayPal integration already in the box but allows for additional payment gateways to be added as extensions. For high risk merchants with WordPress sites, WooCommerce would be an ideal solution.


3dcart is a powerful and feature-rich platform that allows users to build and launch an eCommerce store independently

They support more than 23,000 stores working worldwide, and provide users access to every eCommerce feature needed. 3dcart is a hosted option, meaning users don’t have to install any software or look after any server-related issues.

Additionally, 3Dcart will allow for every payment imaginable. For high risk merchants who desire independence from an eCommerce platform’s terms of service, 3Dcart may provide a refuge.


Magento is an all-in-one solution for e-commerce, offering a slew of attributes with basically nothing missing from this platform. That being said, it’s a fairly advanced piece of software technology. It is going to be almost impossible to use it in case you don’t have web development experience or don’t employ anyone who does.

The platform has multiple payment gateway options and is quite scalable. This would be a good alternative for a high risk business that has a team of web developers on staff.