Payment Gateway Vs Shopping Cart ?

What is the difference?

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These terms payment gateway and shopping are often confused and used together very often and that is because on a lot of occasions both these pieces are used at the same time. However, they both have very different roles as part of e-commerce payment processing. 


A payment gateway can work alone on some occasions but the shopping cart does not function without the payment gateway being set up.

Shopping cart on a Desk

What is a shopping cart?

Works exactly like a shopping basket, trolley or cart when you walk into the physical shop. It is just digital, the shopping cart is an online ability to be able to add products and services in a space where it calculates the price and tells you how much your cart is worth. 

However unlike a traditional shopping cart, the online shopping cart you are able to save items in there for later and come back to them later. If you have the ability to and have set these are you are able to send out abandon cart email to give them another nudge to finalise that purchase. 

Carts come in many shapes and forms they can be 

  • WooCommerce on WordPress Website
  • Thrive Cart
  • Shopify
  • Samcart 

Or this could be a feature in a learning platform like Podia, Thikific, Kajabi or Karta

What is a Payment Gateway?

The payment gateway is the virtual point of sale that actually accepts the bank details and communicates with the bank to take the payment. This is where the payments are authorised and payment is transferred from the customer to the seller. 

They can be used on ecommerce, in apps, point of sales machines, Card machines and so much more. 

Some Payment Gateways include 

  • Stripe 
  • Paypal
  • Square
  • Braintree
  • Bankers Automated Clearing System (BACS)

One thing to know about these is there is a payment processing fee that will be taken per transaction. Depending on which on you use this will be different fees that are applied.

These are elements that link into your shopping cart to be able to take the payment. You can add one of them, but there are also options to have multiple payment gateways for people to be able to use depending on where they are and have access to. 

Most of this now have the ability to create a payment screen and create products to be able to purchase that are not connected if there are payments that needs making and you do not have 

If you are feeling lost and unsure which to choose for you we can help pick the platform for you and getting that set up. You can join the Tech It Together Membership here where we find ways for you to save time and sanity – Click Here