WePay: A Payment Portal That Is On Your Side
If you don’t have an issue with PayPal, you probably have never used it. When you don’t have enough revenue, they won’t let you use some features. When you have too much revenue, they will freeze your account for suspicious behavior. Their developer’s sandbox is unnecessarily complicated and their rates are not especially cheap. PayPal stinks. Increasingly, though, you can do better: Stripe and Dwolla come particularly well recommended as payment processors for their ease of use and installation. There is another payment processor, though, that I have had my eye on for a shortwhile: WePay.
WePay positions itself as the payments processing solutions provider for the ordinary joe. Their pitch:
WePay takes the hassle out of collecting payments online. Start accepting payments in under a minute; no merchant account, website, or programming required.
Whereas Stripe and Dwolla are looking to hone in on the credit card processing and cash transfer functions, respectively, of PayPal, WePay is really looking to emulate and improve upon the ubiquity and ease of PayPal buttons. To supplant PayPal, WePay is focusing on three aspects of their business:
Easy Does It
First, you have to create an account with WePay. You can either register with your name, email, phone number, and password or you can just sign in with your existing Facebook account. You will then be asked to create either a Personal, Business, or Non-Profit account. Don’t worry about which one you go with; you can create as many accounts as you would like. And like that, you are ready to set up one (or more) of the tools:
- Invoice: Send a bill to existing customers
- Events: Sell tickets to events
- Stores: Display products, accept orders, and track inventory
- Donations: Solicit and accept donations
All transactions occur on WePay’s site, so you can link to your sales page for the Events, Stores, and Donations tools through purely social means (email and social networking, for example) or through widgets (they create them for you) that can be placed in your website. For the invoicing function, you only need an email address for the intended recipient to begin billing customers and clients. I won’t take up much space here explaining the ins and outs of each tool, but will instead be addressing each of them in more detail in future columns and will also link to some handy demos at the end of the post.
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Once you have created an account with WePay, you can begin integrating their service with your WordPress site. Although WePay itself does not directly provide any WordPress plugin, you might want to use this one that helps you to create WePay buttons from inside of your WordPress-based site. First, upload and activate the plugin. After installation, there will be three new fields that appear in your Admin menu: WePay Manager (divided into WePay Manager, confusingly, and WePay Settings subpages), Wepay.com (just sends you back to the site), and Wepay Tutorials.
Get your API credentials from WePay (the steps to do so are outlined in this tutorial) and enter them in the WePay Manager‘s WePay Settings subpage. You can create either staging or production account API credentials based on whether you are simply looking to test the service on your site or are ready for live production.
Now you can create your first button from inside your WordPress site. The WePay plugin works through a shortcode, with the below parameters accepted:
“text” = “Buy Now”
“type” = “GOODS” (the other options are SERVICE, DONATION, and PERSONAL)
“amount” = “1.00”
“feepayer” = “Payee” (or “Payer” are your only options: this is for who will pay the fees on the transaction)
“sdesc” = “Short Description”
“email_mess” = “Thank you for your payment.”
“tax” = “0” (0 = false and 1 = True, taxes have to be setup in your account on wepay.com)
“css” = “buttoncss “
Simply enter the shortcode in your post or page to display a donation button (or one of the other types).
If you would like to try it out for yourself, you can fill out the form here to request a demo. For more info, demonstrations, and tutorials, check out their videos at both their official Vimeo channel and unofficial Vimeo channel. This demo for their Donations tool gives you a pretty good of how the service works in practice: