Starting an online store with Shopify: an overview to payment gateways, payment methods and Airwallex plugins

Kirstie Lau5 minutes
Business tipsGuides
Starting an online store with Shopify: an overview to payment gateways, payment methods and Airwallex plugins
In this article

What kind of platform should you choose when starting an online store?

eCommerce sales have become a global trend in recent years. According to a statistical report from statista, eCommerce sales figures around the globe have been growing continuously in the past decade – from 1,336 billion in 2014 to 5,784 billion in 2023. It is expected to reach 8,034 billion in 2027.

Thinking of getting a piece of the cake? Choose an online shop platform that suits your needs as the first step! You can select among vast options based on your budget, your target market, and your requirements for platform features and customer service. Common online shop platforms used in Hong Kong include Shopify, Shopline and WooCommerce, etc.

Comparing Shopify and Shopline

Aside from WooCommerce, Shopify and Shopline are also popular e-commerce platforms on the market. We have compiled the following table, which would allow you to quickly understand the advantages of each platform and choose one that suits your business.

Pricing plans Basic Shopify: US$33/month
Shopify: US$92/month
Advanced Shopify: US$399/month
Shopify Plus: US$2,300/month
*You can enjoy discounts on annual subscriptions
Basic: HK$499/month
Pro: HK$1,234/month
Social Pro: HK$1,666/month
All-in-one OMO: HK$2,249/month
Supported payment methods Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, UnionPay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal,
Alipay, Meta Pay, PayMe, FPS and Shop Pay Installments, etc.
Visa, Mastercard, PayMe for Business, FPS, Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe
and bank transfers, etc. Options are available depending on the plan chosen.
Shipping carriers SF Express, Kerry Express, Lalamove, alfred24 Delivery HK, Hong Kong Post, etc. SF Express, Zeek, EF Locker, Hong Kong Post, etc. SF Express can be
integrated with SHOPLINE online stores to provide auto delivery service
Maximum product limit Unlimited 1,000 products
Plugins Over 8,000 plugins Supports Facebook Business Extension, Zotabox Third-party Plugins, etc. Fewer options as compared to Shopify
Customer service Email/ live chat service Live chat service (excluding Basic plan)
Free trial 3-day free trial 14-day free trial

What payment gateways does Shopify use?

While there are different payment gateway options available on the market, Shopify provides its own payment gateway named “Shopify Payments” for its users. After creating a shop with Shopify, if you choose Shopify Payments as your payment gateway, you can immediately accept payments from customers made with mainstream payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Shopify Payments is a convenient option and it claims to only charge small fees. It doesn’t require merchants to pay any fees to credit card service providers. However, if you target customers from around the world, you’ll need a payment system that allows your customer to pay with different methods and different currencies, meaning you may have to bear the risk of exchange rate fluctuations, hence, unpredictable foreign exchange costs, which can gradually erode your profits.

Moreover, when customers check out on your online store, they may be redirected to a separate page operated by an online payment platform to complete the transaction. Since merchants have limited control over the design of that page, it may affect your overall conversion rate and brand consistency.

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Does my online store need a payment gateway?

Payment gateways are third-party systems that connect online stores with financial institutions for transactions. They usually employ encryption protocols to encrypt sensitive payment data during transactions. Due to the sensitivity of credit card data, banks rarely authorise small-scale online stores to directly handle credit card data. Therefore, most online stores process their transactions through a payment gateway.

That’s why, after creating your online store with Shopify, you’ll have to choose your payment gateway. Click “Payments” in the “Settings” of your store’s backend and then select a third-party payment platform, such as Shopify Payments, or PayPal.

Third-party payments and fees on Shopify

Although Shopify Payments is convenient, it supports rather limited types of payment methods. If you hope to provide more localised payment methods for your customers from around the globe and allow them to pay you in their preferred methods, you can choose to use a third-party payment service provider, which can help to increase your conversion rates by reducing shopping cart abandonment. 

What types of fees are involved?

If you choose to collect payments from customers through a third-party payment service provider, you will have to pay handling fees, ranging from 0.5% to 2%, for each transaction. The sum includes the cost of Shopify connecting with the external payment service provider and varies depending on which plan you have chosen. Besides, third-party payment service providers may also charge credit card rates.

How to integrate Shopify to Airwallex’s payment gateway? 

By integrating to Airwallex Payments, you’ll get access to over 30 types of payment methods from different countries and regions, such as iDeal, Bancontact, WeChat Pay, Kakao Pay, etc. You can start selling internationally within minutes without having to learn coding or any technical knowledge.

Click here to access the installation step-by-step guide. It will teach you how to set up Airwallex as a payment method for your Shopify store.

Advantages of integrating Shopify to Airwallex

Let Airwallex be the strongest backbone for your Shopify store’s checkout process! Streamline your online store’s operations by installing plugins in just a few minutes:

  • Improve checkout experience to increase sales: Airwallex provides over 30 types of localised payment methods, such as FPS, Alipay HK, WeChat Pay, Kakao Pay, iDeal and Bancontact, for customers from around the world. It also supports “Buy Now, Pay Later” platforms such as Atome, Klarna and Afterpay. When customers check out, they won’t be redirected to a separate page, ensuring a smooth checkout experience.

  • Eliminates costly foreign exchange fees: After customers make a payment, the funds are handled with a like-to-like settlement and directly deposited into your Airwallex multi-currency account to help you avoid currency conversion fees. 

  • Security: Airwallex’s 3-Domain Secure™ (3D Secure or 3DS) provides an additional layer of security by protecting you against fraud when you accept card payments online. Airwallex also simplifies refund procedures.

Frequently asked questions

1. Is there a fee for connecting a payment gateway on Shopify?

If you choose to use a third-party payment service provider instead of Shopify’s own payment gateway “Shopify Payments”, you’ll have to pay for external integration fees, which range from 0.5% to 2%, for each transaction, depending on the plan you selected. The third-party payment service provider may also charge you credit card rates.

2. How many plugins does Shopify offer?

Shopify is known for its wide selection of plugins. It has over 8000 different plugins available.

3. How to integrate Shopify with Airwallex Payments?

It only takes simples steps to integrate Shopify with Airwallex Payments. Login to your Airwallex webapp, submit your KYB (Know Your Business) information to Airwallex through "Payments", and apply for the payment methods you’d like to enable. Determine the Airwallex Shopify app you’d like to install based on the checkout experience you’d like to offer to your shoppers. More than 30+ payment methods are offered, including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Klarna.

Open a global multi-currency account for free in Hong Kong


For more information on Airwallex, visit Airwallex Business Account and Airwallex pricing.

Information on Shopify and Shopline was retrieved, as of 20 May 2024, from below sources. Information provided is for reference only. Please refer to the official websites for the most up-to-date details.












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Kirstie Lau
Senior Associate, Growth Marketing

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