Just like other cardinal sales channels, Shopify’s prevalence in the ecommerce retail sector can’t go unnoticed. If you catch sight of things at first hand, you must have realized that we do have lots of Shopify inclined posts. This includes a thoroughly researched review of Shopify's functionalities where you can find out what makes it one of the best ecommerce platforms. So what if I told you that, with Shopify Payments, you don’t need to hang on to 3rd party gateways anymore?
Or at least, if you must, this solution will still serve as a better alternative if you run a store on Shopify.
This e-commerce sales channel has quite strikingly, stepped up a notch higher in the market via its integrated payment solution. This is a pretty facile gateway that gives Shopify merchants, no matter their scalability index, the ease of doing business online.
As of now, the Shopify Payments platform is readily accessible to store owners based in the United States, UK, and in its very own camp base, Canada. What makes Shopify Payments stand against all odds is its capacity to accept credit card transactions from customers who visit your online store.
If they're frequent visitors, things are even more bounteous since this system securely stores all their requisite payment credentials. This article is keen enough to capture the basics and how this solution goes about its business to serve as the most ideal alternative for accepting payments.
So let’s get the dice rolling.
Just before you start though, you might want to take a look at our Shopify reviews and Shopify Pricing guide.
Shopify Payments Fees: Shopify Plans
To put everything into context, you need to be privy to the fact that Shopify accounts for all the costs to be incurred by the merchant in two distinctive models. First off, a retailer can opt to go with the monthly subscription fee.
Going by what’s on paper, Shopify's monthly plans start from $9 to $299. It goes without saying that as the costs go higher, so are the perks that each plan comes with. Alongside that, Shopify charges a transaction fee per sale.
Just to clear the air, it’s sort of confusingly similar to what other credit card processors charge but in actual sense, it’s not. The truth of the matter is, Shopify takes out its own share for each transaction that occurs on your online store. This amount varies on the basic ground of which plan you choose to pay for. So how is each plan is distinct from the other?
Let’s have a comparative overview.
Shopify Starter Plan
Technically, this is the lowest-priced among all other plans. Unfortunately, you don’t get to enjoy the benefit of running an online store.
- Pricing – $5 per month
- Shopify Payments fees – 2.9%+ 30¢ per online sale transaction & 2.7% for in-person.
So what are the features?
At the moment, the Shopify Starter plan allows the merchant to share and sell on mainstream social platforms like Facebook. The shop section allows all potential customers to view and buy items from your Facebook page, in the click of a “buy” button.
As a means to engage with customers in a conversational manner, this plan comes with a valuable Chat and Email support System. As far as handling payments is concerned, this plan allows you to accept credit cards from any corner of the world.
All you need to do is download its point of sale app which is easily compatible with both iOS and Android apps.
Basic Shopify Plan
Most merchants go for this plan during their initial phase of kick-starting an online business. And the grounds are so facile. So let’s have a snippet of what makes the Basic Shopify plan a choice for many newbies.
- Pricing – $29 per month
- Shopify Payments fees – 2.9%+ 30¢ per online sale & 2.7% for in-person
As the name suggests, Basic Shopify is an action-packed plan with all the basics that a merchant needs to get their store up and running.
Key among them include:
- Access to an ecommerce website which includes a blog section
- The merchant gets to upload an unlimited number of products
- You can have up to 2 staff accounts
- 24/7 support
- It integrates with other sales channels; the likes of Facebook and Instagram
- The user can manually create and fulfill orders
- Automatically generate discount codes for your loyal and returning customers
- An absolutely free SSL certificate
- Helps out with abandoned cart issues
This plan has all the features mentioned above. So here’s a quick breakdown of the damages and extras that set it a couple of inches taller than the Basic Shopify Plan:
- Pricing- $79 per month
- Shopify Payments fees-2.6% +30¢ for online & 2.5% for in-person transactions
These are the additional perks;
- It has an option to create stunning gift cards
- Capacity to generate businesslike reports.
- You can create up to 5 staff accounts for administrative purposes.
Advanced Shopify Plan
This particular package has the functionality to scale your business to the next level.
- Pricing- $ 299 per month
- Shopify Payments fees – 2.4% + 30¢ for online transactions and 2.4% for in-person
Have a look at the Advanced plan’s extras;
- It has a more advanced reporting tool
- Comes with a rates calculator for third-party shipping services
Otherwise known as the Enterprise plan, I'd term this package as the most elite solution for a merchant whose business has a massive sales volume.
In other words, if, let’s say, your business setup is generating over a million bucks worth of revenue in a single year, the Shopify Plus solution would serve your needs better, to say the least.
For that reason, you need to contact Shopify’s support team for a custom quote. The monthly fee here depends on what exactly you need your store to include. For instance, you might incur additional expenses depending on the kind of extensions that you need your online store to have.
Please check out our complete review on the Shopify Plus to get appraised on all of its essentials.
Who Can Access Shopify Pay?
Besides merchants residing in the UK, US, and Canada, Shopify Payments can be widely accessed in these countries:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
What is Shopify Payments?
In the same fashion as other payment gateways, Shopify Payments is a processing solution that you can use in your store, to securely handle transactions. By that, I mean credit and debit card payments from customers who make a purchase for goods and services from your online store.
Speaking of online stores, you’ll certainly need to work with a Shopify monthly plan of your choice. In an extensive manner, this e-commerce sales channel gives merchants the flexibility to work with a subscription model that fits their pockets.
Technically, you need to sign up for a plan before you utilize what the Shopify Payments solution has to offer. As you may know, Shopify markets itself as a far-reaching SaaS solution. In this regard, it technically means that you must first, pick a plan that suits your business needs and make payment for the subscription.
So why does the Shopify Payments gateway garner quite apparent and stunning popularity?
Here’s an executive breakdown:
- A merchant can transfer all payouts to their bank account
- Shopify Payments accepts credit card transactions
- You can access all payouts via your Shopify store’s dashboard
- It’s strictly, a PCI compliant method. Therefore, it doesn't expose any banking related information.
- It handles chargebacks in a smooth sailing manner
Shopify Pay: Pros 👍
With the steady dominance of Shopify payments, you must be alive to the fact that there are a couple of benefits to bank on.
Let’s have a look at those which we can all relate to:
- No Additional Transaction Fees
- Notwithstanding the fact that Shopify charges a processing fee in the same manner as other payment gateways, it set itself apart from its competitors by not demanding any extra costs. So if you decide to try Shopify payments out, be rest assured that all transactions are not subject to the 0.5- 2% extra charges.
- Real-time monitoring
- So long as you have an active Shopify merchant account in place, you can track down all the transactions as well as the profit margins. Well, you can do the same on other gateways but the convenience which Shopify brings certainly optimizes your performance quite exceedingly. With PayPal, you must first sign in to its official page so as to get a glimpse of all the payment transactions.
- Seamless Integrations
- Owing to the basic fact that you have an online store that is up and running, syncing it to Shopify Payments should be a no brainer. You can manage all actions via the admin dashboard.
- High-security measures
- It has a strategy that deters any possible fraudulent activities from both ends. First off, there’s an efficient chargeback process that creates a sound atmosphere of doing business by resolving claims in the most amicable way. On the retailer's side, Shopify steps in with sharp tools that flag high-risk orders. An app such as Fraudblock can also help you out with your store’s security needs.
- Quicker checkout process
- Since all transactions happen from a single entry point, Shopify Payments gateway allows you to optimize your conversions and consequently, reduce the bounce rates. In addition, Shopify lets the retailer
- Lower processing fees
- I had to let the numbers talk. Shopify Payments‘ transaction rates are outstandingly lower than most payment gateways. If you’re using the Advanced plan, for example, the rates are even lower than those of the Basic plan.
Shopify Pay: Cons 👎
- Tough chargeback rules
- In the e-commerce business structure, this feels like the worst nightmare that could ever happen to an online retailer. It turns out that this is one sickening part of doing business which is hard to avoid for almost every online merchant; at least if you manage credit card payments. But the dealbreaker is that Shopify slaps its users with hefty and punitive measures.
- To worsen it all, you risk the chances of having your online retail store shut down completely. The chargeback fees are also kind of impractical considering the fact that there are possible fraudulent chargeback claims from unscrupulous customers.
- Shopify might temporarily withhold your funds.
- That duration is sometimes longer than you'd normally expect. The terms and services that Shopify payments impose on its users are strangely inclined to justify all its future actions. And that includes freezing your funds for quite a number of reasons.
- The most obvious ones being that there are pending claims that need to be resolved or on grounds that you're selling prohibited products that might lead to ‘high-risk' transactions. To deeply analyze both sides of the coin, it's sensible to first have comprehensive scrutiny at the Shopify payments' terms of service.
- What scares most retailers is the fact that Shopify reserves the right to terminate an account without any prior notice.
How Does Shopify Payments Work?
If you've done some tests on Shopify payments you must have noticed that this gateway does all its operations in real-time. The merchant account comes equipped with a conclusive and broad-gauge dashboard. This means you won't have to source for 3rd party services in a bid to monitor your transactions.
This tool allows a merchant to track down each penny in real-time. Unlike PayPal where you have to log in to view all transactions, Shopify tends to divert from this conventional method.
Shopify’s dashboard, to be precise, gives you the autonomy to view all the payouts. The transactions history is well analyzed in a manner that allows the user to make data-driven decisions. Practically speaking, you can view all the payment options used on each transaction, respectively.
As far as notifications are concerned, Shopify keeps you in the know anytime a scheduled payout is about to mature. The dashboard indicates an estimated date when the expected amount will reflect in your bank account. The exact payday technically depends on the country which you’re operating your business from.
For a merchant based in Canada, this would roughly take about 3 working days.
That’s the same amount of time that retailers in these countries have to wait for:
- New Zealand
For those in the US, it might only take 2 business days. If it takes longer than expected, one of the common reasons would be to clarify whether the amount is enough to cover a future chargeback or refund so as to avoid any shortcomings.
How To Set Up Shopify Payments?
This is pretty simple. Assuming that you’re a merchant who’s already using the Shopify paltform as your sales channel, you only need to arm yourself with a few necessary details.
Unlike other payment gateways, this doesn’t take much of your time.
To configure all the settings, you need to follow these easy steps:
- Log in to your Shopify’s dashboard
- Go to the ‘Settings’ button and select the ‘Payment Providers’ option.
- Complete the ‘Shopify Payments setup’ process
- Key in all the required information i.e bank details, products information, and your personal data as well.
As an alternative, you can activate Shopify Payments using a different credit card payment provider. For business tax reasons, merchants with online stores in Europe need to provide a VAT( Value Added Tax) number. Once you submit it, Shopify initiates a verification process via the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) to confirm whether it actually exists.
Here's a quick disclaimer though.
As a rule of thumb, a Shopify Payments account needs to be set up, from top to bottom, within 21 business days after the first sale transaction. If this window lapses without any action being taken, all payments made to the online store owner are refunded to the buyer.
You don’t want such a detrimental and high-risk action to happen. So the sooner you complete this setup process, the better for your prospective transactions. What’s more crucial in this setup procedure is your bank account which must abide by the local banking requirements.
Let me practically illustrate.
In Australia, for example, a merchant must link their Shopify store with an account whose physical bank is within the country. The currency must also be in AUD(Australian Dollars).
The above also applies to merchants who operate in Canada. Also, they must use one which accepts ACH transactions.
Shopify Payments Multi-Currency Processing
Since Shopify is at the moment, available in a couple of countries, it definitely works with various major currencies across the board.
Shopify’s currency conversion calculator is open-handed and doesn’t come with any additional fees. That’s a huge plus if we compare it to its counterparts. With this option at hand, you can sell your products internationally and receive payments from different currencies.
So long as the customer makes the payment, this calculator auto-converts the amount to your default currency payout. The system, later on, deducts the required conversion fee.
It’s worth noting that the currency conversion tool operates on a rounding rule. So what’s the deal with this formula? Put simply, the rounding rule sums up, or rather rounds of the purchase amount to the nearest number. As easy as that.
Why Should I Choose Shopify Payments Over Its Counterparts?
The grounds are actually endless but it’s prudent to explain everything in a nutshell.
To begin with, this remarkable solution has exceedingly lower transaction fees as compared to its competitors. In fact, the transaction fee per sale is waived as you upgrade to a higher Shopify pricing plan. We'll look at the details in just a moment.
Do the math.
If you end up using a platform that waives your transaction fees, you definitely make a significant edge on your profit markups. Don’t you think?
As a merchant, it’s quite clear that you need to part with the payment gateway fees. For Shopify, the deal is, you’ll need to pay for the same instead of transaction fees that other gateways charge in order to receive the amount paid for a purchased item.
Take Square, for instance. The payment processor takes 2.75% per sales transaction. PayPal, on the other hand, charges merchant account holders between 1.9% to 2.9 plus 30 cents for each transaction.
Contrastingly, PayPal seems to have some extra charges, more particularly if you are a merchant with expectations to sell goods and services internationally. As a result, Shopify Payments ends up as a budget-friendly alternative.
Since choosing a payment platform that reduces your gateway fees will totally give a facelift your projected profit markups, it begs the dire need to have a brief look at what Shopify charges for all of its plans.
Shopify Payments Review: Fees
Shopify uses a tiered technique to calculate the fees for each transaction across all of its plans. In that sense, the processing fee lowers as you upgrade to a higher plan. That's all courtesy of the Shopify-Stripe partnership program. For fraud prevention reasons, each plan comes with a routine fraud analysis as an extra service.
This also helps the retailer avoid any form of banking fraud by unscrupulous customers who report false chargeback claims.
So let's see how each plan compares to the other:
Shopify Basic Plan
- Online credit card transactions in Canada- 2.9% + 30¢
- Online International/ American Express credit card rates- 3.5% + 30¢
- In-person credit card transaction fees- 2.7% + 0¢ per swipe
- Extra fees for 3rd party payment providers- 2% per sale transaction
- Online Canadian credit card transactions- 2.7% + 30¢
- Online International/ American Express credit card rates-3.4% + 30¢
- In-person credit card transaction fees- 2.6% + 0¢ per swipe
- Additional fees for 3rd party payment gateways- 1% per sale transaction
Shopify Advanced Plan
- Online Canadian credit card transaction fee- 2.4% + 30¢
- Online International/ Amex credit card rates- 3.3% + 30¢
- In-person credit card transaction fees-2.4% + 0¢ per swipe
- Extra fees for payment gateways other than Shopify payments- 0.5%
Shopify's Recurring Payments
If let's say you run an online subscription business where customers repeatedly pay for your services, you certainly understand how recurring payments structure works. Surprisingly, it's easy to manage such payments on the Shopify sales model. The same goes for recurring orders. With this payments formula, customers can sign in their accounts and manage their billing information at a glance.
Thankfully, there are apps on Shopify's marketplace that allow the retailer to manage subscription-based transactions. These plugins seamlessly integrate with your online store.
So let's have a brief overview of the high-ranking ones:
ReCharge Payments app
ReCharge is a subscription management app that outstandingly does your recurring billing tasks to the scale you want your ecommerce website to reach. With this at hand, you can handle repeat orders in just minutes. It stores your customers' orders information for future reference when they make the next purchase.
The standard plan for the ReCharge app goes for $39.99 per month. Also, there's a fee of 1% + 5¢ per recurring transaction. There's also an advanced plan, otherwise known as ReCharge Pro which is ideal for merchants who manage over $100,000 worth of recurring bills.
It's pricing is designed to scale your online business. So you'd have to contact the support team to get a custom quote.
To keep off any possible chargebacks, you can push notifications to your subscribers by updating them with estimated delivery dates. If customers get the products on a recurring basis, ReCharge helps you boost the engagement capacity by allowing you to offer discounts.
Bold Subscriptions app
Bold is a pretty similar alternative to the above recurring payments app. The pleasing part about this Bold is that it gives new users a 60 days free trial period. Once this window expires, the amount you'll have to part with each month starts from $29.99 per month. Same as ReCharge, Bold connects to your Shopify store in just a few clicks.
Since it's enterprise-oriented, this plugin is suitable for merchants who do recurring billing with either Shopify Plus and Enterprise plans, correspondingly. By integrating this app with your ecommerce website, a customer can add a new subscription to the already existing ones. Also, you can embed a subscription ‘BUY' button to on your campaigns or the store's blog pages.
Selling in-person with Shopify Payments
Shopify has a mobile point of sale (POS) app that runs on both iOS and Android. It allows you to make in-person transactions while selling your products and services to customers. Since it's a mobile-friendly app, this makes it feasible to sell items on outdoor trade fairs, pop-up shops, and markets.
So how do I manage my orders?
The POS perfectly integrates with your Shopify's online store. For that reason, you can use the POS's dashboard to view all orders and auto-update your inventory in real-time. If you upgrade to the ‘Shopify Plan‘ or higher, you get to bank on more retail features. At the moment, Shopify has it's own mobile card reader, popularly nicknamed as ‘audio jack' which retails at $9.
Once you enable Shopify Pay on your store, you can use this device to securely swipe credit cards from customers.
While making adjustments to the shopping cart options, you need to identify the device that suits your needs. An iPad, for instance, allows you to see the product details, add a shipping cost and address on each order. If you're using an iPhone or an Android device, you can't set up these options.
Selling in-person with Shopify payments allows the retailer to do a couple more extras to enhance a customer's shopping experience.
As far as purchases are concerned, selling in-person makes it practical whenever you want to:
- Issue discount codes to your customers
- Include taxes during checkout
- Create a customer account before checkout
- Accept different payment methods from one order
- Allow gift card payments
- Customize unconventional payment methods on your store's shopping cart
- Refund orders
In order to build the customers' trust, you can add Amazon Pay as an alternative payment method. Most shoppers view this channel as one of the most viable and secure ways to pay for goods which they wish to purchase online.
To speed up your store's conversions, you can allow a customer to pay for products using their Amazon's account. This solution is compatible with Shopify stores that sell in USD, GBP, EUR, and JPY currencies.
Shopify Payments Chargebacks Processing
The payment gateway makes this process so facile and unexacting. Chargebacks are always a pain in the neck. Most merchants will agree with me. They’re sort of inevitable while carrying out an online business. At least, owing to the fact that you need to handle credit card transactions.
If you’re unfamiliar with this process, here’s what it’s all about;
A chargeback occurs after the customer successfully supports their dispute. The claim arises when an ordered item is not received, yet paid for, it was damaged, or money was debited from their account without any authorization. The chargeback process is therefore initiated as a remedy to such happenings.
The gladdening part about Shopify Payments is that it’s dispute resolution mechanism is molded in a manner that weighs in the claims and grounds of the dispute from both parties(customer and merchant).
Meanwhile, if the claim is settled and the customer gets a refund, Shopify charges the retailer a $15 penalty for each chargeback. If that occurs concurrently, then your online store might be locked indefinitely. This includes the available funds in your sales channel account.
Shopify Pay Vs PayPal
So which one transcends over the other?
The noticeable difference between these two is, of course, the transaction fees. Going by this variance, it’s pretty clear that you’d want to go with one which saves you a few bucks.
Let’s get the facts together.
If you opt for Shopify payments, you don’t need to part with any transaction fees. Most payment processors charge anything between 0.5- 2.9%, thereabout. You only need to pay for the credit rate per ordered item. This is roughly 2.4 – 2.9 % + 30 ¢ per order. The credit card rate depends on the type of plan that your online store hangs on.
PayPal, on the other hand, is guilty of charging its customers a significant percentage. The transaction fees on this payment gateway will depend on the total sales volume you make each month.
The rate also varies from one region to another. If you’re a merchant operating your online business in the US, for instance, PayPal charges 2.9% for the US-based transactions and some few cents on top of that; which is usually fixed(less than 50 cents for that matter).
Transactions made by outside the US will attract a fee of 4.4% and a fixed rate on each sale. If you sell items using a different currency, i.e GBP, PayPal charges a shifting fee that lies anywhere between 1.9% + 20p to 3.4 + 20p per sale transaction. The fees vary due to the monthly sales volume, as mentioned earlier on.
Closely connected to that, is the fact that PayPal has some currency conversion charges. You better brace yourself for some extra costs if you’re looking to sell your items in multiple currencies.
On the bright side, if you get to handle non-profit related transactions, PayPal tends to be a little generous. You can bank on its discounts. Nevertheless, you must pay for the fixed fee. Conclusively, you’ll only part with 2.2% + 0.30 per transaction.
In terms of security, PayPal has a remarkable edge over Shopify in a constructive way. If you’ve been in the online retail game for a considerable amount of time, I don't need to explain in detail, all the facts about PayPal Buyer Protection.
For buyers, it’s the most fulfilling solution to raise chargeback or refund oriented claims. Well, that’s, however, not the best-case scenario for merchants. In most instances, the customer is always right so high chances are you might be hit with some nerve-cracking chargebacks.
If we shift the focus to the need for quickening an online store’s conversions, the odds tend to make Shopify payments have a higher probability of winning on this contest. It slows the bounce rates on its tracks in a groundbreaking way.
So here’s the deal.
Any potential customer doesn't need to leave your ecommerce website so as to complete payment for the purchase of an item. Everything gets done under one platform in the click of a few buttons. But that’s not the case with PayPal, unfortunately. Instead, it redirects the customer to its own payment page.
This slows the payment process which trickles down to slumping your projected conversion rate. Yet at the same time, PayPal has some stunning reputation in the market. It commands a high degree of trust from both merchants and customers.
That being the case, it’s needless to say that PayPal boosts the customer’s confidence in your business structure. It’s sensible to include it as a checkout option in your online store. You can as it as an extra payment method by clicking the ‘Settings’ button on your Shopify’s dashboard, then choosing the ‘payment providers’ option.
Take note that you can still use PayPal as your secondary payment gateway if most of your customers prefer it over Shopify payments. Working with a couple of trusted checkout options is a tremendous and far-reaching way to boost your sales.
Shopify Payments Vs Stripe- Here’s The Takeaway
So what’s the symbiotic relationship between these two payment platforms all about?
You might ask.
It’s fair to say that these two payment gateways are sort of intertwined. Shopify’s integration endpoint allows merchants to connect Stripe on their account. Stripe, just like PayPal, allows an online retailer to accept credit cards payments. To gain more clarity, this review has everything you need to know about Stripe.
In other words, Shopify Payments are, for the most part, processed by Stripe. If that doesn't suit your business structure, you can sign up for a different Stripe account to collect credit card payments.
Since Shopify is part of the Stripe partnership program, you don’t need to panic about PCI compliance at all. This allows you to get paid in a fast and secure manner.
As a matter of policy, Stripe restricts some businesses from handling transactions via its platform. The biggest concern or if you like, outcry revolves around drop-shipping. It's not that Stripe is totally against this business model.
What it usually does, is to take a precautionary measure against retailers who take longer than anticipated to fulfill an ordered product. In most cases, Stripe’s system flags such transactions as ‘high-risk’. If you don’t include a detailed shipping process, say, in your FAQ section, that might result in numerous chargebacks.
That aside, this payment gateway is never interested in being part of this hefty process at times. Another factor that influences Stripe’s action to distance itself from dropshipping, is the retailer’s location and the type of products one is selling on their online store. If you feel a little transgressed by this, you can contact Stripe’s support team to have the matter resolved. So what if that doesn't come to fruition? Well, you can count on other payment gateways such as Authorize.net or 2checkout.
Shopify Fees Video
Watch this video if you want to learn more about the actual Shoipify costs and find out which Shopify plan is right for you.
Shopify Payments Review: Final Say
If you're an online retailer hanging on Shopify as your ultimate sales channel, this could be the most impeccable solution that suits your daily transactions. The selling point is that it quickens your conversions by allowing all actions to take place at one point. On the flip side, you ought to weigh the ins and outs and identify whether Shopify Payments is worth taking the chances.
So if the chargeback rules sound a bit harsh, you're at liberty to check out other prevalent options. But before you even come to such a conclusion, you need to do an assessment of the nature of products that you intend to sell your Shopify store. If you believe that Shopify's system could possibly mark them as ‘high-risk', then you definitely need to keep some distance from this payment gateway.
Most of all, it's in the best practice to read the payments terms of service, over and over again. It's better to protect your interests by bracing yourself with the rules of practice. The ultimate goal of doing a background check is to really understand where the loopholes are. That way, you'll be able to cut all corners.
I'm pretty certain that no merchant wants to be hit with dreadful chargeback fees. Technically, we've seen the good, the bad, and of course, the ugly side of Shopify Payments.
But if you want a hands-on experience with processing credit card payments on your Shopify store, there's no other pleasing way to do it. Shopify Payments will definitely lead the way since it gives you the transparency that you deserve. The payment processing fees are slightly lower than those of its rivals. So that's something solid to include on your bucket list.
Connecting to a payment gateway is sometimes one of the brain-draining parts while setting up your online store. Since it's sort of an in-built gateway, be rest assured that the setup process won't take so much of your time.
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