When ecommerce store owners are setting up their business, typically, they might think of using tried and tested payment solutions that take debit and credit card payments, such as PayPal or Stripe. However, there are loads of other options out there, including smaller players that are by no means to be discounted – particularly if you’re solopreneur or SME.
So, today, we’re reviewing one such alternative, PayPlug, a solution that's available to ecommerce store owners across Europe and the US. More specifically, we’re looking at:
- What's PayPlug?
- Who uses PayPlug?
- PayPlug products
- PayPlug's pros and cons
- PayPlug prices and its plan features
- Ecommerce plugins
- Help and customer support
- What we think (our final verdict)
That's a lot to cover, so let's dive right in!
A PayPlug Review: What's PayPlug?
PayPlug is a secure payment solution aimed at ecommerce and traditional brick-and-mortar store owners alike, particularly SMEs.
It's pretty easy to use, you just sign up to the PayPlug extension to start accepting online and in-store payments. Simple, right?
Founded in 2012, it’s the brainchild of Camille Tyan and Antoine Grimaud, two engineers who wanted to develop tech to make online commerce easier. Natixis Payments has been the majority shareholder since 2017. This is important because Natixis is a company that provides what PayPlug describes as
“User-centric and tailored solutions across Europe for retail, corporates, SMEs, public authorities, associations, financial institutions, fintechs, and individuals”.
Or, in plain English, if you’re an organization that needs to take payments, PayPlug could well be the platform you've been looking for.
A PayPlug Review: Who Uses PayPlug?
The PayPlug website tells us that PayPlug’s main customers seem to be retailers. PayPlug originates in France, and some (but not all) of its clients listed on its website are French-owned businesses. We found online fashion retailers, a beekeeping equipment company, and an olive oil and grocery store. So, it's safe to say, a pretty diverse array of niches utilize this solution!
A PayPlug Review: What Products Does PayPlug Offer?
PayPlug divides its products into two:
- Online payments
- In-store payments
1. Online Payments
Since COVID-19, more and more businesses have gone online, if you find yourself in this position, never fear.
PayPlug separates its online functions into three categories:
Online businesses using PayPlug can customize their payment pages to match their brand. You can also set up one-click payments to enable customers to pay even quicker. This feature allows shoppers to save their credit card details with you so that next time they buy something, they can purchase with just a click (a bit like Amazon!).
You can also send payment requests by email and SMS to enable customers to pay you via a single link to a secure payment page.
On top of that, you can also test three possible ways to integrate your payment page: an integrated page, a redirected page, or an integrated payment form. Then you can pick whichever method scores the highest conversion rate.
Lastly, you can also offer customers multiple payment options – you can even allow them to pay over 2,3, or 4 installments, and/or provide deferred payment options.
When combined, all these features allow you to cater to a variety of specific needs and provide customers with a more personalized payment process.
PayPlug is an incredibly secure tool. In fact, it says its 3D-secure feature reduces fraud by up to 50% and can increase checkout conversions by 8%.
PayPlug's 3D-Security feature is PDS2 compliant, (an EU requirement since 2019), and uses a system that limits fraud. Namely, by detecting suspicious transactions and stopping them in their tracks.
Once a customer wants to make a purchase, they're directed to a secure payment page either through a pop-up or a redirect where they're asked to enter their payment information. The ecommerce store doesn’t come into contact with the customer’s payment information. Once the transaction is complete, your customer is then redirected back to your store. No confidential card data is stored on your server.
We took a look at the PayPlug status and security reports, which are thankfully easily accessible. It’s easy to see the status of their portal, bank transfers, payment requests, and payment API. At the time of writing, all were fully operational, and we could see that there had been no issues for July 2020 when we checked the metrics.
It’s also possible to see a past incident history for over the previous quarter. We noticed there had been some 3D-Secure issues, but each was resolved on the same day in question.
PayPlug users can manage their transactions via a simple-looking dashboard. Here you can see your orders and sales in real-time. This same panel is also where you can also access your order and transaction history and export it into an accounting format.
PayPlug's performance tracking capabilities also enable you to filter through your payment history to see failed or canceled transactions. This will bring to your attention whether a customer has inadequate funds or input their details incorrectly.
Lastly, you can create payment buttons that make it easy for customers to buy from you. They don't have to wade through multiple payment pages before checking out. You can use these wherever customers interact with your brand on the web, including your Facebook page. They just need to click the “buy” button and fill out their details on a secure payment page, and voila, they'll have made a purchase within seconds!
2. In-Store Payments
PayPlug offers physical payment terminals for brick-and-mortar store owners operating in France. The payment terminals are compatible with most cash registers on the market. The thinking behind these terminals is the same as the online features in that you can manage all your transactions from the convenience of one dashboard, in real-time.
All store owners have to do to get going, is set up an online PayPlug account, register, order their terminal. Then they’re set to go as soon as the terminal arrives.
A PayPlug Review: Pros and Cons
Overall, PayPlug appears at first glance to do well on trusted review sites like TrustPilot. But, nothing beats a good ol' fashioned pro-con list, so we've compiled one for you below.
What we and reviewers like, includes:
The Pros 👍
- It's Facebook-compatible
- The dashboard is incredibly user-friendly (you don't need any technical skills to make the most out of this solution)
- Your customers don’t need a PayPlug account to pay with PayPlug
- It’s available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian
- PayPlug is a licensed payment institution authorized by the ACPR (Bank of France)
- It’s secure and fast
- You can offer customers a variety of payment methods as PayPlug accepts all Visa and Mastercards, debit, credit, and CB (Carte Bleue).
- There aren't any setup fees
- It's compatible with a variety of popular plugins
What we (and other reviewers) tend to like less, include:
The Cons 👎
- There isn't a great deal of detail about PayPlug's features on their website
- There's no reference to enabling customers to buy from Instagram
- You have to dig around a bit to find information about VAT charges for companies not based in France
- Prices for in-store payment options aren't shown on their website
A PayPlug Review: Pricing
In-store pricing is not shown on the PayPlug website so we’re unable to outline what these are. As for online payment plans, there are three, and you can see how much they cost and what you get for each plan:
- Starter Plan: This is best for new and small businesses
- Pro Plan: This is better suited to existing businesses with a higher turnover
- Premium Plan: This is designed for existing businesses that want added help and support
The Starter Plan Costs:
- 1.6% + 0.25 € per transaction on Euro cards
- 1.9% + 0.25 € per transaction on Business cards
- 2.5% + 0.25 € per transaction on International cards
…and + 10 € / month
The Pro Plan Costs:
- 0.8% + 0.15 € per transaction on Euro cards
- 1.9% + 0.15 € per transaction on Business cards
- 2.5% + 0.15 € per transaction on International cards
…and + 30 € / month
The Premium Plan Costs:
- 0.5% + 0.15 € per transaction on Euro cards
- 1.9% + 0.15 € per transaction on Business cards
- 2.5% + 0.15 € per transaction on International cards
…+ 80 € / month
Here’s what you get in return:
PayPlug features fall into four separate categories:
- Integrations and plugins
- Payment pages
- Reporting tools
- Customer support
With each of the three plans, you get access to the following integrations and plugins:
- Ecommerce plugins (more about these below)
- REST API and libraries
- You can accept CB, VISA and Mastercard payments
- Email and SMS integrations
- Payment button integrations
Only the Pro and Premium plans provide the one-click payments feature, and only the Premium plan unlocks installed and deferred payment options for your customers.
All three plans offer the following payment page features:
- Integrated and/or hosted payment pages
- Mobile responsive payment pages
- You can add your logo to your payment pages
- Access to a customizable interface
- Access to PayPlug's 3D-secure feature
Only the Pro and Premium plans give you access to Smart 3-D Secure, and just the Premium Plan unlocks integrated payment pages through AJAX forms.
All three plans provide the following reporting tools:
- Real-time transaction tracking
- The ability to export transactions to CSV/XLS files
- You can track failed payments
Only the Premium plan unlocks the multi-user account feature.
All three plans also provide access to PayPlug's online help center and email support. But, if you’re a Pro or Premium customer, you'll unlock telephone support. However, only Premium customers get access to quarterly reporting, although it’s unclear on the PayPlug website what those reports actually provide.
What About ProPlug's Ecommerce Plugins?
You can integrate with a good number of ecommerce plugins, including some of the bigger players like WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, PrestaShop, and OpenCart.
It's also worth noting: There’s an option to sign up for updates so that when PayPlug gets more plugins, you’ll be one of the first to know.
A PayPlug Review: Help and Support
The PayPlug website has a separate section dedicated to customer support. This contains a number of guides for customers who need more detail on particular topics such as creating a payment, refunding a payment, sending a payment request, and setting up your store in a different language.
There’s also an online Help Center where users can type in the questions they have. There’s an FAQ section that helps users with topics such as updating your account information, changing your bank details, and setting up with PayPlug.
The Help Center is split into six categories:
- Banks and transfers
There’s also a separate area for non-PayPlug customers who have made a payment with a PayPlug merchant and have encountered an issue. Typical areas covered here include refunds, payment refusals, and how to raise a claim against a merchant.
What We Think
Overall, we think PayPlug's a good alternative payment solution that’s compatible with some of the most popular ecommerce platforms used by entrepreneurs and SMEs. Its features seem pretty extensive and judging by a quick scout around the internet, reviewers seem to like and find it easy to install and use.
Its pricing also seems reasonable but if you’re in the US, you’ll be charged more per transaction than if you operate in the EU. On a positive note, PayPlug accepts all major cards and its website is easy to navigate. All in all, if you’re a startup or an existing ecommerce store owner looking for your first online payment solution. we think PayPlug is a good option for you.