Use WooCommerce to Sell Memberships with Your Payment Gateway of Choice

One of the biggest requests we receive from our members and users alike is “I would like to use [insert payment gateway name]. Do you have an integration for it and if not can you develop it for me?”


Truth be told there are a myriad of payment gateways out there, and as much as we would like to have an integration for each and every gateway available, it is just not possible to do so (yet). So, now what? You desperately want to use Paid Memberships Pro but your payment gateway is not supported. You’re stuck.

Or are you?


The “Woo-karound”

If the payment gateway that you would like to use has a WooCommerce Integration developed for it, you’re in luck. One possible solution could be to use WooCommerce, our WooCommerce Integration and your payment gateway’s WooCommerce integration. This allows you to sell a PMPro Membership as a WooCommerce Product and let WooCommerce handle the checkout of your membership level using your payment gateway of choice.


Getting Setup

Below is a brief guide on how to set this up:

  1. Install and activate WooCommerce on your site. The primary WooCommerce plugin is free via the WordPress repository.
  2. Set up your chosen payment gateway in your WooCommerce Setup. You may need to purchase a premium gateway extension from WooCommerce.
  3. Install and activate our WooCommerce Integration on your site. This PMPro WooCommerce Add On is free via the WordPress repository.
  4. Set up your membership levels to be sold as Products. Have a look at the “Membership Products” section of the Add On page for more details.
  5. Let WooCommerce handle the checkout process instead of Paid Memberships Pro.

Note that using the WooCommerce Integration to sell memberships as products only requires adding Membership levels with their name and (if desired) category restrictions. None of the level pricing, page setup, or payment settings are needed. If you want to handle recurring payments using this method, you will need to use WooCommerce Subscriptions along with this integration.

This won’t work for me. Now what?

Perhaps, this workaround is not going to work for you. If that is the case maybe some of these alternatives might do the trick!

  1. Adding a New Gateway documentation (Warning: Not for the faint of heart!) – It is recommended that you are an experienced code wrangler if you decide to take this project on.
  2. Find a Developer to help. We have some experienced WordPress/Paid Memberships Pro Partner developers that you can get in touch with that will happily give you an estimate on integrating your Payment Gateway for you. Simply open up a developer request and one of our developer partners will get in touch with you.

Setting up a Developer Account to Test Your Payment Gateway

Using Paid Memberships Pro in your selected payment gateway’s “testing/sandbox” mode allows you to test membership checkout without processing real payments. Sandbox mode requires unique credentials that vary based on the active payment gateway.

This post covers how to set up your test or sandbox account so that you can run tests on a membership checkout.


Testing your Payment Gateway.

Technically, all you need to do to start accepting payments on your site is sign up for a payment gateway and paste the appropriate API information into the Memberships > Payment Settings page in the WordPress admin of your site.

However, taking some time out to test your payment gateway first will not only give you peace of mind that the gateway is properly set up and ready to start receiving payments but it also gives you a good idea of how the gateway works and whether or not this gateway will be right for you and your members.


Setup Example: Stripe

Setting up a Stripe testing account is really quite simple. All you need to do is navigate to the Stripe Registration page, fill in the appropriate fields and click on the “Create your Stripe Account”.

Once your account is set up , you will be redirected to your Stripe Dashboard and an email will be sent to you asking you to verify your email address. Your Stripe testing account is now set up and you are (almost) ready to start testing it out on your website.

Note – in order to start using this account to accept actual payments, you will need to “Activate your account” from within the Stripe Dashboard.


Adding the test API keys to your website.

To add the relevant Stripe API keys to your website, you will need to navigate to the “API” tab in your Stripe Dashboard and copy both the “Publishable” and “Secret” API key and paste them into your Paid Memberships Pro payment gateway settings. This can be found by navigating to your WordPress Dashboard > Memberships > Payment Settings.

Note: Remember to set the payment gateway in your payment settings to Stripe and your “Gateway Environment” to “Sandbox/Testing”.

Once you have added your API keys, save your settings.


Processing a test checkout.

It is now time to do a test checkout. Log out of your website completely and proceed to purchase a membership level just as one of your potential customers would. You should eventually be redirected to your checkout page.

Fill out the checkout form as a normal user would and when you get to the “Payment Information” section, you will need to input a Stripe Testing Card number in order to process the test payment. If you do not use a Stripe testing card, you will receive a “Your card number is incorrect” error message.


Back to the Stripe Dashboard.

Once you have successfully processed the membership checkout, you will be able to navigate back to your Stripe Dashboard and see the test data as if it was an actual user who checked out of your site. Feel free to browse through the different menu options to get an overall feel for how this payment gateway works. The more you explore the gateway’s capabilities and limitations, the better idea you will have of whether or not a payment gateway will work for you.


Time to go live.

When you have done enough testing and you are now ready change over to a live environment, make sure that you change your “Gateway Environment” to “Live/Production” and complete the fields with your gateway’s appropriate information.

If you have not yet activated your Stripe account, you will need to do this before you can get your “Live” API keys. Live payments cannot be processed if your integration is still using your test API keys. Once you paste in your live API keys, save your changes.


Some useful links to get you started.

Offer Multiple Payment Methods to Increase Conversions

Appeal to the highest number of potential customers by offering credit card, PayPal and check/other payment methods at checkout.

This post covers our add ons that extend the checkout payment options and allow you to offer up to three unique payment methods.


But first, why should you offer multiple payment methods?

Ask 5 random friends how comfortable they are making purchases online and I promise you will receive a variety of responses:

  • the 100% “no fear” online shopper,
  • those that are “slightly concerned” buying things online, and finally…
  • the “highly reluctant to enter my credit card number anywhere” customer.

We know that this variety of comfort levels exist, so what can you do as an online merchant to appeal to the largest array of buyers?

You can offer multiple payment methods.


Offering PayPal as a Payment Method at Checkout

PayPal offers peace of mind to buyers that have concerns paying you directly.

PayPal gives consumers a layer of protection when making purchases online. They are a well known merchant with industry-leading security features beyond anything you can put in place for your own website. In addition, PayPal offers simple tools to allow consumers to manage who they have paid, communicate with issues about their purchases, cancel subscription payments linked to their account, and report fraudulent or unauthorized activity.

Our Add PayPal Express Add On adds PayPal as a payment method in addition to the primary payment gateway.

Offer PayPal as payment method at checkout

Note: to add the credit card and PayPal logos, follow the steps in this tutorial.

View the Add On Documentation

Add Check/Other Direct Payment Method at Checkout

When a majority of your target members fall into the “highly uncomfortable making purchases online” group, offering an offline payment method, such as mailing a check, can greatly improve conversions.

The “Pay by check” option is particularly important for “offline” membership groups or associations that are just getting started with an online system. In this case, some percentage of your members are already comfortable making payment by mail and wish to continue doing so. Moving to an online-only system can alienate the members who prefer the status quo (unless the overhead to do so is prohibitively expensive or labor-intensive).

Our Pay by Check Add On adds a “Pay by Check” method in addition to your primary gateway — and it doesn’t have to be a traditional “check” payment. Some sites use this add on to provide bank transfer instructions or to directly invoice members after checkout via other invoicing systems.

View the Add On Documentation

Want to offer Credit Card, PayPal and Check?

These add ons are all compatible, so you can activate and configure both the Add PayPal Express Add On and the Pay by Check Add On to offer three payment methods at checkout.

Note that if you are already using PayPal Website Payments Pro as the primary gateway, you will only need to install and activate the Pay by Check Add on to offer all three payment methods.


Now go give it a try!

These add ons are both simple to set up and will hopefully lead to a higher conversion rate (more $$$) for your membership program. Here are the links to the add on documentation pages for reference:

As always, if you are experiencing any issues with your payment methods or checkout page behavior, please post a topic on our members support forum.