Credit cards

What you'll need

You need to configure a secure mechanism for processing your customers' credit card details. Your options vary depending on the location of your store.

If your store's in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia, you can use any of the following:

If you're not in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia, your options are:

You must also configure your payment authorization settings to make sure that you receive your money when a customer pays by credit card.


Address Verification System (AVS) Used to verify the address of a person claiming to own a credit card. The system verifies that the billing address of the card provided by the user matches the address on file at the credit card company.
CVV2 A security feature for card-not-present transactions that helps prevent fraud. The code is often found on the reverse side of the card for Visa and MasterCard.
Merchant account A bank account specifically designed for processing credit cards online. Typically, the internet version has more security controls than a traditional merchant account.
Payment gateway A service that authorizes credit card payments and processes them securely with your merchant account. Often, a merchant account and payment gateway are set up in one process through the same company.
Payment processor A service that lets you accept online payments without a merchant account of your own. Instead, you use the processor's merchant account, usually with very little setup required. PayPal is a popular payment processor.
Card terminal Used to read cards for payment processing. The terminal scans a magnetic strip or chip and uses that information to securely obtain an authorization for payment.
Mobile card reader Plugs into a smartphone or a tablet to read credit cards using a downloadable app, enabling you to take card payments almost anywhere.
Payment authorization period The length of time during which it's possible to capture authorized funds. When the time period ends, the authorization expires and you can no longer take payment. Each credit card gateway sets its own authorization period (Shopify Payments allows seven days.)

Activate a Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a service that lets you accept credit card payments securely online through your Shopify store. Shopify connects to over 70 different payment gateways across the world.

Some payment gateways are external, which means that your customer must leave your store to complete checkout. If possible, you should select a direct payment gateway rather than an external one, so that your customer completes the transaction within your store.


You must always accept and capture the payments through Shopify and not through your payment interface.

If you accept a payment through your payment gateway interface, the payment can never be marked as Paid in Shopify.

To activate or change payment gateways:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, then click Payments (or press G S P).

  2. On the Payments Settings page you can add one or many payment options including:

  • 1 of 70 credit card gateways
  • 1 of 4 PayPal accounts
  • Login and Pay with Amazon
  • alternative payments like BitCoin and Coinbase
  • manual payments like Bank Deposits and Cash on Delivery.

    General gateway 1
  1. Use the drop-down menus to choose a payment method and click Activate.

  2. Follow the in-admin setup instructions for that payment gateway.

Select a different payment gateway

If you’re already integrated with another payment gateway or are just coming from another platform and don’t want to change gateways, you can set up your current gateway with Shopify.

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, then click Payments (or press G S P).

  2. Find the Accept Payments section. If you are using an active payment gateway, disable it now.

  3. Select another payment gateway from the drop-down menu.

    Payment gateway 4
  4. A panel will appear where you can enter your access details.

  5. Hit Activate.

    Payment gateway 5

Credit card payment authorization settings

You must decide when you'll capture payment from your customers when they've made a purchase with a credit card. You can configure your settings to automatically capture payment at the time of the sale, or manually capture payment later.

Credit card authorization periods

All credit card payment gateways have an authorization period to allow a charge to be made to a customer's credit card.

Authorization checks that the credit card is valid, and the card has enough funds on it for the transaction. The authorization period will end after a certain amount of time. The length of the authorization period depends on your payment gateway. If you do not capture payment within the authorization period, you will not be able to collect money for your order.

Did you know?

Shopify Payments has a seven day authorization period. If you do not use Shopify Payments, check with your payment gateway to find out their specific authorization period.

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