PayStand's integration with e-commerce service provider WooCommerce is meant to enable multiple payment types with very little technology work.

PayStand, which this spring launched an online payments platform, on Sept. 4 announced it will enable WooCommerce users to add PayStand's platform by downloading and activating a plugin from the WordPress, PayStand, or WooCommerce websites.

"We want to make our payments technology work on as many platforms as possible," said Jeremy Almond, CEO of PayStand. "No matter how a business gets paid, the setup will be easy."

WooCommerce, which recently passed 4 million downloads, is a shopping cart toolkit for mostly small to medium sized merchants that use WordPress to build their websites. For PayStand, it's an opportunity to vastly expand its user base by reaching the WordPress and WooCommerce's vast network of merchant users.

"WordPress is used by more than 20% of the entire Internet," Almond said. 

The Paystand/WooCommerce integration will enable payments in cards, electronic checks and Bitcoin with fees that vary by the type of payment accepted and a monthly charge based on the level of service. PayStand charges incrementally lower transaction fees for card, electronic check and Bitcoin payments. The partnership will also make it easier for WooCommerce's merchants to add different payment types by accessing a single program, Almond said.

"This integration allows a simple plugin that anyone can install," Almond said. "It removes a lot of the programming that has to be done."

WooCommerce also works with a variety of other payment companies including PayPal, Intuit, Chase Paymentech, First Data and LevelUp.

PayStand is integrating with WooCommerce at a time when payment companies are racing to make it easier for merchants with less technology acumen to accept digital payments.

"It's certainly beneficial to enable lots of different payment types via the same service and to do so via an extremely simple [application programming interface]," said Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst and Consultant and Double Diamond Payments Research. "Increasingly, it's the developers that are determining the payment engine to be used based on how quickly the website can be up and running, which often means the simplest setup wins."

Among other companies, ChangeCoin recently began using social networks to enable payments, and providers such as Dwolla and Stripe offer a toolkit for developers (PayStand uses Dwolla's technology to accept electronic checks, for example). WePay and PayPal's Braintree also offer tools for merchants to set up payments.

"Small merchants can really benefit from easy-to-use tools that help them develop their own websites," said Zil Bareisis, a senior analyst at Celent. "With the ability to add a 'plug and play' payment gateway, it becomes much easier for them to create a fully functional e-commerce experience for their customers."

Technology companies are also responding to the growth of virtual currencies. PayStand enables and encourages Bitcoin, and has found some success in political fundraising payments. Square Market's e-commerce site allows Bitcoin payments, and Stripe signaled its plans for Bitcoin payments earlier this year.

"The more payment methods the gateway can offer, the better. Typically, a bigger number of payment methods accepted by merchants drives up the conversion rates," Bareisis said.

Payment platforms also need to design for both current and future tender types so they can minimize the risk of customer loss because the platform can't accept a new payment form, said Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite Group. "While Bitcoin may not be the end state for digital currency, building it into the current platform 'future proofs' the platform and enhances the perceived value."

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