Thinkific is a global platform, so it is plain that not everyone using it can access all payment gateways.
Thinkific primarily supports PayPal and Stripe for monetizing courses, but you can choose another integration.
Before going forward with your desired option, here are a couple of things to consider when choosing payment gateways.
- Availability in different regions
- Different features and cost of services
- Adaptation to various business models
- Processing speed and time of transfers
- Simple and secure integration
- Efficient merchant analytics and funds management
Processing Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. The fee is fixed and depends on the currency received.
PayPal is a popular payment processor. It involves extra service fees that might make things a little complicated. But all in all, the pro version provides a smooth experience.
It integrates well with Thinkific, with a lot less room for subscription plans than other options. A standard business account is required for it to work. However, it only offers one-time payment options for your courses.
The default currency option is also USD, which you cannot change. Apart from these factors, it offers seamless integration.
Processing Fee: 2.9% + $0.30, but varies per country.
Though it has now been around a while, Stripe is still a newcomer compared to PayPal.
Stripe takes a simple approach to payment transfers, with no special service charges and flat rates.
The transfer time is longer than most processors, but its well-documented ease-of-use keeps users interested.
Thinkific has a direct integration with Stripe, which makes it easier to offer more pricing options. It also includes currency selection and student-friendly subscription options.
You can directly create a Stripe account from the Thinkific website and even get payment notifications. Overall, it is a great option for both creators and learners.
External Payment Gateways
Processing Fee: Variable – The standard is up to 3% plus a small fixed fee
We understand that not all countries have access to Thinkific’s built-in integrations or that these integrations might not offer everything you want from your payment processor.
If you prefer another option, you should look into external gateways.
People mostly use external gateways like ClickFunnels for specific features such as upselling. SecurionPay is another external gateway for someone needing multi-currency payment processing.
You might need another option if you want to sell your course in bulk; for this purpose, Payoneer is the best choice.
Creators with specific tax requirements might also want an external gateway.
Should I Choose Stripe or Paypal as My Payment Gateway?
There is a native integration between Thinkific and Paypal or Stripe.
Both payment processors use a fixed rate, but PayPal does charge for extra services. It also has limited features, significant redirection, and only one pricing option.
In many ways, Stripe aims to be the better option between the two. It has a better interface, no extra charges, and direct bank transfers.
If you want a seamless way to accept credit cards with varying payment options, we recommend Stripe. For users who plan on targeting only the US market, PayPal would work just fine.
Creators can also simultaneously use both payment processors.
If your course requires multiple payment features and currency options, you might use both PayPal and Stripe. This option will give you more flexibility; however, both accounts will work on similar information and plans.
What if I Need an External Payment Gateway?
Thinkific does not discourage the use of external payment gateways, but it does come with some hassle.
The sign-up process is manual, so you need to visit external links to get it working. The redirected, un-automated process has a significant disadvantage.
You have to keep enrolling and notifying students manually. In addition, you need to keep them informed after the purchase.
Thinkific’s integrated payment options have this edge over external gateways. Both of them work automatically.
They keep your students up to date with every bit of information regarding the course, which is why we strongly advise using these payment options.
Why Do I Want to Use an External Payment Solution?
Most creators lean towards external payment gateways if Thinkific’s built-in integrations fail to fulfill their needs. These particular needs might include special features such as upsell, multi-currency payment, bulk selling, and tax specifications.
Stripe and PayPal also work in limited countries, which means that an external gateway might resolve payment issues for you. Creators who already have reliable payment processors look for consistency and use other payment options.
What Is My External Payment Gateway of Choice?
Before looking straight into external payment gateways, you need to ensure a user-friendly experience.
Automated enrollment integration is the best way to do that since it enables an external checkout page but updates Thinkific automatically after every purchase.
Infusionsoft, SamCart, and Shopify are integrations that assist students in purchasing courses on an external page while enrolling them into the course.
Popular external payment gateways such as ClickFunnels support Zapier, which connects to platforms without integration.
How Will I Manage Enrollments after a Student Makes a Purchase?
After a student makes a purchase, you need to enroll them in your course. If you have automated enrollment, students using an external gateway can enroll in your course directly. If not, you can either add them manually or enroll them in bulk at the same time.
Coupon codes and custom changes in your public API also assist students in adding themselves to the course.
How Will I Notify Students Once They Have Been Enrolled?
Students need to be informed about their enrollment so they can access the course.
To notify them, enable the site welcome email on Thinkific. It helps send an email with a sign-in link to the students once they are enrolled.
It also assists them in setting their password and login information. It works with all kinds of manual, automated, API, and file enrollments.
Am I Selling My Course Using Thinkific Landing Pages or External Sales Pages?
Once you settle on a payment and enrollment plan, consider a location for your sales page.
We generally recommend using external pages in both cases. It helps make the purchase clear to the buyer and gives a more professional look.
If you have an external gateway, try linking the checkout to the external sales page.
If you prefer using Thinkific landing pages, connect the buy buttons to another external checkout page.
Thinkific Integrations to Use With Your Payment Gateways
Many tools can help make your Thinkific experience more straightforward. Integrations help keep you on track while giving students a more user-friendly interface.
They can help keep records of payments, student notifications, upselling, and tax remission.
Here are two outstanding integrations that help simplify payment gateways.
Stunning is an integration that works with Stripe to help recover failed and overdue payments from students.
Creators using Stripe to collect payments on Thinkific can easily connect it to their Stunning account.
It then sends automated notifications to students to update their credit cards.
Stunning helps retain more subscriptions and monthly revenue, as students know to update their card before the expiration date hits.
The subscription is free if you have 250 customers or less. As soon as you have more, Stunning refers you to a paid plan.
Quaderno is a direct integration that automates tax calculation and invoicing for your courses.
Connecting Quaderno with your Stripe account will track tax and remit it every time a student subscribes. It helps decide what percentage of each enrollment is tax, and you must therefore remit to the government.
Quaderno calculates tax based on the customer’s location and generates an invoice alongside updating reports.
Quaderno also complies with local VAT, GST, and sales tax laws around the world.
A payment gateway is crucial if you’re planning to publish and monetize a course on Thinkific. It’s an essential step to ensure you’re obtaining the revenue your courses can generate.
Thinkific only supports PayPal and Stripe as primary payment gateways. With some caveats, you do have the option to use an external gateway of your choice. Various integrations are also available that can help make your experience smoother.
Stripe is generally the best if you can use it, with PayPal a close second. Beyond these two, you should experiment with different payment gateways to determine the best fit for you.