As a business owner, you have a lot of decisions to make. And it’s always important to look for the very best solutions for your business’ needs.

If you run your online store on Shift4Shop and you’re not using Shift4 to process your payments, you may be wondering if it’s really worth it to make the switch. Or if you are using Shift4, you might not be sure what exactly it’s bringing to the table, and what makes it stand out from other payment providers.

Let’s break down the features and benefits Shift4’s end-to-end payment processing brings to Shift4Shop stores.


Advanced Payment Processing Features

Shift4 offers a variety of technical benefits to your business. These include advanced features to enhance the ways your business accepts payments and to expand the payment options you can offer your customers. Below are just a few of these exciting features.


Fast Onboarding

Since Shift4 is directly integrated with Shift4Shop, it takes only minutes to get your store set up to accept payments. After going through a simple onboarding process, you’ll be ready to launch your business or transition your existing business to using Shift4.


End-to-End Security

One of the most important tenets of security is that its strength is affected by the number of individual factors. The best way to imagine this is to picture a chain; the more links are in the chain, the more opportunities there are for one of those links to be “weak” and to be a potential point of failure.

Since Shift4 and Shift4Shop are the same company and make up one unified solution, there are fewer “links in the chain” and an overall stronger, more secure way to do business online.

Shift4Shop stores are all PCI compliant, which refers to a strict series of standards a business must meet in order to accept credit card payments. These standards include frequent updates to prevent software vulnerabilities, the requirements to use anti-virus, anti-malware, and firewall solutions on all internal systems, and much more. PCI compliance is difficult and expensive for a business to manage on its own, but Shift4Shop handles it for you.

With Shift4, it doesn’t stop there — Shift4 goes above and beyond PCI compliance and implements additional advanced procedures to raise security standards even further. Best yet, this all takes place on the backend and never gets in the way of your business or your customers’ experience. You can learn more about Shift4’s payment security features here.


Card On File Payments

“Card on file” refers to saving the customer’s payment information for later use. This is achieved through a secure token, which is an encrypted reference to the customer’s card information and never the card information itself. This means that payment information can be stored without making it visible or vulnerable anywhere — not even the business owner or payment provider itself can see the card number. This provides a safe method for customers to save their payment information on your store for later purchases or for a subscription.

Subscriptions are becoming more popular every year as they allow customers to buy their favorite products on a regular basis without having to do it manually. Some industries like supplements, pet food and supplies like cat litter, and household or office cleaning supplies have made it almost the new standard to offer subscriptions for products that the customer will need to replenish. It has almost become expected for businesses to offer this option.

Shift4 includes card on file functionality through secure tokenization backed by its additional end-to-end security measures, so you can offer these types of conveniences to your customers without any security concerns.


Alternate Payment Methods

Shift4 offers credit card processing at competitive rates, but that’s not all you can get if you use Shift4 payment processing for your Shift4Shop store.

Shift4 and Shift4Shop have integrated with numerous alternative payment methods to allow you to offer multiple payment options to your customers. Right now, these include:

  • PayPal - One of the most well-known alternative payment methods in the world, PayPal allows customers to pay directly with a credit card or from the balance of funds (if any) they keep in their PayPal account.
  • Apple Pay - A digital wallet that allows customers to save their information for later use on an Apple device or browser. Customers can pay with Apple Pay if they’re on an iPhone, iPad, or using the Safari browser and have set up an account. This is especially popular on mobile, as it eliminates the need to enter credit card information on a mobile device, which can be annoying to do.
  • Google Pay - A digital wallet similar to Apple Pay, but run by Google. Google Pay is available on Android devices and through other Google services like the Chrome browser. It offers the same benefits as Apple Pay but for those who don’t use Apple’s products.
  • Cryptocurrency - Shift4 allows you to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through a built-in integration with BitPay, a leading crypto payment platform. One of the best benefits of BitPay is that it protects business owners against the volatility of cryptocurrency values. This means that, for example, if the price of a cryptocurrency drops right after a customer uses it to make a purchase from you, you still get paid out the correct price for the item rather than the lower amount that that crypto is now actually worth.
  • Financing and Pay Later - Customers love financing options, which let them split their purchase into multiple payments, and these methods are proven to increase sales. Shift4 is integrated with several financing and “buy now, pay later” options such as PayPal Credit, PayPal Pay in 4, and Sezzle.

This list will continue to grow in the future because Shift4 is always expanding for the purpose of giving more options to merchants!


Powerful Reporting and Transaction Management Features

Shift4 includes detailed reporting on each transaction, as well as tools for taking action on any transactions that need to be manually approved, rejected, or refunded.

One of the most important things to understand is that since Shift4 is completely integrated into Shift4Shop, these reports and tools are directly available from within the Shift4Shop dashboard. You will not need to log into a separate interface to manage or view your transactions. Once you start using Shift4, these tools and reports can be found in Reports > Shift4 Payments in your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager. You can take a look at this Knowledgebase article if you want to know more.

The Transaction Status Dashboard is a powerful tool that allows full visibility and management of payment transactions. It includes details about all transactions together in a single convenient location. All transaction types are listed, including Authorization, Sales, Capture, Fraud Reject, and Refunded. You’ll be able to see the time a transaction was updated to its most recent status, shown in your own time zone.

In this dashboard, you can view each transaction and perform any necessary actions such as whitelisting a fraud-rejected transaction you know is actually legitimate, rejecting a transaction if you need to, and more. The entire list can be filtered by date range, transaction type, or card type used, and you can also print your transactions or export them to a CSV file or PDF.

Besides the information in the Transaction Status Dashboard, Shift4 reports include batch reports, deposit reports, and chargeback reports.

The Batch Summary Report provides complete transaction records in one place. They are sorted by batch and can be filtered by date presets and ranges. Click any batch to open a Batch Detail page that displays more information about the individual transactions in that batch, including batch date, batch ID, total amount, total per card type, and more. The Batch Summary Report can be printed or exported to CSV.

The Deposit Report displays a complete record of all deposits to your business’s bank account. The report includes the banking information, amount, and batch deposit dates for each deposit. You can see deposits from a certain time by specifying a timeframe from which to review the deposits.

The Chargeback Report provides a full record of any chargebacks your business has received, and can also be exported to CSV format.


Pricing and Other Bonuses

Now that we’ve covered the technical benefits of using Shift4 payment processing for your Shift4Shop store, let’s take a look at the financial benefits. Using Shift4 will save you money in several ways.

Access to the Free End-to-End eCommerce Plan

By using Shift4 as your Shift4Shop payment processor, you get access to our free End-to-End eCommerce plan.

The free plan includes everything from our paid plans and then some — a hosted Shift4Shop eCommerce website, hundreds of features, and even more bonuses that we’ll cover shortly.

First, let’s go over why the End-to-End eCommerce plan is free and how we are able to offer it.

When you accept a payment, the payment processor will always take a small fee as the price for their services. This is true for both online and offline payments, and for credit cards as well as other payment types. It’s simply one of the costs of doing business.

The difference with Shift4 is that Shift4 applies this fee toward the cost of hosting your Shift4Shop website. So, the end result is that you don’t pay anything for your hosting and eCommerce software, as those costs are covered by your normal credit card processing rate.

This is why we can offer the End-to-End eCommerce plan for free and what we mean when we say it’s “powered by Shift4.”

Since you’re going to have to pay a payment processing fee regardless of which payment provider you use, it just makes sense to use Shift4 so you can get your Shift4Shop store for free!


The End-to-End eCommerce Plan Includes All Shift4Shop Features

Some other eCommerce platforms do offer a free plan. It’s rare, but they’re out there — and these free plans are always severely limited in the functionality they offer.

Basically, free plans like those are meant to encourage new merchants to sign up and get started, and then upgrade to paid plans later. So they’re not good long-term solutions for anyone but the smallest businesses.

If you’ve seen the free plans offered by other eCommerce platforms, you might not think Shift4Shop’s free plan could possibly be any good. But it’s exactly the opposite, because it includes everything! Remember, it’s powered by Shift4 so the cost is supported by your processing fees.

To see a full breakdown of features, visit our Shift4Shop Plans page, and scroll down to the section “Choose the Perfect Plan for your Needs.” Then click “See all Features” to expand the list.


End-to-End eCommerce is an Enterprise-Grade Plan

In eCommerce, “enterprise” is used to refer to businesses that are very large, often with thousands of products and potentially millions of customers. As businesses grow to an enterprise level, they need the resources to support themselves at such a large scale.

Of course features are important, but there are also technical considerations for an enterprise business. They need website infrastructure that can support huge numbers of products and enormous amounts of web traffic, without slowing down or crashing their site. They also need a support system in place that allows them to grow and doesn’t put ceilings over them, no matter what size the business has already reached.

Shift4Shop’s End-to-End eCommerce plan is an enterprise-level solution that is fully scalable for any size of business. It can support the needs of the largest businesses from day one.

But it can also be used by anyone, including a sole proprietor selling products from their kitchen or garage. “Fully scalable” means that a business can use this plan at any size or any stage of growth — which means you can pick this plan and remain on it for life, completely avoiding the problems many businesses have when they start to grow.

Those problems include the website starting to slow down or crash, limits being reached (like limits on numbers of products), and other issues that many businesses can only solve by moving to a completely different eCommerce platform. This type of move can be expensive and time-consuming, and many enterprise eCommerce plans cost thousands of dollars per month, besides just the cost of migrating to a new platform.

Shift4Shop’s End-to-End eCommerce plan eliminates these growing pains and all businesses on this plan can expand without limits or software issues.


Free Apps From the Shift4Shop App Marketplace

The Shift4Shop App Marketplace is an app store where we offer extra functionality for your online store. Even though Shift4Shop already includes so many features, not every eCommerce business has the same needs. Apps are there to help you customize your store with additional functionality, help you integrate with third-party services, and more.

By using Shift4 as your payment processor and accessing the free End-to-End eCommerce plan, you can also get the following apps for free:

  • Cart Notices: This app notifies customers about various details relating to items they’ve left in their cart. These include promotional deadlines, upsell items, minimum shipping thresholds, and more. It’s a great tool for encouraging customers to come back and finish a purchase that they started.
  • Time to Reorder: This app notifies customers that it may be time to reorder a product that they need to replenish, such as vitamins. It’s a good alternative to a subscription for customers that prefer not to subscribe for automatic reorders of a product.
  • Checkout Additional Fees: This app allows you to add special, optional offers to your checkout that will charge an additional fee, which can be any offer you like, such as rush fulfillment, customization, or anything else that fits your business. It’s a versatile tool for raising your average order value (AOV).
  • Carrier Delivery Notifications: This app automatically emails your customers to let them know when their order has been shipped and when it has been delivered.
  • Autoship: This is the app that allows you to set up a subscription program, and let your customers choose to subscribe to a recurring order of their favorite products. This not only increases loyalty by making life easier for your customers, it makes your revenue more consistent and predictable.
  • 3dFeedback: This app provides a customizable feedback collection method that invites customers to share their thoughts and feelings about your store, so you can make improvements that will increase conversions.
  • 3dboost: This app allows you to create modal popups that are eye-catching without being annoying or obtrusive, to bring news, offers, and much more to your customers’ attention.

Normally, each of these apps has a separate cost for installation on your Shift4Shop store — basically because they’re advanced functionality that not every business would want or need to use, so it makes more sense to keep them separate rather than rolling them into the software as modules. If you use Shift4, they’ll be available to you for free, but since they are still separate apps, they will not get in the way if you decide you don’t want to use some of them.


The Most Powerful Fraud Protection

Shift4Shop has always been vigilant against eCommerce fraud. But with Shift4 at the helm, you can take it to the next level.

Shift4 has teamed up with Kount, an industry leader in fraud prevention. This means that Shift4 automatically includes built-in protection from Kount for transactions going through Shift4 Payments. Kount uses AI-based automation to recognize fraudulent transactions before they can go through and have an effect on your business.

Kount can identify and stop multiple kinds of fraud, including both criminal fraud and “friendly fraud.” Criminal fraud refers to buyers using stolen credit card information, while friendly fraud refers to the situation in which a customer makes a purchase using their own legitimate credit card, but then files a fraudulent chargeback.

Kount’s AI is what makes it so powerful, as it uses machine learning to continuously improve its detection capabilities. It also includes methods to identify good customers and provide them with a smoother shopping experience, and works completely in the background to avoid adding friction to your checkout. Because of its AI and other built-in systems, Kount produces up to 70% fewer false positives than any other fraud detection tool.

The Fraud Score generated from Kount can also be used in combination with Shift4Shop's FraudWatch rules to allow you to screen transactions through FraudWatch using the Kount Fraud Score. FraudWatch is available to every Shift4Shop store owner regardless of payment processor, but the Kount integration only becomes available if using Shift4.


Free Cloudflare SSL

Shift4 has also teamed up with Cloudflare to offer you high-quality SSL security for free. Cloudflare also protects your website from DDoS attacks, improves loading speeds through their worldwide content delivery network (CDN), and more.


Easier Support

Now that we’ve covered both the technical and monetary advantages of using Shift4 Payments with Shift4Shop, there’s one more topic that can’t be ignored: support.

Shift4 owns Shift4Shop. This means you’ll only need a single point of contact to get support for both payment-related issues and questions and any help you need with your eCommerce platform itself.

Naturally, we have both payment specialists and eCommerce software specialists in our support team, and it’s important that you talk to the right person for your needs, so you may be transferred to a different specialist. However, that’s a far cry from needing to call an entirely different company!


Ready to Switch to Shift4?

Hopefully, this article has clarified some information for you about why Shift4 is the best payment solution for Shift4Shop stores.

If you’re already using Shift4, maybe you learned a few things you’d overlooked — with so much functionality, it’s definitely possible to miss a thing or two.

US merchants can make the switch right away and get tons of extra features, protection, and functionality without paying extra — and better yet, get rid of the monthly plan payment. If you’re ready to make the switch, you can do so within your dashboard or contact support for help, via live chat (from within your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager or on the Shift4Shop website), or by calling us at 1-800-828-6650.

If you’re outside the US, Shift4 isn’t available to you yet. But we have plans to expand to multiple countries very soon, and our free plan and all its benefits will be available to you at that point, too.