Payment gateway

How to Pick the Right Payment Gateway for Moodle: eCommerce Options Explored

When it comes to selling your Moodle courses, pricing your courses is probably the biggest hurdle. But that’s something only you can decide.

Once you have that out of our way, you can look for an option to accept (and manage) student payments. This means- a way for your students to pay for your courses and then be enrolled in the course once the payment is made.

It is as simple as it sounds – for the student (or at least you want it to be that way).

For you, there’s some work involved.

You’ll have to:

  • pick a payment gateway,
  • set up payment options,
  • think of the purchase terms, handle cancellations, refunds, and buyer support!

But first, let’s get started with the basics.


What is a payment gateway?

In the sense of the term,

“A payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card or direct payments processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar.”


eCommerce jargon apart, a payment gateway is a portal that verifies payment information (credit card/ bank details) and processes it, to accept payments. It’s like the system where you swipe your card in a grocery story— just taken online.

A few payment gateways offer recurring payments to be set up or accept payments in instalments. But that’s as far as the options go.

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Payment Gateways vs e-Commerce Platforms for Moodle

If you’re looking for more options, like running sale prices, a simplified approach to selling bundles, managing and offering coupons, automated course recommendations, you’ll want to go beyond simple payment gateways.

See, payment gateways come into play when the customer (student) in this case, comes to make the final payment. Discounts or course upsells are offered much before the final purchase is made.

Such options are offered as part of the e-commerce capabilities of a system. And Moodle has none. It’s not meant to. It’s not an e-commerce platform; it’s an e-learning platform.

For e-commerce capabilities, you’ll need an e-commerce platform along with a  payment gateway.


Payment Gateways in a nutshell

To put it simply, with payment gateways you get:-

  • A platform to handle student payments
  • An option to handle one-time or recurring payments for a single purchase
Pros: Cons:
A payment gateway is simple to set up (fewer settings) A single payment gateway might not be able to process payments from certain countries
It’s easier to maintain There aren’t many options to manage prices

E-commerce platforms explained

An e-commerce platform offers far more capabilities than a payment gateway. In fact, payment gateways are a part of the platform. You get options to:

  • Manage pricing,
  • Market, cross-sell, and upsell your courses
  • Analyze purchases
Pros: Cons:
Complete management and control, of course, selling There might be some learning involved (when it comes to using the system)
Several options to set sale prices, add coupons or offer discounts Some maintenance effort is involved
Detailed reporting of purchases and customers
Lead generation possibilities
Support for several payment gateways

What are you looking for?

Whether you need a payment gateway or an e-commerce platform depends on your requirements and the scale of your business.

If you’re thinking…

“I’ve set up a PayPal account. I want students to be able to pay for my courses”

…and that’s about it. You most definitely need a payment gateway. And yes, PayPal is the most popular. But it’s worth taking a look at Stripe or too.

Payment gateway

It helps to compare the list of currencies the payment gateway handles and the countries it supports, and transaction fees, of course.

But, in addition to the above, if you’re thinking…

“I want to provide students with some options while making the purchase. And maybe add discounts on prices, not always, sometimes. Like, run a sale or something.”

…you need an e-commerce platform.

Might not be as simple a requirement. But for complete control over the purchase process and to go beyond payments and nurture a lead (prospective student), you’ll need an e-commerce platform.

When it comes to an e-commerce platform for Moodle, the most popular choice is WooCommerce, with Course Merchant, a close second.

(Although WooCommerce is based on WordPress, it is simple to use and integrates well with Moodle to provide users a seamless experience).

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How do you pick “one”?

Now, it really depends on your students or target audience. The country they reside in, the currencies they use, the language they speak.

But in all honesty, you might consider thinking past “one” option.

Try considering several payment options. Whether you go with an e-commerce platform or not, consider setting up multiple options for a student to make a payment. It could be,

  • Credit/Debit card
  • Bank transfers
  • Mobile wallet
  • Gift cards/Store credit

Payment gateway

Wrapping Up

When it comes to selling your Moodle courses, a payment gateway does come into the picture. Whether you include a standalone gateway or go with an e-commerce platform, the choice is completely yours.

It’s easy to migrate from a payment gateway to an e-commerce platform. So, if you want to start small, consider opting for a payment gateway.

If you want to go all out from the get-go, you can’t go wrong picking an e-commerce platform.

And if you still have questions or doubts, you can go right down to the comments section and write to us! We’ll be happy to help you out 🙂

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That’s all for now! Adios!

9 thoughts on “How to Pick the Right Payment Gateway for Moodle: eCommerce Options Explored”

  1. Avatar of Ayorinde

    I am in Africa (Nigeria) and I need a payment gateway to sell my course on moodle. I already have an account with one gateway (Paystack) usable in my country but the issue is that I dont have a plugin for the payment gateway.
    How can you help me out?

  2. Avatar of Dave

    I need to know if any payment gateways supported by woocommerce will be automatically supported in your plugin .

  3. Avatar of rahul

    Are these payment methods supported in Moodle App?
    We are looking for solution to integrate Paytm with moodle website and app.


    1. Avatar of Rajiv Sathian

      I don’t think there is a ready integration of PayTM and Moodle.
      Any payment gateway integration that’s available with Moodle will be supported in Moodle App.

  4. Avatar of Vivek Sahu

    Hi there,
    Can I use PayU Biz payment gateway in moodle platform for student enrolment with a course? If yes, please guide me. Thank you

    1. Avatar of Rajiv Sathian

      I am afraid there isn’t any ready integration of PayU Biz with Moodle that I am aware of.

      You may have to either develop one if you are comfortable with coding.
      Or using a WordPress based eCommerce platform or any platform that will let you sell courses online.
      Probably they will have integrations with PayU Biz.

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