Guides

Getting paid is great. Being able to control how you get paid is even better. Facilitating transactions and capturing payments are as flexible as any other aspect of the platform. Take control of your checkout process and drive purchases by offering customers a variety of payment options. Whether you are seeking to build out your own checkout flow or use Swell's hosted checkout, we support a diverse mix of payment gateways, capture flows, and the ability to define your own custom payment methods.

While Swell supports guest checkout by default with the guest=true flag, customers who have created accounts within your store will be able to access their saved payment methods, credit balances, and correct pricing for their account group. Once signed in, the session and cart will be tied to the user's account id—allowing them to apply any gift card balance they may have, use a saved payment method, or add a new one.

Charges can also be initiated directly through the API or dashboard. This provides a way to facilitate a purchase on behalf of customers without requiring them to go through a checkout process.

See the account model.

Along with saving payment methods like a credit card or PayPal account, Swell also provides the means for adding store credits to an account. Credits can be added in the dashboard, via gift cards, or directly to the balance field on the account. For example, you could implement a rewards program where purchases generate account credits at a nominal rate.

💡

Swell's hosted checkout will draw from an account credit balance before other payment methods can be used. If the available credit isn't sufficient to cover the order total, an alternative payment method is used for the remaining balance. Custom checkout solutions can alter the logic and application of credits during checkout.

Swell supports applying gift cards to a user's account balance for use during a transaction. Gift cards operate in two ways: they can either be applied to an account (on account.balance) or redeemed during checkout towards the order total.

With your store, you have multiple options for checkout implementation, payment gateways, and support for multiple currencies.

Included with all Swell stores, our hosted checkout works for both subscriptions and one-time purchases. It supports multiple payment methods, including credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Klarna, and Affirm. You can use any of our supported payment gateways to process transactions. This solution requires minimal configuration and allows you to start selling immediately.

Swell also supports the implementation of custom checkout flows with Swell.js—which can be used to render stripe elements, PayPal and other checkout buttons, and custom components. Custom checkouts can also use Swell to tokenize credit card information for saving customers' payment methods. Utilizing the Backend API in conjunction with Swell.js opens more flexibility for implementing custom checkout flow solutions such as splitting payments into vendor payouts or providing unique offers based on customer groups.

Swell has a PCI-compliant vault for storing encrypted credit card information. This allows customers to use any of their saved cards during checkout and enables recurring billing with any payment gateway that supports vaulted cards. When using Swell's hosted checkout, cards are tokenized and stored in our vault. Tokens are stored on customer accounts as billing.card.token. Once stored, you can switch payment gateways without customers needing to re-enter their payment information.

All payment flows run through Swell—this refers to payments and refunds for both subscriptions and one-time purchases. Depending on the gateway and method, payments will either go through an authorization stage before being captured or be captured immediately.

There are four payment status values within Swell:

  • pending denotes a payment that is awaiting manual processing. For example, the customer is paying via bank transfer, and an admin will add the payment details to the order in the Swell dashboard.
  • error will be the status when there is an issue with authorization or capture. The error details returned by the payment gateway will be present in the error field on the payment record.
  • authorized signifies that a payment has been authorized but not yet captured.
  • success marks a payment that has been successfully captured.

Support for multiple currencies is managed from the dashboard under Payments settings. Your store's default currency is denoted as the base currency. When adding multiple currencies, there are two modes that determine how they are displayed and used in checkouts:

  • display currencies use mid-market exchange rates and rounding rules to convert prices from your base currency for displaying on a storefront. The customer will still pay in the base currency, with conversion handled by their banking provider. This mode is useful when you have customers in many countries and want to display approximate prices in their local currency.
  • priced currencies allow you to set exact prices in each currency which customers will pay during checkout, with no conversion occurring on their side—assuming they are using a payment method holding funds in the same currency. If a price hasn't been set for a product in a particular currency, Swell will convert the price from your base currency using mid-market rates according to the rounding rules you have configured.
👉

For customers to pay with priced currencies, your payment gateway must support transactions in that currency. Otherwise, they will encounter an error during checkout and be unable to complete their order.

When rendering currencies through Swell.js, display currencies will be shown with type=display, while priced currencies will show type=priced.