First Data Connect For WooCommerce Review

Thinking of using First Data Connect for your WooCommerce store? Then this is for you.

Payment settings overview

Before we look into the test product, let’s see what settings are available for the FDC plugin. Navigating to Settings in WooCommerce, then Payments, you’ll see the below:

Payment settings for FDC
Payment settings for FDC

Quite a few things to go through here, so let me break it down. First the prompt about refunds:

First Data refund prompt
First Data refund prompt

New Refund method using the First Data API

Accessing the documentation link, gives a clear explanation how to use this new method, with screenshots and instructions step by step. I’m not going to talk about this here, when the documentation explains it so eloquently. 

The API method is optional, you can still refund using the First Data Terminal, or request an API key for your store, requesting an API key can take 1-2 workings days. 

Section one of payment settings

Check me out, sections, fancy. Anyway, it’s easier for me if I break down the page into sections and cover what they offer.

FDC Connect settings section one
Section one in First Data Connect settings

First up, Enable/Disable, simple enough. The next two options, Title and Description, allow you to change the name and text description of the gateway. This will display on the checkout, so fill your boots on what you want to name/describe them as.

Store ID/Shared Secret, this information from your First Data Virtual Terminal, which was added as part of the installation process.

Store Status, Test Environment, or via the drop-down, Live Store. Operation, from the drop-down menu, Sale, or Pre-authorization.

Section two of payment settings

First Data Connect Payment settings section two
Section two in First Data Connect settings

Accepted Cards, here you can add from a range of cards to First Data accepts in your store, the options are:

  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Maestro
  • VISA
  • JCB

A useful feature, perhaps you have one card type that charges a higher transaction fee than the other, or you want to simplify things for customers by only accepting one or two.

Highlight the cards you want to accept when clicking on the box and save your progress. See below for an example of two cards selected:

Example of two cards selected
Example of two cards selected

Note: whatever you choose here, will automatically display the associated payment logo for the card(s) you choose, at the checkout.

Special note: If you want to block the use of a specific card, such as AMEX (or others), you will need to contact First Data directly. They will enable/disable cards on a case by case basis. This is a god send. Especially for those who don’t want to allow the use of a card, due to any exorbitant fees in place.

As part of the installation, I ticked the box for Enable Debug. As you can see from the screenshot, it’s already ticked. There’s a handy link for you to click on the WooCommerce debug log and specifically look out for the text AG-First-Data-Gateway.

Enable Tokenization. This option allows your customers to save their chosen payment methods for future purchases. No payment data will be stored on your server, this all housed on First Data’s servers, that’s one less headache to worry about!

API Key/API Secret, if you decide to use First Data’s API for the processing of refunds, this is where you’d cut and paste the key and secret you were given.

There is a note mentioning: ‘Using the REST API can open you up to extra PCI compliance.’

I’m not an expert on PCI Compliance, but I did manage to find a resource that might help if you’d care to know more about it here.

Auto status check

You may or may not have noticed the checkbox, entitled Disable auto status check. This is a cool feature and a recent addition to the First Data Connect plugin.

In order to explain see below:

Holding stock
Holding stock

WooCommerce has a setting to adjust how long stock should be held for. This particular setting is here: WooCommerce > Settings > Products > Inventory.

You can adjust the time held of stock (in minutes), or leave it blank to disable it.

Imagine you have a customer on your site at the checkout stage, they’ve added they’re items to cart and checkout. 

Then they get distracted, open another tab or close the page, as they’ve moved on. 

This particular setting will hold that stock allocated to that potential order, and in my case for 60 minutes. 

If they never come back and the item only has a select amount of stock in place, it’s preventing you from selling the product for the time in minutes allocated here.

The First Data Connect auto status check is enabled by default, you can turn it off if you wish. What this setting does, is check to see if a payment has been made prior to them leaving the cart to do something else.

Which I’m sure you can agree is pretty darn useful.

You can manually check orders, by visiting one and clicking on the button below in your order management screen:

Check order status manually
Check order status manually

Personally? I’m leaving this setting on, it’s one less headache for me to worry about!

Thoughts so far

Again, easy to understand, although the screenshot looks lengthy, it really isn’t a long-winded process. If you were new to WooCommerce, I don’t think you’d struggle with this, it’s nice and clear.

Love the auto status check functionality, I can see this from a store owners point of view, and how much time it could save.

Review navigation

👉Test product, and issuing refunds
👉Documentation, findings and verdict


Hey I'm Ben, I love writing about WordPress, reviewing themes, plugins and offering tutorials. Want to connect? Follow me on Twitter!

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