As an online retailer, you want to give your customers the safest and smartest options for making payments. You also want to receive those payments quickly, hassle-free and with the least amount of fees. By choosing the option that meets your needs, your online business can be successful and retain a loyal customer base for years to come. Regardless of the size of your company, you want your online payment service to create a viable revenue stream while ensuring that your customers’ information is kept secure. With a wide variety of payment companies available for your website, let’s review the pros and cons of each to make an educated decision for your business.
Since the early 2000s, PayPal has been a driving force behind the lion’s share of online transactions. Acquired by eBay in 2002, it has become the provider of choice for online businesses large and small, tallying over 143 million active users around the world.
PayPal has a user-friendly mobile site that allows for purchases from any device in any location, and it offers numerous options for business owners to accept payments, including scanning checks through smartphones, accepting major credit cards online or even accepting physical credit card swipes through a device hooked into a mobile device. All your site needs is a secure connection to the PayPal site and a link on your page. PayPal provides a step-by-step process to make integrating their system relatively easy.
PayPal is free to start a Standard account and tops out at $30 per month for a Pro account. All plans will charge a certain percentage per transaction, but the more transactions you perform in your business, the lower your fees will be each month. The basic fees are 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. Money that is funded by a credit card is transferred immediately, which can be helpful to your business and can provide the means to fulfill orders quickly. PayPal’s Payment Advanced feature offers customers the ability to complete their transaction from your site, which may be worth it to provide your customers a seamless shopping experience.
Every part of PayPal is designed for the average user to navigate, and it is one of the easiest payment options to set up for your website. There are also various security elements to PayPal that allow it to be a secure method for users to input credit card information as well as bank accounts.
Much like PayPal, Google Wallet serves both online and mobile payments, and it’s a one-click option for customers to store their credit card information in a secure cloud and move quickly through any purchase. The rates for this payment option are competitive with PayPal, starting as low as 1.9% and $0.30 per transaction with no monthly fees or setup fees. Businesses can also use the service to distribute promotional offers through Wallet, allowing opportunities for on-the-spot conversions. While PayPal has put a focus on the small business owner, Google Wallet has stayed with the larger, big-box retailers. The service is accepted anywhere the MasterCard PayPass is accepted.
Working with this payment method requires a company to engage with Google directly, and the upfront cost is still unclear, as Google has kept Wallet a low-profile product. Merchants are hoping for a more detailed account of how the fees will impact their businesses, but the setup and use is as user-friendly as the Google platform itself. The potential number of users for the platform is tremendous, as any Google user can use Wallet with an existing account.
Started in 2009, Square Wallet is an easy way to start accepting payments and tracking your sales. With over 2 million users, a mobile device can be transformed into a point of sale in almost any location. When you sign up to accept payments via Square Wallet, you can start accepting payments quickly and even receive a free credit card swipe device in the mail with no setup cost. There are no monthly fees, and you only pay for the transactions that are completed. You pay a fee when someone pays you, which can be helpful if you are just starting out with an online store.
The downside of Square can be seen in fees and some of the holds that are placed on larger sums of money. With fees similar to PayPal and Google Wallet, the 2.75% charge on transactions is not a turnoff for most business owners, and with next-day deposits available, your store and services can be funded quickly.
Amazon introduced their payment service in 2007, which allows businesses to accept payments from customers with Amazon accounts. The company charges no setup, monthly or cancellation fees for your account, with transaction fees starting at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for transactions of $10 or more. Rates go lower as transaction volume increases, reaching the lowest point at 1.9% if monthly transactions exceed $100,000. Registered non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations can qualify for a 2.2% rate at $0.30 per transaction.
The payment system can be integrated using a number of APIs available from their developer page, and it’s fully ready for mobile deployment. Amazon also claims that its service has one of the best fraud-prevention systems in the business.
Choosing the Right Option for Your Business
As the owner of an online store or service provider, you want customers to feel safe when shopping on your site, and you want to make sure your bottom line is covered. Accepting online payments is one of the smartest ways to increase your customer base and grow your business in ways a traditional brick-and-mortar shop never could experience.
Your personal choice for your business will be based on factors that are important to you, such as the fees charged, feedback from your customers and even the interaction you have with the company. Few have long-term contracts, so even if you start with a particular payment resource, you can always change it down the road.
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