Recently, in one of the Facebook groups I participate in, the question arose again. Should one use PayPal or Buy Stripe Account in one’s business? I used to run marketing teleseminars weekly for a merchant account vendor and this question came up on almost every call.
PayPal: Let’s Review
You’re probably all quite familiar with PayPal. It’s a third party processor. You, the merchant, never see your customers’ credit card information. PayPal collects it and puts the money into your PayPal account. From there you can spend the money by paying for things with PayPal, using the PayPal debit card to spend the money, or transferring it to your bank account, which takes about 2-3 days.
You don’t need a shopping cart to use PayPal – you can create buttons right in PayPal to use on your site or in emails. There are many carts that will integrate with PayPal, however, should you want to use one.
Typically, the merchant is charged 2.9% of the transaction to use PayPal. There are better rates available for merchants with higher monthly sales.
What About a Merchant Account?
A merchant account allows you to take credit cards directly. You will have a relationship with a vendor, such as DirectPay, PowerPay, Stripe, or even your own bank. Behind them will be a gateway, such as Authorize.net or Verisign that allows transactions online. It’s the account information for your gateway that you will set up in your shopping cart in order to accept payments.
While you can manually enter transactions with a gateway, for most online sales, you will want a shopping cart to work with a merchant account.
Merchant account fees are often pretty complicated. There will be per transaction fees. They will be something like 2.6% plus 30 cents per transaction. No-swipe fees – when you don’t swipe the card, such as in online purchases, are higher. You will almost always have a monthly minimum for the fees. If it’s $25 for example, if your transaction fees for a month add up to $25 or more, you’re good. If they don’t, you will charged the difference between what they add up to and $25. You will also have a monthly statement fee – usually around $10 – and a monthly gateway fee – also usually around $10.
Whew! Pretty confusing, huh? And it seems like all those fees must make it cost more than PayPal, right? Not necessarily. I’ll get into that in just a bit.
The money from a transaction will automatically deposited into your bank account in 2 days.
What Do Customers Think?
Does using PayPal affect how customers view your business? Will they avoid buying from you if you only accept PayPal?
When I started my business more than a decade ago, PayPal was seen as the more amateur choice for smaller vendors who couldn’t afford a merchant account. Online business was just getting going and a merchant account allowed the online vendor to look more like an offline ‘real’ business.