3
   

Best Way To Accept Payment Online

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 03:36 pm
First...

I AM NOT SPAM! Even though I know I really sound like it.

My question -- is Paypal the best way to allow people to pay for stuff via a website?

I don't like the fees per transaction, but if it's standard, it's standard. It's not bad, in the 2.2-3% range.

But before going ahead with it I thought I'd ask here if there is another service that is better.

I'm most interested in allowing people to pay via credit card.

Thanks!
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 03:47 pm
@sozobe,
Yes, it pretty much is the best way. That fee is typical for small businesses if you wanted to take Visa or MC directly, but this way you don't take in the actual credit card number so you don't run the risk of having your system breached and getting the card numbers stolen.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 03:51 pm
I prefer to pay by Paypal. If I have a choice between offers for the same product, I always choose the one that accepts Paypal.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 04:02 pm
@sozobe,
How many transactions per day? How much per transaction, average? Is interbank clearing all domestic US or overseas as well? Forex rates? If you're looking at a couple of transactions a week, of some relatively important size, your best bet is bank transfer at your expense (talk to your bank about their settlements over the fed wire first) i.e. free to the client. If you're dealing with older / impaired people, old fashioned checks by mail are preferable. I don't trust overseas PayPal security, and overseas credit (though not debit) cards online are even less safe. Cash is king Smile
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 04:07 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

First...

I AM NOT SPAM! Even though I know I really sound like it.

My question -- is Paypal the best way to allow people to pay for stuff via a website?

I don't like the fees per transaction, but if it's standard, it's standard. It's not bad, in the 2.2-3% range.

But before going ahead with it I thought I'd ask here if there is another service that is better.

I'm most interested in allowing people to pay via credit card.

Thanks!


Be careful - Paypal is a soul-less bunch who are well known for the absolute worst customer interactions and service, period. They can freeze up quite a bit of your money for indefinite periods of time with little recourse on your part.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 04:34 pm
@High Seas,
It will be in fits and starts. I have three different websites that I'd like to get this started for. They all have slightly different things going on but none of them will be on the scale of daily transactions.

Website 1: Occasional event tickets (3-4 times a year), donations, memberships. Average transaction probably in the $20 range. Maybe 100-200 transactions total per year, clumped around events. This one is most pressing.

Website 2: Merchandise, donations, memberships. Average transaction probably in the $15 range. Maybe 25-50 transactions per year.

Website 3: Merchandise, donations. Much broader membership but probably less merchandise/ opportunities to pay for things available. I'd guess an average of... $10/ transaction with maybe 50-75/ year.

I did see that Paypal offers reduced rates to nonprofits. I'm not sure about website #3, but both website #1 and #2 are nonprofit organizations. The reduction isn't huge -- rates start at 2.2 percent instead of 2.9 percent (I think, I'm sure of the first but not the second).
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 05:14 pm
@sozobe,
For number 1 (most pressing): offer as standard for payments the non-profit's street address or POB for mailing checks (the organization is bound by law to have one, as well as a bank account, to qualify for tax-exempt status) and offer as option credit card payments on request.

Avoid PayPal, unless you think the membership / clientele strongly prefers it for payments over the 2 other options. Domestic US only, presumably.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 06:03 pm
@High Seas,
Well, the idea would be that a variety of options will be given. We will sell more than 200 tickets total per year for example, but the majority will be in-person transactions (cash or check). Some people would like the ability to pay online rather than having to find a person to buy things from directly or to have to send the check to us. (Yes, we have a mailing address and bank account.)
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Tue 14 Sep, 2010 07:04 pm
@sozobe,
Paypal is easy and secure. Like Edgar, I prefer to use paypal over any other
payment form. This way my credit card is protected as I pay through paypal
and they deduct it from my credit card. Plus it's instant money and both parties
are protected through paypal rules and regulations. It's no brainer, really.

If you accept credit cards, you have to get a merchant approval from your bank
and work through them. Usually, the bank will take a hefty fee for it (for small
volume users) in addition to the percentage the credit institution deducts.

For a small business venue, even non-profit - paypal is your best choice.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 05:29 am
@CalamityJane,
My company uses Google secure checkout.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 06:17 am
@jespah,
Are there fees per transaction for that? Anything else you can tell me about it? (Better/ worse than Paypal and why...)

Thanks!
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 06:47 am
@sozobe,
Google's fees scale >
Quote:
Monthly sales under $3,000 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
$3,000 - $9,999.99 2.5% + $0.30
$10,000 - $99,999.99 2.2% + $0.30
$100,000 or more 1.9% + $0.30
> remember their exchange rates aren't the best available - still better than international credit cards or Paypal, though. However if all your transactions are domestic US that's not a concern. You (the "seller") need only a bank account (which you have) or credit card number; your "buyers" can pay any way they like. Here's the background info for logistics applying to "sellers" - you may need to get a gmail address before using this part:
Quote:

Add or edit bank account
1. Sign in to Google Checkout.
2. Click the Settings tab, then click Financials.
3. Enter your bank account information in the required fields. Ensure your information exactly matches what's on file with your bank.
* If you need to revise existing information, first click Change account....
4. Click Save financials.

Verify bank account
To ensure your security, you'll be asked to perform a simple verification process after you add or change a bank account. Here's how the process works:
1. Within two business days, Google will make a single deposit in your bank account. (Your bank may take up to three additional days to register this deposit in your account.)
2. View your bank statement or contact your bank to locate this deposit amount. The deposit will be labeled GOOGLE DEPOSIT [your credit card statement name].
3. Sign in to Google Checkout.
4. Click the Settings tab, then click Financials.
5. Click Verify account.
6. Enter the exact deposit amount from your bank statement.
7. Click Verify deposit.
Having trouble locating your test deposit? Review our troubleshooting tips.
For account security, the number of test deposit attempts is limited. Incorrectly entering the test deposit amount several times will cause the bank account information to become locked.

Your bank account will be charged $1 when opening the account (it's a security test) which will be returned. Security is better than Paypal's.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 07:24 am
Oh, thanks for researching that. Anyway, yes, it was seen as being more secure, potentially fewer headaches down the line and better able to handle more transactions. Plus we already have integration with gmail for our email, files, etc. so it was one more thing with Google.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 07:31 am
@High Seas,
Oh that was revised from when you first posted... I was happy with no fees (the first version). The fees look to be about the same as Paypal's then, a little worse without the nonprofit discount.

Thanks for doing the further research.

This will be all domestic US transactions, yes.

Verification of the bank account would be a little tricky, but surmountable. The treasurer for my organization handles the bank account -- she gave me a check which has the account number etc. on it but I won't be able to monitor the bank account itself. I can just ask her to do that though. It will add a step but doable.

Hmmm... those two (Paypal and Google) are neck and neck right now.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 07:39 am
@sozobe,
My apologies - I did write "no fees" originally because I was looking at the page for "buyers", not "sellers".
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 07:41 am
@High Seas,
Understood.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 10:03 am
@jespah,
Please don't thank me - you know I work in international finance so I can recite the stuff in my sleep. For the record - in case your company has a high-volume forex business - the best exchange rates (exactly interbank) are quoted by the gold-payments companies like this one:
http://www.e-gold.com/
That's because gold price is instantaneously adjusted for exchange rate changes via 24/7 arbitrage. The worst rates are quoted by cellphone operators offering international money transfers - anyone interested look up Mondex - but that's because of delays in cross-country telecoms settlements.
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 01:02 pm
Soz: I printed out the 1st few pages of this and showed them to my employee Andy. He is the singer in a band and a fiction writer. He uses a merchandise fulfillment company to handle most of his sales but he is doing his own selling of his latest book and solo CD. Maybe 50 transactions a week in the U.S. and overseas, averaging $25 each.
He dosn't want to be responsible for processing credit cards, especially when they are touring and have a merch table.
Many young people are very comfortable with Paypal but perhaps your target audience is older.
He has not had, as the seller, any bad experiences with them.
He noted Cyclo's comment about them holding money. He says that is not an issue once you establish a routine re number and size of transactions.
He did run into holding when he decided to get rid of 20 years of accumulated music related gear. Suddenly he was posting a lot of stuff on Ebay in the $200 to $500 range. That evidently triggered some alarms about him possibly running a scam.

Finally, he does like to be able to punch a button and have a printout of all of his transactions. He can simply hand that to his tax lady.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 01:30 pm
@realjohnboy,
Quote:
He has not had, as the seller, any bad experiences with them.
He noted Cyclo's comment about them holding money. He says that is not an issue once you establish a routine re number and size of transactions.
He did run into holding when he decided to get rid of 20 years of accumulated music related gear. Suddenly he was posting a lot of stuff on Ebay in the $200 to $500 range. That evidently triggered some alarms about him possibly running a scam.


Sure - but the reason can be anything at all, sometimes no reason at all. And Paypal is extremely difficult to get in contact with, customer-service wise, and can freeze large amounts of your money for an indefinite time.

I'm not saying not to use them - I've used them in the past - but be careful. Don't let any amount of money sit in your account that you can't live without for six months or a year.

Cycloptichorn
realjohnboy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2010 03:25 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I am out of my sphere of knowledge here. I don't even have a tv or cellphone. Andy tells me that he has a Mastercard credit card that he can use which pulls money out of his balance in Paypal (which today was $1449.78). He uses it to pay business related expenses, such as the postage on merch he ships.
 

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