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  1. #1
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    Question Recommend merchant accounts for e-commerce?

    Didn't see anything on this by searching the Lounge, so it might not be something Loungers can help me with. However, I always check here before anywhere else for all my IT related questions so here goes:

    Hoping for some objective feedback on 3 possible suppliers for our e-commerce site. Key concerns are cost and reliability, which includes support, and market acceptance. The product is a web-based training program.

    Possible Suppliers:
    • PayPal
    • Google Checkout
    • Authorize.NET

    Thanks for any suggestions, as always.

    Linda

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  3. #2
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    Paypal is the only one I have experience with. Works very well, it is possibly the most used payments system and that is important too. As a customer, I prefer to pay using Paypal and not having Paypal is a reason for not purchasing some goods in some websites. Just MHO.

  4. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I used PayPal for 4 years running a part time eBay store. I purchase stock and accepted approx. 99 % of my payments through PayPal. Worked great. I can send money to individuals and suppliers and receive money just as easily. Adding or removing funds from/to my bank account was free and took approx. 5 days either way. I sometimes did not like the fees, but everyone has fees. I found more of my customers had PayPal accounts, including overseas customers, than any other service. Just my 2 cents.
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  5. #4
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    Great. Thanks for your experiences. I'd heard PayPal had high fees and Authorize.NET was a better bet. That isn't true if customers prefer PayPal to a credit card!! Will do more thinking and post back.

  6. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Linda, you have to use the site your customers prefer, and 99 % of my customers had PayPal. Plus your customers can pay with a credit card through PayPAl. From your perspective it makes no difference whether they use their PayPal balance or a credit card to pay you. The payment is instantaneous. The only type payment that takes a few days are those people that do not keep a balance in their PayPal accounts, and have to transfer money from their bank accounts to PayPal before you get your money. These folks, surprisingly in my experience, are few and far between. I also would advise to not ship to customers until you are notified by PayPal that their payment has cleared.

    If you factor in all your fees, including shipping, in your pricing structure, the PayPal fees are not bad. Your customers will like the fact that PayPal protects them as well. If for some reason they got stiffed by someone not shipping something to them or shipping something that was not as described, and the seller is not responsive, then PayPal protects them on this purchase. This is great security for them. Plus if you ever get into overseas shipping (It is much easier than it first looks) many overseas customers also have PayPal. Just realize the fee is slightly higher due to exchange fees for monies.

    I also used PayPal shipping (generally through USPS, much less expensive for the products I was shipping, low weight, small size). It was very easy and I could print shipping labels on regular paper directly from PayPal, use my PayPal balance to pay the shipping cost, and done! PayPal shipping will walk you through the overseas shipping procedure.
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  7. #6
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    Excellent! Had not exactly realized that credit card payment options were available through PayPal. That makes them an even better choice as they then are a "one stop shop". Our primary product is a downloadable, password protected training program, but there will be "tangible" promo products down the line. It sounds as if PayPal works really well for them as well ... and for international sales, which we'd sure like to get to as well!

    As always, you are a wealth of information. It's great that you are in this Lounge and so wonderfully generous with your expertise!

    Many thanks, as always,

    Linda

  8. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Linda, Glad I could help. Although I don't have the eBay business any more I still use my PayPal debit card on an almost daily basis.
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  9. #8
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    Authorize.net has a generally good reputation, as does First Data, previously Card Services International.

    With Paypal, there can be occasional glitches in the back-and-forth between your site and Paypal. Also, you need to be comfortable with the customer leaving your site, which doesn't happen with a non-Paypal credit card payment. Check out the recent Website Payments Pro, which might cure both those issues.

    If your business is starting out, I advise going the Paypal route. If things develop as you hope [or you are already established], then talk to your bank about a merchant account, there's a good chance it would be cheaper overall once your monthly sales go above a certain threshold.

  10. #9
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    Thanks, Mike. Helpful and practical advice. You have hit the issue exactly: do we start with PayPal for "quick start" and until we get revenue flowing, or bite the bullet and go for a merchant account right away, for futures and image? Right now we are leaning to the basic PayPal for launch to get up and out there quickly, and planning to move to one of the others soon after. PayPal's Pro has 2 issues we're trying to avoid at first: need for developer and need to manage the credit card data securely ourselves! What we are most concerned about with PayPal, however, is the leaving the site issue which you identified. Hard to tell how much of an issue that could be!

    Appreciate the suggestions of providers and will check out your links. Thanks for sending them!

    Linda

  11. #10
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    pjmcbride

    For some reason, pjmcbride's post did not show up here although it was in my email notification. Wanted to copy it in and then comment on it ...

    Post: First let me say that once you let the world know you are looking at a credit card solution, you will be flooded with offers for service. They are worse than the old days of long distance phone sales people.

    Next, you want a provider who will be around when you need to solve a problem. Consider COSTCO, Sam's Club, your local bank, and other big names to assist you. Remember, they are providing you with a credit line when you process cards. They don't want you refunding $100,000 on your buddy's credit card account and then skipping town.

    But the really cool tool is from square.com. They provide you with credit card processing at a flat rate of 2.75% per transaction. You may be able to find a lower rate, but the real kicker is their card scanner. It is about the size of a quarter and plug into your iphone or android phone. It is free and all you have to do is sign up at no charge. You can use it in a totally portable mode or plug it into your ipad and tie it to your product line. All the customer receipts are emailed to the
    customer's email address instantly. Could not be more cool.

    More to ponder! Checked out squareup.com - what an amazing tool! Don't think it works for our current need (remote credit card processing on our site), unless I'm missing something! Great for future mobile plans, however!

    Thanks for your input.

    Linda
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2011-08-19 at 09:22.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Didn't see anything on this by searching the Lounge, so it might not be something Loungers can help me with. However, I always check here before anywhere else for all my IT related questions so here goes:

    Hoping for some objective feedback on 3 possible suppliers for our e-commerce site. Key concerns are cost and reliability, which includes support, and market acceptance. The product is a web-based training program.

    Possible Suppliers:
    • PayPal
    • Google Checkout
    • Authorize.NET

    Thanks for any suggestions, as always.

    Linda
    I think authorize.net provides credit card terminals to merchant companies like north american bancard(i use them). because if you look on their site http://www.nabancard.com/index.php under providers authorize.net is listed.

  13. #12
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    Thanks. I checked out the site and saw authorize.net as one of the gateway providers. Can you tell me why you chose North American Bancard?

  14. #13
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    I never signed up for this type of account before and saw on their site they had 100,000 active accounts and to me that said they were doing something right. Do not feel comfortable giving my opinion on them as I am still new to this(2nd month) and haven't had much time to develop one.

  15. #14
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    Thanks for your straightforwardness and I understand. You sound as if you're as new to this as we are, so your history, though brief, and how you found them is very helpful.Quick question: do you also need to set up a gateway account such as authorize.net or do they look after that as part of their service?

  16. #15
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    I only signed up for an account with bancard I didn't sign up for anything with authorize.net(maybe bancard and them have some type of agreement?)

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