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5 Online Payment Systems Reviewed [Video]

With dozens of ways to allow payments through a website, it can be difficult to determine which online payment processor is right for your business. There are several variables which can affect the decision, some of which including sales volume and cash flow requirements.

For the purposes of this payment system review, we focused on processors that are integrated in our DZNRcms website builder and ecommerce platform.

Payment Systems:

  • Paypal Standard
  • Paypal Pro
  • Authorize.net Corporate
  • Authorize.net Reseller
  • Stripe

PayPal Standard

Paypal is perhaps the most widely known, but possibly the most maligned online payment processor. Founded in 1998, PayPal rose to extraordinary success due to it's integration with eBay. When you look at PayPal discussion forums, people are very polarized, either loving or hating the system.

PayPal standard is very easy to set up and allows anyone with an email address to accept payments. PayPal Standard is very cost effective for new or small businesses. With no setup fee and no monthly fee, the only cost to the merchant is a transaction fee. Transaction fees start at 2.9% +$0.30 per sale, and offer discounts on monthly volume of $3000.01 and up. Payments received through your PayPal account are not deposited to your bank account automatically. You must login to PayPal and request a withdrawal. Your money can take up to a week to reach your bank account, but is often available within 3-5 days.

Some of the criticism online, points to a confusing checkout process that makes consumers think they need a PayPal account to purchase through a PayPal merchant. In fact, consumers can pay with a credit card, but it is not as obvious during the checkout process. The checkout process also opens in a new window, the payments are not processed on your website. Shopping cart abandonment can be an issue with PayPal Standard due to the lack of clarity and the extra steps to re-enter billing info in a new window.

PayPal Standard Checkout Page

Customers have to physically click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" in order to view credit card payment options. Even consumers who do find the way to pay by credit card are prompted to save their payment information and open a PayPal account for future use.

 

PayPal Pro

The professional version of PayPal is essentially the same as the standard version, with a few additions and a few added costs. PayPal Pro allows you to process the payment right on your website, so customers do not have to pay in a new window. This is beneficial in reducing shopping cart abandonment. PayPal Pro also includes a virtual terminal, meaning an online dashboard where you can manually enter credit card payment info (cc#, expiry etc). PayPal Pro is a great option for merchants who want the ability to process orders over the phone as well as online.

The cost of PayPal Pro includes the same fees and volume discounts as PayPal standard, but there is also an added monthly fee of $35 per month.

Authorize.net

 

Authorize.net is one of the longest running major online payment processors. Starting 2 years before PayPal, in 1996, Authorize.net has cemented it's position as a premium online payment processor. The higher startup fees and monthly costs will present a modest barrier to cash strapped new businesses who may opt to choose PayPal Standard to begin with.

Authorize.net has an interesting business model, which includes direct sales to merchants through the corporate website, and a network of resellers such as SQ Merchant Services that earn a commission off every client they set up.

Authorize.net corporate account fees are actually very competitive with PayPal Pro over the long term, especially if a business has regular income being generated from online sales. The setup fee is $49, the monthly fee is $25 ($10 less than PayPal Pro - $120 per year savings), and the transaction fee is the same as PayPal - 2.9% +$0.30 per sale. Funds generally are available in your bank account within 48 business hours.

Authorize.net reseller account fees vary from reseller to reseller. See the chart at the bottom of this article for an example of fees by one reseller SQ Merchant Services.

Also included are extra features which add value for the merchant:

  • Fraud prevention software
  • PCI compliant customer payment information storage
  • Automatic recurring billing
  • Automatic synchronization with QuickBooks
  • eCheck payments

Stripe

Founded in 2010, Stripe is the disruptor in this group of well established online payment processors. With a vision to make online payments simpler on websites and in apps, Stripe now powers billions of dollars worth of payments every year.

Stripe has it's sights set squarely on the major players, offering the same transaction rates 2.9% + $0.30 per sale, no monthly fee, and no setup fee. The modest fees includes some premium features of PayPal Pro and Authorize.ne, such as recurring payments. Funds processed by Stripe are generally available in your bank account within 48 business hours.

Discounts are available to high volume merchants processing over $40,000 per month.

Comparison Chart


PayPal Standard PayPal Pro Authorize.net Corporate SQMS (A.net reseller) Stripe
Setup Fee $0 $0 $49 $0 $0
Monthly Fee $0 $35 $25 $15 $0
Transaction Fee 2.9% +$0.30 2.9% +$0.30 2.9% +$0.30 2.5% +$0.15 2.9% +$0.30
Discounts (Volume/mo) Over $3000.01 Over $3000.01 N/A N/A Over $40,000
Batch Fee $0 $0 $0.20 $0.05 $0
Accept Credit Cards Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accept e-Cheques Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Payments Happen
On Your Site
No Yes Yes Yes Yes

 * Note - All Authorize.net resellers set their rates independantly. Statements within this article does not represent the pricing of every Authorize.net reseller, but rather the pricing of one independant reseller at the time of publishing.

‚ÄčHave you used any of the payment processors in this article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Regards,

Jonathan Kervin

Kervin Marketing

Building Engagement & Driving Sales

Top Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jakerust/16651395369

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Steven wrote:
Great article ! Thank you for including me in it. If anyone has questions how to build a website, SEO marketing, E-Commerce, branding Kervin Marketing is the company you should use. sqmerchantservices.com is on his website platform. I am a authorized preferred for Auth. net So if you have questions about your business. Email me today at info@sqmerchantservices.com

Tue, February 9, 2016 @ 8:40 PM

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