Ubiquitous, easy, trustedCons
there are cheaper options out thereVerdict
It's the system I use. Enough said.
Paypal REVIEW - A trusted gateway for merchants and customers alike
Paypal has earned people's trust:
I use Paypal for all my online transactions. Why? One simple word: Trust. I trust the system and everyone I've ever done business with trusts the system. At first I was bothered by their fee per transaction (2.9% + .30 cents USD per sale). This is a bit higher than a couple of their competitors. But when I did some investigating I realized a few things:
1. They have no hidden fees: no monthly fee, no setup charge, no monthly minimum and no cancellation charge.
2. I am a technophobe who happens to run an online business. Any extra time I spend dealing with technology is time mis-spent in my book. Paypal is my choice for ease of use.
3. Trust Sells: Paypal is ubiquitous which means better conversions to sales. Don't underestimate the power of a trustworthy name. Virtually anyone who has ever made an online payment has used Paypal. The name removes hesitation and doubt when it comes time for the delicate process of giving credit card information.
Trust your instincts:
Personally, when I even think of Paypal, I get a good gut feeling. I know that may sound silly but to me it counts for a lot, more and more. In the past I've spent more time compulsively researching my options than getting on with my business. I'm not saying don't do your due diligence. I'm saying don't overthink it! Learn from my mistakes! :-) Especially if you want to keep things simple for yourself. There's a reason Paypal is ubiquitous... it's a safe, affordable solution for online sales. A company like Paypal must maintain an incredibly high degree of accountability or risk their business going down the tubes and Paypal maintains an A+ with the BBB.
You can use Paypal for individual transactions if you don't need a payment system on your website and you can also set one up with no credit application and no monthly fees. You get the option of selling single or multiple items, selling a subscription with recurring payments (if the person is a Paypal member it's free but if you want to subscribe people who are not on Paypal there is a monthly fee). They also offer a donations button.
Payment Gateway vs. Merchant Service Provider:
Maybe you've wondered what the difference is between a payment gateway and an MSP. Here's the deal with comparing Paypal to Merchant Service Providers: You're comparing apples to oranges and in order to ramp up your business, you'll eventually need both. Payment gateways like Paypal provide an online platform for the transfer of sensitive data, i.e., credit card information. Since no one wants this vital data to be compromised, payment gateways like Paypal are devoted to ensuring the highest level of security for the transfer of this specific information, online. Your payment gateway partners with your merchant service provider and your shopping cart to complete the picture of your online and/or bricks and mortar sales needs. To read more about the Merchant Service Provider's function and how to negotiate the best deal for yourself, check out my review of US Merchant Systems.
One of the great benefits of Paypal is that for certain types of businesses, Paypal could be all you'll ever need, especially if your product is web/information based. On the other hand, if you need to ramp up operations, Paypal has 199 partners and growing! Some of these partners are focused on point of sales solutions (such as cc swiping machines, etc,) some are ecommerce shopping carts, some are international, some provide marketing support for your website and all are integrated with Paypal. That means you can stay with Paypal through the developing life of your business.
Paypal in action:
So, for example let's say you're just starting out. Maybe you bake incredible deserts and you're helping a friend cater an event. You're at the party where the host is serving your deserts and someone flips out over your pie! They're doing an event next week and they must have it (I must be hungry right now!) Anyway, because you're just starting out, you don't have a website, let alone a shopping cart ("shopping cart" is the term for your online store.) But, you've used paypal to make purchases in the past so all you have to do is send your future client a request for a deposit via paypal (she does not need to have an account, herself.) She emails the deposit back and you have secured your sale! Voila!
Now, cut to a year later. You've got a blog about your culinary adventures, your logo and trademark and you're churning out pies faster than you ever thought humanly possible (while still maintaining quaiity of course!) You've got an online store, so people who have heard about you locally can place an order on the site. You're still using paypal as your gateway and now you have a shopping cart on the site courtesy of one of Paypal's trusted partners, for example Magentogo. You can read my review of Magentogo.
Another year or 2 goes by and now you're doing trade shows. You've figured out how to freeze your pies without compromising taste and consistency and you're placing pies in retail outlets right and left. Once again via Paypal's trusted network of partners you can take orders on the spot with a cc swiper provided by your merchant service provider, or with your virtual terminal. As an aside, you never have to bother with a swiper if you don't care to. Been to the apple store lately?
My overall take on Paypal:
Basically, you can take Paypal the whole distance and never break a sweat, have to think about, research, contemplate the endless universe of payment options because contained within this ultimately trusted name is all you'll ever need. And if you care to develop a more sophisticated system, Paypal will seemlessly integrate with your MSP and shopping cart.
That's my take on it anyway and that's why, as appealing as another option might seem, I haven't been in a hurry to switch. I like the simplicity of the model, the ease of use and the level of trust. It's one less thing to think about when you're running an increasingly busy business!
Check out Paypal by clicking on any of the big buttons to learn more about your ecommerce options.
Visit the official site for Paypal
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