By Casey Strouse, Web Application Developer

PayPalis a household name when it comes to making payments online. However, of late, PayPal has started to falter. As the service has grown, so have the headaches in using it. The management at the company has made quite a few poor decisions. Small businesses have faced problems of all kinds with PayPal, from account limits to holding balances when a complaint is reported. So much so that there is a PayPal hate and complaint site out there.

While a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs have faced these problems, PayPal is so tightly integrated into a lot of websites. For example, with EBay, a PayPal account is mandatory . This post does not advocate that you ditch PayPal, but if you are one of the many small business owners looking for other ways to send money / transact online, here are some great alternatives for you to compare and choose.

Amazon Payments

This is Amazon letting you pay online. You have the backing of a large and reputable corporation. Payments are made using your Amazon details and shipping information and the sender’s email address. Money received can either be withdrawn to your bank account or as an Amazon gift certificate.

Cost: No fees for making payments or receiving them but there is a minimum withdrawal limit.

  • Minimum of $1 for Amazon gift certificate
  • Minimum of $10 for bank withdrawals

When it comes to integrating Amazon payments (Amazon Checkout) for your shopfront, you can have a hassle-free fully integrated checkout experience. There is the benefit of the Amazon payment protection policy for chargebacks in case of fraudulent transactions and the wonderfully secure solution that Amazon offers you.

The pricing for e-commerce merchants using Amazon Checkout is as follows:

Three month average % of transaction per transaction fee
$100,000 and up 1.90% $0.30
$10,000 – $100,000 2.20% $0.30
$3,000 – $10,000 2.50% $0.30
< $3,000 2.90% $0.30
For transactions less than $10 5.0% + 0.05 for all transactions

Google Checkout

Google checkout is the next big player in the online payments market and with Google’s backing, there’s not much to worry about security. They call it One wallet for online and in-store shopping and just like other offerings from Google, its dead simple.

The pricing model for merchants using Google Checkout is as follows:

Monthly Sales Through Google Checkout Fees Per Transaction
Less than $3,000 2.9% + $0.30
$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

Moneybookers

The next option, Moneybookers (currently undergoing rebranding as Skrill), a UK-based company, offers a gateway that enables fast, secure payments using a vast array of payment options valid and accepted across the globe. They also allow the user to deposit and withdraw cash instantly.

The fees involved is as follows for US-based merchants:

Estimated monthly sales volume Transaction Fees
up to $ 3,000 2.90% + $0.29
$ 3,000.01 – $ 10,000 2.40% + $0.29
$ 10,000.01 – $ 100,000 2.00% + $0.29
more than $ 100,000 1.70% + $0.29

WePay

Next up is WePay that markets itself as more than just a payment gateway service. As quoted on their website,

WePay provides free tools to help you collect money for your business or organization. We offer more than just payment processing.

WePay currently lets you create and send invoices, create an online store, sell tickets for events and also collect donations for charity.

There’s not much to mention in terms of costing with WePay. For bank account payments, the minimum charge is 50¢. For credit card payments, the charge is a flat 3.5%.

Stripe

Stripe markets itself as Payments for developers. It talks of a very simple API that handles everything from storing cards, subscriptions and direct payouts to the bank accounts.

They also have no setup and monthly fees and any other hidden charges and deposit earnings to your bank account on a 7 day rolling basis.

Their pricing model is outright simple. Stripe charges a flat rate of 2.9% + 30¢ per successful transaction. The chargeback fees is at 15$ for fraudulent transactions.

Conclusion and Verdict

Yes, PayPal is a household name but they have of late been losing their forte because of poor management decisions. Having  your funds locked and accounts limited is not actually a nice way to handle your customer’s financials.

Of the various options mentioned in this post,the others are pretty straightforward with my vote going to Amazon for having the smoothest process in the lot and a clear customer policy in terms of handling the customer’s financials. And with no doubt, Google and Stripe follow closely.

As always, please contact your Virtual Assistant, behind-the-scenes team members at Virtual Assist USA for assistance in choosing and setting up the right payment option for your business.