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E-Commerce – Online Payment Processor Reviews

About the author: Dan Cannon is the Lead Web Applications Developer for Nicasio Design and Development. Nicasio provides web based solutions for both individuals and businesses. Nicasio is highly proficient in WordPress design and development. Nicasio also owns and operates the E-Commerce solution NicE-Comm.

Credit Card Logos E-CommerceWhen starting an e-commerce website it is inevitable that one of the issues will be what payment processor to use. This isn’t always an easy question to answer. You need to ask yourself several questions to properly evaluate your needs in order to align yourself with a payment processor that will help you accomplish your business goals.

Which Payment Processor is Right For Me?

In my opinion there are three categories of online payment processors. You have basic services such as Paypal or Google Checkout. You have completely integrated processors that are similar to POS payment processors such as Authorize.net and MiraPay. Then you have other payment processor such as Money Bookers, Neteller, or ePassPorte. These services typically require your customers to register for an account and take extra steps to pay you.

OK, What About the Reviews?

Alright, lets get down to it. You came here to read some reviews of online payment processors. Keep in mind that each processor is going to have pros and cons. I will try to highlight each of these below.

Paypal
http://www.paypal.com
Paypal is probably the most popular, well-known online payment processor. If you have ever used eBay, you have probably dealt with Paypal. Paypal is easy to implement for novices, but is not without its limitations. Many people are hesitant to buy from a retailer outside of eBay through Paypal. While this solution may be easy to implement, it may lower your ‘trust factor’ with your potential customers. Paypal charges a small fee per transaction as well as a 2-3% transaction fee for business accounts.

You have a couple of options when using Paypal. You can manually create a ‘Buy it Now’ button for individual products (this will quickly become cumbersome if you have more than a handful of products) or integrate with the Paypal API for more seamless payment integration (this requires a little more technical know-how).

Paypal works well if you are only going to sell a few products or if you would simply like to take online donations on your website. If you are going to take the time to integrate the API into your website I would recommend using one of the more robust processors listed below.

Google Checkout
http://checkout.google.com
Google Checkout shares many of the same pros and cons as Paypal. It is easy to implement, easy to get your funds, and easy to maintain. It shares many of the same limitations as Paypal. Some users may think that using Google Checkout isn’t ‘professional’ enough. Many e-commerce websites use both Paypal and Google Checkout together since it gives your users an option as to who they would like to check out with.

One advantage both Paypal and Google Checkout have over some of the other processors listed here is their ability to be used in almost every country in the world.

Authorize.net
http://authorize.net
Authorize is one of my favorit online payment processors. They offer seamless integration into your website. Your visitors never have to leave your site. You (or your developer) can create your own scripts to both charge a card through Authorize and capture customer data to your database all at one time. There are premade scripts you can use from Authorize to integrate into your website, or you can simply link to a payment form on the Authorize server. This option takes a lot of liability off your site since Authorize will be handling the data encryption and handling of the user’s personal data.

Authorize does require you to have a merchant account. This is easy to get (check your local laws and methods for opening a merchant account), but it is one extra step you will need to take.

MiraPay
https://ws2.eigendev.com/mira/index.php
MiraPay is a Canadien payment processor, so those of us south of the border can’t take advantage of their services. But for those that can use them, they are very reliable and easy to setup.They handle all of the encryption and handling of your customer’s credit card data. You pass the order total to MiraPay and they handle the rest. Your customers will have to leave your site to pay with Mirapay, but on success or failure of the transaction, the user is directed back to a webpage that you create.

Moneybookers, Neteller, ePassPorte
http://moneybookers.com/app/
http://www.neteller.com
http://www.epassporte.com
These three services are usually reserved for websites that, for whatever reason, cannot use a traditional payment processor. This could include gambling websites or websites that operate in countries where no other payment processor options exist. I would recommend not using any of these services unless there is absolutely no other option. Also note, these processors do not allow customers from the United States to make payments. So as I said before, last resort only.

Summary

Make sure to evaluate your needs when deciding on an online payment processor. Each one offers its own pros and cons for achieving your business goals. There isn’t a ‘best’ payment processor, you will need to weight all of the factors of each to determine your needs. And don’t feel like if you start using one processor you are stuck with them. If a processor isn’t meeting your needs don’t be afraid to change.

If you are looking for an e-commerce solution that can incorporate virtually any payment processor, feel free to Contact Nicasio Design and Development about our e-commerce solution NicE-Comm. Or head on over to the NicE-Comm Website to learn more.

Which Payment Processor Are You Using?

Feel free to add your own reviews in the comments below. I have only reviewed processors in this article that I have personally used, so help expand this list by adding your own!

12 Responses to E-Commerce – Online Payment Processor Reviews

  1. Hi Dan,

    A nice, concise summary. I’ve used a local bank processor offering a service like Authorise.Net. We call them payment gateways down here but essentially they allow merechants to accept credit-card transactions online.
    I now use PayPal which is much less expensive and works fine. Paypal and Google checkout, which we don’t have downunder as yet, I think of as Peer -to-peer services.
    One final contribution is that Intabill is headquartered in Australia but doesn’t offer its services locally or, indeed, use local banks.

    Regards
    Stewart Carter
    eCommerce Report

  2. Hey Stewart,

    Thanks for the insight on how this is handled ‘down under’.

    Anyone else have some insight on other payment processors from around the world?

    -Dan

  3. Dan,

    Great brief summary. Can you elaborate on the pros/cons of the actual processing, or on the virtual terminals offered by these processors?

    For example, some processors allow you to charge the customer a bit more than was pre-authorized. This is useful if the customer calls after placing their order and says “Can I pay extra to have this shipped overnight?”. With some processors, you’d have to ask the customer for their card info again. Others will let you add that charge to the original transaction.

    -jared

  4. Great question Jared.

    None of the ‘peer to peer’ solutions (Paypal, Google, Money Bookers, etc) will let manually charge a customer’s card an additional amount. This is to be expected because many times the merchants using these services are not registered businesses, but individual sellers, so the payment information needs to be protected a little more. Most of these services do, however, allow you to setup recurring billing, but you still don’t actually have the ability to charge the user at will.

    Authorize.net actually keeps your customer’s payment information on file and allows you to make charges to their card in the way you are describing. I believe you can also make changes to the final amount charged between the time when the card was charged and when payment is settled.

    I have never had the opportunity to try this with MiraPay.

    Hope this answers your question.

    P.S. Most of these processors will allow you to create a developer’s, test or demo account which is a great way to find out all of the pros and cons of each. And try not to limit yourself to a single processor, as each has its own strong points in different projects.

  5. Hi Dan,

    I am trying to find a payment processor that is friendy to accepting payments for betting systems. Do you know of any? I used to use paypal, but they are cracking down on it a bit now.

    Thanks,
    Ben

  6. Hi Dan! Thank you for posting your review about the different online payment processors. What about AlertPay? Do you have any experience on using it? I’ve read that they offer many features, such as Mass Pay, flexible funding and withdrawal methods, various Business Tools for the online entrepreneur, and supports more currencies, countries, and industries than most other payment processors.

  7. @Ben I don’t know of any right off the bat. These are typically called “high risk” processors as there is far more likely event of fraud on gambling transactions than say, buying a book. These processors will typically charge a higher percentage of the sale to process an order.

  8. @John – No I don’t have any first hand experience with AlertPay. However I have heard of them and haven’t heard any complaints. The functionality they offer sounds like it is comparable to most of the other large payment processors though. I would say you should be OK with them.

    One thing you can do if you are unsure about any new company you will be doing business with is to run a Google search for CompanyName Complaints. Peolpe tend to be pretty vocal when they have a bad experience on the net, so if there is any dirt to be found that should dig it up.

  9. Pingback: E-Commerce - Online Payment Processor Reviews | Nicasio Design Blog | AcePayments.com Blog

  10. MiraPay works all over North America. It is the best and most reliable, in my experience.

  11. When accepting credit card payments directly from the buyer contact the credit card company and verify the buyers name and address, making certain it matches the information submitted by the buyer

  12. I am seeking a payment processor, similar to Paypal that has their own integration gatewaey with a Buy Now Button. We are going to offer Electronic Cigarettes, which Paypal and many others will not accept. Can you or anyone help? Thank you.

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