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.
When 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 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 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 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 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
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.
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!