Cheapest Way to Accept Payments Online

by Star Pollard; Updated September 26, 2017
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When establishing an online business, one of the first things you must determine is how you will accept payments online. There are many options available and you can begin accepting payments in moments, depending on the method that works best for you. When selecting a payment method, you will want to consider your estimated volume of transactions, average amount of each transaction and whether you would prefer to have your payments processed directly from your website or your payment provider's site.

Authorize

Authorize.net is a leading online payment gateway that allows online merchants to accept credit card payments online. This system allows you to accept all major credit cards, e-checks, gift cards, and debit cards as forms of payment. They provide an online merchant interface to view and monitor your transaction detail and have built-in fraud detection tools to protect you from theft. Additionally, they provide exceptional customer service support, allowing you to contact them via real-time chat, email and phone.

It costs approximately $99 to set up an account and approximately $20 per month to maintain the account. Transaction fees are 10 cents per transaction with a 25-cent daily batch fee. Included with the service is address verification, a free virtual terminal to process phone orders, free website integration and card code verification; however for an additional $9.95 per month, you may enroll in their advanced fraud detection program that identifies suspicious online orders. If you need to set up recurring transactions, it costs $10 per month. There is an additional fee to accept checks and you must contact a seller directly to determine the fees you will incur for this service.

Authorize.net 808 East Utah Valley Drive American Fork, UT 84003 (801) 492-6450 (877) 447-3938 authorize.net

PayPal

PayPal offers three online payment services: Website Payments Standard, Website Payments Pro and Payflow Payment Gateway. They also allow you to set up online invoicing and virtual terminal payments for phone, fax and mail orders.

With Website Payments Standard and Website Payments Pro provide all of the tools you need to add credit card payment processing to your website. Both systems enable you to accept major credit cards, PayPal payments, echecks, debit cards, instant bank account transfers and integration with existing shopping carts. The standard version is free, while the Pro is $30 per month and enables you to accept directly from your site; Standard redirects to PayPal.com. Unlike the standard version, Website Payment Pro requires a credit application. However, both enable you to sell single and multiple items, set up recurring payments and accept donations.

With Website Payments Standard, there is no cancellation fee, no minimum monthly transaction amount, and no setup fee or monthly charge. With Website Payment Pro, there is a $30 monthly fee, no gateway fees, no monthly minimums, early termination fees or downgrade fees.

Your transaction fees, using Website Payments Standards or Pro, vary based on the volume of your monthly sales. If you sell between $0 to $3,000, your fee per transaction is 2.9 percent + 30 cents or $3.20 on a $100 sale. If you sell between $3,000+ to $10,000, your fee per transaction is 2.5 percent + 30 cents per transaction; or $2.80 on a $100 sale. If your volume is $10,000 to $200,000, your fees are 2.2 percent + 30 cents per transaction or $2.50 for a $100 sale. If your volume exceeds $200,000, you will need to contact PayPal to determine your processing fees.

Payflow Payment Gateway allows you to use your existing merchant account with PayPal as your gateway. By establishing this account, you will have the ability to set up a virtual terminal to accept payments by phone, fax and mail. There is continuous account monitoring and advanced fraud protection.

Setup fees for Payflow range between $179 to $249. There is also an additional monthly fee of $19.99 to $59.99, and a 10-cent fee per transaction.

PayPal P.O. Box 45950 Omaha, NE 68145-0950 (402) 935-7733 paypal.com

2Checkout

2Checkout.com is an authorized reseller of tangible and digital products and services. As an online e-commerce business, when you use 2Checkout, you are partnering with their company to offer your goods and services for resale. They charge a one-time setup fee of $49 and apply a 5.5 percent commission on each transaction plus a 45-cent charge per transaction. 2Checkout applies any applicable sales tax and in order to establish an account, you must have a business website that contains marketing, advertising and product information. Additionally, you must have a refund and return policy with links to 2Checkout.com’s compliance disclaimer and privacy policy. A shopping cart is not required and recurring payment options are supported. Buyers may pay with all major credit cards and PayPal. There is a 30-day return policy if you decide to cancel your agreement.

2Checkout.com, Inc. 1785 O’Brien Road Columbus, OH 43228 (614) 921-2450 2checkout.com

About the Author

Star Pollard began writing professionally in 2003. Her work includes editing and ghost-writing content for books, websites, and developing educational curriculum for a small publishing firm. Her primary areas of focus include health and fitness, parenting, finance and technology. An industrial engineering graduate of the University of Michigan, she is committed to providing valuable information about the topics she lives and loves.

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