Small businesses can increase their payment options by accepting online payments, but what is the best way to get started? What payment processors allow small businesses to take payments from customers online and seamlessly incorporate this payment method into their businesses? Below are a few online payments processors to consider for any type of small business.
PayPal Is Popular in the U.S.
PayPal has been around since 1999 and experienced early success by integrating with eBay to allow sellers to collect payments easily. The company has since expanded, gone public, and developed into one of the largest payment processors online. The company offers personal accounts as well as business accounts, which allow small businesses to accept payments from other PayPal users, credit cards, Venmo, and bank transfers.
Whether you are a traditional brick-and-mortar business or an online business, PayPal makes it easy to accept payments from all types of customers, but there are limitations. For starters, it's not available in all countries internationally, so cross-border payments can be a problem.
PayPal charges 2.9% of the payment for an online transaction or 2.7% for a brick-and-mortar transaction plus 30 cents per transaction. Outside the U.S., those fees are 4.4% and 4.2%, respectively.
Nevertheless, it's free to transfer from PayPal to your bank. You can also add up to 200 of your employees to have limited access to your account.
RELATED:  Top Mobile Payment Systems for Retailers
Square Integrates With Mobile
PayPal saw a need and quickly filled it when it was clear that online selling was taking off. Square arose to meet the need for mobile payments.
Square launched in 2009 and allows brick-and-mortar retail stores to integrate Square payments with their point-of-sale terminals and cash registers. Other brick-and-mortar businesses such as bars and restaurants, health and fitness clubs, home repair services, and professional services can also use it. Merchants can accept credit cards, debit cards, contactless and chip cards, magstripe, and more. You can even offer gift cards through Square.
The beauty of Square is that merchants and microbusinesses can accept payments through mobile apps and hardware that connect to your established payments systems. The service also includes robust analytics that allows you to learn more about how your customers pay for your products and services. Square has a variety of fees for different merchant needs and almost all of them are lower than PayPal's. Stripe Targets Internet Businesses
Stripe launched in 2010 with a unique selling proposition. Its target was virtual, or internet, businesses.
While PayPal managed to secure first-to-market advantages, the service has been slow to keep up with advances in online commerce. For that reason, Stripe came on strong with a reasonable alternative that allows online businesses to use the company's API to beef up their own operations. One such innovation is the ability to issue expense cards for employees and other physical and virtual cards.
Stripe is also active in countries where PayPal is absent. Payment methods include bank transfers, popular wallets like Alipay and WeChat, other local payment sources in various parts of the world, local currencies, Apple Pay and Google Pay, and, of course, credit cards.
Like Square, Stripe offers an awesome dashboard with analytics, and it also features a robust development platform for small businesses that want to build a successful online business model. Payment fees start are 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. However, larger businesses can work with Stripe to create a customized package that meets their needs. PayPal is easier to use, but Stripe is more flexible for online business and e-commerce.
RELATED:  How to Evaluate Credit Card Processing Companies
Venmo: The Up-and-Coming Payments Processor
Venmo is the new kid on the block. The service launched in 2009, but for the longest time, it was nothing more than a way for friends to send money back and forth to each other without huge processing fees. Now owned by PayPal, Venmo has issued its own credit card and allows merchants to accept payment through PayPal Checkout or by integrating with Braintree, another PayPal-owned startup, for mobile payments.
Payment Processors Popular in Europe
While Stripe and PayPal are both available in Europe, and Square has begun its European tour starting with the United Kingdom, there are other payment processors that focus solely on European markets. Two worth mentioning are SecurionPay and Skrill.
SecurionPay claims to accept every payment processing method. Literally. What sets it apart from PayPal is its targeted focus on software-as-a-service companies, digital content, and pay-per-use scenarios. Its unique features make it an excellent option for micropayments and subscription-based business models.
Skrill is based in the United Kingdom. It's a popular application because Skrill has millions of users with an online wallet that allows them to make payments at merchants and online sites they use. Therefore, businesses have access to a wide user base right off the bat. There are some technical limitations to Skrill, but payment options are not one of them.
Other Payment Processors to Keep an Eye On
The science of processing payments online is ever-evolving. Two up-and-coming services are quickly changing the way merchants online and offline are accepting payments and allowing customers to pay for goods. Affirm and Klarna allow customers to pay for product purchases over time with fast and easy lines of credit approval at the point of sale.
Because U.S.-based Affirm and Sweden-based Klarna are technically loan service providers rather than payment processors, they only get a mention, but their unique arrangement with merchants that allow this payment method means merchants have another revenue stream that is effectively fee-less, making credit cards a less attractive option.
Amazon Pay offers third-party merchants a way to accept payments from customers who are also heavy Amazon users. Anywhere customers can buy from Amazon, Amazon Pay is there to provide payment processing for businesses that need a way to process online payments. Their Global Partner Program allows merchants to integrate Amazon Pay into their business model.
In Canada, National Processing and Helcim are respected alternatives. In Australia, Kash and AfterPay fill the void.
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Online Payment Solutions for Small Businesses

By Allen Taylor

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Accepting online payments from your customers is a necessity for most businesses. Here are the most common online payment solutions available to small businesses.

accepting online payments
Image source: Depositphotos.com

Small businesses can increase their payment options by accepting online payments, but what is the best way to get started? What payment processors allow small businesses to take payments from customers online and seamlessly incorporate this payment method into their businesses? Below are a few online payments processors to consider for any type of small business.

PayPal Is Popular in the U.S.

PayPal has been around since 1999 and experienced early success by integrating with eBay to allow sellers to collect payments easily. The company has since expanded, gone public, and developed into one of the largest payment processors online. The company offers personal accounts as well as business accounts, which allow small businesses to accept payments from other PayPal users, credit cards, Venmo, and bank transfers.

Whether you are a traditional brick-and-mortar business or an online business, PayPal makes it easy to accept payments from all types of customers, but there are limitations. For starters, it's not available in all countries internationally, so cross-border payments can be a problem.

PayPal charges 2.9% of the payment for an online transaction or 2.7% for a brick-and-mortar transaction plus 30 cents per transaction. Outside the U.S., those fees are 4.4% and 4.2%, respectively.

Nevertheless, it's free to transfer from PayPal to your bank. You can also add up to 200 of your employees to have limited access to your account.

RELATED: Top Mobile Payment Systems for Retailers

Square Integrates With Mobile

PayPal saw a need and quickly filled it when it was clear that online selling was taking off. Square arose to meet the need for mobile payments.

Square launched in 2009 and allows brick-and-mortar retail stores to integrate Square payments with their point-of-sale terminals and cash registers. Other brick-and-mortar businesses such as bars and restaurants, health and fitness clubs, home repair services, and professional services can also use it. Merchants can accept credit cards, debit cards, contactless and chip cards, magstripe, and more. You can even offer gift cards through Square.

The beauty of Square is that merchants and microbusinesses can accept payments through mobile apps and hardware that connect to your established payments systems. The service also includes robust analytics that allows you to learn more about how your customers pay for your products and services. Square has a variety of fees for different merchant needs and almost all of them are lower than PayPal's.

Stripe Targets Internet Businesses

Stripe launched in 2010 with a unique selling proposition. Its target was virtual, or internet, businesses.

While PayPal managed to secure first-to-market advantages, the service has been slow to keep up with advances in online commerce. For that reason, Stripe came on strong with a reasonable alternative that allows online businesses to use the company's API to beef up their own operations. One such innovation is the ability to issue expense cards for employees and other physical and virtual cards.

Stripe is also active in countries where PayPal is absent. Payment methods include bank transfers, popular wallets like Alipay and WeChat, other local payment sources in various parts of the world, local currencies, Apple Pay and Google Pay, and, of course, credit cards.

Like Square, Stripe offers an awesome dashboard with analytics, and it also features a robust development platform for small businesses that want to build a successful online business model. Payment fees start are 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. However, larger businesses can work with Stripe to create a customized package that meets their needs. PayPal is easier to use, but Stripe is more flexible for online business and e-commerce.

RELATED: How to Evaluate Credit Card Processing Companies

Venmo: The Up-and-Coming Payments Processor

Venmo is the new kid on the block. The service launched in 2009, but for the longest time, it was nothing more than a way for friends to send money back and forth to each other without huge processing fees. Now owned by PayPal, Venmo has issued its own credit card and allows merchants to accept payment through PayPal Checkout or by integrating with Braintree, another PayPal-owned startup, for mobile payments.

Payment Processors Popular in Europe

While Stripe and PayPal are both available in Europe, and Square has begun its European tour starting with the United Kingdom, there are other payment processors that focus solely on European markets. Two worth mentioning are SecurionPay and Skrill.

SecurionPay claims to accept every payment processing method. Literally. What sets it apart from PayPal is its targeted focus on software-as-a-service companies, digital content, and pay-per-use scenarios. Its unique features make it an excellent option for micropayments and subscription-based business models.

Skrill is based in the United Kingdom. It's a popular application because Skrill has millions of users with an online wallet that allows them to make payments at merchants and online sites they use. Therefore, businesses have access to a wide user base right off the bat. There are some technical limitations to Skrill, but payment options are not one of them.

Other Payment Processors to Keep an Eye On

The science of processing payments online is ever-evolving. Two up-and-coming services are quickly changing the way merchants online and offline are accepting payments and allowing customers to pay for goods. Affirm and Klarna allow customers to pay for product purchases over time with fast and easy lines of credit approval at the point of sale.

Because U.S.-based Affirm and Sweden-based Klarna are technically loan service providers rather than payment processors, they only get a mention, but their unique arrangement with merchants that allow this payment method means merchants have another revenue stream that is effectively fee-less, making credit cards a less attractive option.

Amazon Pay offers third-party merchants a way to accept payments from customers who are also heavy Amazon users. Anywhere customers can buy from Amazon, Amazon Pay is there to provide payment processing for businesses that need a way to process online payments. Their Global Partner Program allows merchants to integrate Amazon Pay into their business model.

In Canada, National Processing and Helcim are respected alternatives. In Australia, Kash and AfterPay fill the void.

? 2019 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

 
 

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