Article by Chris Costi, Last update at May 16, 2019
PayPal is virtually a household name, with over 254 million active consumers and 17 million merchants currently using their payment platform. PayPal is extremely easy to use and set up and you can be up and running immediately. With transparent pricing and no long term contracts or early termination fees, PayPal offers integrations with most e-Commerce sites, accounting applications, shopping carts and shipping software. With PayPal you can also get a mobile point of sale application called PayPal Here which is a great option for businesses on the go. PayPal is ideal for low volume merchants who are looking for an all in one payment system and predictable flat rate pricing. They offer multiple pricing plans for you to choose from by simply signing up for their free business account. One of the latest additions is the PayPal mobile processing app which is free and allows you to accept payment from anywhere at any time. PayPal also offers merchants a debit card for businesses which will give you quick access to funds that are deposited in your PayPal account. With this card you can spend your balance directly from your account or draw funds from any ATM. This is a plus for small businesses who want to keep track of their online sales.
PayPal has 3 options for web payments, PayPal Checkout, PayPal Standard and PayPal Payment Pro which is the only package that has a monthly fee of $30. Which one you choose will depend on the amount of transactions you process. All plans include e-Commerce integrations and unlike other merchant accounts you can implement PayPal as your exclusive means of accepting payments, or as a supplement to your existing payment platform.
There is no contract or monthly fees charged for payment processing but you will be charged 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for online payments, 2.7% for swiped mobile and in-store transactions and 3.5% + $0.15 for all keyed in mobile and instore transactions. For virtual terminal transactions, you pay 3.1% + $0.30 per transaction. PayPal offers a virtual terminal that will allow you to accept payments over the phone, this comes in as an extra $30 per month. If you want an instant transfer option you will pay an extra 1% of the transfer amount. For any transactions that come in from outside the US, you will be charged 1.5% cross border fee. For chargebacks PayPal charges a $20 assessment fee.
PayPal also offers Micropayment rates of 5% + $0.03 for all merchants with low volume sales of under$10. This plan is only suitable for merchants that sell low priced items. PayPal works with most payment processors, but offers its own gateway, PayFlow to process payments. There are two support plans, the PayFlow Link which is a pay as you go option and costs $0.10 per transaction and the PayFlow Pro which is charged at $25 per month without per transaction fees. With so many options available you will have to work out which is the most suitable plan for your type of business.
PayPal is a cost effective payment processing platform for low volume, new merchants that are having trouble opening a merchant account. The whole set is easy to use with clear pricing and many features to choose from. If you already have a payment option, you can simple add PayPal Checkout to give your customers the option of paying through PayPal. If you decide to use PayFlow Payment Gateway for all your payment processing, the gateway comes with PayPal’s online processing tools and all maintenance and upkeep of the gateway is maintained by PayPal.
Merchants that accept payments through the PayFlow Gateway do not have to worry about being PCI compliant as all payments will be routed through PayPal for added security. If you would like to keep your customers on your website throughout the checkout process, it is worth looking at the Pro Plan which allows you to customize your design, but you would have to become PCI compliant in order to do this. PayPal makes it simpler for you by redirecting payments through their payment gateway.
One of the biggest advantage with using PayPal is that they are widely accepted and notably trustworthy. For new businesses, PayPal is a great option as they also offer buyer protection which is an asset in the early days of any business. With PayPal you will get a multitude of products and services under one roof in the form of a payment gateway, payment forms, virtual terminal, invoicing, micropayments, and recurring billing and developer tools.
All their features are scalable and will grow with your business. Setting up an account with PayPal is simple and as long as you do not fall into a high risk type of business, you will be up and running almost immediately. Mobile integration is seamless and you will be able to accept payments on the go. There are also a lot of POS options and other integrations including accounting software to choose from.
PayPal offers payment solutions for all types of businesses regardless of whether you want to sell online or accept payments through multiple channels. There are many different payment options for you to choose from as well as a multitude of integrations and add-ons. PayPal integrates with some of the best shopping carts, accounting software, shipping applications, point of sales software and email marketing applications. For e-Commerce, you can opt for integration with well-known software or use a developer to implement PayPal checkout on your website. The tools offered include mobile and desktop web browsers and customizable payment buttons. PayPal’s button builder tools allow you to customize your page and change the way your checkout process works. PayPal offers an excellent online invoicing feature that you can use to invoice clients with options for recurring invoices, tipping options or installments. You can also use the developer API to design invoices, issue payments as well as uploading to a spreadsheet. To add PayPal payments to a POS system you can use the PayPal Here SDK for both iOS and Android.
From time to time you might be asked to re-verify your account, especially if there are any unusual transactions on your account. It is not unusual for PayPal to withhold funds or freeze your account without notice if suspicious behavior is noted. In extreme cases with high-risk businesses, your account could even be terminated. A red flag on your account will be accompanied by a request for documentation like bank account statement, photocopies of your ID and more. As far as funding is concerned, PayPal transactions are usually available immediately in your PayPal account.
You can automatically withdraw the funds if you have one of their business debit cards, or transfer your funds to your bank account which will take a couple of days. For those that find themselves in a position where they need a quick influx of cash, PayPal merchants are eligible to apply for PayPal Working Capital. This is a cash advance which is given to qualifying merchants and paid back with the deduction of a small portion of daily transactions. PayPal also offers LoanBuilder which new addition to their services. This is a simple short-term loan available to merchants regardless of which payment processor they are using. To be eligible for this loan you would need a credit score of at least 550. For qualifying merchants, there is a simple application process which is trustworthy and reliable.
One of the biggest advantages that PayPal offers is its transparent pricing with no setup, monthly or annual fees, and no long contracts and cancellation fees. For small businesses, this is ideal and very cost effective because you pay as you go. As your business grows you can add on features that are available through the PayPal website. Customer services are available via phone or email and there is a Community Forum that offers insights and advice from other PayPal merchants. You will also find a Knowledgebase that offers extensive self-help resources for consumers and merchants. Frequently asked questions are answered and this can be an invaluable source of information. You can also access social media like Facebook and Twitter to get some assistance.