No matter what business you’re in or where you are in the world, there is a way to receive payments online. Online payment systems are third party payment providers that help businesses receive payments from their customers on the e-commerce website or online service platform. This is done via a user-made account, email address or credit card.
Online payments have evolved significantly over the recent years as more consumers are becoming more digitally savvy and opting for the more technologically advanced solutions to engage in transactions. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely accelerated the transition to online payment systems instead of the traditional physical cash-based payment. Partly for the convenience and ease, and partly to observe social distancing. Regardless of the reason, online payments are a growing trend in the business world and are only going to continue to rise in the next years to come.
How does it work?
By incorporating an online payment system to your online business or e-commerce website, you provide your customers with a convenient and secure way to send their payments to you. You just have to select a provider, pay annual or percentage fees and set it up with your store.
Your business will have to pay a fee to the third-party payment company, usually something like a few cents per the transaction in addition to some percentage of the total invoice, depending on the provider of your choice. There are also annual or monthly subscriptions.
Points to consider when getting an online payment system
Hacking, piracy and data security are all huge concerns when it comes to collecting money from customers and clients. By using a well-known, reputable large online payment system, your clients’ data will be secure, and you’ll have reduced risk of a privacy breach or external fraud. There are a host of cheaper payment companies, but they’re also less secure and even quite risky.
Online payment systems are not one-type-fits-all programs and there will be some providers that will not be available for use in your country and region. It is important to select a provider that can process the payment of your target audience or consumers.
- Integration to your online store
It is important to choose an online payment system that integrates seamlessly with the e-commerce platform that you are using for your online shop. Most of the well known payment systems support notable e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, etc.
Excellent online payment systems for small to medium businesses
PayPal remains unbeaten in the list of the world’s most widely used payment systems, processing over $936 billion payments in 2020 catering to the needs of more than 28 million merchants and 325 million active accounts worldwide.
Users are required to create a Paypal account since money can be sent directly to an email address. Payments are processed using the user’s account or with a credit card. On top of taking payments, Paypal enables users to send money directly through its service which is a feature offered by only a few payment solutions. It integrates with almost all popular shopping websites worldwide.
Pricing: Without charging any setup or monthly fees, PayPal takes 30¢ per transaction plus 2.9% for most types of domestic transactions.
Google has a counterpart to Paypal and that is Google Pay. This payment solution allows users to conveniently pay for goods and services through an account connected to their Google profile. After all, who doesn’t have a Google account nowadays? With that being said, making a purchase through Google Pay is a much simpler route in online payments. It also integrates with popular ecommerce providers such as BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce.
Pricing: Google Pay doesn’t charge merchants any transaction fees. However, the credit card company may charge a transaction fee if a shopper uses a credit card through Google Pay in-store.
Through their Amazon account, Amazon Pay allows shoppers to easily make purchases using the payment methods provided in their system. Merchants can add an Amazon Pay button to their checkout processes making it customizable and tailored to their businesses’ needs. It is a fast and easy payment option that works on your site, on your mobile or even through the Alexa skills. It also integrates with popular ecommerce providers such as BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce and Zuora.
Pricing: Amazon Pay fees are transaction-based and have a processing and authorization component. Amazon Pay charges 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for domestic payments through web and mobile. For Alexa payments, Amazon charges 4% plus $0.30. You can find the complete information at Amazon Pay help center.
Stripe is ideal for web developers who would like to integrate a payment system into their projects that utilize Stripe’s robust API. Without the need to go through the traditional signup process, Stripe acts as a merchant account for its providers, handling all PCI compliance and merchant approvals. It caters to 135+ currencies worldwide. It also integrates with Wayfair, Asos, Peloton, Hims, Indochino and Away.
Pricing: Without any setup or monthly fees, Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction More information on the Stripe pricing page.
Authorize.net is one of the Internet’s most widely used payment gateways catering to the payment needs of more than 430,000 merchants worldwide. Since 1996, this payment solution from Visa handles more than a billion transactions yearly. It can be easily integrated with a lot of the widely used ecommerce platforms, such as BigCommerce, Chargify, Magento, Volusion, and X-Cart.
Pricing: For an all-in-one solution that includes a merchant account and payment gateway, you’ll pay $25 per month and 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction. You can see more details at Authorize.Net pricing page.
Heavy on simplicity and security, Dwolla is another payment platform option you may want to consider. It offers features such as digital wallets which enables the ability to send up to 500 payments at the same time, real-time payments to banks participating in the RTP® Network, and same-day ACH payments. WooCommerce is one of their well known integrations.
Pricing: Dwolla’s pay-as-you-go plan includes a 0.5% fee per transfer. The company also offers flat-rate plans starting at $250, $1000, and $2000 per month. You’ll also need to pay a $1-$2 fee to onboard a new customer. See more information on the Dwolla pricing page.
Braintree is an online payment gateway and merchant account solution known for working with popular tech startups such as Airbnb and StubHub. It is now part of the PayPal ecosystem since 2013. Braintree, however, is geared toward companies with high sales volumes that require customization features. With Braintree, customers can also choose within a range of payment options, including PayPal, Venmo, debit and credit cards, Google Pay, and more. It also integrates with popular ecommerce providers such as Demandware, NetSuite and Shopify.
Pricing: There are no set-up or monthly fees. Transaction fees are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for qualified cards. Head to Braintree pricing page for more information.
Perfect for independent software vendors and software platforms, WePay is an online payment solutions company that provides payment solutions. This infrastructure enables small businesses to accept payments through the software platforms such as SMB SaaS, POS systems, and online marketplaces.
JPMorgan Chase acquired WePay in 2017, which enabled functionality such as same-day deposits to Chase bank accounts.
Pricing: Each software vendor or platform negotiates its own rate with WePay. If a vendor or platform chooses not to set its own rate, WePay’s standard fee is 30¢ plus 2.9% per transaction. Source: WePay Terms of Service
If you’re looking for payment on the go, reduce time for check out, increase productivity and customer satisfaction, Verifone is a flexible mobile payment solution that will help you with that. It allows merchants and retailers to provide the customers with a secure, fast and convenient way to make payments. The mobile payment solution is equipped with mobile point-of-sale or mPOS devices that can work seamlessly with the latest smartphones and tablets, and in different operating systems.
Pricing: 2Sell solution comes with fees of 3.5% plus $0.35 per transaction. Its 2Subscribe plan, for subscription-based companies, charges 4.5% and $0.45 per sale. The company's all-in-one solution, 2Monetize, comes with fees of 6% plus $0.60 per sale. Source: 2Checkout pricing page
Bluesnap supports online and mobile sales, marketplaces, subscriptions, invoice payments, automated accounts receivable and manual orders through a virtual terminal. With a single-integration to our Platform you can accept any payment with ease. The Platform includes access to 100 payment types, including popular e-wallets, built-in world class fraud prevention to protect your sales. It also has 100+ third party integrations to popular shopping carts, CRM, ERP systems and more
Pricing: Bluesnap charges 2.75% plus $0.30 per successful card transaction