What to Know Before Getting Started
Starting a New Business?
Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.
Considerations For Current Business Owners
Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.
Google has announced plans to retire Google Checkout in favor of transitioning merchants and consumers to its new Google Wallet service. The company states that Google Wallet better meets the needs of users due to a wider range of device compatibility and integration. This move is great for merchants who have another processor in addition to Google Checkout because Google Wallet is compatible with most card processors. However, online retailers who currently rely on Google Checkout as their sole credit card acceptance method will need to find a replacement if they wish to continue taking credit cards after November 20th, 2013.
What To Do Next
If you have a payment processor…
If you already work with a traditional credit card processor, you can apply for “Google Wallet Instant Buy” to integrate Google Wallet into your payment options. There are no fees in addition to your current merchant account costs and the service also offer rewards and loyalty features.
If you don’t have a payment processor…
If Google Checkout is your sole processing method and you process more than $3,000 per month in credit card sales, it may be time to consider upgrading a traditional credit card processor. There are a lot of options out there and you must practice due diligence before signing up for an account because failing to do so can be very costly. First, be sure to read our free ebook, “Fee Sweep – How To Get The Merchant Services You Need Without Getting Scammed” and then visit our Top Processors page to find a highly rated provider.
Maybe you want to stick with something more like Google Checkout. That’s fine, too. There are several great options that offer easy signup, simple integration with your website, useful features, and better customer support. We have previously reviewed and rated most of Google Checkout’s competitors, so here are the picks we think make for the best alternatives.
Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.
Why These Merchant Account Providers
ProPay is a great alternative for merchants that not only sell online but also at an occasional flea market or trade show. This provider offers an easy signup and a host of useful features for both e-commerce and mobile merchants. ProPay has more expensive pricing than Google Checkout with an e-commerce rate of 3.2% to 3.4% per transaction and annual fee of $50 to $70 depending on the account type; however, with this added cost comes solid customer support and a variety of features not found with Google Checkout. Check out the ProPay website for more information.
Braintree Payment Solutions
Google has worked out a deal with Braintree Payment Solutions to offer merchants a simple migration and discounted pricing of 2.7% plus $0.30 per transaction with no monthly or annual fees. The service is not as rich in features as ProPay and only supports e-commerce needs, which it does well, so merchants may want to look elsewhere if they sell items outside of their online store. Braintree also has multiple customer support options, including live phone support and email. Visit Braintree Payment Solutions’ Google Checkout Offer for more information.
Stripe is basically the equivalent of Square mobile credit card processing, but for online card acceptance. This service offers the simplest signup and approval process among all of the picks, and a flat processing rate of 2.9% +$0.30 per transaction with no other fees. Additionally, Stripe boasts that it’s one of the easiest services to begin accepting credit cards online due to its account setup process and payment implementation methods. The service’s main drawback is that Stripe does not have live phone support (email and FAQ page only). Visit Stripe’s website for more details.
Chances are that if you are using Google Checkout, you have probably heard of PayPal. Like Stripe, PayPal offers an easy signup process and simple implementation options. Add to this the addition of the PayPal Here mobile credit card processing application and PayPal is an attractive option many businesses. However, depending on your processing needs, PayPal can become one the most expensive options on this list with potential monthly fees of up to $30. Although there is a “Basic” account free of monthly fees, online retailers will likely find this account quite limiting. PayPal also does not have a great reputation for customer support and charges for support if you wish to get a higher level of service. Visit PayPal.com
Other Merchant Account Options
The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.
WePay has not received a complete review on CardPaymentOptions.com but we have included it because it may fit the needs of some merchants. The service is similar to Stripe in account setup but includes additional features such as payment button tools, online invoicing and a virtual terminal. WePay has suffered several complaints from merchants in the comment section of our review mostly regarding funding holds and poor customer support. It appears that the company may need to improve its account approval and funding policies in order to mitigate these problem areas; however, WePay appears to be a solid option for a Google Checkout replacement. Get more details at WePay.com