Accepting credit cards online is now easier than ever before.
Gone are the days where you had to suffer through the process of opening a merchant account only to be rejected. There are now tons of companies who let you accept credit cards within a few minutes, literally.
All this competition has led to a drop in processing fees, which you need to be taken advantage of. Let’s find out about some of the best providers for accepting credit cards in 2015.
This guide will be heavily focused on the United States and Canada, since nearly all the payment processors are located there, but I will also try to offer alternatives for other parts of the world, especially Europe. If you reside in a smaller country, your options for accepting credit cards may be more limited.
First on our list is Stripe. They are a relatively new company in the payment processing space but they have been very good at making their name known.
Started in 2010, Stripe decided to make payment processing easy for software developers by making the integration extremely painless. Before Stripe, it was quite a hassle to add payment processing to any software.
Fast forward to today. Stripe is extremely popular among technology companies, forging partnerships with Twitter, Apple, and possibly even Pinterest. For retailers, Stripe is one of the best options to help you process payments.
Stripe is a solid choice for new merchants. They are innovating quickly and are extremely friendly towards merchants. They are even testing the ability to accept Bitcoin.
Paypal is a giant in the payment processing space and they have established their name and reputation over the past 10 years. While they have lost some of their innovative edge recently, they still offer very reliable services and millions of consumers trust the Paypal brand. Competition from other companies like Stripe and Braintree have also forced them to reduce their fees.
Paypal offers two products that are relevant for us: Paypal Standard and Paypal Pro. The biggest difference between the two is that Paypal Standard takes your customers to the Paypal website while Paypal Pro keeps them within your site (important for a consistent checkout experience). Paypal Pro is an extra $35 a month but the other fees stay somewhat similar.
Paypal is still a solid choice for new merchants and their recent upgrades give us hope that they will stay competitive. The allure of the Paypal brand among consumers is a huge pro that retailers need to keep in mind.
Our third option is Braintree. They were able to remain competitive in this space even alongside Paypal, and they have a very robust offering, similar to Stripe.
Braintree was officially acquired by Paypal in 2013 but has remained independent from its parent company.
Braintree is so merchant friendly that they created the standard for making credit card data more portable and easier to transfer to another provider. They are committed to keeping customers happy through a great service and not just a software lock in.
Braintree is also innovating quickly to catch up with companies like Stripe, but their acquisition by Paypal is giving them an edge with retailers who do want to leverage the Paypal brand. Overall, a solid choice for new merchants.
At the end of the day, payment processing is just one more step retailers need to go through before they can be open for business. This process should be as painless and as easy as possible, and all of these 3 companies fulfill that requirement.
Do you have any experience with companies listed above? What do you think about them?
Tagged braintree, payment processing, paypal, stripe
Thanks for these options,
Competition is very good, especially merchant benefit from it a lot. As you say, services become more flexible and accessible. Good to see, that we now have some strong alternatives to Paypal. I had experience with Paypal, however I had to switch to an alternative due to some of their regulations, and I managed to find few very worthy alternatives.
Thanks for your comment! The days of Paypal being the only option are definitely changing and that’s a good thing! The competition from companies like Stripe have also forced them to simplify their pricing and make it easier for new merchants to understand what it will actually cost them to accept credit cards online.
While I agree that these are all viable options, there are a lot of problems that occur with signing up with an aggregator.
Exhibit A: https://ecommerce.shopify.com/c/payments-shipping-fulfilment/t/worst-experience-with-stripe-payment-gate-how-many-people-using-stripe-151491
It’s not as simple as “Gone are the days where you had to suffer through the process of opening a merchant account only to be rejected.”
That’s not to say that they don’t have their place. For a small merchant just starting out an aggregator would be an excellent option. However as a company grows they need things that an aggregator such as Stripe just cannot provide. I recently did a blog post on this topic that I believe may be informative to merchants doing over a minimum of 50k a year.