When you’re first getting an eCommerce site or web store up and running, one of the main things you need to deal with is credit card processing. If you already run a brick-and-mortar store that has a merchant account, chances are you can simply talk to your bank about adding online processing. If not, however, you need to start from scratch; and the merchant account application process can be difficult and time-consuming.
Alternatives for Credit Card Processing
Fortunately, there are some credit card processing alternatives out there. These payment gateways offer you the ability to accept payments without a merchant account. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular, as well as a new competitor that promises to make a big splash:
PayPal for payment processing
This is, of course, the granddaddy and the gold standard when it comes to credit card processing alternatives. What started out as a convenient way for eBay buyers to pay sellers has grown into a financial powerhouse.
PayPal offers a number of credit card processing alternatives, the most popular of which is their Website Payments Standard. This service lets you accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, as well as bank transfers and eChecks. You use tools at the PayPal website to create buttons that allow your customers to make their payments.
You can also use the Virtual Terminal service at PayPal to take credit card orders via fax, phone, or mail order.
Google also offers a credit card processing service known as Google Checkout. This is a convenient option for your buyers who have a Google Wallet account; they simply enter their email and password information, and make the payment. The checkout process also works for those without a Google Checkout account, too.
Like PayPal, Google Checkout offers pre-generated HTML buttons to add to your site. They also let you create an online store with their Store Gadget, which can be embedded directly into your website. There are a number of other shopping cart options you can use with Google Checkout, as well.
This is the newest credit card processing alternative. V.me has similar functionality to PayPal and Google Checkout, but they’re branching out in some new directions. They’re focusing on making purchases online from mobile devices, for example.
The intention is also that retailers will be able to accept payments via V.me. Google is already experimenting with Near Field Communication technology on Android smartphones using Google Wallet, and PayPal supposedly has something similar in the works. It looks, however, like V.me will be the first to get this to market.
V.me is a viable alternative for people who aren’t happy with PayPal’s account policies, and who want the flexibility that comes with processing retail and mobile transactions.
Now you know the credit card processing alternatives
Ultimately, you need to spend some time comparing the credit card processing alternatives, and decide which one works best for your business model. Some businesses are better off sticking with PayPal, while others can benefit from using one of the other services.