Beyond PayPal: Why You Need Alternative Payment Gateways for Your Ecommerce Site
When we think about online payment systems, most of us associate PayPal first and foremost.
This is only natural. PayPal got in there first with online payments. In the early days of the modern internet, there were only a handful of sites that could boast true synonymity with the rapidly evolving digital phenomenon – Google, Amazon and eBay.
Oh yes, do you remember the days when bidding on eBay was an exciting, ultra-modern activity? It was pretty cool, wasn’t it? And of course, we were all cajoled into paying for our bargains using another piece of futuristic technology – PayPal.
eBay bought up PayPal way back in 2001, and the two were seemingly happy bedfellows until 2014 when they split (far more significant to the online world than the recent Brangelina break-up, but you’d never believe it). But, during that time – which will no doubt be historically considered as the true coming-of-age of the modern internet – PayPal’s association with everyone’s favourite online car-boot sale stamped the payment service provider’s (PSP) authority firmly in the collective subconscious of the whole darn world.
Not Everyone’s a Fan of PayPal
Everyone recognises the PayPal logo – far more, no doubt, than realise that it’s not an official branch of eBay any longer – and recognition builds trust, which is of course extremely important when it comes to sending strangers the green stuff.
Indeed, PayPal is user-friendly, relatively secure, and widely used. But, just because it’s the biggest, doesn’t mean it’s the best or the right PSP for your ecommerce store.
For one thing, there are plenty of people out there who absolutely detest PayPal and all its services. There are even websites dedicated to its ridicule and condemnation. Don’t believe me? Check out paypalsucks.com to see for yourself.
Such sites may seem a little aggressive or over the top – but they do highlight one very important consideration for the online merchant: not everyone likes PayPal. Indeed, it seems that there is a not-insignificant subculture of internet users (no doubt big contributors on Reddit) that will simply refuse to use PayPal, which means that if PayPal is the only PSP you offer on your site, you are losing custom.
And so it’s time to consider the alternatives for your online store, which is why we’ve put together this post for you today so you can see what your options are.
5 Alternative PSPs to PayPal
1 – Stripe
Stripe has emerged as one of the biggest rivals to PayPal – and with good reason. It integrates seamlessly with literally thousands of apps for both Android and iOS, making it brilliantly placed to meet many companies’ online ecommerce needs.
Stripe also allows you to manage subscriptions, and comes with integrated fraud-prevention tools and doesn’t charge any additional fees for failed charges or refunds.
Fees: 1.4% + 20p for European cards, and 2.9% +20p for non-European cards.
2 – Click2Sell
Click2Sell is another great PSP. It takes pains to differentiate itself from its competitors by placing high focus on detailed sales analytics. Powerful reports, automated sales management and affiliate tracking all make for great tools that ecommerce merchants can use to make significant refinements to ongoing sales strategies.
Fees: Click2Sell only charges when you make a sale – which means no set-up fees. There are three different plans that merchants can choose between, which you will need to check out for yourself before setting up with the system. Find them here.
3 – Skrill
Skrill – formerly Moneybookers – has actually been on the scene since 2001, and has built up its platform to now provide over 100 payment options for your customers. This makes it truly one of the most versatile PSPs on the market.
Skrill supports 40 different currencies and users can send and receive payments in more than 200 countries around the globe.
Fees: These are generally considered to be low, but vary, depending on your level of service, from 1.4% to 3.9% per charge plus €0.35.
4 – GoCardless
GoCardless is the PSP to set up if you need a solution for receiving direct debits.
There are no set up fees with GoCardless, and the whole process of collecting payments is completely automated, from tracking to reconciliation. A direct debit system may very well be perfect for your online business model – and will be especially beneficial since such a method means that customer retention will be high.
Fees: GoCardless boasts that its fees are “less than half the costs of PayPal”, which they are. Just 1% per transaction and capped at £2.00. That’s pretty darn good.
5 – Square Register
It’s no secret that the world of mobile commerce has exploded in recent years – and so, if you’re looking for a PSP that is designed specifically for the handheld device, then you’ve found it with Square Register.
Square Register will take care of all your sales reports and create digital receipts for your mobile customers. It’s also great for analytics – all manner of business intelligence can be gleaned from your customers’ payments records.
And of course, being a mobile app, you enjoy a constant stream of upgrades and updates, so you can always see that improvements are being made to the service.
Fees: These are a little high, to be fair – 2.75% per transaction plus $0.15. But the solution is sound if you deem it’s worth paying for.
Final Word – Don’t Ditch PayPal
I just want to close by making the point that integrating any of the above PSPs into your ecommerce site should really be done in addition to PayPal. Sure, there seems to be plenty of people who don’t like PayPal, but there are even more who still don’t know (and therefore trust) anything else. So, keep PayPal for the mainstreamers, and offer an alternative (or two) for the rest.
Need help setting up an ecommerce store? Here at My Social Agency we have a team that can create the whole thing for you from scratch, or simply help you with PSP integrations if that’s all you require. Whatever you need, get in touch with us today and we’ll make sure that your online store is optimised for the highest conversion rate possible from the highest amount of visitors.