Choosing the type of payment method is extremely important when starting a company, as it is the gateway between the customer’s purchase and your ability to earn a profit.
The type of payment method may also influence your customer’s perception of the business and be the deciding factor in whether or not they make a purchase. For example, if you have a jewellery shop and your only method of payment for customers is cash, you may loose potential customers as majority of customers making large purchases would not carry around this amount of cash, and would prefer to pay by card. As a result, your business may not be as successful as customers are inconvenienced by the method of payment.
Below are some of the most commonly used payment methods for both online and Point of Sale payment methods, in order to help you decide which one to use for your company to have the greatest chance of success.
Below are the 3 major online payment gateways used by businesses and we have listed several considerations such as the set-up process, fees and customer support, to think about in deciding whether an online payment gateway is the right choice for your business.
Stripe is an online payment gateway, which allows customers to make payments on your website and connects with your bank account. Stripe launched in 2011, Stripe supports payments in 14 countries and is based in the US.
Stripe payments can take up to 7 days from initial setup before the funds are delivered to your account. Stripe users stay on the merchant’s site, rather than being redirected, when making a payment. Stripe at this time is only available in 13 countries.
Stripe charges 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for all transactions, so long as the total doesn’t exceed $1 million in volume per annum.
Stripe customer queries are predominately answered online, with emails being the best form of contact and are always responded to within 24 hours. Stripe also provides a live chat service. However they do not offer phone service.
PayPal is an online ecommerce platform that allows payments and transactions to be made over the internet. PayPal is also a gateway between the payee and the merchants’ account. Paypal launched in 2001, is available in 193 countries and is based in the United States.
PayPal users do not need to have a merchant bank account upon set-up. Merchants can open a Paypal account and begin operating within the day.
PayPal payments are made out within 1 business day. PayPal users are also redirected to the Paypal site when entering in payment information.
For online sales within Australia = 2.4% + $0.30 per transaction. International online sales = 2.4% plus a fixed fee based on the currency
PayPal offers a discount on transaction fees as the volume increases, however there are some other service fees that will apply for certain transactions.
Note: PayPal is a great tool to run AMEX payments through, as the default AMEX rate is 2.75%.
PayPal has a large community forum where many queries and answers can be found online and on their website. They also have a twitter account (AskPaypal) where they answer any questions within business hours. However their phone service can be quite inconsistent.
eWAY is a payment gateway, between the merchants website and their bank. eWAY captures the payees credit card details which they enter onto the website, then pass it onto the bank to process. The funds are then settled into the merchant’s nominated bank account once the card is processed.
eWAY also has a relatively fast set up, where you create your eWAY account, then choose a service and set up an Internet Merchant Account, you can then start accepting payments from customers within 6 days. eWAY also accepts Paypal payments and multiple credit card payments.
eWay fees on their own merchant account are from 1.6% per transaction. The beauty of eWAY is that you can haggle with the big banks. If you let your bank know you ”expect to receive ($1MM+ volumes) you can generally get < 1% per transaction depending on your industry.
eWAY is based in Australia and provides reliable real-time 24/7 phone and email support for its customers. They also have a handy live chat support service 24/7.
Point of Sale (Offline)
Below we have considered the 3 major Point of Sale payment methods for customers in business. As we are switching to paperless methods of payment, many businesses are looking towards card based payment methods and considering the speed at which a payment can be processed to optimise customer sales.
Paypal Here is a mobile payment processing service which links your mobile to a card reader and allows you to take payments. The PayPal Here Chip and PIN card reader pairs by blue tooth to the free PayPal Here app to process payments on the spot.
You will need to upgrade your personal PayPal account to a business or premier account and purchase the Chip and PIN reader device from stockists.
A PayPal Here Chip and PIN Card Reader device is $139. PayPal Here charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
EFTPOS involves an electronic funds transfer between payment cards and payment terminals at the points of sale. EFTPOS allows customers to access their own money through a payment method.
Merchants will need to set-up a merchant bank account with their bank, which will be linked with their EFTPOS terminal.
No fees are charged directly to the merchant for transactions, it will depend on the arrangement that has been made with your bank.
Cash is processed significantly quicker than other payment methods, as the transaction is made instantly between the customer and the merchant.
A merchant bank account will need to be set-up, so that the cash can be deposited into an account. Merchants will also be required to have a float for the transactions at the point of sale.
Depending on how much cash will be taken, merchants will need to work out how the money will be taken to the bank.
Cash carries very little cost as a payment method. Fees will include a currency transporter service (such as Armaguard or Chubb) who will charge depending on the amount needing to be transported to the bank.
The currency transporter also holds full liability for theft, loss or damage.
The type of payment method is extremely influential for customer sales, and is one the challenges faced by many people in first getting their company off the ground. Hopefully this has helped you in narrowing down your search in deciding which payment method best suits your business and ensure future success.
We currently use eWAY as we negotiated a great rate with our bank. We also use PayPal as many customers ask for it and it also serves as a great alternative for AMEX payments.
This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. You must seek professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances before acting.