Running through a few of my posts over the last few months I realize that I’m coming across as fairly negative towards PayPal, even though those posts are directed at their operation of the VeriSign payment gateway service, it still sounds as though I hate PayPal. One of the reasons I have had the hate-on for PayPal is probably jealousy, kind of like all those Mac users who love to hate Microsoft and PC’s. Perhaps there hasn’t been enough PayPal love-ins, so here goes:
PayPal is unbelievably useful for small business owners. Here are five reasons why:
1. It is very simple to use and easy to setup.
2. You do not need a merchant account – if you don’t know what a merchant account is, consider yourself lucky. Getting one is like a combination of getting your teeth pulled and applying for a new passport if you can’t find your birth certificate…painful, excruciatingly slow and the requirement for your first born to get accepted.
3. It is cheap – ever since PayPal lowered its discount rate (from around 4% to something like 2.9%), PayPal is very economical for a small business with relatively small amounts of monthly transactions.
4. It is secure – since day one, PayPal has prided itself on being at the forefront of fraud and security. Since it has always been a consumer targeted service they get all kinds of questionable merchants, so they have had to be at the leading edge of security.
5. It is flexible – although it may be kind of confusing at first, PayPal actually has a lot of options for small business owners that caters to their requirements. You can choose from a regular account that accepts only payment from other paypal accounts, to a premium account that accepts credit card payments, to Website Payments Pro that is essentially a payment gateway with a built-in merchant account, but unfortunately not yet available in Canada. You can use it to accept payment with their vanilla solution, or use a service like FreshBooks that has it completely integrated.
The fact of the matter is that PayPal is extremely popular, a quick look at all of the FreshBooks small business users shows that a whopping 30% of all active users are completing transactions with PayPal, compared with the next leading gateway Authorize.net at 6%.
Through all the whining and complaining about the PayPal service, let’s face it, millions of small business owners out there are getting a lot of benefit from PayPal and I am sure there are millions more who will use them in the years to come.