As coronavirus has changed the way we work and live, and how Australian small businesses operate. I have revisit this post originally posted in 2016 comparing the most popular payment solutions for small businesses. Time flies, it has been more than 4 years since, the populars are still the populars, however, there is even more payment solutions become a trend nowadays, which are Afterpay, Zip, and Splitit. We also going to review them in a minute.
More and more businesses realize that going online is the trend, and it’s inevitable, even you are just a start-up or micro business, doing business online can still do more good than harm to you. There are a lot of benefits while doing business online, first of all, internet is the new economy, and it is the perfect venue for business. Also, internet can boost your company’s image, help you provide better customer support, and make information more easily available to your customers. Finally, doing business online can also help you cut costs and you have the ability to do business 24 hours and reach global markets.
Having an online business has a lot of more benefits than what we just discussed above, however, going too much details is not the purpose of this article. Today’s technology makes anyone start an online business possible, but we are still facing a critical problem: how do we collect payments from our customers and with so many different payment gateways, which one should my business use? It’s so critical because while doing business online, trust becomes the main issue, collecting money successfully and on time then will determine the longevity or shortness of your business in the industry. Having a good payment system in place will definitely make the winners stand out in a very short period of time.
This article aims to provide specifics of the most common online payment gateways available today, which includes PayPal, eWay, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and Ezidebit. Also, we are adding three popular buy now, pay later services into our comparison table in 2020 as well.
Each payment solution has its own features and advantages that you need to weigh out before you log on and sign up for an account. Here are the three of the most important things you need to consider in choosing the payment gateway:
- Accessibility: Is the payment gateway available in your target clients’ countries?
- Compatibility: Does the payment gateway integrate with your chosen eCommerce, CRM and accounting platform?
- Cost: How much does it cost per transactions?
Option 1. PayPal
PayPal is one of the most widely used online payment method used by millions of people across 203 countries. It is a US-based company and was launched back in 2001. PayPal is easy to use and anyone can open an account and begin to pay and to request money on the same day. It also has fast processing and you can see your money credited to your account within 24 hours.
Features and service offerings
- Mobile app. PayPal goes mobile to help its merchants transact without any difficulty. You can either pay online, through mobile, personally or through email. In PayPal, you can do business anytime, anywhere. It also offers business account specially for business people like you.
- Personal Business loan. PayPal is one of the pioneer to innovate personal loan through online payment service. This business loan allows you to start or sustain your business. Application will be facilitated online, as well as the payment schedule. This special feature offers capital for startup businesses and additional fund for the established ones. The payment for business loans are offered in several very flexible terms, depending on your business income and capacity to pay.
- Invoice management. PayPal offers one of the most flexible and easy to manage invoices. You can edit and customize your invoice according to your input. You can also send a reminder to your client for an unpaid or ignored invoice. You can send yourself a copy of these invoices for record tracking.
- Get paid the way you want to get paid. PayPal is the single online payment mode that offers several ways to process payment. You can get paid directly to your website, through your local bank, through credit or debit card, or personally.
- Major credit and debit cards. PayPal accredits most of the widely used credit cards in the business and finance industry, making transactions easier and convenient more than ever.
Charging and customer service. Normally speaking, PayPal charges 2.6% and another $0.30 for every transaction made. However, it offers a lot of different solutions and each one charges differently. PayPal has the most complicated pricing structures among the most and you can also avail transaction discounts for volume transactions, but it varies depending on the volume and currency. When you decide to signup with PayPal, make sure you have read their terms and conditions thoroughly as their fees and charges and sellers’ protection policy may change from time to time.
What makes Paypal a flexible mode of payment is that you can enroll both your bank account and credit or debit card to withdraw money.
When it comes to customer service, PayPal offers many ways to address client’s queries. You can reach them through email, Twitter (@AskPaypal), website, and also through phone.
For more details and information about PayPal, visit their website https://www.paypal.com/au/business
Option 2. eWay
eWay is another payment gateway that links merchants and banks. Launched back in 1998 and now trading in 8 countries. Like PayPal, eWay also accepts multiple credit card transactions. eWay Australia offers the simplest pricing among the competitors, it only charges 2.6% per transactions whether it’s domestic or international cards, and no other fees involved. It also offers a reliable customer support 24/7, whether through phone, email or a live chat.
For more details about eWay and its services, you can visit their official website https://www.eway.com.au/.
Option 3. Stripe
This online payment gateway was established in the US in 2011 and has been used by millions of online users in 14 countries in the world. It brings your website and bank account closer to your clients as they are able to connect with them. Once the payment was made by the client, the money temporarily stays on the merchant’s account and then be credited to your accounts within 7 days.
Stripe is a slightly trickier proposition to configure, especially vs PayPal Standard – after all, Stripe is targeted at developers. If you know what you’re doing, though, or you’re willing to hire someone, then Stripe is one of the best payment gateways for the job. Stripe also has an effective anti-fraud team on-hand to deal with any dubious transactions. It supports recurring payments out-the-box, too, and is one of the best solutions for international businesses – you can accept over 100 currencies, which are automatically converted to your default currency.
And in Australia, if you only sell to the domestic market, it only charges 1.75% + 30c for domestic cards, which is the cheapest among the competitors, While international and Amex cards charges are much higher.
When it comes to customer support, Stripe has a well-responding email-based customer service available 24/7. It has an open live chat where clients can send their queries but phone calls support are really poor for Australians.
For more details and information about Stripe, visit their website https://stripe.com/au
Option 4. Authorize.net
Authorize.net is another well-known, well-respected payment gateway founded back in 1996. It has award-winning support and it has a virtual terminal that can take credit or debit cards, it is very secure and reliable. However, when it comes to pricing, Authorize.net charges a $35 monthly fee in addition to 30c per transaction fees. They don’t charge in percentage but you must have an existing merchant account to apply. It has good customer support but if you want to ask pre-sale question via phone, it is always directed to their voice mail, so you have to ask them via email. I am not sure if it is only the case in Australia.
Option 5. Ezidebit
Ezidebit is a little bit different from the above. It has started in Australia since 1998, and the main focus is Direct Debit, BPAY, but now it also have solutions for E-commerce. they specialise in bringing revenue more efficiently to businesses across a diverse range of sectors in Australia, including childcare, fitness, education, accountancy and charties etc.
The pricing structure is not listing on their website and price depends on the volume of the transactions and your negotiation skills with the sales person. They do also charge a monthly fee. Customer support is great for Australian businesses.
Comparing Payment Schemes for Your Business
Every online payment schemes have its own advantages and disadvantages compared to one or the other. Stripe is a good mode of payment for most businesses that has established account here but for new ones, it takes a couple of days to transfer money. PayPal, on the other hand, is widely used and has lower transfer charges. You can even transfer money without any incurred payment, provided that you reached the minimum amount to handover. eWay is also a convenient mode of transfer but similar to Stripe, a transaction can take a couple of days to complete.
In summary, there are numerous things you can consider in choosing the right online mode payment for your business. You need to look for the merchant with the lowest fees but fast transaction processes. However, charges and fees are not the only important things that you need to consider in growing your business. Sometimes, people look more on the services being offered and the benefits they can derive from those, rather than how much they can save. As they say, quality comes with a price.
Another major thing to consider is the type of support you can get from the online payment you signed up for. You have to make sure that you can get the answers and solutions you need whenever trouble arises. Make sure that you can rely on the company’s customer support for all your questions. You also have to ensure that they can provide the correct information and assistance you need – in a timely manner.
What is new in 2020.
As we mentioned in the beginning, today, we will also going to put Afterpay, Zip and Splitit into our comparison table below. Since 2020, the buy now, pay later services have become very hot, at least the three ones we are comparing right now, the share price confirms that as well. (These three company’s share prices have been gone up around 10 folds each!)
Summing it up
For those contents skippers, we have put the comparison table here and hope it will help you make your decision about which one you should choose as your payment gateway.
With all those considerations and features lay down before you, it is on your own hand to decide which online payment you are about to choose. At the end of the day, choose the one that’s convenient for you and beneficial for your business.