PayPal is one of the most versatile and inexpensive merchant services on the Internet. You can literally accept any form of payment, handle your invoicing, process payments online or by fax, mail or phone. The service is extraordinary. Here is a brief description of how PayPal helps merchants with their payment processing.
Accepting payments online: Whether it is your eBay account or your website you can accept payments. All major credit cards and e-checks are accepted. You have no set up fees, no monthly fees and the transaction fees vary from 1.9% to 2.9% + .30 per transaction. This is very reasonable pricing for the ease that it affords you. Some merchant fees can really add up. One thing to keep in mind is that this does not include a shopping cart for your website and it directs traffic to the PayPal site for payment processing. This package is called “PayPal Standard”
To avoid having customers leave your site for payment you may consider a plan called “Website Payments Pro”. Here you pay $30 per month flat fee with a 2.2% – 2.9% + .30 transaction fee. You are able to accept payments right on your website and this is compatible with PayPal ready shopping carts that your web developer can put in place.
If you are an online merchant that already has a merchant account you can use PalPal as a payment gateway. A payment gateway allows your website to interact securely with your merchant account. PayPal is very secure and allows information to flow from your website to their gateway. It is then sent through a network of financial institutions and the card (or bank account) issuing bank will send the message of whether or not the payment is approved. All of this only takes about three seconds total. You then finalize the purchase.
PayPal offers two payment gateway solutions. Payflow Pro and Payflow Link. One enables customers to complete the full transaction on their website, the other lets them complete it on the PayPal website.
PayPal even offers a wizard to help you decide which program may meet your needs best. Not many programs offer you so many solutions as well as affordable pricing.