Over the last three or so years, since I brought out Create A Character Clinic, I’ve had requests to add another way to pay besides PayPal.
I’m finally able to do so, and am looking at three alternative methods. (PayPal will remain my preferred method, but I want to be able to meet the needs of folks who can’t or won’t use them).
My three possibles (these are possible because the upgraded How To Think Sideways software supports them) are:
I’d like to know if you have recommendations, either as a customer or as a merchant, and either pro or con, for any of the three payment processors above.
The new payment processor will be for Think Sideways, not for the shop. There are still issues with adding another processor there, unfortunately, though I haven’t given up.
I have had trouble with payapl as I have changed my card and then moved countries. So I have had to start payments from the beginning all over again which is confusing. Paypal will not let you change country on your address, so then you have to close down one account and open a new one. Direct debit wouls suit me or standing order but i’m not sure if you can do it internationally.
I agree with Kristen’s thoughts on Authorize.net. I work as a virtual assistant and I’ve set up three clients with Authorize as their payment processor. As previously mentioned, unless you plan to use Authorize.net’s “Simple Checkout” feature, you’ll have to integrate Authorize with some sort of cart program. I set my clients up with 1Shopping Cart as their cart program with Authorize as their gateway/payment processor, in addition to their existing Paypal accounts.
I work on a lot of techie tasks (self-taught geek) in my business so I’ll share this bit of info–Authorize.net’s system was fairly easy to figure out. They have a lot of helpful PDFs on how to use their system and the manuals are written in easy-to-understand lingo. They are a little expensive, but you get your money’s worth.
However, 1Shopping Cart, while super powerful in its capabilities, is not intuitive whatsoever. They’re gradually increasing their Knowledge Base and Tutorials; however, it’s not as simple to learn. The Help section isn’t very helpful so you have to do A LOT of reading and re-reading, which costs you time, and we all know how valuable time is 🙂
As far as 2CO and Clickbank, I can’t remember why just now, but I marked them off the list pretty quickly during my research.
I agree with Kiristen, you ought to accept credit card payments also. Being able to accept credit cards increased my business quite a bit when I started. As for a shopping cart I recommend Dansie.
Its inexpensive and works very well. What is very nice about this shopping cart is that you can place “Add to Cart” buttons on any existing HTML web page page with a very short html form. The shopping cart is secure. You can use a variety of internet processing companies, or process the cards yourself if you have a merchant account.
We use Authorize.net for my company’s online store and we’ve never had any problems with it. We started off with PayPal back in 2000 but switched to Authorize.net about a year later. There’s a monthly fee for Authorize.net, so in the end it’s not as cheap as PayPal, but they offer many useful features — credit card processing, recurring/subscription billing, e-check processing, fraud protection, lots of reporting and search features, etc.
One definite pro is that you can set things up so the payment takes place directly on your site (with any transaction-related stuff happening between your site and Authorize.net’s server in the background), which makes the entire checkout process seamless for the customer. Our sales increased when we made the switch, and it was partly because customers were no longer taken to a different site to pay for their order. There was no longer that extra delay (regardless of how short the delay actually was) or extra step for customers to go from one site to another and back again, which eliminated at least one of the moments where customers were most likely to second-guess their decision to make a purchase.
Our transactions are processed via a shopping cart program we installed directly on our own server, which is something important to consider before choosing Authorize.net. I’m not 100% positive about this but I believe they require merchants to use a shopping cart program, which would be an added expense for anyone setting up a new account. (I think there are a few free shopping carts that work with Authorize.net, but I don’t have experience with those so I can’t vouch for their quality or ease of use.) Regardless of which cart you selected, you would need to install the cart and learn how to use it, which can be a hassle at times. We tried two other carts before settling on the one we now use (called ProductCart), and both of the first two carts were buggy and ended up being more trouble than they were worth.
I’ve purchased several ebooks through Clickbank with nary a problem.
I’ve never had any issues with 2CO.
I like paying for single products through paypal, but like the alternative to subscription purchases…since, as you know, paypal is a pain with subscriptions if one little thing is different.
Clickbank is terrific as merchant and buyer.
2CO is great as merchant, but I’ve found a few troublesome steps involved when canceling a subscription through them. That experience would make me cautious about refunds too. Although, they were very quick and very nice through the process.
I love PayPal, too. Have not used the others. Least favorite is credit card–too much stuff to fill in. Wait a minute–least favorite would be mailing a paper check off somewhere. My bank is happy to mail and EFT money all over the place, though.
I’ve used Clickbank as a customer before and found it to be user friendly. I’m one of the people who loves PayPal though. I wouldn’t choose Clickbank over PayPal.