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Choosing the Right PayPal Payment Solution

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PayPal offers a variety of payment processing solutions for merchants of all types and sizes. Which of PayPal's various solutions is best for your business? Michael Miller (author of The PayPal Official Insider Guide to Growing Your Business: Make Money the Easy Way) helps you choose the right payment solution for you.
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Every merchant is unique, including those selling online. There's really no such thing as a "one size fits all" payment processing solution. That's why PayPal offers a variety of payment solutions[md]different solutions for different types of businesses. There's everything from simple "buy now" buttons to technologically sophisticated systems that integrate with your existing shopping cart and checkout systems.

With all these options available, how do you determine which solutions fit your business? As you might expect, your individual needs dictate which of PayPal's several solutions are best for you.

Comparing PayPal's Payment Solutions

All told, PayPal offers six key payment processing solutions:

  • Website Payments Standard
  • Website Payments Pro
  • Payflow Payment Gateway (consists of Payflow Link Gateway and Payflow Pro Gateway)
  • Express Checkout
  • Virtual Terminal
  • Online Invoicing

These solutions are tailored for different types of businesses, and each comes with its own specific features and fees. We'll look at each of these solutions in more detail, but let's start by comparing what each solution offers[md]and what it costs. The following table shows the basics.

PayPal Payment Solutions

Solution

Setup Fee

Monthly Fee

Transaction Fee

Features

Website Payments Standard

None

None

2.2%–2.9% + $0.30

Easy setup

Payment buttons

PayPal Shopping Cart

Transaction pages hosted on PayPal

Website Payments Pro

None

$30.00

2.2%–2.9% + $0.30

Integrates with existing shopping carts

Direct Payment for credit/debit cards

Express Checkout for PayPal payments

Transaction pages hosted on your website

Payflow Link Gateway

$179.00

$19.95

$0.10

Integrates with existing merchant account

First 500 transactions free

Transaction pages hosted by PayPal

Payflow Pro Gateway

$249.00

$59.95

$0.10

Integrates with existing merchant account

First 1,000 transactions free

Transaction pages hosted on your website

Express Checkout

None

None

2.2%–2.9% + $0.30

Adds PayPal payments to existing checkout system

Virtual Terminal

None

$30.00

2.4%–3.1% + $0.30

Enables phone and mail payments

No hardware or software required

Online Invoicing

None

None

2.2%–2.9% + $0.30

Email customer invoices

Add PayPal button to QuickBooks/Quicken invoices

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