I recently made the decision to start using PayPal Here as my main merchant account for accepting credit cards. I already have a merchant account with one of those old swipe terminals that spit out the thermal paper slips. This is one of the main reasons I wanted something else, I didn’t want the responsibility of storing all those receipts and I am going paperless in the studio. Since I’ve been with this company a long time they have extended me some pretty good rates. The problem is all the extra fees on top of the rates and monthly fees, which is about to go up with new compliance laws. So I started looking around, mainly at 3 providers: PayPal Here, Square Up and Intuit. I finally settled on PayPal Here and here are the top reasons why.
1. Everything under one provider
PayPal offers a one stop solution for all my needs. I already use them for my online shopping cart and accepting session fees online. Neither of the other two offer this service. This way I don’t have so many accounts to reconcile and fuss with. PayPal is also one of the biggest (if not the biggest) methods for payments online and used by millions.
2. I Want my Money Now
With PayPal Here the money appears in my account within minutes! Not days with the others or even my current provider. Hell with American Express payments it has taken 5+ days before. It’s kinda cool that after I swipe a clients card, while we are talking I hear the ‘ding’ of an email saying I have new funds, it’s that fast. Yes the money is in your Paypal account and when you transfer it to your bank that does take a couple days. But a lot of my vendors I can pay with PayPal as well, and PayPal offers you a debit card to access the money (even withdrawing up to $400 a day). So bottom line is you have access to the money minutes after accepting payment.
3. Keep More of my Money
With a basic swipe rate of 2.7% they beat square and intuit by .05%, ya not much but it adds up. Now I have a better rate with my current provider but they also charge a per transaction fee (which changes by card type). If its a reward card you pay more, if its American Express even more. Plus there are all sorts of other transaction fees and monthly fees that when you put it all together Paypal Here is pretty close if not better. The big thing with PayPal is 2.7% is it. No other transaction fees, stays the same with every card, and no monthly fees!
Even better is that when your monthly average exceeds $3,000 you can apply for a lower rate of 2.5% (for regular web payments which normally are 2.9%), which is where I’m at now.
If you type in card info you do get charged a higher rate of 3.2% plus .30 per transaction, so just don’t do that if you can avoid it (all the others do the same so it’s not a negative point) Also the one sticky point is that if you key in more than $2,000 or so in a 7 day period you can have the excess held for 30 days.
3. How Would you Like To Pay For That?
With PayPal Here you have more options for accepting paypents. Not only can swipe your clients card but if the card can’t be read, or what ever reason, you can type in the card info (see above on rates for this) or if your fingers are to tired you can snap a photo of the card.
You can also deposit checks with the app, something the others don’t offer, by snapping a photo of the front and back of the check and there is no fee for this. This method does take 5-7 days to clear, but since I’m to lazy to go to the bank for the couple checks I receive its perfect.
Of course you can also accept payment with PayPal. If your client has the PayPal app on their phone they can check in to your store and they show up in the PayPal here app. You can also send an invoice, and the client also has the option to use PayPal’s ‘Bill Me Later’ (but you get paid now).
4. The Triangle
I figure PayPal was reading all the compliants that have been made online about Square’s reader because their reader seems to answer them well. The biggest one I was worried about was that whenever you swipe a card the reader would swivel around making it had to read. Well Paypal Here’s reader has a little ‘flap’ that slides down just enough to prevent it from swiveling around on you. Also the triangle shape gives you a longer base and more surface area to swipe the card making it easier to read the first time.
Biggest part, I can accept swipe cards anywhere! Yes I know they all can do that as well, but this was a point for me over my current provider which has been promising a reader for a couple years.
5. I’ll take 3 Jellies please
The Paypal Here app also turns your phone into a virtual store. You can add in all your regular items and pricing (even include a photo) then you can quickly tally up your clients order and charge them. With square this would be a another separate app and only for the iPad, although it is more robust turning your iPad into a register. I do most of my orders through special presentation software so I typically just need totals, but this is nice to have.
6. Tip Your Waitress
A cool litle feature that is great for service industry is you can turn on a ‘tip’ feature. So when you hand over your device for signature there are nifty tip buttons to prompt them to give you a tip. Starting with the obvious ‘no tip’ then 3 more buttons which you can set to whatever amounts or percentage. So far this really hasn’t helped me.
Ok it’s not all heaven.
I do like Square’s apps look and feel a little better, but that’s just me being picky. Speaking of picky the Paypal Here app is an iPhone app, no iPad version yet. It isn’t to bad cause it still works on the iPad, just be nice if they come out with a dedicated iPad app. One thing I still need is a virtual terminal and a way to do auto-recurring payments, both of which are not included in PayPal Standard or Paypal Here but this post is long enough so we’ll save that one for later.
That’s it, the only really bad thing I have to say about PayPal Here. I’ve been using it now for over a month and love it, having my money right away is an awesome feeling! I still use the merchant account as a back up in the studio and its virtual terminal for payment plans I offer, but if I decide on Paypal Pro (told you thats for another post) then it will go idle. I already am canceling the one I was using for online payments cause it had a monthly fee even if I had zero transactions.
I would recommend PayPal Here to anyone looking for away to accept credit cards any day. What are your thoughts?