Like it or not, there’s a certain segment of the population who has given up on cash. And unless your small business is a destination-only spot like a bar that only takes cash, you’re going to need to find a way for people to pay with digital currency. Whether that’s attaching a card reader to a tablet, setting up a shopping cart on your business’s website, or integrating something into your POS system, there are more ways to accept e-payments today than ever before. These options all come with different features and costs, so we want to help you decide which e-payment option is best for your small business. There are the obvious sources out there: Amazon, Google, and PayPal. But as ubiquitous as those seem, of the billion-or-so electronic consumers out there, not all of them have those accounts. To make electronic payment accessible to your customers, here’s a look at the specs for seven different e-payment providers.
Integrates easily with QuickBooks, so you can manage invoices, customer accounts, and your own accounts payable along with allowing people to pay electronically. If you already use QuickBooks, this is an obvious choice. Plus, you get a free card reader! Cost: $0-$25 monthly fee, 1.6-2.4% per swipe, 25 cents per transaction.
The big advantage here is you accept credit cards and PayPal payments, without having to setup a PayPal account (though that’s probably not a bad idea either). It’s available nearly everywhere and perfect if you do a lot of international sales. Cost: 2.9% per swipe, 25 cents per transaction.
Probably the best known of the portable card readers, Square is a lot more than just a smartphone attachment. The company can also serve as an invoicing system, set up one-step product delivery, and integrate itself into your APP or POS systems. Cost: 2.75% per swipe, 15 cents per transaction.
Though PayAnywhere might seem like a small app that simply allows for payment, it will also give you detailed analytics about your customers, including what people are buying and where they’re buying it, along with detailed product description libraries. It’ll also reconcile your transactions by the next day, so you’ll never wait long to get your money. Cost: 2.69% per swipe, no monthly fee. 1.69% w/$12.95 monthly fee.
For small tech startups – particularly app developers – Stripe is one of the best payment option. Their APIs are flexible and can be easily integrated, making this the simplest choice for anyone with recurring billing, annual plans, and repeated revenue. Cost: 2.9% per swipe, 30 cents per transaction.
This one works a little differently from the rest, charging a flat fee per month and accepting everything from cards to electronic checks to bitcoins. PayStand also allows you to embed product payment codes into your website that will open a payment screen in a new window. Cost: $99/year for basic, $299 for Pro (set up for recurring payments). They also offer a $49 special for non-profits and startups. So whether you are more interested in the bells and whistles or just looking for the most affordable option, we hope that our review will help you choose the best e-payment system for your small business.