Optimize Payments for YOUR Business: Payment Solutions Guide (2021)

Payment solutions are essential for your business, but with so many different product offerings, how do you know that what you’re using is the most optimal for YOUR business? We’re here to provide a comparison between all of the most commonly used payment solutions so that you can make the most informed decision.

We’ll examine Stripe, PayPal, Square, Amazon Payments, and Shopify and go over the most important strengths and weaknesses of each in this comparison. Most of these payment solutions don’t have glaring weaknesses, but they do vary slightly and can affect your business in small but significant ways, so we’ve added a conclusion at the end that will define the best use cases for each.

PayPal:

The most compelling reason to use PayPal is its user base. Everyone has a PayPal account and it is going to be convenient for both you and your buyer. PayPal fees are 2.9% per transaction plus 30 cents, which is very competitive. It’s worth noting that PayPal is most associated with eBay, but they’ve since somewhat parted ways. The other PayPal feature that sets it apart is its ability to convert currency. While PayPal might charge extra for the customer, they can pay in whatever currency they wish and the seller will still receive the same amount in the converted currency of the seller’s choice. PayPal shipping is another great feature, which allows PayPal to be turned into an all-in-one reference center for the customer. 

Conclusion: PayPal is great for all businesses and easy to use, but won’t offer you tailored features.

Stripe:

Stripe is a developer-focused payment solution with tons of APIs/developer tools and great mobile payment options. The product is more powerful than PayPal, with added features like subscription billing and one-click checkout. The drawback, however, is that it requires technical skill to implement. Designed for larger firms, it requires more input from your business’ side. Stripe fees are remarkably low, at 2.9% for non-European cards and an excellent 1.4% for European cards. The main reason to use Stripe is its analytics, however, which allow a business to view a dashboard with all the data collected through their transactions. 

Conclusion: Stripe is great for those with technical know-how and a need for a powerful and flexible POS (point of sale) system.

Square:

Square is great for those with physical locations. They offer easy-to-use all-in-one solutions for payment, with Interac functionality. Square fees are also one of the most competitively-priced, with 2.65% across all cards. Their competitive fees make them great for small businesses. Debit transactions are a flat 10 cents. They offer hardware to supplement their software, and their solutions are simple albeit quite pricey. 

Conclusion: Square is great for businesses who need physical POS locations without their own infrastructure. 

Amazon Pay: 

Amazon Pay brings Amazon’s brand recognition to your brand, with the ability for customers to pay for your products using Amazon’s software infrastructure. This integration with the Amazon store also allows sellers to merge their Amazon and site offerings into a single stream. Purchases are also covered with Amazon’s A-to-Z guarantee, which will mean more peace of mind for your customers. The flat rate of 2.9% + 30 cents will be hard to swallow, however, and their customer service has been reported to be spotty. They also require an Amazon account, which can be a positive or negative, depending on who your target customer base are. 

Conclusion: Amazon Pay is great for businesses who sell on Amazon already, but better options are available elsewhere if that isn’t an option.

Shopify:

Shopify Payments offers industry-leading pricing, with Shopify fees being around 2.4-2.7% + 30 cents. Shopify is also easy to integrate for online businesses, something proven by its market share in the online space. It lacks the more powerful tools and APIs of a platform like Stripe, but makes up for it through ease-of-use. It’s a market leader, and the integration it features with shipping and tracking make it an appealing hub for customers as well. The downside is that Shopify isn’t very customizable, which means that those with particular demands for a payment solution will find themselves less satisfied with Shopify’s offerings than competitors.

Conclusion: Overall, Shopify is great for online businesses and fee-sensitive businesses.

In conclusion, every payment solution has strengths and weaknesses that interact with each business differently. All are valid options, and we hope that we’ve made the choice easier for you with this guide!

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