Credit Card Processors: Authorize.Net vs Paypal

If you've been wondering which online payment processor is best for you, Small Farm Central has outlined a simple comparison:

online_pymt_fee_chart1.png Figure 1. Authorize.Net vs. PayPal vs Dwolla Comparison Chart

*PayPal transaction costs can go down to 2.5% and lower depending on monthly volume

**Note that these surcharges only apply to certain types of rewards credit cards. A merchant account is needed to set up credit card processing with Authorize.Net. Small Farm Central works with Total Merchant Services to create new merchant accounts for clients.

Reading the Chart

Because of the variance of card use, we can't do a pure cost comparison between the providers. But statistics show that 80% of consumers own a debit card compared to 78% who own a credit card. Additionally, 60% of consumers have a rewards card of one type or another. (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010).

When it comes to accepting credit cards (and making an estimate with these figures in mind), if you are processing $2000-$2500/month or above, you can probably save money by using Authorize.Net. Otherwise, PayPal is your best option for processing credit cards, as far as transaction fees go.

Other things to consider:

  • With an Authorize.Net Virtual Terminal, you can log in to process phone orders or in-person orders securely using a variety of mobile devices.

  • Checking out with Authorize.Net means that your customers don't leave your web site to process a payment and then come back.

  • PayPal is perhaps familiar for people who may want to pay directly out of their bank accounts.

  • Dwolla has the lowest fees but payments do take five days to clear. Dwolla is currently only available for Member Assembler and not available for E-commerce. Read more about Dwolla here.

  • You may temporarily disable an Authorize.Net account if you have several months a year that you do not process payments. There is a $25 reinstatement cost, but you could avoid the monthly payment during your off-season.

To offer PayPal as your credit card processing service, read the "Integrating PayPal" article in the Member Assembler Tools section of the Knowledge Base. If you are having trouble, or have a question, please contact Farmer Support by giving us a call at 412.567.3864 or sending us an email to support@smallfarmcentral.com.

If you would like some help getting set up, PayPal has provided us with a representative who is familiar with Small Farm Central and will work with you over the phone:

Curtis Keierleber
MERCHANT SALES, NA
Office 402.935.2131
Fax 877.605.6881
Hours 9-6 CST (M-F)

If you'd like to get started using Authorize.Net, read the article Setting up Scheduled Payments with Authorize.Net. You will need to set up a merchant account if you do not already have one. Read more about that in the "Credit Card Account Options with Total Merchant Services" article in the Member Assembler Tools section of the Knowledge Base. Or, since setting up these systems can be tedious, Small Farm Central can set up a merchant account for you and walk you through the entire Authorize.Net entire set up process over the phone. Give us a call at 412.567.3864 or send us an email to support@smallfarmcentral.com for more help.

If you'd like to get started using Dwolla, read the article Dwolla - A New Checkout Payment Option For Member Assembler. This article will explain how to set up a Dwolla account and integrate it with your Member Assembler. If you are having trouble, or have a question, please contact Farmer Support by giving us a call at 412.567.3864 or sending us an email to support@smallfarmcentral.com.

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