Posted Friday, August 6, 2004
Ecommerce - NEW PayPal Checkout Process makes Online Shopping easier
Using PayPal as a gateway for accepting online payments has just become much more attractive. PayPal, owned by eBay, has always been considered one of the best, most secure choices of payment for auctions, whether by check or credit card. But one of the biggest drawbacks to it has been the restriction that the buyer also had to have a PayPal account in order make that payment.
Not anymore! PayPal has optimized the checkout experience for buyers by launching an exciting new improvement to Website Payments. With PayPal's improved Website Payments checkout, purchasing online by many types of payment can be easily made... Once a customer has decided to make a purchase, they are walked through four easy steps:
1. Shipping information - Customers enter name and shipping address.
2. Billing information - Customers enter credit card information, email address and phone number. They also have the option to send a message to you.
3. Review of payment information - Customers review what they’ve entered to make sure it’s correct. From this point, they can either edit the information or complete checkout.
4. Save customer information with PayPal (optional) - To shop more quickly and easily in the future, customers can save their personal information they’ve already entered with PayPal All they need to do is choose a confidential password and create answers to a few security questions.
To toggle off this new feature, the PayPal account holder can simply log in, go to their Profile subtab, click on Website Payment Preferences in the Selling Preferences column, and check or uncheck the yes/no box under PayPal Account Optional.
Currently the account-signup-optional feature is available to US sellers and their customers, for Buy Now, Donation, and Shopping Cart transactions. Currently it does not apply to eBay transactions, Subscriptions, or Send Money / Request Money transaction -- however these are being considered to be added in the near future as well.
According to sources at PayPal, they are also looking into extending this availability to non-US merchants in the near future. However, there is no confirmed release date.
NOTE: Information provided to the seller is the same as before, based on the user's billing & shipping addresses. Depending on the seller's choice of payment settings, they can choose whether to ship to addresses different from that on the credit card or not.
The "PayPal Account Optional" feature can be toggled on or off from a PayPal account holder's profile setting, under the "Selling Preferences" / "Website Payment Preferences" area at the bottom of the page, below the "Auto Return" setting.
For small business out there looking for an online credit card acceptance solution, this must certainly put Paypal at the top of a very short list. With a Standard rate of 2.9% and $0.30 per transactiuon, its not the least expensive per transaction fee out there. But with no monthly statement fees, no upfront gateway fees, no monthly minimum $$ requirements, it presents a very attractive way to get into the online arena at minimal cost. That coupled with the relatively easy acceptance criteria for establishing an account, easy to manage reporting and transfer options as well as the various options offered for building an ecommerce shopping cart, this appears to fire a solid shot across the bow of established merchant account vendors such as WorldPay, Linkpoint (CSI), and 2Checkout.
One final item that almost slipped our attention...but makes PayPal an extremely attractive option to even the most experienced online merchant. Chargebacks are limited to 30 days rather than the typical 6 months found with other processors. And that could be a powerful enticement on its own!
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