Choosing the Best Payment Processor for Your Online Store

When setting up an online shopping cart, one of the first decisions you will have to make is which payment processing services to use. You’ll want to provide options that cover all of the most popular ways to pay, but without making the process too complex for you or your customers. Fortunately, LightCMS makes this process easy by offering a handful of carefully selected payment processing options. In this post, we’d like to give you an overview of the pros and cons of each service supported by the LightCMS platform.

PayPal Payments Standard and PayPal Payments Pro

PayPal is ubiquitous these days, offering ease-of-use and a sense of security for customers who use it. Merchants as big as WalMart and as small as home-based eBay sellers accept PayPal. There are two types of PayPal merchant accounts integrated with LightCMS – PayPal Payments Standard and PayPal Payments Pro.

The main advantage of PayPal is simplicity. It's easy for customers to open a PayPal account, and even those without an account can still get started using PayPal Payments Standard by simply providing their email address. The fee structure is also very simple. PayPal charges a flat 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction. In addition to shopping cart services, PayPal accounts also provide other advantages such as a free mobile credit card reader to enabling merchants to swipe cards in person.

Not all merchants like PayPal Payments Standard as an online solution as it redirects customers from the merchant's site to the PayPal website to complete a transaction. Stores concerned about having a professional image may want the transaction handled entirely on their own website. Those businesses may prefer to enable PayPal Payments Pro. The Pro service adds a $30 monthly fee but, in return, it provides merchants with more control over the checkout experience and allows LightCMS customers to provide a seamless checkout experience without redirecting to PayPal’s website. PayPal Payments Pro also includes the option of using a PC as a Virtual Terminal for inputting phone, fax and email orders outside of the LightCMS system.

PayPal’s PayFlow Pro

Payflow Pro is a PayPal-owned payment gateway solution for merchants who already have an account with another card authorization service and want to use it with LightCMS. Payflow Pro acts as a conduit to allow businesses with any pre-existing merchant account to utilize that account for online shopping cart transactions through the LightCMS platform. Therefore, Payflow Pro is best suited for merchants who already have a credit card merchant account through another vendor and want to use it with their website.

Authorize.net

The Authorize.net Payment Gateway is a more complex option best suited for larger companies and organizations. The benefit of Authorize.net is that it provides a myriad of options and features supporting payments through multiple touch points, including online. It also works with most any existing merchant account. The downside of Authorize.net is that it is a complex solution that takes a good amount of effort to set up. We include Authorize.net to allow those who already use it to connect it with their LightCMS website. If you’re setting up a new LightCMS store and don’t already have an Authorize.net account, our other solutions will likely provide an easier solution for you. The cost of using Authorize.net varies on a case by case basis and is determined by all the features you choose to enable on your account.

Stripe

A relative newcomer to the online payments scene, Stripe is making a big impact in providing a very simple, flat-rate payment option for those who want to sell online. Stripe lets merchants take credit card payments without having to maintain a separate merchant account or payment gateway. Instead, it stores card information and transfers payments to the seller's regular bank account once a week. Stripe’s fees are very similar to PayPal’s at 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction.

Stripe offers a huge advantage to its customers by providing a seamless checkout experience (without leaving the LightCMS website) with no monthly fees. Because of its advantages, LightCMS has even integrated the sign-up process for Stripe so that LightCMS customers can sign up for Stripe and enable payments on their LightCMS by simply completing one form inside the LightCMS interface. This direct integration plus the advantages of Stripe make it a natural choice for those looking for a simple solution for accepting payments through their LightCMS account.

Get Started Today!

No matter which payment processor you choose, getting payments connected to your LightCMS online store is as simple as can be. Simply choose Store Settings -> Payments on the LightCMS toolbar to make your selections and get set up. If you need help, you can always contact our amazing support team at support@lightcms.com.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Snapper Cridge wrote:
We love stripe here at Snap Creative. I suppose the disadvantage is it's lack of global coverage, but we only do business here in the states. Super easy, no transfers of $$. Now if we can get LightCMS to allow us to set an auto date for transferring our funds (and it happen really quick), we'd be all set ;) Love ya guys anyway though!

Mon, October 7, 2013 @ 9:33 AM

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