16 March 2010

8 Good Reasons Why Authorize.Net is Better than PayPal Express and Google Checkout

Compared with third party processors like PayPal Express Checkout and Google Checkout, Authorize.Net, which is a payment gateway, could be more beneficial for you and your customers.  It is more convenient for your customers; it promotes a wider customer base; it helps you create a more reputable image; it better protects you and your customers from fraud; it gives you better cash flow; it promotes a more efficient and cost-effective business operations; it is cheaper in the long run; and it is more reliable when it comes to services and customer support.

A reputable payment gateway provider, such as Authorize.Net, lets you accept card payments in your Web site with a merchant account.  There are also third party processors, such as PayPal Express Checkout and Google Checkout, that let you accept payments in your Web site and that caters to different markets.  These three may actually be integrated side by side as payment systems in your Web site, but if you wish to employ only one, here are some of the reasons why considering Authorize.Net over PayPal and Google checkout is a better decision:

It is more convenient for your customers

While PayPal and Google checkout requires your customers to have a PayPal account and Google account respectively, using authorize.net requires no special accounts or registration.  Your customers would solely need either their credit card, debit card, or electronic checks, thus making it more convenient for them to purchase a product or make use of a service in your website.  Furthermore, your customers do not have to leave your site in order to complete the payment process, unlike in PayPal and Google checkout.

It promotes a wider customer base

In deciding which way you accept payments on your Web site, you need to consider how much of your market can really use it.  If you consider Google checkout, you will only be able to cater customers who have Google account with debit and credit cards alone.  With PayPal, customers can pay by debiting from their PayPal account, as well as with credit cards, debit cards, and electronic checks.  Authorize.Net offers the same diversity as PayPal does since customers can pay using debit cards, credit cards, E-checks, and debit from personal bank account.  However, PayPal is limited to customers who have PayPal accounts, while any customer can purchase from your Web site using Authorize.Net, thus giving you an advantage over customer base.

It helps you create a more reputable image

When you accept payment cards, you usually get a good impression from consumers of being reputable.  All the more when you use a payment gateway like Authorize.Net with a merchant account.  Not all merchants would approve any of these services, since providers carefully assess their applicants.  Those with poor credit history or those who cannot provide for one, as well as those with adult content and very risky businesses usually have a difficult time getting approved of these services.  Some customers also view PayPal and Google as a way for small, inexperienced businesses to start their businness on the web, which consumers think are still not very reliable.

It better protects you and your customers from fraud

Although all three providers have SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to protect cardholder data being processed for authorization, Authorize.Net additionally has CVV2 system, AVS (Address Verification System), and a unique fraud detection suite that all help minimize unauthorized and fraudulent transactions.  PayPal is said to refund purchases more than $50, but there have been issues regarding their refund process.  Google, on the other hand, guarantees 100% refund if you are able to report within 60 days.  The Authorize.Net refund process goes through the bank issuing the payment card, then to merchant account provider, and finally, to the merchant.  The interests of both the consumer and the merchant involved are both protected with due process.  Furthermore, Authorize.Net is insured with FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), which means all its processes are strictly monitored to make sure merchants availing the services of these providers and the consumers in general are protected.

It gives you better cash flow

Liquidity is one of the characteristics of a good performing business.  Authorize.Net helps you do this since you are able to receive your card sales usually within 1-2 business days.  PayPal and Google, on the other hand, takes around 3-5 days and you have need to make a request for the transfer of your funds to your bank.  Furthermore, with Authorize.Net, you will have no risk of frozen account or holding a sum of money for some unjustified reasons.  There are just some merchant account providers who hold a certain amount of money, which is always agreed, to pay for possible chargebacks or refunds your business might incur in the future.

It promotes a more efficient and cost-effective business operations

By accepting payment cards and e-checks in your Web site, you company would not have to spend for expenses, such as printed receipts as your clients will be the one to print.  Moreover, with the many additional products and features offered by Authorize.Net, you would not have to spend more time and money in  manually computing for certain financial reports.  Many processes are already automated and integrated in your system to make monitoring and operations a lot easier for you to do.  In other words, integrating Authorize.Net will make your business operations more efficient and cost-effective.

It is cheaper in the long run

When you are starting your business, PayPal and Google checkout might be be cheaper for you since you do not have to pay for fixed monthly and annual fees.  You only pay based on the sales you make.  A percentage of your sales will be paid to PayPal and Google, as well as a certain per transaction fee.  However, with the added products and features discussed earlier, Authorize.Net can make your business earn more in the long run.  Furthermore, if you expect your business to grow, which is common to many businesses, or if have high traffic of sales, Authorize.Net will surely be cheaper since per transaction fees are way lower compared to PayPal Express and Google Checkout.  There may be annual and monthly fees to pay, but if you try to compute and make a sales projection, your expenses will be more minimal with Authorize.Net.

It is more reliable when it comes to services and customer support

If you try to do a search on Google checkout customer service hotline, you will notice that there is actually none.  They have no toll-free number and helpline or any way to personally contact a representative to help merchants and members with their concern.  They do have an online inquiry form though that you can fill out, but many claimed that it normally took 4-5 long days before they received any response.  PayPal and Authorize. Net, on the other hand, have hotline numbers where you can air your concerns, as well as web form email.  Authorize.Net furthermore supports its customers via online chat, giving better and more convenient options for merchants like you.

These three options do not necessarily compete with each other, since as what was mentioned earlier, these can be integrated side by side in your website to give more payment options to your customers.  However, it is very important to note how these three can build or unfortunately break your e-commerce experience.  You should be able to identify the benefits and threats that go with every step you take in the effort to make your online business bigger and more profitable.

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