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Digital Payments Options for Small Business

iStock_94382203_SMALL.jpgToday's businesses need to accept as many payment options as possible from their customers. Whether you run an online store or you have a brick-and-mortar location, you should use at least one of these digital payment options for small businesses. Of course, you should learn about what each option offers before you decide which one to use.

PayPal

PayPal is the most popular digital payment processor for small and large businesses. As of 2016, the company has more than 166 million active users. With so many accounts, the chances are that plenty of your customers already have PayPal accounts that make it easy for them to pay for items digitally.

PayPal doesn't charge startup, termination or monthly fees. Instead, you pay a processing fee for each purchase that uses a customer's PayPal account. The current rate within the United States is 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction. International orders cost 3.9 percent plus a fee that varies by payment method.

In addition to paying for online orders, PayPal has a credit card reader that you can use in your store.

Square

Square was one of the first payment processing companies to offer credit card readers for mobile devices. A Square Reader makes it possible for your small business to accept cards without paying for a dedicated credit card terminal. You just plug it into your smartphone or tablet to accept payments.

Square charges 2.75 percent for swiped credit card transactions and 3.5 percent plus $0.15 cents for manually-entered transactions. As long as you use the Square credit card reader, you may save money by choosing Square over PayPal.

Some small businesses like Square because the company doesn't require your customers to have Square accounts. As long as they have credit cards, you can accept their payments. You can also integrate Square's payment app into online stores to accept payments through e-commerce sites.

Stripe

Stripe is a relative newcomer to the world of payment processing, but it has already attracted many businesses that want to accept cards and digital payments.

With Stripe, you can accept payments online and in person. Unlike Square, though, it doesn't charge a higher rate for manually-entered transactions. Stripe currently charges 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for each credit card charge.

As your small business grows, you could qualify for discounted rates. The company doesn't advertise these rates, though, so you'll have to contact Stripe's sales department for more information.

PayStand

PayStand takes a radically different approach to accepting digital payments. Unlike PayPal, Square and Stripe, you don't pay a processing fee for each transaction. Instead, you pay a flat monthly rate based on the service features you want. A Standard Plan costs $99 per month. The plan lets you accept credit card and online payments through WebStand Pay Portal. A Pro Plan, which costs $299 per month, lets you accept recurring payments, integrate the online payment tool into your website and add custom branding (such as your logo and contact information) to invoices.

Most small businesses will find that the Standard Plan meets their needs. If you're spending more than $99 per month in processing fees, choosing PayStand may help you save money.

As more people take digital payment options for granted, small businesses can find success by adjusting to this trend. As long as you choose a reliable, low-cost payment processor, you may be able to boost your sales while making customers happier.

TDECU
October 21, 2016