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Your 2021 guide to the top digital payment options for your business

Posted by Grace Townsley

August 17, 2021    |     3-minute read (669 words)

In today’s economy, accepting digital payments is nearly a requirement for business survival. If you’re looking to begin accepting digital payments, or considering switching systems, read on to learn more about three of the most popular digital payment solutions available in 2021. 

PayPal

One of the most well-known digital payment solutions is PayPal. It integrates with most website platforms like WordPress and Wix, making setup simple. PayPal also allows sellers to offer a variety of flexible payment options like recurring payments, subscriptions, and installments. This can be especially beneficial for delivery companies, businesses that offer ongoing services, and businesses that sell high-cost products like furniture or travel accommodations.

Customers like PayPal because they can use their own credit or debit card, bank account, Apple Pay or other methods to set up their PayPal payments. Plus, PayPal supports over 100 different currencies, allowing you to expand your sales globally. 

These flexibility benefits do come at a cost. PayPal charges transaction fees that are higher than many alternatives – 2.7% for mobile and card swipe sales, and 2.9% plus $0.30 for online and invoiced transactions. Plus, PayPal charges a 5% fee on all transactions below $10. For some businesses with frequent low-cost transactions, other payment processing services may be a more affordable option. 

Stripe

For high-transaction businesses that need a fail-proof payment system, Stripe can be a reliable payment solution. Some of the biggest brands and businesses, like Amazon, Instacart, Shopify and Lyft use Stripe to handle their millions of daily and monthly transactions. Stripe handles both B2B and B2C transactions, has strong fraud protection, and helps businesses with cashflow and revenue management. Stripe also supports global transactions, allowing for simple and seamless international sales. 

The main downside to Stripe is that it requires technical knowledge to integrate the software. For small businesses that can’t afford an IT department, integrating Stripe into their website may be cost prohibitive. Stripe is also an online-only payment solution, so brick-and-mortar stores will need a second payment solution to accept in-person transactions. 

Square

A disruptive newcomer in the digital payment industry is Square, a simple, innovative digital payment option that serves as an all-in-one tool. 

Square allows you to set up a free, custom website for your products or services. You can accept bookings through the site, take orders for your restaurant or art pieces, sell eGift cards, run payroll for your employees, and even send marketing emails to your customers for free. Square can be integrated into your website, or you can purchase a Point-of-Sale terminal to accept in-person contactless payments.

While Square can be a promising option for many small businesses, bigger companies that process over $10,000 in digital payments per month may find lower fees with another payment solution. Also, businesses that are at higher risk of frequent return or refund requests, like travel companies, dating services, and companies that do business globally, may not qualify for a Square account. 

How to determine which service is right for you?

PayPal, Stripe, and Square are just three of the hundreds of available digital payment options. When determining the best digital payment option for your business, you should consider:

  • Your estimated monthly transaction fees
  • Whether or not you need the option of accepting multiple currencies
  • If you need the ability to accept flexible payment options like subscriptions or installments
  • How complex the integration will be if you don’t have an IT team
  • How many transactions you expect to run per month, and for what amounts
The best digital payment solution for you will minimize the fees for your most common type of transaction while giving the majority of your customers the ability to use their favorite payment method. As with any big business decision, before making a switch or starting something new, be sure to do your research. Regardless of what option you choose though, you can be sure that accepting digital payments is quickly becoming a necessity for businesses hoping to grow in the coming years.  

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