Is PayPal Payments Standard or Pro right for you?

With the Internet so ripe for building your company and selling products or services, it only makes sense to let visitors of your website become customers. PayPal’s checkout system and payment services are popular because they require less technical knowledge and setup than other cart and checkout systems, but you’ll have to choose between PayPal’s three plans. The most common are the free “Standard” plan and the $30-per-month “Pro” subscription.

Certain features are available with both plans. For example, you can accept payments via both credit card, PayPal and checks via photo, send invoices, get a swiping accessory for use with your smartphone and get your own PayPal business debit card. Regardless of your plan, you’ll be able to charge customers in over 20 currencies, and you can rely on PayPal’s fraud protection. PayPal allows you to come and go as you please without any contracts or fees other than the monthly subscription for the Pro plan. Finally, all plans include 24/7 support by phone and interest-free financing and nonprofit options if your organization isn’t a for-profit business.Only the Pro plan allows customers to check out without ever leaving your site. The Standard plan forwards them to PayPal, but they can return to your site after completing the transaction. You can host your checkout pages with PayPal and design them so that they match your website, however. Pro subscribers can accept payment via phone and fax, which is not available if you don’t pay the monthly fee. Thus, paying for this membership is best if branding is important, and you want to make it less obvious that you use PayPal to power the checkout process on your eCommerce website. If you have a low-traffic website or are less concerned with branding, you can save the $30 per month that would go toward your subscription.

Subscribing adds features but it doesn’t remove transactions fees as you may expect so you won’t save any more money overall. However, you will have more options available to you than free users. Expect to pay 2.9% of the transaction plus 30 cents per transaction for $3,000 worth of transactions. The fee per each transaction shrinks as you perform more transactions. If your website processes more than $100,000 per month, you will pay less than 2.2% per transaction; however, you must contact PayPal to determine the amount. Each transaction has the same 30-cent fee in addition to the percentage. Finally, PayPal has additional fees for accepting transactions over the phone via the virtual terminal. You’ll pay ten cents per transactions for these orders.

The middle tier subscription plan costs just $5 per month and allows your visitors to pay without leaving your site. The smaller price might make this more suitable to your needs if you have a smaller budget but are still concerned about branding. PayPal calls this the “Advanced” level, but no matter which option you choose, you’ll always the option to switch at the end of the month.