The Easy Way to Accept
I thought this was going to be another long
page, diving into the mysteries of merchant accounts and
shopping carts and you name it.
Well, at some point I WILL expand this page to deal with all
that stuff; it was a mystery to me for a long time, and
actually held me back from acting on some business
But for the moment, I'm going to keep this real short and
If you have a download-able software package or eBook for
sale, for under $75 ... consider Clickbank. They take over all the issues
associated with credit card processing, dealing with card
fraud, unhappy customers, product returns, and so on. And,
something of a 2-edged sword, they offer you the opportunity
to have an army of affiliates promoting your product for
It's a 2-edged sword because many of those affiliates become
affiliates only to be able to buy your product at a massive
discount; massive because it is common to offer 40% to 60%
commissions on sales of these types of products.
And, if you don't have a Clickbank type product and you want
to allow people to pay for your products via credit card, I
recommend the simplest way out: PayPal.
Paypal is one of those strokes of genius,
like eBay (which now owns PayPal) or Hotmail.
The concept is really simple; about 60 million Internet
users have opened up a PayPal account, to date, and
(typically) it's connected to a credit card that they
specify. When they pay for something online with PayPal, they
simply specify the e-mail address of the PayPal account of the
person (or company) who is to be paid; the PayPal
mechanism means the money is taken out of their credit
card (so to speak) and into their PayPal account, out of their
PayPal account and into the recipient's PayPal account.
The recipient can then withdraw the money by any of several
different ways ... a check, for example, or an electronic bank
transfer to their bank account.
So, when you open a PayPal account and choose (for
example) the PayPal Website Payments Standard option, you
get to put some special code on your web site that puts a
PayPal button there. Anyone clicking on that button is taken
immediately to the PayPal web site, where they can pay by
PayPal (if they have a PayPal account), OR ... and this is
the beauty ... they can pay by credit card regardless of
whether they have a PayPal account or not.
It's quick and painless, and as soon as the transaction is
over, the buyer is returned to your web site.
And the best part is, you can do this about 5 minutes after
The next best part is, PayPal don't charge an arm and a leg
for this. At the time of writing, their "take" is 1.9% to 2.9%
depending on the volume of transactions, plus $0.30 per
transaction. That's very fair, in my opinion. Very fair.
If you're in the US, you have another neat option; for $20 a
month you can have a "Virtual Terminal." This means that if
someone phones in an order, or faxes or mails you an order,
hoping to pay by credit card, you can simply log-on to your PC
and process the transaction directly.