7 Easiest Ways to Accept Payments Online in 2021

/ ecommerce
Vrinda Singh

The internet is quickly becoming one of the preferred ways to do business thanks to all of the platforms and services available to us. In just a few clicks, it’s possible to set up your very own website, create your own line of products and start making a living if you have a brilliant idea to work with.

One of the most important considerations for any business that operates over the internet is to accept payments online. This will give your customers a convenient way to pay for products and services and is vital for the successful operation of your business. Thanks to it being 2021, there are heaps of ways for you to do just that - but most likely, they’re not all right for you.

Thankfully, we've done the research so you won't have to. Here are 7 of the most convenient payment methods to choose from for your business.

1. PayPal

Source: Paypal for Business

PayPal is a universally-accepted payment processor with simple integration into eCommerce platforms. For example, once you set up your online store using a platform like Paperform, you can easily connect your account to PayPal and start accepting payments through your store instantly.

There are around 277 million active PayPal accounts and 22 million active PayPal merchant accounts. This easily makes PayPal one of the most widely-used and popular payment processing platforms available on the market.

However, it’s worth noting that many merchants have started to gradually shift away from PayPal due to a recent change in its user agreement that involves how refunds are handled. PayPal has always taken a 2.9% commission on sales that was returned to the seller when a buyer requests a refund. However, effective from May 7 2019, PayPal no longer refunds the 2.9% commission, meaning the seller will effectively lose the sale and the additional 2.9% fee.

Despite this, PayPal will likely remain a popular option for sellers and it’s still one of the easiest ways to accept payments online.

2. Credit and debit cards

Many eCommerce platforms allow users to pay for products and services using credit and debit cards. Adding this functionality to your website isn’t difficult especially if you’re using a form builder for eCommerce.

However, the main factor to consider here are the fees and commissions attached to payment processing. When accepting card payments, it’s likely that you’ll have to choose a processing platform like Square, Stripe or Braintree to process payments. The fees attached to these transactions can slowly add up, so it’s crucial to choose a platform that’s economically viable for business.

For example, while Stripe and Braintree both charge no monthly fees, they do charge 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. While it may seem like both services are identical in this case, it’s worth noting that Braintree is better if you’re looking to accept international payments since it charges a lower currency conversion rate per transaction (2% vs. 1%), while Stripe is better if you’re hoping to accept payments through a wide range of methods like Apple Pay or AliPay.

Stripe, Braintree and Square are the largest players in this market, and have easy integrations with eCommerce platforms like Paperform. With Paperform, you can easily set up an online store that’s linked to a Stripe, Braintree or Square account and start accepting credit or debit card payments in minutes.

3. eChecks

An eCheck is essentially an electronic paper check that can be used to accept payments online. There are specific eCheck processing services such as BluePay and TheECheck that specialize in efficient eCheck payments with PCI compliance, flexibility and high-tech security to offer peace of mind to both consumers and businesses.

While not incredibly popular, eChecks can bridge the gap between fully electronic payments and paper-based systems that many older companies still use.

4. Invoices

Connect Invoice Ninja to your Paperform account to automatically generate invoices based on form responses.

If you offer services instead of products, one of the best ways to accept payments online is to simply send an invoice through invoicing software like Invoice Ninja, Proposify or Zoho Invoice. The best part is that these platforms (plus 18 others) can easily be integrated with Paperform, which means that you can automate the entire process with a simple form.

With the right web forms creator, all you’ll need to do is set up a form or landing page for your services, and responses will automatically generate invoices that will be sent to the respondent’s email address, ready for them to complete the payment.

5. Merchant accounts

A merchant account is essentially a special type of bank account that is geared towards online merchants and businesses. When accepting payments online, the money typically isn’t deposited straight into your bank but rather a merchant account that acts as an intermediary.

These funds can then be deposited into your bank account on your request or automatically based on a schedule that you’ve set. Applying for a merchant account also requires you to submit an application and fees will likely be involved.

6. Subscription management services

Setting up a subscription payment is a breeze using Paperform's editor.

If you run a subscription-model business that requires recurring payments, you can directly handle these through the right eCommerce platform. Generally, this would require a specific integration or software like Chargebee, Recurly or Chargify.

However, if you’re looking for a faster solution, you can easily set up a subscription business using Paperform’s integration with Stripe or Braintree. This would save you from having to pay fees for an additional service, and allow you to accept multiple types of payments using just two tools.

7. Cryptocurrency

As part of the internet’s move towards cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, it’s now possible to accept cryptocurrency payments.

These are rather advanced and since the actual value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate wildly, implementing a payment system like this can be quite a challenge. However, it’s certainly one of the more modern ways of accepting online payments and can open you up to more customers.

And there you have it; 7 easy ways to start accepting payments online in a jiffy. While starting an online business can be stressful, accepting payments is one less headache you should have to worry about. The right tools should allow for payments to be an entirely automated process, taking up as little of your time as possible.

Starting your online store? Try Paperform for free for 14 days to see how easy it is to set up your own eCommerce store and accept payments in a matter of minutes.

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