An In-Depth PayPal Review: Is PayPal the Right Payment Platform For You? (2017)

It seems like everyone has a PayPal account, but most people think of it as a way to transfer money or even use as a digital wallet. You'd be silly to completely forget about PayPal for business purposes, because it has always been, and continues to be, one of the the sleekest options out there. However, in these PayPal reviews we're going to take a look at what PayPal has to offer for business credit card processing. Sure, you could utilize the system as a freelancer and collect payments for your services, but this is an entirely different type of transaction.

Our goal here is to consider the rates provided through PayPal, how well it integrates with other systems and how many types of credit cards can go through.

paypal

The good part about PayPal is that it keeps no secrets in terms of its pricing and fees. This is one of the main reasons the user count has consistently increased since PayPal's inception. You can get setup within minutes, and the early termination fees are non-existent.

There's much to lick your lips about with PayPal, so let's take a deeper look to understand exactly how much you're going to be spending, and what types of businesses should be using PayPal.

PayPal Reviews: Top Features

Several plans and services are offered through PayPal. Although it can see a little confusing, the list below should help guide you through the selection process.

  • PayPal Express Checkout – A simple addon for companies that accept regular credit cards another way.
  • PayPal Payments Standard – This one is a basic payment processing plan, which works for companies that aren't currently accepting credit card payments. It gives you the functionality to do so.
  • PayPal Payments Pro – Pro provides a hosted checkout on your own website.
  • PayPal Here – This is the mobile app for collecting payments on the go.
  • Virtual Terminal – The terminal is for collecting mail and phone orders, and it costs $30 per month.
  • Digital Goods – For setting up things like recurring payments.
  • Bill Me Later – Unique to PayPal, this feature offers no interest financing to customers.
  • Online invoicing – Freelancers and contractors can send out quick invoices for the services they perform.

PayPal Reviews: Ease of Use

Is PayPal easy to use? Anyone who uses PayPal will laugh at that question, because, yes, it's insanely easy to use. That's what the whole platform was built on. You can grab a simple PayPal button and start selling products from any website. Even if you don't have a shopping cart, the PayPal button is going to take care of everything for you.

The mobile app is just as smooth as Square, and they give you a free swiper to plug into your phone's headphone jack. Another area that impresses us is the reporting. Whether you collect money through your online store or on a mobile interface, all of the transactions are going to end up in one place. It's managed through a browser dashboard, and you can export the reports to make predictions for the years and months ahead.

PayPal Reviews: Pricing

fees

As discussed, the prices and fees are all listed on the PayPal site. There's quite a few of them, so we covered the most important ones below:

  • Web transactions – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Swiped Mobile and in-store – 2.7% percent of transactions
  • Keyed-in mobile and in-store – 3.5% + $0.15
  • Virtual terminal transactions – 3.1% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Chargebacks – You pay a $20 fee

PayPal also has a special plan for companies with transactions under $10 a piece. This plan goes for 5% + $0.05.

Keep in mind that the PayPal Payment Pro plan requires a monthly payment. Therefore, you'll have to spend $30 a month for the additional services and features.

The main reason companies go with the PayPal Payment Pro plan is because it lets customers stay on your website when they need to checkout. As you may have noticed in the past, most of the time a PayPal transaction means the customer is redirected to the actual PayPal website. This isn't a huge problem, but for branding purposes, you'd probably want to keep users on your site for as long as possible.

PayPal Reviews: Support

The main problem with PayPal is that thousands of customers have talked about horror stories when their funds have been considered a risk and tied up in the PayPal risk department. It seems like the company has eased up on this throttle, but there's still the looming possibility that thousands of dollars could randomly get frozen inside your PayPal account.

That said, the support team is pretty solid, but most of your time is going to be spent on the community forum or knowledge base. PayPal clearly wants you to figure out most of the problems you have on your own, so they direct you through a consierable amount of documentation that could very well resolve your problems.

paypal_support

A PayPal blog runs on a consistent basis, so you can find articles about updates and tips. Connecting with them on social media is possible, but we recommend going through phone or email. The phone line runs from 4am to 10pm (Mondays – Fridays) and 6am to 8pm (Saturdays and Sundays). These are PST times.

Try-Shopify

One huge benefit of working through PayPal is that you can generally complete a quick Google search to fix your problem. It has so many users that people are talking about it online quite a bit.

Who Should be Using PayPal?

Can PayPal run a large ecommerce site? Technically, yes. However, we recommend it for companies that are just getting started, since it's super easy to get installed, and it integrates with options like Shopify, WordPress and BigCommerce.

As you move onto more advanced payment processors, its not a bad idea to still include a PayPal button, considering many people love the convenience of leaving their credit card in their pocket. The main reason you wouldn't use PayPal as your traditional merchant account is because most other solutions will save you more money as your sales grow. For example, surpassing $5 to 10,000 in sales will cost you far more with PayPal than it would with other options, like the excellent Dharma Merchant.

If you have any experience with running PayPal on your website, or if you have any questions about this review, feel free to write us a comment below.

PayPal Rating: 4 - Review by

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.