If you are starting an online business, you need to use some sort of third-party payment system, like PayPal or Dwolla.
Recently, I did business with a home business owner in my area. When it came time to pay for the product I wanted, I asked if the owner had PayPal. I could just zip the money over to her.
Unfortunately, she said that she didn't have PayPal. In order to pay for my order, I'm going to have to make a trip with the money. Even though she doesn't sell much online (and she really probably should), it would still be nice if she accepted some sort of electronic payment. It's more convenient, and in a world where convenience rules, a home business needs to make it easy for customers to pay.
Accepting Third Party Payment Processors for your Online Business
If you have an online business, you?need to accept a third-party payment processor. I accept PayPal. I like PayPal. It's worked well for me for years, and using it with Freshbooks has provided me with a way to save on the fees.
PayPal isn't the only third-party processor out there, though. It's possible to use Amazon Payments and Google Checkout as well. And there is the up-and-coming Dwolla. Some of these processors, like PayPal also make it possible for you to accept credit cards on top of payments through the processor. Others, like Dwolla, limit the forms of payment you can use.
For the most part, accepting third-party processors provides you with a way to add convenience and simplicity to your transactions. I love it when I visit an online retailer and I can use PayPal. It makes my life easier. (PayPal is also branching out to offline transactions, which is pretty cool.)
If you have an online business — and even if you have home business that doesn't do a lot of business online — consider accepting third-party payment processors. At the very least, make sure that you can accept P2P payments.
Fewer customers are carrying around cash, and that means that you don't want to be caught in a bind. What if your customer doesn't want to pay cash? What if your customer doesn't want to make a trip to the bank for cash, and then make a trip to meet you so that you can complete your business exchange?
Consider your customer base and your clients. Think about what would make it easier for them to pay. Offering more payment choices is generally a good thing. And you don't even have to make credit cards one of them. If you can accept PayPal, Dwolla, or P2P payments, it will make your customers' lives much happier, and it will make it easier for you to expand your online business.