Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Payments Processing for Low Volume - PayPal Buttons

If your small business or non-profit group wants to be able to sell products/services online, but you'll have a very low volume, a full blown e-commerce solution may be too much.  A full e-commerce site can be complex, expensive to maintain, and requires special skills of your webmaster or service provider.

Tepato has several non-profit clients who sell event tickets to one or two events a year on their websites.  The total ticket sales for each event are a few hundred, with about 10 - 25% of the ticket sales being done online.  Since they have such a low volume (both in sales and in frequency), they use PayPal buttons to satisfy their needs.

Most people who shop online are familiar with PayPal and its usefulness in paying for your online purchases.  It also has a merchant function which allows you to create buttons for use on a website.  The buttons can be for a variety of functions, including "donate", "buy it now" or "add to cart" functionality, and can be customized with your specific item names and pricing.  After creating the buttons, your webmaster can copy/paste the code needed to place the buttons right into your website.

PayPal will provide all of the security, data collection and processing on their website, so your organization's website has very minimal impact.  You don't have to pay for security certificates or complicated sales processing pages to be created.  PayPal will process all payments for a fee, similar to any credit card processor.  You can withdraw funds from your account to another bank account electronically at any time.

PayPal allows buyers to submit an instant payment using a bank account or credit cards, whichever they prefer.  Your buyers don't even have to create a PayPal account if they don't wish to do so.

Two small conditions apply when using PayPal:
  1. If you are a non-profit group, you may need to provide proof to PayPal (such as a copy of your 501c3 form) to use some of its functions.
  2. If your company or non-profit sells anything gun-related, PayPal will not allow it.  You can sell any other items that are not guns or gun-related but they have a restriction on weapons (including raffles which have guns as prizes).
If your company or non-profit organization has a need to do payment processing on a small scale, I recommend PayPal buttons for their ease of use and competitive processing rates.

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