In this PayPal review we will cover all its services although we will mostly focus on its online payment capabilities as we appreciate most people will be using it to process payments online. Paypal has grown to such an extent that it is now the go-to name for online payments for internet shoppers around the world, but it also offers all-in-one payment solutions for 7 million businesses across the globe. Since it was established in 1999, the firm has become the most popular payment method in the online space and it remains the default payment option for eCommerce giant eBay.
PayPal markets itself as the quick and easy, hassle free payment solution for both users and business owners alike. This starts with offering a comprehensive package of payment services to suit your business needs. It goes way further than that though – even down to the simple pricing structure that means you can get started right away, without any misunderstandings.
We can certainly think of a few providers who should take note on that front, but PayPal isn’t done yet. This firm has a huge reputation to maintain as the easiest payment solution for your customers as well – and you can see this is the integration of its gateway, checkout pages and entire online suite. Sounds promising, for sure, but let’s take a closer look under the hood to see how well she performs.
Products & Services
PayPal combines a wide range of services into a single package so you can open your doors to everyone, with the confidence of getting your money quickly and securely. PayPal claims you can enjoy an average of 7.4% sales increase by using its services.
- Full support: Customers can pay with their bank accounts, every major card supplier or their own PayPal account.
- Global reach: PayPal is available in 203 countries with support for 26 different currencies.
- Quick integration: To have you selling online in a matter of clicks.
- Payment gateway: Fully customisable to match your website design and brand feel.
- Seller Protection: PayPal’s acclaimed Seller protection offers 24-hour monitoring, and advanced encryption to protect your business from fraud, even after the sale.
- Donations: You can add a donate button to your website and accept people’s generosity like any other form of payment.
- PayPal invoices: Including templates, invoice history and 15 invoice translations available.
- Virtual terminal: For payments over the phone and by mail.
Face to Face Payments
- Card readers: For over the counter and portable payments within your business property.
- No monthly card reader fees: You simply pay for the card reader and the standard transaction fees after that (more on prices shortly).
- 24/7 customer services: You can contact the UK support team by email, phone or directly from within the PayPal app anytime you need.
- Contactless payments: For instant payments by card, smartphone or smartwatch.
- Multiple users: You can set up your staff with access to a single account across multiple card readers for a fully integrated system.
- POS solutions: A range of third party point-of-sales solutions for iPads, countertop readers and other devices.
- Digital receipts: you can send receipt digitally via SMS or email for a truly paperless system.
These services and more are broken down into three basic packages, which you can set up entirely online:
PayPal Express is basically a PayPal add-on for businesses that already accept card payments. Essentially, you’ll just be adding PayPal as another option. Then you have the two subsequent packages for SMEs and larger businesses. You can find more info about each package by clicking on the links above, although the choices are fairly clear cut.
PayPal’s pricing is nice and transparent – there are no setup fees or hidden charges to worry about. The standard pricing package will cost you £20 a month, plus a transaction rate of 3.4% and 20p per transaction, if you’re processing £1,500 or less each month. Rates then sink, depending on how much you bring in, with fees going as low as 1.4% if your monthly transactions add up to £55,000 or over.
Even better than PayPal’s prices is the fact there are no contracts, which means no early termination fees. That’s pretty much unheard of in this field and those nasty cancellation charges probably make up 90% of complaints about firms in the payment industry.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
As you may have suspected by now, PayPal’s approach to marketing is about as clean and transparent as you could hope for. It generates most of its business directly through the website, which means no third party sales teams pushing its services down your throat.
The fact is it doesn’t need to. PayPal got in there to provide a solution to the general consumer’s online payment pains long over a decade ago. Its name is big enough that it doesn’t need to go on the offensive with its sales and marketing strategy, but rather sit back and wait for the business to roll in by itself (alright for some).
Customer Service and Technical Support
PayPal’s customer service options are extensive to say the least – you have 24/7 email, phone and app contact. Then you have the extensive community forum and knowledge base to help steer you in the right direction. And finally, you have its heavy presence on social media to tap into if that’s your preferred choice.
With that in mind, and the fairly glowing stuff we’ve had to say about PayPal so far, you’d probably expect customer service to be equally as impressive. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case and you’ll hear some grumbles from customers who feel like they get lost somewhere between the hoards of other PayPal customers.
This is a common problem for firms who have large customer bases – and boy does PayPal have one hell of a customer base. There’s a silver lining though, because the chances are you’ll find countless users who have experienced any problem you could conceive of with PayPal and found a solution. That’s where PayPal’s community forum proves invaluable.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
There’s no shortage of positive reviews on PayPal’s merchant services. Essentially, it’s the combination of effortless payment processing and quick results that does it – precisely what it promises.
“Online business banking with automatic invoicing and historical data built-in – love it. Excellent tool for small business that integrates payment processing, invoice management (creation, templates, signatures) and account receivables.” – Christiano F, Go2crowd.com
As you can see, it’s a case of no frills, but customers enjoying the fact that the simple stuff tends to work very well with PayPal.
“Let me start by saying that my personal experience to date with PayPal has been 100% satisfactory. I have never had a complaint and besides a sometimes difficult to navigate website the system has always done what I wanted it to do. I’ve processed over $20,000 worth of transactions and never had trouble accessing my money.” – Yaro Starak, Entrepreneurs-journey.com
Easy setup, close to limitless compatibility, fast access to your money and transparent pricing are pretty compelling reasons for business owners enjoying the PayPal experience.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
And, of course, for a payment firm with so many customers near and wide there are a legion of complaints for every positive review you can find. Customer service is high on the list of negative feedback, although its above average transaction fees come in at a close second. We also hear a lot of talk about the limited seller protection that comes with PayPal, who has been accused of favouring the buyer by some business owners.
“Please be advised that PayPal does not provide any protection for sellers who sells a service; if you are selling service which is intangible you will easily lose your money as the buyers can open a chargeback with their card issuer and they will be refunded after a week and PayPal has no way of protecting you and it will charge you an extra $20 for the fees beside the money you lost for giving the service!” – Mike, Merchantmaverick.com
Paypal has had to deal with thousands of cases of fraud over the years so now it tends to be inspect its merchant users rigorously. However, no paypal review would be complete without mentioning that it can still be a bit trigger happy in suspending accounts. We have heard plenty of accounts that suggest that they will suspend or terminate account when they have the slightest suspicion of a business engaging in fraudulent activities or of being a high-risk. However, it is worth saying they are becoming better at quickly unfreezing accounts where the business owner is not at fault but this is after many days of lost revenue and frustration.
If you are just looking for an online payment solution Paypal is definitely worth considering, especially if you a businesses that is just are just starting out as it’s easy to set up and it has a transparent pricing structure. It also has a wide range of integration options. However, you do have to be careful because the company is quick to shut down accounts on the slightest suspicion of fraud and you can go through days of pulling your hair out trying to get your account unfrozen. Transaction rates are also high compared to those of other virtual terminal providers. You’ll have to determine if the not-so-good aspects of using the PayPal virtual terminal outweigh the convenience of signing up with a well-known and trusted global provider.