Web Design and Marketing
Thursday, November 01 2012
Which is better to use on your website to process donations and/or store purchases - a merchant account or a 3rd Party Payment App such as PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.
Merchant Account vs 3rd Party Payment App
In a usability study when users were routed to a 3rd party payment application once they initiated the donation process users were annoyed and confused. My own experience in having a webstore and initially using a 3rd party payment application is that users were often confused and would bounce without completing their purchase. They thought that since they didn't have an account with the 3rd party payment system that they couldn't complete their purchase. I even put in big red letters that they didn't have to have an account that they could still use their credit card and complete their purchase as a guest. It still didn't help. I finally switched to a merchant account. Even though many 3rd party payment apps don't require an account, trying to complete your transaction without one is unintuitive and confusing. There are some 3rd party payment apps that offer more seamless integration. PayPal is a popular payment app and many people that do a lot of shopping online have an account and prefer to use it.
What You Should Do
Use both. Get a merchant account because it will easily and seamlessly allow you to process credit cards on our website. You will process more transactions because it's seamless and integrated with the website and people know what to expect. For people that prefer to donate or pay with PayPal offer that as an option as well.
Need help? No problem we can help you get your merchant account and get it set it on your website for you.
My "sweet spot" is helping small businesses and non-profits communicate their message in a way that gets results.