For new businesses, taking payments requires a payment processor. Paypal is one option, with little hassle upfront and no down-payment or monthly fee. It’s important to use a trusted source for payment, such as Paypal, so customers are protected from fraudulent charges, and they feel safe entering a credit card number.
Although the Paypal API takes some programming skill, new business owners can use the merchant wizard to create a “Pay Now” button on a business website hosted in the cloud. The button lets customers pay with credit cards or their current Paypal balance. For many small businesses, that is more than enough functionality.
Opening a Paypal Account
When a Paypal account is opened, it’s first marked as a new, personal account. A personal account is not trusted like a business account, and Paypal flags personal accounts if too much money is processed. Business owners need to verify the account by using a bank account and credit card. Paypal uses these accounts to transfer money, and it uses these accounts for payments to other vendors when the business does not have enough in the Paypal balance.
Paypal verifies the accounts by dropping a small amount into the Paypal user’s bank and credit card accounts. The account owner responds with the amount deposited, and the account is automatically upgraded to a business account. Business accounts can use the Paypal API for more advanced payment systems integrated into a website, and larger amounts of money can be deposited and transferred.
Creating a “Pay Now” Button
After the account is upgraded to a business account, the “Merchant Services” tab displays in the list of options for the account. Click this tab, then click the “Create Buttons” link. Paypal offers a wizard that generates the code for the payment processing.
The first section of the wizard is just the basics. Fill out the name of the product, the price and the tax rate. For security, Paypal now offers privacy with the merchant account, so the business does not need to expose the merchant email address associated with the Paypal account. Choose this option when setting up the button.
Click “Step 2” to view the secondary options. These options include inventory and revenue tracking. If the business only has limited stock, Paypal will keep track of the stock and top purchases when the balance reaches zero.
The third section is for customization of the purchase. This option lets you set up special instructions for the customer such as requesting additional information. For instance, if the business needs the customer to enter a personal message for gift wrapping, the third section allows for the customer to enter this information.
Click the “Create Button” link and Paypal generates the code. The programmer just needs to copy and paste the code from the Paypal site to the HTML. If the pages are PHP, use the “echo” statement to print the button to a web page dynamically.
Paypal takes care of all the payment processing via this button.
The account owner still needs to transfer the money from the Paypal account to the business bank account, but Paypal sends a notice to the registered email when money is deposited. This payment processing method makes it much simpler for new businesses to get started with ecommerce and with taking payments from customers.
Author Bio:– Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.