Authorize.net vs. PayPal

Wondering which credit-card processor is best for you? Here is a simplified breakdown.

Processor Monthly Fee Cost per transaction
PayPal none 2.9%* + $0.30
Authorize.net $40/month** Total Merchant Services charges vary based on the card type:
1.3% + $0 for debit cards
2.22% + $0 for basic charge cards
surcharges of 0.92%/1.27% + $0.10**
for partially/non-qualified cards

*PayPal transaction costs can go down to 2.5% and lower depending on monthly volume
**Note that these surcharges only apply to certain types of rewards credit cards. Small Farm Central works with Total Merchant Services to create new merchant accounts for Authorize.net

Because of the variance of card use, we can't do a pure cost comparison between the providers. But recent statistics show that 80% of consumers own a debit card compared to 78% who own a credit card. 60% of consumers have a rewards card of one type or another (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010). Making an estimate with these figures in mind, if you are processing $4000-$5000/month or above, you can probably save money by moving to Authorize.net. Otherwise, PayPal is your best option, as far as transaction fees go.

Other things to consider:

  • With an Authorize.net Virtual Terminal, you can log in to process phone orders or in-person orders securely using a variety of mobile devices
  • Checking out with Authorize.net means that your customers don't leave your web site to process a payment and then come back.
  • PayPal is perhaps familiar for people who may want to pay directly out of their bank accounts.
  • You may temporarily disable an Authorize.net account if you have several months a year that you do not process payments. There is a $25 reinstatement cost, but you could avoid the monthly payment during your off-season.

Please Note: Google Checkout is being phased out as an integration option due to many problems with processing and customer support that our farmers have experience with Google's solution. You will still be able to use your existing Google Checkout account if you are already using it, but we encourage moving away from Google Checkout.

If you'd like to get started using Authorize.net, please click here to get started with Total Merchant Services and Authorize.net. Or give us a call at 412.567.3864 or email us.

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