I have been working on my new Service EasySendy for last two months. Honestly, it has been wonderful experience selling the service related to custom hosted email marketing solution for growing businesses. While working on EasySendy, I got the chance to explore some great options beyond PayPal payments. I have been using PayPal for around a decade now for collecting payments from online customers. However, all the payments I have received till now have been a one-time payment from my customers.
As EasySendy started growing, I went ahead looking for other payment options wherein I can collect payments on a monthly recurring basis. With this need in mind, I had to search for new options because PayPal has certain limitations, such as:
- Currently, Paypal does not accept India to India Payment. Hence, I was faced restrictions when I wanted to sell my service in India.
- I wanted to accept Credit Card payment directly from customer, but sadly Paypal is little confusing to some customers.
- I wanted to have a dashboard to manage all my received payments with invoice and refund options, invoicing, but PayPal does not easy to use dashboard for all these.
Hence, I started looking for other alternatives. While searching, I came to know about Stripe, authorize.net, Braintress and many more. It is important for me to mention here that cards that add 3D secure gateways to enhance security of the card holders are also unable to allow recurring payments for any online services. Digging deeper, I came to know that in India, according to RBI guidelines, you / business cannot accept recurring payments.
So, at the end, I was left with the only option of getting support from Payment Gateway Providers who can provide service outside from India, or registering a business outside India in order to use the Banking facility that can operate in sync with the payment gateway provider.
Looking around the web for options, I decided to analyse Stripe and Braintress, which is also from PayPal. They support very close integration with website but unfortunately they are not present in India. This means, to use them, I need to register a company outside India. I surfed more and more. I decided to checkout other payment gateway options like authorize.net and 2Checkout. I had read 2Checkout review in some blogs that 2Checkout has very strict policy for approval and their rejection rates are on a higher side. However, I took the plunge and applied to 2Checkout with all the details.
Features Review of 2Checkout:
2Checkout is a payment gateway that accepts payments from any device and from any corner of the world. It supports “transaction from 196 countries, through 8 payment methods, 26 currencies and 15 languages”. 2Checkout has emerged to become all-integrated payment gateway, enabling businesses to collect payments from their global audience. Very recently, 2Checkout joined hands with FreshBooks to bring new online payment options for small businesses.
It is very hard to build a business, scale it up and sell to global audience- all at the same time. 2Checkout’s unique features make it easy to reach out globally and sell your product. Here are the features, which attracted me to apply for 2Checkout:
Simple Checkout process:
The checkout process plays a pivotal role for your customers to decide whether they want to proceed to the gateway or return from there. If the process is very complicated, chances are high that your customers will leave it mid-way. 2Checkout makes sure the checkout process is extremely hassle free and simple. The Inline and Standard checkout process are designed in such a way that customers can purchase in a click. Moreover, the interfaces can be customized and it adapts the device your customer is using while checking out.
Standard Checkout: This displays the checkout pages on the basis of the buyers’ device while maintaining your brand settings. This is a great option for sellers who have few products. Features are:
- Available in 15 languages, 20+ currencies and 8 Payment methods
- It is Customizable
- PCI security enabled
- Fraud Prevention
- Responsive design
Inline Checkout: This is a simple payment form that lets your customer experience the UI of being on your website while providing with all the advantages of a hosted checkout solution. This option is best for sellers who have an advanced cart functionality. Features included are:
- All of Standard Checkout
- Overlay Payment form
- Quick checkout with less fields to fill in
Every Transaction is Protected and Safe:
Given the random news on security threats, it is of high concern for your customers that their personal data are safe when they are checking out online. 2Checkout takes caution and has PCI Level 1 Compliance which is by-far the highest level in the industry.
The PCI compliance protects your customers from any kind of online threats. 2Checkout has redundant data centers that store and encrypt millions of credit cards, ensuring that your customers need not worry about their credit card security. Along with protecting your customers’ data, 2Checkout also ensures fraud prevention with its three tier strategy. This strategy uses more than 300 variables to identify any fraud. They use algorithms and data collection techniques which are customized according to industries and geographies.
On-the-go Sales Management:
2Checkout is any device compatible. This means that you can manage your sales, refunds, online payments, and other account details while you are on a move. The app is available in Apple App Store as well as Google Play Store. By creating an API login userID and password, you can access 2Checkout on your phones, tablets and laptops as well.
- Helps you to stay updated about every sales activity
- Identify any specific pattern to your sales on your iPad and work on it
- Features like reviewing payments, details of each sales/refunds and sending invoices to customers are available on your iPad
- You can also interact with your customers by commenting on sales, or emailing them, or notifying them of an update.
Choose your own cart:
2Checkout supports almost all carts integration, including Shopify, Woocommerce, WP eCommerce, OS Commerce, Open Cart, Magento and many more. So you can choose the cart that works for you best.
2Checkout supports recurring subscription transactions. By recurring transactions, it means that instead of charging your customers one time, you let your customers pay the price in a set interval (usually on a monthly basis) wherein your customer pays you a pre-fixed amount every month, weekly, bi-weekly, or annually. The payment continues till the buyer does not cancel the service.
You can avoid 3rd Party cart:
If you are planning for very simple process, then you can directly create product list inside 2Checkout dashboard and put relevant product buy button on website. For this opt for 2Checkout’s Buy button to add purchase links to your website.
Simple and Flat Transaction Fees:
2Checkout conducts a transparent pricing fees over transactions. For each country, it has the payment and percentage fee applicable mentioned clearly on the website. For instance, for India it is 3.9% and 45¢ [$0.45] per successful transaction.
- You pay only for what you use. There is no separate fees for security measures of fraud prevention. Also, no amount is incurred for setting up 2Checkout.
- You can opt for any of the options that work best for you to receive money – bank transfer, international wire transfer, PayPal or Payoneer Master card. Make sure you go through the International Seller Services Agreement.
- 2Checkout takes a lot of caution to prevent any frauds. However, in case of a chargeback, a fee of $25 is charged.
- Your customers can pay via credit cards, debit cards or Paypal. There is no additional fees for any of the above payments choices.
- If your customers are outside India, then you are charged 1.5% fee applicable to all payments you receive from them.
- To get the payment converted to your home currency, an average fee of 2-5% above the daily bank exchange is applicable.
Comparing Other Alternatives of 2Checkout:
A product review is often deemed incomplete without a direct comparison with its alternatives. So, I will give you a brief overview of the few alternatives of 2Checkout and try to weigh them against 2Checkout.
2Checkout vs PayPal
PayPal is a well known online payment gateway which allows people to send money without having to divulge financial information. It has over 110 million active accounts and supports 25 currencies across the globe.
In terms of gateway features, support and security features, both are at par. However, when it comes to cart integration, 2Checkout takes the lead. There are many ways in which PayPal takes the limelight-
- It supports American Express rate
- Qualified and nonqualified rates for Visa/masterCard for PayPal is 2.90%+$0.30 while for 2Checkout it is 3.9%+$0.45
- Again, PayPal does not support payment via Diners and JCB unlike 2Checkout.
As of first quarter of 2015, PayPal had an active registered accounts of 165.2 million, reported by Statista.
Although PayPal might be less expensive, it does not support concurrent payment which 2Checkout does. This has been the primary reason I tried 2Checkout. Few of the merchants who accept PayPal payments are eBay, Expedia, Victoria Secret and many more.
2Checkout vs Stripe
Stripe is a simple way to accept payments online through debit / credit card directly. Stripe is built for developers and is used by Kickstarter, Instacart, Twitter, Shopify and many such names. Both Stripe and 2Checkout have similar pricing rates.
On comparing Stripe and 2Checkout-
- 2Checkout accepts PayPal while Stripe does not.
- Stripe is not compatible on Apple Devices unlike 2Checkout
- 2Checkout serves more countries than Stripe
- Stripe is specifically for developers
2Checkout vs authorize.net
The Authorize.Net payment Gateway offers many value added services and is available 24/7. It is another alternative to 2Checkout. On doing a comparison between the two:
- Security features like AVS and CCV are not available on Authorize.Net
- Authorize.Net has a fees of +$0.10 in comparison to 2Checkout’s 4.40% + $0.45
- PayPal acceptance not available on Authorize.Net
- It is available only in English unlike 2Checkout. Thus, it supports only USD currency
Now that we have an overview about 2Checkout and its alternatives, I will now tell you how to apply to 2Checkout.
How to Apply at 2Checkout?
When you start your application process at 2Checkout, they will need a lot of information about you and your company, if you have a company registered.
These are the details which they need during application:
- Personal detail of the applicant
- Detail of the business. Fill them accordingly; for any Sole proprietorship, partnership or company.
- Detail of the Company, if you are opening an account to collect payment in your registered company bank account.
- Photo ID, PAN Card and address proof. You can upload the scanned copy easily.
After you have added the above details, your application will go to account verification department at 2Checkout, and an account manager will be assigned to you. You will get all the details in your registered email.
For my account, verification was done over phone call within 24 hours and the team asked for other relevant details as well. They confirmed everything and finally welcomed me on their platform to help me collect payments online easily.
After you are approved to sell, you can test the payment processing on your website in Sandbox mode. And once you are ready to go live, just switch off the sandbox mode and you will be ready to collect payments. In my case, I used JotForm with preconfigured 2Checkout integration to build the checkout page for EasySendy. This integration took around 40 minutes to complete the process.
Collecting 2Checkout Payout with Bank or Paypal
After you are all setup to sell online through 2Checkout, you can configure everything easily inside your merchant account dashboard. To receive the payments / payouts to your Bank account, you can easily add your local bank account, and also configure Paypal account, incase the payment in Bank account fails.
I have configured my local Bank account with weekly payments. This enables me to collect the payments to my Bank account smoothly.
I would recommend 2Checkout to everyone who wants to provide their customers recurring billing subscriptions. It is easy and hassle free.