Payment Modules

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Payment modules are a necessary component to any online store. Unless an online merchant wants to deal only with over the phone orders, or checks in the mail, a payment module is a must. Payment modules allow customers to pay for products with credit cards, debit cards and in some cases, directly from their bank accounts via secured lines.

Payment modules are available for use with individual payment services. For instance, a PayPal module only works with PayPal. If you wanted to offer PayPal and another payment service, like Bank of America, then you'd have to buy both payment modules.

Payment modules vary in price, typically between $100 and $300 dollars per module. Further, some payment companies charge fees to the Merchant for their services. Some companies, in addition to requiring the purchase of the module itself, will also charge an account set-up fee (as high as $200) and monthly maintenance fees (often around $20 - $30 or more a month).

Payment Modules: PayPal, Et Al

One of the most popular payment modules, PayPal, does not charge any set-up fee whatsoever. Instead, PayPal charges Merchants only when their services are used (transaction fees), which reportedly end up being about as much as the monthly fees charged by other payment companies. Perhaps because of this affordability, PayPal is the payment module of choice eBay merchants. Over 50 percent of all eBay transactions take place via PayPal. This popularity, too, has resulted in high-familiarity with consumers. Consumers recognize the PayPal name, many have pre-existing accounts, and trust in the system's security is high. This is a real advantage when dealing with otherwise skittish consumers who may resist entering their financial information with an unknown entity. However, there's more than just PayPal out there. There are many quality payment companies in operation that are worthy of your trust and business. However, they all have different capabilities. Some work online, some work offline. Each type has its own distinct advantages. Research all the payment company options that exist. Before purchasing any payment module, be sure to fully understand its capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, to assure its compatibility with your e-commerce site.

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