When to Use PayPal Commerce Platform
- Quickly adding online payments to your business: If you don’t already have the ability to accept payments online, PayPal Commerce Platform is an easy way to do it. You can embed its “Pay Now” functionality directly onto your existing website. It’s one of our top picks for payment gateways and subscription billing solutions.
- Boosting online conversions: PayPal is not only an accessible payment method, considering its huge user base, but its familiarity also boosts trust. So, online shoppers may be more willing to make a purchase knowing it’s backed and protected by PayPal. In fact, shoppers view PayPal as the most trustworthy security seal.
- Processing occasional in-person payments: If you only sell in-person at events, festivals, markets, pop-up shops, and the like, PayPal could be an easy option. There are no monthly or cancellation fees, so you can use the payment processor and pay for it only when you need it.
Looking for PayPal’s point-of-sale solution? Check out our review of PayPal Here.
When to Use an Alternative
- Permanent retail shops: PayPal Commerce Platform is cost-effective for occasional in-person sales, but it’s not the most affordable option for permanent brick-and-mortar establishments, especially if you process more than $5,000 in payments each month. Check out these best retail credit card processing companies for alternatives.
- Merchants with high-risk businesses: PayPal is known for unpredictably freezing funds without explanation—and for months at a time. Plus, it doesn’t work with high-risk merchants. If that describes your business, look for one of these best merchant accounts for high-risk businesses.
- Businesses operating on a multi-channel model: If you need to tightly integrate your retail, wholesale, and online sales channels and inventory, PayPal Commerce Platform may become limiting. Instead, opt for one of these multichannel retail POS systems.
PayPal Commerce Platform Overview
|Seamless online checkout integration||Inexplicable and unpredictable freezing of funds|
|Known and trusted platform by consumers||$20 chargeback fee|
|Strong invoicing features||Few POS features and benefits|
|Instant deposits into your PayPal account||Expensive for international payments|
|Discounted processing fees for nonprofits|
PayPal has a simple and straightforward application and setup process, especially when compared to other payment processing options. All you have to do is sign up, connect your business account, and start accepting payments.
PayPal Commerce Platform Pricing
Payflow Pro Gateway
Payflow Link Gateway
Card present: 2.7%
Card not present: 3.5% + 15 cents
Rates vary from 2.90% + 30 cents to 3.50%
Monthly Processing Volume Limit
PayPal doesn’t offer custom plans, only discounted pricing for nonprofit organizations. You can contact the sales team via phone or through a form on its website to discuss which plan is the best fit for your business.
Additional or Other Fees
PayPal charges fees for mass payments, chargebacks, disputes, e-checks, and instant transfers of money out of PayPal.
Businesses that process payments less than $10 can apply for micropayment rates. The rates are applied to all commercial transactions and start at 5% plus a currency-based fixed fee.
Contract Length and Early Terminations
PayPal doesn’t require any contracts for their services, so there are no cancellation or early termination fees.
PayPal Commerce Platform Alternatives and Fees Comparison
Invoicing and recurring billing for growing businesses
New and small businesses, occasional sales
Cheapest credit card processing for established businesses
starts at $99/month
starts at $0/month
starts at $49/ month
Card-present transaction fee
Interchange + 8 cents
2.6% + 10 cents
Interchange + 5-15 cents
Keyed transaction fee
Interchange + 15 cents
3.5% + 15 cents
Interchange + 5-15 cents
Ecommerce transaction fee
Interchange + 15 cents
2.9% + 30 cents
Interchange + 5-15 cents
Read more about the best alternatives to PayPal.
Looking for the lowest rates? The payment processing rates you will pay can vary based on your business size, type, and average order value. To find the most affordable option for you and compare multiple processing rates, read our guide on the cheapest credit card processing.
PayPal Commerce Platform Features
- Payment types: PayPal Commerce Platform supports credit cards, debit cards, ACH bank transfers, and Venmo. You can also offer recurring payments and buy now/pay later options to your customers.
- Mobile payments: With PayPal Here, you can do more than just accept mobile payments. You can also use its full suite of POS and order/inventory management features.
- Small business financing: Merchants in need of extra capital can get a small business loan directly from PayPal. It works with WebBank to offer fixed-term loans, payable in weekly installments.
- Next-day funding: PayPal Commerce Platform will make received funds available as early as the next day. However, these funds are only available that quickly when deposited into a PayPal account.
- Invoicing: Create and send invoices directly from PayPal Commerce Platform. Customers can pay via the method of their choosing.
- Taxes: You can set up PayPal to calculate taxes for every transaction. It can also track the payment volume of your business account and send a Form 1099-K to its user if it crosses the IRS thresholds in a given calendar year.
- Ecommerce site: Though bare-bones, PayPal does have tools that merchants can use to create their own online store where they can sell products and services and collect payments.
- Social commerce: Connect PayPal Commerce Platform to Facebook and Instagram and make your offerings available for purchase to social media users.
What Users Think of PayPal Commerce Platform
Many small business owners respond positively to the PayPal platform. Reviews consistently rate as a user-friendly platform with a simple checkout process.
- G2: Users rated PayPal with 4.4 out of 5 stars, mostly citing that when it works it’s great, but when you have an issue, it’s tough to get a solution.
- Capterra: On Capterra, PayPal received an overall rating of 4.7 stars, with reviews following a similar theme as those on G2.
Generally, merchants love that it’s a familiar and well-liked platform, especially for customers. However, it’s worth noting that PayPal doesn’t function well offline. And, support is difficult to reach, while funds may inexplicably become unavailable.
Users Don’t Like
Simplified and easy transaction process
Frequently frozen accounts due to security concerns
Integrations with other apps
Higher transaction rates
Overall, PayPal is a valuable payment processor if you’re just getting started with payments, if you sell in-person only seasonally or sporadically, and if you need to get set up quickly. Because it’s so versatile, flexible, and well-recognized, it can help boost trust and conversion rates. PayPal has no monthly fees or contractual obligations, so you can try it with low risk. Check PayPal’s website for promotions on free card readers.