PayPal Website Payments Pro Tips
Merchant Account for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
PayPal has a number of options for processing online payments. While most small companies can simply use Buy Now buttons on their website or in their eBay auctions for free, Website Payments Pro (WPP) is an actual merchant account. While this means that you are going to have to pay a fee to use the service, this is a good fit for merchants who would like to accept credit and debit cards on their own website instead of sending them to PayPal to complete purchases.
PayPal recommends Website Payments Pro if you have at least 100 orders per month. Smaller businesses generally do not need a merchant account. Very large businesses could also opt for PayPal Payflow payment gateway, which is like WPP but for high-volume businesses.
You pay $30 per month plus a fee of around 2 percent for each sale. Of course, this means that small home-based businesses simply do not need this service when you can just use PayPal's normal services without a monthly fee.
Direct Payment and Express Checkout:
At a minimum, you will need to set up an API for both Direct Payment and Express Checkout. Direct Payment refers to credit and debit purchases on your own website. Express Checkout customers can also use their own PayPal accounts to purchase your products or services.
Do you want to accept credit cards by phone, mail or fax? If so, Virtual Terminal is an option when purchasing Website Payments Pro. Actually, most online sellers probably do not even need WPP unless you want to use Virtual Terminal. In most cases, PayPal is actually more trusted than the merchant, so there is typically no problem sending people to PayPal to complete a payment. On the other hand, the free accounts provided by PayPal exist for Web-based transactions only. So you at least need WPP if you want to take orders by phone, mail or fax.
This is the difficult part of setting up Website Payments Pro. If you have never set up API operations, you are either going to have to find some tutorials or read through all the PayPal documentation to figure this out. Otherwise, you can typically hire someone at eLance or a similar place to set up your API for you. First, though, check with a shopping cart if you are using one and see if you can get instructions through them.
In conclusion, the biggest reason to get Website Payments Pro would be to use Virtual Terminal for mail, fax or phone orders. Otherwise, any small business could just go with the more standard PayPal Premier or Business accounts to avoid a monthly fee for a merchant account.