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When to Use PayPal Payflow Payment Gateway

Updated on January 6, 2012

According to PayPal, its Payflow payment gateway processes some $74 billion per year in Internet transactions, which is over 32 percent of U.S. online commerce. This may sound like a lot, but much of this business is from large companies that transact thousands of yearly sales. Whether you need PayPal Payflow payment gateway depends on your personal situation. You should review the particular benefits of this payment service to see if they apply to your own business.

Merchant Account:

A merchant account allows you to accept payments by credit and debit card. Before the Internet, everyone needed a merchant account to accept cards. That has changed with services like PayPal, which allows just about anyone to set up credit-card processing with no monthly fee and no merchant account.

However, you still need a merchant account if you want to accept credit cards on your own website. PayPal's Payflow payment gateway establishes a secure connection to your merchant account for online transactions. Thus, you generally need to use this service if you have a merchant account and want to accept credit cards directly on your website. However, this service also works for phone, in-person, mail and fax payments. You may wish to use PayPal Payflow if you engage in any of those types of transactions.

If you use this service, you can set it up on most shopping-cart systems. You also have the option of completing all transactions on PayPal's website. Finally, you can use Payflow Pro to set up the system on your own website. However, you would need professional help to do this, and this would generally apply only to very large corporations that host their own payment system.


Unless you have a merchant account, there is simply no need to use PayPal Payflow. Unlike the Premier and Business accounts that have no monthly fee, you pay at least $20 per month plus the typical per-transaction fees of roughly 2 percent. If you use Payflow Pro, the fee is $60 per month. There are also additional fees for recurring billing and other services. Check out the link below for full details on the fees associated with this service.


PayPal: Payflow Payment Gateway: A Secure Link to Your Merchant Account


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