Pros and Cons of PayPal for Small Business

paypal
AFP / Getty Images

If you are a small business owner doing business online, you have probably looked into online methods for taking payment for your products and services. If you have, you undoubtedly found PayPal during your search.

According to PayPal.com, PayPal has more than 87 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world.

Despite its popularity, though, PayPal isn't the perfect solution for every small business.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of using PayPal as your primary online payment processor for your small business.

Pros of Using PayPal

  • It's easy to setup and use.
  • Your clients/customers may already be familiar with PayPal.
  • You don't need a merchant account.
  • Your clients/customers don't need a PayPal account to pay you.
  • You can create and send invoices right through your account.
  • PayPal's fees are less than many merchant accounts (currently 2.9% + $0.30 USD for debit and credit card purchases).
  • You can set up recurring payments.
  • You can integrate PayPal with a number of shopping cart systems.

Cons of Using PayPal

  • PayPal's Seller Protection policies do not cover digital goods.
  • There are hefty fees for chargebacks.
  • You are limited in terms of use and are subject to account suspension at any time which can result in frozen funds for months.
  • It can take four business days for withdrawn funds to clear in your bank account.
  • There are a number of people who refuse to use PayPal, which may result in lost business.
  • It can be difficult to contact PayPal's customer service department.

The decision to use or not use PayPal as your primary online payment processor is a big one and can certainly impact your business. It's always a good idea to explore your options before making a decision.

Here are five online payment services (four in addition to PayPal) to review.