Choosing the Best Online Payment Provider for Your Online Order Forms

Written by Chris Byers on September 16, 2010

Posted in Form Hacks

We often get questions from customers on how to get started in accepting online payments for their business or non-profit. Let’s review some of the options you can use with Formstack including a quick comparison chart.

PayPal Website Payments Standard

Pros – There really isn’t an easier way to get started than with PayPal Website Payments Standard. You simply need an email address with PayPal – that’s all! There are no monthly fees or setup charges either. You can go global immediately by accepting payments from 190 countries.

Cons – The downside is that during the payment process, your customer will be re-directed to PayPal to complete the transaction. This obviously loses some of the professional look and feel you might want your customers to experience.

PayPal Website Payments Pro

Pros – The main difference and reason you might want to consider Website Payments Pro is that your customer doesn’t have to leave your website to complete their purchase. Also, with no setup fees you can get a full professional look and feel to your payments in very quick fashion.

Cons – You will be paying $30USD/$20GBP/$35CAN per month but otherwise the transaction fees remain the same.

Pros – provides a number of robust features including subscription billing which allows you to setup monthly billing to your customers. Also, listed transaction fees are lower than other options and can get under 2% depending on your processor. If your business already accepts credit cards in a physical location, you might be closer than you think to getting started.

Cons – You will be paying a $99 setup and a $17.95 monthly fee. In addition, you have to get an account with a credit card processor which requires more time and research to get the best one. Note: is only for US merchants.

Google Checkout

Pros – Google Checkout is a similar solution to PayPal Standard. It gets the job done with no setup/monthly fees.

Cons – Users will be transitioned to the Google Checkout page which means no in-line checkout on your site. Checkout fees can also be higher than alternatives.


This solution is altogether different than the other integrations because it is not a payment gateway but rather a middle-man (not in a bad sense). Chargify provides a subscription billing service which is free for the first 50 users. In addition, they open our payment integrations up to a number of global merchant options. Through BeanStream they serve Canadian merchants and Payment Express can be used by merchants in the UK (including some EU customers), Australia and New Zealand.

All of our payment integrations (including FirstData which wasn’t covered here) open the doors to global merchants seeking to take thousands of monthly payments or someone just getting started taking online payments.

For more comparison you can consult this credit card gateway comparison chart:

United States Merchants (USD) PayPal Standard PayPal Pro Google Checkout
Setup $0 $0 $0 $99
Monthly Fee $0 $30 $0 $17.95
Per Transaction $0.30 $0.30 $0.30 $0.10
Fees Based on Monthly Transactions
$0-$3,000 2.90% 2.90% 2.90% 2.19%
$3,000+ – $10,000 2.50% 2.50% 2.50% 2.19%
$10,000+ 2.20% 2.20% 2.20% 2.19%
Canadian Merchants (CAN)
Setup $0 $0
Monthly Fee $0 $30 Additional Option: BeanStream
Per Transaction $0.30 $0.30
Fees Based on Monthly Transactions
$0 – $3,000 2.90% 2.90%
$3,001 – $12,000 2.50% 2.50%
$12,001 – $125,000 2.20% 2.20%
UK Merchants (Including some EU)
Setup £0 £0 £0 Additional Option:
Monthly Fee £0 £20 £0
Per Transaction £.20 £.20 £.20
Fees Based on Monthly Transactions
£0-£1,500 3.40% 3.40% 3.40%
£1,501 – £6,000 2.90% 2.90% 2.90%
£6,001-£15,000 2.40% 2.40% 2.40%
Australia (AUD)
Setup $0 Additional Option:
Monthly Fee $0
Per Transaction $0.30
Fees Based on Monthly Transactions
$0-$5,000 2.40%
$5,001-$15,000 2.00%
$15,001-$150,000 1.50%