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If you're planning to sell products on your website, you'll need to get set up with a payment gateway like Paypal or a credit card processing service like Total-Apps. Picking the right merchant services provider is important, because the costs and benefits vary depending on which company you choose.

Below, we compare two popular online transaction processing systems, PayPal and Total-Apps, to help you determine which is the best option for you.

PayPal Benefits

  • PayPal is simple to use and almost anyone can open an account.
  • There is no setup fee or monthly fee if you’re below a certain minimum number of transactions.
  • It's easy for startup companies to use.
  • It's a great option when you expect you'll be handling less than $1,000 per month in transactions total.
  • It's also a good choice if you're going to be handling just a few transactions per month, such as a single transaction of any amount.

PayPal Drawbacks

  • When you have a customer ready to buy and they do not have a ready PayPal account, they will often decide not to buy from you rather than taking the time to set up an account.  This can be a serious problem.  Any "extra steps" in the purchase process, especially steps that take time and effort for the customer to complete, will significantly reduce your sales.
  • PayPal is perceived as a “mom and pop shop” solution for payment. Some believe that it can make your company seem less professional.
  • You lose protection from Visa and MasterCard for dispute resolution, as PayPal is a private company and not bound by the same regulations.
  • The fees that PayPal charges to the merchant and the customer for use are higher than you can get with a credit card processor.
  • PayPal's fee structure can be complicated and confusing.
  • Almost anyone can set up an account with PayPal, and no credit check or tax ID number is required. This can be both a benefit and a detriment, especially when dealing with fraud issues.
  • Fraud issues are not handled for you with PayPal.
  • Due to the lack of fraud security, many shoppers do not use it.

Total-Apps Benefits

  • Accept transactions from any major credit card.
  • Your customers don't ever have to leave your website or create a new account somewhere else in order to purchase.
  • It's faster and easier for customers to buy, which means you're more likely to get more customers.
  • If you're processing more than $1,000 with a moderate-to-high number of transactions in a month, it’s best to have a customized solution like Total-Apps. The Total-Apps gateway and fraud scrubbing systems will save you money on each transaction and reduce processing time, getting you the money faster.
  • In addition to fraud scrubbing, fraud prevention services are available with a credit card processor like Total-Apps.
  • You'll have a professional payment gateway with instant online reporting of transactions.
  • Customer service is one of the largest reasons to use a credit card processor like Total-Apps. You'll get 24/7 access to your account information and technical help if needed.

Total-Apps Drawbacks

  • Like nearly all credit card processors, Total-Apps charges a small monthly fee in addition to transaction fees. If you're not expecting to sell very many products or if you're anticipating getting less than 1 customer per month, PayPal is likely to be a cheaper option.
  • The application and setup process is fast, but not as fast as with PayPal. This can be a benefit, though, because you'll get more assistance throughout the process and you'll receive a solution that is better tailored to your needs.

Pricing / Fee Comparison


Set-up Fee

Monthly Fee


Transaction Fee






Payment Gateway













9% (8% in Nov and Dec)










13.9% or $3, whichever is greater