A quick and easy solution to begin taking payments online is to look into third party payment options such as Amazon Simple Pay, Google Checkout, and PayPal. All three of these e-commerce giants have options that allow even the most modest retailer to get their feet wet in the ocean of online transactions.
Amazon Simple Pay is a method of payment that allows your customers to use the information they already have stored in their Amazon user accounts when they are checking out. Amazon is one if the oldest and largest online retailers and shoppers share great confidence in their order when they use Amazon to facilitate the transaction. You can find information on the Fees that Amazon charges for this service here. Another benefit to your customers is that they have the same purchase protection that they have when shopping directly on Amazon.com through the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee
Google Checkout is another phenomenal alternative payment method that you can provide to your customers. This method is very simple (as is the nature of many of Google’s products) and it takes advantage of Google’s user account system which is universal to all that Google has to offer. Although this method initially started without charging a fee for its use, that has now changed. Information about Google Checkout’s fees can be found here. Google also has other products that support Google Checkout. Google AdWords can help you bring new customers to your website, and Google Analytics helps with tracking conversions and other metrics.
PayPal has been in the e-commerce business for a very long time (it was founded in 1998) and the name alone is synonymous with online transactions. PayPal offers an option called “Website Payments Pro” which is essentially a merchant account with monthly fees, but they also offer a more popular option known as “Website Payments Standard”. Information about pricing and how it works can be found here. PayPal is very easy to get started with which is a huge benefit to using this form of payment. Also, PayPal is a subsidiary of eBay and is heavily integrated into the world’s largest online auction site.
Options such as PayPal can be used without a third party shopping cart which can be beneficial if you are only selling one or two products or taking donations. That being said, ALL of the payment options above can be integrated into shopping carts and that is worth keeping in mind when you are looking for an e-commerce solution.