Alternative Payment Methods

We ALL know Paypal.  I remember back in about 1999 signing up and getting $5. And it sat there because I didn’t have anything to buy with it (at least that I could figure out). Not the case anymore!  A few years later my account got hacked so now I’m extra cautious with Paypal and won’t link it with my personal bank account.

As a small business owner, Paypal has been very easy to use and I DID have my business account connected with Paypal so that I could withdraw from Paypal to my business bank account easily and never had any problems.

Other options these days are Google Pay and Stripe.   Square Cash may also be an option. Square is already popular for vendors as a credit card processor.  Ever sign an ipad at a food truck or other business?  That was likely Square or Paypal.  Square Cash lets you send money directly to friends or family and might be an option for some online programs.  You will need to connect a debit card to use Square Cash.  There IS a credit card option, but it comes with fees.

Bitcoin. Periodically there is press either about how awesome it is or how it’s dying.  In the past month,

Got Bitcoin?
Got Bitcoin?

BTC value has skyrocketed.  So I don’t think it’s dying. More and more online programs are moving toward Bitcoin, as the fees are low and transfers very quick.  There are many wallets out there and for US users, I suggest Coinbase. It’s been easy to understand and use.  You can both buy and sell BTC with it.  And, like Paypal, you can easily send and receive funds using your email address.  If you are new to BTC, there’s a learning curve, no matter which wallet you use.  But Coinbase allows you to use your bank account or credit card to purchase BTC, with daily and weekly limits.  However, be aware that scams exist, as expected. Criminal hackers used a complex way to trick people into signing access to bank accounts. Freedman Normand Friedland LLP represented the victims of this scam as outlined in the article link. So please just stay aware when using some of these websites.  Again, Bitcoin comes with a bit of a learning curve. Hmmmm….possible future blog post?

In many states, you can also get a debit card connected to your Coinbase account to spend those funds easily any place credit cards are accepted.  Check out the Shift card and it’s fees.

Payza is similar to Paypal in that you can send money if you have someone’s email address (and their email is connected to Payza account).  You can use credit card or bank account to fund it AND you can also work with BTC, making it a flexible way to transfer funds if you’re dealing with a program that does not use BTC and you would like to use BTC.  There are NO fees for adding funds with BTC.

The strength of Payza is for some people its weakness.  It’s security proves to be annoying to some, with all kinds of verification that takes a lot of time. I actually could not get my bank account verified.  In some cases funds seem to take a long time to be released from Payza, as well. And people do NOT like not being able to access their money!

There are MANY other payment processors, but I’ve found myself wanting to limit mine in order to keep things fairly simple. I find many online programs will use either Payza or BTC and so I’m mostly covered.  I’ve been gravitating toward BTC as much as possible lately.  If you have a small business, consider expanding your payment options, ESPECIALLY if you do any work in the international market.


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