One of the most painful expenses for a new green business is paying for credit card processing. Current methods of offline credit card processing involve all types of expenses including paying for credit card processing machinery, paying a percentage of each transaction, and paying a flat monthly fee for each credit card company that a transaction is made through.
Credit card processing costs a lot of money up front, but since the percentage charged per transaction is usually pretty reasonable, most businesses that process a lot of transactions opt to accept credit cards from customers. However, a green business that does not yet have a lot of customers would be better off if there was an alternative to processing credit cards themselves – with the added benefit of reducing paper use.
Payment processing on the internet is a different story for a green business, because they have the option of using fully online payment options such as PayPal and Google Checkout. These online payment processing services only charge a fee when transactions are made, making them a lucrative option for small online operations. The one down side to PayPal and Google Checkout is that they charge a high percentage rate per transaction, but because they are so convenient for both the merchant and the purchaser, even the biggest online stores usually offer at least PayPal or Google Checkout.
Until recently, if an online store wanted to offer their customers a credit based payment option, their only option was processing credit cards by themselves. But things are beginning to change, now that the online payment mega beasts, PayPal and Google, are crawling offline too. New businesses of the future may have a simpler option than credit card processing, through PayPal Wallet and Google Wallet. Although the concept is still in its initial testing stages, it is already possible for consumers to use their mobile phones as surrogate wallets. PayPal as well as Google are both willfully predicting that the mobile phone will replace wallets in the next few years.
In the following two videos you can see how PayPal and Google are envisioning the future of payment processing (both videos are almost exactly the same).
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