Too MANY Payment Options?

Written by Cyn

With the launch of Checkout by Amazon  I have to ask myself – is there such a thing as too many payment options?  When a buyer comes to my site, what are they looking for as far as payment options?  Currently I offer Paypal, Google Checkout and a merchant account.  50% of my shoppers choose the merchant account, 25% Paypal and 25% Google Checkout.

Would I not be shooting myself in the foot by adding another payment option?  Considering each payment processor offers reduced fees based on volume, by having too many options, and spreading that volume among 3 processors, I am paying higher processing costs.

When I only offered Paypal, I had a lot of abandoned shopping carts and even a few potential customers email me that they canceled their order because they couldn’t use their credit card directly.  So I’ve added a merchant account and have had no more abandoned carts.  I may even experiment with deleting Paypal and Google Checkout for a month.  See if I get any requests for them, or if my abandoned carts return.  If I were to process all payments through my merchant account, I could save quite a bit of money on processing fees with the reduced percentages.

So for me, Amazon Checkout is a non-event.  Too many hands in the pie.


  1. says

    That is a point I had not considered. By having an incentive for all payments to be made through one service and ultimately receiving compensation for that through reduced fees you may be better off only using one payment processor.

    Food for thought indeed!


  2. Sun says

    I only see benefit in offering additional payment methods. Its about removing the barriers between you and the customer, not adding barriers that reduce the possibility of a sale. If you’re teetering between the next fee discount tier and the current, it might make sense to exclude a specific payment option. I haven’t reached $100,000 a month on Paypal yet, but maybe some day. Until, I don’t mind spreading it out across various payment methods.

  3. says

    I dont know if I agree. I find that customers are loyal to “their” payment method. If you cut one payment option out, you might find you could lose 25% of your business. I am going to give Amazon checkout a try but it could be awhile before my shopping cart offers this option.

  4. Cyn says

    I think as long as you have a merchant account for customers to pay with their credit card you’re going to lose very little business. Most people don’t expect to find Paypal or Google Checkout or Amazon Checkout on a website not related some way to that payment method. Sure, it might be convenient for the customer to pay with their Paypal account, but I doubt most folks would NOT buy something they wanted because you didn’t offer Paypal. Now I have had customers NOT buy something because ALL I offered was Paypal. The Merchant Account is what people expect to find, any additional payment methods are just gravy.


  5. J Schaef says

    I too am a firm believer in having multiple payment options for customers based on one of the above responses. Many consumers have a preferred way of paying. That said, having a rounded education as to what the main payment options are would best benefit the merchant. I do, however, think that too many options, especially options that are unfamiliar to the masses might be less ‘gravy’ and more of a hindering tactic to some sales.

    Nonetheless, a merchant account is probably, in my opinion, a sound decision. Prior to PayPal, prior to many options available, paying by credit card was solidly ingrained in the minds of those who shop online, or anywhere for that matter.

    There are pluses and minuses for any payment gateway that is being used, but having a merchant account through a reputable merchant services company can lead to further business growth. I am personally unaware of PayPal or other reputable payment methods offering business growth opportunities, such as unsecured business loans (based on future credit card sales) or even cash advance services.

    Though I would have to say that sending cash or paying for goods and services by way of using an email address/account login, such as a benefit of PayPal, is gaining more and more momentum in a changing Internet-purchase mindset.

    My two cents exists in the thought process of credit card payment through a merchant account and/or the use of PayPal. Too many hands in the ‘pie’ might be just as much a distraction as any.

    **orry for the confusion with the resources link — I mistyped :)

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