Best Payment Processor - For Owners, Affiliates & Customers

Discussion in 'Payments processing' started by kevin muldoon, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. kevin muldoon

    kevin muldoon New Member

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    I have been doing a lot of research into the last few days into what the best payment setup is for my upcoming membership website. I realise that this is something that many members have asked on this forum, however I thought it would be better to put all my thoughts into one thread rather than reply to several threads here.

    My membership website will be a forum. A big part of its success, or lack of success, will come down to how well I implement its affiliate program. I have therefore been looking closely at the best payment solutions for me (the owner), affiliates and customers. I want to get the setup right from the start as switching payment processor down the line could greatly affect revenue in the future.

    PayPal

    From an owners, affiliate and customer point of view; PayPal seems like a good option. Their rates are competitive and they accept all major credit cards. One small downside is that for rebilling, members need to have a PayPal account. This shouldn't be a major problem as most people tend to have a PayPal account anyway and I could accept cash manually using a one off payment for those that don't.

    It seems a good option for promoting my forum too as I can use the mass pay option to pay affiliates. Amember's built in affiliate software seems good in this regard.

    The big downside is PayPal's reputation. I have read many many scare stories of PayPal simply closing down accounts with thousands of dollars in it whilst they "Investigate" something that was against their terms and conditions.

    I know that many memberships use PayPal successfully and have never had any issues. I use PayPal every day myself with clients and affiliate commissions etc. However, there is a concern that I could face problems down the line.

    ClickBank

    There are a lot of pros and cons to using ClickBank. Their fees are higher than most other options at around 10% (7.5%+$1), however I believe they pay every two weeks (minus a little cash for refunds etc).

    The benefit of using them is clearly their marketplace. I do think there are benefits to keeping an affiliate program in-house as it means I keep data on all affiliates, though I do not think that switching the affiliate program from ClickBank to Amember at a later date would do any harm as I would have all members details on files anyway. The clear benefit to using ClickBank is access to their 100,000+ affiliates. This allows my forum to be promoted by people I would never have contacted.

    Affiliation, however, is a mixed bag. I do like some aspects of ClickBank handling the affiliate side of things. For starters, it will save me handling affiliate payments and refunds myself. Though ClickBank have some strange rules. Any affiliate is allowed to purchase using their own link. This means that all members could essentially purchase a membership at half price.

    I would also like to work closer with some affiliates and offer them better terms for bringing an increase number of members etc. Unfortunately, ClickBank does not give you any contact information of affiliates (names, emails etc). I imagine this could be frustrating.

    WorldPay & 2Checkout

    I've looked at WorldPay and 2Checkout as well. Both seem like a good way to handle payments.

    I am not sure if they are good solutions for handling affiliate payments. Would a good setup be to use one payment processor for payments and refunds and PayPal for affiliate payments?

    There are many other payment processors out there, however the four mentioned above are the ones I have looked at the most.

    What do you think is the best setup for a membership website in which affiliate referrals are important? Do you think it is better to keep everything in house rather than use a service such as ClickBank or E-Junkie?

    Thanks,
    Kevin
  2. davidm1

    davidm1 aMember User & Partner

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    these are payment processors, not transmitters, so you cant use them for affiliate payments.
    you can use them to take the payments and then pay affiliates with paypal.


    Good summary.

    David
  3. kevin muldoon

    kevin muldoon New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying David. I wasn't 100% sure if paying affiliates through PayPal exclusively was ok. I imagine it would raise some flags initially if you are sending money out to so many people.

    What setup do you use yourself?

    I keep switching between what I think the best set up is. At the moment, I am leaning a little towards ClickBank. It's not perfect and has a lot of negatives...though there are a lot of positives too. From reading comments from many other website owners, I feel that letting a company such as ClickBank handle the payment, refund and chargeback aspect of things would make my life a lot easier, and leave me with more time to work on other things.

    I am also considering other payment options such as Stripe.

    Another option is to use PayPal and ClickBank. That would give me more freedom to set up coupons etc for competitions; though I suspect that requires me to set up two landing pages and two thank you pages.

    I am going to call ClickBank and PayPal today and ask them some questions :)

    Kevin
  4. thecbclub1

    thecbclub1 New Member

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    For my website, I use PayPal because it is free, has really low fees, and integrates well with aMember, WordPress, and other plugins I use.
    Also, when I get paid through PayPal, it makes it really easy to use that balance towards any purchases, which makes it super easy to pay my web hosting bill.

    However, you could try ClickBank if you really want the affiliate part, or you could actually use both.

    Overall, I would say PayPal is the way to go, but it is your choice.

    I think you should read through both of their documentations so that you can see their rules and policies.

    Ryan
  5. kevin muldoon

    kevin muldoon New Member

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    I was swaying more towards ClickBank a few days because of all the scares about PayPal holding back money etc. I gave them a call and they said that that only happens with new accounts. He noted that my account was 13 years ago and was in great standing so had nothing to worry about.

    I looked into the affiliate issue yesterday. The built-in functionality seems ok, though it does seem lacking in many areas. Plus I found many bugs. For example, after a user enters their paypal email address as a method of payment, the link to the affiliate area disappeared from the amember member page. I want the whole affiliate experience to be smooth or affiliates will walk away.

    At this time, I am leading towards using Shareasale. They charge 20%, however they have a huge number of existing affiliates, so it will allow me to tap into a market I wouldn't otherwise have entered.
  6. thecbclub1

    thecbclub1 New Member

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    Kevin, as long as your PayPal account is a premier or business account level, not personal, PayPal should never hold your money back.
    Those stories that are on the Internet about PayPal holding your money back are probably written by stupid people who made a stupid mistake and are just expressing their anger and blaming PayPal.
  7. kevin muldoon

    kevin muldoon New Member

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    Yeah that's pretty much what PayPal said when I spoke to them. The guy even mentioned that my account was the oldest account he had ever seen and that it was in great standing. So it does not seem like I have anything to worry about.

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