Braintree for E-Commerce; It's not PayPal

If you’re buried in minutiae, welcome to the business world. If you’re looking to change your business or change the way you do business, one of the best things you can do is cut out that minutiae.

Sure, customer service matters. Marketing—especially long tail marketing and Search Engine Optimization—are important. But if you’re too buried to do business, well, you’re too buried to do business.

A while back, I told you about PayPal discontinuing the money market fund aspect of their service. I hated this, because it made me think about a process we’d been using at Answer Guy Central and our parent PC-VIP for several years; we encourage our clients to submit payment for services through PayPal, all but eliminating collection issues and certain administrative costs, and improving cash-flow.

When the income from leaving the funds we collect in our PayPal account went away, we took a look at the entire process. PayPal stopped being a place to leave money, but was it still the right way to collect it?

We decided it was. And so far, PayPal is still our preferred method for receiving payments from our clients. But that decision was based on not wanting to re-train existing clients, not wanting to spend time explaining a payment service they’d never heard of replacing one that’s become a brand, and not wanting to make changes to our own business processes—not on the issue that got us thinking in the first place.

That was a choice to avoid business change. And yes, sometimes business change is about not making business changes.

Still, absent that money market component of things, there are alternatives to PayPal. Square, for example, charges a slightly lower commission, but more important doesn’t charge a transaction fee. Square make a lot of sense if you process lots of transactions and especially if you process very small ones; ever wonder why some stores have credit card minimum purchases? It’s about the transaction fees.

Other options pop up regularly. At about the same time PayPal nuked their money market fund, WePay came along. WePay eliminates the need for something called a merchant account. Merchant accounts are expensive, take a lot of work to administer, and require at least a small level of creditworthiness. Great idea, competitive pricing, but still troubling in that your customers leave your web site; and again, not to the ubiquitous PayPal. Uh-oh.

Now, we have Braintree. And Braintree, while a bit too expensive at a flat 2.9% commission and carrying a large 30 cent transaction fee, does something very cool, and very much business-changing. With Braintree, you don’t need a merchant account, and your customers never leave your web site. You also don’t need to be a programming wizard—nor need to hire one—to use Braintree.

In other words, Braintree is real business change.

The beauty of Braintree as a business change is that choosing to use it requires nothing in the way of customer understanding, buy-in, or comfort—at least when it comes to e-commerce for purchases made on your web site. Yes, it’s too expensive, and no, Braintree isn’t OK if you sell 49 cent widgets. But Braintree fills one e-commerce niche perfectly, and will lead to more companies figuring out how to fill these niches, less expensively.

Business Change Happens. And you need to be on the lookout for business partners who are only pretending to give you something of value. But you also need to keep your eye on the things that are robbing your productivity, and your bottom line, and game-changers like Braintree can help.

Want to talk about how to dig through this stuff for your business? Contact me here.

Share This