Accepting Credit Cards Online
Initially, PayPal looked like the simpler, cheaper choice, because of the way they offer both merchant account and gateway in one. But it turns out that if you already have a regular business account at a regular bank, you can just get a merchant account on top of that from the same bank, and it ends up being cheaper than what you would pay at PayPal.
Next, the PayPal API isn’t bad. That is, what they call the “Direct Payment API” isn’t bad. That’s the part that corresponds to what Authorize.net offers, where your customer never leaves your site. This interface is described in just 4 pages (not counting the details of the API) in their integration guide.
But on top of that, you have to also implement the so-called express checkout interface, which is the one where the user makes a detour to the PayPal site. And you have to put the PayPal logo on your screen. And the express checkout interface takes up a whopping 24 pages in that same PDF. That gives you an idea of the added complexity on top of what you’d need with Authorize.net.
So we went back to the drawing board and went with Authorize.net, and we’re pretty happy with that. I just can’t see how what PayPal has to offer is in any way competitive with them.