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PaySimple is a merchant service provider that has been working with U.S. small-business owners since 2006. PaySimple provides an all-in-one payments platform that allows you to accept and process payments in the way that works best for your business. You can take payments online, in person or on your mobile device. Moreover, PaySimple includes tools for billing, invoicing, accounting integration, customer relationship management and reporting.
As a merchant account provider, PaySimple requires that you submit an online application and once approved, you’ll be able to customize the Paysimple solution that works best for you. Unlike a payment service provider, the PaySimple service includes a merchant account that’s unique to your business. This bank account allows you to accept credit card payments from customers. Although PaySimple will set you up with a merchant account, the account itself comes from a third-party provider — which also means that PaySimple is not the company that actually performs your credit card processing. PaySimple works with both the National Australia Bank (NAB) and Worldpay for its merchant accounts and processing.
PaySimple provides you with a web-based software platform from which to manage the entirety of your payment processing, billing, invoicing and customer relationships. From this platform, you can customize your payment solution, accepting and processing payments in the way that works best for your business. The PaySimple platform is SSL-secure and PCI DSS compliant. In addition to the web-based system, the PaySimple service includes access to its mobile app, which allows you to process payments and manage customers on the go.
Online payment solutions
The first type of service that PaySimple offers is online payment solutions. This PaySimple feature gives you the ability to accept payments online — including credit cards, ACH transfers and electronic checks. With PaySimple serving as your payment gateway, you can use the PaySimple online payment solution in a number of ways:
Build an online store and accept payments from your customers through your e-commerce website.
Create customizable payment forms to accept payments from your business website or by electronic invoice.
Create and add “buy now” buttons to your website to direct customers to a payment page and accept payments directly on your site.
Use your laptop or desktop computer as a virtual terminal, creating an order and inputting the necessary payment information to process the sale — in this way, you also can accept orders and payment over the phone.
In-person payment solutions
The PaySimple service also allows you to accept in-person payments. With PaySimple’s POS software, you can accept credit cards, cash, checks and ACH transfers, set up one-time or recurring payments and charge an account on file. This software allows you to connect to a USB card swiper to accept in-person credit cards using your computer. You also can connect to a mobile credit card reader to accept in-person cards on your tablet or smartphone.
You can order a credit card terminal directly from PaySimple or order its recommend device (MagTek 21073062) from a third-party seller. However, more than likely, you’ll also be able to use a terminal you already own.
Moreover, PaySimple gives you the ability to use any of your devices as a virtual terminal and key-in card-present transactions that way as well.
Mobile payment solutions
Whether online or in-person, PaySimple gives you the ability to accept and process payments using your mobile device. The PaySimple mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices, including Android tablets, smartphones, iPads and iPhones.
With PaySimple Mobile, you can accept the full range of payment methods that PaySimple offers: credit cards, ACH payments and electronic checks. Additionally, you can accept credit card payments in-person, using a mobile card reader or by keying in the card information directly into your mobile device. Similarly, you can also key in bank account information to accept e-checks.
Furthermore, the PaySimple mobile app syncs automatically with the web-based platform, giving you the ability to access your information and accept payments without having to worry about missing or out-of-date data. On top of mobile payment acceptance functionality, this app allows you to access and update customer information, add and manage service offerings and view all of your reports and dashboards.
With the PaySimple API, you have the option to develop an integrated payment solution with the PaySimple service. You can use the Paysimple API and SDKs to directly integrate PaySimple payments into your SaaS offering, mobile app or website. With this payment integration, you’ll be able to accept credit cards and ACH payments from a single, secure and PCI-compliant solution.
Regardless of the specific method you plan on using to accept payments, the PaySimple platform will include recurring billing software to help you streamline payment collection. With this software, you can set up billing schedules for recurring payments, including online, in-person or mobile payments. The PaySimple billing software will allow you to collect payment details once and automate all future payments based on this information.
PaySimple also includes invoicing software — giving you the ability to create and send branded invoices to your customers. With these invoices, you can include details like payment terms, invoice items and taxes, then email them with embedded click-to-pay buttons so your customers can pay immediately.
By utilizing the recurring billing software, you can develop a schedule to automate recurring email invoices and corresponding follow-up emails. The PaySimple invoice software also includes automatic invoice tracking, adding invoices and payments to your customer records so that you always know their statuses. Plus, the real-time Paysimple dashboard allows you to track accounts receivables, view outstanding invoices and analyze cash flow and trends in purchase behavior.
QuickBooks Online integration
The PaySimple service includes a direct QuickBooks Online integration, automatically syncing payment data into the QuickBooks accounting platform in real-time. Once you’ve activated this connection — you must have a separate QuickBooks Online account — the integration will run in the background of your PaySimple platform, ensuring that all of your data is accurate and up-to-date across both systems without requiring manual data entry. The PaySimple-QuickBooks integration is built with safeguards to prevent the syncing of bad data or duplicate transactions.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
PaySimple provides you with a platform that gives you the ability to store and manage your customer information. You can input and store complete customer data, including contact, payment and communication information whether on your office computer or on the go with your mobile device.
With these records, you can send automated receipts, appointment reminders, invoices and more. Additionally, you can access any customer account to send mobile-friendly notifications for purchases, failed transactions and credit cards that need to be updated.
Moreover, the PaySimple CRM system will allow your customers to access their own portal, giving them the ability to view invoices, pay bills and update their account payment preferences. Using all of the information stored in your PaySimple customer platform, you can identify your best customers and determine which individuals offer the greatest opportunity for growing your business. Plus, in addition to its QuickBooks integration, PaySimple offers direct integration with both Mailchimp and Constant Contact to use your customer profiles to develop targeted email marketing campaigns.
Reporting and insights
With the PaySimple dashboard, you have access to all of your payment, invoice, customer and other related data to help you make informed business decisions. PaySimple securely stores all of your records, automatically tracks received and outstanding payments and updates everything in real-time. Additionally, PaySimple provides detailed reports of both your customer purchases and payment activity, allowing you to compare current and previous time periods with cash flow and customer reporting.
Finally, PaySimple includes a variety of different customer support options with its service. First, when logged in to your PaySimple account, you can access its live chat, call its support phone line or submit a customer support ticket. Both the live chat and phone support are available during regular business hours. Additionally, PaySimple provides a number of self-service resources — including a support center with both articles and community discussions, FAQs and a small-business resources section of its website that offers webinars, demo videos, downloads and guides.
PaySimple charges on a month-to-month basis and doesn’t require a contract or charge a cancellation fee. According to the PaySimple pricing page, it offers credit card processing as low as 2.49% per transaction plus monthly fees and 60 cents plus 0.10% for ACH and echeck processing.
Although on the surface this seems simple enough, the PaySimple pricing structure is a little more complex. As you can see from its Support Center guide to fees, PaySimple breaks down its pricing into three categories: monthly software fees, credit card fees and ACH fees.
Monthly software fees
The monthly software fees are those that PaySimple charges for access to its platform. The PaySimple Service Commerce platform costs $54.95 per month. This subscription fee grants you access to the payments, billing, customer management, mobile app and reporting features.
Credit card fees
Credit card fees are the fees you’re charged on a monthly basis for credit card processing. Unlike the monthly software fees, your credit card fees are not actually charged by PaySimple, but instead, are charged by your actual credit card processing company, either NAB or Worldpay. Nevertheless, if you use the PaySimple service, you’ll pay the following credit card fees:
Transaction fee: 2.49% plus 29 cents per transaction (starting rate that will vary based on card brand and transaction type).
Non-qualified surcharge: If the credit card used is a corporate or business card, 1.30% will be added to the per transaction rate.
Rewards surcharge: If the credit card used is a personal or corporate rewards card, 0.11% will be added to the per transaction rate.
Chargeback fee: $25.
Batch fee: 29 cents.
On file fee: $5 per month.
PCI Program fee: $4.95; gives you access to PCI tool, billed monthly by Worldpay and annually by NAB.
PCI non-compliance fee: $29.95 for every month in non-compliance
The final type of fee that you’ll pay with PaySimple is ACH or echeck fees. You’ll incur these fees from any ACH payments you accept and, like the monthly software fees, they’ll be charged by PaySimple. With its solution, therefore, you’ll be charged the following ACH fees:
Transaction fee: 60 cents.
Chargeback fee: $25.
Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee: $5.
ACH refund fee: 60 cents.
ACH high ticket surcharge: 0.25% added to the transaction fee for ACH payments in amounts greater than $5,000.
Batch fee: 60 cents.
ACH-assessment fee: 0.10% processing fee on all ACH processing volumes under $5,000.
Monthly minimum: $5, monthly minimum amount of ACH transaction fees, when not met or exceeded the difference is billed.
As you can see, there are a number of different specific fees that go into the overall price of PaySimple. The ultimate price you’ll pay on a monthly basis will depend on the types of transactions you make and any other fees you might incur. If you process more than $50,000 per month, PaySimple’s website states that you can contact them directly for a quote to receive lower processing rates.
According to the disclaimer on the Support Center fee page, the fees listed on PaySimple’s website are, “the standard rates” and “may vary for your business.” You’ll want to talk to PaySimple’s sales representatives directly about what the specific rates will look like for your business.
It’s also worth remembering that if you’re going to be accepting payments in-person (and not using the virtual terminal) you’ll need the hardware to be able to do so.
PaySimple can more than likely work with a credit card terminal you already own; however, you can also purchase a mobile or USB card reader from them directly as well as from a third-party seller. If you order a mobile card reader directly from PaySimple, it will cost $29.95 per reader. If you purchase the USB reader that PaySimple recommends from Amazon, it will cost $45.99.
Here are two PaySimple benefits worth considering:
Flexible service and platform
One of the most significant advantages of PaySimple is the flexibility of its service and its software platform. Regardless of how your business needs to accept payments, PaySimple has the functionality to support you — with in-person payments, online payments, mobile payments and a virtual terminal. Plus, with each of these different solutions PaySimple offers a number of specific options like using your phone, computer or tablet with a card reader to accept in-person credit cards.
Moreover, the PaySimple software platform itself is flexible as well. You can access the system wherever you have internet, as well as on any mobile device using the PaySimple app. Additionally, the platform not only gives you the capabilities for payment acceptance and processing and also provides helpful tools for recurring billing, invoicing and customer management giving you a greater (and more flexible) way to manage this crucial part of your business in one place.
Billing and invoicing capabilities
Not all merchant account providers include billing and invoicing functionality within their payment platform, making this a truly unique and beneficial feature of the PaySimple solution for businesses that have subscription customers.
The billing and invoicing capabilities that PaySimple provides make its platform particularly appealing to service-based businesses, who can invoice their jobs, accept payments and manage their customers within this one system. With the flexibility of PaySimple, service-based business owners who are on the go can benefit from the ability to bill, invoice and take payments regardless of location, acceptance method or payment type.
Despite these two impressive benefits, there are downsides to PaySimple as well.
With the lack of fees from merchant service providers like Fattmerchant and Payment Depot, there’s no doubt that the fees involved in the PaySimple pricing are a drawback of its solution. Not only does PaySimple charge a variety of fees for both credit card and ACH processing (on top of the traditional transaction fee) but the fees are also not particularly clear and not present on PaySimple’s main pricing page.
PaySimple states that all the fees on its website are “standard rates” — meaning they can vary, making it difficult to determine the overall cost of using PaySimple. With less-than-transparent pricing, it’s also difficult to compare PaySimple’s cost to other providers on the market and to ensure that you’re receiving a competitive and fair price.
Although PaySimple gives you the ability to take payments in a number of different ways, it seems that it charges one transaction rate regardless of the way the payment is accepted. In contrast, most providers charge distinct rates for in-person vs. online credit card processing, as in-person payments typically have less risk, and therefore, cost less. It’s certainly possible that you’ll be able to find a more affordable transaction rate from another provider, perhaps by going directly to Worldpay or another similar processor.
PaySimple only offers its solution to U.S.-based businesses processing payments in U.S. dollars. Although this may not be an issue for certain businesses, it places significant limits on the customer base for small businesses, especially those that are online-based. If you have an online store in particular, it’s beneficial to be able to accept payments from all around the world and expand your reach past U.S. borders.
The lack of international capabilities is a downside of PaySimple — especially considering that many other payment solution providers, from Stripe to Square can accommodate payments in a variety of currencies all over the world.
Lack of transparency
Although PaySimple does provide a wealth of information on its website, it is overall lacking when it comes to transparency in terms of its pricing. With other payment processing companies listing their fees in an accessible and comprehensible way online, as well as detailing specifically the fees that different business types will pay, the information available on PaySimple’s website is subpar.
Even though PaySimple includes the fee and billing explanation in its Support Center, this resource is not front and center nor does it provide anything other than the “standard fees.” PaySimple customer reviews report that the PaySimple payment terms are not clear and billing statements can be difficult to locate.
On the whole, PaySimple customer reviews are generally positive, although they often include both pros and cons of the PaySimple service.
PaySimple customer reviews typically highlight the flexibility and user-friendliness of the platform, as well as the benefit of the mobile app. Additionally, many customers write that PaySimple is great for invoicing and setting up recurring payments, especially as an alternative to paper checks. Positive PaySimple customer reviews also often mention the customer support team, writing that they’re helpful for resolving all sorts of issues.
On the negative side, some PaySimple customers feel that the platform has limitations, and therefore, is not a great option for scalability. A number of PaySimple customer reviews report that there are elements of the service that are not as clear as they would like them to be. Some reviewers feel that the payment terms are not particularly clear and the billing statements are difficult to acquire. Others feel that the payment collection and verification time is not consistent and could be faster. Still others write that different parts of the platform (past transactions, reports) could be more intuitive and easier to access.
As one of the companies that has revolutionized payment processing in the technological age, Square is a great PaySimple alternative for businesses that don’t need a dedicated merchant account. As a payment service provider, Square aggregates all of its customer’s payments into a single merchant account and then deposits the respective funds into each merchant’s business bank account.
On the whole Square offers a variety of options for payment processing, including online payments for e-commerce, virtual terminals, mobile and iPad-based POS, as well as invoicing. Like PaySimple, one of the most notable benefits of Square is its flexibility — with a number of different ways to accept payments, Square can accommodate all kinds of small businesses.
Additionally, each of Square’s services offers numerous unique features, from inventory management capabilities to social media and marketing tools to hundreds of integration options — providing a much greater feature set than PaySimple.
Moreover, Square offers a flat-rate pricing structure, with per-transaction fees differing based on how you accept the payment. Square’s pricing information is also easily accessible on its website and doesn’t include statement fees, PCI compliance fees, refund fees or many of the other fees that PaySimple charges. Plus, the Square POS or online payments platform requires no monthly fee and each Square account even comes with a free magstripe reader.
On the other hand, if you need a dedicated merchant account, you might consider Payline Data as a PaySimple alternative.
All Payline Data customers receive a unique merchant account, with the actual processing and accounts provided by Worldpay. Payline Data also gives you the ability to choose the way you want to accept payments, offering service for mobile payments, online payments, in-store payments and integrated payments.
Unlike PaySimple, Payline Data prices its solution based on how you accept payments, giving them the ability to offer much more clear and affordable rates. Priced based on the interchange plus model, Payline Data charges 0.2% plus 10 cents plus the price of interchange per transaction for in-person payments and 0.3% plus 20 cents plus the price of interchange per online or virtual terminal transaction.
Additionally, the Payline Data monthly subscription fees, at either $10 or $20, are much cheaper than PaySimple and include almost the same functionality. Payline Data also offers subscription billing capabilities — like PaySimple — in order to accommodate service-based businesses.
Payline Data offers a very similar payment solution to PaySimple, with one notable exception — pricing. If you’re looking for the cheapest credit card processing for your small business, you’ll certainly want to consider Payline Data as an alternative option to PaySimple.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.