PayPal announced that it has consolidated its payments system today, with some upgrades to the way small businesses accept payments online, offline, and in the mobile world.
“PayPal Here was just part of a fundamental change for small businesses,” said Peter Karpas, PayPal’s vice president of customer engagement, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Small businesses are the heart of PayPal, just like they’re the heart of the country.”
The new, tiered system is called PayPal Payments, a small departure from its original “Website Standard” and “Website Pro” offerings. The company is dropping “website” in a move that it compares to Apple dropping “computer” from Mac Computers to define itself a broader technology company.
PayPal has added an “Advanced” tier in between its Standard and Pro offerings, which Karpas says will help less programming-savvy SMBs. Prior to this, entrepreneurs could only choose between the free product, or a $30 a month Pro product, that required more coding skills. The pricing is similar, at free, $5, and $30 a month for the Standard, Advanced and Pro offerings respectively.
PayPal is also immediately turning on a mobile-optimized checkout system for all of its customers. If a small business using PayPal for its checkout process doesn’t have a mobile-optimized website, customers will still get the optimized payments experience.
The tiers generally mirror each other. All offerings allow you to accept credit cards and PayPal online, receive a free PayPal Here dongle, accept payments on eBay and Etsy, and more.
What are you paying for in the extra tiers? For $5 a month, PayPal will make sure people can pay without ever leaving your site. For the $30 a month, small businesses get everything in the Standard and Advanced offerings, as well as the ability to accept credit cards over the phone, fax and mail, as well as design and host your own checkout pages with PayPal. The company will also make sure your payments are completely PCI compliant in the Pro model.
The announcement comes soon after the launch of PayPal Here, its mobile phone credit card processor, as well as the promotion of its newest president David Marcus. Marcus told VentureBeat at the PayPal Here event that he wants to bring a focus on design to PayPal, a task the company has struggled with since the beginning.
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