30 November 2011

Payment Methods

Remember back in 2008 when Revolution Money Exchange hit the scene and Etsy was all abuzz about the new way to accept payments? It was billed as an alternative to Paypal, without the transaction fees. I was one of those sellers that utilized RME as a payment option for both buying and selling. My sole transaction as a buyer went well. My few transactions as a seller were smooth. Eventually though RME faded into the background. It is now operated by American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and goes by the name Serve, offering no fees on most transactions. 

From the website:

Signing up for Serve is free. FREE? Yep, free. In fact, with Serve all of these features are free:
  • Person-to-person money transfers are free
  • Transfers to and from subaccounts are free
  • Purchasing online and in stores with the Serve card is free
  • There are no load fees for funding your account via your checking account
  • The first ATM withdrawal each month is free; after that it’s $2.00***
So what isn't free?

After January 1, 2012, there will be fees for:

  • Funding your Serve account with a credit card (2.9% of the amount transferred + $0.30 per transfer)
  • Getting cash from an ATM (first withdrawal per month is FREE***; after that, it’s $2.00)

Like Paypal, you can add money to your account using a MoneyPak card.

Many crafters who work markets on a regular basis may be familiar with Square. Square is the small card reader that attaches to smartphones and iPads in order to process payments. The app and readers are free. The cost to swipe a card is 2.75% per swipe. The cost to key in information is 3.5% + 15¢. I've read good feedback about Square and although I don't participate in markets at this time I can see this coming in handy.

 Another payment option I heard about recently was Dwolla. Dwolla is billed as a cash payment alternative to other online merchant services. The idea is to transfer money bank account to bank account, thus avoiding credit/debit card fees. Money can be sent via email or using a phone number. Facebook connect is also an option. According to the website the fee to receive money is $0.25 per transaction and nothing else. No cost to send money or make withdrawals. You can read an interview with Ben Milne, founder of Dwolla, on Business Insider. Read a breakdown on Drupal.org.


Transfer of funds into linked bank accounts vary from one company to the other. Go to each site, read up on the terms and decide which is best for you.


Charna said...

Hi Lisa,
Great informative post! I've never heard of dwolla, but it sounds interesting and very inexpensive. I recently got square and like it quite a bit, but have found the swiper can be dicey--sometimes you have to swipe numerous times to get it to read the CC. I use it on my ipad and it's handy.

Lisa BTB said...

HI Charna,
Thanks for the tip on the Square. I haven't received mine yet. I'm going to sign up for Dwolla and see what it's all about. If it works well AND can save me money I'm all for it. :)