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What’s The Difference Between PayPal vs. Amazon Payments?

Paypal vs Amazon Payments
September 29th, 2014

If you have your own ecommerce website, then your top two choices for online payment solutions are most likely PayPal and Amazon. PayPal is of course the obvious leader but Amazon Payments is right behind at #2.

Here are some of the more notable differences between these two:

  1. Fees. Both PayPal and Amazon typically charge 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction. But there are several differences depending on the volume.

With Amazon, you can apply for a micro-payment discount if you usually receive payments of less than $10. You have to contact Amazon to see if you are eligible. Volume discounts on processing fees are given for all transactions equaling at least $10, if you have three consecutive months wherein the average monthly transaction is at least $3,000.

With PayPal, the rates differ depending on the location of the seller. Sales within the US require the standard fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. For international sales, the rates are 3.9% transaction fee plus a fixed fee based on the currency used.

Some eligible merchants and non-profit organizations may get away with lower rates depending on the volume of sales. For those with sales of $3,000 to $10,000 monthly, the fee is 2.5% + $0.30 per transaction. For $10,000 to $100,000 monthly, it’s 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction. Monthly sales exceeding $100,000 may require a fee of 1.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

PayPal international sales may also only require a discounted rate. It’s possible that a 2.9% transaction fee plus a 1% cross-border fee and/or 2.5% currency conversion may apply.

  1. Customers. With PayPal, anyone with a credit card can pay you even if they don’t have a Paypal account. For Amazon payments, the customer must first create an account with Amazon.
  2. Forms of payment. Amazon accepts all major credit and debit cards. But with PayPal, major credit cards are accepted as well as bank accounts, eChecks, and PayPal balance.
  3. PayPal supports up to 24 currencies around the world. With Amazon, the support is just for 11 currencies.
  4. PayPal is a worldwide payment platform, as it can be used by merchants in 203 countries. The list can be seen here. All continents are included.

On the other hand, Amazon is relatively limited, as it is only available for merchants based in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Luxembourg.

  1. Shopping carts. PayPal supports more than 300 shopping carts. But Amazon supports just one.
  2. Customer support. If you have any questions that are not covered by the help page on Amazon, you have to send your query via a web form. But PayPal has more than 6,000 people manning its vaunted customer support department. It offers a virtual assistant, live phone support, and even dedicated account managers.

For US merchants who only do business domestically, the choice between PayPal and Amazon payments is a virtual tossup, although the excellent customer support gives PayPal an edge. But for merchants based outside the US, PayPal seems like the clear winner.


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