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PayPal merchant services and PayPal virtual terminal

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Launched in 1998, PayPal has become the most popular e-commerce resource for accepting credit card payments, with over 179 million active accounts in 203 countries and regions around the world. Its ease of use, and the fact that no upfront fee is required have certainly helped boosting the growth of this service provider, which used to be a subsidiary of eBay for the largest part of its history and until very recently. PayPal payments can now be used online, but also in store and over the phone or by e-mail, thanks to the PayPal virtual terminal.

PayPal merchant services

PayPal merchant services find their foundation and origins in PayPal’s online payments processing system. But these services have grown to include support for point of sale payments.

Online payments: the foundation of PayPal Merchant services

PayPal was founded an online payment processing system, and that is what it is still mostly known for today.

PayPal offers an all-inclusive package for accepting secure payments not only from PayPal accounts, but also from major credit and debit cards, through simple checkout buttons on the merchant’s website, at no cost for the final customer. Mobile checkout and invoicing are also part of this package.

Although users often complain PayPal can quickly get pricey, the pricing structure is at least very clear: PayPal express checkout is only paid on a transaction basis - 3.4% and 20p per transaction up to £1,500 of monthly processed transactions, down to 1.9% and 20p for businesses handling between £15,000 and £55,000 of transactions.

Point of sale solutions

PayPal merchant services now also support point of sale operations and face to face payments.

The solution is complete, with contactless payment-capable card readers included - but without a monthly fee. Privileges can be assigned to individual staff members using the same account with multiple card readers, and digital receipts can be sent by e-mail or SMS. Third party Epos systems, and even 24/7 customer hotline support are available.

The PayPal standard package including these services cost £20 per month, plus transaction fees as stated earlier.

 PayPal merchant services

PayPal virtual terminal

PayPal not only provides payment services for online payments and in-store payments, but also payment services for on the phone or for mail orders - this is when the PayPal virtual terminal comes in handy.

PayPal virtual terminal features

The solution terminal allows businesses to accept credit card payments made over the phone or on mail orders - these are the so-called MOTO payments, or “cardholder not present” payments. The solution is basically a piece of software which can be used on PCs, smartphones or tablets. Automatic invoicing, label printing and support for 200 users at the same time are notable features.


One key benefit of the PayPal virtual terminal is that there are no setup fees at all.

There is a monthly fee however, at £20 per month for businesses, pus the usual transaction fees: 3.4% and 20p per transaction up to £1,500 of monthly processed transactions, down to 1.9% and 20p for businesses handling between £15,000 and £55,000 of transactions.