I’m going to be setting up a site where users pay a small fee to submit content… what would be the best Gateway/Merchant Account to go with?
You have to weigh in ease-of-setup vs costs vs business setup. Here are the main two options.
Combined Payment Gateway/Merchant.
Easiest to setup for simple business structures. You can go with a number of vendors such as PayPal or BluePay. Here you are usually charged when you withdrawal funds as well as a monthly fee and precessing fee. Depending on your businesses technical capabilities[I] you can go with a link option (user is sent to the vendor to complete transaction) or a fully integrated option (your site connects to vendor through API).
I go this route if the business does a low quantity and/or low revenue of online transactions per month.[/I]
Separated Payment Gateway/ Merchant.
The most involved to setup but if you employ someone that is technically savvy then you shouldn’t run into many issues. An Example would be is that you open a Business account at a bank (Chase for example), elect for their Internet Merchant service (Paymatech with Chase), and setup an account with a Payment Gateway (Authorize.net). Here you are paying monthly fees and processing fees but they funds are deposited directly into your business bank account. Development on the site end to connect to the Payment Gateway for processing through an API is required.[I]
This is my preferred method because it gives the business the most flexibility between choosing vendors and negotiating fees. [/I]