eWAY vs PayPal: Which is better?

It’s certainly a big part of any ecommerce business to first attract visitors to your site, then convert them to become paying customers, but there’s one other task that’s vital: making sure you can receive payments. Mention online payments and most people automatically think of PayPal, which is certainly a valid choice for many businesses. However, you do have alternatives such as eWAY. Here’s the lowdown on the pros and cons of these two options.


Processor vs gateway

Though both are online payment services, PayPal and eWAY are actually two different types of service. PayPal is a payment processor, meaning it handles collecting the money from the customer, then transfers it to you. eWAY is a payment gateway, meaning your site handles the entire payment process.


With both services, the fees and commission you pay can vary depending on your choice of plan, your organisation’s status (e.g. business vs non-profit), the number of transactions you make each month, and the value of the transactions. There are enough variables that it’s hard to say either service is conclusively cheaper than the other, so you certainly need to take other pros and cons into account.

Customer experience

The biggest practical difference for customers is that with PayPal, they are redirected away from your site to make a payment and must manually return after making the payment, usually be clicking a link. With eWAY, the customer never needs to leave your site, making for a more integrated experience. To be fair to PayPal, it does make the process relatively smooth, though you may need to tweak settings to make sure the customer returns to your site. If you don’t get the settings right, there’s a (slim) risk that you’ll end up getting an order and receiving the money, but not knowing exactly what the customer ordered and having to contact them, which may look unprofessional.

Site implications

Setting up PayPal on your site is very simple as PayPal can automatically generate the HTML code for payment links and buttons, which you just need to copy and paste onto your pages. With eWAY you need to set up secure web pages, with an SSL certificate to confirm this to the user’s browser. You’ll also have to make sure your web hosting service meets Visa and MasterCard’s requirements. This means the service must follow the Payment Card Industry Date Security Standard, commonly known as the PCI DSS rules. Most hosting companies and web development firms will promote the fact that they meet PCI DSS, but do check if you aren’t sure.

The killer feature

PayPal vs eWAY doesn’t have to be an either/or choice. The beauty of eWAY is that you can set it up to accept both credit card and PayPal payments, getting the best of both worlds.

No wrong choice

For the most part, you should be able to do business online just fine using PayPal. Whether or not to use eWAY instead will depend on your particular situation and comes down to the question of whether the benefits (smoother customer experience, no risk of lost or mixed-up orders) outweigh the added requirements (secure site, PCI DSS compatible hosting).

If you’re still uncertain, just get in touch with us at iFactory and we’ll be happy to talk through which option is best for you, or advise on any changes you might need to make to take full advantage of either service.

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