Paysafe Reviewed for Your Small Business
Paysafe is a merchant services provider that specializes in providing an array of modern payment solutions, such as non-card payments for online transactions, and digital wallets. Pricing is entirely quote-based. Tread carefully, as Paysafe is widely panned on major review websites.
Paysafe is a merchant services provider with a global presence. From their headquarters on the Isle of Man, Paysafe delivers payment solutions to merchants in over 40 different countries. In the United States alone, Paysafe processed $80 billion worth of transactions in 2017. Paysafe is known for its wide variety of payment solutions, including multiple alternative payment solutions that are becoming increasingly popular.
Paysafe is a good place to start your search if you’re looking to stay on top of all the latest trends in the payments space. So let’s see what Paysafe and their subsidiaries can offer to help your business meet the payment needs of your customers. We’ll consider the range of options, price, and Paysafe’s value relative to other competitors in the merchant services space.
What Is Paysafe?
As a merchant services provider, Paysafe sells a variety of software products that integrate with your business’s point of sale (POS), allowing you to accept different payment methods. Paysafe also sells their own POS solution, as well as loan products. We’ll get into all of Paysafe’s capabilities in a moment.
First, it’s important to understand that Paysafe delivers their services through a variety of subsidiaries they have acquired over the years, including Skrill and Netbanx. This is not uncommon, as many major merchant services providers are an amalgamation of other, smaller, payment services.
Also be aware that Paysafe sells their services through independent sales organizations (ISOs) and agents. This is another common practice in the merchant services space. What it means is that pricing for Paysafe’s services are quote-based, and vary depending on the client and the services they need.
In terms of the types of businesses that can work with Paysafe, on their website, Paysafe promotes solutions for brick-and-mortar merchants, ecommerce sellers, and merchants that operate marketplaces—websites where other vendors sell their products and services.
As we mentioned earlier, Paysafe offers a lot of different payment solutions. Let’s take a look at everything you can get when you work with Paysafe:
Paysafe supports in-person and online credit and debit card payments from most major credit card providers, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. As their name suggests, Paysafe prioritizes security during checkout with fraud prevention tools, encryption, tokenization, and a chargeback management system that ensures your business will be PCI compliant.
For online merchants, Paysafe offers a feature called Secured Checkout, which allows you to save customer payment information, create scheduled payments, track data on your transactions, and integrate a custom payments page onto your website. For in-store card payments, Paysafe offers POS hardware and software (more on this later).
Payment processing fees are determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, merchants with higher transaction volumes receive lower payment processing fees.
We mentioned that Paysafe facilitates several alternative payment methods. One of those payment methods is a digital wallet—a software application that makes it possible for consumers to make electronic payments and for business owners to accept them. Popular examples of digital wallets include Venmo and Square Cash.
Paysafe offers digital wallet services through its subsidiaries Skrill and Neteller. Integrating with Skrill and Neteller allow your business to accept payment from users who have the Skrill or Neteller app on their mobile device via a near-field communication (NFC) card reader. Collectively, Skrill and Neteller are used in over 170 countries and can accept 40 different types of currencies.
Paysafe supports direct debit from customer bank accounts as well as third-party bank accounts. Paysafe also offers a feature called Rapid Transfer, which allows customers to pay instantly with funds from their online banking account. Rapid Transfer is backed by Paysafe’s suite of security features.
Non-Card Online Payments
Paysafe makes it possible to complete online transactions without the use of a credit card through two unique tools:
The Paysafecard is a physical voucher that customers load funds onto and use to complete online purchases. To get a Paysafecard, users will have to download the Paysafecard app, which shows them vendors in their area that sell Paysafecards. You can purchase a voucher from the vendor and load however much money on it as you need. Paysafecard accepts 47 different types of currency. When you go to complete an online purchase with a merchant that accepts Paysafecard, you will be prompted to enter the 16-digit pin on your voucher. The cost of the purchase will then be deducted from the balance on your Paysafecard.
Accepting Paysafecard is a great way for your business to cater to customers who don’t want to share their credit card information online. It costs nothing for a business to begin accepting Paysafecard outside of processing fees.
As opposed to Paysafecard, Paysafecash is a way to pay for your purchase in cash after you have placed the order online. Merchants who accept Paysafecash will include it as a payment option at checkout in their ecommerce store. If a customer chooses to pay via Paysafecash, they will have a barcode sent to their Paysafecash app. The app will show them retailers in their area where they can take the barcode in order to pay for their online purchase. Once they complete payment, their product will be shipped to them. Like Paysafecard, it is free to include Paysafecash as a payment method in your ecommerce store.
Another alternative payment method is known as Paysafe Pay Later. Offering Pay Later allows customers to sample products from your online store without initially paying for them. When a customer selects the Pay Later option during checkout, Paysafe funds the merchant the net amount of the purchase, then invoices the customer for the balance. The customer can try out the product, and then pay off the invoice, or return it. Paysafe claims that merchants offering Pay Later have seen sales grow by 35%.
Point of Sale
Paysafe offers versions of their POS hardware and software that can work for both service businesses and retailers. The software features inventory, employee management, and customer relationship management tools, as well as reports on transaction details, past account activity, deposit history, and chargeback data.
POS hardware options offered by Paysafe include a card reader that can accept magstripe, chip, and contactless payment methods. You can also purchase a tablet integrated with Paysafe POS software, receipt and kitchen printers, cash drawers, and ethernet ports. Pricing on all POS products is quote-based.
Paysafe allows merchants to sell Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards to consumers that can be customized with their business’s branding. However, this program is currently only available to merchants based in the United Kingdom.
Merchant Cash Advance
The last product we’ll touch on is Paysafe’s merchant cash advances. With a merchant cash advance, Paysafe will advance you cash in exchange for a percentage of your daily credit and debit card sales, plus a fee. Paysafe offers merchant cash advances of up to $500,000, with approval in under 48 hours and funding in as little as one day.
Paysafe offers 24/7 phone and email support. The Paysafe website does not offer a help center, but many of Paysafe’s subsidiaries have dedicated support pages with guides and how-to’s on using their products.
As we mentioned previously, Paysafe is entirely quote-based. The price you pay will depend on the services you need, the transaction volume of your business, and what you are able to negotiate with your sales agent. Typically, merchant services providers try to lock you into a multi-year contract that includes an early termination fee. On the software review website G2 Crowd, Paysafe subsidiary Skrill is ranked in the 33rd percentile in terms of pricing, making it a lower cost product.
Given everything Paysafe does, here are what we see as its benefits to small business owners:
Paysafe offers a really nice selection of different payment options, allowing merchants to cater to their customers’ preferred method of payment. Payment methods like digital wallets and Paysafe’s non-card payment tools are particularly popular amongst younger consumers and those who don’t feel comfortable sharing their credit card information online. In short, aligning with Paysafe allows you to stay on top of all the latest payment trends.
One of the main reasons small business owners like working with merchant services providers is that it allows them to consolidate all of their payment services with one vendor. This can make life a lot easier when issues arise. Paysafe can provide small businesses with everything they need to run transactions, process payments, and track sales. Plus, because Paysafe offers so many tools, you shouldn’t have a problem ramping up your services as your business grows.
There are some real areas of concerns with Paysafe. We’ll list them here:
Browsing the Paysafe website raises more questions than it answers—particularly when it comes to pricing. This is fairly common when it comes to merchant services providers that use ISOs. There is no set price, only the price you negotiate with your sales representative. The issue is that many of these sales reps are paid via commission, so it’s hard to trust that they have your business’s best interests at heart. In short, tread carefully when negotiating with Paysafe.
Skrill is almost universally panned on all major review websites. Complaints range from poor customer service and surprise fees to the fact that Skrill doesn’t work with major marketplaces like Amazon and Ali Baba. Some reviewers have gone as far as to call the service a “scam.” A merchant services provider selling a service so widely loathed has to be a red flag.
Here is how Paysafe is ranked on major review websites:
- G2 Crowd: 4 stars out of 5
- Capterra: 3 stars out of 5
- TrustPilot: 2 stars out of 5
- Better Business Bureau: A+
Aside from the complaints about Skrill, users repeatedly cited Paysafe’s unclear terms and conditions leading to surprise fees and service changes. Other reviewers said they found the software very difficult to learn how to use, and lamented that there was no offline functionality.
In positive reviews, users touted Paysafe’s range of security features, timely payment processing, and assortment of payment solutions.
If you are uncertain about Paysafe, here are some competitors you can compare their services to:
Square doesn’t offer as many tools as Paysafe, but it is a straightforward and transparent service that can work for most small businesses. With Square POS, you can get POS and payment processing and pay 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person credit card transactions (2.9% + $0.30 for ecommerce transactions). Square also sells the hardware you need to accept magstripe, chip, and contactless payments. And if you need a digital wallet, Square Cash can work in conjunction with your POS. Essentially, you get fewer payment options, but a more reputable service.
Paysafe offers a lot of tools for ecommerce merchants—except for an actual ecommerce store. If you’re looking for a merchant services provider that gives you a POS, payment processing, and a hosted website, consider Shopify POS. Starting at $29 per month, you’ll get all of the aforementioned features plus a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 on online purchases. Shopify is also scalable, allowing you to pay higher monthly fees to facilitate more sales while receiving lower processing fees. Relative to Paysafe, Shopify is also more reputable.
Should You Use Paysafe for Your Small Business?
We aren’t enamored with the Paysafe service. The lack of transparency combined with negative user feedback makes us think there are better options out there. Can you get a deal that encompasses all the services you need at a fair price? Sure, but you really have to know what you’re looking for and be able to negotiate. Paysafe’s variety of payment processing services is unique and forward-thinking, but they need to clean up their image before we would feel good about trusting them.
Matthew Speiser is a former staff writer at Fundera.
He has written extensively about ecommerce, marketing and sales, and payroll and HR solutions, but is particularly knowledgeable about merchant services. Prior to Fundera, Matthew was an editorial lead at Google and an intern reporter at Business Insider. Matthew was also a co-author for Startup Guide—a series of guidebooks designed to assist entrepreneurs in different cities around the world.