Most form-based payment tool cannot support pre-auth. This means that in case there is a missed or rejected order, the client was charged and the restaurant’s staff need to immediately enter into the merchant account admin area and manually trigger a refund, pay a surcharge for it, etc. This is not a big issue in the regular online shops/slow-moving services but for a restaurant is usual business to miss or reject 1-3% of orders during lunch peak times because the kitchen is simply overwhelmed. If the restaurant spends more time to “fix” and refund rejected or missed orders, than it enters in a spiral of logistic disruptions that would just create a bigger mess with all ordering clients, people calling back frustrated that they were charged but the food is not delivered, etc..
Some of the payment instruments are popular and work well for standard online shop activity, but do not help selling when easy reordering capabilities are needed, like for a food ordering systems. We can only work effectively with those instruments that:
- can provide an integration API (conversion drops by 30% in average when the system takes people out of the cart for payment)
- support pre-auth process on card charges (because missing or rejecting orders may happen more often in a restaurant than in normal online shop activity and chargebacks and refund claims are expensive)
- have the ability of tokenization and fast one-click reordering by storing card data in a PCI compliant vault
- have very good commission charges for restaurants that may bring a true market benefit.
PayPal offers several merchant programs, but not all comply with the requirements above. What we discovered is that only “PayPal Payments Pro” and “PayPal Payflow Pro” can work as above but these two are not available in all countries: https://developer.paypal.com/docs/classic/howto_product_matrix/
Also, PayPal Payments Pro requires an ongoing flat fee and the commission are not particularly lower than with others: $30 per month, plus 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Payflow Pro ($99 setup, $25 per month, plus $.10 per transaction) is for use with your merchant account from another bank or processor. Transaction fees charged by your merchant account provider would still apply. If you need a merchant account, you need to take PayPal Payments Pro offerings (check the PayPal website for exact pricing and specifications).
The conclusion is that PayPal standard doesn’t work and the other solution from PayPal is too expensive and cumbersome.
Anyway, Stripe is simpler, has similar commissions, they approve new merchant accounts within hours… so why complicate with PayPal these days?
Regarding Square, iDeal’s and other local solutions, after years of talking with people and research we realized that most of those locally popular solutions are not compliant with the points above.
Therefore when they will provide a full stack payments communications with pre-auth, capture with delay, void and vaulting via an API we will be happy to integrate them.
Until then we cannot offer a solution, other than instructing clients in the restaurant’s website or with a custom text in the cart, about alternative methods.