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PayPal vs. Authorize.Net for eCommerce

Choosing the Right Online Payment Processor for Your Business

Helping you decide between PayPal and Authorize.Net for your eCommerce site

paymentWhen selling a product or service online, having a reliable and secure payment process is key. PayPal and Authorize.Net are two of the most popular online payment processors for making and accepting payments online. Both are secure and dependable platforms for online payment. However, key differences may make one more suitable than the other for your eCommerce business.


Authorize.NetAuthorize.Net is a B2B payment gateway that processes credit cards. Often viewed as more professional than PayPal, Authorize.Net allows you to have greater control. Authorize.Net allows your customers to stay on your site to complete the transaction and has better customer support than PayPal. However, Authorize.Net can be more expensive than PayPal. It also requires you to have a separate merchant account, which is usually included with PayPal. However, having a separate merchant account means that the money is yours once it goes into your account. Authorize.Net is ideal for larger eCommerce sites that want total control and have a lot of sales.


PayPalPayPal is a third-party payment processor. Unlike Authorize.Net, it accepts PayPal transactions as well as credit cards as forms of payment. Unfortunately, sometimes customers have navigated away from your eCommerce website to the site’s PayPal account to complete the transaction, which may be off-putting for customers. While having a PayPal merchant account linked to the payment processor saves you time and extra fees, it also means that PayPal has some control over your online payments.

If Paypal notices something different, they can freeze your account, which can keep you from receiving your payments. PayPal is also said to have less responsive customer support. However, PayPal is less costly and difficult than Authorize.Net to set up and run. PayPal is ideal for smaller businesses that don’t do or aren’t expecting a lot of sales.

PayPal or Authorize.Net: Which is Best for Your eCommerce Business?

As with all decisions between products and software, the primary deciding factor is your business needs. If you are a business that is just starting out, PayPal is the better option because of the lower cost and ease of use. However, if your eCommerce business is growing and doing a lot of sales, Authorize.Net would be the best choice. Overall, it is most important to evaluate your business’ needs before choosing which online payment processor to use.

Clarity Can Help

Whether you choose to use PayPal, Authorize.Net, or another payments network, Clarity can help connect it to your eCommerce site. Clarity has more than 13 years of experience building over 1,300 websites that accept payment online. 

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