Which Payment Method Should I Accept at My LiveOptical Glasses Store

15 January 2015

You have been running you walk-in optical boutique for a long time and know that accepting credit card is a norm in today’s world. You have a POS terminal and take Visa, MasteCard, sometimes American Express and Discover. It is still very common in US to accept paper checks and there are many technologies with paper scanners from RDM, Ingenico and others. Cash is still a King, but again is getting less popular with mobile payments emerging into the payment market. PayPal used to be one of the most popular methods of online trade, but it is getting a lot of competition from it’s payment gateway rivals such as Authorize.NET and alternatives. With LiveOptical you can accept ALL of these payment methods.

But each method comes with its own set of rules and may have a different cost.


PayPal is very easy to set up. It only takes a few minutes to open up a PayPal account. All you need to connect your PayPal to LiveOptical store is to enable PayPal as a Payment Method and provide your account number. You can take money the next minute. PayPal will electronically verify details of your checking account by deducting a few cents from your account and you can then start moving money from your PayPal account to your checking account with one click.

Fees. There is no monthly fee. There is a variable transaction fee, 2.5-3.5% per transaction. If there is a return, PayPal will give you back 100%.

Problem with PayPal is that many people don’t have PayPal account, especially seniors who are just starting to grasp the online shopping. Seniors will make a big percentage of your prescription glasses customers and if they see just PayPal as your payment method they will not buy from your store. What many people don’t know is that you can still take credit card with your PayPal gateway. You would have to explain this to people and who has time for that. So PayPal is great for start, but later we recommend getting an online credit card gateway.

Credit Cards

As mentioned above eventually you would need to accept Visa, Master Card, ideally American Express and Discover on your online optical store. For that you would need to open a gateway and merchant account with the payment technology provider and the processing bank. The process is very similar to opening a paper check online deposit account. You would call the gateway, such as Authorize.NET, Beanstream, InternetSecure or whichever you want and set up a payment account with them. Most of your POS providers do offer online gateways too. They are most of the time integrated with Authorize.NET or partner with popular gateway.

Fees. Gateways will charge you a set up fee anywhere around $100. Then they will charge a monthly fee around $25, per transaction fee around $0.25 and a transaction percentage of 2.5%-3.5%. In case you cancel the sale, $0.25 will not be returned. In case there is a refund, 3.5% will not be returned either.

As you can see there is higher cost associated with accepting credit card, but like we said accepting credit cards directly will result in more sales that will quickly compensate your expenses. There is also a risk of accepting a credit card, and we talked about ways to minimize your credit card payment risks here.

Offline Payment Methods

This would be handy for people who would want to pay cash or check by walking into your store. You can organize this anyway you want. Most of our customers who decided to take offline payment methods will still ask a customer to enter their credit card into the payment gateway. If customer walked in to pick up within 5 days of being notified that order is ready, then the credit card transaction would simply expire and all you pay is $0.25 cents. Credit Card transaction will expire if you don’t capture it via LiveOptical or gateway account. You don’t need to do anything if you didn’t ship the order. But it will give you a piece of mind that customer would have paid for the order. With online customers you can’t do what your glasses suppliers do – just send them an invoice. You never met them and starting to process the order without secured payment is not a good idea.

Most of such customers will walk-in to pick up and you can take their credit card via POS, which will slightly reduce the chance of fraud. So there is a benefit of offline payment method too!