I am working with someone that has an ecommerce site, but the bulk of his sales are done with Net 30 and checks. He has maybe 5 sales a month totaling maybe $500.
The PayPal button route is out. He thinks it makes him look like a newbie or at the very least too cheap to spring for a real merchant account. I agree.
I suggested this new company Square which is used with your Android or iPhone. It's super simple. You simply pay a percentage plus 15 cents or so per transaction, and that is IT. If you run one transaction ONCE a year, you pay only for that transaction. It's perfect. The problem? This guy has a Blackberry and if he goes to buy an Android phone, he's right back to paying $40+ a month for nothing.
I searched some apps for Blackberry (like Chargeberry) and couldn't find any that didn't require you to already have a merchant account. Something Square does NOT require you to have.
Does anybody know of any alternatives here? Something along the lines of Square that is computer based would be ideal.
Views on PP seem to vary by location. If you are quoting US dollars then a lot of people will probably come and disagree with you. If you are in Australia then I am not so sure. Alternatives to PP are generally country specific so it would help to know where you are located.
"He thinks it makes him look like a newbie or at the very least too cheap to spring for a real merchant account. I agree."
i mostly agree with this, you can't "look" like a pro without a real cart and real merchant account.
there are 3rd party folks like "ccnow" where, if you can match up their cart pages to look very much like yours, it can be a good intermediate solution between PayPal and the real thang. however, they make you show their distracting, large logo - which is a serious bummer.
you might wrap your PP into a pseudo cart shell, making it feel more like a cart than the PayPal interface. suggest you take a look at "ecwid" for that.
suggest you also review "checkout by amazon" and "google checkout".
Most merchant accounts will have some type of monthly fee - so he has to decide whether he wants to spend money for a merchant account / electronic payment gateway or stick with Paypal
With a merchant account / electronic payment gateway - he would need an SSL cert as well unless he wants to rely on the electronic payment gateway's secure website.
Usually with a lot of merchant account providers, they will also support e-checks.
If you are in the United States, you might check out the Quantum Gateway. There is no fee for this gateway and the merchant account provider monthly fee is about $8.00 - $15.00 per month. That's about it.
Also search for Internet Payment Service Providers for maybe other variations for third party processing.