Is PayPal unprofessional for B2B?

Scenario: I’m about to launch soon with software for being sold business to business. I have both PayPal and FastSpring accounts. I’m tossing up whether I just use PayPal on my website, or if I should solely use FastSpring with credit cards and purchase orders, and other payment methods; but without PayPal being an option.

I’m leaning towards FastSpring for this, as it seems to me to be the more professional approach. But two issues bother me: I’m Australian, and they don’t accept AUD only (I have to sell in USD too); and to get my payments from them I have to transfer it to my PayPal account, which means I lose money on their commission, and then again lose commission when withdrawing the money from PayPal.

With PayPal alone, I can advertise in AUD only and only have one commission to bear. But what’s the perception of PayPal when it comes to businesses (and sole proprietors, etc) buying? Does it make me look amateur?

In other words, has anyone here used PayPal only for B2B, and did it cause any issues from your buyers?

Just some quick thoughts…
You absolutely should accept USD and/or EUR payments and show USD/EUR prices. Most people will have at least a rough idea how much a USD/EUR price is in their local currency. AUD? I think not!

PayPal-only is limiting for B2B. Some people will definitely perceive that as unprofessional. I would be worried if I get a proper invoice then. FastSpring (or Digital River, or Avangate/2Checkout) is much better.

Still, offering PayPal for payment is a benefit. Some small businesses actually prefer that. I would rather set that up via FastSpring than standalone. Less work for you, more trust for buyers.

Last I used it, if you have a PayPal business account ( you can use their api to take credit card payments on your website without the user ever seeing PayPal or even knowing you use PayPal. And regular PayPal payments can still be sent the usual way as well if the customer wants to. I did this years ago and it worked great. An added benefit is the cheaper fees compared to other payment processors.

P.S. Right now I’m using FastSpring (mostly because of the convenience of them handling most of the order process) and they are great as well.

The more payment options you offer the better.

PayPal by itself is quite limiting.

Something like FastSpring would be a great choice for B2B. It provides a magnitude of payment options plus automatically supports some regional and more obscure payment methods.

I’ve been using PayPal for B2B transactions since 2011. Never have I heard the phrase, “Wow, that service you’re using is SO unprofessional!”

There are plenty of invoice options you can bolt on if that’s something you’re in need of and/or missing now. Having multiple methods is always good in my experience–we offer Stripe and PayPal. If I took PayPal away, I’d have a revolt on my hands. It processes between 40-60% of my pay volume, depending on which product you’re talking about.

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I guess I still perceive PayPal as being the consumer option (eBay) rather than being a viable professional business option. It’s just so damn convenient, cheap, and fast to use, though! By switching to FastSpring (which looks WAY more professional than a PayPal button [IMO]), I’m basically slowing payouts to myself (every two weeks) AND losing money (they take fees on top of PayPal’s fees).

Not familiar with Fastspring. I’ve had a good experience with Stripe so never had to shop around much. How does it compare?

@Paul1970 - PayPal and B2B really are not a match made in heaven, at least as far as startups trying to sell to B2B are concerned. It projects the wrong image. ( @daverodenbaugh, really? what do you sell? I think it’s a function of what you’re selling, a plugin for WP. In that particular world, PayPal is historically a good choice.)

The real key Paul, is what are you selling and for how much?


I have WordPress plugins. So it’s B2 small B in many cases, but taking PayPal away and leaving only Stripe would strand a number of customers (strangely, a large number of Europeans).

I certainly wouldn’t use PayPal as the infrastructure payment provider of a SaaS these days. But they’re fine with WP themes and plugins. I can see a number of things that you could sell with PP:

  • Themes
  • Plugins
  • eBooks
  • Online courses
  • Consulting services

I still doubt that the larger market says “PayPal is unprofessional”–that certainly isn’t true in my experience.

I’m happy that I took the time to integrate PayPal as an option for Scribbleton. Sales have increased considerably since then, and nearly half of those are PayPal subscribers. It was a pain to integrate though. Their APIs are a mess.

We still do not have built in PayPal option, but I am always blown away at how many customers ask about it (especially outside the US).

It is something that is always on the todo list, I just struggle to convince myself to spend any time on anything related to PayPal (as @andrey mentioned, the API is such a mess).

I am always blown away at how many customers ask about it (especially outside the US)

There is a reason for that. Many people prefer to keep their credit card details in secret. It is a common knowledge that card details can be secretly scavenged and reused by 3rd parties. And this really happens from time to time, especially outside the US. Hence the requests for PayPal.

You may consider to give PayPal a bit higher priority in your list. Your current conversion rates will easily become +15% better. It literally means 15% more money in your wallet.

There is a good rule in sales: the more payment options you accept the better.

Here in the Eurozone, some businesses like to use PayPal to pay for products that charge in USD.

Why? Because they’ve received payment themselves in USD via PayPal. For example, plenty of affiliate programs insist that payouts must be received via PayPal. The path of PayPal USD -> local bank account denominated in EUR -> paying USD for your service causes a significant fraction of the money to vanish due to fees. PayPal’s currency conversion fees in particular are high.

By paying for your product using those USD sitting in the PayPal account, they avoid the nasty PayPal fees and bank fees.

So, is PayPal unprofessional for B2B? In my opinion, not only is it professional, it is good for your business to offer it as a payment option.

You convinced me at all to keep offering it. Thanks! :slight_smile:

BTW, true story: someone who worked for a council in the UK used his personal PayPal account to buy my app once, to test it for possible use by the council. So I guess that says it all: if PayPal wasn’t offered, he never would’ve bothered. Unfortunately the council didn’t go through with buying, and they never said why, nor responded to any queries from me. D’oh.

@SteveMcLeod, check out Transferwise: they are rolling out in the US a MasterCard debit card backed by your “borderless” account. Much lower net fees.