2Checkout.com International Online Payments and Referrals Editor's Review
Editor's ratingThe editor's rating is calculated based on the average of the following criteria, rated on a
scale of 1 of 5:
- Installation: 5
- Features: 4.5
- Interface: 3
- Customization: 4
- Help and support: 4.5
"2Checkout is a comprehensive online payment processing system that provides merchants with a one-stop shop for their ecommerce needs. It has great integration options and an impressive feature-set. For small and medium scale businesses that wish to leverage ecommerce, 2Checkout is a service that you should check out. " - Tilo Mitra, Editor - HotScripts.com
Pros and cons
- Great integration with shopping carts.
- Easy to get started with simple products and services.
- API is REST-based, supports XML/JSON and is full-featured.
- Supports user management, affiliates, shipping, recurring payments, and more.
- Customizable payment portal, PCI-compliant, and support for international payments.
- Single-tier payment option may be too expensive for some merchants.
- Transaction control panel can be hard to navigate.
Merchants on the Internet have access to customers around the world. For small and medium scale businesses that rely on ecommerce, accepting payment online can be nerve-wracking. Fortunately, there are numerous services that aim to make payment processing simpler. Today, we’ll take a look at 2Checkout (2CO), an "online payment processing service that bundles a payment gateway and merchant account into a single package." How does it fare in this highly competitive space? Let's find out.
If you're a merchant, 2CO tries to make it simple for you to set up an ecommerce system on your website. If you have an existing site with a shopping cart, you can most likely integrate it with 2CO, since the application supports the major shopping carts. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch, you can use 2CO's own shopping cart system, and couple it with the payment processing gateway. After this, you're good to go and can start accepting payments through the 2CO system. The system acts as a single stop for your ecommerce needs, with a rich set of features (see below). For websites that don't require a shopping cart system, 2CO provides HTML snippets to paste directly into your site, so you can start accepting payments right away.
Let's talk about features and pricing. While many such services have tiered services, 2CO bundles all its features for a monthly fee plus flat rate. Each month, it costs a merchant 3.99% + $0.45 per transaction, plus the flat monthly fee. Although it may seem a bit expensive, the pricing is comparable to most of 2CO's competitors.
The pricing, however, is well worth it for merchants who can take full advantage of the rich and varied feature set offered by 2CO. With support for "8 payment methods, 15 languages, and 26 currencies," merchants can customize their portals in a variety of ways, which can help when it comes to branding the user experience of your website. If you only need one or two of the features offered by the software, you may find cheaper alternatives to it. However, tiered plans often split up features, and you can end up paying more than you expected.
2CO offers a recurring payment feature, an important option for merchants who charge in a periodic manner. This feature alone makes the software attractive to a variety of merchants. Setting up a recurring payment takes just two simple steps — check off an item to require recurring billing, choose the interval, and you're set!
Payment processing systems can be hard to use, with a collection of buttons and input boxes to wade through. I gave 2CO a quick spin to see how the user interface stacks up. Although not beautiful design-wise, the interface is utilitarian and groups different activities in separate tabs for easy access. Creating products with their own images is easy, and once created, clicking on an icon brings up an HTML snippet that can be pasted into your website.
2CO's panel also allows you to track payments, shipping, and manage affiliates. Administrators can create users and assign them various permissions such as "Basic Editing," "Financial Read Only," and "Financial Editing."
Security is naturally a huge deal when customers are sending along payment information. 2CO is well-covered in this area, being PCI Level 1 certified, the highest level possible. Their entire system is encrypted over the HTTPS protocol. 2CO also advertises a three-tier defense strategy that analyzes hundreds of variables in transactions to try and capture fraud in real-time.
Finally, I took a look at what developers can expect from this product. Software developers will appreciate the API provided to them by the system. Some companies may want to leverage the API instead of logging into the interface, in order to integrate 2CO into their own dashboards. 2CO offers a standard REST API, and supports XML, JSON, HTML Microformats. Developers can use GET and POST requests to query against the various API endpoints. The API supports queries for products, vendors, sales, refunds, and coupons. I was pleased to see that the endpoints and expected return values were all well-documented, with code snippets provided liberally. 2CO provides several plugins to integrate their system with popular ecommerce and CMS applications. Plus, 2Checkout has an attractive referral program that pays developers residual commissions on the sales processed by businesses referred to them, so you can generate additional revenue on the site you design.
Overall, if you are a small or medium scale business trying to leverage ecommerce, give 2Checkout a look. If you feel you will be using most of its feature-set, I feel 2Checkout is a better value for your money than its competitors. It's a well-rounded solution that is easy to integrate with any new or existing site.
This is an editorial review; not a recommendation. All editorial reviews, some of which we may receive compensation to perform, express our objective findings and experiences with the specific product (including version) under review. The review expressed is of the editor only. Any product claim, statistic, or other representation should be verified with the provider.