How should I charge web customers for small transaction amounts?


EDIT 1: So in short, is there a free way for me to get $1 from a customer and send that $1 to my bank account. If free is not an option, what is the cheapest way for me to get that $1 to my bank account? The customer will just pay $1, but if I get 10,000 customers, I will get $10,000. It should be nice if I can keep as much of that as I can without losing too much in the transaction process from the customer to me.

ORIGINAL QUESTION: I need to receive money from users from my webpage. They will only pay very small amounts, i.e. $1 max, but the total will probably go upto $10,000.00. What is the best way to receive this money from a webpage? When I say "the best way", i mean a method of getting the money from where I lose as little of it as possible in terms of fees for receiving the money.

Sales Ecommerce Finance Payments

asked Mar 16 '11 at 19:09
201 points
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5 Answers


Try to sell bulk credits with larger monetary values and let your customers expend those credits on your product/service. See this thread on a similar discussion: How do I structure a payment plan for my website?

answered Mar 16 '11 at 19:53
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points
  • I'm not 100% what you mean. Basically, I want the customer to be able to give me $1 for my item/service, which I should be able to send into my bank account with as little fees as possible to get the money from the customer to my bank account. Preferably if the customer gives me $1, it would be nice if I can keep 100% of it. – Oshirowanen 13 years ago
  • Please see edit 1 in the original question. – Oshirowanen 13 years ago


This question has been covered a number of times, for example 1, 2, 3, 4. I think it should be marked duplicate.

answered Mar 16 '11 at 20:23
David Benson
2,166 points
  • Those solutions seem very expensive! According to: If I receive £1 from a customer, at the end of the transaction, I will end up with £0.75. That's 25%, which is a lot. How much would paypal pro charge me to taking the money out of my paypal pro account and depositing it into my bank account? – Oshirowanen 13 years ago

answered Mar 16 '11 at 20:43
Hrishi Mittal
136 points


Micropayments are a good option, but the fees associated with them still take a good chunk. Mobile phone payments are probably a more expensive option.

For transaction amounts around $1. your best bet is to build a credit system where you sell credits. Sell 10 for $10, 25 for $20, 50 for $30 etc.

Then use credits for what you sell.

answered Mar 17 '11 at 00:19
2,079 points
  • I don't see how that is different? If they give me $1 for 10 credits, they still have to somehow accept that $1, then transfer it into my real bank account. – Oshirowanen 13 years ago
  • No then would buy 10 credits for you. For $10. $10 - transaction fees would be placed into your bank account. You would have the money, right then! – Frank 13 years ago
  • The customer would have 10 credits for your site. They could use the credits to purchase whatever service you are selling, each time giving you 1 credit for the product. If you go to you can see a real life example of what i am talking about. They have items for sale for as low as a dollar, but you have to buy credits first in buckets of $10 and more. – Frank 13 years ago
  • I guess this system would not work for me as i am planning to simply charge a $1 one off fee to join the site, after which they have full access to use the site. – Oshirowanen 13 years ago
  • i.e. just a $1 sign up fee to join. After that, it would be free to use the service as much as they want. – Oshirowanen 13 years ago
  • You are very limited then. Paypal offers MicroPayments pricing structure which smaller fees. You could also try to get the $1 in revenue from each user in the way of adverts. Its annoying, but some sites will say you have to complete a survey or view a video ad before you can continue. That may give you the $1 you are looking for. – Frank 13 years ago
  • Thanks for all the help Frank, based on all the replies, I feel that micropayments would be best suited for this project. :) – Oshirowanen 13 years ago
  • Good luck with the project. Its true that if everyone in the states gave you $1 you would be a very rich man. But never be afriad to ask for more. i dont know what your product or site does, but its not reasonable for someone to pay $4 for coffee right? Why not your product. Take a hard look at pricing before deciding on $1. The challenge is to sell value not pricing. The hardest part about online business is getting the customer to commit to checkout or give over their card. Usually price does not play a huge role in that, but what you get for the price. Plus when i see $1 i assume – Frank 13 years ago
  • crap. But i did read that the guy who started the one dollar store is worth about 1/10 billion so what do i know? – Frank 13 years ago
  • Good points, but at the same time, won't people think "It's just $1, no big deal if I get nothing out of this service". – Oshirowanen 13 years ago


Ok, how about you charge $2 instead PayPal ... OR $1 by USPS mail (cash or USPS money order)...they pay the fee.

answered Mar 17 '11 at 01:19
249 points

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