No matter what business you are in, it’s always easier and more convenient for your customers to make payments if you have different options for transactions. Before making your decisions, here’s a complete guide to the 7 popular online payment methods: Reap, Paypal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Payme, WeChat Pay, and Alipay.
- Online payment collection platform – Transaction fees comparison
- eWallets for Business – Pricing and transaction fees
- WeChat Pay
- AliPay Hong Kong
|Platform||Transaction fee for paying in HKD||Transaction fee for collecting payment in HKD||Transaction fee for paying in foreign currencies||Transaction fee for collecting payment in foreign currencies|
|Paypal||Personal account required||3.9% + HK$2.35||Personal account required||4.4% + fixed transaction fee|
|2Checkout||N/A||3.5% + starts from USD 0.35||N/A||3.5% + starts from USD 0.35|
|Reap||2.6%||2.9% + HK$2.35||2.6%||3.9% + HK$2.35|
|Stripe||N/A||3.4% + HK$2.35||N/A||5.4% + HK$2.35|
|Platform||Auto-pay||Foreign currency exchange rate||Transaction fee for transferring to bank account|
Free of charge
|Based on Paypal’s exchange rate||No transaction fee for payment over HK$1,000
HK$3.5 transaction fee for payment below HK$1,000
|2Checkout||4.5% + USD 0.45||Based on 2Checkout’s exchange rate||N/A|
Free of charge
|Based on credit card issuer||N/A|
|Stripe||0.5%||Based on Stripe’s exchange rate||N/A|
|eWallet||Transaction fee for payment||Transaction fee for payment collection|
|WeChat Pay||N/A||1.1% to 1.5%|
When it comes to online credit card payment, PayPal would definitely be the first that comes to everyone’s mind. PayPal comes with personal and business accounts. If you would like to collect payments from others, getting a business account would be the choice for you since a personal account can only pay other accounts.
PayPal is available globally and supports multiple currencies. With the traditional Chinese version, PayPal is very user-friendly. One of the best features is users do not have to provide business registration to collect payment from others. As one of the renowned online payment platforms, PayPal certainly has partnered up with different platforms. If you have your own eCommerce website set up, no matter if it’s Shopify, WooCommerce, Shopline, or Boutir, you can pick PayPal as your payment method. If your business is subscription-based, PayPal also comes with autopay so you don’t have to request payment from your customers.
Of course, with better service comes a price. For Hong Kong customers, PayPal will charge 3.9% + HK$2.35 per transaction. For overseas customers, the transaction fee would be 4.4% with a fixed charge from PayPal, which will be based on the payment currency. For instance, the fixed charge would be USD 0.3 if the payment is made in USD. Since PayPal will transfer the received payment to the bank account, when making transfers to your own account, PayPal will charge according to the situation. If the payment is over HK$1,000, the transaction fee is waived; if it’s below HK$1,000, HK$3.5 transaction fee is required. On the other hand, payments made in other currencies would be more expensive. Users are required to pay 2.5% plus a fixed charge based on the currency, as mentioned, the fixed charge for USD would be USD 0.3. One point worth noticing is, PayPal has its own exchange rate when exchanging from one currency to another, which does not base on the bank exchange rate with a fixed charge. When posting foreign currency payments to your bank account, you can only receive payments in Hong Kong dollars. To put it simply, foreign currency is received through Paypal, which must be converted into Hong Kong dollars or US dollars through Paypal before collecting payment. If you would like to receive foreign currency, you need to hold a local bank account. For example, you need to use a bank account registered in Japan to receive payments in Japanese yen. Therefore, unless you really can’t use other methods to collect money, it is best not to use PayPal to collect foreign currency.
For customer service, users can enquire via email or by phone. It usually takes up to 24 hours to get email replies. The customer service hotline is available by office hours, from Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm, which is not a 24/7 customer service.
2Checkout is also among the popular choices when it comes to online payment platforms. However, 2Checkout is mainly for payment collections for businesses, and making payments is not an option, which throws shade on 2Checkout. However, since 2Checkout is designed for collecting payments, the functions would definitely be more comprehensive than other platforms. 2Checkout is available globally and users can select the payment currency of their choice. Users can also enjoy up to 45 different payment methods, including Apple Pay, American Express, PayPal, Union Pay, WeChat Pay, and wire transfer. API is also available on 2Checkout, with plug-ins on Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix.com, and WP e-Commerce. Apart from its comprehensive payment collection functions, 2Checkout also provides analysis and reports, including an in-depth analysis of your EDM effectiveness and the details of your customer base. Apart from that, 24/7 customer service is also available on 2Checkout. You won’t have to worry about getting help at midnight when you are using 2Checkout.
However, there’s a reason why 2Checkout is not very common in Hong Kong. For starters, when transferring payments to a bank account, users can only choose from wire transfer, ACH, PayPal, and Payoneer, and pay in USD, Euro, or GBP. When customers make payments, only Apple Pay and WeChat Pay are available for paying in HKD. Other methods mainly accept RMB, USD, and Euro. As you can see, Hong Kong is not a focus for 2Checkout.
If 2Checkout is still one of your choices, you might also need to consider its pricing. With more functions comes a costly price. If you are looking for a short-term purchase, you can get 2SELL service, which comes with 3.5% + USD 0.35 handling fee per transaction. If you mainly look for autopay transactions, 2SUBSCRIBE service is your to-go option, which comes with 4.5% + USD 0.45 handling fee per transaction. On the other hand, if you are looking for both purchasing and autopay service, 2MONETIZE service would be a better choice, which requires 6% + USD 0.6 charge per transaction, which is not very desirable.
Founded and based in Hong Kong, Reap provides both credit card payment and collection services. One of the best features of Reap is you can turn your cash payments into credit card payments. Even if payees don’t accept credit cards, you can still pay your bills by credit cards using Reap. Your payees can collect your payments like usual bank transfers. Apart from that, Reap has reasonable pricing. For each payment made, the transaction fee is 2.5%, while it’s 2.9% + HK$2.35 for collecting payments. Compared to other online payment platforms, Reap’s advantage lies in its reasonable price. On top of that, no matter if you are collecting payment or making one, it only takes T+3 working days to process, which is relatively quicker than the other platforms as well. On Reap, you can also track your payment status, Once the payers make a transfer, users can get instant notifications by emails or messages, so users don’t have to log in to check the status updates.
Apart from its payment functions and replacing your cash payments by credit cards, one of the hidden functions of Reap is, you can use Reap as your emergency cash flow plan. If you have a difficult time paying in cash for your rent and electricity bills, you can use Reap and pay the bills like a credit card payment. You can postpone the expenses for 30-58 days before paying it as your credit card bills. With Reap, you can get emergency cash without affecting your credit score. Unlike other payment platforms, the exchange rate is not based on Reap, but it’s set according to credit card issuers. The default currency for Reap is set to HKD.
As a relatively new platform, Reap’s functions are yet to complete. For credit card payments, Reap only accepts Visa and MasterCard at the moment, and API is yet to be integrated into websites. Other than that, with its affordable pricing, Reap is definitely one of the to-go options out there.
Like 2Checkout, Stripe is only available for online credit card payment collections, with only payment collection functions and users cannot make payments on Stripe. Yet, Stripe is still very popular in Hong Kong.
One of the most attractive functions of Stripe is its variety of payment methods available. Users can choose from paying by debit cards, credit cards, Union Pay, American Express, JCB, WeChat Pay, and AliPay. It is also compatible with different websites, like Boutir, Shopline, and Wix. Users can also collect AliPay and WeChat Pay payment via Stripe with a reasonable transaction fee of only 2.2% + HK$2. Users can also manage several online stores on Stripe. With Dispute functions, users can manage refunds and return items on Stripe. If you encounter any difficulties on Stripe, 24/7 customer service is available at your service.
Just like the other online platforms, with more functions and services, users need to pay a little extra money. For transaction fee, each transaction charges 3.4% + HK$2.35 for Stripe payment collections. For autopay payment, the transaction fee is 0.5%. If a currency exchange is required, users will need to pay an extra 2% transaction fee. Users also need to note that if the bank account doesn’t set any foreign currencies, Stripe would exchange foreign currencies into your default currency based on their own exchange rate. One big flaw of Stripe would be it takes time for withdrawals. It usually takes 7 calendar days for withdrawals, and 14 calendar days for high-risk industries.
PayMe is one of the most familiar mobile applications in Hong Kong, for both Personal account and PayMe Business. Like all the other eWallet, both payee and payer need to set up their PayMe account before making transactions. If you are setting up your online store on Boutir or Shopline, PayMe is one of the payment methods available on the website. PayMe also accepts refund service. Compared to other platforms, the transaction fee for PayMe Business is only 1.2%. Payment can be transferred to the bank account instantly without any extra handling fee. Yet, before setting up PayMe Business, users are required to set up a business bank account at HSBC. For new business owners, it could be one of the struggles.
PayMe Business is nearly as perfect as it could be. The biggest flaw lies in PayMe Personal users. When it first started, personal account users could top up to HK$5,000 to their PayMe account using their credit cards every month. Because lots of people were abusing such features, HSBC had lowered the limits to HK$2,000 per month. Starting from 1st October 2020, the limit is lowered to HK$1,000. Because of that, many people won’t be able to make payment for a bigger transaction with PayMe. As a result, PayMe is not a panacea and other payment platforms might still be of use.
WeChat Pay comes with a very interesting pricing plan. If you sign up for only 1 year, “WeChat Official Account – Hong Kong” and WeChat Pay business cost HK$4,988 and HK$650 separately. Signing up “WeChat Official Account – Hong Kong” for 2 years, users can get a HK$500 discount, which will cost HK$4,488. If users sign up for both “WeChat Official Account – Hong Kong” and WeChat Pay Business account for 2 years, all costs will be waived. Therefore, it would be a wise choice to make. The transaction fee for WeChat Pay is based on the sales volume, which is around 1.1% to 1.5% per transaction. On the other hand, transferring payments to the bank account takes T+3 working days. While signing up for a WeChat Pay account, Business Registration is required as part of the application.
The common problem for eWallet would be the top-up limits for personal users. WeChat Pay only allows personal users to top up HK$1,000 per month using credit cards, which is comparatively lower than PayMe. The only advantage would be, after exceeding the limits, users can pay an extra 2.5% handling fee to proceed with other payments.
For AliPay HK, the transaction fee per payment is 2.5%. It takes T+2 working days to transfer payment to a bank account. The refund function is also available on AliPay. On the other hand, users need to know that when signing up AliPay Business, bank accounts, and credit cards of the company are required, as well as the Business Registration of the company. For people who just started their business, this part could be a little tricky.
Like the other eWallet platforms, personal users of AliPay HK have their own credit card top-up limits. Users who are yet to verify their account can top up HK$500 per month, while users with the intermediate verification level can top up HK$1,000. For users with the high verification level, they can top up HK$2,000 to their AliPay HK account per month. After exceeding the top-up limits, a 1.5% handling fee will be charged for credit cards issued by Bank of China, whilst the transaction fee will be 3% for credit cards issued by other issuers.