Home Finance 2Checkout Review 2021: Features, Cost, Alternatives – NerdWallet

2Checkout Review 2021: Features, Cost, Alternatives – NerdWallet

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2Checkout is an all-in-one monetization platform known for its global payment options and plug-and-play solutions for small-business owners. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive provider with specific e-commerce tools — especially for digital goods and subscriptions — and international capabilities, 2Checkout might be a provider to consider. However, with all of the other payment processing options on the market, you also might be able to find a service with comparable functionality to 2Checkout at a lower cost.

2Checkout is a payment processor that offers a variety of solutions for e-commerce businesses. With 2Checkout, you can easily accept online payments from all over the world, choose the payment vehicle that works best for your business and gain valuable financial insights through its Avangate monetization platform. As a merchant service provider, 2Checkout offers two flexible business models — a merchant of record model and a payment service provider model.

With the merchant of record model, 2Checkout serves as your merchant of record, essentially meaning that it assumes financial liability for your business in your transactions. As such, 2Checkout handles not only online credit card processing, but also sales tax management, invoicing, compliance and more. The payment service provider model, on the other hand, means that although your business uses 2Checkout for payment processing, you must cover the other payment management liabilities and responsibilities yourself. If you ultimately decide to use 2Checkout, you can work with its sales team to decide which of these options (or a hybrid of the two) is best for your business.

Regardless of which business model you choose, 2Checkout offers three product plans and the full range of payment processing capabilities within their monetization platform.

2Checkout provides a variety of payment processing functionalities designed specifically for online businesses. The specific services available from 2Checkout ultimately depend on which product plan you choose, but on the whole, this merchant service provider offers the following features:

Global payments

2Checkout allows you to accept credit card payments online, as well as several other payment methods. In the United States, 2Checkout gives you the ability to accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, ACH transfers, PayPal and more. Altogether, 2Checkout has coverage in over 200 countries and territories and accepts over 45 different payment methods.

Additionally, 2Checkout is available in over 30 languages and offers 100 display and billing currencies. With 2Checkout, therefore, customers can shop in their language, pay with their preferred methods and see prices in their local currencies. Furthermore, 2Checkout utilizes intelligent payment routing and multi-currency management tools to increase conversion and authorization rates for you and your customers.

Digital commerce

In order to meet your e-commerce business needs, 2Checkout offers different checkout options that you can use on your website. These options can accommodate all kinds of products and models — including digital goods, software, trials, subscriptions and selling through affiliates or distributors.

That being said, 2Checkout has two shopping cart options: a hosted cart and an inline cart. The hosted cart, as the name suggests, is hosted by 2Checkout and directs customers to pay through its ordering engine. You can choose from a handful of hosted cart templates and further customize them for your business. The inline cart, on the other hand, is an iFrame checkout that opens on your website and allows customers to check out directly from there. Both carts are optimized for mobile devices.

2Checkout gives you the ability to use its APIs to develop and customize your shopping cart further, whether for simple ordering, in-app purchases, renewals or upgrades. If you already have shopping cart functionality through your e-commerce platform, you’ll be able to integrate directly with 2Checkout as a payment gateway. 2Checkout integrates with over 100 of the top shopping cart platforms like BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. The 2Checkout APIs can also connect to other third-party business tools like Salesforce and Marketo.

Source: 2Checkout

Subscription billing

In addition to the shopping cart functionality, 2Checkout offers tools to support subscription-based businesses. Using 2Checkout, these businesses can manage the entire subscription lifecycle by selling across channels, onboarding users, managing upgrades and downgrades and boosting renewals and customer retention.

2Checkout also provides Revenue Recovery tools to promote business and revenue growth. These tools include an account updater to ensure billing continuity for subscriptions and increase card authorization rates, advanced retry logic to recover failed transactions due to soft declines and dunning management to recover revenue from hard declines.

Reporting and analytics

The 2Checkout monetization platform includes a commerce dashboard where you can access instant insights and data regarding your sales, trends, customers, payments and more. Your 2Checkout dashboard will give you the ability to view pre-configured as well as customizable reports covering all areas of your business — financial, executive, marketing, channels, analytics and subscriptions. With the commerce dashboard, you can automate report runs and have them shared regularly via email. Additionally, you can perform A/B testing, run promotions and campaigns, offer coupons and discounts, optimize for SEO and track on-page and in-cart customer behavior.

2Checkout has advanced reporting capabilities for subscription businesses. These tools can generate reports for monthly or annual recurring revenue, renewal and churn rate, active customers and subscriptions and more. Furthermore, you can use the 2Checkout Authorization and Revenue Recovery Dashboard tools to reduce churn and recapture more subscribers.

Global tax and financial services

If you choose 2Checkout’s merchant of record business model, you’ll receive certain financial and payment management benefits. In this case, 2Checkout handles your sales tax, VAT management, international taxes and remittance. 2Checkout will also handle refunds and chargebacks, as well as reconciliation, invoicing, fraud monitoring and global compliance. Essentially, with the merchant of record model, 2Checkout covers all of the back-office operations associated with your payment processing and customer transactions.

Risk management and compliance

2Checkout’s service includes risk management and compliance capabilities to help protect your business. 2Checkout uses a multi-defense strategy through its proprietary algorithms to identify fraudulent activity through different industries and geographies. 2Checkout employs a global monitoring system from multiple sites and ensures that its anti-fraud mechanisms interfere as little as possible with good orders. Additionally, 2Checkout is 3D Secure and PCI Level 1 certified.

Merchant and shopper services

2Checkout provides support services for you and your customers. Customers have access to 24/7 international phone and email support for order and payment issues. With 2Checkout, you can also create a self-service portal for your customers, branded specifically to your business. For merchants, 2Checkout offers 24/7 technical support through live chat and email, as well as a dedicated client success manager. The 2Checkout website includes resources like a developer portal, knowledge base and FAQs. For an additional cost, premium merchant support is also available, with emergency phone numbers and extended technical support.

2Checkout has three product plans — 2Sell, 2Subscribe and 2Monetize.

2Sell is 2Checkout’s most basic plan and is designed for all kinds of e-commerce businesses. The 2Sell plan includes:

  • Nine payment methods (others available upon request).

  • 100 billing currencies and 29 checkout languages.

  • Shopping cart and order management (inline cart upon request).

  • Recurring payments and billing.

  • Digital and physical product support.

  • Business intelligence reporting.

  • Cart web analytics upon request.

  • Risk and fraud protection tools.

  • Shopping cart integrations.

  • Email, chat and contact form customer and merchant support.

The next plan, 2Subscribe, features all of the capabilities of 2Sell, as well as these additional subscription, reporting and revenue optimization abilities:

  • Renewal discounts and pricing rules.

  • Usage and metered billing.

The final plan, 2Monetize, is an all-in-one solution for digital goods only. This plan features all of the functions of 2Subscribe, with the exception of physical product support. Plus, the 2Monetize plan also includes:

  • Upgrades and downgrades for billing.

  • Global VAT and sales tax collecting and handling.

  • Trials for revenue optimization.

  • Third-party solutions for cart web analytics.

  • Affiliate network and channel management for distribution.

To see a side-by-side breakdown of the three plans, you can visit the feature comparison chart on the 2Checkout pricing page.

Add-ons

2Checkout offers supplemental services that can be added on to specific product plans (at associated costs) to further increase your payment and e-commerce capabilities. These five services include:

  • 2Convert: This add-on provides tools to help increase conversion rates and is available for the 2Sell and 2Subscribe plans. 2Convert functionalities are already included in the 2Monetize plan.

  • 2Bill: The 2Bill add-on gives you extended subscription management capabilities that are included in the 2Subscribe and 2Monetize plans. Therefore, this add-on is only offered for the 2Sell plan.

  • 2Comply: To add tax and VAT handling, as well as compliance management, you can purchase the 2Comply add-on for the 2Sell or 2Subscribe plan. It’s important to note these functionalities are only compatible with digital goods.

  • 2Partner: The 2Partner add-on is only available for the 2Monetize plan and allows for increased channel and affiliate distribution and automation.

  • 2Service: For premium services and dedicated support, you can purchase the 2Service add-on for any of the three 2Checkout product plans.

The cost of 2Checkout will ultimately depend on which of the three plans you choose. 2Checkout operates on a flat-rate pricing structure with the majority of standard payment methods costing the same flat rate per transaction. Some localized payments though, like Boleto Bancario and Kombini, have separate pricing points.

2Checkout’s first plan, 2Sell, costs 3.5% plus 35 cents per transaction. The next plan, 2Subscribe, costs 4.5% plus 45 cents per transaction, and the final plan, 2Monetize, costs $6.0% plus 60 cents per transaction. If your business has a high sales volume, you can talk to the 2Checkout sales team about a custom-priced enterprise solution. These costs, however, are only 2Checkout’s credit card processing fees — meaning they’re the charges you incur to process payments with 2Checkout. In specific countries, there is an added 2% fee to accept payments from international shoppers. Other than these transactional fees, 2Checkout does not charge a monthly subscription fee. It also doesn’t charge fees for fraud protection or recurring payments.

There are a few places where you will face additional fees when using 2Checkout. First, you’ll have to pay fees for chargebacks. 2Checkout has fixed or threshold-based chargeback fees depending on your service agreement with them. Furthermore, if you need advanced onboarding support or purchase one of the 2Checkout add-ons, you’ll have to pay the associated costs for those services. 2Checkout does not specify these costs on its website — you’ll have to contact its sales team for more information.

Pros

Variety of options for online businesses

2Checkout allows merchants to accept a variety of different methods and currencies. 2Checkout also gives you multiple ways to integrate its solution with your online store — from hosted shopping carts to customizable APIs to third-party e-commerce platform integrations — depending on what works best for your business. In addition to its payment processing options, 2Checkout offers a vast feature set of e-commerce tools to not only help businesses improve their authorization rates and revenue but also maximize the growth and success of their operations.

International reach

If you want to expand your online business across borders, 2Checkout provides you with the payment tools to do so. It allows you to accept different payment methods and currencies — and also multiple checkout languages. Additionally, if you work with 2Checkout as your merchant of record, it will help you handle VAT taxes and international compliance. Furthermore, its flat-rate pricing structure across countries makes using its service simpler if you’re doing business around the world. Although there is a 2% fee for certain countries to accept payments from customers outside your country, 23 countries are excluded from this charge, including the United States.

What users say

There are many 2Checkout reviews across the internet, including a substantial amount of customers who are extremely dissatisfied with their service. However, there are also users who have had a positive experience with this online payment processor. In these reviews, customers say that it’s easy to integrate 2Checkout with their e-commerce store, the checkouts are straightforward for customers and the interface is generally user-friendly. Additionally, positive reviews often mention the variety of payment acceptance options and e-commerce tools, the flexibility of the platform and the international reach of 2Checkout.

Price

Although 2Checkout offers simple, flat-rate pricing that covers multiple payment methods across borders, when you compare its service to payment processing competitors on the market, its rates seem high. As an example, Square fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for e-commerce stores, compared to the 3.5% plus 35 cents for 2Checkout’s 2Sell plan. Additionally, like 2Checkout, many other processors lack monthly, compliance and other fees, but generally, these payment processing options have lower transaction fees.

Negative user reviews

There is an abundance of negative 2Checkout reviews online, which can be concerning. The majority of these negative reviews focus on a few points: the holding of funds, accounts being canceled or rejected and customer service regarding service issues. Unfortunately, funds holding and account cancellations — often with little or no notice — is a common problem with payment service providers.

Although these providers can give you relatively quick access to payment processing, they also reserve the right to review your account and take action if they determine you to be a “high-risk merchant.” Occurrences like frequent chargebacks, fraudulent transactions and unusual sales volume are just a few of the reasons why a provider like 2Checkout might decide to hold your funds or terminate your account altogether.

This does not mean that the negative customer reviews are unfounded. To prevent these types of issues, it’s best to thoroughly review 2Checkout’s sales guidelines, as well as any merchant or service agreement that you receive. It is perhaps more worrisome that many of these 2Checkout reviews from users report customer service issues when they try to reach out regarding their account and funds. Essentially, customers say that despite numerous attempts to talk to 2Checkout support about their account problems, they’ve received no response or inadequate assistance.

Alternatives to 2Checkout

With all of the payment processing options available to your business, you’ll want to explore 2Checkout alternatives before making a final decision. Here are two worth considering:

Stripe

Perhaps one of the most recognizable names in payment processing, Stripe offers a variety of payment options and is known for its customizable development tools. Like 2Checkout, Stripe allows you to accept multiple payment methods and currencies and create an integrated solution that works best for your business. With Stripe, you can develop your own payment form, use its embeddable checkout or integrate using Stripe API. Stripe also includes business operations tools and offers its own add-ons as well as third-party integration options.

Stripe charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction and does not require a subscription or other additional fees. Although not as specified for e-commerce and digital products as 2Checkout, Stripe offers many of the same functions at a cheaper per-transaction cost.

Braintree

For an option that offers payment processing with a dedicated merchant account (which Stripe does not), you might consider Braintree. Braintree gives your e-commerce business the ability to accept multiple payment methods from major credit cards to mobile wallets. Braintree also operates in over 130 currencies and over 45 countries. Additionally, whether for desktop or mobile, Braintree has customizable checkout options. You can use its drop-in UI or tailor your own experience with its custom UI offering. Braintree offers third-party integrations with top e-commerce providers, as well as other business tools.

With a Braintree account, you have access to its fraud and reporting tools, recurring billing and integration support. Braintree, like Stripe, charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction and does not have minimums or monthly fees. Braintree offers many of the same payment functionalities as 2Checkout but at lower transaction fees. If you’re looking for the security associated with a dedicated merchant account, Braintree might be a worthy option for your business.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.