PayPal Business users now have the option of adding four popular Web-based services. Dubbed the Cash and Customer Management Package , the new services allow you to manage your business on a variety of levels.
Here are the added services available with the new PayPal package:
- Bill.com lets you automate bill approval, payment invoicing and collections. You can also create a three month cash flow projection and approve and pay bills securely from any device.
- Outright is a small business bookkeeping package acquired by GoDaddy in 2012 . It allows you to automatically import sales and expense data and organizing it into IRS-approved categories.
- Cloud Conversion is an add-on that allows you to use many of the customer relationship management features of Salesforce.com. This helps you gain better insight into your customers and why they make their purchasing decisions.
- Constant Contact lets you create professional looking marketing emails from a wide variety of templates. You can manage your contact list, make your emails more social and track success with an ongoing reporting feature. You can manage up to 5,000 contacts.
Currently there is a 30-day free trial of the new PayPal add-ons. The full package is $90 a month after that and allows businesses to receive a single bill from PayPal for all the services, instead of different bills for each. You can also use a single sign in. And there is some integration between the apps, to automatically import data from one app to another.
PayPal also provides the option to purchase partial packages. For example, if you just want the bookkeeping, you can get that at $8 per month (a 20% savings versus the Pro level of Outright, which is normally $9.99 per month). If you want the Customer Management package, with access just to Constant Contact and Cloud Conversion CRM, you can get that package for $65.
PayPal says its packages in total are a 40 percent savings over paying for the services individually.
The question is: how valuable will small businesses find the “package” approach?
Cloud services have brought real benefits to small businesses. Cloud applications make it easy to get started and use a variety of backend services to improve your productivity and profitability. Why struggle by doing a task by hand, when you can use technology to automate it and cut down manual effort?
However, there are now so many services that it has become a chore just to find them and evaluate them, let alone use them. PayPal clams this will save you time in shopping for services, as well as making your operations more efficient and effective.
While each of the packaged PayPal new services are certainly high quality options and solid choices for small businesses, PayPal’s package approach seems like a limited piecemeal effort. PayPal would be better served to create an “open” marketplace, with a variety of integrations. As good as these four services may be, they won’t suit every business. It seems like a constrained approach in today’s world of marketplaces and open platform choices. Still, the savings could be a good deal.