These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find any business, freelancer or consumer who doesn’t have a PayPal account, and for good reason – it’s quick, easy, and universally used. Considering its success, however, the PayPal website is still awkward to use –
If you leave it for more than a second, it would seem, it logs itself out, and you have to waste time logging back in again. Once you’re in, it’s not all that intuitive, and you have to navigate countless dropdown menus to do anything. In short, the PayPal site is a pain.
GaragePay can take away all of that pain. It’s a PayPal client for Mac, meaning you never have to use that pesky site ever again, and instead can handle all of your transactions from the comfort of a native app.
GaragePay is available on the Mac App Store for $24.99 USD. Installing it from there is ridiculously easy (click “Buy”, and there it is), but if you want to go the more traditional DMG-based route, that’s just as easy, and also gives you an opportunity to try it out before purchase.
To do so, simply download the DMG (a mere 3.28MB), open up the installer, and drag the app into the Applications shortcut provided. Even the installation window looks great – You just know (or at least hope) it’s going to be a good app.
Setting up your PayPal account is pretty straightforward – Just enter your account e-mail and API details. Be warned though – For personal accounts, only certain countries have API features. If you have a Premier or Business account, you’ll be fine, but check that you can get your API details before forking out $25.
Considering that GaragePay is essentially PayPal with a different skin (albeit with a few extra features), the interface is essential to make the user satisfied. Luckily, it excels in this field. The folks at iwascoding clearly spent an awful lot of time on the design, and it pays off.
Everything is laid out for all to see – your transactions, different accounts, smart folders, and further details about the transaction when selected. Couple this with beautiful, colourful icons, and you just cannot go wrong.
The aim for all Mac interface designers is to create an app which feels like something Apple would make. This definitely does. It doesn’t try to blow you away with eye candy, but you know exactly what you’re doing at all times.
Sending money is very easy with GaragePay – Just hit that big “Send Money” button, and you’ll be greeted with a Mail-like window where you enter the receiver, a subject, the amount, and a message.
GaragePay will even calculate the fee you’ll be paying as you type. If you’ve ever used Mail.app before, this will be second nature to you, and even if you haven’t, it’s not rocket science.
Unfortunately, you may sometimes get an unsatisfied client, or something similar, and you may have to refund them. This is just as easy, and can be done by selecting a transaction, and hitting refund. You can choose to refund the full amount, or just part of it, and attach a memo to your refund.
You can view all of your transactions in the main window, where you’ll quickly see the payer and receiver, the items (if a purchase was made), the date, and the amount. If you only want to see your outgoing transactions, just hit the “Outgoing” tab.
By clicking on a transaction, you see even more details about it, such as the fee paid, the transaction status, and details about the payer/receiver, if such information is available.
To further catalog your transactions and make them easier to find in future, a notes section is provided for you to insert any further details you wish.
One of the most useful features in GaragePay that isn’t in PayPal is the ability to create Smart Folders. These work much the same as Smart Folders in Finder, or Smart Playlists in iTunes – Create a folder and apply a criterion to it.
This can be a great way of organising transactions without having to manually sort them, and a life-saving feature if you deal with hundreds of transactions on a regular basis.
Exporting as a CSV
If you need to add some PayPal transaction details to your spreadsheet, but there are far too many to enter manually, then GaragePay has just the thing for you – The ability to export a list of transactions as a CSV file.
CSV files will open in just about any database app, so it’s perfect for transferring data without any conversion issues. To export as a CSV, select the folder or list of transactions you wish to export, and hit the big “CSV Export” button.
You will be asked which transaction fields you wish to include, and a number of other options, including what to separate the values with. A comma is the default option (CSV does stand for Comma Seperated Values, after all), but in some languages, the comma is used for the decimal separator, and so a semi-colon is used.
If you’re unsatisfied with the PayPal website (and I don’t blame you), then certainly give GaragePay a try – It is by far the best PayPal solution for Mac, and you will know exactly how to use it straight away.
It probably won’t change your life, but it’ll make it a good bit easier. The only real criticism I can offer is that the API isn’t supported in all countries, but that’s an problem with PayPal, and not with GaragePay.
If you use PayPal daily, it’s well worth the $25. For the occasional user, it may be a little much, but it’s nevertheless an excellent app with great care put into its development.