In the modern day of business, credit card acceptance is very important. When it comes to credit card processing, which merchant service providers should you look into?
Down below is a review on the different kinds of services a credit card processing company can offer.
There are more than meets the eye when you go to make transactions on a credit card processing machine. There are mechanics and other features that determine a successful transaction. Continue reading to find out more.
In the modern day of business, credit card acceptance is very important.
Table of Contents
About Credit Card Processing
Here is some background information about payment processing. There are many factors to consider whenever you make a transaction using merchant service providers.
Read on to find out what kind of features and concerns to check for when using a merchant service provider.
Merchant Service Providers (MSPs) maintains merchant agreements and services. They handle all the application process including your rates and fees including preparing the contract.
They also deliver value added services: payment gateways, virtual terminals, credit card terminals and POS systems.
Additionally MSP will support you on any issues relating to your account. But if something goes wrong with a transaction, you’ll have to contact the payment processor for help.
Payment processors are in charge of securing the process of your payments.
An MSP can also be a direct processor, meaning that both merchant accounts and processing services are offered.
MSPs usually set up and maintain merchant accounts, but they will use a third-part company to handle the processing side of things.
Credit Card brands organize the processing networks, as well as dictating the interchange rates and defining usage rules. There are several brands in the U.S. like Visa and Mastercard.
Banks issue credit cards to extend credit to customers whenever they make transactions with their cards.
However, merchants barely interact with issuing banks.
A Payment Gateway links an online payment to the bank that processes it. They are not the same as merchant accounts.
Internet merchant accounts combine gateway services and payment processors such as PayPal.
Mobile processors such as Paypal or Square Cash are payment service providers that does an indirect agreement with a card processor.
They use payment facilitators and third party processors to do this.
Using a PSP benefits growing businesses that tend to have a low volume transaction. PSPs can also waive monthly fees sometimes.
PSPs are the most ideal for merchants who process transactions once in a while.
Factors To Consider
Tier pricing is the rate structure for credit card processing services. This allows the processor group to interchange fees into different tiers.
There are two types of rate structures:
- Tiered Pricing
- Interchange-Plus Pricing
However, interchange-plus pricing is more encouraged since this structure breaks down the charges and shows the markup the processor is charging you.
There are other fees to consider with interchange-plus pricing as well, so be sure to ask your credit card service processor.
Normally, the contract that a service provider gives is about three years. These terms often include automatic renewal and early termination fees (ETF).
However, now more providers are offering month-to-month agreement with no ETF.
Merchant service providers is available for live customer service support depending on the merchant.
Best Merchant Services Providers/Credit Card Processors
In this segment, you’ll find our favored credit card processors & merchant service providers.
Best Overall Providers
• Get the payment processing solutions and pricing your business needs when you open a Chase Merchant Services account
• 2.6% discount rate and $0.10 per tap, dip or swiped transaction, and 3.5% discount rate and $0.10 per keyed transaction
• Chase also has you covered with no monthly or hidden fees and no long-term contracts1
• Plus, you'll get round-the-clock servicing and next-business-day funding (with a Chase business checking account)2
• Manage your Merchant Services Account virtually anywhere with Chase Business Online. View transactions and fees, review disputed charges and subscribe to alerts in one convenient place.
Chase Merchant Services is one of the top direct processors. It is an excellent choice for large businesses with high transaction volumes. They are also a good choice for businesses of all sizes that want to work with a well known traditional bank. Chase Bank also provides several good business Checking solutions, with nice sign-up bonuses.
Customers seem satisfied with the bank’s service. Its overall reputation is well above par.
While Dharma Merchant Services is not the cheapest provider in its industry, Dharma is at the top of the list being one of the most honest/ethical card processing services. The customer service is top tier and offering competitive rates – providing fantastic value overall.
Dharma is recommended to mid- to large-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, and restaurants (best suited for average transactions $20+).
(Visit Dharma to learn more)
Intuit QuickBooks Payments is a terrific option if you are currently using their other finance services (accounting, invoice management, & automatic bookkeeping).
(Visit Intuit QuickBooks Payments to learn more)
Helcim, a full-service provider, is known for their great customer support (online or phone), low costs, honesty and possibly the most transparent practice in its industry.
The rates, fees, & terms are all available online – in addition, there are no early termination fees if you decide to cancel with month-to-month billing contracts.
(Visit Helcim to learn more)
Used by many big-named merchants (Lyft, Blue Apron, TaskRabbit, Pinterst, & more), Stripe is hands down one of the best online processors known for its style and simplicity in comparison to its competitors.
Stripe offers merchants (big or small) everything needed and empowering online businesses with tools necessary for developers.
(Visit Stripe to learn more)
PayPal Here is a widely used household name as one of the best processors with low volume (<$10,000 per month in credit card sales) as a pay-as-you-go mobile merchant service provider.
If you currently use PayPal, you can easily get started as all of your information is already gathered. However, it is not recommended to replace a full POS (point of sale) system.
It does offer a mobile card reader and a countertop register option and features that houses the necessities you may want from a mobile system.
(Visit PayPal to learn more)
As one of the best mobile credit card processors, it allows credit card payments accessible to the average pereson.
This option is recommended for start up businesses as an affordable option offering a variety of features to help growing businesses.
If you have low volume, Square is a great option. Square also offers same day deposts.
(Visit Square to learn more)
This option is a great choice for high-risk businesses. Payline offers no ETF, month-to-month billing, and interchange-plus pricing. You can also take advantage of the free equipment, low monthly account fees, and no gateway fees. You can also expect solid customer support.
(Visit Payline to learn more)
Fattmerchant is a good option for businesses that are growing with greater than $10,000 in processing. They offer unique and a fair subscription pricing model that is honest. You’ll pay a single monthly fee (which allows your costs to be more predictable and stable) with 0% markup price structure (provider’s claim – which removes % markup over interchange).
(Visit Fattmerchant to learn more)
As a great solution for large businesses, National Processing offers top tier service and competitive rates. Standard accounts do not offer it all, but will get the job done well.
Merchants will be offered a month-to-month option who will not need free hardware, low-cost ACH payment processing, & an inexpensive payment gateway.
(Visit National Processing to learn more)
More Top Providers Worth A Look
The best credit card processors above should cover the needs of most businesses imaginable. However, there are still many more options available on the market if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for. The ones below are also often mentioned as comparisons to the services listed above.
A sort of honorable mention, Payment Depot has month-to-month billing, predictable costs, and superb customer support. They also offer the ability to upgrade to a higher-level subscription plan if your business outgrows the processing limits of your plan.
(Visit Payment Depot to learn more)
Flagship Merchant Services is a merchant account provider that is one of the first to provide free account setup with no application fees. Additionally, they even offer month-to-month contracts with no early termination fees.
(Visit Flagship Merchant Services to learn more)
National Bankcard offers a point-of-sale (POS) system that meets its merchants’ needs on top of competitive pricing, free hardware, and live customer support 24/7 365 days of the year.
(Visit National Bankcard to learn more)
For eCommerce merchants looking for dependability, Shopify is the platform for you. Its ease of use and elegance is especially great for those on a tight budget and don’t need a tone of advanced functionality. If you’re still curious about the service, sign up for the 14 day free trial to test it out.
(Visit Shopify to learn more)
PayHub comes with an integrated payments platform designed for eCommerce as its primary product. Their Virtual Hub and Flat Pricing Plan are all you need as an eCommerce-only merchant, but if you are a traditional retailer, you may need some more functional features. Luckily they have a sibling company, SignaPay, that offers a full-blown merchant account.
(Visit PayHub to learn more)
If you’re looking for a credit card processor that offers a full-service merchant account, CDGcommerce is one of the best and affordable options for small- to mid-sized businesses. The provider does not charge gateway fees, PCI compliance fees or monthly minimums, so account maintenance fees will always be low and predictable. What’s more, equipment is provided for “free.” All you have to do is pay a reasonable annual insurance fee to maintain it.
(Visit CDGcommerce to learn more)
If you need developer tools and other advanced features beyond just payment processing at no additional cost, then Braintree is the perfect service for you. Although they dont offer the cheapest rates in the industry, Braintree gives good services for the price. For an eCommerce or mobile merchant, you won’t find much better providers. Their products and services offer a lot of customizability which is great for internet-based, tech-driven merchants.
(Visit Braintree to learn more)
Authorize.net features an advanced fraud detection suite (AFDS) which is included for free with your account. It’s made up of thirteen filters that you can customize to help flag and block seemingly fraudulent transactions. AFDS helps to prevent fraud-related inventory loss and reduces chargeback incidents.
(Visit Authorize.net to learn more)
Paper receipts and things of that nature are out dated. Having to deal with storing organizing and retrieving paper documents is a pain. On top of that, it is harmful to the environment on both the production front and the product itself. Because receipt paper is generally coated in BPA, it can potentially be toxic to humans and the environment.
For a more organized and efficient move, PayJunction is the way to go. With this service, you will reduce risk, widen customer payment options, and eliminate the need for a traditional credit card terminal with its paperless system, all while saving with competitive rates and stellar customer service.
(Visit PayJunction to learn more)
As you might guess, Amazon Pay sits at the top of this category. With this service, customers can complete purchases, make donations and set up recurring payments, by making payments through their Amazon account. Like PayPal, customers won’t have to leave your website to complete a payment.
(Visit AmazonPay to learn more)
From a fundraiser who uses GoFundMe to needing to collect payment from conference attendees via Constant Contact, WePay can help you with all of those needs. On top of these features, they also offer facilitating capabilities that you can embed inside these platforms. WePay also provides self-branded payment solutions within each software platform, also known as “white label” payments.
(Visit WePay to learn more)
In short, there are no one best credit card processor that can suit all businesses or individuals. It might take some time to find one that will benefit you, but looking into more about the process is always useful.
Check out the reviews for each of the credit card processors that are available and also be sure to check out some comparisons so you can choose the credit card or payment processing service that is best for your business.