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These 6 Online Credit Card Processing Companies Are A Cut Above The Rest (Plus Everything You Need To Know To Get Started)

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So, you’re a merchant and you want to start an eCommerce business. That’s great! You’re going to need, at minimum, three things: products/services (of course), a website (obviously), and an online credit card payment processing company.

Not just any old merchant account or credit card payment processor will do. You need one that’s tailored for online businesses, with decent rates and compatibility with your website as well as your business model.

No matter where or what you sell, who you choose to process credit cards with shouldn’t be a decision that you make lightly. You need to compare rates, quality of service, reliability, and the variety of features available. You’ll also need to be prepared to potentially make tradeoffs in order to get the features you need the most.

Fortunately, there are more options than ever for businesses searching for an online payment processor. Options range from traditional merchant accounts to third-party, pay-as-you-go processors. Let’s take a look at what you need to look for in an online credit card processor, as well as the top options for web-based businesses.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext Steps
With no monthly minimums, a free gateway, and a dedicated merchant account with excellent customer support, CDGcommerce is the best all-around option for businesses that want to sell online.

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Helcim's all-in-one online platform, with recurring billing and a customer database, is a powerful tool for online merchants. Helcim offers individual merchant accounts with month-to-month billing and great customer service.

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Dharma Merchant Services offers just about everything any business needs to accept credit cards, but it goes well beyond the norms with a B2B program that can qualify you for lower interchange rates, plus ACH acceptance and an integrated payments platform.

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eCommerce merchants are more likely to need a high-risk payment processor than most brick-and-mortar businesses, and Durango Merchant Services specializes in providing services these businesses need, with an excellent reputation for fair prices and contract terms.

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PayPal is a household name with a massive userbase, so it makes sense for merchants to accept PayPal as one of their online payment options. PayPal actually offers a full suite of merchant tools, and its online payment processing is incredibly easy to set up even with minimal technical knowledge.

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Other Featured Options:

  • Stripe Payments: Stripe offers simple, transparent pricing and a powerful set of features for all kinds of online businesses, but it specializes in subscription billing and recurring payments, along with invoicing and global currency tools.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

3 Things You Must Have To Set Up Online Payment Processing For Your Small Business

Not all online payment processors are the same. They vary in their pricing, their business models, and the features they offer. And yes, some providers do offer a lot more features than others. That could save you money versus choosing third-party add-ons. But before you dive into all of the options, you need to know how to spot the differences and what some key terms mean.

As a bare minimum, the three things you will need to start accepting online payments are (1) a payment processor, (2) a payment gateway, and (3) a website (with an online shopping cart). Here’s what you’ll need to know before choosing these services for your business:

1. A Payment Processor

Credit card processors fall into two general categories: direct (also called merchant accounts) or third-party (also called payment service providers or aggregators).

Direct processors – the ones who issue merchant accounts – typically offer a greater degree of account stability. Unless you have a high chargeback rate or otherwise do something to violate the processor’s rules, you don’t have to worry too much about the risk of an account hold, freeze, or termination. The trade-off is that setting up a merchant account takes more time, and the company will go through a detailed underwriting process to analyze your business and determine how much of a risk it faces in onboarding you as a merchant. Typically, the costs associated with merchant accounts mean you need a monthly minimum of $5,000-$10,000 in card transactions to justify the monthly and annual fees, and rates may vary depending on your business model, industry, and other factors.

Payment service providers (PSPs) are also called aggregators because of the way accounts are set up. Whereas with a merchant account, you are subjected to a great deal of underwriting and risk assessment even before you establish the account, a third-party processor does only a cursory vetting before approving the account. That’s because less information is needed – rather than setting you up with a unique account, a third-party processor lumps all of its merchants into one large merchant account (hence the term “aggregating”). This type of processing agreement has advantages: the pricing is usually flat-rate and thus very predictable, and the processor works on a month-to-month agreement rather than a multi-year contract. Often there are few, if any, monthly or annual fees to deal with, and you don’t need a monthly minimum to qualify. However, the compromise is account stability. Because so little underwriting is done beforehand, the processor analyzes your activities with greater scrutiny afterward, and you are more likely to encounter an account hold or termination, usually with little to no notice.

Merchant accounts are the gold-standard for businesses that want reliable credit card processing. However, not all merchant account providers will accept all merchants who apply. It helps to have an established processing history, and you’ll need to make sure any costs that you incur are justified by your payment volume. And it may take a bit more time to get your account approved and established, especially if you’re asking for special pricing. The best merchant account providers work on a month-to-month basis with no yearly contracts and few, if any, fees. You should also make sure your online credit card processor provides access to a gateway, preferably for free or at a very low cost.

On the other hand, one of the biggest draws for third-party processors is that merchants can get approval and set up their accounts quickly – sometimes within a matter of minutes. They tend to work on a pay-as-you-go model, which is ideal for low-volume businesses that may not be able to justify monthly fees. With no contracts, no minimums, and no wait times for account approval, it’s safe to say that flexibility is a significant advantage to choosing a payment services provider. Many PSPs bundle their own payment gateway as a core element of their services. However, the trade-off means you face a risk of account holds or closures if your processor flags a suspicious transaction. That doesn’t mean your account will automatically be in danger, and the reality is that processors that operate this way approve and maintain far more accounts than they terminate. But it is something you should consider in choosing a provider.

2. A Payment Gateway

If you plan to sell online, you need a payment gateway. In the simplest terms, a gateway allows you to accept online credit card payments. You can’t sell online without one. However, the concept of a gateway can become somewhat fuzzy because third-party processors such as PayPal and Stripe Payments combine their services with a built-in gateway. Merchant account providers may have their own gateways available for an additional fee, or they may choose to set you up with a third-party gateway (not to be confused with a third-party payment processor). Authorize.Net (see our review) is one of the best-known third-party gateways. It’s compatible with just about everything, which is a major reason why it remains so popular.

3. A Shopping Cart / Website

eCommerce software, also called shopping cart software (or just a shopping cart), is online software used to create a webstore. Typically, eCommerce software comes in two forms: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or self-hosted. For a monthly fee, SaaS shopping carts offer a complete package: web hosting and storage, SSL certificates, and other tools to build and maintain a website. Self-hosted solutions are typically free to download because they are open-source, and they offer a lot of features and customizability – if you have the technical know-how to pull it off. The lack of a monthly fee is negated by the need to obtain web hosting, purchase your SSL, and other costs associated with maintaining a website. In both cases, you must also choose a payment processor and find a compatible gateway. Since many payment processors either provide their own gateways or integrate with third-party options such as Authorize.Net, you’ll typically have several options for payments.

4 Things To Consider Before You Set Up Online Credit Card Processing

In addition to the essentials discussed above, as a business owner, you have other matters to consider as well, from your own technical skills to how much you can afford to maintain your website:

  • Technical Knowledge: How much do you know about building a website? Do you feel comfortable buying a domain, setting up your website, loading products or creating subscription plans, and integrating your processor? What about web design? The good news is that a lot of shopping carts make it very easy for you to create a website, set up payment processing, and fulfill orders. If you are doing more than a simple eCommerce store, you’re going to need more technical knowledge. If you don’t have the foggiest idea of how to go about creating your website, you can hire a freelancer to do it for you. However, if you think you’ll need constant support or frequent changes to the site, it might be worth bringing someone on board at least part-time to help ensure it stays running and there are no issues with any integrations you choose.
  • Alternative Payment Methods: Credit cards are far from the only payment method for online businesses. Ask yourself whether your customers would prefer to use any of these methods and see about implementing them. ACH processing is relatively common (and popular among B2B companies), but not always offered as part of a standard credit card processing contract. You may be able to add this feature through your processor, or use an alternative such as Dwolla to incorporate ACH acceptance. You should also consider whether you need to offer a PayPal checkout option, as well as Visa Checkout, MasterPass, Apple Pay for the Web, Google Pay, and more.
  • Reliability & Customer Support: This applies to both your shopping cart/recurring billing provider as well as your credit card processor. You should expect both reliability and excellent customer support from whatever provider you choose. That means infrequent service outages, if any, and quick response times for questions. It’s hard to vet these aspects of a business beforehand, so do a little bit of research to see what other merchants have to say. Check that the available support channels match your preferences. The more reports tell a consistent story, the more likely that is the truth of the experience. There are always outliers, however, and most people are more inclined to talk about negative experiences than positive ones. So, you need to learn to read between the lines and take the volume of complaints into consideration along with the overall size of the business.
  • Budget: It costs money to run a website of any kind, so you need to have a budget. How much can you afford to pay upfront for a developer, web designer, or SEO expert — or even just data entry to create your products? Do you have the funds and confidence to pay for everything a full year in advance, or do you need to go month by month? How much can you afford on a monthly basis for a webstore or hosting, plus any additional services? You need to have a pretty good idea before you start how much you can afford to create and maintain your website.

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1. Best For General eCommerce: CDGcommerce

CDGcommerce



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CDGcommerce gives you the standard features you’d expect from online payment processing services, but it’s not what I would call a cutting-edge company. Still, there’s a lot to make CDGcommerce appealing to merchants. For starters, with your online merchant account, you also get your choice of free payment gateways: Authorize.Net (see our review) or the company’s proprietary Quantum Gateway. Between the two, you’ll be covered for nearly endless integrations. It’s also worth mentioning that use of the gateways is completely free – there are no setup fees, monthly fees, or per-transaction fees.

In addition, CDGcommerce will support you if you need a credit card terminal, countertop POS, or mobile POS. You get a virtual terminal at no extra charge, as well as detailed online reporting. It’s nice to be able to say CDGcommerce goes well beyond the minimum in this regard. The reporting may not be the most advanced out there, but it’s much more robust than many other processors offer by default.

CDGcommerce offers two pricing plans: Simplified (for low volume merchants) and Advanced (for merchants processing over $10,000 per month). The Simplified plan includes a modified tiered pricing plan. Qualified online transactions cost 1.95% + $0.30 per transaction. Non-qualified transactions (i.e., international, corporate, and premium cards) process at 2.95% + $0.30 per transaction. There’s also a $10.00 monthly account fee. For the Advanced plan, merchants get interchange-plus pricing with rates starting at interchange + 0.30% + $0.10 per transaction. Lower rates are available for higher volume merchants and nonprofits. The good news is that simplified pricing will work for all but the lowest-volume merchants. Stripe, Square, and PayPal all charge a flat 2.90% + $0.30 per transaction. With CDGcommerce charging $10.00 per month for its service fee and just under 1% less per each transaction, the break-even point where CDG actually becomes the better offer is about $1,000 per month in total processing volume.

Also, CDGcommerce charges no fees beyond the transaction and monthly support fees (including no PCI compliance fees). You can opt to add a $15.00 per month security service that will give you $100,000 worth of data breach insurance as well, but it’s entirely optional. And finally, one of the biggest draws for CDGcommerce may be the excellent customer service, including 24/7 phone support.

CDGcommerce Fast Facts

  • Type Of Processor: Merchant Account Provider (uses backend processors)
  • eCommerce Rates: 1.95% + $0.30; $10/monthly support fee
  • Monthly Volume Requirements: None
  • Noteworthy Features: Interchange-plus pricing for merchants processing over $10,000 per month, free Authorize.Net or Quantum payment gateway, excellent customer service

Get Started with CDGcommerce

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2. Best For All-In-One Platform: Helcim

Helcim



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Helcim website screenshot

Helcim offers top-notch service to merchants in both the United States and Canada. While most traditional merchant account providers will try to lock you into a long-term contract with an expensive early termination fee and saddle you with an over-priced tiered pricing plan, Helcim gives you month-to-month billing with no long-term commitment and no additional cost to close your account. The company also uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively, so you won’t even have to ask for it.

eCommerce merchants pay a flat $35.00 monthly fee for an account with Helcim. There’s no monthly minimum, and that single fee covers many things, such as PCI compliance, that other processors tack onto their monthly bills. Incidental fees are quite reasonable and are published on their website.

The company’s primary product is its Helcim Commerce integrated payments platform, which combines the functions of a payment gateway with other ancillary services you’ll need to run your business. Helcim Commerce supports recurring billing and includes a customer information database. Tokenization, inventory management, and other features critical to running an online business are also built-in.

Processing rates at Helcim start at interchange + 0.45% + $0.25 per transaction, with significantly lower rates available to high-volume merchants and nonprofits. If you need it, eCheck/ACH processing is also available for an additional $25.00 per month, plus $0.25 per transaction.

Helcim offers a fantastic way for a small business to obtain a reliable full-service merchant account. However, they freely admit that their pricing is not for everyone. If you currently process less than $1500 per month, they recommend Square (see our review) as a more affordable alternative.

Helcim Fast Facts

  • Type Of Processor: Merchant Account Provider (uses backend processors)
  • eCommerce Rates: Interchange + 0.45% + $0.25 per transaction; volume discounts available
  • Monthly Volume Requirements: None
  • Noteworthy Features: Interchange-plus pricing for all merchants, integrated payments platform, month-to-month billing, transparent pricing and fee structure

Get Started with Helcim

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3. Best For B2B: Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma Merchant Services



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Dharma website screenshot

Dharma Merchant Services is one of the most honest, transparent providers in an otherwise pretty shady industry. Nearly every detail about pricing and contract terms that you would want to know before signing up is disclosed on their website – a far cry from the deceptive advertising practices of most traditional providers. They even have a cost comparison tool that will estimate how much you could save by switching to them from your current provider.

Dharma uses MX Merchant (see our review) as their integrated payments platform. This all-in-one service combines the features of a payment gateway and a virtual terminal into a single product. You’ll have access to online reporting, a customer information database, and even a mobile processing app. For an additional fee, you can add optional services such as recurring billing and eCheck/ACH payment processing.

Like Helcim, Dharma doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract and doesn’t impose a monthly minimum. Pricing is strictly interchange-plus, with all rates and fees explained on their website. eCommerce processing rates start at interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction (interchange + 0.30% + $0.10 per transaction for American Express). Lower rates are available to high-volume merchants processing over $100,000 per month. Dharma charges a flat $20.00 monthly fee for eCommerce accounts. While this single fee covers most of the expense of maintaining your account, you may occasionally see incidental fees, such as for chargebacks.

For high-volume B2B merchants (i.e., those processing over $100,000 per month), Dharma offers a discounted pricing plan that will save you even more money. For $15.00 per month, you get access to discounted interchange-plus rates of interchange + 0.10 % + $0.10 per transaction (interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction for American Express). This plan also supports the use of Level II and III processing data for B2B transactions, lowering your interchange rates and saving you even more money.

Finally, Dharma has one of the best reputations in the industry for excellent customer service and support. We’ve found that this is often the key ingredient that separates the merely good providers from the truly outstanding ones.

Dharma Fast Facts

  • Type Of Processor: Merchant Account Provider
  • eCommerce Rates: Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction; volume discount available
  • Monthly Volume Requirements: None
  • Noteworthy Features: Month-to-month billing, exclusive interchange-plus pricing, minimal additional fees, MX Merchant integrated payments platform, excellent customer service

Get Started with Dharma Merchant Services

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4. Best For High-Risk: Durango Merchant Services

Durango Merchant Services



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Durango Merchant Services website screenshot

Durango Merchant Services is our top pick for high-risk eCommerce businesses. Unfortunately, it’s far more common for an eCommerce business to find itself in the high-risk category than it is for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses such as retail shops and restaurants. High-risk businesses have a harder time finding providers who will approve their application for a merchant account, and you can usually expect to pay significantly higher processing rates and be subject to more restrictive contract terms even when you are approved. Durango makes this process easier by working with a wide variety of processors and banks (including offshore institutions) to get your business approved for an account.

Unlike the other providers we’ve profiled in this article, Durango doesn’t advertise any pricing information or contract terms on its website. Because they work with so many backend processors to get you set up with an account, all of these factors will be highly variable and subject to negotiation. Unfortunately, you should fully expect to pay higher processing rates than a comparable low-risk business would have to pay. You should also anticipate being placed on a tiered pricing plan, although interchange-plus is sometimes available. Don’t expect month-to-month billing, either. Instead, you’re much more likely to have to accept a standard three-year contract with an automatic renewal clause and an early termination fee. On top of all this, you should also expect to have a rolling reserve imposed on your account when you first get started.

These certainly aren’t great terms, but things could actually be worse. The processing industry is filled with companies that deliberately market themselves to struggling high-risk merchants who are desperate to get a merchant account, only to saddle them with exorbitantly high rates and fees and lock them into long-term contracts. Durango is one of the few high-risk providers in the industry that has an excellent reputation for fair prices and contract terms. High-risk processing is always more expensive, but they go out of their way to get you the best (and most affordable) deal possible. The company also has a great reputation for excellent customer service and support after you’ve signed up. They’ll assign a dedicated account manager who will be your primary point of contact if you encounter any problems.

Durango Fast Facts

  • Type Of Processor: High-Risk Merchant Account Provider (uses backend processors)
  • eCommerce Rates: Variable
  • Monthly Volume Requirements: Variable
  • Noteworthy Features: high-risk processing specialist, fair pricing and contract terms, dedicated account manager

Get Started with Durango Merchant Services

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5. Best For Simple Setup: PayPal

PayPal



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PayPal is pretty much synonymous with online payment processing at this point, and its suite of services for merchants is extensive. In addition to being able to accept online payments and send invoices, PayPal has a mobile payments app (PayPal Here) and integrates with POS systems, accounting software, shipping software, and all major shopping carts. PayPal uses its own gateway, which you can use independently of its processing services for a per-transaction charge or a monthly fee. Also, the APIs and developer tools allow for custom setups, mass payouts, and even marketplace creation. Nonprofits are eligible for a discount and can set up a donation button on their site with hardly any work; merchants with an average transaction size under $10.00 can get on a microtransactions plan to reduce their processing costs.

PayPal is by default PCI-compliant. However, as a trade-off, unless you have your own hosted payment page, PayPal redirects customers to its site to complete their transactions. If you’re using the hosted payment page or the virtual terminal, you aren’t automatically compliant, but PayPal does offer tools to reduce the amount of work required on your end.

Because PayPal is a payment services provider, merchants do face a higher risk of account holds and terminations. Fortunately, it seems that PayPal is willing to work with its customers to find a solution. Merchants have also said that the company’s customer service is spotty and inconsistent, but unless you have an account-specific issue you can usually find an answer without having to reach out to PayPal directly.

All of that said, why does PayPal make the cut? Well, for one, there’s that little matter of PayPal’s 237 million users worldwide. It’s a trusted payment option for people who like to shop online (being the default payment option on eBay for so many years will have that effect). Also, PayPal powers payments for 17 million merchants all over the globe, too – that’s far more than, well, just about any other merchant services provider out there.

That’s mainly because of how easy it is to get started, the lack of any monthly minimums, and the absence of any fees beyond transaction costs (2.90% + $0.30 for online transactions; 2.20% + $0.30 for nonprofits). You can integrate PayPal as a supplemental option with PayPal Express, or make it your primary processor. The company is also quick to point out the research that says merchants who offer PayPal as a checkout option are likely to see a boost in sales, too.

PayPal Fast Facts

  • Type Of Processor: Payment Services Provider (PSP)
  • eCommerce Rates: 2.90% + $0.30 per transaction; hosted payment page $30.00 per month; recurring billing support $10.00 per month
  • Monthly Volume Requirements: None
  • Noteworthy Features: Widespread adoption, consumer trust, global reach, works as a primary or supplemental payment method

Read our in-depth review

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6. Best For Recurring Billing & Subscriptions: Stripe Payments

Stripe Payments



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Stripe Payments, like PayPal, has reached the point where its name is synonymous with internet commerce. Stripe’s developer tools and documentation have become the gold standard by which all others are judged, which is no doubt a major contributor to the platform’s popularity with developers.

Stripe has a lot of similarities to Braintree regarding features and international approach. Stripe is open to merchants in 34 countries with global currency options and support for quite a few alternative payment methods and local payment options across the EU and Asia. You’ll also find a great selection of marketplace tools and recurring billing options. Stripe gives you a gateway, a hosted payment page, PCI compliance, and the ability to migrate your customer data if you ever decide to leave. One major difference is that Stripe’s gateway is permanently coupled to its payment processing. You can’t access the Stripe gateway or tools without also using the company’s payment processing. Also, Stripe doesn’t support a virtual terminal.

Stripe charges just 2.90% + $0.30 per transaction. There’s no monthly fee, no monthly minimum, and no PCI compliance fee. You will, however, pay small fees to access Stripe Billing, which includes its subscription management and recurring billing tools, as well as Relay, its SQL-based custom reporting system. The cost for these services is reasonable, but a departure from its earlier flat-rate pricing where everything was bundled together.

Because Stripe is a payment services provider, merchants do face an elevated risk of account holds, freezes, and terminations. However, Stripe does handle PCI compliance and offers access to a robust suite of fraud management tools. There’s an 89% chance that your customer’s card has previously been used on the Stripe network, and Stripe uses that data to analyze patterns and spot suspicious transactions. That’s actually pretty awesome, and Stripe’s fraud management tools are some of the most powerful and customizable out there.

Stripe Fast Facts

  • Type Of Processor: Payment Services Provider (PSP)
  • eCommerce Rates: 2.90% + $0.30 per transactions for cards and mobile wallets; 0.8% for Bitcoin and ACH payments
  • Monthly Volume Requirements: None
  • Noteworthy Features: Global reach, support for alternative payment methods, excellent developer tools, strong fraud prevention tools

Read our in-depth review

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The eCommerce Payment Processor FAQ

Choosing a good merchant services provider involves more than just finding one that offers you lower processing rates and account fees than the competition. Here are some other considerations you should take into account when selecting a provider:

What If I Need Recurring Billing Features?

Selling products and services on a monthly or annual subscription basis is more popular than ever. If you plan to take advantage of this trend, you’ll need to find a payment gateway or integrated payments platform that supports recurring billing. Some providers, including Stripe Payments and PayPal, include recurring billing support as a standard feature of their service. Other providers offer recurring billing support as an optional feature, and they often charge a little extra for it. You’ll want to ensure that the provider you choose offers you all the necessary options for getting recurring billing to work the way you want it to for your business. This can include features like support for free trial offers, customizable billing intervals, and more. Again, it can be worth paying a little extra to get the special features you need that not every provider will offer you.

How Do I Manage Payment Security?

Card-not-present fraud has risen dramatically in recent years, especially since the switch to EMV cards has made traditional card-present fraud more difficult. Security features such as support for tokenization and encryption are pretty much the industry standard today, but some providers offer more robust security options than others. For online businesses, data breach insurance is a worthwhile investment, as the cost of a breach could easily put you out of business without it. You’ll also want to pay attention to PCI compliance requirements to protect your customers’ card data and lower the risk of a breach occurring at all.

Can I Migrate My Customer Data?

If you’ve built up a large clientele of regular customers and you’re storing their credit card information in your payment gateway, you’ll want to have the option of transferring that data to a new service if you later decide to change merchant services providers. While you might think that this would be a pretty easy thing to accomplish, some providers make it inordinately difficult and expensive – probably to discourage you from dropping their service. While most providers don’t talk about this issue in their marketing materials, Stripe Payments openly advertises that you can take your data with you (for free!) if you switch to another provider.

Can My Nonprofit Organization Get Discounted Payment Processing?

It only makes sense that providers would offer discounted processing rates and account fees to qualified nonprofit organizations, but that isn’t always the case. If you’re a nonprofit, you’ll want to see how much of a discount a provider will offer you, as some providers are definitely more generous in this area than others. Dharma Merchant Services and Helcim both offer significant discounts to nonprofit organizations, and should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a new provider.

Which Of These Online Credit Card Processors Is Right For Me?

If you want to start an eCommerce business, there is no shortage of excellent payment processors to help you put money in your bank account. Whether you are just starting out and need a flexible, pay-as-you-go provider with no minimums or have a high volume of transactions and just want a better processing rate or more reliable processor, this list is the best starting point for your search. Don’t compare on price alone, though! Be sure to consider all the features you need, as well as compatibility with shopping carts and other services you may use in your business. Keep an eye on what features you absolutely must have now, as well as what you would like to have further down the line as your business starts to grow.

What are your favorite online payment processors? What have your experiences with the processors on this list been like? We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment if you have a question or just want to let us know what you think.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

A Last Look At Our Top Picks

  1. CDGcommerce
    Summary - With no monthly minimums, a free gateway, and a dedicated merchant account with excellent customer support, CDGcommerce is the best all-around option for businesses that want to sell online.
  2. Helcim
    Summary - Helcim's all-in-one online platform, with recurring billing and a customer database, is a powerful tool for online merchants. Helcim offers individual merchant accounts with month-to-month billing and great customer service.
  3. Dharma Merchant Services
    Summary - Dharma Merchant Services offers just about everything any business needs to accept credit cards, but it goes well beyond the norms with a B2B program that can qualify you for lower interchange rates, plus ACH acceptance and an integrated payments platform.
  4. Durango Merchant Services
    Summary - eCommerce merchants are more likely to need a high-risk payment processor than most brick-and-mortar businesses, and Durango Merchant Services specializes in providing services these businesses need, with an excellent reputation for fair prices and contract terms.
  5. PayPal
    Summary - PayPal is a household name with a massive userbase, so it makes sense for merchants to accept PayPal as one of their online payment options. PayPal actually offers a full suite of merchant tools, and its online payment processing is incredibly easy to set up even with minimal technical knowledge.
  6. Stripe Payments
    Summary - Stripe offers simple, transparent pricing and a powerful set of features for all kinds of online businesses, but it specializes in subscription billing and recurring payments, along with invoicing and global currency tools.
Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson has been writing about payment processing and mobile payments since 2014, and has been quoted in articles for Credit Karma and The Next Web, among others. She graduated from The University of Kansas in 2010 with bachelor's degrees in English and journalism.
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19 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Harith Motoshiromizu

    This website and blog are exceptionally amazing and great to see and we Know there are more card handling organizations we can look over out there however you’ve gathered together the absolute best among them..

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Dennis M. Oates

      I need virtual terminal gateway whereby i can keyed in the transaction manually on my pc.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Jessica Dinsmore

        Hi Dennis,

        Square would be the best option. Payline has one as part of its mobile plan too.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Stella Gaunson

          Your site and blog are very impressive and good to see. And also thanks for sharing this informative blog.

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.

            Robert

            We currently use Open Edge , a division of globalpayments, what are thoughts concerning this company, charges, customer service , features and capability to work with other software features ?

            Thanks
            Robert

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Hi Robert,

              Unfortunately, we haven’t yet reviewed OpenEdge, but we do make several references to it, in our Global Payments Review that you might find helpful.

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Joe

                What are your thoughts on PayJunction?

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Jessica Dinsmore

                  Hi Joe,

                  You can check out our in-depth review of PayJunction here.

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Ron Zanetti

                    How does Magento fit in with these providers?

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      Liz Hull

                      Hi Ron,

                      Sellers who use Magento mostly add payment processors via pre-built integrations. These integrations let you connect your Magento account with a payment solution without doing any development. You can find these integrations for purchase in the Magento Marketplace.

                      If your favorite payment processor does not have a pre-built integration or gateway available in the Magento Marketplace, you can hire a developer to build a connection on your behalf. Keep in mind that this can be very expensive.

                      I hope that answers your question!

                      Best,

                      Liz

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        Thomas

                        Do you know anything about Cardinity.com? Planning to try their payment solution.

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                          Jessica Dinsmore

                          Hi Thomas,

                          Unfortunately, we have not reviewed Cardinity, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other. That said, here is a great merchant account comparison chart of vendors we have reviewed. Best of luck to you!

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                            Dennis Hoyt

                            Melissa / Jessica – Do you have a review of Vantage Payments? I have not seen one for them on your website.
                            Thank-you.

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                              Jessica Dinsmore

                              Hi Dennis,

                              Thank you for writing! Unfortunately, we have not reviewed Vantage Payments, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other.

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.

                                Ed lich

                                Why no mention of Ayden? The one replacing paypal on ebay. Seems if good enough for paypal they would be among the top ten.

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                  Hi Ed,

                                  We actually DO have a review of Adyen! They are worth looking into, for sure. Thanks for the suggestion!

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                    Ryan Stewart

                                    This a good guide for starters. Doing it right from the start will save you fees. I’m sure there are more card processing companies we can choose from out there but you’ve rounded up some of the best among them. Definitely worth reading.

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                      Mike

                                      What about integrating into an existing merchant processor like TSYS or Chase or Global. Would their ecommerce MID rates be competitive?

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                        Chloe Bahal

                                        Hi Mike,

                                        You can get comparison quotes at CardFellow. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let us know.

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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