Advertiser Disclosure

🎁 Cyber Monday deals are here! See all the best holiday offers now.

The 6 Best Online Credit Card Processing Companies for Small Businesses

  • 19 comments
  • Updated on:
Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Know more about 6 best online credit card processing companies

Are you a new entrepreneur looking to start your first eCommerce business? Perhaps you already have a physical store and are looking to expand to an online store for the first time (maybe because of the COVID-19 pandemic). Either way, you’re a complete eCommerce newbie looking for information on how to get started with online credit card processing.

You’ve come to the right place.

If you already own a physical store and take payment cards, you might be wondering if you can just use your current processor, which probably has some sort of eCommerce offering. Maybe you can, but we’ve found that eCommerce businesses usually have unique needs that not all processors are optimized for. Rates, quality of service, reliability, and other typical online features should all be taken into account when you pick your eCommerce processor. You might also have to make some tradeoffs specific to your type of business for some of these categories.

Fortunately, these days, there are more options than ever when choosing payment processing companies. Your choices range from traditional merchant accounts to third-party, pay-as-you-go processors. Below, we’ll take a look at some top options for online processors and talk a little about other general considerations when starting an eCommerce venture.

Let’s get started.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext Steps
Best for general eCommerce.

Visit Site

Read More

Best all-in-one platform.

Visit Site

Read More

Best for B2B.

Visit Site

Read More

Best for high-risk merchants.

Visit Site

Read More

Best for a simple setup.

Visit Site

Read More

Other Featured Options:

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The 6 Best Online Credit Card Processing Companies

Here are our picks for the best credit card processors for online businesses for 2020. We chose from our top-rated processors and separated them into categories: best for general eCommerce, best all-in-one platform, best for B2B, best for high risk, best for simple setup, and best for sophisticated integrations.

1. CDGcommerce: Best Online Credit Card Processing For General eCommerce

CDGcommerce



Visit Site

Read our Review

CDGCommerce screenshot (new logo)

CDGcommerce gives you all the standard features you’d expect in an online credit card processing company. While these features might not always be the most advanced available, they’re all very good. That’s why CDGcommerce is our best overall recommendation.

With CDGcommerce, you get your choice of free payment gateways, including Authorize.Net and the company’s proprietary Quantum Gateway. In other words, you should be covered for nearly endless integrations. There are no setup fees, monthly fees, or per-transaction fees for the use of the gateways.

You get a virtual terminal at no extra charge as well as detailed online reporting. The reporting may not be the most advanced out there, but it’s much more robust than what many other processors offer by default. If you have a physical store, CDGcommerce can support your credit card terminal, countertop POS, or mobile POS as well. It also offers 24/7 phone support.

CDGcommerce does not charge any fees (not even PCI compliance fees) beyond the transaction fee and a fixed monthly or yearly fee. You can buy a $100,000 worth of data breach insurance, which is worth considering since you’re running an eCommerce business. Other services, such as invoicing, subscription billing, and similar options, are also available for an added fee.

As for pricing plans, CDGcommerce offers three types: Simple (ideal for $1,000-$10,000 per month), Interchange Plus (for $10,000-$200,000 per month), and Wholesale (for $200,000 per month).

For online processing, the Simple plan charges:

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, with an American Express surcharge of 0.25%
  • There are no other fees — this plan is meant to compete with third-party processors but eventually gives you a merchant account

For the Interchange Plus plan and online processing, merchants get:

  • Interchange + 0.30% + $0.15 per transaction
  • Nonprofits get interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction

The Wholesale plan actually has quite a few sub-prices:

  • Membership prices range from $49/month to $199/month. Each tier capped by processing volume and the “monthly” membership fees must be paid in one lump sum on a per-year basis
  • Rates from interchange + $0.10 per transaction to interchange + $0.05 per transaction, depending on the monthly membership price

As you can see from the above, because it offers quite a few processing plans, CDGcommerce likely has a highly competitive plan for your type of business at your current stage of growth. This is yet another reason why it is our pick for the best processor for general eCommerce.

Pros

  • Free payment gateway and virtual terminal
  • No account setup or application fees
  • Month-to-month billing with no early termination fees
  • Excellent customer service and support

Cons

  • Only available to US-based merchants

Get Started with CDGcommerce

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

2. Helcim: Best All-In-One Online Credit Card Processing

Helcim



Visit Site

Read our Review

Helcim website screenshot

 

Helcim is our pick for the best all-in-one platform provider because of its Helcim Commerce integrated payments platform. The platform combines the functions of a payment gateway with other ancillary services that you’ll need to run your online 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.

Helcim offers payment processing services to US and Canadian merchants. It gives you month-to-month billing with no long-term commitment and no additional cost to close your account. Helcim’s monthly account fee is a flat $20. There’s no monthly minimum, and the single fee covers many things, such as PCI compliance, that other processors tend to tack onto their monthly bills. Incidental fees are quite reasonable and are published on Helcim’s website.

As for the actual processing costs, Helcim uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively. Processing rates start at interchange + 0.50% + $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 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, the company freely admits that its pricing is not for everyone. If you currently process less than $1,500 per month, the company recommends Square as a more affordable payment processing company.

Pros

  • Exclusive interchange-plus processing rates
  • No long-term contracts or early termination fees
  • Minimal monthly account fees
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Not cost-effective for merchants processing less than $1,500 per month

Get Started with Helcim

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Dharma Merchant Services: Best Online Credit Card Processing For B2B Businesses

Dharma Merchant Services



Visit Site

Read our Review

Dharma website screenshot

 

We at Merchant Maverick have always liked Dharma Merchant Services. Here, it’s our choice for the best B2B processor not because it’s weaker in other areas, but because of the special discount that the company gives to high-volume B2B merchants (those processing over $100,000 per month).

For eCommerce processing, Dharma ordinarily charges interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction (interchange + 0.30% + $0.10 per transaction for American Express). However, for an extra $15 per month, merchants who have a monthly processing volume of $100,000 or more 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 high-volume plan supports the use of Level II and III processing data for B2B transactions, so it can potentially lower your interchange rates and save you even more money.

Unlike many sub-par payment processing companies, Dharma doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract and doesn’t impose a monthly minimum. It charges a flat $20 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). Finally, Dharma has one of the best reputations in the industry for excellent customer service and support.

As a part of its eCommerce offerings, Dharma uses MX Merchant as its 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.

Pros

  • Interchange-plus pricing offered exclusively
  • No annual fee or monthly minimum
  • Month-to-month billing with no early termination fees
  • Outstanding sales transparency and highly ethical business practices

Cons

  • Not recommended for businesses processing less than $10,000 per month
  • No support for high-risk or international merchants

Get Started with Dharma Merchant Services

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

4. Durango Merchant Services: Best Online Credit Card Processing For High-Risk Merchants

Durango Merchant Services



Visit Site

Read our Review

Durango Merchant Services website screenshot

 

Durango Merchant Services is our top pick for high-risk businesses needing online credit card processing. Unfortunately, it’s far more common for eCommerce businesses to be considered high-risk than it is for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. High-risk businesses typically have a harder time finding providers that will approve their applications for merchant accounts. A high-risk business can usually expect to pay significantly higher processing rates and be subject to more restrictive contract terms even when 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 payment processing companies featured here, Durango doesn’t advertise any pricing information or contract terms on its website. Because Durango works with so many back-end 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’ll probably 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 expect to have a rolling reserve imposed on your account when you first get started.

These certainly aren’t great terms, but in an industry riddled with not entirely ethical service providers, Durango is one of the few high-risk providers that enjoys an excellent reputation for fair prices and contract terms. The company goes out of its way to get you the best (and most affordable) deal possible. It also has a great reputation for excellent customer service and support after you’ve signed up.  Durango will assign a dedicated account manager who will be your primary point of contact if you encounter any problems.

Pros

  • Specialists in placing high-risk and other hard-to-place merchants
  • Offers offshore merchant accounts for some international merchants
  • Fair pricing and excellent contract terms
  • Dedicated account manager for customer service

Cons

  • No pricing disclosures on the website

Get Started with Durango Merchant Services

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. PayPal: Best Online Credit Card Processing For Simple Setup Process

PayPal



Visit Site

Read our Review

 

There’s an easy way to set up an online business, and there’s a hard way. The hard way involves working with APIs that require computer programming skills, and the easy way is to add some readily-prepared code to your website yourself. PayPal excels at the latter, offering simple integration of a whole host of payment processing services, and that’s why it’s our pick for this subcategory.

It’s easy for merchants to set up a PayPal account. There are no monthly minimums and no other fees in addition to the transaction cost itself (2.90% + $0.30 for online transactions; 2.20% + $0.30 for nonprofits). If you wish to have more services, you can. For instance, recurring billing costs an additional $10 per month, and a dedicated hosted payments page costs $30 per month. You can integrate PayPal as a supplemental option with PayPal Checkout or make it your primary processor.

PayPal offers an entire suite of services directed at the online merchant. In addition to being able to accept online payments and send invoices, PayPal uses its own gateway, which you can use on a per-transaction basis or by paying a monthly fee. Nonprofits are eligible for a discount and can easily set up a donation button on their site. Merchants with an average transaction size of under $10 can get on a microtransactions plan to reduce their processing costs. PayPal is by default PCI compliant — it does so by redirecting your customers to its site to complete their transactions — so PayPal merchants usually won’t have to worry about that aspect of payment processing.

Of course, if you elect to integrate PayPal into your website more directly, you can do that too. PayPal provides APIs and developer tools to allow for custom setups, mass payouts, and even marketplace creation. Keep in mind, though, that if you choose to do this, you aren’t automatically PCI compliant, but PayPal does offer tools to reduce the amount of work required on your end. You also might need to hire a programmer unless you’ve got the requisite skills yourself.

Finally, because PayPal is a payment services provider, merchants do face a higher risk of account holds and terminations than with other types of payment processing companies (namely, traditional merchant accounts). 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.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Ideal for low-volume merchants
  • Extensive integrations
  • Good developer tools
  • All-in-one payments system

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Inconsistent customer support
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

6. Stripe Payments: Best Online Credit Card Processing For Sophisticated Integrations

Stripe Payments



Visit Site

Read our Review

 

Stripe Payments, like PayPal, has reached the point where its name is synonymous with internet commerce. PayPal is easier to use when you’re just starting your eCommerce business. But if you’re planning to use a web developer to design a top-of-the-line, slick-looking web store (and/or adding in-app payment functions), you’re probably better off going with Stripe because of all the tools you can integrate into your platform.

(We haven’t forgotten Square in these comparisons. We note that while Square also offers a robust set of business analytics, it’s better suited for physical stores, while Stripe is better for eCommerce.)

Stripe is open to merchants in 34 countries with global currency options and support for numerous 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. Stripe’s gateway is permanently coupled to its payment processing, so you can’t access the gateway or tools without also using the company’s payment processing. 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. Stripe also offers ACH payment at 0.8% capped at $5 per month for ACH debit and $1 per ACH credit payment.

You will, however, pay small fees to access Stripe Billing, which includes subscription management and recurring billing tools, as well as Sigma, its SQL-based custom reporting system. The cost for these services is reasonable, but the pricing scheme is a departure from Stripe’s 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. You might wish to keep this in mind as you make your final selection.

Pros

  • Excellent developer tools
  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Advanced reporting, marketplace, and subscription tools
  • Can take international transactions
  • Multicurrency support

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Needs technical skill to implement

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

What To Look For In Online Merchant Services

Let’s take a look now at some eCommerce-specific issues related to credit card processing. This should help you narrow down the list even further, so you can find one that best fits the unique needs of your business:

  • Pricing: Online credit card sales are all card-not-present (CNP) sales, so they usually cost more per transaction than card-present sales. There’s a reason for that. It is well established that card fraud is more prevalent online than in physical stores, and that’s why credit card processors charge more for online card use to recoup their losses. Our pricing recommendation follows our standard advice: go with interchange-plus or subscription pricing whenever you can.
  • Fraud Detection Tools: Given that CNP transactions have higher incidences of fraud, fraud detection naturally becomes more important for online businesses. While most credit card associations have fraud detection tools, it’s not a bad idea to consider additional fraud protection, whether offered as a part of the standard package or available for an extra fee. Too much fraudulent activity could prompt your processor to stop doing business with you altogether, or even put you on the MATCH list, which could make you ineligible to process credit cards for years. If you’re unsure about paying for these tools, go with a processor that provides it for free or as an added option, but be sure to observe your fraud rate for a while and then decide whether you need the service.
  • Ease Of Use/Technical Knowledge: You should also consider how easy/hard it might be to integrate a particular processor to your web store. If you’re technologically inclined, you might not be worried about buying a domain, building a website, or loading your products or services onto the site. Most of us aren’t so tech-savvy, though. The good news is that a lot of shopping carts are plug-and-play and make it very easy for you to create a website, set up payment processing, and fulfill orders. If you need more than a simple eCommerce store, though, you’re going to require more technical knowledge. You could hire a freelancer to do it for you, but 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.
  • Budget: Take into account how much you can afford to pay a developer, web designer, SEO expert, or even just a data entry person. Know whether you have the funds to last a year or just a month, and understand how much it will cost you every month to maintain a web store or for web hosting (plus additional services). Before you get started, you need to have a pretty good idea of how much you can afford to create and maintain your website.
  • Merchant Account VS PSP: One of the first things you must decide is whether you should use a traditional merchant account provider or a payment services provider/third-party processor. It takes longer to apply with a merchant account provider, but once you’re approved, you tend to have better account stability. In contrast, you could be approved for processing with a PSP in just a few minutes, but you might have to deal with more frequent occurrences of account holds, freezes, or even terminations in the future. We discuss this issue in more detail later in this article.
  • Alternative Payment Methods: Credit and debit cards are far from the only payment method for online businesses. Ask yourself whether your customers would prefer to use any alternative methods and consider implementing the ones you think they’d use. ACH processing is relatively common (and popular among B2B companies), but it’s 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 might also wish to offer a PayPal checkout option as well as Visa Checkout, MasterPass, Apple Pay for the Web, Google Pay, and more.
  • Reliability & Customer Support: You should expect both reliability and excellent customer support from your payment processor as well as a shopping cart/recurring billing provider. That means few (if any) service outages and quick response times for questions. It’s hard to vet these aspects of a company beforehand, so do some research to see what other merchants have to say. Check that the available support channels match your preferences. The more reports there are that 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 read between the lines and take the volume of complaints into consideration along with the overall size of the business.

How To Get Started With Online Payment Processing

Now that we’ve looked at specific online processors and considered other processing-related issues, let’s take one more step back and look at the big picture.

As a bare minimum, you’ll need the following three things: (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). Each has its pluses and minuses, and, ultimately, the better option for you depends on the specifics of your business.

It usually takes a little longer to set up an account with a direct processor because they investigate your financial stability before approving you. Once you’re approved, though, and unless you have a high chargeback rate or otherwise do something to violate the processor’s rules, you won’t have to worry too much about the risk of an account hold, freeze, or termination. Typically, you’ll need a monthly minimum of $5,000-$10,000 in card transactions to justify the monthly and annual fees of a direct processor. Also, your specific rates may vary depending on your business model, industry, and other factors.

Third-party processors — also known as payment service providers (PSPs) or aggregators — only perform a cursory financial vetting before approving the account. That’s because a third-party processor lumps all of its merchants into one large merchant account (hence the term “aggregating”). PSPs often have flat-rate pricing, so their charges can be very predictable, and they work on a month-to-month agreement rather than a multiyear contract. Generally, there are few, if any, monthly or annual fees to deal with, and you won’t need a monthly minimum to qualify. However, 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.

Ultimately, we recommend that you go with a merchant account provider whenever possible. A merchant account provides better stability, and these days, there are enough providers out there who won’t force you to sign a multiyear contract and will charge you reasonable processing rates and other fees. Some will even give you access to a gateway for free. However, not every business, especially those just getting started, can pass the financial review needed to get a merchant account. This is where going with a third-party processor might be advantageous.

With a third party processor, you can set up an account quickly — sometimes within minutes. They tend to work on a pay-as-you-go model, which is ideal for low-volume/new businesses that may not be able to justify monthly fees. Best of all, there’s typically no long-term contract, so you can change to a merchant account provider as soon as you have the financial history and business volume needed to set up such an account. Meanwhile, with a third-party processor, you can enjoy their bundled core services, which often include a payment gateway. The only thing you have to watch for are suspicious transactions so that you’re not flagged for account holds or termination.

Recommended Reading: The Truth About Third-Party Payment Processing

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 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.

Recommended Reading: The Complete Guide To Online Credit Card Processing With A Payment Gateway

3) A Shopping Cart/Website

eCommerce software, which is also called shopping cart software (or just a shopping cart), is online software used to create a web store. Typically, eCommerce software comes in two forms: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or self-hosted. For a monthly fee, SaaS shopping carts offer the complete package, including 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.

Recommended Reading: Shopping Carts 101: How To Choose A Shopping Cart For Your Business; Questions to Ask Before You Commit To A Shopping Cart

Once you’ve considered these three big-picture items, you’re ready to choose your online processor and start working on your web store!

Online Credit Card Processing 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, such as 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 such features as 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 exceedingly 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.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Accept Payments Online?

If you want the cheapest payment method, then probably you should take debit or ACH transactions. On average, these rates are lower than credit card rates. Keep in mind, though, that not all transactions are suited for ACH, and different processors charge in different ways — by flat fee, by percentage, or a combination of both. Sometimes, the size of your business’s average transaction can make a difference, so be sure to do your math.

What Is The Safest Online Payment Method?

As already mentioned earlier, online payments are CNP payments, which tend to have higher instances of fraud. As a general observation from articles here on Merchant Maverick and other websites, from both a merchant and a consumer’s standpoint, one of the safest ways to pay online is probably through a method that uses tokenization — which means Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or similar. This way, the actual card number is never transmitted online, and even if the number is somehow stolen, the card associations can easily deactivate the token and send the consumer a new one.

How To Choose An eCommerce Credit Card Processor

If you want to start an eCommerce business, there is no shortage of excellent payment processors to help you take card payments. Whether you are just getting started and need a flexible, pay-as-you-go provider with no minimums or you already 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 right now as well as what you would like to have further down the road 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 below if you have a question or just want to let us know what you think.

In Summary: The 6 Best Online Credit Card Processing Companies

  1. CDGcommerce: Best for general eCommerce.
  2. Helcim: Best all-in-one platform.
  3. Dharma Merchant Services: Best for B2B.
  4. Durango Merchant Services: Best for high-risk merchants.
  5. PayPal: Best for a simple setup.
  6. Stripe Payments: Best for sophisticated integrations.
Hsin-Wei Luang

Hsin-Wei Luang

Hsin-Wei is a freelance writer focused on small business and technology writing. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a techie lawyer for many years until she came to her senses. Now, in her spare time, she plays frisbee with her Mini Australian Shepherd dog.

Sources

Leave a comment

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.

            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.

                                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.

                                        Leave a Reply

                                        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

                                        Your Review

                                        Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
                                        Please read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.

                                        Share

                                        Featured Offer: We Recommend QuickBooks 🎉

                                        Get 70% QuickBooks Online for a limited time!

                                        Take it for a spin with a free trial.

                                        Try QuickBooks Today

                                        We Recommend Fattmerchant 🏆

                                        Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

                                         

                                         

                                        We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
                                        PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Brex Corporate Card for Startups 🏆

                                        Brex Corporate Card for Startups is one of our top picks for business credit cards!

                                         

                                         

                                        For a limited time get 50,000 rewards points when you spend $1000 with Brex.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Fattmerchant 🏆

                                        Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

                                         

                                         

                                        We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
                                        PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Fattmerchant 🏆

                                        Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

                                         

                                         

                                        We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
                                        PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        ⭐️ Featured Promo! ⭐️

                                        Sign up now and qualify for a limited time deal!

                                        Standard Plan: One month free ($29.95 value)
                                        Plus Plan: Two months free ($159.90 value)
                                        Pro Plan: Three months free ($899.85 value)

                                        Learn More

                                        At BigCommerce

                                        We Recommend Fattmerchant 🏆

                                        Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

                                         

                                         

                                        We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
                                        PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Helcim 🏆

                                        Helcim is one of our top picks for payment processing!

                                         

                                         

                                        Helcim has exceptional service and an advanced platform that we highly recommend for businesses in Canada and the US. Get three months free when you sign up with Helcim through our links!

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend PaymentCloud 🏆

                                        PaymentCloud is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

                                         

                                         

                                        We love PaymentCloud's predictable pricing and excellent service.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend OnDeck 🏆

                                        OnDeck is one of our top picks for Business Loans!

                                         

                                         

                                        OnDeck is our featured vendor for business loans and lines of credit. If you have at least one year in business, a personal credit score of 600 or higher, and $100K in annual revenue, OnDeck is ready to help your business get funded.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend ADP Payroll 🏆

                                        ADP Payroll is one of our top picks for Payroll Software!

                                         

                                         

                                        Our reviewers like ADP Payroll for its advanced employee management, strong payroll features, and great customer support.👍

                                        For a limited time, get three months free when you sign up via our links!

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Lightspeed POS 🏆

                                        Lightspeed POS is one of our top picks for Point of Sale!

                                         

                                         

                                        We highly recommend Lightspeed POS for small businesses looking for a feature-rich, tablet-based point of sale system. PROMO: Save up to $1,000 when you sign up by November 30th.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Fundera 🏆

                                        Fundera is one of our top picks for SBA loans!

                                         

                                         

                                        Fundera is a free-to-use marketplace that allows you to compare lenders side-by-side. Easily find SBA 7(a)loans alongside other financing options.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend ShippingEasy 🏆

                                        ShippingEasy is one of our top picks for shipping software!

                                         

                                         

                                        ShippingEasy got a 5-star review from our team. Get a 30-day free trial to access discounted USPS and UPS shipping rates and print labels in no time. No credit card required.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.

                                        We Recommend Square POS 🏆

                                        Square POS is one of our top picks for Point of Sale!

                                         

                                         

                                        Square is free to use and currently includes a free card reader at sign-up!

                                        No credit card is required to create your account.

                                        Get Started

                                        Get started with no commitment today.


                                         

                                        Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

                                        Sign up for the Maverick Newsletter

                                        • We occasionally send out emails with special offers.