National Processing Review
Processing $5,000 per month or less in card payments?
- Date Established
- Lindon, UT
- Transparent cost-plus pricing standard
- Low-cost ACH/eCheck payment processing
- Good reputation
- Good option for budget-conscious merchants
- Good option for Canadian businesses
- Cancellation fees charged in some circumstances
I spend hours every day looking at credit card processing provider websites. Trust me, I’ve seen them all. I know every trick in the book. Sometimes a merchant service provider surprises me, but it’s rare. Some people like surprises. I don’t. In the credit card processing industry, surprises are rarely good. So it’s with great relief that I tell you National Processing did not surprise me at all. As soon as I saw this company’s website, I knew it was a worthwhile business. My many hours of subsequent research confirmed this initial impression.
Important note: Please do not confuse National Processing with National Processing Company (NPC). NPC has a terrible reputation and several major issues with its service. National Processing, on the other hand, is its polar opposite. We would never recommend NPC as a merchant account provider. And, as you might have already noticed, we find a lot to like about National Processing. If you see negative experiences regarding National Processing Company, please note that this is a completely different company and has no affiliation at all with the National Processing we’re reviewing here.
Also note that this review is for businesses thinking about using National Processing. While we are not assessing National Processing from a sales agent perspective, we do have a good opinion about the company overall, so you can take that for what it’s worth.
Okay, so now on to what we like about National Processing. The first thing I noticed about this company was its extensive discussion and disclosure of fees and rates front and center in its marketing material. Accurate examples of real interchange rates are provided alongside standardized markups and fees. This is ideal and it’s incredibly rare to find. Finding a company with interchange-plus pricing is in itself a nice treat. But to find a meaningful explanation of actual interchange rates and a complete list of standard account fees — that’s as good as it gets. And the fact that National Processing donates 10% of its profit to charity is a nice touch.
My one noteworthy issue with National Processing is its early termination policy. While I consider the policy fair and have not seen complaints about it, I always prefer to see services with no early termination fee whatsoever. With National Processing, you will not pay an early termination fee if you close your business or sell it. You will also have the fee waived if you get a better quote elsewhere than National Processing can give you. The idea here is that it requires you to give National Processing the opportunity to match any quote you receive elsewhere, which seems fair to me. Note that if you do not need free equipment, you may be able to get a month-to-month account with no early termination fee. Again, I prefer to see no ETF at all, but I also understand that this policy allows National Processing to provide the lowest standard rates possible and provide setup benefits to companies that need them.
Overall, National Processing offers high-quality service with extremely competitive rates and fees. I confidently recommend the company for all businesses, and especially for Canadian businesses and any small business looking to get the absolute lowest rates. The standard account doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, but it does its job and does it well. I recommend that you give National Processing a try.
Table of Contents
Products & Services
- Service in Canada and the US: It’s increasingly rare to find good Canadian merchant account providers, so we were thrilled to find out that the “National” in National Processing wasn’t limited to the US. Most merchants in the US don’t realize what a struggle it is to find good payment processing services in Canada, but our business partners to the north know all too well. If you are a Canadian merchant, National Processing should be on your shortlist.
- ACH/eCheck payment processing: Finding reasonably priced ACH processing isn’t as easy as it used to be. Gone are the days of free ACH for low-value transactions. But National Processing is coming close at only $0.24 per transaction and $15 per month. Not too shabby in an industry landscape where $50 monthly fees and costly percentage-based fees are now commonplace.
- Payment gateway: National Processing offers a super affordable, privately branded gateway for just $5.00 per month. Expect to pay an additional $0.05 for each authorization for these card-not-present transactions.
- Cash discount processing: Note that while surcharging credit card transactions is tricky legal business and laws vary from state to state, giving customers a discount for using cash is different. As long as appropriate signage is displayed, this is practice is allowed by the card networks. National Processing advertises this as “zero fee” processing, which some believe is synonymous with surcharging. While the distinction might seem silly, it is actually very important. If you are interested in giving discounts to cash paying customers, National Processing can help you set up your system to do this in a way that conforms to laws and credit card network regulations.
- Point of sale: While National Processing primarily offers Poynt POS and Foundry POS, you might want to compare all of your POS options before making a final decision.
- Credit card machines: NP has a variety of EMV-compliant hardware solutions. When it comes to credit card terminals, the main advice we give is that you buy rather than lease. Equipment leases are often long-term, non-cancellable, and way too expensive given the value of the machine itself.
Fees & Rates
eCommerce/Telephone order (card-not-present)
- Monthly fee: $9.95
- Monthly minimum: $0.00
- Gateway fee: $5.00 if needed
- PCI Compliance: $4.95/month
- Margins: 0.30% + $0.10
- AVS Fee: $0.05/verification
- Monthly fee: $9.95
- Monthly minimum: $0.00
- PCI Compliance: $4.95/month
- Margins: 0.15% + $0.07
ACH/eCheck Payment Processing
- Monthly fee: $15
- Per transaction fee: $0.24
- Return fee: $3.50/instance
Other Card Payment Processing Fees
- ACH Rejection Fee: $15/instance
- AVS Fee: $0.05/verification
- Batch Fee: $0.10/batch
- Chargeback: $15.00/instance
- Retrieval Fee: $5.00/instance
- Voice Authorization: $1.50/authorization
- PIN Debit Fees: No markup/pass-through at cost
Contract & Early Termination Fee
Standard agreements with National Processing do include a $295 termination fee, but even as part of the standard agreement the fee will be waived under several circumstances. If you don’t need any free equipment when you sign up, you should be able to get a month-to-month account with no cancellation fees. National Processing makes the following statement on its website regarding this topic:
In the event that your business is sold or closed, National Processing will waive your termination fee upon receipt of the appropriate documentation.
In the event that National Processing can’t meet or beat a competitor’s rates, your termination fee will be waived. In order to qualify the competing quote must be submitted to National Processing in writing on the competitor’s contract.
In the event that you leave National Processing for a competitor without providing the opportunity for National Processing to meet or beat your offer, you agree to pay the standard termination fee.
While we prefer to see companies avoiding early termination fees altogether, this is a reasonable compromise. The argument is that by ensuring that you have some level of commitment to keeping your account for an extended period of time, National Processing can offer low rates and free equipment. I have not seen complaints about this policy, so it appears that merchants are satisfied with the arrangement overall.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
The first thing that blew me away about National Processing’s marketing was the front and center links to real customer reviews from third-party sites. This is very rare. Right on the company’s homepage, you can see that they disclose an average rating of 4.1 stars from customers on Best Company. This is not a phony review site (although the review verification process is never perfect on any site). These are, at least by and large, actual customer reviews, some of which are critical. I am beyond impressed that National Processing is willing to give you all of this information right away. It goes to show that this company believes in what it does and the quality of its service.
The next thing that impressed me was National Processing’s extensive listing of common interchange rates and fees alongside its margins on its pricing page. Of the few companies that advertise cost-plus pricing standard, many do their best to bury real-world examples of interchange in order to give merchants the deceptive impression that the margins cover the entire cost. Not so with NP. This company is upfront, honest, and sensible in its pricing disclosures.
Although National Processing does an exceptional job when it comes to being upfront about interchange, markup, and reputation, it misses the mark in some other areas.
First, it does not disclose the dollar amount of its standard early termination fee on its website. I do appreciate that it is forthcoming about the existence of the fee, and it is certainly disclosed during the sales process, but would like to see the dollar amount in plain sight. I was also a little confused to see National Processing advertise “no long-term contracts” while also enforcing an early termination fee. I see this as a little bit deceptive or at the very least confusing.
Overall, the company’s good reputation tells me that its sales process is working. Any company operating on the scale of National Processing that has a deceptive sales process is bound to have dozens of online complaints. We found very few dissatisfied merchants in our research, so I’m confident that, at the individual level, NP is doing a good job. But I’d still like to see further refinement of its online marketing material.
Lastly, I have concerns about any “meet or beat” guarantee, like the $500 promise National Processing makes. It’s easy to manipulate numbers and obscure value in order to make one deal seem better than another, so I generally consider this type of marketing to be gimmicky and meaningless. The fact is that just about any provider is willing to match a valid quote to win or retain business. So while it’s not a bad thing necessarily, take this tactic with a grain of salt.
Customer Service & Technical Support
It’s really hard for me as an independent reviewer to assess the quality of tech support, since I can’t test it out in the real world. But, with that said, most of the comments I was able to track down from merchants about National Processing’s credit card processing support were positive, which is more than most merchant services providers can say. Usually, customer service is the leading complaint about any merchant account provider. The fact that National Processing doesn’t have a ton of complaints about support says something in itself.
Still, I’d love to hear from you if you have direct experience with National Processing’s customer support. Your feedback helps keep our review accurate! Leave us a comment if you have any information and we’ll consider it during our next update.
Negatives Reviews & Complaints
National Processing has an A+ rating at the BBB and only two complaints in the last three years, both of which are from back in 2016 and received responses from the company. You can also find an additional 37 reviews at the BBB, none of which are negative. While these reviews are far from in-depth and not all that useful overall, I was glad to find that none were negative. You can find an additional 153 reviews via National Processing’s profile on Best Company, which NP links to on its homepage. The editorial rating is 7.8 out of 10 there, with an average user rating of 4.1 out of 5. Critical comments received replies from National Processing representatives.
A broader internet search of popular complaints sites like Consumer Affairs and Pissed Consumer didn’t turn up much else. Many complaints for National Processing Company (NPC) came up — but again, as I mentioned in the overview, this is a completely different company with no connection to National Processing. The similarity in names has created some misunderstandings with merchants. This fact makes it even more impressive to me that National Processing has such a clean track record. I expected to find many more complaints from confused merchants.
As I said in the overview, this review is from the perspective of business owners looking for merchant services, not from the sales agents perspective or referral business perspective. National Processing does have a wide-reaching network of referral partnerships to build its business, but we are ignoring any comments — positive or negative — from sales agents and partners.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
I always take positive reviews and testimonials with a grain of salt. These reviews are easy to falsify and difficult to verify, plus any company can cherry pick some positive reviews for its homepage. With that said, there are plenty of glowing reviews on the National Processing site, and they read as legitimate to me. Beyond those, I was impressed to see several testimonials linked to verified LinkedIn profiles via Crowd Reviews. I consider reviews linked to real social media accounts to be a good sign in terms of veracity. So National Processing comes in above average in this category.
National Processing is a great service for businesses that want low rates from a reliable company. If you’re hoping for some massive free software suite like Square offers with POS, analytics and such included, you might not find what you want here. But keep in mind that you could easily end up saving enough money with National Processing to buy all that software and more from whichever software provider you want. This low cost and overall versatility makes National Processing a great option for many businesses. While an early termination fee is charged under some circumstances, the fact that it’s waived for businesses that are sold or closed and for those who can find a better deal elsewhere makes it a fair deal. If you don’t need free hardware, a month-to-month option should be available. Low-cost ACH/eCheck payment processing alongside an inexpensive payment gateway help to tip the potential value scale even more in National Processing’s favor. And, if you’re the type who likes to see a company giving back, National Processing gives 10% of its profits to charity.
I am particularly excited to recommend National Processing to our Canadian readers. This company has an excellent reputation in Canada and its standard pricing compares well with the best of the best we’ve reviewed for Canadian merchants. If your business is located in Canada, I highly recommend that you put National Processing on your short list. And for US-based businesses, I recommend it just as highly. Give this company a shot!