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The Best Credit Card Processing Companies For Small Business

These credit card processing companies offer merchant accounts with reasonable costs, accessibility, transparency, and good overall value.

    Frank Kehl
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small business credit card processors

Credit card processing is essential to running a business. But finding great credit card processing companies can feel impossible sometimes — particularly when you’re a small business owner.

If you need small business credit card processing, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you find the best company for your needs. You’ll also learn what to look for in a payment processor to ensure you get the best value and modernize your payments setup.

What makes a good credit card processing company for small businesses in particular? The companies we feature here have two major features in common: They offer fair rates and have a good reputation for treating merchants well.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Stax by Fattmerchant

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Best for high-volume US businesses.
Best for high-volume US businesses.

Visit Site

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Payment Depot

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Best for low-risk US businesses.
Best for low-risk US businesses.

Visit Site

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National Processing

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Best for low-cost ACH/echeck processing.
Best for low-cost ACH/echeck processing.

Visit Site

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PaymentCloud

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Best for high-risk & eCommerce merchants.
Best for high-risk & eCommerce merchants.

Visit Site

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Clover POS

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Best for POS integration.
Best for POS integration.

Visit Site

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Other Featured Options:

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

What Is Credit Card Processing?

Credit card processing is the broad term for all the steps necessary to make credit card payments. Merchants can accept payments from customers in person, online, or remotely, such as over the phone or even by mail. Most credit card processors can accept a variety of payment types, including debit cards.

Learn More About Small Business Credit Card Processing

For a small business, finding a good online credit card processor means balancing affordable costs, reasonable contract terms, robust features, and reliable customer support to get the most “bang for your buck.” Focusing too much on any one of these variables — particularly pricing — can hurt you in other ways. You should also be aware that the best processor when you have a small business or just starting out might not be the best choice later on. As your business grows, your processing volume increases, and your day-to-day needs change.

Credit card processing is a complex topic with a lot of moving parts. If terms such as interchange fees and contactless payments sound completely alien to you, we recommend checking out some of these resources:

The 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Payment Processing Companies

The best credit card processing companies for small businesses offer a combination of reasonable costs, fair contract terms, transparent sales practices, and high-quality customer support that sets them apart from their competitors. Unless you’re in a high-risk industry, our top choices also offer month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts.

1. Stax By Fattmerchant: Best For High-Volume US Businesses

Stax by Fattmerchant



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Pros

  • Transparent membership pricing
  • Free gateway and virtual terminal
  • Next-day funding available
  • Month-to-month billing

Cons

  • Available to US merchants only
  • Not suited for low-volume businesses

Stax by Fattmerchant is a great choice for most businesses, but the company particularly shines in eCommerce and card-not-present transactions. One of our favorite things about this company is its membership pricing model, which tends to be an excellent choice for high-volume businesses. Stax, however, manages to bring membership pricing to smaller businesses with a pretty reasonable starting fee of $99/month.

Don’t let the monthly membership fees discourage you. Membership pricing charges a monthly fee instead of a markup — that’s the variable portion of your transaction fee. For example, the 2.9% in a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee. In this example, you’d only pay interchange + $0.30 on the transaction. The truth is that eliminating a percentage markup saves many businesses so much money that it more than offsets the monthly membership fees. This is especially true for eCommerce and other card-not-present businesses because Stax does not charge an inflated markup on these accounts. Just about every other merchant services provider, even our favorites, charge a lot extra for phone orders and eCommerce businesses.

Processing Under $500,000 Per Year

  • $99, $159, or $199 monthly membership fee
  • Interchange + $0.08 for in-person transactions
  • Interchange + $0.15 for online transactions

Processing Over $500,000 Per Year

  • Custom pricing

Stax’s software package, Stax Pay, comes with its own monthly subscription fee. Stax Pay’s included features will depend on the subscription tier you choose:

Plan Monthly Fee Features
Starter $49/month Lite reporting; quick payment; ACH processing (1% per transaction, max $10); 24/7 online knowledgebase & ticket-based support
Growth $89/month Everything in Starter; invoicing; Text2Pay; web-hosted payments; account reconciliation lite synch (includes QuickBooks online); cards on file; API key
Pro $129/month Advanced dashboards & reporting; account update; one-click shopping cart with catalog management; recurring & scheduled payments; data exports; dedicated account manager

Still not convinced that it’s worth it? Well, Stax adds even more value to your account with high-quality invoicing and billing tools, customer management, a virtual terminal, a POS app, inventory management, detailed reporting analytics, and more.

Get Started with Stax by Fattmerchant

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2. Payment Depot: Best For Low-Risk US Businesses

Payment Depot



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Pros

  • Transparent membership pricing
  • Free gateway and virtual terminal
  • Next-day funding available
  • No application or setup fees

Cons

  • Available to US merchants only
  • Not suited for high-risk merchants

Payment Depot is best known for its membership (or subscription) pricing, a spinoff of the interchange-plus model. While it isn’t the only provider to offer this type of pricing, Payment Depot’s reputation for open, honest sales practices and excellent customer support puts it ahead of many of its competitors using this relatively new pricing model.

Plan Monthly Fee Transaction Pricing Max Volume Misc.
Starter $59 Interchange + $0.15 $125,000/year Includes virtual terminal and payment gateway
Starter Plus $79 Interchange + $0.10 $250,000/year Everything from Starter; data breach protection
Growth $99 Interchange + $0.07 $500,000/year Everything from Starter Plus; dedicated account manager

How does it work? Most providers offering interchange-plus pricing will charge “interchange fee + markup” rates, with the markup including both a small percentage of the sale and a per-transaction fee. You’ll also incur several monthly and annual fees for individual services, such as PCI compliance and account statements. In contrast, Payment Depot’s model combines all your monthly fees into a single monthly subscription.

Get Started with Payment Depot

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3. National Processing: Best For Low-Cost ACH/eCheck Processing

National Processing



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Pros

  • Full line of Clover terminals and POS systems
  • Excellent online reputation
  • Low-cost echeck/ACH payment processing
  • Interchange-plus and membership pricing are offered exclusively

Cons

  • “Free” equipment may require a long-term contract
  • Early termination fee charged for “free” equipment

National Processing may not be a household name in the payment processing world, but it’s among the best in the business, particularly when it comes to servicing small and medium-sized businesses.

National Processing provides extensive pricing disclosures on its website, exhaustively detailing its interchange-plus and membership pricing models to prospective customers. Plans are tailored to specific industries, each of which has a different processing rate (restaurants, in particular, make out well here). If you need ACH processing, National Processing offers it as an add-on for $15/month and a $0.48 fee per transaction, making it quite cost-effective for businesses that have subscription-based services.

One point of caution with National Processing is that the “free” equipment offerings come with long-term contract obligations, so make sure you know what you’re getting into if you decide to go that route.

Get Started with National Processing

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4. PaymentCloud: Best For High-Risk & eCommerce Merchants

PaymentCloud



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Pros

  • High-risk specialists
  • Few public complaints
  • No account setup fee
  • No monthly minimums

Cons

  • No publicly disclosed pricing
  • Low-risk merchants can probably find a better deal

PaymentCloud specializes in setting up merchant accounts for high-risk businesses with a network of back-end processors and acquiring banks. While it can’t always place every merchant, the company has a higher success rate than many of its competitors. Best of all, PaymentCloud does the extra work required to accept a high-risk account without charging you any application or account setup fees.

Like almost all high-risk specialists, the company doesn’t disclose any standardized processing rates. You’ll have to get a quote from the sales team and do a little negotiating to see how the company’s offer stacks up against other providers.

PaymentCloud provides its retail merchants an EMV-compliant credit card terminal that’s free to use for as long as you keep your account open. It also offers Authorize.Net as its payment gateway, although its system is compatible with other third-party gateways. Additionally, it provides a free virtual terminal with each account.

Get Started with PaymentCloud

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5. Clover: Best For POS Integration

Clover POS



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Pros

  • Excellent POS hardware
  • Expandable via Clover App Market
  • Available directly or through a large network of ISOs

Cons

  • Requires monthly software subscription fee
  • Hardware cannot be reprogrammed
  • Expensive for most small businesses

Clover is one of the best and most well-known point of sale (POS) system providers in the payments industry. Part of mammoth direct processor Fiserv (formerly First Data), the company offers a very popular line of credit card processing devices, including mobile terminals, smart terminals, and fully-featured POS systems.

In addition to the upfront hardware costs, a Clover merchant account will cost you from $0/month to $69.95/month, depending on which plan you choose. Flat-rate pricing rates are as follows:

  • 2.6% (or 2.3%) + $0.10 for in-person transactions
  • 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions

Clover’s hardware lineup features the latest in payments technology, including wireless connectivity, color touchscreens, and an app market that allows you to expand the capabilities of your Clover device. While the Clover ecosystem is one of the most feature-laden products on the market, it doesn’t come cheap. Expensive hardware costs and high monthly fees make it unaffordable for many small businesses. We’d also caution you that Clover terminals and POS systems cannot be reprogrammed to work with any other processor’s payment network.

Get Started with Clover POS

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6. Stripe: Best For eCommerce

Stripe Payments



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Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Excellent developer tools
  • Exceptional subscription tools
  • Advanced reporting tools
  • Multicurrency support

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries
  • Needs technical skills to implement

Stripe has long been a perpetual runner-up for our best-of lists. Often viewed as the “Square of eCommerce,” Stripe’s advanced and exhaustive list of features seems to grow every year. Thanks to a constant stream of iterations and improvements, we can now say that Stripe is a legitimate power player in the payment service provider category and one of the industry’s more innovative credit card processors.

Stripe uses an à la carte pricing system, which you can typically add for an additional fee per transaction. The base pricing is as follows:

  • Card-Present: 2.7% + $0.05 per transaction
  • Card-Not-Present: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • ACH: 0.8% (capped at $5) per transaction

Note that international transactions will incur an additional 1.0% fee for currency conversion. Stripe’s flat-rate pricing is generally in line with other payment service providers, such as Square. While Stripe primarily focuses on eCommerce, it also supports retail businesses and even offers a Stripe-branded card reader. Nonetheless, it’s a much better choice for online businesses than for traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.

Get Started with Stripe Payments

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7. Square: Best For Low-Volume Merchants

Square



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Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Ideal for low-volume merchants
  • No monthly fees
  • All-in-one payments system

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Not suitable for most high-risk industries

Everyone has heard of Square by now. With its free card reader that you can plug into a smartphone tablet, mobile application payment system, and simple pricing structure, it’s one of the most popular processing services on the market for small businesses. Square’s pay-as-you-go system allows businesses that ordinarily couldn’t afford a merchant account to accept credit and debit cards.

In general, Square charges:

  • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction
  • 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction
  • 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction

But there are a few variations to these charges, depending on the payment method.

Square keeps costs low by aggregating accounts together rather than issuing each user a unique Merchant ID number. Because of this, you won’t get a true full-service merchant account, but you are much more likely to be quickly approved for an account.

The trade-off is that there’s a much higher chance that your account will be frozen or terminated without notice if fraud is suspected. This might be a minor inconvenience to a retail business that primarily deals in cash and only occasionally takes credit cards. However, it would be catastrophic to an eCommerce-only business where cash isn’t an option.

To summarize, Square offers a great deal under most circumstances, but use the service with caution.

Get Started with Square

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8. Dharma Merchant Services: Best For Nonprofits & Charitable Giving

Dharma Merchant Services



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Pros

  • Interchange-plus pricing
  • No annual fee or monthly minimum
  • Discount pricing for qualified nonprofits

Cons

  • Not recommended for businesses processing less than $10,000/month
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries or international markets

Dharma’s fee structure is transparent — it uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively and has no annual merchant service fees. This includes OptBlue pricing for accepting American Express transactions.

In general, Dharma charges:

  • In-Person: 0.15% + $0.08 per transaction
  • Online: 0.20% + $0.11 per transaction

The rates get lower for those that process more than $100,000 per month.

The company also doesn’t charge account update fees, early termination fees, PCI compliance fees, or require a monthly minimum. Fees that it does charge are fully disclosed on its website. This company strives to do the right thing with all its business practices.

Dharma is unique in the world of credit card processing companies in that it donates a significant percentage of its profits to charity. Related to that, Dharma provides discounted rates for nonprofit businesses. Our guide for nonprofit payment processing discounts has more information for charities looking to save money on credit card acceptance. While many believe that nonprofits get the best rates with a software specialist such as Blackbaud Merchant Services, Dharma provides much lower discount rates and better service.

Nonprofits that accept credit cards with Dharma pay a markup of only 0.10% + $0.11 markup for virtual and 0.10% + $0.08 for in-person payments. And Dharma Merchant Services will meet or beat your current rate to win your business; rates are always negotiable in this industry. We highly recommend Dharma to nonprofits, but this company serves all merchants well — in fact, it’s on our list of the best retail credit card processing companies, too.

Get Started with Dharma Merchant Services

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9. Helcim: Best For International Businesses

Helcim



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Pros

  • No long-term contracts
  • Exclusive interchange-plus pricing
  • No monthly fees
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Does not accept high-risk businesses
  • Not suited for very low-volume businesses

Helcim distinguishes itself from many other providers by offering no long-term contracts, exclusive interchange-plus pricing, consistently good customer service, and no monthly account fees — all of which the company fully discloses on its website. It also offers numerous perks for merchants who do a lot of their sales remotely, including overseas.

Helcim’s interchange-plus pricing rewards higher volumes of transactions. Details can be found on Helcim’s pricing page.

Helcim keeps fees to a minimum, although it doesn’t offer much in the way of free terminals and hardware (the selection is also pretty limited). There is, however, a mobile application that can be used on a smartphone or tablet for point of sale. That said, Helcim offers an excellent suite of features for eCommerce, including hosted payments pages, menu-embedding, and buy-now buttons.

Get Started with Helcim

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10. CDGcommerce: Best For eCommerce Startups

CDGcommerce



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Pros

  • Transparent pricing
  • Free gateway and virtual terminal
  • No early termination fees

Cons

  • Only available to US-based merchants
  • Some high-risk industries may not qualify

CDGcommerce was founded in 1998, and for more than twenty years, it has focused on merchant account services for small and medium-sized businesses. While the company’s services are geared more toward eCommerce businesses, it also provides a full range of offerings for retail merchants.

If you run a startup, CDGcommerce can onboard you quickly and let you start processing almost right away. Below is a summary of CDG’s pricing:

Recommended For $1,000-$10,000 Per Month

  • In-Person: 2.75% + $0.30
  • Online: 2.9% + $0.30

Recommended For $10,000-$200,000 Per Month

  • In-Person: Interchange + 0.25% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Online: Interchange + 0.30% + $0.15 per transaction
  • Nonprofit: Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction

Membership Plans

Plan Monthly Fee Transaction Fee Volume
Basic $49 interchange + $0.10 Up to $25,000/month
Standard $79 interchange + $0.10 $25,001-$75,000/month
Plus $99 interchange + $0.07 $75,001-$200,000/month
Premium $199 interchange + $0.05 Over $200,000

CDG contracts are month-to-month, so you can cancel at any time without penalty. With all these plans, merchants are offered various aspects of a CDG-proprietary POS system called PastePay that allow for various business reporting and marketing solutions. For an additional subscription per month, you can access the full suite of PastePay functionality. Lastly, CDGcommerce has eliminated many of the excessive fees other providers charge, including account setup fees, PCI compliance fees, and monthly minimums.

Get Started with CDGcommerce

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How To Choose The Best Credit Card Payment Processing Company

Determining the best credit card processing company for your business involves evaluating a number of factors to narrow your search down as much as possible before reaching out to a provider’s sales department. Here are the primary factors to consider when choosing a credit card processor, along with brief explanations of how they will affect your final choice:

Account Stability & Type Of Merchant Services

The first (and perhaps most important) factor to consider will be whether your business needs a full-service merchant account or if you’d be better served by signing up with a payment service provider (PSP), such as Square. For very small or newly-launched businesses, PSPs offer an easy and affordable way to begin accepting credit cards without the confusing pricing and extensive onboarding requirements of a full-service merchant account. At the same time, account stability is a concern, as you’re more likely to experience a sudden account hold, freeze, or termination.

Full-service merchant accounts are more stable and offer many additional features, but they tend to be more expensive and take longer to set up. The main factor in choosing between these two options will be your monthly processing volume. As a very general rule, PSPs are a better choice if your processing volume is less than $5,000 per month. However, this “tipping point” can be anywhere from $1,500/month to $10,000/month, depending on the nature of your business and the processing rates offered by your merchant account provider.

Fees & Pricing For Credit Card Processing

The credit card processing industry is notorious for charging merchants a bewildering variety of rates and fees for their services, often making it nearly impossible to estimate your costs in advance. Payment service providers almost always offer a combination of flat-rate pricing and no monthly fees for basic services.

Merchant account providers, on the other hand, may use either tiered, interchange-plus, or membership pricing and usually charge some recurring and incidental fees that can come as an unpleasant surprise if you haven’t thoroughly reviewed your contract in advance.

Speed & Flexibility Of Setup

New merchants are frequently frustrated with the amount of time it takes to get their merchant account approved and set up. Onboarding times can be as long as several weeks, during which you’ll be unable to process any credit or debit card transactions. Technology and automation have improved this process dramatically in recent years, and in some cases, you can apply online and have your account approved overnight.

Payment service providers typically offer the quickest approval time, but they usually only take low-risk businesses. Fast approval also increases the risk of account instability, as the detailed underwriting process is deferred until after you’ve started processing transactions. At the other end of the spectrum, high-risk merchant accounts can take as long as two or more weeks to approve and require a lot more information about you and your business.

Funding & Deposit Times

Getting the funds from your credit card sales deposited into your bank account as quickly as possible is very important to any business — particularly if you’re dependent on a steady, day-to-day cash flow coming in. Unfortunately, the standard deposit time in the payments industry is two to four business days, meaning that you might have to wait nearly a week for some transactions to settle.

Many providers now offer next-day (or even same-day) funding, but it usually requires an additional monthly fee for this service. You’ll want to carefully evaluate whether you need this option before signing up for it.

Selling Online, In Person, & Everywhere In Between

While most businesses have traditionally been either retail-only or eCommerce-only, today, it’s more common for a business to have both in-person and online sales channels. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has forced many businesses to start taking orders over the internet to stay afloat during lockdowns. Regardless of how you make your sales, you’ll want the appropriate hardware and software to process transactions, provide analytical data, and also help you run your day-to-day business operations.

While some small businesses can still get by with just a payment gateway or countertop credit card terminal, more and more merchants are upgrading to an integrated payments platform that supports both in-person and online sales. These systems offer enhanced security, additional features such as scheduling and inventory management, and the ability to manage your business remotely from any internet-connected device with a browser.

Finding The Best Credit Card Machine For Small Business

Unless you run an eCommerce-only business, the credit card machine you use to take payments is an important part of your consideration when picking a processor. In addition to selecting a device with the features you need, you’ll also want to consider how much it will cost and how you plan to finance the purchase. First, let’s consider your options.

Types Of Credit Card Machines & Hardware

Credit card processing devices come in various shapes and sizes and may or may not include a number of additional features beyond basic card acceptance functionality. Here are the types of credit card machines on the market today:

  • Mobile Card Readers: The smallest and most affordable card readers are mobile devices that connect to your smartphone or tablet and require an app to function. While very basic, magstripe-only card readers can still be obtained for free, we highly recommend that you spend a little money to upgrade to a more powerful device that supports EMV and NFC-based payment methods and can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth.
  • Countertop Terminals: The traditional countertop credit card terminal is still the most popular among retail business owners, offering a simple way to accept credit cards for a reasonable price. In addition to supporting EMV and NFC-based payment methods, other features to look for include the ability to connect to your processor’s network via either landline telephone or the internet, battery backup, and a built-in receipt printer.
  • Smart Terminals: In recent years, hardware manufacturers have begun introducing a new type of credit card machine called the “smart” terminal. These devices expand on the capabilities of basic terminals while maintaining roughly the same size and form factor as countertop terminals. In addition to color touchscreen displays, smart terminals usually include customer-facing second displays and a variety of apps that add additional business management features usually found only on much larger point of sale (POS) systems. Smart terminals can connect to a payment gateway to form the backbone of an integrated payments platform.
  • Point Of Sale (POS) Systems: POS systems not only offer the same advanced features as smart terminals but also feature much larger displays that can run a variety of business management apps. In addition to the extra software features, POS systems can usually integrate with cash drawers and receipt printers. While they’re more expensive than other types of credit card machines, POS systems can be invaluable for some types of businesses — especially restaurants.

How Much Does A Credit Card Machine For Business Cost?

At one time, traditional countertop credit card terminals were the only choice available to retail merchants. They were bulky and rather expensive, especially if you leased one instead of buying it outright.

Today, the market for credit card processing hardware is much more robust. Mobile card readers allow anyone with a compatible smartphone or tablet to take credit card payments from virtually anywhere and cost much less than a traditional terminal. At the other end of the spectrum, POS systems can add just about every software feature you need to run your business but cost much more and typically take up a lot more space on your counter.

Here’s an overview of the capabilities and typical costs of each type of credit card machine on the market today:

Cost Pros Cons Can Be Reprogrammed?
Mobile Card Reader $0-$100 Affordable It may be unreliable & have hardware compatibility issues Usually
Traditional Terminal $200-$400 Reliable; supports magstripe, EMV, & NFC Reprogramming issues Universal models only
Smart Terminal $400-$800 Additional functionality It’s expensive & generally not reprogrammable No
Integrated POS $800-$1,800 Additional functionality & larger, easier-to-read displays It’s expensive & generally not reprogrammable Usually not

To help give you more insight into this topic, we have articles on the best credit card readers for small businesses and how to pick a credit card machine for you to check out.

The Bottom Line On The Best Merchant Account Services For Small Business

Whether you’re trying to juggle multiple retail locations or just sell products online, one of the nine services we’ve highlighted here should be a “best match” for your business. While each service has its own standout features, they all offer competitive rates, transparent pricing, and an easy, low-cost setup. While all of them perform more or less the same essential service (connecting an acquiring bank to an issuing bank), each brings value to the floor.

You can compare most of our top providers head-to-head using our Merchant Account Comparison Chart. Those interested in mobile credit card processing specifically should consult our Mobile Credit Card Processing Comparison Chart. And those most interested in eCommerce tools can take a look at our Shopping Cart Comparison Chart.

We hope one of the options on our list will be the best choice for your small, medium-sized, or even enterprise business! Let us know how it goes.

In Summary: The 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Payment Processing Companies

  1. Stax by Fattmerchant: Best for high-volume US businesses.
  2. Payment Depot: Best for low-risk US businesses.
  3. National Processing: Best for low-cost ACH/echeck processing.
  4. PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk & eCommerce merchants.
  5. Clover POS: Best for POS integration.
  6. Stripe Payments: Best for eCommerce.
  7. Square: Best for low-volume merchants.
  8. Dharma Merchant Services: Best for nonprofits & charitable giving.
  9. Helcim: Best for international businesses.
  10. CDGcommerce: Best for eCommerce startups.
Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
Frank Kehl has been researching and analyzing merchant services, payment gateways, and international money transfer services since 2015. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State and a Juris Doctorate from the Ventura College of Law.
Frank Kehl
View Frank Kehl's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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330 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.

    William

    You should add a review of the new Payments service from Go Daddy, announced in June 2021 — it also includes swiped transactions.

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

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Thanks William! We’ve got them on our radar, so a review may be underway in the future!

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

        Rich

        I am having an issue I was hoping someone here could help me out with.

        I am processing with Square and I have been applying for traditional merchant accounts as square is expensive.

        I applied for an account with Elavon and was told I was approved. Just as I was setting up the gateway, they told me that “loss prevention” had closed the account for reasons that they could not disclose but that they couldn’t work with my business. So I moved on to another provider, but after filling out my second application they told me that I had been put on the TMF by Elavon even though I never processed a single transaction. After a lot of back and forth, Elavon agreed to take me off but no I am extremely worried because of the severe consequence of getting put on the TMF *just for applying for an account*.

        Does anyone know why something like this would have happened? Is this typical?

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

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Rich,

          What an unfortunate and unusual situation! It might be something as simple as personal credit concerns or maybe an issue came up with your processing history with Square? This post might be helpful. All our best!

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

            Mary C Brady

            Great comparisons. I have been with my current processor for a little over 3 years and the fee’s and charges have been going up this year sent me to your site. First year good, second slight increase. This year major changes in fees and changed my account from merit back to tier with higher rates without notifying me. This article allowed me to see heads to head comparison what I as a small business will need looking forward. Thank you for highlighting these companies. Have been on other sites and spoke to other merchant processors. Agree square isn’t a good fit for certain small businesses ( we found their software and connections as not user friendly and not working on our site.) As a wholesaler we deal with business to business which you don’t even mention on your evaluations, we aren’t online ( due to the costs), and still deal with customers face to face, dealing in perishable seasonal goods. Writing an article for business to business and how we are different then retail would be good.

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

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Hi Mary,

              Thank you for your feedback! We actually have a couple of articles on B2B processing to share with you: The 6 Best B2B Options For Your Small Business and Switch To B2B Processing And Modernize Your Business. I hope you find them to be helpful.

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

                Jhon Pace

                Thank you so much for this article, great information! It is helpful for startup small business.

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

                  Nasir

                  We have a startup Money Transfer incorporated in Canada, which payment processor is the best for our business.

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

                    Jessica Dinsmore

                    Hey Nasir,

                    There are a lot of factors that can impact this decision! We have a great filtering tool that can help you determine which options may be best for your business, based on the specifics that you enter. Give it a try, and if you need help narrowing it down from there, we’ll do our best to help!

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

                      Cherrell

                      Excellent review! Square takes the win for me. Being a small business owner, I have been using them for quite sometime now and quite happy with their service.

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

                        David

                        I own a salon in Texas. Can you help me recommend a trustworthy merchant?

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

                          Jessica Dinsmore

                          Hi David,

                          It’s hard to say without knowing more information about your business, but our in-depth reviews will let you know how trustworthy we believe them to be. What you can do is fill out our merchant account filtering tool and it will populate the best suggestions based on the information you’ve entered about your business. I hope that helps, and if you haven’t already checked it out, here is a link to our post on Salon Survival During COVID-19. Best of luck to you!

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

                            EH

                            Hi, We are a new start-up trying to sell a monthly subscription to our online application for $20/month. Since we are an online application we only care about being able to charge credit cards (no need for any other option like POS etc’).
                            Which credit card processor do you recommend for us given the fact that we do not know how many subscribers per month in an average we will have.

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

                              Jessica Dinsmore

                              Hi EH,

                              I think Stripe might be a good option for you; it’s entirely pay-as-you-go, has really powerful tools, and advanced subscription options. Check it out and see what you think!

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

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