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The 5 Best Small Business Credit Card Processing Companies

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Trying to choose the best credit card processing company can be overwhelming. This is especially true when you are a new small business owner who has never even heard of a “merchant account” before — but the truth is that even seasoned CEOs can get dizzy while researching the payment processing industry. (Trust us, we’ve spoken to them.) There are so many processing companies, they all seem to be doing more or less the same thing, and they all have both glowing testimonials and terrible complaints. How are you supposed to choose the best company under these circumstances? Who can you trust?

We get it. We’ve been reviewing credit card processing companies for years. We hear from dozens of small business owners every day all trying to answer the same question: “Which merchant services solution is the best of my business?” And our answer is always the same: “It depends.”

There is no simple answer to this question. But over the years we’ve found that there are some good guidelines to follow, and by using these guidelines we’ve created this short list of the best small business credit card processing companies, whittling down the field of providers to a manageable number. Some of these payment processors are good for ecommerce via your website, others for mobile payments on your smartphone, others for retail with a credit card machine, for phone order with a virtual terminal, for large transactions, for iPad POS, for high-risk businesses. (I told you, it depends.) But all of them follow some simple rules that we live by, which we’ll discuss in detail below.

The Best Credit Card Processing Companies for Small Businesses

Here’s a quick look at our list of the highest-ranking credit card processing companies for small businesses. (They’re great for medium and large business too, for the record.) Scroll down for in-depth discussions.

How to Choose the Best Credit Card Processing Company

We have four simple rules for picking a high-quality company to accept credit and debit card payment with. We followed them closely to formulate our list of the best credit card processors. You can use them in your search as well.

Rule 1: Transparency is the best policy

For any credit card processor to make it onto our list of recommendations, there can be no hidden fees and no surprises. That’s why we insist that our featured merchant account providers use a pricing system that separates wholesale from markup cost (interchange-plus, aka “pass-through” pricing). The interchange rates are set by the credit card brands (Visa and Mastercard foremost) and are the same for every credit card processor. It’s the markup that really matters here. In addition to using this cost-plus pricing model, all our top picks make in-depth fee disclosures up front. All of our top-rated processing companies will also meet or beat your current rate if it’s lower than their advertised price. And all new businesses are guaranteed a fair starting rate thanks to the standardized public rate disclosures.

Rule 2: No pressure, no commitment

We do not tolerate high-pressure sales tactics or long-term commitments. Some salespeople will say anything to get you to sign the dotted line — and then will force you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars when the company doesn’t live up to its promises. We only recommend companies that employ honest, respectful sales reps and offer service with no long-term contract commitments. You should be able to accept credit cards without making a deal with the devil.

Rule 3: Look for value and savings

Some credit card processing companies only give you barebones service, but they do so at rock-bottom prices. Others charge a bit more, but provide valuable software as part of the service. Which is best for you? That depends on your budget and your wants/needs. The cheapest credit card processor isn’t always the best. Likewise, you don’t always get what you pay for. It’s important to determine the value of a merchant account to your particular business needs. The topic of credit card processing fees is way too broad for us to cover completely in this post, but if you’re interested we have an in-depth resource that explains everything you could ever want to know about card payment processing rates and fees.

Rule 4: Reputation matters

We carefully consider every complaint we find to figure out what went wrong. We then weigh these conclusions against the number of businesses the credit card processor services to make decisions about which companies we feel comfortable recommending. Our top-rated merchant account providers have extremely low complaint counts and numerous independent reviews validating good practices. A proven track record of satisfaction is imperative for us.

That’s not so much to ask, is it? We don’t think so, and we never settle for less.

Should You Just Take Cards With Square?

If you’ve done much reading (or purchasing) recently, you’ve no doubt come across Square Payments. I said earlier that “Which merchant service solution is the best of my business?” is the most common question we receive. Well, after that, it’s “Should I use Square?” The simple answer is that if you process small transactions (maybe $15 or less on average), you process only a couple thousand dollars each month, or you just absolutely positively do not want to pay any monthly fees, then you really need to at least give Square some consideration. For many small business owners, especially in retail or small food service businesses, it’s an excellent value given the low cost and high-quality software. Larger businesses, however, can end up saving hundreds or thousands of dollars each month by not using Square. So, again, it depends. High-risk businesses should avoid Square at all costs because Square is incredibly risk-averse and will shut down your account and hold your money if you are high-risk.

Square vs. Merchant Account for Payment Processing

Visit Site
Lowest Cost ForMost BusinessesSmall-Ticket or Low-Volume
Good for Large-Ticket BusinessesYesNo
Good for All Business TypesYesNo
Good for Low-Volume/Sporadic BusinessesNoYes
Includes Mobile POSUsually, sometimes basicYes, high-quality
Monthly FeeUsually $10+$0 for basic service
RatesBetter for transactions over $15Better for transactions under $15
Rate matching/negotiable pricingYesNo
Early Termination FeeNoNo
Works with most POS softwareYesOnly Square POS
Includes Free Card ReaderSometimesYes, magstripe only

Does Square Offer the Best Credit Card Machines for Your Business?

There are positives and negatives to using Square’s credit card processing hardware for small businesses. While the Square swipe reader is free and the Bluetooth payment terminal is only $49, neither of these devices can perform all the functions that a traditional countertop credit card machine can. Here’s a rundown of the feature comparison.

Features to Look For in a Credit Card Machine

Works alone without an appYesNoNo
Swipe reader for magstripesYesYesYes
EMV reader for chip cards (for fraud liability)YesNoYes
NFC payments (ApplePay, etc.)YesNoYes
Built-in receipt printerYesNoNo
PIN pad compatible (for lower debit rates)YesNoNo
Works with most POS systemsYesOnly Square POSOnly Square POS
Free replacement in 24 hours Yes No No

Still can’t decide? Check out our in-depth post on reasons why Square may or may not be the best way for your business to accept credit card payments. You could always try both. Since none of our top merchant services providers lock you into long-term contracts, it’s safe to try it out for a few months with no major commitment. If you’re set on getting a Square-like option but you feel skeptical of Square as a company, we have a post dedicated to Square alternatives for you to consider.

Pick The Best Credit Card Processor

It’s hard to make superlative claims in an industry this large, but we truly believe these merchant services providers are the best around, especially when it comes to setting up accounts online and over the phone. Each has excellent products, services, marketing, and sales practices. Take a look and see what you think.

Payment Depot

Payment Depot is a merchant account provider headquartered in Orange, California. The company has been in business since 2013 and is best known for its use of subscription or membership-based pricing, a spinoff of the interchange-plus model. While it isn’t the only provider in the industry to offer this type of pricing, Payment Depot’s reputation for open, honest sales practices and excellent customer support put it ahead of many of its competitors using this relatively new pricing model.

So, how does it work? Most providers offering interchange-plus pricing will charge “interchange + 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 ranging from $49.00 to $199.00 per month, depending on which plan you choose. You’ll also pay lower processing rates, with the elimination of the percentage markup. Your rates will be the interchange rate, plus a per-transaction fee that varies between $0.15 and $0.05 per transaction, depending on your pricing plan.

Payment Depot merchant services review

Best All-Purpose Credit Card Processing Company

The Essentials:
✓ No early termination fees
✓ Transparent subscription-based pass-through pricing
✓ 0% markup equals big savings on large transactions
✓ Proven track record
Other selling points include:
• Free virtual terminal
• Free gateway
• Free card reader with most plans
• Variety of plans to suit most businesses
Visit the Payment Depot website
Read our Payment Depot review

Payment Depot accounts are month-to-month, but you can also save money on your subscription fees by paying them annually instead of monthly. Annual subscriptions are protected with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so merchants who are not satisfied with their service within the first 90 days will be refunded their membership fees (not interchange fees or transaction fees, of course). This is a fair, reasonable offer, and should give you some peace of mind.

For more information about this company, contact them now or see our in-depth Payment Depot review.


We like Fattmerchant (see our review) for every business type, but it really shines for ecommerce and card-not-present merchants. One of our favorite things about this company is its subscription pricing model. With this fee structure, you have a 0% mark up alongside a small per transaction fee ($0.08 – $0.15) and a larger monthly fee ($99). Don’t let that monthly fee discourage you. The truth is that the 0% mark up saves most small businesses so much money that it more than pays for the monthly fee. This is especially true for ecommerce and other card-not-present business because Fattmerchant does not charge an inflated mark up on these accounts. Just about every other merchant services provider, even our favorites, charge a lot extra for phone order and ecommerce businesses. Because you don’t pay a percentage mark up on your processing volume, you save more as you process more. This is exactly how the markup process had ought to work in our opinion.

Best Payment Processing and Billing Platform

The Essentials:
✓ No early termination fees
✓ Transparent subscription-based pass-through pricing
✓ 0% markup equals big savings on large transactions
✓ Proven track record
Proprietary software suite includes:
• Point of sale software
• Inventory management
• Mobile app
• Virtual terminal
• Invoicing/billing
• Advanced multichannel sales reports
API for custom solutions
Visit the Fattmerchant website
Read our Fattmerchant review

Still not convinced that it’s worth it? Well, Fattmerchant adds even more value to your account with high-quality invoicing and billing tools, customer management, virtual terminal, POS app, inventory management, detailed reporting analytics, and more. It’s a growing platform that is constantly improving and adding new features, so the value you get from the service will only grow over time. Even now, the tools Fattmerchant offers rival the offerings of the ever-popular Square Payments service. Fattmerchant’s invoicing and billing tools are the stand-out solutions of this service.

So whether you are a standard retail business, an online store, a phone order business, a professional service provider, or just about any other seller, we recommend Fattmerchant as a good place to start your search. It’s our top all-in-one payment processor pick because of its versatility, predictability, reliability, and value for a wide range of business types.

For more information about this company, see our in-depth Fattmerchant review.

Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma Merchant Services (see our review) takes its name from the term dharma, which is found in several Eastern religions. While it can mean many different things and there is no direct translation, it roughly refers to a “right way of living.” The folks at Dharma take this seriously, offering a full range of credit card processing services for a fair and reasonable price alongside some of the most in-depth and accurate educational material we’ve ever seen. Its fee structure is transparent – interchange-plus pricing is used exclusively, and there are no annual fees. This includes OptBlue pricing for accepting American Express transactions. They also don’t charge account setup fees, early termination fees, or have a monthly minimum. Fees that they do charge (including PCI compliance fees) are fully disclosed on their website. This is a company that strives to do the right thing with all its business practices. 

Dharma Merchant Services review

Best Nonprofit Credit Card Processing Company

The Essentials:
✓ Provides discounted rates for nonprofits
✓ Exceptional customer service
✓ Transparent interchange-plus pass-through pricing
✓ Proven track record with nonprofits
Free MX Merchant Software includes:
• Level 2 and level 3 data for lower interchange rates on B2B processing
• Virtual terminal
• Invoicing/billing
Visit the Dharma Merchant Services website
Read our Dharma Merchant Services review

Dharma is unique in the world of credit card processing companies in that they donate a significant percentage of their profits to charity, living up to their motto “Commerce with Compassion.” 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 like Blackbaud Merchant Services, Dharma provides much lower rates and better service. Nonprofits that accept credit card with Dharma pay a markup of only a 0.20% + $0.10 markup for in-person payments. And Dharma Merchant Services will meet or beat your current rate to win your business and rate are always negotiable in this industry. We recommend Dharma highly to nonprofits, but this company serves all merchants well and made it onto our list of the best retail credit card processing companies too.

While there is no minimum monthly volume requirement, Dharma openly acknowledges that their full-service merchant accounts don’t make financial sense for low-volume businesses processing less than $10,000 per month in transactions. If your business falls into that category, they recommend Square (see our review).

For more information about this company, see our in-depth Dharma Merchant Services review.


Payline Data (see our review) covers all the bases for small business transactions, from mobile and online payments to in-store sales. They offer easy-to-understand pricing plans that are very affordable, especially for low-volume sellers. However, the company’s website fully explains all of the extra features and their associated costs, so you know up front what you’ll have to pay. Payline also stands out from the crowd for their corporate philosophy of charitable giving and support for non-profits through discounted pricing and their “Commercial Co-Venture” program.


Credit Card Processing Company For Best Overall Value

The Essentials:
✓ No early termination fees
✓ Transparent interchange-plus pass-through pricing
✓ Outstanding $0 monthly fee option
✓ Exceptional ecommerce shopping cart compatibility
Proprietary software suite includes:
• Excellent mobile processing app
• Easy integration API for customization
• Virtual terminal
• Billing management
Visit the Payline website
Read our Payline review

The company offers four standardized pricing plans, all of which feature interchange-plus pricing and come with free hardware and software to get you up and running in no time. A standard feature of all four plans is a virtual terminal that allows you to process credit card transactions from any internet-connected computer. Transactions can be keyed in manually or swiped with an optional USB card reader. All plans also feature month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts and no early termination fees. These are great terms, but be aware that these plans also come with a $25.00 monthly minimum. (As a point of comparison, this means that Payline is still less expensive than Square as long as you process around $1,000 per month.)

For brand-new or mobile businesses, Payline Start is the most affordable plan. There’s no monthly fee, and pass-through markup rates are set at 0.30% + $0.10 per transaction. In addition to the free virtual terminal, you’ll also receive a free Ingenico GX5 card reader and the Payline Mobile app to go with it. If you’re looking for value, but want better equipment and lower rates, the Payline Shop plan might be right for you. This plan includes the same features as the Payline Start plan, but lowers your processing rate. The plan costs $10 per month, and markup rates are set at 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction. Mobile businesses and small to medium retailers will benefit the most from this plan.

Payline also offers accounts to for high-risk merchants through partner banks that specialize in difficult to place accounts. Our short list of the best high-risk payment processing options can help you make some comparisons if you’re having trouble getting approved for a merchant account.

For more information, see our complete Payline Data review.


Another one of our favorite providers, CDGcommerce (see our review) has been around since 1998 – long enough to have figured out what it takes to run a successful processing company and keep customers happy. CDG stands out from the crowd by not charging you any of the nickel-and-dime hidden fees that most other companies in the industry are notorious for while also managing to add significant value to your account with a variety of free products and services. CDG merchant accounts come with no account setup fees, no PCI compliance fees, no monthly minimums, and month-to-month billing with no early termination fees.

Best Online Credit Card Processing Company

The Essentials:
✓ No early termination fees
✓ Transparent interchange-plus pass-through pricing
✓ Free payment gateway option with activation within an hour
✓ Exceptional ecommerce shopping cart compatibility
✓ Over 20 years with excellent reputation
Proprietary fraud prevention suite includes:
• Automatic high-risk order detection
• Dialverify phone order verification
• Cardholder authentication (VbV/MSC)
• Chargeback defender
• Easy integration and API for customization
Visit the CDGcommerce website
Read our CDGcommerce review

A basic merchant account with CDGcommerce costs only $10.00 per month and includes free use of its Quantum payment gateway/virtual terminal (a free Authorize.Net gateway is also available as an alternative). While we generally highly recommend buying your credit card terminals outright instead of leasing them, we’ve made an exception for CDG. Rather than lock you into an expensive, four-year lease, CDG only charges $79 per year (that works out to $7 per month) for terminal insurance. This is a much better deal than a standard terminal lease, which can end up costing you thousands of dollars over the full term of the lease. So even though CDGcommerce makes the grade as one of the best online credit card processing companies out there, it also provides solid benefits for retail merchants.

CDG also offers very competitive processing rates. All advanced pricing is interchange-plus and disclosed on their website. Swiped retail and mobile businesses see a standard markup rate of 0.25% + $0.10 per transaction, while online and other card-not-present businesses pay 0.30% + $0.15 per transaction. Rates are negotiable for higher volume businesses and CGD will meet or beat your current rate to win your business.

For a more detailed look at CDGcommerce, be sure to check out our full review.

All-In-One on a Budget: Square vs. Shopify

Finally, no review of small business credit card processing companies would be complete without a look at the biggest all-in-one processors out there. To us, that means Square Payments and Shopify Payments. You could make an argument for PayPal to be included in this comparison, but it lacks some core features that Square and Shopify offer. And while Stripe and Braintree are certainly major names, they both (like PayPal) are really designed primarily for web developers and businesses that want to create custom solutions. In this side-by-side comparison, we look at both features and pricing for Square and Shopify to help you make the best decision regarding value for your business. Neither will be as versatile or as inexpensive as a merchant account, but each has its own merits.

Comparing Industry Leaders for Low-Cost Multichannel Payments

Visit Site
Visit Site
Best Choice ForBusinesses with eCommerce focusBusinesses with Point of Sale focus
POS appGoodExceptional
eCommerce/webstore toolsExceptionalGood
Billing/invoicing toolsGreatGreat
Standard in-store rate2.70%2.75%
Standard online rates2.90% +$0.302.90% +$0.30
Entry-level monthly fee$9 to $29$0
Works with iOS and AndroidYesYes
Early termination feeNoNo
Works with most POS softwareOnly Shopify POSOnly Square POS
Includes free card readerYes, with chip card and ApplePay techYes, only works with magstripe

Square was the first company to offer smartphone-based mobile payments when it launched back in 2009. Today, it has plenty of competitors, but its lack of a monthly fee, reasonable transaction fees, and robust features still make it a great choice, especially for low-volume sellers. Square replaces the traditional credit card terminal with a simple credit card reader that connects to your smartphone or tablet and works in conjunction with Square’s mobile app to process credit or debit cards. (Check out our post on the best credit card readers for small businesses to make more comparisons.) Square supports retail locations, ecommerce, and (naturally) mobile payments.

Shopify has a very similar offering to Square, but with more of an emphasis on online selling. While most businesses on a budget can get by with the webstore building tools that Square provides, those in need of more features and great control will find a much more powerful solution at Shopify. These businesses will also be stuck paying a larger monthly fee, but remember that high value always trumps low cost alone.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides to using Square or Shopify Payments is that stability issues for high-risk businesses or brand new businesses without a processing history arise at a rate that’s well above the industry average. This often results in sudden, unexplained account terminations and account holds of up to 180 days. There are multiple reasons for this, but one major factor is that Square accounts are aggregated together (aka, third-party payments), rather than each account having its own unique Merchant ID number. To make matters worse, phone-based customer service from these companies hasn’t always been the best.

Many businesses considering Square and Shopify are looking for the least expensive option available. If that describes you, take a look at our guide to the cheapest credit card processing services. Square is often — but not always — the best option. Note that some low-cost options are too good to be true, as we outline in our in-depth look at so-called free credit card payment processing companies.

A Full List of Credit Card Processing Companies We Recommend

The top companies at a glance…

Final Thoughts on Credit Card Processors

Whether you’re trying to juggle multiple retail locations or just selling products online, one of the five 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 its own value to the floor. Square is a solid contender for very small, low volume businesses, while Fattmerchant, Payline, Helcim, and CDGcommerce are better for larger retail establishments. If you’re running a non-profit, Dharma may very well be your best choice. In any event, all of these services will, in most cases, provide you with a better, more affordable service than you’re likely to get with any of the traditional, bank-owned credit card processing companies. You can also compare our top processors (except for Square) head-to-head using our merchant account comparison chart. Those interested in mobile credit card processing specifically should consult our mobile chart. And those most interested in ecommerce tools can take a look at our shopping cart software comparison.

Here’s a final look at your options. We hope one of these will be the best choice for your small, medium-sized, or even enterprise business! Let us know how it goes.

A final look at your payment processing options…

Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl has been writing about 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. After a long and enjoyable career of traveling around the world as an Air Force navigator, he’s comfortably settled down in the wine country town of Paso Robles in California’s scenic Central Coast region. He enjoys reading, photography, hiking, and numerous other outdoor pursuits.
Frank Kehl
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    Great blog, thanks for all the information. But as a new startup small business, we still have a lot of questions. We are starting an etiquette and protocol classes and would like to give prospective students the option of credit card payment in our website. We are expecting to start anywhere from $15-$20k per month in sales. Which credit card processing company do you recommend for online and mobile transactions?

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Gypsy!

      I’d suggest looking into Payment Depot or CDGcommerce to process at that volume. Best of luck with your etiquette school!


        I would like to know if there is any payment processor for remittance providers. It seems like no payment processor is willing to deal with FinCen even though the regulation does not designate the processor as MSB.

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Liban,
          I’d suggest checking out these articles on High-Risk Processing and also The Best Offshore Merchant Account Providers. With that said, Durango and SMB Global may be your best bets. Good luck to you!


            wonderful to see someone explaining this jungle. Ive been with 3 or 4 processors in the 27 yrs weve had our small business. average monthly card totals of $2 to 5 k, using first a tranz330 and for the last 3 yrs a Vf520 with 805 pinpad, but our current company, which we have fulfilled our contract with, recently tried to sell me a new machine from clover, saying it was necessary for ‘mastercard bin ‘2’ card ‘ processing for 800 bucks. I find it hard to believe that my Verifon cant be reprogrammed for that! im wondering who would be the best choice for a small business like ours, run by computer illiterate and internet primitive (no high speed meterless service) folks about to retire in 3 yrs?

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Hi Mike,

              If you’re average processing volume is less than $5k, I’d take a look at Square. Their card reader is affordable and they charge no monthly fees or minimums; you just get charged for what you process. It has offline processing capabilities and it’s also quite easy to use. Best of luck to you all!


                Hi Frank,

                This is so useful information. Thank you very much. Can you please let us know which processing company to go with? This is for a startup for issuing airline tickets. Ticket prices would vary between $100 and $500 in most cases. At times, ticket prices may hit $2000 (family travel is one good example). We don’t have any metrics around volume to provide yet. Our guesstimate is less than 100 transactions in the first few months before scaling up to higher levels. Most transactions would be online, some over the phone. There would be no physical store location.



                  Jessica Dinsmore

                  Hi Ram,

                  Thanks for your question. Since your type of business is considered High-Risk, I’d suggest checking out SMB Global or Durango. You can take a look at our favorite High-Risk Processors for a few more suggestions as well, if you’d like. Good luck with your start-up!

                    Gretchen Pascoe

                    Thank for this informative article. We are a firm that has hesitated to move to accepting credit cards due to the fees, but as more clients are requesting, we are investigating the options. We are likely to do as little as $4,000 per month, but some months we might have credit card revenue upwards of $75,000. Which company do you recommend?

                      Jessica Dinsmore

                      Hi Gretchen,
                      I would suggest looking at Payment Depot or maybe Dharma. They are both highly reputable companies that should easily be able to accommodate your needs.


                        Gosh, your article is so very helpful! We are opening a children’s consignment store and will have small transactions (typically under $25) and around 250 per month. We will need to integrate with software and have a card reader. I am trying to decide between Square and a merchant account. We will run cards in the store so will need a hardware system for that… Thanks so much for your help!!

                          Jessica Dinsmore

                          Hi Lisa,

                          If your processing volume is expected to be $250 per month, Square is definitely the better option. They offer no monthly minimums or fees, so they are great for smaller startups, like yours. Best of luck with your consignment shop!


                            We recently fired Global Payments. They came in with a good offer a few years back. However they added exorbitant fees that went undetected by us until they were implemented. Their handling of these and the number of fee increases was astonishing. They followed the guidelines and we didn’t cancel the service in time. Please be careful to read each monthly statement carefully and don’t get caught like we did.


                              Hi Frank,

                              Excellent article, thank you! We have a small business that processes very few credit card transactions yearly, although most of them are for large amounts. Most of the processing will be key-in instead of swipe and we do not need a mobile service. What merchant would you recommend to us?


                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                Hi Sheri,

                                You don’t appear to need a full-service merchant account. And while Square would work just fine for keyed-in transactions, you might also want to consider PayPal or Stripe, especially if you don’t need a credit card terminal or mPOS.


                                  We run a residential and commercial cleaning business. We have excepted cash or check and would like to offer credit card payment. What/who would work best for a service business such as this?

                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                    Hi Denise,

                                    If your processing volume will average less than $5k per month, I’d definitely suggest looking at Square. They offer no monthly fees or minimums, so you only get charged if you process, which is nice for smaller businesses. I hope that helps, and good luck!


                                      This is one of the most informative blog post i have found on the Internet about the best and the most popular credit card processing and online merchant services for small-businesses on the Internet. Thanks for sharing this helpful post with us. Keep up the great work.


                                        Hi, I have a Hardware business that we are currently going through terminal fraud on our worldpay account and are needing to switch Processing companies. Could you please direct us to a company that would best suit us till we get this fraud issue straighten out. We do 70% CC in our business and around 50,000-100,000 a month. Thank you

                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                          Hi there Georgia!

                                          I’d say either Dharma or Helcim would be great choices, but be prepared- you’re going to have to pay a significant early termination fee to Worldpay if you close your account with them. Though, in the long run, it may be to your benefit. All the best!


                                            Hello, I own a high volume convenience store. All transactions are face to face. I’m checking rates to insure I’m getting the best with good service. I’m with HorborTouch a division of Shift4 Payments LLC and have great service. Latest statement 6956 transactions, $183k processed , $4235.00 total charge for month. My bank just reviewed my statement through a third party vendor named FIS who promised a monthly savings of $475. What other companies would seem best suited for business?
                                            Thanks, Mark

                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                              Hi Mark,

                                              Those are actually pretty good rates. If you’re happy with the service, it might not be worth it to switch providers. However, CDGcommerce would be worth looking into. They use HarborTouch products for their POS and they offer custom pricing for merchants processing over $100K/month. Good luck to you!


                                                I would like to get a different credit card processor at our existing retail business. We are seasonal, making sales April through September. Sales volume per month can be up to $40-50k during the best months but it cuts down significantly as fall approaches, then of course sales drop to zero during off months. Average ticket is about $60. Virtually all sales are card present. We use an ordinary internet connected terminal, need easy to use equipment but nothing fancy. What would be your recommendation for me?

                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                  Hi Melissa,

                                                  I think either Dharma or Helcim would work in this situation. However, it’s important to understand that most providers that support seasonal downtime expect to have the account shut down entirely for specific monthly periods of the downtime, meaning you wouldn’t be able to process transactions at all during that time. It might be a good idea to also have a Square account to cover any unexpected sales during the downtime, if you think off season purchases might be an issue.


                                                    Hi, Im not sure if it has already been posted, but I wanted to provide an update on FattMerchants Pricing. When I reached out to them today, they mentioned that their flat rates increased 4 months ago or so. They mentioned their flat rate starts at interchange + $199/mo + .06/transaction. Adding online is another $99 plus fees.


                                                      Hi, for a Crypto Exchange, wich is your recommendation? we plan to bill between 10K and 50K Usd per month

                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                        Hi Richard,

                                                        To be honest, this isn’t something we’ve researched much yet, so it may be a bit outside of our expertise. I’d rather not give you an answer that I’m not too certain about. If you happen to figure this out on your own, please let us know what solution you find so we can learn how to answer something like this in the future. Good luck to you!

                                                          Renee Morgan

                                                          I am researching the best possible solution for credit card processing for a small craft business. We operate on a coop basis in which the members are required to work in order to be able to put their merchandise that they make in the store. The majority of our members are in their 60’s and above which makes training them to properly utilize the technology difficult to say the least. This is a very small business and we haven’t accepted any payments except cash or check in the past. What would you recommend and what added precautions could be put in place to prevent chargebacks and mistakes.

                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                            Hi Renee!

                                                            I think that both PayPal and Square are good options for what you’ve described. However, I think of the two, Square is the better option. The app is very simple to use, and there’s a lot you can do to make the process of learning easier for your helpers. Getting set up will take a bit of work, but if you build the inventory, sort it by category, and make sure each item has a photo, that will go a long way toward keeping sales organized for reporting purposes and making it easy for your co-op members to find products in the checkout. You can use Square to record cash transactions as well as card payments, and Square will tell you how much change to give for cash transactions. There’s also a split tender option, as well as discounts and tipping.

                                                            I would recommend going with the Square Stand with Contactless + Chip Reader as a POS setup. This article covers all of these options. You don’t need a receipt printer because you can send receipts via email or text. The stand swivels so customers can put in their own number or email, which will help reduce errors. You can get receipt printers and cash drawers from Square, though if you don’t want a receipt printer, make sure it’s not a printer-driven cash drawer. Square does offer financing for purchases more than $49, so that could help you better manage your cash flow.

                                                            Having a chip card reader will help protect your business against liability for some types of fraudulent card transactions. Another good practice is to limit manually entered card transactions as much as possible. Make sure the card is swiped or dipped (“tapping” refers to using contactless mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay). For high-value purchases (anything above say, $100 or $150), you can also ask for ID, but realistically, I think overall you’re in a pretty low-risk industry for card fraud. Best of luck to you all!


                                                              Most of our transactions – are CNP – card not present , with monthly average of over $400K, which merchant would you recommend?

                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                Hey Rocco!

                                                                At that processing volume, almost all of our recommended processors will give you custom pricing and probably match rate quotes from other providers. I’d say Dharma is probably your best bet due to their high overall quality of service.

                                                                  Amit Agarwal

                                                                  Hi Frank –

                                                                  Thanks for this informative article. We are opening a Coding School for kids, where kids can come and learn coding and programing. Our each transaction will be around 65 USD per child per month. We are expecting a total 20 students enrollment to start with and hence month total volume is around 1500 USD. Which payment services would you suggest for our business. We can grow little bigger, but that will take at least few months. Please advise.


                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                    Hi Amit,

                                                                    What a cool idea! I’d definitely suggest looking into Square for processing needs less than $5,000 per month. There is no monthly fee, and it is very intuitive. Good luck with your exciting new school!

                                                                      Dee Goss

                                                                      Great Review! We are a well established company with all our customers paying by check over the last 30 years. We now have a few new customers asking to pay by credit card. Could be zero to 5 transactions/month, $25 to $500/transaction and all would be made over the phone. As we would be accepting the card info over the phone I assume we would need a virtual terminal (or?) to complete the transaction. Would we need our liability insurance to cover the possibility of incorrect or fraudulent transactions occurring? As this would be an extremely small part of our business & we would not be expecting it to grow, we are looking for the lowest cost option.
                                                                      Thank you.

                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                        Thanks for your questions Dee. I’d say Square Virtual Terminal would be your best bet. We discuss it in our Square Review. Regarding your liability insurance question, I’m not sure that regular business liability insurance covers chargebacks. Though chargeback insurance does exist, we really don’t know much about it, so I’d rather not give you an answer that I’m not too certain about. Good luck to you Dee!

                                                                          Flarelink Consultancy

                                                                          Hi Frank,

                                                                          My business is located in Nigeria, however the business will online and office base firm. Please advise which merchant is suitable for my firm

                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                            Hi there,

                                                                            Thank you for your question! I’d suggest Durango or possibly SMB Global for your firm. You may want to check out our comparison chart with links to their reviews as well. Good luck to you!



                                                                              I was reading about SpotOn in the “green sheets” and was wondering about them?

                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                Hi Chris,

                                                                                Unfortunately we haven’t yet reviewed SpotOn, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or another.


                                                                                  I am going to start a new operation of retail business (liquor store), considering it a new operation i cant project the volume but i assume it would be around 50k monthly.Simple question-what credit card processing company should i go for?

                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                    Hi Sam!

                                                                                    How exciting! I suspect that Fattmerchant would be a great fit for your new liquor store, but if you want to cast your net a little wider, Payline would be another good option for you. Cheers!


                                                                                      I had a larger wholesale business that used Helcium that I closed a couple of months ago. I am opening another wholesale store now on a smaller scale and start. I will be processing credit cards on the road through my sales rep as well as receiving calls from clients over the phone to pay their balances. I am guessing around $1000 – $4000/ month in credit cards for now to start but I do not know. Who would you recommend since I will need to use 2 types of credit card entry?

                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                        Hi Patti,

                                                                                        Based on your projected processing volume, I’d suggest Square. You can take it on the road with you, or manually key-in the customer card numbers, for over the phone transactions, or they could even pay online as well. I hope that helps!


                                                                                          Your articles are very helpful. Thank you very much. I own a private practice as a therapist. Transactions are typically $120-$180 and have monthlies ranging from $8,000 to $11,000 so far. I currently use first data and have flat rate of 2.29% plus 19 cents per transaction. I know most people want to get point, miles or cash back with credit cards but not everyone. Either from the companies listed or any others is there a better company for me? The statements they give are ridiculously confusing and off on dates and very awkward or I have the ridiculous option to pay for a better statement. Thanks!

                                                                                            Frank Kehl


                                                                                            With your monthly processing volume, Helcim would be a much better choice than First Data. They have lower interchange-plus pricing, month-to-month contracts, and lower fees.

                                                                                              James Siew

                                                                                              I’m currently starting an online retail business and am not sure which merchant processor to select. We would be nationwide but sales would most likely start slow. I’m currently looking into Payline since that one sounds like a great option for eCommerce is this correct?

                                                                                              Thank you.

                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                Hi James,

                                                                                                Payline is an excellent option for eCommerce sales. Good luck with your start-up!

                                                                                                  Amy Malkus

                                                                                                  Fantastic article that makes me realize just how much I don’t know! I was wondering what you would suggest for a new handcrafted jewelry business that will have both a mall cart and online sales? Most transactions will be in the $25-$100 range, but we have no idea, as a new business at what our in-person or online sales will be. Currently we are only scheduled to lease the mall cart from November through January – not sure if we will continue in the mall past that time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! – Amy

                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                    Hi Amy,

                                                                                                    It’s kind of hard to offer a specific recommendation without knowing your average monthly processing volume, but I think Square would be a good place to start. You have some really interesting pieces; best of luck to you!

                                                                                                      Luke south

                                                                                                      Hi Frank,

                                                                                                      Great review and very helpful! I am a new small business owner in Indiana and am looking for both online processing and mobile point of sale processing with the card being present during the pos with slim to none no card present transactions. My company is semi seasonal and brand new in the Midwest, however we do trips out of state semi frequently especially durning the cold weather season. Online payments would range from $150 to $500 and mobile pos would range from $75 to $2500 per transaction, which merchant service would you recommend I look at?

                                                                                                      Thank you!!


                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                        Hi Luke,

                                                                                                        Thanks for the positive feedback! We are always happy to hear that our readers are finding our reviews helpful. Without knowing your average monthly sales volume it is difficult for us to make a specific recommendation. But based on the information you’ve provided, I think Square would be a good starting point. Good luck with your new business!

                                                                                                          Dennis London

                                                                                                          I started a digital and e-commerce solutions business July 1st. So far, only Square and Stripe have approved me. Yesterday, Stripe closed my account after having processed only two transactions for me. Everyone else I have applied with has declined me because (1) I am a start-up, or (2) I have applied with other First Data units.

                                                                                                          I anticipate average ticket size of $1,750; low ticket size of $495; high ticket size of $4,995; high transaction rate of 15% – 20%; and monthly volume of $10,000 – $30,000.

                                                                                                          Who can I turn to that won’t decline me given these parameters and that I am a 2-month-old start-up?

                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                            Hi Dennis,

                                                                                                            It’s possible you’ve been categorized as high risk due to your high ticket size. If that’s the case, Durango would be your best bet. Good luck to you!


                                                                                                              Frank, thank you for your review.
                                                                                                              I am going to own a dentist practice. I am will be the only doctor. The monthly revenue should be around 90k, hopefully more when I take over.
                                                                                                              Which company is a good choice for me?

                                                                                                              Thank you, greatly appreciate your time and help!

                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                Hi Qun,

                                                                                                                Thanks for your question! Of the providers profiled in the article, Dharma is probably the best bet. I’d also recommend PayJunction, as they specialize in working with the medical services community. Good luck with your dental practice!


                                                                                                                  This article is great! I wish I would have seen this when I was researching payment processing last year. I was wondering if you could help advise if you think I am with the right company. I have a CPA firm so most of my charges occur February through April with the minimum transaction being about $150. Now, at this time of year, I might have no card payments at all. I currently use Payline but am wondering if maybe Square may be the way to go since I don’t want to pay $25 a month if I don’t have any transactions. I’m also in the process of reviewing and comparing my latest Payline statement and it appears that there are quite a few fees that I am being assessed that weren’t there earlier in the year. Any guidance that you could provide would be very greatly appreciated.

                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                    Hi Heidi,

                                                                                                                    If you are only accepting payments seasonally, Square would probably make the most sense for you. Plus that would allow you to do invoicing, recurring invoices and you could save card on file (for additional cost, if you choose). Good luck to you!


                                                                                                                      We used to have a larger national merchant solutions company and we recently switched in our orthopedic office to big sky commerce . They are a rare local merchant solutions company that has not sold out to a larger company. They are very trustworthy and help set up a great system including helping us with data security. They were very concerned about us being happy as they are local. Do you see many of these companies still left out there or is this a dying breed? Thanks for the useful information as it clarified some things in my mind as a doctor and small business owner.

                                                                                                                        Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                        We haven’t reviewed Big Sky Commerce, but they appear to be a reputable company and have a great online reputation. Like most small merchant account providers, they work with the big names in the industry, such as First Data, TSYS, and others to underwrite their accounts. While we’re seeing more and more mergers and acquisitions in the industry all the time, it mostly seems to be the big companies swallowing up other big companies. Small providers like Big Sky still fill an important role and should continue to do fine in the future. In fact, most of our most highly-rated providers are generally smaller companies like Big Sky.


                                                                                                                          Thank you for the informative article. We are in the construction industry and our receivables are collected through check payments. From time to time our customers would like the option to pay the invoices by credit card. The invoices may range between $2,000 and $50,000. With an estimated $200,000 processing per year , which merchant service would you recommend. Thank you in advance.

                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                            Hi Geanie,
                                                                                                                            This is a little tricky, as many providers set their rates according to average monthly processing volume. I would definitely recommend a true merchant account for your situation. Helcim or CDGcommerce would be good choices, but I’d suggest working closely with the sales team to accommodate the fluctuating processing volume.


                                                                                                                              Hi there,
                                                                                                                              I am a new small business owner. I run a seasonal restaurant for 5-6 months out of the year. Average per person check is $10-12. Monthly credit card average is $20,000 per month when in business. All customers have credit card in hand, there is no online ordering. I have been researching credit card processing merchants and am just as confused as ever on who I should go with. Can you please advise? Thank you!!!!

                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                Hi Marcy! Give Helcim or Dharma a try- Dharma even offers special pricing for restaurants and should be able to accommodate a seasonal business.

                                                                                                                                  Lynda Loucks

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the useful info. We operate a garage door sales and service business in Canada and have never accepted cards however people ask to use them. We would like to offer the option. The volume would be low (0 to $5000) per month but each transaction would be minimum $100.00 so as I understand it, on the higher side either on site (mobile) or over the phone. From what I have read here I am still unclear if CDG commerce, Helcim, payline or square would be best. I do not want my account locked, ever so am very square averse. Please advise what you think would be best. Thanks

                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                    Hi Lynda,

                                                                                                                                    Either Square or Helcim would be a good choice. It doesn’t sound like your maximum ticket size would be enough to trigger an account freeze. Helcim would offer cheaper rates, but there would be a monthly fee whether you use the account in a given month or not. I hope that helps!

                                                                                                                                      Debbie P

                                                                                                                                      I own a hair salon with tickets ranging from $25.00 to $200.00. I process around $225,000.00 yearly and am currently paying almost 4%. Which company would be best for my situation. We also are set with an option for a client to tip.
                                                                                                                                      Thank you in advance

                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                        Hi Debbie,

                                                                                                                                        I’d recommend either Dharma or Helcim. Your processing volume is high enough for either provider to offer the lowest overall costs.

                                                                                                                                          Neha channa

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the information. Nice idea you have shared.

                                                                                                                                            Paul Abitz

                                                                                                                                            Thank you for this article it is very informative.
                                                                                                                                            I am starting an ATV rental business where most of the transactions will occur online. I will need to charge the clients cc for a damage deposit then refund that amount after the rental is over.
                                                                                                                                            I will also need a phone card reader to collect monies in person.
                                                                                                                                            Which of these companies would be the best option?
                                                                                                                                            Thank you,

                                                                                                                                              Paul Abitz

                                                                                                                                              I should have noted that the charges will be up to $350 per all day rental, deposit to be refunded will be $1000 to $1500. There may be 6 to 12 of these transactions per month, so not anywhere near retail volume.

                                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                Hi Paul,

                                                                                                                                                I think Helcim may be your best bet since your actual processing volume will be pretty low, and Square would likely freeze your account with so many large charges and refunds. Get in touch with Helcim and see if they can accommodate your needs. Best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                  Debra Jackson

                                                                                                                                                  I own a large child care and use First Data for my credit card processor. On a weekly basis my average ticket is $130, but I also have many that pay by the month at an average of $750.00. About 75% of my parents pay the tuition by card, whether it is credit or debit. An average amount a month that I collect on cards is $15000. Which company do you think would best meet my needs?

                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                    Hi Debra,

                                                                                                                                                    I think Dharma or Helcim would likely meet your needs, but it’s hard to say without more info.

                                                                                                                                                      Michael Smith

                                                                                                                                                      I enjoyed reading your article, it was very comprehensive. I manage Talkerstein which is a Canadian website and we’ve found that Global Payments has offered us pretty good rates, and not only that, decent service. The hardware is standard, but we’re considering consolidating it to have an integration or a semi integration. I think working with them directly is much better than working with a 3rd party ISO.

                                                                                                                                                        Kathy Foley

                                                                                                                                                        Hi Frank:

                                                                                                                                                        I looking for a virtual terminal for approximately 50K a year in phone orders and a few customers that pay by credit card. What would you suggest as a good solution for us.

                                                                                                                                                          Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kathy,

                                                                                                                                                          With that processing situation, Square will be a good solution for you. It has a virtual terminal so you can key in cards from any computer for phone orders. You can also key in card in the app. Square provides both free card readers as well as other inexpensive hardware options. If you don’t want to use Square, we’d recommend Payline Data. Like Square, Payline has a $0 monthly fee option. Either would be a good option.

                                                                                                                                                            Mickey Goldberg

                                                                                                                                                            Hi Frank, thanks for all the info on the complicated world of credit card merchant processing. I would like to know what you think. I am in the wholesale jewelry business. I have been using Chase Paymentech for many years. Most of my transactions are between 500-8000, the average overall being about $1100 per transaction. In other words, pretty high. I do right now about 225,000 in total transactions, and my overall average is about .0212 after all the fees. If I take the Amex out of it, it actually goes up to .0245. I have always processed my transactions on my computer with a small swiper, but now Chase is discontinuing that way of doing it and making me buy a $200 card terminal. This is what got me thinking that I may not be getting the best deal I can. I always just figured for my business being higher ticket prices, that this was an OK deal. I have absoultely never had one chargeback in all my years. What can you suggest to me ?

                                                                                                                                                              Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                              Hi Mickey,

                                                                                                                                                              You might want to consider a service like Fattmerchant. We find it provides the best value for most high-ticket businesses. This is because they don’t charge a percentage markup, just a higher flat monthly fee in its place. That works out in favor of merchants with large average transactions. They have a mobile swiper you can use if you’d rather not go the countertop terminal route.

                                                                                                                                                                Ronda Johnson

                                                                                                                                                                I am wanting to make a change with my merchant services. I am with TD now and looking for lower rates as they charge for everything. What do you think of First data or Wholesale merchant services? We do higher volumes in the summer months and lower in the winter season. Or do you have a better option for us.

                                                                                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Ronda, We’d really need more info to make a solid recommendation for you. I can say that we wouldn’t recommend First Data if you’re looking to save on fees. We don’t have a review of Wholesale Merchant Services, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other. Helcim or CdgCommerce should be able to save you money on fees and accommodate your fluctuating processing volume.

                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Gerbino

                                                                                                                                                                    Very thorough and informative review. We run a family business that sells and services parts/equipment in the construction/mining industry. A current customer of ours that has done over $100k with us in 2018 wants to begin only using a Citi Commercial Card on a Virtual Credit Card program as their form of payment. We are not setup to process credit cards. The majority of our business is paid through checks or ACH. There’d be major fluctuation from $0 one month to possibly $40-50k another month. What would you suggest?

                                                                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for your question Robert.

                                                                                                                                                                      I’d suggest either Dharma or Helcim. Even though you don’t anticipate needing the account every month, your overall volume suggests that you can afford the low monthly account fees. It is also likely that if you start accepting credit cards, more of your business customers will want to start using them for payment as well. Hope that helps!

                                                                                                                                                                        Rose Rowan

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Frank – excellent article. I have a client who operates a large event once a year. They have 3 locations where they sell souvenirs. Volume is about $200,000. During the rest of the year, they do web sales and non-swiped telephone orders. Would any of these systems work for them. The Square system looks very clean and training of register operators looks simple; however, you mentioned that sometimes they suspend the accounts. That wouldn’t work. What do you think? Thank You!

                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                          Square is a good choice, although with that kind of processing volume their flat-rate processing charges will be higher than you’d get with most full-service merchant account providers. Account suspensions usually occur if the merchant has a single, unusually high sales ticket (i.e., several thousand dollars on a single transaction). CDGcommerce would be a great choice, although you’ll definitely want to explain the seasonal processing fluctuations to them in advance.



                                                                                                                                                                            I enjoyed your review. We are a small counseling center and do about 10,000 -15,000
                                                                                                                                                                            monthly. All transactions are mostly in house with a few phone payments. What would
                                                                                                                                                                            you reccomend for us? We would appreciate any insight you can give us.
                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Kathy,

                                                                                                                                                                              Dharma, Helcim, or CDGcommerce would all be good choices for your clinic. Best of luck!


                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Frank,
                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for a great article. I have a small coaching business that I am in the process of growing. Currently I use my personal paypal for processing the occasional payment. I have a client who is having issues with Paypal so decided perhaps it is time to step it up. Most of my clients pay with a credit/debit card. It is not in person – I would need a virtual terminal. Currently I am processing a couple a month. Sometimes there is a month where there is none. I was considering Square or perhaps Payline Start – is there a plan you think would be better for my situation? Which plan would you suggest?

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for helping me make a little sense out of what is for me confusing!


                                                                                                                                                                                  Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                  With your processing volume, it sounds like Square would be your best choice. When your business reaches the point where you’re processing over $5000 per month, you’ll want to look into switching to a different provider who can offer you a full-service merchant account. Any of the other providers mentioned in this article would be a good choice.


                                                                                                                                                                                    I am so glad that I found your site. We have an established Optical store that averages around 60K-75K per month in credit card sales. The vast majority are on site. We have our own POS/Inventory system for optical stores and use Quickbooks for accounting.
                                                                                                                                                                                    I am looking into changing our processor but it is overwhelming.
                                                                                                                                                                                    What do you recommend?

                                                                                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Bill,

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dharma is an excellent merchant account provider and they should be able to meet all of your needs. Helcim would also be a good option. They both integrate with QB, have excellent customer service, low monthly fees, and our five-star rating. Check them out and see what you think! Best of luck to you!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Al Warren

                                                                                                                                                                                        Excellent article Frank. I operate two shoe repair shops in Oklahoma and it’s been tough finding reputable and reasonable processors over the years. I was just approached today by a company
                                                                                                                                                                                        named Interchange Payment Systems claiming that most of the re-processors are already using
                                                                                                                                                                                        their platform and that they can offer 24 hour turn-around instead of 48 hour and a rate of 1.75 percent
                                                                                                                                                                                        instead of 4.0. Their rep said I’d have to use one of their new chip-compliant terminals but that IPS
                                                                                                                                                                                        would pay for the terminal. It all sounds a little too good. Are you familiar with this company (out of
                                                                                                                                                                                        Phoenix, Az.) and have you heard anything good or bad about them?
                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks: Al

                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                          We haven’t reviewed Interchange Payment Systems and there isn’t much information about them online. They appear to be a very new company, and they’re a sub-ISO of Defyne Payments, another processor that appears to have just started up and doesn’t have much of a public track record. While their website offers almost no useful information, they appear – despite their name – to offer a tiered pricing plan, which we recommend against. That 1.75% rate they quoted you is probably their lowest qualified rate, and most of your transactions will be either mid-qualified or non-qualified, with much higher rates.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As for the 24-hour turn-around time, most companies charge a significant additional monthly fee for this kind of service, so you’ll want to find out whether it’s a standard feature or an option that you’ll have to pay extra for. While you will definitely want an EMV-compliant terminal, be aware that there’s really no such thing as a “free” terminal in the processing industry. At best, the company will “loan” you a terminal for as long as you maintain a merchant account with them. If you close your account, you’ll have to return it promptly to avoid being charged an inflated price for the equipment. Other companies will charge you a higher monthly account fee to cover the “free” equipment. At a minimum, you’ll probably have to sign up for a multi-year contract (with an early termination fee) if you want a free terminal. EMV terminals are quite inexpensive these days, and most processors use the same models, so we recommend that you buy your own equipment.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Overall, I’d recommend that you steer clear of Interchange Payment Systems and look for a processor with a proven track record. IPS doesn’t even have a BBB profile yet, and the only feedback I could find on them was a 5-star rating on their Facebook page from one of their employees. Not very convincing. Any of the providers profiled in this article would be a better choice. Hope this helps!

                                                                                                                                                                                            Meagan Rivard

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hey Frank! We’re a small construction company that is rapidly getting off the ground. We fluctuate so much between monthly incomes, anywhere from 5K to 50+K. What payment platform would you recommend for a business that has such drastic fluctuation?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Meagan,

                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a bit tricky as providers typically set their rates according to average monthly processing volume. You definitely need a true merchant account like Helcim or CDGcommerce, but whoever you choose, I’d recommend working closely with their sales team to accommodate the fluctuating processing volume.


                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Frank,

                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a question about Simplied Pricing onCDGCommerce section.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Simplified Pricing

                                                                                                                                                                                                Online: 95% + $0.30 per transaction (2.95% + $0.30 per non-qualified transaction)
                                                                                                                                                                                                Retail (swipe): 70% + $0.25 per transaction (2.90% + $0.30 per non-qualified transaction)
                                                                                                                                                                                                Retail (POS): 70% + $0.25 per transaction (2.90% + $0.30 per non-qualified transaction)
                                                                                                                                                                                                Mobile: 70% + $0.25 per transaction (2.90% + $0.30 per non-qualified transaction)

                                                                                                                                                                                                95% or 70%… is it 95% or 70% of the sale?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Jarrod,

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for pointing this out. A formatting glitch removed an important part of this text. It should have read “1.95% + $0.30 per transaction” and so on, not “95% + $0.30.” This percentage is taken from the sale. The text is now corrected. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ryan S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Frank!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cheers to you on this awesome article!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Right now I’m running a retail business in Puerto Rico (Post Maria) doing about 20k/mo with all card in hand transactions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a big problem that I realized today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The company “Banktech” closed my account down on 3/25/18 without any notice. The reason was “I sell CBD Products”, Which was not mentioned anywhere in my contract. I’ve been running transactions since then until now 4/3/18 (1 week). They owe about $5,000.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’m trying to contact the manager and find out how the money will be released but they claim that I’m at risk of losing all of it or maybe a check will be written. The manager doesn’t seem to care enough to call back. (I hear first data owns them or something?) ***** was the name they gave me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also when I signed up it was supposed to be a “Bundle rate of 1.78%” but every time I checked my statement the average was over 2%. Over the past few months I’m missing $217 from that too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Should I wait it out or be seeking a lawyer right away to help with this matter?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’m really worried because that money was to pay up some bills and now it’s not there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you have any merchants that you can recommend that work with Puerto Rico?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any advice will be much appreciated!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’ve been writing down names of companies that seem to have fair rates and plan to call first thing tomorrow morning but I cannot take it anymore.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    (not to mention my 1st born son who’s 12 days old crying all day! 😉

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks in advance!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Ryan S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Ryan,

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Congratulations on your bundle of joy! As you’ve discovered, selling CBD oil pushes you into a “High Risk” category, which limits your merchant account provider options, and inreases your costs. Your location further limits these options. I’d suggest Instabill, The Transaction Group or possibly Durango. Call and talk to them first- tell them what you sell and ask if they can meet your needs before applying. Best of luck to you!


                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hello Frank, Thanks for the informative article.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a small retail business that currently does about $70,000 to $100,000 a month in credit /debit transactions. We own our two terminals and use Chase Paymentech. We have no problems or issues, but I suspect I’m possibly paying towards the high end in fees. What would be the best choice for us to save money and still have no issues or hassles?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Gregg,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Since we do not know what you are paying in fees, it’s a bit difficult to say for sure. I’d suggest you do a comparison between what you are currently paying and what you could get with Dharma or CDGcommerce. You can also compare them against each other. That said, it’s likely that you might be better off just staying with Chase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Linda Vega

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hello there. I am going to start my own business in a few months. A small restaurant and I believe that that the business will have customers that carries cash and credit cards. I couldn’t tell. But I definitely will need a credit card machine. I’m expecting that business will make less that $30,000 / month. Would square be best for my business? if so, is the tip system complicated? I ask because Ive once worked for a restaurant where we had to ask the customers ” if you would like to leave a tip you would have to let us know” because we had to put it in the machine before we print out their receipt to sign. (???) I don’t know why it was like that but our boss told us that the system was like that, eventually we ended up getting different machine. But I don’t know want to run into that kind of problem. Also, is it easy to refund customers their money if there was a mistake, like putting in the amount, or customers using the same credit card for two different transactions in one day? I found these to be some problems where we had to call the customer service number.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Linda,

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think Helcim (see our review) would be a better option for you at $30k/month. You’d need to add a POS software (check our top choices), which Helcim does offer, or you can find another POS that is compatible with Helcim (most are). Square (see our review) does both payment processing and POS, but at your projected sales volume, Helcim offers better stability and a lower price tag, even if you pay for a separate POS software. Tipping will be determined by the POS software you choose, but most offer tipping, in my experience.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a new pet grooming business and my monthly sales are 15k+ (expected to grow) and we have 10-20 transactions a day. I have Intuit now but I am looking for a more affordable processing company. All transactions are in person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Crystal,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cute website! Dharma or Helcim would be my recommendations. You can compare their features in our comparison chart as well. I hope that helps! Best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Alex Martinez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi! Where is your business at. ?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I’m a very small home based business looking to have a credit card option for my clients whom I can’t run their card thru a larger wholesaler, and have to run it thru my business. I’m looking for the best way to go I would probably run the most $500 a month, and would not use it every month only when my wholesaler can’t take the credit card. We do not physically have the card in front of us so we would have to be able to punch in numbers and information. What company would you recommend us looking at for security and for best results for our small home based business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Wanda,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think this would be a job for Square! As long as you aren’t selling anything in the high-risk category, Square should be able to meet your needs here.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We are a gym doing about 25000 to 35000 a month in sales. What do you suggest for a credit card processor? Most of our sales are through memberships and products billed directly from the cc information given by the member – no terminal sales. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi DMPA,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I’d recommend doing a cost comparison between CDGcommerce and Payment Depot to see which one would be the better deal for your business. Hope that helps!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good day Frank,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a small marine retail store and repair facility in Canada. As most business owners I am not happy with the existing POS provider that we are using. We have big swings in what we process from month to month, spring through fall amounts are all over the place. Winter (November to March) very little. I have read a number of Reviews on this site and I have a few concerns. Square sounds like it would be the way to go but with our $ swings in our busy time I’m sure we would run into issues. It seams, and please correct me if I am wrong, that a lot of the other providers are not available in Canada. Do you have any advice for us Canadians that may be to small for HELCIM. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Helcim claims that their rates and fees are affordable for any business processing over $1500 per month. You might want to consider your average processing volume over the entire year to see if this would work for you. Seasonal downtime is also available, but you wouldn’t be able to use your account during the slow months when the account is down. While Helcim does charge a monthly account fee, it’s low enough to be affordable if you still need to process transactions year-round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  olya Caldwell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We are dental office doing $20000.00-$30000.00 a month in credit card sales. Which merchant you recommend we use? Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your processing volume is too high for Square’s fixed pricing to be economical. However, any of the other providers reviewed in this article would be a great choice. You’ll want to compare the rates and fees charged by each provider to determine which one offers the best deal for your business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chris DeLuca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Appreciate the thorough research. I’m an owner of a SoCal retail bakery that does about $35k/month in shop business and another $15k/month in special order business (over the phone, unfortunately, which results in higher processing charges for card not present). Currently with a flat rate provider but your articles lead me to think we are too big in terms of sales and transaction volume for that kind of platform. Based on your reporting, Helcim and Dharma seem better suited for us, unless I am looking at this incorrectly? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are correct. Either Helcim or Dharma would be a much better choice for you, thanks to interchange-plus pricing.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We are from Socal as well. We use a company called VT Clearent which was set up by a company called Fusion. Might be worth looking into as we do 80+k a month in revenue and it is the cheapest, fastest cc processor we have found.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have a large medical practice with multiple locations. Our transactions range from $30,000 to 60,000 per week. We currently use a credit card reader through our bank. We have a budget crisis and need to cut cost. I don’t want to keep having to buy new credit card machines every time we change banks. What would you recommend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If your current terminals are EMV-compliant, you shouldn’t have to buy new ones if you change merchant account providers. Most providers will re-program your existing terminals as long as the terminal is compatible with their system. Costs for re-programming range from free to around $100 per terminal. A good terminal to consider if you have to buy new ones is the Verifone Vx520. It’s EMV-compatible and can be purchased online for less than $150.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kathy Barber

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This type of thing always leaves me so confused. I’m currently looking to change my credit card company due to all of the strange fee’s I’m being charged. I have a small business in MA in which I do anywhere from $1500 to $10,000 a month depending on the time of year. I just can’t find the best credit card company for my business, do you have any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Kathy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think Square is a safe bet for your fluctuating sales volume, and they offer no monthly fee. You can also read our review of Square for more detailed info.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very helpful article, Frank. Thanks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a meal delivery and take-away service. I take many orders over the phone which 1. makes customers a bit nervous giving cc info over the phone, 2. opens opportunities for transcription errors and 3. is the highest risk cc and therefore cost. Are there ways to make these transactions smoother, more secure and less costly?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The easiest step you could take would be to have your customers come in to physically swipe or dip their cards, although this might not be as convenient or practical in many cases. You would get lower card-present rates, eliminate transcription errors, and reduce your risk of card-not-present fraud. Alternatively, if you have a website for your business, you could integrate PayPal or Stripe and allow your customers to pay online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sandi Pratt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Square sounds good for my massage therapy business but I’m curious about its unexplained contract cancellations. Does Square just randomly cancel contracts with no notice, justification or explanation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Like any other provider, Square has its own risk management protocols and procedures. These aren’t publicly disclosed, but from the volume of reported account terminations we’ve seen, they’re obviously more conservative than a typical merchant account provider. A single, unusually high-ticket transaction often seems to be the culprit. Check out our article How to Avoid Merchant Account Holds, Freezes, and Terminations for more information on protecting your account.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            J Stephens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great article! I have a 2 part question. First: I have a health and wellness business as a sole proprietor that I have built over many years, incorporating massage, aromatherapy, guided meditation and spiritual based practices for my clients. In 2015 I signed up for Square and began to take credit cards for the first time. I will add that my services were specifically not of an adult nature and my website clearly stated that I was not engaging in escort services. The business fluctuated and some months I would earn in the several thousands and other months it would be in the hundreds. My spouse also owns a company and in late 2016, my spouse booked a number of appointments with me for clients and for self. We have always traditionally charged each other for any services rendered through our respective businesses. At the time my spouse was also renting space in my work location for their business. So a number of charges were put through on my spouse’s Credit card. All charges were legitimate and for services rendered and relevant business expenses (such as the rent).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In early 2017, square contacted me to inform me that I had been engaging in prohibited activities and therefore account was closed and I was banned from using those payment processing services. They refused to discuss the matter with me or to even enlighten me as to what exactly I had done wrong. In my mind, I had engaged in legit business transactions and activities, and every single business expense and profit was detailed on both my tax return and my spouse’s tax return. Every dime was traceable and accounted for with the IRS, and there was no money laundering or prohibited business activities from a legal perspective. I was so distraught by Square’s treatment of the situation and not even allowing me the opportunity to answer to whatever they deemed a violation. In our courts we are entitled to due process but in the Court of Square, they are judge, jury and hangman! I was SO soured on the entire thing so badly, and was SO embarrassed to admit to my clients that I had been shut down for credit card processing that I abandoned my business that I had built up for over 20 years. To this day I don’t know if it was due to the nature of my business, or the fact that I charged my spouse for the sessions they purchased that got me shut down by Square. Or if it was something else entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which brings me to the second part: I remained unemployed and became a full dependent of my spouse though 2017 and in early 2018, I was asked by someone I knew to provide personal assistant type work for her and some of her colleagues that also needed temp personal assistant help periocally. In the past these clients had all used their credit cards (both personal and business) to pay for personal assistant work, which ranges from office help, filing, typing, messenger and delivery, prepping\help for events and meetings, event planning and driving. The hourly rates vary depending on the skill level needed and the resources involved (gas, mileage etc). I found that I quite enjoyed the work and quickly had 3 new clients. But they required me to be able to take credit cards for payment of my services. Because it was a completely new and unrelated business to my health and wellness failed business, I proceeded to see if I was eligible for a new Square accountfor this business. This time I told my spouse that even though it had been perfectly legal in the past to hire me for the services I rendered, that I was not willing to risk another cancellation. And that my spouse would have to hire elsewhere if using a credit card to pay for such services.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My new Square account was opened with no problem and I thought perhaps I had been forgiven since I had not provided any of the high risk or banned services! I’ve now processed about 5 small payments from my new clients, all under $130, and all completely traceable and fully legit and legal. So imagine my surprise when once again today I log into my email to discover that I’ve once again participated in “prohibited activities”. I log into Square to attempt to speak to someone about it and of course, there is no recourse and zero support! And this time I’ve done nothing wrong! In fact, I have been charging a lower rate than I’m with solely so that no red flags mess up my credit card processing again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And yet, here it happens. I’m cut off, no help or explanations or even a chance to plead my case. They have kept my money from my “questionable paid activities”; A whopping $48 bucks for helping my client get ready for a live tv appearance and running a couple hours of errands for her! Sounds quite sinister doesn’t it? Ugh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So my questions are: 1) any idea what the heck caused these problems and are they potentially related to each other? 2) if Square has unfairly place me on a banned list, what recourse do I have legally since I did not engage in any business transactions that can’t be fully explained and validated? 3) I’ve sent a strongly worded letter to Square informing them specifically about each transaction with my new account and asking to submit proof and affidavits from my clients that I have been engaged in legit business activities, but if they do not agree to hear my case or reinstate my account, where do I turn to next when I’m not needing volume cc processing, and need to keep cc processing expenses down. I’ve looked into Stripe, but they are requiring a website, and my new business doesn’t have one yet, and doesn’t necessarily need one at this juncture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi J,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You aren’t alone in your frustration when it comes to Square account terminations, as mentioned in our Square review, as well as this article you are commenting on. Unfortunately we can’t say for sure 1. Why they cancelled your account, or 2. If you have any recourse aside from public review forums, but I’d suggest reading through How to Avoid Account Holds, Freezes and Terminations as well as Are You a High Risk Merchant? Best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nicolle Gregory

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, I am starting a part-time credit repair service, just to do on the side. I want to set up recurring payments. Right now since I am fairly new, I am looking at less than $1500 a month until I grow the business. What payment service would you recommend. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Credit repair businesses are usually classified as high-risk, so unfortunately your options will be more limited. Check out our article The Best High-Risk Merchant Account Providers for an overview of some of the best high-risk providers that can accommodate your business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lori Zee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good article – thank you. I am a small business owner presently using Merchant Focus w/ All credit card transactions are strictly online with a monthly volume that varies from $800 to $3,000. My current fee with Merchant Focus is 2.93% across the board: 2.93%/per transaction and a separate 2.93% fee based on total volume amount. I also pay $25/month with I am looking for a new company with reduced fee charges. Which do you feel would meet my needs best?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Lori,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This sounds like a job for Square! They have no monthly fee and offer 2.75% (card present) per transaction. Best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Matthew Berry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hello. I run a small business that varies on transactions each month. We could have 1 for $80 or we can have 10 for a total $4000. Right now I am with Square. I am looking for someone who’s better with no card present fees. Square charges 3.5% +.15

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Matthew,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It sounds like you need to get a card reader and just start swiping cards with Square and you’d be paying 2.75%. Alternatively, you could take a look at SumUp. You can compare their features and rates here. I hope that helps!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chris Chu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great article, thanks. Got a question- we currently use and Flagship Merchant Services for our credit cards. We do about $6k per month with an average of 180 transactions per month using credit cards. Our website is on WooCommerce/Wordpress. Would you suggest changing our credit card service? If so, do you lean towards Stripe, Amazon Pay or basic Paypal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Flagship Merchant Services is a fairly average processor, but there are better ones out there. Of the companies reviewed in this article, you might save money by switching to either Helcim or CDGcommerce. CDGcommerce also offers Authorize.Net as an option for a payment gateway, so you wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of switching gateways. As always, we recommend that you get a quote and compare it to what you’re paying now before deciding to switch processors. Hope this helps!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like this article, great review. I’m looking for a merchant service for small liquor retail store(no online sale) that would do credit/debit card gross sale between $10000-$40000 a month. what is the better merchant company for me, please advise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Melody,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most liquor stores are not high risk, so you should be safe going with any of our top Merchant Account Providers. From the list, I’d recommend Dharma Merchant Services or Helcim for your particular specs.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hello. I own a small business and process between $4,000-$5000 per month. I need the ability to process recurring payments, but also the ability to modify these payments when/if needed. I currently use my computer as a virtual terminal, but would be open to a reader if it would be a better option for me. What would be your recommendation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Sue,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Square checks all your boxes. I’d recommend checking them out and taking a look at our review. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crystal Brown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hello i’m in the process of starting a small catering business as well selling kitchen attire( such as aprons, hand mittens,pot and skillet handle covers) to name a few, and would like to stay up with technology while giving potential customers the options to pay via credit card. im looking for a company that has a wireless handheld POS machine with printer as my business is a hands on mobility business , and monthly income will fluctuate. what company would you recommend so I can research? thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Crystal,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think Square would be your best bet, however it may be worth your while to check out CDGCommerce and Helcim as well. All excellent choices.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like your article. You provided a very useful information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Linda Barrow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a question. We have a small business in the construction industry. There are a very few (may 1-2) clients who have wanted to pay on a credit card. $1000 – $4000 at a time. Maybe a couple times a year. What is the best way to accommodate that kind of sporadic, but high charge amount, need?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Linda Barrow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just an addition to above. That would probably be less than $20,000 per year. And we would need to be able to take payments over the phone – no contact with the physical credit card.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Linda,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That’s a tough one. You could avoid paying a monthly fee even during months when you’re not processing by going with Square. However, Square’s rates are somewhat high and charges over $1K often cause account freezes. You might be better off going with CDGcommerce. You’d be stuck with a $10 monthly fee, but your rates would be lower and you’d have better support for the kind of high-ticket charges you’re processing.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is there anyone familiar with Cardinity? I have applied for their services. I have seen Cardinity recommended on some other websites, and it seems that they are a reliable alternative to other payment solutions. They offer a merchant account and a card payment gateway as well as recurring billing for a relatively small price. Seems convenient. The only drawback that I have noticed is that it might be difficult to integrate if you do not have enough coding knowledge, but people write that their customer support is very good. So, I hope there will be no big problems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, we have not reviewed Cardinity, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, you might want to take a look at the processors we’ve recommended in the article you are commenting on. Best of luck to you!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What do you guys think about CARDX? They advertise 0% fees, but I am wondering if they have any down sides or hidden fees. I don’t see any third-party reviews for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Alex,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Unfortunately, we have not reviewed CARDX, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, we are a new dental office, really looking to only get about $8,000 at most credit card transactions a month for our first year. We hope to get that to $15,000/month year two. Long term would be $25,000-30,000/month. Which would you suggest of these 5 fits our situation best. Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Amad Ebrahimi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Huy, I think Square would be your best option here. These days, almost every doctor or dentist office I walk into uses Square and every time I ask them how they like it, and every time they respond positively. For $8k/mn, Square is a no-brainer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ed Mousa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To all Consumers, STAY AWAY from SQUARE!!! This company is big scam. If you do high ticket, At any given moment that will hold on to the money deactivate your account for 90-120 /days . We run a A legitimate moving business and still holding on to over $6,000 in total transaction and refused to release the funds for 90/ days. They have huge lawsuits against them, please looked them up before you move forward on YouTube and Facebook under Square lawsuit.. Thanks!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My husband has an automotive repair business. We are looking to change our credit card processing and trying to figure out who to go with. Most customers pay with credit card or debit card. Every month is different. we could process from $15,000 to 30,000 per month. Which card company would be best. Thank You.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Anne,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dharma or Helcim would both be great choices for your auto shop. You can compare them against each other here, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jill Owens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great article! My husband has asked me to research CC processing companies and I panicked a bit but thanks to these reviews and comments, I am not AS confused.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was hoping to get a recommendation for our new start-up laundry business. All payments will be credit or debit card transactions and they will all be processed over the phone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From what I have gather from this article, it sounds as if Square would be our best option. Thoughts?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Jill,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We agree with you, Square would be your best bet.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have just opened a hair salon 4 weeks ago in my home in Canada. I am the only employee and am not sure about which company to consider as I have no idea what my sales monthly will be. I had Moneris getpay and just cancelled it as the 2 times I tried to use it the app wouldn’t work and had to call them, the first time they fixed the issue, and the 2nd time they said it was my browser and then my tablet was the issue. I cancelled due to the fact that I can’t have clients waiting to deal with this. I am looking in to Square and am worried about them freezing funds. How big of an issue is this and what would you recommend as a good way to go? Thank you for your help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Lori,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do think Square would be a great option for your new salon, and although there is still a risk for having funds withheld, the probability is small, and the benefits of not having a monthly fee might make up for the risk.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We’re an established dental office (30 years) and have recently decided to offer patients the option of paying with credit cards. We receive approximately $800,000 a year of which probably $500,000 is not covered by insurance and paid by check. What’s the simplest and safest credit card system for our practice. Patients would be paying in person. Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Gail,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you are a good candidate for Helcim. You can read our five star review of them here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Michael Adler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A very useful article, but I’m still left confused and uncertain. We’ve been using Cayan and I don’t think it’s the right provider for our small business. We have a Chocolate Fountain Rental business and there are months when we charge several times and other months when there are no charges. But Cayan charges us monthly regardless and the fees are very high. I don’t know who to consider? I know certain recommendations were made to others like CDG Commerce, Fatmerchant and Square. I certainly don’t want to pay large fees during months that there are no charges made. I welcome any recommendations. Thank you,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Michael,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’d suggest Square or CDGcommerce for your situation. Square has no monthly fee, and CDG is only $10/month. Either of those should be manageable during your slow months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grace Zulueta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We are a young organization, a Church. What are your suggestions as we begin processing credit card contributions via our church services contributions, website and selling products on special events? We don’t know which credit card machine to purchase or how to process this present need to assist our congregants. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Grace,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Square is an excellent choice for nonprofits such as yours.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great article, over my head on several items. Hard for me to way the pros and cons when I have so many variables. I’m a dentist that is looking for a processor that can handle my needs, I run multiple offices that process $50k a month or more, and I have several different points of sale, from insurances that pay via a mailed credit card number on paper, to patients paying in person as well as over the phone. I need to be able to do processing at multiple different locations, and was wanting a terminal as well, as a way to process payments using the computers and the internet that my young staff know how to operate. And the lower the cost the better, I would like no terminal lease, or refund cost when reversing payment, and as low as possible the percentages and per cost transaction fees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Give Dharma a try, I think they will be able to cover all your bases.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am opening up a small hair salon and look to be processing maybe a little less than 10k a month through CC. I was looking into Square but we do not have a tablet or phone for clients to sign on so I have taken that off my list. Any suggestions on a second option? Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cindy, in all honesty, you’re better off getting yourself a tablet or a smartphone. These days most processors are moving in that direction, and getting a mobile terminal may become quite costly. It’ll be cheaper for you to just buy a used iPad mini or something.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I found your research very informative and helpful. We have been in the carpet cleaning business 40 + years, and just within the past few years have accepted cc. I’v found in our area most people still like to pay with checks, although we have had a steady monthly flow of cc usage. It ranges from $110.00 a month up to our peek months $1,300.00, very low-volume. I would like to find a merchant company that works with small business with low-volume usage like ours. I like the Square and that the PCI compliant is included, but have my reservations with the no merchant ID# and that they can hold your money if they think there fraudulent acts. Your recommendation would be most appreciated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sincerely Kris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Kris,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’d definitely recommend Square, and although there is still a risk for having funds withheld, the probability is small, and the benefits of not having a monthly fee might make up for the risk.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hello, I am opening a small retail store inside a mall this is my firth time doing business and I don’t know which company should be the best for credit card processing. I just bought a uaccept post system to start.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Rosy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, we have not reviewed uAccept, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hello, Wonderful article. I got a lot of good information from it. We started our company in April. We have been selling on Amazon, as well as to some local restaurants. We are in the process of setting up our website to handle ecommerce. We currently do between $8-10K per month on Amazon. We expect to start out about the same through our website. In addition, we would like the option to be able to sell directly to the public (face-to-face) at trade shows. We definitely will not need a ‘swipe device’ full-time, just for those 1-2 trade shows a year. We are looking towards CDGcommerce from the ecommerce side. What are your thoughts on that, and how to handle the occasional need for the swiping CC capability. Thanks, Michael

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CDGcommerce is an excellent choice. They offer a free mobile app and card reader, and their mobile processing rates are a little lower than their eCommerce rates. However, the card reader is currently not EMV-compliant. With the EMV liability shift, you would be responsible for any fraudulent transactions where you swiped an EMV credit card instead of reading it with an EMV-compatible card reader. This might be a consideration if you’re going to use the mobile processing system at trade shows. However, we anticipate that CDGcommerce will offer an EMV-compatible reader sometime soon. While it probably won’t be free, it will protect you from any card-present fraud that does occur. Your other option would be to get an account with Square as a secondary processing method. They already have an affordable EMV card reader for their mobile solution, and with no monthly fees you wouldn’t be paying anything during the months when you’re not using the account. The trade-off, of course, is that their processing rates are quite a bit higher.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We are a smaller law firm and bring in CC payments anywhere from $15-40k per month. We currently use WorldPay. Please let me know your thoughts regarding WorldPay and if you have any recommendations for merchant companies. We would prefer to accept all major credit cards including AMEX.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Jeanette,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You’ll see we aren’t huge fans of Worldpay if you take a look at our review of them. We would need a bit more information to make a recommendation for your firm. You can also compare top-rated merchant account providers here.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We are planning to open a retail meat market and we are guessing our volume to be close to 25k, majority of our customers (70%) might end up spending anywhere between 10$ – 20$ per purchase on average and few customers with more than (20%) 20$ purchases and very few customers (10%) 50$ or more, which option do you suggest for us? thanks in advance!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Swekar,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For your retail meat market I recommend Helcim. Dharma was a close second, but Helcim has better retail rates, which means more money in your pocket. Good luck with your new business!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We currently use Best Merchant Services but are looking to switch. I manage a small hotel and we did around 460K in CC sales last year. More than half of our transactions are over the phone reservations or are from virtual cards issued from websites like Expedia for when guests prepay for their reservations online. So over a third of our transactions are virtual cards and have only the CC#, Exp date and Zip code keyed in only but we have very few charge backs maybe 10 total for under 1K annually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What CC processing company would you recommend we use? Thanks in advance for your help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Eddie!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks so much for your question! For your hotel, I recommend CDGcommerce or Fattmerchant. Set up some demo’s and see what you think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stephen Ejide

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great article! We’re a new restaurant expecting ~10K – 20K a month for transactions that average $10. Is there a merchant that most small, 1-2 register restaurants prefer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For a merchant account I would recommend Helcim, but if you’re also looking for a POS system, you might want to check out Toast or Shopkeep. Both are great for restaurants and both come with credit card processing abilities built-in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Andrea Omidy


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I’m currently using Zirmed. How do they compare to other companies?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My average monthly cc charges are $7,200- $9,000, with average sale of $150. I need an online portal where I can enter in the card information rather than a card swipe system. Out of the companies you listed, which might be better suited for my situation? Thanks in advance for your help!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Andrea,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately we haven’t yet reviewed Zirmed, so I can’t confidently give you an assessment one way or the other. However, based on your sales volume, I do recommend Square for as long as you are averaging less than $10k/mo.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We are a small law firm, processing anywhere between $30,000 and $80-90,000 a month depending on the month. We are less concerned with how much the cost is per transaction, and more so with the % fee. We do most of our transactions over the phone as well; So finding a lower fee for transactions that are not done face to face would be ideal. Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that for your credit card volume, Fattmerchant would be the ideal choice. Their pricing is a bit different in that they charge a flat monthly subscription fee, rather than charging a % fee. For a high-volume, and I’m assuming high-average-sale business like yours, Fattmerchant’s pricing will likely save you some money.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any reviews or thoughts on Payment Depot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Johana,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here’s our 5-star review of Payment Depot.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I work in a doctor’s office and we currently use a terminal that is connected to our phone line. Is there a company that has terminals where we can continue to process our payments through the phone line instead of the Internet? Our current terminal is through Care Credit and they process all of our payments. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessica Jones

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I work at a small Farm Mutual Insurance Company that operates only in one state and currently does not accept credit cards. We are looking into accepting them for premium payments either by phone or in person at the office. Premiums could be anywhere from $50 to $2000 and until we get rolling with this, not sure how many people will pay by credit card or how much it will bring monthly. Fees are going to be huge on a situation like this, so where do we start and what provider is recommended? Thanks for your time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Jessica, For your situation I would recommend Square. It’s a great choice for smaller businesses just starting to take credit cards, plus you avoid both upfront and monthly fees that traditional processors charge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carole Shortt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I went with Helcim after checking it out. Easy to work with, clear statements at month end. I switched to Helcim after many years with another company. No more headaches! We have a seasonal, retail business. At $12/month I have 3 machines on 1 account., not 1 account per machine as before. The customer care is very good, too.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a small mailbox and shipping store. Currently using Square and it’s working well, but am looking for something not tied to a smartphone. Average monthly CC volume is around $2,500. Will definitely buy my own terminal, but need suggestions for a transaction processer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Phil,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Honestly, your best bet would be to continue using square and purchase an iPad. Most terminals cost from $150-$300 which is roughly the same cost as a used iPad.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great article. I’m onlening a personal training business with 99% credit card payments, and some online payments. I was considering square, however the section you mentioned about freezing really scared me off. Helicium sounded interesting. Thoughts on Clover? Any help would be appreciated

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shannon Vissers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Chris, it kind of depends on your needs and budget. For very new businesses and especially businesses that want to take payments from their smartphone, Square is a pretty solid choice as it’s mobile and free to use (no monthly charge). It’s super easy to get started with, too. But as mentioned, it’s not 100% reliable, and not the best choice for established, large-volume businesses. Clover is pretty good but it has an upfront hardware cost and there will probably be a monthly service charge as well ($60/month or so). You might want to start off with a free system like Square and then as you grow, switch to another system like Clover or Vend. And if you do end up graduating to another system, you can always keep Square just to take payments on the go.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very helpful article, thank you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I own a beauty salon, I am the only employee. I am looking for a better credit card processing company. I currently use world pay. I have used them for over 20 years. That being said, I am very unhappy with the customer service and fees. I process under $5000 per month. What would be a good choice for my situation? Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Kathy,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you for your inquiry. I think Square may be your best bet. I hope this helps!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We haven’t reviewed Merchant Services, Inc., but their online reputation is very poor. They settled a class-action lawsuit a few years ago, but don’t appear to have made many positive improvements to their service. The Clover line of POS systems is sold by First Data, but is also available through many different resellers. Check out our Clover Station review for more information.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hello, I currently have 4 restaurants and about to jump to 7 restaurants. I am currently using Vantiv for my credit card processing.. currently I am being offered a rate of 0% plus 3 cent per transaction. However I am not very fluent in understanding what visa/mastercard/discover charges on top of it for processing. Is what they are charging controlled by vantiv, where it can be reduced.. or is it something that cannot be negotiated to bring those processing charges lower..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interchange rates are controlled by the various credit card associations, and the processing company (even a direct processor like Vantiv) cannot lower them. The rate you are being offered is very low in comparison to what most business owners have to pay. As a very general rule of thumb, interchange rates average around 1.9% for card-present transactions and 2.4% for card-not-present transactions.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’d like to know have you checked to see if that is what Vantiv is charging you? I signed up and had a statement comparison but when I got active they were over charging me by about 50% in total fees including interchange.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What about Tribeca Merchants out of NYC? I like the rep, and the fees and products fit my needs…they also have the surcharge option where I have no fees?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tribeca Merchants is a DBA for National Merchant Services. We haven’t reviewed them, but most of the reviews on the web are pretty negative. There are also a lot of complaints from former employees, which is always a bad sign. Not recommended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Amanda Long

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I’m the president of a small booster organization, a 501(c)3. We are looking to streamline fee payments and looking to build a website. This will allow us to collect fees better as families seem to be mostly debit card users these days. What recommendations would make for our organization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of the companies profiled in this article, only Dharma and CDGcommerce offer discounted processing rates for non-profits. However, if your monthly processing volume is very low, you might be better off with Square.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just started a thrift store, I have the square now but everytime I take it out to run a card on my phone my customers look at me a little funny, in fact I lost a few customers that didn’t trust it? So I’m looking for something that sits on the counter more “traditional” so to speak I don’t do a lot in credit card sales less than $2500 a month does anyone have any suggestions…..thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Although they’re not profiled in this article, Fattmerchant is an excellent processor that has recently introduced a low-cost, pay-as-you-go plan that’s similar to Square (i.e., no monthly fee). You’d still have to buy your own terminal, but they’re pretty affordable these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Terri Trejo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great info but still not sure what I should use. I am starting a party equipment rental business. I want to take a deposit on my website and then the rest of the payment 7 days before party, again on my website. I want credit card/ debt card payments. What would be good for my business

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Terri,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am going to send you an email right now so please keep an eye out for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kevin Van Den Heuvel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey Terri,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While Heartland isn’t on this specific list, we are the 4th largest processor in the country and the only one with NO middlemen! We pride ourselves on fair and honest statements and the best CS. We have an incredible amount to offer to small to mid size businesses in the way of technology, security and breach protection as well as being local to most of the U.S. Shoot me an email whenever you get a chance, I’d love to learn a little more about your business to see how we can benefit you! At a minimum, we’ll take a look and make sure you’re being treated fairly! Look forward to hearing from you, thanks!



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi! Thank you for your article. I am starting to teach seminars for continuing education students. I plan on having about 25 students for one weekend every other month and the cost of the course is $400. I am going to be taking all payments over the phone (deposits and full payments) so I’m probably going to need to key in all the debit and credit cards. It will probably end up being about $4,000 to $5,000 a month on average, so I’m guessing that square or PayPal is the best option? Which processing company do you think would be best suited to doing that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Jessie,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Square is a great option but since you are dealing with only over-the-phone payments, I would also recommend CDGcommerce. They are going to have a monthly fee, but along with that comes greater account stability and customer service, so they would be worth looking into as well. I would encourage you to click on the green “visit site” button within our reviews if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have not yet started my bus. I purchased a website, training, and tax club from STORES ONLINE, ALSO GOES BY OTHER NAMES iMERCHANT, ETC. They screwed thousands of people … never built my website, so I used another expensive company and step by step I built it. When it was ready to go live (they would have hosted it too) the programmer left the company that same day and my site could not even found on the servers. Just some of my preliminary. I got no response to my calls, emails and letters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, I want to try again, but some of merchandise is out of style (clothing and jewelry), and don’t have any idea how long it will take to be found. I studied since I bought and paid over $20,000 for the past 10 YRS>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NOW I would like to try to sell what I have. Is Square still the best. First Data contacted me and said go with us because all Visa and Master Cards are processed thru them. IS THIS TRUE? One response you gave was to use another company because they were the bitter deal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What do you recommend. I might not get buyers instantly, and it may take months, but I have to have a merchant account before I starts. A CATCH 22. AT LEAST FOR ME. SENT 5.18.2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For an eCommerce-only business, we recommend that you take a look at our article “The Best Online Credit Card Processing Companies” for some affordable alternatives.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hello I have a pizzeria and looking merchant services I have one already but i think im paying to much 0.78 + $0.15 and monthly fee. and maybe 90% of the time credit are not present they order by phone. can you give me some merchant that i could look in to thank you very much

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kevin Van Den Heuvel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey Mikey,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If the narrowing field still leaves you unsure, take a look at Heartland Payment Systems. We are the 4th largest processor in the country and the only one with NO middlemen! We pride ourselves on fair and honest statements and the best CS. We’re the ONLY processor endorsed by the National Restaurant Association as well as many state associations. Shoot me an email whenever you get a chance, I’d love to learn a little more about your business to see how we can benefit you! At a minimum, we’ll take a look and make sure you’re being treated fairly! Look forward to hearing from you, thanks!



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a home based travel agent. I accept credit cards over the phone only from known clients (friends, family or their friends) for their tour package invoices. My clients would like to pay by credit card but they would also like to earn triple points as offered by Chase Sapphire reserve card when it is used for travel related purchases. Normally I use Square or PayPal but that is not accepted by Chase to give triple points to my clients. Which credit card processing company I can use, where my business name and SIC code are associated with the payment ? Since my SIC code is associated with “Travel”, my clients can earn triple points for every $ they spend. My annual charges could be over $100K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Check out our review of Chase Paymentech. They probably can support triple points under their own cards, although you’ll probably want to verify that with a sales representative before signing up.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am running a Dr’s clinic where patient spay fee for service and sell a small amount of retail products in Canada. Gross sales are approx $20 000/mth. I used to use Chase Paymenttech but there were a lot of hidden fees. I switched to First Data a few years ago and they have been ok except they hold my transactions an extra day before depositing it in my account. I have been contacted by Elavon and they say they have recently acquired my account from First Data and my fees will be “basically the same” as they were with first Data. First Data says that theya re still offering the same services and I can choose to stay with them. It all seems a little confusing so I have been looking at other options. What would be your best suggestion to minimize costs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Helcim serves merchants in both the US and Canada, and they’re an excellent provider overall. They can probably get you a much better deal than signing up with First Data directly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kevin Van Den Heuvel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Patricia,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know it’s been a little over a month since your inquiry, if you are still reviewing options, take a look at Heartland Payment Systems. We are the 4th largest processor in the country and the only one with NO middlemen! We pride ourselves on fair and honest statements and the best CS. We have an incredible amount to offer to small to mid size businesses in the way of technology, security and breach protection and have a growing footprint in Canada. Shoot me an email whenever you get a chance, I’d love to learn a little more about your business to see how we can benefit you! At a minimum, we’ll take a look and make sure you’re being treated fairly! Look forward to hearing from you, thanks!



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We invoice all of our customers (kitchen/bath remodeling and plumbing services), so we do not bill on the site once the work is completed. The last few years we’ve averaged approximately $220,000 of income, so I would guess we COULD fluctuate between $3,000 or $4,000 a month up to $8,000 a month or more once our customers learn we take credit cards. Since we don’t sell on-line or face-to-face, which credit card processors would fit our needs best? We were looking at PayPal to start with. Any other suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Deb,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would also recommend CDGcommerce, Payment Depot, and Helcim. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within the reviews if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nancy Knowles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for the great review. We are a non-profit that only conducts business one time every other year at our one and only fundraiser, the Festival of Trees. We have averaged a take-in of $25,000 over one weekend and, in the past, we have only accepted cash. We have s price increase this year so the numbers will go up. Due to patron request we are exploring accepting credit/debit cards. Do you know if there is a way we could just do business for this one period every other year. All business would be conducted during that weekend except for some tickets that might be issued from payment through our website (have not explored that option yet). Thank you for your advice, in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your best bet is probably to try Square and see how it works out for you. If you end up processing over $10k in credit card transactions at your fundraiser, you will probably be better off going with a provider that will offer lower rates and let you suspend your account when you’re not using it. Dharma and Helcim are good options in this case.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a retail location that does $20k/mo in cc sales. cc are present 99% of the time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any suggestions as to which merchant services provider would be the best for me?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Brenda Brooks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wanted to let consumers know that I had a really, REALLY bad experience with Payline Data. One of the worse experiences I’ve had in 21 years of doing business. Beware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Renee Kovalcheck

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hello Brenda,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for your feedback. We always hope to exceed the expectations of our customers. However, it looks like we did not meet your expectations and we apologize for that. We reviewed your account and verified that you were previously issued a refund for the issues that occurred. We had hoped that this corrected the frustrations you experienced. We always aim to provide the best payments partnership to our customers. Please contact us if you would like to explore other options with your account. We can be reached at

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – The Payline Team


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you for the article. Question? I have a client that is looking into credit card processing for their marketing business. They would probably only have 1 or 2 transactions a month for approx. $5k in sales. What would be the best processing company for something this small? They could use an Iphone/ipad processor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi SJ,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would recommend taking a look at Square. If you have further questions please let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Russell Adams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for the very understandable article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In my case I have a single “old-fashioned” retail store where I average just under $10,000./mo., have not had a chargeback in the almost three years I’ve been operating and the card is in-hand 99% of the time. In January of this year I processed $5,433. in credit card sales and paid the merchant fee of $149.34.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’m near the end of the contract with the card servicer: Am I paying too much? What providers do you suggest for my situation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Russell,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. It looks like your effective rate is about 2.7% which is pretty standard. You could try Helcim and CDGcommerce, but their rates are going to fall around that rate as well. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please don’t hesitate to let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jon Howard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great article! Is there any advantage to going with a Bank of America for credit card processing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You might want to check out our Bank of America Merchant Services review before signing up with them. There are plenty of other providers out there that cost less and provide better service.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great information Frank, thank you! I am looking for a merchant services for a new business, grocery and butcher shop. I am new at this and would like your advise as to which one would be a good fit for this type of business. Hope this info helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Arcelia,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am going to send you an email right now so please keep an eye out for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nick P.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great article, very helpful but I’m still wondering your advice for a smaller landscape designer/ contractor firm that could have no CC transactions one month and $10,000 the next month. Much thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For your business, you might want to consider CDGcommerce. You’ll have a monthly fee, even when you’re not using the account, but the savings in processing charges during your busy months should more than make up for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LaToria T Smith

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hello ! And great article, I am a Life Coach, and have had some clients ask about accepting credit cards. My packages range from $1-3k. How should I go about accepting cards in this case? Alot would be done over the phone. (Manually) This can definitely increase my revenue!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For a business of your average processing volume and a need for accepting mobile payments, we recommend Square.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wonderful information! Thank you so much, however I am still confused! I own an estate sale company and therefore we must be completely mobile. Our sales are conducted in our clients homes each week. Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All of the providers listed in this article offer a mobile payment solution. Depending on your needs, you’ll want either a smartphone-based system or a dedicated wireless terminal. Terminals cost around $300 or more to buy and require a $15-20 per month data plan. Smartphone-based systems are much more affordable, but many providers haven’t put out an EMV-compliant reader yet. We highly recommend using an EMV card reader, as most of your customers will now have EMV cards, and you could be liable for any fraudulent transactions if you swipe an EMV card with a magstripe card reader.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Excellent reviews and great information!!! I own a Floral Shop in a two red light town. Most of my business I receive over the phone. I have been in business for almost three years now and I have operated with square since the beginning. Income averages between $4500-12000 in sales with credit cards each month and 90% of this is manually keyed in. I am hoping to find a system that would benefit me more and take less with fees and monthly charges. Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kelli,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. Based on the information provided, I would recommend CDGcommerce, Payment Depot, and Helcim. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within our reviews if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The informational is very helpful but i am not able to make a call which would be better for me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i am starting a business and i am hoping the transactions would be around 15k a month in person value transactions, would you please advise which would be the best here. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Shah,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am happy to help you with this. Please reply to me here with the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your average monthly revenue, more details about your business, and where the business is located and I will be able to help you.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What is the best choice for a small restaurant business. Processing about $35k a month. Is there anything more affordable?



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any of the companies profiled in this article would be a good choice, except for Square. Your processing volume is too high for Square to be a good deal, and you’ll also want the stability of a full-service merchant account, which Square doesn’t provide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Crystal Barber

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This article has been helpful. I am looking to switch my merchant service since I spent over $1000 in fees using that particular service this year. For my small business that is financially devastating. I have a business that is half consignment retail (educational items) and half services (tutoring). My transactions are usually over $1000 but have not reached $5000 in a month. What would you recommend? Also, what is my best tactic to get out of my current merchant service contract? I feel like I was suckered in because I was new to being a business owner. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CDGcommerce would be a very good choice for your business. Compare what you’re paying now against what your costs would be with them. The nice thing about the companies profiled in this article is that they’re very transparent about their costs, allowing a business owner to make a fairly accurate cost estimate based on their current processing history. Getting out of your current merchant account contract will depend on who your provider is. You’ll want to review the account closure procedure in your contract very carefully and follow it to the letter. Get everything in writing, and submit all required paperwork well ahead of the required notice period. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dennie Pyeatt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This year I will have other employee’s to run cc transactions (before I used my phone on square and did all the transactions). I want a way they can run a cc for sales but not be able to see my bank info or how much we make. Should I stay with square or CDG Commerce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The answer to your question will depend on your average monthly processing volume. Under $10K/month, you’re probably better off staying with Square. Above that, Dharma or CDGcommerce are both excellent choices. If you do a cost projection based on your current processing history, you should be able to determine which company will be more affordable for your business.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We are a small mortgage lender and want to start taking credit cards for appraisal and credit report fees. We expect less than $2,000 per month on credit cards. The borrower/customer would complete an authorization form and we would enter it into the credit processor’s site, no equipment would be needed. What companies do you suggest?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As long as you anticipate processing *some* transactions every month, CDGcommerce will give you the lowest rates for only $10/month. You could also consider Square. You won’t pay a monthly fee, but the rates (especially for card-not-present) are much higher.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dan Anderson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for the information. I am a professional services company, so I have no need for anything related to typical retail, online, or other goods-based sales. I will be charging from $10k to $30k per month to roughly 7-10 other small businesses. While simple is desired, it seems simple costs a fair bit more, so I’m willing to sacrifice simplicity for lowest cost – I am begrudgingly even going to accept credit. What would your thoughts be for such an arrangement?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Dan,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. Based on the information provided, I would recommend CDGcommerce and Helcim. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within the reviews if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please don’t hesitate to let me know.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great information with lots of good detail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a question for you. How do I get a CC processing solution for my company if my company is located in Singapore and I am an American? Seems nobody has a solution here and everybody is telling me it cant be done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You might want to look into BueSnap, at least if you’re in eCommerce. They’re available in 180 countries, including Singapore. We have a review of them coming out in the next few weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        derek smith

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a small startup limo service looking for the best mobile credit card processing. Can you help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Square is probably your best bet. They have the best mobile processing solution at the moment, and they’re inexpensive overall. Just be aware that once your business gets larger, you might want the added security (and lower rates) of a full-service merchant account.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hello This was great information. I am a small start up personal training company and would like to know what you would recommend for Automatic payment transactions? currently I invoice my clients monthly but want to get away from that since I have some clients who are on 3 or 6 month contracts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks Kristi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Square offers a recurring bill feature as part of their accounts for no additional charge. You might also want to check out the detailed reviews of the other companies profiled in this article, as almost every processor offers this feature. Watch out, though, as some processors charge extra for it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you so much for this overview, great information! I am starting a small business and anticipate relatively low volume, probably max $2K/month at least for a while. Do most of the merchant account companies offer advice about minimum for which their product is a good option, like you did for a few of the ones outlined here? Square was sounding good, but you lost me at the fraud, frequent account holds and terminations!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some merchant account providers will be honest about the minimum processing volume you should have for their pricing to be a good deal, but many others will not. Of the processors reviewed in this article, CDGcommerce might be your best bet. They have interchange-plus pricing and a $10/month fee. Providers that don’t charge a monthly fee and charge on a “pay as you go” basis – such as Square – will all have much higher processing rates.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What is the best card reader for very small daycare business. Processing less than 2000$ a month. Have the square but the 2.75 % is a killer. Is there anything more affordable?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Carmelita,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The 2.75% is going to be pretty much the standard across the board, but you might want to check out Spark Pay and PayPal Here as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Omar Mushfiq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frank, excellent review. I am looking for merchant services for a small start up medical practice with one physician. Need to process in person transactions and also occasional key in transaction of credit cards. Looking for someone with reasonable rates and good customer service. Can you recommend someone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank You.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Omar Mushfiq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frank Kehl


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The companies outlined in the article are all good choices. You might also want to take a look at PayJunction. They’re also a 5-star processor, and they specialize in working with professional services (such as medical offices). Hope this helps!

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