Best Merchant Services

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Merchant companies exist to assist companies course of bank card funds. You would possibly know them by the identify “credit card processors.” 

Regardless of what you name them, it’s essential to decide on the suitable service provider service to your particular enterprise if you wish to take funds from prospects.

I’ve reviewed the highest six service provider companies obtainable at the moment. These are all confirmed, common merchandise with affordable charges.

They all do issues just a little in another way, nevertheless, and serve specific varieties of companies higher than others.

Keep studying to search out the one which’s going to suit along with your scenario. I’ll take an in-depth have a look at every of the six greatest service provider companies, and conclude by strolling you thru the foremost standards it is advisable think about as you consider your choices.

#1. Square Review — The Best for Transparent Pricing/Fees


  • No month-to-month charge
  • Transparent processing
  • Free card reader
  • Great added options


  • No ACH fee processing
  • Higher charges than desired

Square is common for its bank card processing and POS methods, nevertheless it provides way more. It hosts options such because the “Card on File” function, permitting customers to retailer buyer card info that works nice for repeat prospects making an attempt to build up loyalty factors and rewards of that nature. 

The processor additionally doesn’t have a month-to-month charge, and whereas Square’s options won’t be as superior as among the different fee processors we’re speaking about, for a POS with no month-to-month charge, you may’t beat the worth. 

You can settle for funds on-line and in-person, although the transaction prices differ. For in-person gross sales, count on to pay 2.6% and $zero.10 per transaction. For on-line transactions, it’ll price you 2.9% and $zero.30 per transaction. There are different cases, akin to:

  • Virtual terminal transactions
  • Card-on-file transactions
  • And card-not-present transactions

These will price three.5% and $zero.15 per transaction. 

If you could have 1000’s of transactions each month, you may undoubtedly discover one thing cheaper than sq..

But for a small enterprise, the shortage of month-to-month charges and value transparency makes it simpler to funds than among the different service provider companies. Learn extra.

#2. Payment Depot Review — The Best for Established Businesses


  • No contract processing
  • Competitive charges
  • Easy to combine on-line


  • Best for high-volume enterprise
  • Application course of

Payment Depot makes use of a membership pricing mannequin, which might save established companies some huge cash.

New companies that aren’t doing a lot quantity gained’t see the profit (and may very well wind up with larger fees than they might with different companies), however if you’re already dealing with loads of transactions, Payment Depot could be a good selection.

Unlike different firms, the processing charges with Payment Depot’s membership pricing stay constant and predictable irrespective of how a lot enterprise you do.

Because Payment Depot isn’t of passing off bank card charges to the client at an elevated markup, you may wind up saving a ton of cash. The extra transactions you course of, the extra you save with the membership pricing.

Payment Depot accepts all main playing cards and contactless Apple Pay and Google Pay as effectively. You get next-day funding and integration with high POS methods in addition to ecommerce platforms akin to: 

  • Shopify
  • Revel
  • QuickBooks
  • PrestaShop
  • BigComemrce
  • WooCommerce

I don’t assume this is likely one of the greatest service provider companies for small companies due to how they construction their pricing. The transaction charges go down as you pay a better month-to-month charge, and so they seemingly drive you to extend your plan due to strict processing limits. 

Here’s a breakdown of their pricing: 

Basic Plan

  • Fee: $49
  • Transaction Fee: $zero.15
  • Monthly Limit: $25,000

Popular Plan

  • Fee: $79
  • Transaction Fee: $zero.10
  • Monthly Limit: $75,000


  • Fee: $99
  • Transaction Fee: $zero.07
  • Monthly Limit: $150,000


  • Fee: $199
  • Transaction Fee: $zero.05
  • Monthly Limit: Unlimited 

So, as you may see – for those who’re doing excessive quantity, it might take advantage of sense to improve to the most costly plan for the bottom transaction charges. 

#three. Helcim Review — The Best for Small Business 


  • Limited charges
  • Fees based mostly on quantity
  • Free on-line retailer software program


  • Limited integrations
  • $199 for the cardboard reader

If you’re a small enterprise proprietor, Helcim would possibly attraction to you. With this service, you’re capable of course of credit score and debit playing cards on-line and in individual. You can even do among the following: Set up recurring funds and ship invoices.

With a Helcim card reader, you may settle for all main playing cards, together with Amex plus Google Pay, Apple Pay, and JCB. 

Helcim doesn’t have any contracts or cancellation charges, and so they cost $zero in month-to-month charges. 

Overall, Helcim is reasonably priced however way more for in-person funds than they’re on-line. Here’s a fast breakdown of their pricing construction, which relies on how a lot enterprise you do every month: 

Monthly Volume: $zero – $25,000

  • In-Person: zero.three% + eight cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: zero.5% + 25 cents (+ interchange)

Monthly Volume: $25,001 – $50,000

  • In-Person: zero.25% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: zero.45% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Monthly Volume: $50,001 – $100,000

  • In-Person: zero.2% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: zero.four% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Monthly Volume: $100,001 – $250,000

  • In-Person: zero.18% + 6 cents (+ interchange)
  • Online: zero.35% + 15 cents (+ interchange) 

Helcim provides good options for these of you trying to combine this fee gateway into your on-line retailer. You can add a checkout to your web site for invoicing and buyer registration whereas additionally accepting recurring subscriptions. 

#four. Stax by Fattmerchant Review — The Best for Subscription-Based Businesses


  • Simple pricing
  • Omni software program
  • A strong alternative for subscription companies


  • Higher month-to-month charges
  • Transaction charges are comparatively normal

Stax by Fattmerchant is ready up quite a bit like most of the fee processors. As you improve your month-to-month charge, your transaction charges go down. They supply Omni, which is the place you’ll do your invoicing, funds, and reporting. The service is extremely user-friendly, nice for freshmen, and it comes included along with your month-to-month charge. 

While Stax is a good alternative for budget-conscious enterprise homeowners, it’s additionally an excellent possibility for subscription-based companies. If you’re promoting month-to-month teaching packages, company companies, or counseling, you’ll profit from Stax’s construction. 

The processor accepts all main playing cards, together with ACH, invoicing, Text2Pay, and extra. Same day funding is accessible, and also you get a free iOS and Android POS app and Bluetooth card readers that you should utilize on the go. 

Stax has extraordinarily aggressive costs which might be simple to foretell.

For companies processing as much as $5 million yearly:

  • Starting at $99/month
  • Card-Present Fee: $zero.08 + Interchange
  • Card-Not-Present: $zero.15 + Interchange
  • ACH Processing Fee: 1% of transaction, as much as $10

If your companies processes greater than $5 million yearly, you’ll must get in contact for a customized quote. The firm additionally provides service provider companies for SaaS Platforms, which can be your greatest guess for those who’re within the subscription service sport.

Stax has a better month-to-month charge than some others, however the firm says that’s how they maintain their transaction charges down. Learn extra.

#5. Flagship Merchant Services Review — The Best for Great Customer Service


  • Dedicated account supervisor
  • Free account setup
  • Free card terminal (with charges)


  • Confusing possession
  • Little info relating to value

Flagship Merchant Services lower the tape in 2001 and was acquired by iPayment in 2012. Now, they primarily resell iPayment, so maintain that in thoughts. 

This firm was one of many first to supply free account setup with none utility or charges and actual month-to-month contracts. They function tens of 1000’s of retailers, and so they have a robust repute. 

Since they’re not a direct processor, most of their service provider accounts are arrange via iPayment. iPayment makes use of First Data as their processor, and it may get complicated making an attempt to determine who’s processing what via what service.

For retailers, Flagship does supply a free bank card terminal, however you’re accountable for paying account charges and insurance coverage on that terminal to stick with it and working. 

For ecommerce, they provide both Authorize.internet for processing and integration of a web-based cart onto your web site. 

One factor that was just a little irritating about Flagship is looking for info on their charges. If you go to their web site, you’ll see that it is advisable fill out a type to get any data about what they cost. 

I’d prefer to see extra transparency, however you might find yourself with a extra catered bundle take care of this technique. 

My favourite function is that you just get a single line of contact with the corporate if you buy a gateway; they act as account managers. If you ever have an issue, you contact that particular individual, and this isn’t a function I’ve ever seen with every other service provider service.

#6. Stripe Review — The Best for Online Payment Processing 


  • Extremely customizable
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Great resolution for on-line companies


  • Complicated setup
  • May require builders

If your enterprise runs solely on-line, Stripe is your most suitable option. It’s made particularly for ecommerce and web enterprise, and tons of startups and Fortune 500 firms belief Stripe.

The firm provides refined software program and APIs that enable on-line retailer homeowners to customise their checkout expertise. You can use the pre-built integrations to attach a Stripe checkout immediately after which customise it as you go alongside. 

That’s one of many major the explanation why I really like Stripe; it’s a fee processor that grows with you and means that you can change it as your enterprise wants change. 

With all of those options and transferring elements comes issues. It’s not the simplest to arrange, and for those who plan on using the numerous advantages of Stripe, you’ll doubtless want a developer to deal with it for you. 

Stripe provides a “pay as you go” technique–there’s no month-to-month charge and transaction charges are clear throughout the board. 

  • Online: 2.9% and $zero.30
  • In-Person: 2.7% and $zero.05
  • International: Add 1% per transaction
  • ACH Direct: zero.eight% maxed at $5.00 per transaction
  • ACH Credit: $1.00 per transaction

You can use all main credit score and debit playing cards plus ACH, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and way more. Expect to attend two enterprise days for deposits or pay a one p.c charge to get on the spot deposits. 

Stripe integrates with WordPress, Magento, Squarespace, 3DCart, Zoho, Big Cartel, and extra.

How to Choose The Best Merchant Services For You 

Before we get into the opinions, let’s discuss the right way to decide what makes a superb service provider service.

I’ve damaged this down into three main areas:

  1. Processing charges/month-to-month charges
  2. Services
  3. Type of service provider companies account

Let’s undergo every of those standards, one after the other.

Processing Rates/Monthly Fees

It’s all concerning the cash, and bank card processing shouldn’t be so simple as you assume. You must weigh the professionals and cons with every service; in any other case, you may find yourself paying far more than you deliberate. 

We want to take a look at the processing charges first. With each service provider service, you pay a small charge every time a transaction is processed. It’s normally between 1 to three%.

You’ll additionally pay month-to-month charges, which differ relying on the service you select.

To get a decrease processing charge, you normally must pay a better month-to-month charge.

So, for those who’re processing a ton of funds, a service provider service with a excessive month-to-month charge and low processing charges could be a good possibility.

On the opposite aspect, for those who’re not processing loads of funds, having larger course of charges gained’t harm you as a lot as a excessive month-to-month charge would. 

There are additionally the charges that totally different bank cards like Visa and Mastercard cost. Merchant companies like Toast allow you to select between flat-rate and interchange processing charges.

With flat-rate, you pay a set quantity for processing every month. With interchange, you pay no matter Visa or Mastercard fees plus a small charge to Toast.

Flat-rate processing is a predictable resolution that works effectively for companies that need to keep away from large adjustments of their charges. That stated, interchange pricing is usually extra reasonably priced. 


You need to have a look at what the fee processor provides along with bank card processing. Do they provide free POS methods, hardware, cell funds, integrations, and so forth?

Some service provider companies even supply consulting, buyer loyalty options, and invoicing instruments. 

Sometimes the “extra benefits” you get from a service provider service supplier can outweigh among the negatives. 

The Type of Merchant Service Account 

There are two main varieties of accounts, one is an aggregator (or intermediary), and one is an ISO (or unbiased gross sales group). Let’s examine the 2 and see why it’s essential to know the distinction.


These are middlemen working in between the enterprise and the financial institution, providing a simple fee processing resolution for companies. Square is an instance of this, and whereas they make it simpler, they normally have larger charges and transaction prices. 


Payment Depot is an instance of an ISO, and whereas they normally have a extra strict acceptance coverage, they provide decrease charges and user-friendly software program in comparison with a direct processor. 


How effectively will your present methods combine along with your new service provider service?

Whether your are promoting on-line or in individual, the product you select ought to complement your present course of and even improve it.

Stripe provides a variety of integrations for common ecommerce platforms, which makes it an excellent alternative for on-line shops. It additionally integrates with the greatest e mail autoresponders like MailChimp and GetResponse.

If you’re already utilizing these instruments, Stripe integrations will make it simpler to get arrange and keep organized.

You shouldn’t have to revamp your day by day workflow to accommodate a brand new service provider service, so discover one which has the integrations to plug proper into your enterprise.


By this level, it’s best to know which of those service provider companies is best for you. They all have their professionals and cons, and it’s best to select in accordance with the kind of enterprise you personal.

Let’s take a fast look again at my high picks:

  1. Square — Best for clear pricing/charges
  2. Payment Depot — Best for established companies
  3. Helcim — Best for small enterprise
  4. Stax by Fattmerchant — Best for subscription-based Businesses
  5. Flagship Merchant ServicesBest for nice customer support
  6. Stripe — Best for on-line fee processing

If your enterprise is already doing loads of quantity, I like to recommend exploring Payment Depot.

Square is an general strong resolution for all companies, however the transaction charges are a bit excessive, and scalability is missing. 

I’m additionally an enormous fan of Helcim as a result of they can help you develop along with your processor by growing the month-to-month fee as your quantity wants improve. 

Regardless of which alternative you make, maintain the essential components in thoughts and select fastidiously, so that you don’t remorse your determination down the highway. 

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