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With very low account fees and competitive interchange-plus processing rates, CDGcommerce offers a great combination of price and value. For more information on what CDGcommerce can offer your business, see our complete review. Headquartered in downtown Vancouver, Washington, Dharma Merchant Services see our review is far more socially responsible than just about any other merchant account provider in the industry.

For you, that enlightened corporate philosophy translates into fair and transparent pricing, reasonable contract terms, and excellent customer support. Other fees most of which are per-occurrence, such as chargeback fees are fully disclosed on their website. Need a POS system? Dharma offers the popular Clover Mini and Clover Station models. Equipment is sold outright rather than trapping you in an overpriced lease.

For more information on Dharma Merchant Services , please check out our complete review. Shopify see our review provides just about every feature you might need to run an online business, including credit card processing. Rates start at 2.

Shopify Transaction Fees start at 2. Everyone has heard of PayPal see our review. And just about everyone uses it. But can the company fill all your processing needs? The short answer is yes. PayPal has all the features you would need to run a business — either retail or eCommerce — using just their payment processing services and equipment. But would this be cost-effective? While the company offers flat-rate pricing and no monthly fees for its basic accounts, those flat-rate prices are kind of on the high side. International payments and transactions processed through their virtual terminal cost more, while registered charities and mobile payments get a discount.

While PayPal is designed primarily for eCommerce businesses, the company also supports retailers through integration with numerous third-party mobile POS systems and their own mobile payments system, PayPal Here. The latter now includes a Bluetooth-enabled EMV card reader. While these are all great features, there are also some not-so-great things about PayPal that you should be aware of before you sign up.

Customer support through their telephone support line is very inconsistent. Some customer service representatives are quite knowledgeable and helpful, while others are not. Fortunately, the company provides an online knowledgebase that should help you solve common problems on your own.

For some businesses, PayPal is really all you need. For larger businesses and those with more specialized needs, PayPal makes an excellent secondary payment option on top of your regular merchant account. For more detailed information about PayPal, see our complete review. Just like Square is popular with small retail businesses, Stripe see our review is the darling of the eCommerce world.

The company functions as a payment service provider PSP , aggregating accounts and keeping costs low for their clients. There are no monthly fees, and their flat-rate processing plan is extremely simple.

How Credit Card Processing Works - Transaction Cycle & 2 Pricing Models

There are no credit card terminals, POS systems, or even mobile payments systems for your smartphone or tablet. Stripe is not for you. Integration is the name of the game at Stripe, and their payments processing service works with just about every online shopping cart on the market. They also have a vast library of APIs that allow businesses to customize the interface between Stripe and their websites. So, how much does all this techy goodness cost?


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The short answer is not much — at least under certain circumstances. Since all your transactions will be processed online without a physical card being swiped or dipped, Stripe charges a flat 2. This is the same rate that Square and PayPal also charge for online transactions. Chargeback fees are unavoidable with any processor, but unlike most companies, Stripe will refund your money if the chargeback investigation comes out in your favor. While Stripe has some very impressive features, it also has a few serious drawbacks.

Like other payment service providers PSPs , account holds and terminations occur frequently and without notice. This is a fairly recent change, and customer reviews so far have been mixed. Despite its shortcomings, Stripe is a good choice for a new eCommerce venture. With dozens of interchange rates and a wild assortment of fees, trying to figure out how much accepting credit cards is going to cost your business inevitably comes down to guesswork.

There are plenty of other providers out there who are also competing for your business!

The Cheapest Credit Card Processing Companies | Merchant Maverick

Square, for example, works best for very small retail businesses. Shopify, PayPal, and Stripe, on the other hand, are a better fit for small eCommerce merchants. Full-service merchant account providers like Helcim, CDGcommerce, and Dharma are more well-rounded, but CDG is a better fit for smaller businesses, while Helcim and Dharma work better with larger ones. For a side-by-side comparison of some of the companies listed here and a few other excellent providers , please see our Merchant Account Comparison Chart.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. They seem to differ greatly depending on agents and individual business needs. I hope that helps! That is not exactly correct. I have my merchant account through Costco and there pricing structure is the interchange-plus pricing. They tell you the rate is 1. Very rarely do you get one that is 1. Our filtering tool can help you find the provider best suited for your business. Give it a try here.

Great information — especially for those of us with a very small business. One other thing that might have been considered is that with PayPal, customers leave the site they are visiting and are transported to the PayPal site. With Stripe, and others, they can be set up so that the customer does not have the impression that they are leaving the merchant site. I am currently using PayPal, but would like to have customers stay on my site.

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To make that work, your merchant site must have a secure socket. All that being said, I appreciate the education! Your email address will not be published. Your Review. Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear. Please read the " User Review and Comment Policy " before posting. Dec 11, Posted by: Frank Kehl Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships , and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. See more options. Frank Kehl has been writing about merchant services, payment gateways, and international money transfer services since He enjoys reading, photography, hiking, and numerous other outdoor pursuits.

Latest posts by Frank Kehl see all. Show more. Show less. Leave a comment 10 Comments Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Meg Glidden December 18, at 2: What about EVO? Jessica Dinsmore December 18, at 3: Though the company doesn't disclose pricing information for high-risk swipes, like other companies that advertise high-risk services, the company offers competitive pricing for its regular accounts.

This, along with the educational information and transparency we found when dealing with Payline Data, make it an easy company to recommend. Use our tool below to browse through dozens of credit card processing options. We summarize key details about each to help you get a bird's eye view of the top processing options.

In case you want a quick look at our picks, here are ValuePenguin's best credit card processing companies for We wanted to give you an idea of the per-transaction cost you can expect from the processors we listed above. These estimates, while not exact, can give you some idea of how these merchants compare to one another. We still encourage you to obtain quotes, as different companies may be able to provide you with special discounts depending on the type of business you run.


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  • We also included a couple of other good credit card processors to provide better contrast. We excluded Payline Data from the calculation, as the company doesn't disclose rates for its high-risk merchant processing. However, we estimate the costs would be significantly higher than the ones listed above in both cases. Every firm, shop and retailer has their own set of special needs and challenges that may require a more tailored approach. Below is a mini-guide on how you should approach the process of evaluating and searching for credit card processors.

    The first thing to understand is that there is a myriad of credit card processing options and solutions out there. Most credit card processing services break down into one of three major categories: We talk a little bit about what to expect out of each of these below. Mobile credit card processing: These solutions will work best for small shops with low volume, or businesses that need credit card processing on-the-go.

    Mobile credit card processors, like Square, will typically hook up to your phone and are extremely lightweight and portable. With a mobile card processor, you should still expect features like inventory tracking and some level of employee management at the software level. These types of solutions are more traditional and are typically designed for a fast checkout experience. Unlike mobile card processing, you will typically need to pay more for readers.

    As the name suggests, these types of credit card processing services are intended to handle online transactions. You will generally have two options when it comes to this. The online processor can provide you with an API so that you can build a custom web experience for your customers. This is an involved process and will require some developer resources. Alternatively, you can hook up most online virtual card processors to popular eCommerce services. While some are free, the ones that are more feature rich will come with a monthly fee. If you search and compare credit card processors on your own, you may come across different ways these companies choose to structure their fees.

    It used to be that most companies would rely on a tiered approach. This pricing scheme generally fell out of favor because it made it difficult for small business owners to accurately control their costs. You should always ask credit card processors for their interchange plus pricing instead — this is much more favorable and transparent. Interchange plus works by charging you the interchange fee something that is imposed by companies like Visa and Mastercard plus a small mark-up added by the credit card processor.

    These will vary greatly depending on the types of credit cards they use.

    The Best Credit Card Processing Services for 12222

    However, with interchange plus you can at least compare issuers based on the markup they charge. Collect and compare quotes from different providers. Our last bit of advice about choosing a credit card processor has to do with quality of service. You should always make sure you also understand the features you will get through your processor. If one is willing to offer a detailed reporting interface that you can log into, and another forces you to export details into excel, take note of the difference and choose accordingly.

    You may discover that saving a few dollars a month is causing extra hours you need to put into tracking or maintenance due to outdated technology. Customer service may be another major point of differentiation. Make sure you understand what you need out of your processor, and to ask your sales rep about these things. Generally, we approached this list with the understanding that there is no single best credit card processor for all businesses.

    For the purposes of this list, we tried to come up with a broad list of business categories and needs and then matched them to credit card processors. Whenever information about a processor was not available online, we tried obtaining information from company representatives.

    For the companies we highlighted above, the information we obtained was consistent across various platforms — online, phone, online chat rooms. However, for some issuers we obtained contradictory information in our search. In those cases, we did our best to arrive at an average based on information that was readily available.

    What Is a Credit Card Processing Service?

    View the discussion thread. Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure. Methodology Best Credit Card Processing for Small Businesses The following are the best credit card processors as determined by our editors. Apply Now. Good for: Small shops that don't want to pay any monthly fees.

    Large-scale retail stores, nonprofits and restaurants Bad for: Monthly Fee Per-swipe fee Monthly minimum None 2. Companies that only need online credit card processing, and want to build a custom user experience.