Best Merchant Services

Best Merchant Services

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

No matter what you name them, it’s essential to decide on the precise service provider service on your particular enterprise if you wish to take funds from prospects.

I’ve reviewed the highest six service provider providers obtainable immediately. These are all confirmed, in style merchandise with cheap charges.

All of them do issues slightly in another way, nevertheless, and serve explicit sorts of companies higher than others.

Maintain studying to search out the one which’s going to suit along with your state of affairs. I’ll take an in-depth take a look at every of the six greatest service provider providers, and conclude by strolling you thru the key standards you could take into account as you consider your choices.

#1. Stax by Fattmerchant Overview — The Finest for Accepting Any Kind of Cost


  • Means that you can settle for any kind of cost, together with ACH
  • No markup on direct-cost interchange
  • Deep analytics and reporting


  • Invoicing options solely on increased plans
  • No transparency in pricing for giant enterprise bundle

Stax by Fattmerchant gives a flexible resolution with particular person packages for SMBs and companies processing over $5 million yearly.

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On both observe, you’ll be able to settle for any type of cost your prospects and shoppers choose. In-person, cell, ecommerce, and ACH funds are all simply dealt with by Stax on each pricing plan.

And their packages take away any markup on interchange, so that you’re not getting gouged there by unexpected processing charges.

Small companies can go for one in all three plans. The Development plan comes with all of the cost processing functionality, some reporting dashboards and analytics, and a free terminal or cell reader for in-person funds.

As you scale up in plans, you unlock actually helpful options. The mid-tier Professional plan contains the flexibility to ship {custom} invoices (and embrace a cost hyperlink whenever you ship it), cost data storing, enhanced analytics, and the flexibility to make use of the Stax API to customise your ecommerce expertise.

The Final plan boosts your reporting, insights, and shopper administration. Get deeper analytics, extra functionality to deal with recurring or scheduled funds, and extra. Plus, you’ll get a Stax rep devoted to your account for any help you’ll want.

Companies that course of over $5 million yearly get their very own bespoke plan. That custom-priced providing soups up all of the instruments and options that small and midsized companies get from Stax and provides extra integrative functionality.

So, irrespective of your entity measurement or what number of funds you course of, Stax delivers a strong resolution that may give you rather more than cost processing flexibility. Plus, with its scaling packages and devoted observe for giant enterprise, you’ll be able to develop with out outgrowing your service provider providers supplier.

Get began with Stax by Fattmerchant and request your quote immediately.

#2. Sq. Overview — The Finest for Clear Pricing/Charges


  • No month-to-month payment
  • Clear processing
  • Free card reader
  • Nice added options


  • No ACH cost processing
  • Greater charges than desired

Sq. is in style for its bank card processing and POS techniques, however it gives rather more. It hosts options such because the “Card on File” characteristic, permitting customers to retailer buyer card data that works nice for repeat prospects attempting to build up loyalty factors and rewards of that nature.

The processor additionally doesn’t have a month-to-month payment, and whereas Sq.’s options won’t be as superior as a number of the different cost processors we’re speaking about, for a POS with out a month-to-month payment, you’ll be able to’t beat the worth.

You possibly can settle for funds on-line and in-person, although the transaction prices range. For in-person gross sales, anticipate to pay 2.6% and $0.10 per transaction. For on-line transactions, it’ll price you 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. There are different cases, comparable to:

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

These will price 3.5% and $0.15 per transaction.

When you have hundreds of transactions each month, you’ll be able to positively discover one thing cheaper than sq..

However for a small enterprise, the dearth of month-to-month charges and worth transparency makes it simpler to funds than a number of the different service provider providers. Be taught extra.

#3. Cost Depot Overview — The Finest for Established Companies


  • No contract processing
  • Aggressive charges
  • Simple to combine on-line


  • Finest for high-volume enterprise
  • Software course of

Cost 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 increased expenses than they’d with different providers), however if you’re already dealing with plenty of transactions, Cost Depot is usually a sensible choice.

In contrast to different corporations, the processing charges with Cost Depot’s membership pricing stay constant and predictable irrespective of how a lot enterprise you do.

As a result of Cost Depot isn’t of passing off bank card charges to the client at an elevated markup, you’ll be able to wind up saving a ton of cash. The extra transactions you course of, the extra you save with the membership pricing.

Cost Depot accepts all main playing cards and contactless Apple Pay and Google Pay as properly. You get next-day funding and integration with prime POS techniques in addition to ecommerce platforms comparable to:

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

I don’t suppose this is among the greatest service provider providers for small companies due to how they construction their pricing. The transaction charges go down as you pay the next month-to-month payment, they usually seemingly pressure you to extend your plan due to strict processing limits.

Right here’s a breakdown of their pricing:

Fundamental Plan

  • Charge: $49
  • Transaction Charge: $0.15
  • Month-to-month Restrict: $25,000

In style Plan

  • Charge: $79
  • Transaction Charge: $0.10
  • Month-to-month Restrict: $75,000


  • Charge: $99
  • Transaction Charge: $0.07
  • Month-to-month Restrict: $150,000


  • Charge: $199
  • Transaction Charge: $0.05
  • Month-to-month Restrict: Limitless

So, as you’ll be able to see – in the event you’re doing excessive quantity, it will take advantage of sense to improve to the costliest plan for the bottom transaction charges.

#4. Helcim Overview — The Finest for Small Enterprise 


  • Restricted charges
  • Charges primarily based on quantity
  • Free on-line retailer software program


  • Restricted integrations
  • $199 for the cardboard reader

If you happen to’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 may also do a number of the following: Arrange recurring funds and ship invoices.

With a Helcim card reader, you’ll be able to 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, they usually cost $0 in month-to-month charges.

General, Helcim is inexpensive however rather more for in-person funds than they’re on-line. Right here’s a fast breakdown of their pricing construction, which is predicated on how a lot enterprise you do every month:

Month-to-month Quantity: $0 – $25,000

  • In-Individual: 0.3% + 8 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.5% + 25 cents (+ interchange)

Month-to-month Quantity: $25,001 – $50,000

  • In-Individual: 0.25% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.45% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Month-to-month Quantity: $50,001 – $100,000

  • In-Individual: 0.2% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.4% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Month-to-month Quantity: $100,001 – $250,000

  • In-Individual: 0.18% + 6 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.35% + 15 cents (+ interchange)

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

#5. Flagship Service provider Providers Overview — The Finest for Nice Buyer Service


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


  • Complicated possession
  • Little data relating to worth

Flagship Service provider Providers reduce the tape in 2001 and was acquired by iPayment in 2012. Now, they primarily resell iPayment, so hold 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 hundreds of retailers, they usually have a powerful popularity.

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

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

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

One factor that was slightly irritating about Flagship is looking for data on their charges. If you happen to go to their web site, you’ll see that you could fill out a type to get any information about what they cost.

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

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

#6. Stripe Overview — The Finest for On-line Cost Processing 



  • Extraordinarily customizable
  • Cheap pricing
  • Nice resolution for on-line companies


  • Sophisticated setup
  • Could require builders

If your corporation runs fully on-line, Stripe is your best option. It’s made particularly for ecommerce and web enterprise, and tons of startups and Fortune 500 corporations belief Stripe.

The corporate gives subtle software program and APIs that enable on-line retailer homeowners to customise their checkout expertise. You should utilize the pre-built integrations to attach a Stripe checkout instantly after which customise it as you go alongside.

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

With all of those options and shifting elements comes issues. It’s not the simplest to arrange, and in the event you plan on using the various advantages of Stripe, you’ll probably want a developer to deal with it for you.

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

  • On-line:9% and $0.30
  • In-Individual:7% and $0.05
  • Worldwide: Add 1% per transaction
  • ACH Direct: 8% maxed at $5.00 per transaction
  • ACH Credit score: $1.00 per transaction

You should utilize all main credit score and debit playing cards plus ACH, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and rather more. Count on to attend two enterprise days for deposits or pay a one % payment to get prompt deposits.

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

Learn how to Select The Finest Service provider Providers For You 

Earlier than we get into the evaluations, let’s discuss methods 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. Providers
  3. Kind of service provider providers account

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

Processing Charges/Month-to-month Charges

It’s all in regards to the cash, and bank card processing shouldn’t be so simple as you suppose. It’s a must to weigh the professionals and cons with every service; in any other case, you’ll be able to find yourself paying far more than you deliberate.

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

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

To get a decrease processing fee, you often need to pay the next month-to-month payment.

So, in the event you’re processing a ton of funds, a service provider service with a excessive month-to-month payment and low processing charges is usually a good choice.

On the opposite aspect, in the event you’re not processing plenty of funds, having increased course of charges gained’t damage you as a lot as a excessive month-to-month payment would.

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

With flat-rate, you pay a hard and fast quantity for processing every month. With interchange, you pay no matter Visa or Mastercard expenses plus a small payment to Toast.

Flat-rate processing is a predictable resolution that works properly for companies that wish to keep away from massive modifications of their charges. That stated, interchange pricing is mostly extra inexpensive.


You wish to take a look at what the cost processor gives along with bank card processing. Do they provide free POS techniques, {hardware}, cell funds, integrations, and so on?

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

Generally the “further advantages” you get from a service provider service supplier can outweigh a number of the negatives.

The Kind of Service provider Service Account 

There are two main sorts of accounts, one is an aggregator (or intermediary), and one is an ISO (or impartial 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 straightforward cost processing resolution for companies. Sq. is an instance of this, and whereas they make it simpler, they often have increased charges and transaction prices.


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


How properly will your present techniques combine along with your new service provider service?

Whether or not your are promoting on-line or in individual, the product you select ought to complement your present course of and even improve it.

Stripe gives a variety of integrations for in style ecommerce platforms, which makes it an amazing 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 each day workflow to accommodate a brand new service provider service, so discover one which has the integrations to plug proper into your corporation.


By this level, it’s best to know which of those service provider providers is best for you. All of them have their professionals and cons, and it’s best to select based on the kind of enterprise you personal.

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

  1. Stax by Fattmerchant— Finest for taking any kind of cost
  2. Sq.— Finest for clear pricing/charges
  3. Cost Depot— Finest for established companies
  4. Helcim— Finest for small enterprise
  5. Flagship Service provider Providers— Finest for nice customer support
  6. Stripe— Finest for on-line cost processing

My favourite choice for any case is Stax. That platform can deal with something, whether or not you’re massive or small.

If your corporation is already doing plenty of quantity, I like to recommend exploring Cost Depot.

Sq. is an total stable resolution for all companies, however the transaction charges are a bit excessive, and scalability is missing.

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

No matter which alternative you make, hold the essential components in thoughts and select rigorously, so that you don’t remorse your choice down the highway.