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Top Rated Credit Card Processors

All-Purpose (U.S. Only)

PaylineData.com (888) 506-7812
Among all of the companies that we have reviewed, Payline Data is one of the few to have maintained a top rating throughout each update. A solid choice for any business.
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MerchantWarehouse.com (866) 807-3605
Merchant Warehouse is one of the longest-standing top rated providers we have reviewed. The company offer competitive rates, no contracts, and no cancellation fees.
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Mobile Processing (U.S.)

Flint.com
Flint is a top-rated mobile option for both iPhone and Android users. This app offer quick setup, low rates, invoicing, Quickbooks integration, and multi-user accounts. Highly recommended.
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SparkPay.com
Spark Pay shares the benefits of most other mobile processing apps but with a few standout features suchs as a dedicated customer support number, inventory management, loyalty programs, and several more. Includes free setup.
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“High-Risk” Processing

PaylineData.com (888) 910-7080
Payline Data is not only a top rated all-purpose merchant account provider, but can also serve businesses that are often classified as “high-risk” types. Currently Payline only serves U.S. merchants and is a great option for most high-risk industries.
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Durango-Direct.com
Durango Merchant Services is a top rated “high-risk” provider that can help most hard-to-place businesses including, TMF, bad credit, and cross-border. Durango can also place many international merchants. Check here if you have had problems getting processing.
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POS Systems (Worldwide)

Shopify.com
Shopify is the top rated Point-of-Sale (POS) system on CardPaymentOptions.com. The system has earned this rating due to being compatible with nearly any merchant account, competive rates, and processing options. A great alternative to traditional POS options.
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All-Purpose (Canada)

Helcim.com
Helcim is the best rated Canadian merchant account provider that we have reviewed. The company scores top marks in all categories and has stellar customer support. Helcim serves most business types.
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Mobile/Digital Wallets

LoopPay.com
LoopPay is one of the most innovative and unique mobile wallet apps that we have reviewed. Unlike most mobile wallets, LoopPay can be used anywhere that you can pay with a credit card. Simply use LoopPay’s iPhone case or Fob. Check it out!
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What is a Merchant Account? Click to Expand.
Simply put, a merchant account is a type of bank account that allows a business to accept card payments from its customers. Similar to how a checking account allows one person to deposit another person’s check into his or her checking account, a merchant account allows a business to deposit a card payment from a person’s credit or debit card. However, a merchant account doesn’t hold money like a checking account. Instead, the credit card payments pass through the merchant account and then are deposited into a checking account after the funds have been cleared through the merchant account. From the time of the sale, credit card transactions usually take 48 hours to clear a merchant account and deposit into a checking account. Instead of getting several deposits for each transaction, all the card payments from a single day are grouped together into one deposit called a “batch.”

An interesting fact about the credit card processing industry is that VISA and MasterCard do not directly provide merchant accounts to businesses. Instead, they rely on banks, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial service providers and independent agents to supply the merchant accounts. American Express is different from VISA and MasterCard because it provides its own merchant accounts directly to merchants and does not use any 3rd party sales organizations. If a business owner wishes to accept American Express Cards, s/he must set up a separate American Express merchant account. Discover Card acceptance can be set up with a VISA and MasterCard reseller. Despite all this, the different card types can be transacted through the same payment equipment and payment gateways.

In order for a 3rd party sales organization to legally supply VISA and/or Discover credit card processing services to businesses, it must be registered as an “Independent Sales Organization” (ISO) and backed by an FDIC insured bank (AKA: Acquiring Bank). The same holds true with MasterCard except the certification is called a “MasterCard Service Provider” (MSP). Since American Express does not use 3rd party resellers, it has no such certification.

Banks consider merchant accounts as a line of credit because the business gets paid before any actual money is collected from the customer. This means that a business owner who wishes to open a merchant account must undergo a personal credit check and may need to supply financial data to get approved. Many providers also require a copy of the business license, incorporation papers, and/or other financial documents during the underwriting process. Once approved, a business will have restrictions on the maximum dollar amount allowed in a single transaction and in total card sales for a single day. However, business owners can request increases to their transaction limits once a transaction history has been established with the merchant account provider.

 

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