Best Bar Merchant Accounts

What to Know Before Getting Started

Starting a New Business?

Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.

Considerations For Current Business Owners

Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.

Bars, pubs, and nightclubs are some of the most active points of sale in the credit card processing industry. Busy shifts usually involve a combination of high transaction volumes and low average tickets, which can be very costly for bartenders who are on unfavorable pricing plans. In addition, the frantic nightclub payment environment demands a point-of-sale system that can track tabs, accept payments quickly, and foster repeat business through a loyalty program. Many of these systems may seem prohibitively expensive, but there are still a number of business solutions that can help your bar process payments efficiently, securely, and at a reasonable cost.

To help you find these services, we’ve compiled the following list of the best merchant accounts for bars. These credit card processors offer low-cost payment processing, highly rated customer service, and a wide range of POS solutions that can keep your location operating smoothly. Even more important, though, is the fact that they have all received consistently positive reviews from merchants and third-party reviewers. Each provider will offer a different combination of savings and features, so it’s best to contact multiple companies from this list to secure the lowest prices and most useful services.

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers

Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most general business types and some high risk merchants. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions (with specific packages for the restaurant, salon, professional service, and contractor sectors), online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, merchant cash advance, and offshore merchant accounts. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to new merchants who require them.

Host Merchant Services Pricing

Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. Host offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”

For more information, visit the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 727-4538.

PaymentCloud

Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving standard to high risk business types. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. These features allow low to high volume bars to accurately track their extensive inventory or drinks, track sales, and maintain tabs. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a great option for bars.

PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”

For more information, visit the PaymentCloud website or call (888) 506-7859.

Fattmerchant

Active since early 2014, Fattmerchant is a merchant account provider leading the industry’s move toward flat-rate, subscription-style pricing. The company’s products and services include EMV-compatible countertop terminals, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, mobile phone processing, QuickBooks integration, online invoicing, and recurring billing. Fattmerchant is capable of serving all standard-risk tanning salons and offers a comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.

Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates. Merchants can select either a plan that charges a flat fee on all transactions or a plan that charges a fixed monthly fee plus a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, merchants can choose whether or not they are charged a percentage markup on each transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

For more information, visit the Fattmerchant website, or call (866) 397-9826.

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers

Other Merchant Account Options

The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.


SalesVu

Founded in 2007, SalesVu is an Austin, Texas-based software provider that has partnered with Mercury Payment Systems and Century Payments to offer a full POS system for iPad and iPhone. SalesVu’s free POS app comes with a free card reader and allows for Quickbooks integration, end-of-shift reports, social media promotion, labor tracking, recurring billing, barcode scanning, automated discounts, tip adjusting, split checks, and invoicing. The company’s service also comes with a free, customizable e-commerce website and telephone support. Merchants can either open a new merchant account with unique pricing through Mercury or Century or receive a match with their existing rates through SalesVu.

SalesVu currently receives an “A+” from CardPaymentOptions.com, and although the company does not have a Better Business Bureau profile at this time, the BBB profile for Mercury Payment Systems is showing an “A+” rating.

For more information, see the SalesVu Website.

CDG Commerce

Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is another great option for bars of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers a proprietary payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for bars that would like a simple, low-cost, fully integrated method for accepting payments online or in person.

CDG Commerce only charges a low, fixed fee per transaction and offers competitive contractual terms, including no annual fees, monthly minimums, or termination fees. CDG also offers next day funding to most business types. CDG has earned an “A+” rating in our review as well as an “A+” rating with the BBB.

For more information, see the CDG Commerce website or call (888) 393-1079.

Payline Data

Payline Data is a rapidly growing all-purpose merchant account provider headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 2009, the company is capable of serving bars of all sizes and needs with a service suite that includes tablet-based and conventional POS equipment, ATM placement, online sales reporting, inventory tracking, and custom loyalty programs.

Payline Data offers interchange-plus pricing to all of its merchants with no long-term contracts or early termination fees, and this pricing structure has resulted in a steady stream of positive merchant reviews for the company. Additionally, Payline’s sales and support teams regularly receive praise from business owners. Our review of Payline Data gives the company an “A+” rating at this time, while the BBB gives Payline an “A” rating.

Dharma Merchant Services

Based in San Francisco, Dharma Merchant Services is one of the highest-rated providers in the industry and is an excellent processor for bars and restaurants. Dharma offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees, annual fees, or monthly minimum fees, and it has consistently received positive testimonials from merchants since we first reviewed it in 2012.

To serve merchants in the food service industry, Dharma is partnered with ShopKeep POS, a cloud-based iPad point-of-sale system that currently has an “A” rating on CardPaymentOptions.com. ShopKeep’s features include real-time inventory tracking (down to the individual components of each cocktail), order notes, check splitting, employee management, customer relationship management, QuickBooks integration, and detailed sales reporting for $49 per month with no long-term contract.

By combining a Dharma Merchant Services merchant account with a ShopKeep point-of-sale system, you can enjoy excellent customer service and powerful point-of-sale features at a very low overall cost. Our review of Dharma currently awards the company an “A+” rating, and the Better Business Bureau also assigns Dharma an “A+.”

For more information, see the Dharma Merchant Services Website or call (888) 404-1237.


If your business specializes in payment processing solutions for bars, pubs, or nightclubs, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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