When it comes to credit card processing for your coffee shop or cafe, the point of sale is what matters most. Your regular customers will expect a checkout experience that is pleasant, seamless, and swift, and if you can’t provide one for them, then they will take their business elsewhere. You should also be sure to consider other services as well, such as gift and loyalty programs, order routing, offline processing, custom modifiers, inventory tracking, and employee hours management. Finding the right combination of features with the right merchant account provider can speed up your checkout process, keep your customers coming back, and help your coffee shop grow rapidly.
To help you land the best fit for your business, we’ve put together the following list of the best credit card processors for cafes. The providers on this list offer point-of-sale systems, customer loyalty programs, online marketing tools, and other useful services for growing and operating your cafe. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your coffee shop, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
Best Merchant Accounts for Cafes
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for cafes of all sizes. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions (with a specific package for the restaurant sector), online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to interested merchants. Host is an excellent, affordable option for any coffee house.
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+.”
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 merchants to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as through online billing. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for cafes because its comprehensive point-of-sale systems allow them to do much more than simply process payments. Inventory management tools can help track supplies, store prices for different items, and ultimately expedite checkouts to handle the long lines that come along early each and every morning.
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.”
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 cafes 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.
Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is a great option for coffee shops all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers point-of-sale products, a virtual terminal, proprietary payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for cafes that require a simple, low-cost, fully integrated retail processing solution.
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.
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 POS app comes with a free card reader and allows for Quickbooks integration, end-of-shift reports, labor tracking, 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. SalesVu is designed to help coffee shops efficiently manage the point of sale without the use of excessive hardware.
SalesVu will match a merchant’s existing credit card processing rates or provide a merchant account through either Mercury or Century. 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.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently rated as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first reviewed the company. Payline is capable of serving merchants of all sizes and types, including some high risk business industries. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great option for almost any coffee shop, from small, single-register locations to large, enterprise-level organizations.
In addition to its wide array of services, Payline Data offers interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees. As a result, the company enjoys a large number of positive testimonials from its clients on this website and in other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A+.”
Based in San Francisco, California, Dharma Merchant Services is a highly rated merchant account provider that known for placing a corporate emphasis on social consciousness and community outreach. The company’s products and services for coffee shops include a tablet-based POS system (via a partnership with ShopKeep), mobile device payment processing, an online payment gateway (Authorize.Net), QuickBooks integration, and small business financing. ShopKeep POS’s useful features include custom screen layouts, customer menu modifiers, inventory tracking, offline processing, printer routing, gift and loyalty programs, and sales analytics. Dharma is best suited to provide savings for cafes and coffeehouses that process over $10,000 per month.
Dharma scores highly in our review and elsewhere due to its positively reviewed customer service, transparent marketing practices, competitive interchange-plus rates, and fair service agreements. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns a rating of “A+” for Dharma Merchant Services, while CardPaymentOptions.com also gives the company an “A+.”