Best Merchant Accounts for Cafes

Here is the illustration depicting a cafe merchant account concept, showing a cozy and modern cafe interior.

Cafes Need Reliable Credit and Debit Payment Processing

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.

How to Select the best Cafe Credit Card Processor

When selecting a credit card processor for a cafe business in the USA, there are several factors to consider. Here are some specific considerations.

Credit Card Processing Transaction Fees

Look for a processor with low transaction fees. A flat fee per transaction or a small percentage of the transaction amount can add up over time and eat into your profits. Find out if there are any additional fees, such as monthly or annual fees, that you need to account for.


Ensure the credit card processor is compatible with your point of sale (POS) system. Some processors work with specific POS systems, and it's important to ensure they work well together. You don't want to invest in a credit card processor only to find out it's not compatible with your system.


Security is critical when it comes to processing credit card transactions. Look for a processor that offers secure payment processing, such as encryption and fraud detection. You should also make sure the processor is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant.

Dependable Customer Support

It's essential to have a credit card processor with reliable customer support. If you encounter any issues or have questions, you want to be able to reach someone quickly and easily. Look for a processor with 24/7 customer support and multiple contact options, such as phone, email, and live chat.

Integration with Loyalty Programs

Many cafes have loyalty programs to reward regular customers. Find out if the credit card processor integrates with your loyalty program. It can save time and make it easier for customers to earn and redeem rewards.

Mobile Payments

With the rise of mobile payments, it's important to have a processor that can handle mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It can make the payment process faster and more convenient for customers.

Settlement Time:

Settlement time is the amount of time it takes for the funds from a credit card transaction to be deposited into your bank account. Look for a processor with a fast settlement time, ideally one or two business days.

Additional Features

Some credit card processors offer additional features, such as invoicing, online payment options, and virtual terminals. Consider whether these features would be useful for your cafe business.

By considering these factors, you can find the best credit card processor for your cafe business, one that meets your specific needs and helps you provide the best possible customer experience.

Top Picks For Merchant Services for Cafes

helcim logo

#1 Helcim

Top Rated for Cafe Merchant Services

Helcim is a merchant account provider headquartered in Alberta, Canada, and Seattle, Washington. The company provides merchant services and credit card processing to both U.S. and Canadian businesses. Helcim offers traditional payment processing equipment as well as a feature suite called “Helcim Commerce,” which is intended to serve as an all-in-one business management solution for merchants across all of their sales channels.

Helcim: The Ideal Payment Processing Solution for Cafes

When it comes to accepting credit card payments for your cafe business, you need a payment processing solution that is reliable, secure, and cost-effective. That's where Helcim comes in – it's the perfect payment processing solution for cafe owners who need to accept payments from their customers for buying Cafe products. Helcim offers a range of payment processing services that are tailored to the needs of small businesses, and their cafe payment processing solutions are no exception.

Secure Payment Processing for Cafes

As a cafe owner, the security of your customers' payment information is of utmost importance. With Helcim, you can rest assured that all payment transactions are encrypted and processed securely. Helcim offers end-to-end encryption and tokenization, which means that all payment information is protected from the moment it's entered into the system to the point where the payment is processed.

Flexible Payment Options for Cafes

Helcim offers a variety of payment processing options for cafes, including mobile payments, online payments, and in-person payments. This flexibility allows you to accept payments in the way that is most convenient for your customers. Whether they want to pay with their credit card at the counter or through an online ordering system, Helcim has you covered.

Low Transaction Fees for Cafes

Transaction fees can quickly add up for small business owners, which is why Helcim offers competitive pricing and transparent fees. With Helcim, you can expect low transaction fees that won't eat into your profit margins. Plus, there are no hidden fees or surprises, so you can budget accordingly.

Helcim is the ideal payment processing solution for cafes that need to accept credit card payments from their customers. With secure payment processing, flexible payment options, and low transaction fees, Helcim is the perfect choice for cafe owners who want to provide a seamless payment experience for their customers.

Host Merchant Services logo

Host Merchant Services

Top Pick for Cafe Credit Card Processing

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+.”

Host Merchant Services: A Reliable Credit Card Processing Service

Cafe-Friendly Processing: Host Merchant Services understands the unique needs of Cafe businesses, which is why they offer Cafe-friendly payment processing solutions. From accepting tips to handling multiple transactions per table, Host Merchant Services has got you covered.

No Hidden Fees

One of the biggest concerns for small business owners is unexpected fees. Host Merchant Services prides itself on transparency, with no hidden fees or long-term contracts. This means you can budget for your payment processing costs with confidence.

Excellent Customer Service

Host Merchant Services is known for its exceptional customer service. As a small business owner, you can rest assured that you'll get the help you need when you need it. Their team of experts is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide support.

Competitive Rates

Host Merchant Services offers competitive rates for credit card processing, which can help you save money over time. With no setup fees or cancellation fees, you can easily switch to Host Merchant Services without any financial risk.

Host Merchant Services is a great option for small business owners in the Cafe industry who need a reliable, affordable, and Cafe-friendly payment processing solution. With transparent pricing, excellent customer service, and competitive rates, Host Merchant Services has everything you need to process credit card payments with ease.

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

PaymentCloud Logo


A Top Rated Provider for Cafe Merchant Services

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.”

PaymentCloud: The Ideal Credit Card Processing Solution for Cafe Businesses

If you own a cafe business and need to accept credit card payments from your customers, PaymentCloud is a great option to consider. Here are some reasons why:

Fast and Reliable Payment Processing

PaymentCloud understands that time is of the essence when it comes to the Cafe industry. Their payment processing system is fast and reliable, ensuring that transactions are completed quickly and efficiently, so that you can keep your cafe customers happy and satisfied.

Support for High Volume Transactions

Cafes are often bustling with customers and have high volume transactions. PaymentCloud can handle high volume transactions without any hiccups or delays, allowing you to process payments quickly and easily.

Secure Transactions

PaymentCloud uses the latest technology and security measures to ensure that all transactions are secure and safe. As a cafe business owner, you can rest easy knowing that your customers' sensitive information is protected from potential fraud or theft.

Seamless Integration with Cafe POS Systems

PaymentCloud seamlessly integrates with a variety of point-of-sale (POS) systems that are commonly used in the cafe industry, including Clover, Square, and Shopify. This makes it easy for you to manage your cafe transactions, track sales, and process refunds.

Customizable Payment Options

PaymentCloud offers a variety of payment options, including credit and debit cards, mobile payments, and eChecks. This means that you can provide your cafe customers with the payment methods that they prefer, making it more convenient for them to do business with you.

PaymentCloud is an excellent option for cafe businesses that need to accept credit card payments from their customers. With their fast and reliable payment processing, support for high volume transactions, secure transactions, seamless integration with cafe POS systems, and customizable payment options, PaymentCloud provides everything that a cafe business needs to succeed.

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

cdg commerce logo

CDG Commerce

Top Rated for Cafe Merchant Accounts

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.

Why CDG Commerce is the Ideal Payment Processor for Café Businesses

As a café owner, accepting credit card payments is crucial for the success of your business. CDG Commerce is an excellent payment processing solution for café businesses because it understands the unique needs of your industry. Here are some reasons why CDG Commerce is an ideal payment processor for café businesses.

Efficient Payment Processing for Café Products

CDG Commerce offers efficient payment processing services for café products. With their payment processing solutions, you can accept credit card payments quickly and securely, without any delay or hassle. CDG Commerce offers state-of-the-art payment processing technology that ensures fast and reliable transactions. Whether you need to accept payments for coffee, pastries, or other café products, CDG Commerce has got you covered.

Affordable Pricing for Café Businesses

CDG Commerce offers affordable pricing plans for café businesses. Their pricing structure is transparent, with no hidden fees or charges. You can choose the plan that suits your business needs and budget. CDG Commerce offers competitive rates for credit card processing, ensuring that you can keep your costs low and maximize your profits.

24/7 Support for Café Businesses

CDG Commerce provides 24/7 support for café businesses. As a café owner, you need a payment processing partner who can assist you whenever you need help. With CDG Commerce, you can reach out to their support team anytime, day or night. Their friendly and knowledgeable support staff can help you with any payment processing issues, ensuring that your business operations run smoothly.

CDG Commerce is an excellent payment processing option for café businesses. Their efficient payment processing services, affordable pricing plans, and 24/7 support make them an ideal partner for café owners who want to accept credit card payments for their products. Choose CDG Commerce and streamline your payment processing for your café business today.

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

Additional Options

national processing logo

National Processing

National Processing offers several small business processing options and can assist cafes with identifying the right POS system or virtual terminal for their needs. The company offers two pricing options: one an interchange-plus program or a “zero-fee” program, both of which offer competitively priced rates.

National Processing has a clean reputation with just one complaint filed in the last three years, which is not concerning in nature. Our independent review finds National Processing to be a solid option for most cafes and coffee shops.

Why National Processing is a Great Choice for Cafe Payment Processing

As a small business owner running a cafe, it is crucial to have a reliable payment processing service that can handle your customers' credit card transactions with ease. National Processing is an excellent option for cafe owners who need to accept credit card payments from customers buying cafe products. Here are a few reasons why National Processing stands out among other credit card processing services.

Fast and Secure Transactions

National Processing provides a fast and secure payment processing service for cafe owners. With National Processing, you can ensure that your customers' credit card information is encrypted and protected against fraud. The payment process is also quick, allowing your customers to pay and get back to enjoying their cafe experience in no time.

Cost-Effective Solutions

National Processing offers cost-effective payment processing solutions, which can be a big advantage for small business owners. With National Processing, you can choose from a range of payment plans to fit your budget. Plus, their pricing is transparent and straightforward, so you know exactly what you're paying for.

Integration with Cafe POS Systems

National Processing can easily integrate with your cafe's point-of-sale (POS) system, making it even easier for you to manage transactions. This integration allows for a seamless payment process, which can help reduce errors and improve your cafe's overall efficiency.

24/7 Customer Support

As a cafe owner, you need a payment processing service that you can rely on, especially during peak hours. National Processing provides 24/7 customer support, ensuring that any issues or questions you have will be addressed promptly. This level of support can help you avoid any downtime and keep your cafe running smoothly.

In conclusion, National Processing is an excellent choice for cafe owners who need to accept credit card payments from their customers. With fast and secure transactions, cost-effective solutions, integration with POS systems, and 24/7 customer support, National Processing can help you streamline your payment process and focus on providing the best cafe experience for your customers.

For more information, see the National Processing website or call (385) 777-1235.

shopify logo


Shopify is primarily known as an e-commerce platform for online merchants, but the company also offers a point-of-sale software solution for iPad and iPhone. The Shopify POS app can accept cards via a headphone jack card swiper, or a $129 EMV reader and includes features like inventory syncing with a web store, emailed receipts, automatic tax calculations, basic email marketing, and in-store refunds. These online payment options and the familiarity of the Shopify brand are great for cafe-goers who will feel safe and comfortable using the service.

The Shopify payment service can also be paired with a Shopify online store, which comes with numerous customization options. Shopify POS is a great fit for cafes who would like to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as through online billing. Shopify has an “A+” rating with the BBB, and we give it an “A+” rating as well.

Why Shopify is the Best Option for Cafe Payment Processing

As a business owner in the cafe industry, you need a reliable and efficient payment processing system to accept credit card payments from your customers. Shopify is an excellent option for small business owners who sell cafe products and need a reliable payment processing service.

Seamless Integration with Cafe Point of Sale (POS) Systems

Shopify integrates seamlessly with popular cafe POS systems, allowing you to accept credit card payments from customers who are buying your products. With Shopify, you can easily process transactions from your POS system, ensuring that your customers' transactions are fast and seamless.

Robust Security Features to Protect Your Customers' Data

Shopify has robust security features that ensure your customers' credit card data is safe and secure. The platform is PCI compliant and adheres to the highest security standards, protecting both you and your customers from potential data breaches and fraud.

Easy Setup and Customization

Shopify is easy to set up and customize, allowing you to tailor the payment processing system to meet the needs of your cafe business. You can easily customize the checkout process to match your brand and integrate the payment processing system with your existing website or POS system.

Competitive Transaction Fees

Shopify offers competitive transaction fees for small business owners in the cafe industry, helping you save money on payment processing costs. With Shopify, you can accept credit card payments from your customers without breaking the bank, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Shopify is an excellent option for small business owners who sell cafe products and need a reliable payment processing service. With its seamless integration with cafe POS systems, robust security features, easy setup and customization, and competitive transaction fees, Shopify can help you streamline your payment processing and grow your business.

For more information, visit the Shopify website or call (888) 746-7439.

Frequently Asked Questions: Cafes Credit Card Processing

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments in multiple ways, typically debit or credit cards. It acts as an intermediary between your business's bank account and your customer's card company.

Why do I need a merchant account for my café?

By having a merchant account, your café can accept credit and debit card payments, providing convenience for your customers and potentially increasing your revenue. Today's consumers often expect to be able to pay with their cards, so it's important for your café to have this capability.

How can I find the best merchant account for my café?

The best merchant account will depend on your café's specific needs, including your volume of sales, your average transaction size, and your customers' preferred payment methods. When comparing different providers, consider factors such as fees, reliability, customer service, and the types of payment methods supported.

What types of fees should I consider when selecting a merchant account?

The most common fees associated with merchant accounts are transaction fees, monthly fees, and setup fees. Transaction fees are typically a percentage of each transaction, while monthly fees are flat charges. Some providers may also charge setup fees when you first open your account. It's crucial to understand all the associated fees before committing to a provider.

What kind of customer service should I look for in a merchant account provider?

Look for a provider that offers reliable and responsive customer service. This could include 24/7 support, multiple channels for assistance (phone, email, live chat), and resources for troubleshooting. It's important to have good support in case you encounter any issues with your account or payments.

What about POS systems? Are they included with merchant accounts?

Some merchant account providers offer Point of Sale (POS) systems as part of their packages, while others do not. A POS system can simplify the checkout process and also provide valuable data about your sales. If you need a POS system, make sure to check if this is included or available at an additional cost from your provider.

How can I ensure my customers' payment information is safe?

Choose a merchant account provider that complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard sets the rules for handling cardholder data and can help protect your customers' payment information.

Are there merchant accounts that support mobile payments?

Yes, many merchant accounts now support mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. If you expect a significant number of your customers to pay using their smartphones, it's worth finding a provider that supports these payment methods

What if my café is only temporary or seasonal?

For temporary or seasonal operations, consider a merchant account provider that offers flexible contracts or pay-as-you-go terms. Some providers are designed to cater to businesses with irregular operations and can be a good fit for these situations.

How long does it take to set up a merchant account?

The time to set up a merchant account can vary based on the provider. Typically, the process can take from a few days to a couple of weeks. Make sure to ask your potential provider about their setup process and timeline.

Reader Comments

Tell Us What You Think

1 User Reviews

  • Elizabeth

    I wanted to express my sincerest gratitude for your in-depth and insightful article on “Best Merchant Accounts for Cafes”. As a café owner, your guide has been an incredibly useful resource in understanding and navigating this specific sector.

    Your thorough analysis of each merchant account, their unique strengths, possible limitations, and special features, was expertly executed. Your ability to distil complex topics into understandable information is truly commendable, making this dense subject much more accessible.

    I greatly appreciated your focus on key aspects such as transaction fees, customer support, and security protocols. Your insights into the specific needs of cafes, including mobile payment options, integration with POS systems, and handling of small ticket, high-volume transactions, were particularly beneficial.

    It’s evident that considerable research, time, and expertise were invested into this guide. Your commitment to providing accurate, relevant, and actionable information has simplified a typically complex task, empowering business owners like myself to make informed decisions.

    Thank you once again for your invaluable contribution to this field. Your work, dedication, and expertise are deeply appreciated.

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