Best Merchant Accounts for Cafes

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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

CDG Commerce

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.

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

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 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.

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.


Host Merchant Services

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+.”

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

Payline Data

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+.”

Dharma Merchant Services

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+.”

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


If your business offers merchant services for cafes, 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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