Auto dealerships have incredibly complex needs when it comes to credit card processing. Their busy sales environments demand reliable point-of-sale options typically reserved for large retailers, but they also require sophisticated backend payment systems that can manage complicated, high-average-ticket transactions and financing plans. And when it comes to the competitive auto sales market, vendors need to look closely at systems that include marketing and customer retention tools. It can be daunting to find a system that offers all of these features without cutting too heavily into an auto dealer’s already-slim profit margins, but it’s possible.
To make it easier for you, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant account providers for auto dealerships. These providers are able to offer a full range of point-of-sale hardware and business management solutions to make sales easier and keep cars moving off the lot. More importantly, though, they offer fair pricing and have been positively reviewed by merchants and third-party reviewers. In order to find the best provider for your dealership, be sure to contact multiple companies on this list to compare pricing and products.
Best Merchant Accounts for Car Dealerships
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+.”
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. Car dealerships can utilize the inventory management and sales tracking tools that are part of PaymentCloud’s POS solutions as well as the convenience of facilitating online payments on a one-time or recurring basis through its virtual terminal. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a great option for car dealerships.
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 auto dealers 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.
Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is a merchant account provider that is able to provide in-person, mobile, and retail credit card processing to car dealerships. CDG Commerce’s products and features include a free payment gateway, a virtual terminal, live sales tracking, fraud management, QuickBooks integration, recurring billing, and ACH processing.
CDG Commerce was founded in 1998 and has received mostly positive reviews from its merchants since then. The company offers month-to-month agreements with no early termination fees in most cases. Our review of CDG Commerce awards the company an “A+” rating, and the BBB also gives CDG an “A+.”
Founded in 2009, Payline Data is a rapidly growing Chicago-based merchant account provider that offers a full suite of services for utilities companies. The company’s products and features include a QuickBooks-integrated online payment gateway and virtual terminal, ACH processing, automated recurring billing, payment tokenization, mobile processing, a “Pay Now” button, and customizable sales analytics.
Payline Data often receives positive feedback from merchants regarding its knowledgeable customer support, transparent sales policies, and affordable pricing model, which typically offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees. Our review of Payline Data currently gives the company an “A+” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives Payline an “A.”
Based in San Francisco, California, Dharma Merchant Services is a highly rated merchant account provider that is known for placing a corporate emphasis on social consciousness and community outreach. The company’s products and services include countertop terminals, 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. The company also donates a percentage of its net profits to non-profit organizations of its choosing every year. Dharma is best suited to provide savings for merchants who 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 BBB currently assigns a rating of “A+” for Dharma Merchant Services, while CardPaymentOptions.com also gives the company an “A+.”
Based in Alberta, Canada, Helcim is a highly rated all-purpose processor that supplies in-person, mobile, and online payment solutions to businesses in both the U.S. and Canada. Helcim’s products and services for car dealers include a virtual terminal, email invoicing, secure data storage and access, recurring billing, and a payment gateway that can be directly integrated with a website, billing system, or other application via an API.
Helcim is known for its transparent pricing structure (interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month agreements and no early termination fees) and frequently receives positive testimonials regarding its sales team and support staff. CardPaymentOptions.com gives Helcim an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB also assigns Helcim an “A+.”