Best Merchant Accounts for Child Care

What to Know Before Getting Started

From fully staffed day cares to part-time nannies, child care providers can get paid more reliably and efficiently by accepting credit cards. Many conventional merchant accounts offer features like virtual terminals, recurring billing, payment plans, email invoicing, and online marketing for child care facilities, while mobile phone credit card processing apps enable individuals to swipe on the go without any additional equipment or long-term fees. These services keep money coming in on time and save customers the trouble of writing a check every month.

To help you find the right credit card processor for you, we’ve compiled the following list of the best merchant accounts for child care workers. The providers on this list offer card swiping equipment, online invoicing, accounting integration, virtual terminals, and other features that will make it easier to run your business. More importantly, though, they are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your child care business, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare their 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 daycares 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.

Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for day cares. The company’s products and services include credit card swipers, online marketing tools, mobile credit card processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, custom third-party integrations, recurring billing, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and business-class email to interested merchants. Host is an ideal option for day cares that would like to accept payments in person or online at a reasonable cost.

Host Merchant Services has received exclusively 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 Better Business Bureau 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.

CDG Commerce

Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is another reliable option for child care providers of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers dedicated processing equipment, a proprietary online payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), recurring billing, a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for child care businesses that require a simple, low-cost, fully integrated processing solution across all payment channels.

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 Better Business Bureau.

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

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


Innerfence

Inner Fence, a joint venture with the processor Merchant Focus, offers the widest platform compatibility among the providers in this list. Inner Fence can be used with both iPhone and Android devices as well as Windows and Mac computers, making it a versatile virtual terminal that can take payments on nearly any internet-connected device. The service is available to both U.S. and Canadian child care providers and offers customer support via email and telephone. It’s well-suited for child care professionals who seek the convenience of taking card payments in multiple locations.

Unlike most of the other picks in this list, Inner Fence charges a monthly service fee ranging from $39 to $49 based on a user’s location and preferred payment schedule. It also charges 2.9% plus $0.30 for all transactions, which may be a drawback for low volume and micro-merchants. Additionally, the service requires an Authorize.net account that will likely result in additional monthly fees.

Learn more in our Inner Fence Review, or visit the Inner Fence website.

Payline Data

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently been reviewed as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first covered the company. Payline is capable of serving child care providers of all sales volumes and specialties. The company offers credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, recurring billing, online invoicing, and API integration for online payments. Payline Data is a good general option for any day care, regardless of size or specialty.

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 places a corporate emphasis on social consciousness and community outreach. The company’s products and services include countertop terminals, mobile device payment processing, an online payment gateway (Authorize.Net), QuickBooks integration, and small business financing. Dharma donates a percentage of its profits to non-profits of its choosing every year and offers discounted rates to non-profit organizations. Dharma is best equipped to provide savings for day cares that process over $10,000 per month or that operate in a non-profit capacity.

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+.”

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


If your business offers merchant services for child care locations, 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.

My Qualifications

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so decided to build this website to help you research which providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. 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 here. Simply scroll to the top of the page to find the search bar. You can also message me if you need any guidance.

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