Is your church considering accepting credit card payments for tithes and donations? Taking plastic during or after a service may seem unconventional, but the security and convenience of credit cards can actually be very attractive to churchgoers. Credit cards reduce the annoyance of having to carry checks or cash to church events, and they also can be paid off at a later date, allowing congregants to contribute whenever they feel moved to do so. Recurring bank transfers can also be a simple, secure way to accept donations without the hassle of making on-site payments. By enabling your congregation to discreetly donate either online or at church functions, you can make their lives easier and add more sources of revenue for your church.
That’s why we’ve put together the following list of the top merchant account providers for churches. These payment processors can help you find a low-cost, convenient, secure way to accept credit cards and ACH transfers from your congregation. They’ve all received overwhelmingly positive reviews on this website and from third-party reviewers, and they have extensive experience working with the non-profit sector. In order to secure the lowest rates and the right payment system for your church, it’s recommended that you contact multiple providers on this list to compare features and pricing.
Best Merchant Account for Churches
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for organizations like churches and non-profits. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, recurring billing, and mobile credit card processing. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to organizations like churches that are interested in online fundraising efforts.
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 churches to accept payments at functions held off-site, on-going fundraising efforts online, or to accept donations from members following services. Furthermore, PaymentCloud specializes in serving non-profit organizations with donor management and fundraising tools. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for churches.
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 congregations 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.
Privately owned and operated since 1998, CDG Commerce is a Chesapeake, Virginia-based merchant account provider that offers online, mobile, and in-person payment solutions for churches. In addition to traditional and mobile POS equipment, CDG Commerce supplies a virtual terminal and online payment gateway with recurring billing, payment tokenization, on-site payment options, third-party compatibility, and ACH processing.
CDG Commerce provides fixed, low rates to all non-profit organizations and offers a month-to-month agreement with no early termination fees. The company has received mostly glowing reviews in its nearly two decades of service. Our review of CDG Commerce gives the company an “A+,” and the BBB also gives CDG an “A+” rating.
Dharma Merchant Services is a San Francisco, California-based merchant account provider that specializes in affordable payment processing for non-profit organizations. The company’s services include a virtual terminal with recurring billing, secure donor history access, custom donation pages, email outreach, and crowd funding solutions. Similar to Payline Data, Dharma also donates 50% of its net revenue at the end of each year to a select number of charities. Dharma is a competitively priced option for small to mid-sized organizations.
Dharma offers a very low rate of interchange plus 0.25% plus $0.10 per transaction to all of its non-profit users, and the company regularly receives positive feedback regarding its sales and support teams. Our review of Dharma Merchant Services gives the company an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB also gives Dharma an “A+.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is a highly rated all-around merchant account provider that donates up to 10% of its total revenue on each account to charities. The company’s products and features include traditional and tablet-based POS solutions, a QuickBooks-integrated virtual terminal, tokenized payments, online “Donate Now” buttons, and mobile phone processing. Payline Data is capable of serving religious organizations of all sizes, from small local churches to regional and national megachurches.
Payline Data’s standard pricing offers interchange-plus rates with no early termination fees, which has resulted in consistently positive reviews from business owners and third-party reviewers. Our review of Payline Data gives the company an “A+” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives Payline an “A” at this time.
Based in Alberta, Canada, Helcim is another positively reviewed all-purpose processor that offers in-person and online donation options for churches throughout the U.S. and Canada. Helcim’s products and services include a virtual terminal, tokenized data storage and access, recurring billing, credit card terminals, and a payment gateway that can be directly integrated with a website, shopping cart, billing system, or other application via an API. Helcim is a good fit for religious organizations of all sizes.
Helcim is known for its transparent pricing structure (interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month agreements and no early termination fees) and has received regular positive reviews since we first reviewed the company in 2013. CardPaymentOptions.com gives Helcim an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB also assigns Helcim an “A+.”
For more information, see the Helcim Website.