Consultants Need Agile Payment Processing
As a consultant, your job is to help organizations reach their potential. Increasing efficiency and adopting better business practices is essential, but it’s also key to minimize operating costs and eliminate wasteful programs. These same principles apply when it comes to choosing a merchant account. You’ll want to look for time-saving services like billing automation, client management, and online marketing tools, and you’ll want to avoid providers that lock you into long-term agreements, hide their fees, and provide inadequate customer service. But how to tell which providers are best for you?
The following list of best merchant accounts for consultants should help you narrow your search for a payment processor. The companies on this list offer invoicing tools, accounting integration, mobile payment apps, virtual terminals, and other features that make it easier for you to get paid. 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 consulting business, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
Best Merchant Services for Consultants
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for independent consultants and consulting firms. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions for contractors, online marketing tools, mobile credit card processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and business-class email address to interested merchants. Host is an ideal option for consultants who would like to build a strong web presence at a reasonable cost.
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. This allows merchants to charge online or to bill for recurring services with invoices that detail the services they provide. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for consultants.
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.”
Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is another reliable option for consulting firms of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers a proprietary online payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for organizations 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.
National Processing offers several small business processing options and can assist consultants in finding the right mobile POS 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 consultants.
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. This flexibility makes Shopify an excellent option for consultants.
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 consultants 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.