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.
They Handle Your Money. You Should Be Able to Contact Them.
Customer service is the biggest X-factor in credit card processing. You can receive low rates and sleek equipment from your merchant account provider and still want to pull your hair out because of shoddy customer support (or in the case of Square and Stripe, non-existent customer support). By that same token, a less flashy or more expensive payment processor can make up for its shortcomings by providing friendly, proactive service to merchants. If you’ve been burned by a bad processor before, then you’ve probably decided that quality customer support is a top priority in your next processor.
Find the Best
To help you in your search, we’ve compiled the following list of the top merchant account providers for great customer service. The providers on this list have gone above and beyond the industry standard by offering reliable phone and email support lines and proactively responding to customer complaints. They’ve also received multiple verified positive testimonials from their merchants, which is a true rarity in payment processing. Be sure to compare processors in this list to find the one that is the best fit for your business type.
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
Best Overall Option
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 offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat.
Fattmerchant Video Testimonial
Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates, but all of its plans charge a fixed monthly fee and a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, none of Fattmerchant’s plans charge a percentage-based fee on each transaction, meaning that merchants will not pay more to process a large transaction than they will a small transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Host Merchant Services
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 offers 24/7/365 phone, email, and live chat support to all of its merchants.
Host Merchant Services Verified Testimonials
I have been using Host Merchant Services at my restaurant for 2 years. The customer support is outstanding and I would highly recommend them to any business.
I have worked with HMS for a few years now and they have been not only responsive, but they connect with clients on a personal level. Rates are better than any other option we can offer our clients and the application process is painless and fast! Thanks HMS!
We have have switched our Church to this Merchant Provider and have found their fees, service and courtesy to be exemplary at every level.
Trustee & IT Manager, P.O.M.O G. Orthodox Church
Host Merchant Services Reviews
Host Merchant Services has received overwhelmingly 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+.”
Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is a great option for standard-risk merchants of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers a proprietary 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 offers phone, email, and live chat support to all of its merchants.
CDG Commerce Video Testimonial
CDG Commerce Reviews
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.
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.
For High Risk Merchants
eMerchantBroker.com is a Los Angeles-based credit card processor that primarily serves high risk e-commerce business types. The company’s high risk processing services include chargeback dispute resolution, an online payment gateway, ACH processing, merchant cash advance, and MOTO processing options. eMerchant Broker offers phone and email support to all of its merchants.
eMerchantBroker.com has maintained a low complaint rate since our first review of the company and appears to offer custom pricing plans depending on each business’s type and processing history. Our review of eMerchantBroker.com currently awards the company an “A” rating, while the BBB gives it an “A+.”
High risk business types served by eMerchantBroker.com: Adult Merchant Accounts, Airlines and Jet Charters, Bad Credit, Bail Bonds, Cigars and Pipes, Collection Agency, Credit Repair, Debt Consolidation, Diet Programs, Ecig Merchant Accounts, Educational Seminars, Electronics, Furniture, Gaming, High Ticket, High Volume, MLM and Bizops, Moving and Transportation, Nutraceutical, Online Firearm Sales, Penny Auctions, Prepaid Calling Cards, Software and E-Books, Sports Betting Advice, Tech Support, Ticket Brokers, TMF Merchants, Travel and Timeshares, VOIP and Telecom, Water Purifiers
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 business size, from small, single-register merchants 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+.”
If you have had a positive experience with one of these providers, please leave a comment in the comment section below. If you are a provider with a top-notch commitment to customer service contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.