Difficulties Processing Payments for Digital Goods
Digital goods vendors tend to be unfairly maligned within the credit card industry due to the higher-than-average chargeback rates associated with digital products. As a result, perfectly legitimate businesses can be subject to greater scrutiny and account limitations simply because they sell non-physical goods. If you sell digital goods, you’ve likely experienced some difficulty in landing an affordable merchant account that meets your needs. Fortunately, your options are expanding as e-commerce becomes more commonplace, and there are plenty of credit card processors that offer services like online store builders, marketing tools, and accounting software integration for competitive rates.
To help you find a provider that works for you, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for digital goods. The companies on this list offer e-commerce solutions, marketing tools, software integration, and other useful tools for operating your digital goods business. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for selling your digital goods, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
Top Picks for Merchant Services for Digital Goods
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most digital goods vendors. The company’s products and services include 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 interested merchants. Host is a great fit for all standard-risk digital goods sellers and is also able to serve some high-risk business types.
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 variety of payment options makes PaymentCloud a good option for selling digital goods.
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 a great option for U.S.-based sellers of standard-risk digital goods. 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, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is a simple, low-cost, fully integrated online processing solution for sellers of e-books, music, movies, and software.
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 digital sellers with identifying the right POS system 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 digital businesses.
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. These online payment options and the familiarity of the Shopify brand are great for people making digital purchases, as they will feel safe and comfortable using the service.
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 digital sellers 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.