What to Know Before Getting Started
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.
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Why These Merchant Account Providers
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.
Based in San Francisco, Selz is an e-commerce merchant account provider that enables merchants to create an online store, integrate a shopping cart into their existing websites, or sell products via social media. The company’s features include “Buy Now” buttons, sales analytics, discount codes, digital downloads, responsive themes, online store builders, an online shopping cart, PayPal integration, and advanced shipping functions. Selz specializes in assisting vendors of digital goods like movies, music, and e-books.
Selz offers several different pricing plans on a month-to-month basis with no early termination fees. Selz merchants may choose Stripe, PayPal, or 2Checkout as their payment processor, and each provider will offer its own processing rates on top of Selz’s built-in transaction fees. Our review of Selz currently assigns the company an “A” rating, and the BBB does not maintain a profile for Selz at this time.
For more information, visit the Selz website.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Shopify is a well-established online store provider that is an excellent option for digital vendors with large product libraries. In addition to an endlessly customizable online store experience, Shopify offers chargeback recovery, QuickBooks integration, email marketing, rewards programs, and an iPad-based point-of-sale application that merchants can use to accept payments in-person. Shopify is an excellent option for businesses with a large number of digital products for sale.
Shopify offers month-to-month pricing plans with variable pricing and product tiers. The company provides phone, email, and live chat support to all of its merchant tiers and enjoys very few online complaints despite its massive user base. The Better Business Bureau gives Shopify an “A+” rating at this time, while CPO awards the company an “A.”
For more information, see the Shopify website.
Host Merchant Services
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+.”
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.
Durango Merchant Services
Durango Merchant Services is a high risk payment processor headquartered in Durango, Colorado. The company has been serving both U.S. and international merchants with an emphasis on difficult-to-place merchant types since 1999. Durango can supply processing for e-commerce merchants and offers a wide range of services including an online payment gateway with QuickBooks integration, POS equipment, electronic check processing, and offshore banking partnerships. Durango can assist high-risk digital goods vendors that sell adult content, daily e-coupons, and other high-chargeback industry types.
Durango has received overwhelmingly positive feedback with regard to its sales and support team and offers custom pricing depending on a merchant’s business type. Our review of Durango Merchant Services gives the company an “A+,” and the BBB awards Durango an “A+” as well.
Headquartered in Levi, Utah, ProPay is an e-commerce merchant account provider that provides simple billing and payment options for digital sales. ProPay users can utilize digital invoicing to collect payments from clients via email or purchase ProPay Jak, the company’s mobile phone processing solution, to take payments in person. ProPay is also able to process ACH transactions through its virtual terminal and online payment gateway. ProPay is an ideal choice for online sellers who would like a fully-featured digital payments option for selling standard-risk digital goods.
ProPay’s pricing will vary depending on each merchant’s business type, size, time in business, and preferred method of payment acceptance. The company is a TSYS subsidiary and has a very low complaint total in the past three years for a provider of its size. Our review of ProPay currently gives the company an “A” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives ProPay an “A+.”
For more information, see the ProPay website.
If your business offers merchant services for digital goods vendors, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.