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.
Selling Online Is No Longer Optional
In order for your business to remain competitive in the modern marketplace, you’ll need to maintain some kind of web presence. Whether it’s a complete website, an online directory listing, or a social media profile, your company’s online identity allows customers to research your product and contact you over the Internet. You may even choose to build a fully functional e-commerce website that enables visitors to conveniently shop for your products online, rave about your products publicly, and share their positive experiences with other customers.
E-Commerce Can Be Intimidating
But setting up an online merchant account can seem like a complex and risky affair, especially when it comes to security and maintenance costs. If you already run a successful brick-and-mortar operation with a limited online presence, you may wonder whether it’s worth the risk to switch processors just to set up an internet storefront.
Find the Best
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of reliable, full-service, all-in-one e-commerce providers for traditional merchants. The payment processors in this list are best known for providing quality merchant services to large, established brick-and-mortar merchants through their traditional processing options, but they also offer e-commerce solutions that have been favorably reviewed. If you currently operate (or will soon be launching) a business that requires a robust service suite for both face-to-face and online transactions, this list should be useful to you.
Please note that while all of these companies offer all-in-one credit card processing, they each have different strengths and weaknesses that may or may not match your business’s needs. You should be sure to research each provider carefully in order to determine which one is the most suitable for you.
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 is capable of serving all standard-risk e-commerce business types whether they maintain a brick-and-mortar location or not.
Top Stripe Alternative
Did Stripe burn you with fund holds or bad customer service? We recommend Fattmerchant as the top alternative to Stripe. While both services offer an API for developers, a month-to-month contract, and integrated mobile payment options, only Fattmerchant provides a lower per-transaction fee, a customer support phone line, next-day funding, and QuickBooks integration.
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 specializes in payment solutions for e-commerce businesses. The company’s products and services include web hosting, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, online shopping cart integration, gift and loyalty programs, and mobile payment solutions. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses but is able to serve retail businesses just as well.
Host Merchant Services Reviews
Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. The company 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+.”
Accepts All Business Types
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving e-commerce businesses of nearly any type. This includes “high-risk” online industries such as CBD and Kratom businesses. 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. PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account.
Custom Pricing Plans
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.”
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.
Founded in September 2018, Card Z3N is a Las Vegas-based merchant account provider that serves both standard-risk and high risk online merchant sectors. The company offers a wide range of retail and e-commerce solutions for most business types, including adult, auto parts, collections, credit repair, diet programs, e-cigarettes, electronics, extended warranties, fantasy sports, financial services, firearms, online furniture sales, multi-level marketing, nutraceuticals, online gaming, precious metals, self storage, and travel.
Card Z3N Reviews
Card Z3N has not received any public complaints in the time that it has been operating. The company offers custom pricing plans to all of its merchants. The BBB gives Card Z3N an “A-” rating, while CPO gives the company an “A.”
High Risk Pay
E-Commerce for High Risk Merchants
Active under various names since 1997, High Risk Pay is specifically focused on serving high risk merchants. The company offers point-of-sale equipment, ACH processing, and chargeback prevention to all of its merchants. High Risk Pay can process payments for e-commerce, travel, e-cigarette, startup, bad credit, international, high volume, and adult merchants.
High Risk Pay Reviews
High Risk Pay has received only a few complaints during its existence. The company offers custom pricing plans to all of its merchants. The BBB gives High Risk Pay an “A+” rating, while CPO gives the company an “A“.
If your company primarily services traditional retailers but also offers a robust e-commerce option, please leave a comment below or get in touch with us directly.