What to Know Before Getting Started
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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.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that is specifically designed for “service-based small business owners like consultants, freelancers, and creative professionals,” according to the company’s website. It has gained popularity as an alternative to QuickBooks due to its simpler user interface, comparatively open ecosystem, and narrower focus on certain business types. FreshBooks also comes with its own integrated payment processing service, which is provided through WePay with no monthly costs or long-term contract and only charges 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction (3.5% plus $0.30 for American Express). This pricing is comparable to Stripe, PayPal, or Authorize.Net; in fact, FreshBooks can be directly synced with a user’s existing account through any of these three processors. For many online-only domestic merchants, these direct integrations may be the easiest and cheapest solution. But for merchants who utilize a traditional merchant account for their retail, mobile, international, or MOTO location, there are a few other integration options worth considering.
We’ve compiled the list below to help you sort through these options and find the best merchant accounts for FreshBooks integration. Many of these providers are traditional credit card processors that offer a payment gateway through Authorize.Net, which enables merchants to consolidate their online and offline payments through one provider. Other providers on this list are internet-only credit card processors that may offer lower pricing, broader features, or better-rated customer support than FreshBooks’ preferred partners. All of the processors on this list will offer payment gateways that can be integrated with FreshBooks, but more importantly, they will all also have reputations for fair, transparent pricing and quality customer service. In order to secure the best deal for your business, be sure to contact multiple companies on this list and inquire about the types of businesses they serve and the products they offer.
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
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 integrating with FreshBooks and offers its own comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.
Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates. Merchants can select either a plan that charges a flat fee on all transactions or a plan that charges a fixed monthly fee plus a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, merchants can choose whether or not they are charged a percentage markup on each transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is an ideal option for FreshBooks merchants of all sizes and types. CDG Commerce users can integrate their payments with FreshBooks via an Authorize.Net payment gateway, which CDG Commerce provides for free (no setup, monthly, or per-transaction fees). CDG also offers credit card processing equipment for retail locations, mobile payment solutions, and a virtual terminal for keyed-in transactions.
CDG Commerce charges a low, fixed cost per transaction and offers very competitive contractual terms, including no annual fees, monthly minimums, or termination fees. The company has been in the merchant processing space since 1998 and offers next day funding to most business types. CDG has earned an “A+” rating in our review of the company as well as holding an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
2Checkout (also known as 2CO) is a Columbus, Ohio-based merchant account provider that specializes in providing a global payment solution for e-commerce merchants. 2Checkout integrates directly with FreshBooks and is a solid option for merchants who conduct a large amount of international business. The company provides checkout experiences in 15 different languages, localized price displays, and the option for customers to pay with one of 25 currencies during the checkout process. Merchants can choose to be paid in over 20 different currencies, and the entire checkout process is hosted on the merchant’s website (rather than redirected to a third-party page). 2Checkout also does not require that businesses be incorporated in the U.S. to receive payments.
2Checkout offers standard pricing of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for U.S.-based merchants, which is identical to the pricing offered by FreshBooks. However, the company’s rate will vary for merchants incorporated in other countries and high risk merchants. There is no monthly fee, setup fee, or early termination fee for 2Checkout merchants. Our review of 2Checkout gives the service an “A-” overall while the BBB gives 2Checkout an “A+.”
For more information, see the 2Checkout website.
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.
Authorize.Net is the most popular payment gateway available by a large margin and can be directly integrated with FreshBooks. Due to its broad compatibility, it is a solid option for e-commerce only merchants who wish to integrate their payment gateway with other third-party services. Authorize.Net offers address verification and payment tokenization as well as international payment processing for businesses domiciled in the U.S., Canada, the UK, most of Europe, and Australia. Businesses headquartered in other countries will need to obtain an advanced solution from CyberSource in order to accept international payments and settle in different currencies.
Authorize.Net charges a flat per-transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 on top of a setup fee of $49 and a monthly gateway fee of $25, which is much more than FreshBooks charges for its own payment processing service. Merchants who choose to integrate an Authorize.Net account with FreshBooks should be sure to get their money’s worth by taking advantage of other third-party integrations through Authorize.Net. Our review of Authorize.Net gives the company a “B+” rating, while the BBB gives it an “A+.”
For more information, see the Authorize.Net website.
Dharma Merchant Services
Dharma Merchant Services is one of the highest-rated providers on CPO and is an especially excellent option for FreshBooks users who process over $10,000 per month in credit card transactions. Like CDG Commerce, Dharma integrates with FreshBooks via an Authorize.Net payment gateway, which it provides for $20 per month and an additional $0.05 per transaction. These prices represent a significant reduction from Authorize.Net’s standard pricing.
Founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, Dharma’s transparent pricing model and community outreach initiatives reflect its city’s famous culture of openness and acceptance. Dharma scores highly in our review due to its positively reviewed customer service, ethical marketing practices, competitive interchange-plus rates, and fair service agreements. The BBB currently provides a rating of “A+” for Dharma Merchant Services, while CardPaymentOptions.com also gives the company an “A+.”
Braintree Payment Solutions
Braintree is an online payment processor and PayPal subsidiary headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Like PayPal, Braintree integrates directly with FreshBooks, but unlike Paypal it requires merchants to open a merchant account. Braintree is another option on this list that is best for online-only business types, as it does not offer point-of-sale solutions. At this time, merchants may only use Braintree if they are domiciled in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, or New Zealand.
Braintree charges a flat per-transaction rate of 2.9% plus $0.30 (free for the first $50,000 processed) and does not enforce any monthly fees or early termination fees. This makes it the lowest-cost processor that new merchants can use with FreshBooks. The company consistently receives positive reviews for its sales and support teams and has grown at a rapid pace over the last five years. Our review of Braintree gives it an “A+,” while the BBB gives Braintree an “B-.”
If your business offers a merchant account that can integrate with FreshBooks, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.