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.
Simplify Your Billing Process
Whether you’re an independent freelancer or a major corporation, tracking down clients for payment by phone or by mail can be a time-consuming and unreliable task. Paper bills have a way of getting “misplaced,” while card information is less secure when sent by mail or spoken over the phone. Luckily, automated electronic invoicing is now a common feature offered by many merchant account providers. Email invoicing gives you a more convenient way to collect outstanding payments and keep your cash flow steady. It also keeps the payment process simple and secure for your clients, ensuring that you get paid faster.
Find the Best
To help you find the right credit card processor to provide an online invoicing solution for your business, we’ve put together the following list of the best electronic invoicing services. The providers on this list offer various digital invoicing solutions for businesses large and small. More importantly, however, they have all earned reputations for providing fair, transparent pricing and excellent customer service. Some of the companies on this list are ideal for small or solo sellers, while others can assist larger merchants up to and including enterprise-level corporations. In order to find the best fit for your business, we recommend that you contact several providers and compare pricing and services before signing up.
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’s virtual terminal offers custom invoicing as well as a comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.
Invoicing With Fattmerchant
Fattmerchant’s virtual terminal enables you to send one-time invoices, schedule invoices to be sent ahead of time, and set payment due dates to keep money coming in as expected. You can also create payment links to send directly to customers, or copy and paste pre-built HTML to create payment buttons for your website.
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.
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 specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to new merchants who require them. It offers electronic invoicing services to all of its users.
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. 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+.”
iPad POS Invoicing
Founded in 2007, SalesVu is an Austin, Texas-based software provider that offers a full POS system for iPad and iPhone. SalesVu’s invoicing feature enables merchants to send invoices by email, collect payment via email, track outstanding invoices, and integrate invoices into labor cost analyses. SalesVu’s free POS app also comes with a free card reader and allows for Quickbooks integration, end-of-shift reports, labor tracking, recurring billing, barcode scanning, automated discounts, tip adjusting, split checks, a free website, and telephone support.
SalesVu currently receives an “A” from CardPaymentOptions.com, and although the company does not have a Better Business Bureau profile at this time, the BBB profile for Mercury Payment Systems is showing an “A+” rating.
For more information, see the SalesVu 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.
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’s online payment gateway is capable of digital invoices as well as automated recurring billing for regular, fixed amounts. In addition to invoicing, Payline offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great virtual invoicing option for almost any business size, from small, single-register merchants to large, enterprise-level organizations.
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+.”
Headquartered in Levi, Utah, ProPay is an e-commerce merchant account provider that specializes in e-commerce solutions. ProPay merchants can send email invoices with “Pay Now” links in them that remain active for 14 days. ProPay is also able to process ACH transactions for online businesses through its virtual terminal and online payment gateway.
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.
PayPal is one of the largest payment processors in the world and is a very commonly used solution for e-commerce merchants. PayPal’s invoicing feature includes emailed invoices with “Pay Now” buttons, invoice tracking, custom invoice templates, and an attachments feature for sending documents or images with an invoice. In addition to email invoicing, PayPal’s features include mobile phone payment processing, online shopping cart integration, and a virtual terminal that can be paired with a USB card swiper.
PayPal is an easy-to-use service with a high profile and widespread acceptance. This recognition has enabled the company to grow and develop its product and service offerings, but it has also resulted in PayPal receiving a very large number of complaints related to customer service issues and fund holds. Our review of PayPal gives the company a “B” rating overall at this time, while the BBB gives PayPal an “A+.”
If your business offers an electronic invoicing option for merchants, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.