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.
Most liquor store locations have fairly conventional retail needs when it comes to credit card processing. A basic tablet-based point-of-sale system is usually the cheapest and easiest option for most single-register locations, but more complex solutions are required for high-risk and online liquor sales. Alcohol sellers that are considered high risk may require a merchant account through a credit card processor that specializes in placing high risk businesses. Online liquor sellers will need to look for a provider that offers high risk and offshore merchant accounts as well as robust e-commerce solutions. In short, if you’re a liquor store owner, you may have a few unexpected hurdles to clear before you can accept credit cards from your customers.
To help you sort through your options, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for liquor stores. The companies on this list offer point of sale systems, high risk merchant accounts, online store integration, and other useful tools for operating your liquor store. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your alcohol retail location, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
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
Host Merchant Services
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is able to provide merchant accounts for physical liquor stores, including some high risk locations. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, 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 good fit for liquor stores of all sizes and 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 custom pricing to all of its merchants, but most merchants will enjoy transparent pricing and the ability to cancel service without penalty. The Better Business Bureau 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. These features allow low to high volume liquor stores to accurately track their extensive inventories and process sales. PaymentCloud merchant accounts also have the benefit of being free of any cancellation fee. Liquor stores processing a high volume of sales also benefit from PaymentCloud’s wholesale rates. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for liquor stores.
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.”
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 liquor stores and offers a 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.
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.
ShopKeep is a tablet-based POS system provider based in New York City. ShopKeep’s useful features include bulk inventory uploads, layout customization, labor tracking, customizable receipts, customer profiling, real-time analytics, advanced sales tracking, and a barcode scanner. ShopKeep is a good option for liquor stores that have highly active points of sale and seasonal business surges.
ShopKeep costs $49 per month per register, but it allows you to choose the credit card processor you would like to use or keep your current processor. This provider-agnostic flexibility is ideal for merchants who are looking to keep costs to a minimum. Our review of ShopKeep awards the company an “A” rating, while the BBB is awarding the company an “A+” rating at this time.
For more information, see the ShopKeep Website.
Durango Merchant Services
Durango Merchant Services is a well-established 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 face-to-face, mobile, and e-commerce liquor vendors 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 is best for new liquor stores, especially high-risk locations, and online liquor and wine sellers.
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 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 all standard-risk, brick-and-mortar liquor store locations. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, online invoicing, QuickBooks integration, and API integration for websites. Payline Data is a great all-purpose option for any physical liquor store with solid business credit and a long processing history.
In addition to its wide array of services, 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+.”
Easy Pay Direct
Founded in 2000, Easy Pay Direct is an Austin, Texas-based merchant account provider that specializes in placing high risk e-commerce business types. The company offers traditional merchant services like credit card processing, mobile payments, ACH transfers, and POS equipment, but it also offers high risk products including tokenized payments, launch event processing, multiple banking partners, anti-fraud IP filtering, and over 30 offshore processors to choose from. Easy Pay Direct’s online payment gateway includes a feature called “load balancing” that routes transactions through multiple merchant accounts to ensure that they are not declined. Easy Pay Direct is a great option for online liquor stores and physical locations with poor credit or brief processing histories.
Easy Pay Direct has zero complaints across all consumer protection websites and offers custom pricing that usually does not include an early termination fee. CardPaymentOptions.com currently awards Easy Pay Direct an “A” rating overall, while the Better Business Bureau gives the company an “A+.”
If your business offers merchant services for liquor stores, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.