What to Know Before Getting Started
The merchant account industry is currently experiencing a small pricing revolution. Conventional tiered pricing models have been replaced by interchange-plus pricing and flat fee pricing over the past decade, and now a new pricing model has emerged that could be more transparent and affordable than anything that came before. Known as “membership pricing,” “subscription pricing,” or “flat rate pricing,” this pricing approach removes the traditional percentage-based markup on all transactions and only charges interchange plus a few cents per transaction on top of a flat monthly fee. In other words, larger transactions will not result in larger processing fees. This model keeps processing costs predictable, and it also means that merchants who process a low number of high-dollar transactions have a chance to save some serious money.
Membership-style pricing is especially popular among newer companies and payment startups, which can make it difficult to identify reliable providers with established reputations. To help, we’ve put together the following list of the best membership pricing merchant accounts. These credit card processors offer subscription-style pricing as well as a wide array of products and services designed to serve retail, mobile, and e-commerce business types. The details of each provider’s flat rate pricing plan will vary, but merchants can generally expect to be quoted a set monthly fee and a flat, fixed markup above interchange on each transaction. In order to find the provider that is best for your business, be sure to research each provider’s product lineup and negotiate aggressively with multiple providers.
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Why We Chose 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 serving all standard-risk retail, mobile, and internet-based business types and offers free equipment for all accounts.
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.
Transparent Merchant Services
Transparent Merchant Services is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based merchant account provider that offers a membership-style pricing model. Rather than charging a percentage of each transaction, Transparent charges a small, flat fee above interchange on all transactions in addition to a fixed monthly membership fee. This makes Transparent remarkably affordable for merchants that process a low number of large-ticket transactions. It also keeps the company’s pricing predictable and transparent from month to month. Transparent Merchant Services serves retail, mobile, and e-commerce business types.
Transparent has received exclusively positive public feedback since it opened in 2008 and offers month-to-month agreements with no early termination fees. Transparent provides its merchants with live phone support during business hours as well as chat support and email support. Our review of Transparent gives the company an “A” rating, while the BBB gives Transparent an “A+” rating.
Based in Orange, California, Payment Depot is a merchant account provider that, like Transparent Merchant Services, utilizes a subscription-style pricing plan. The company charges a fixed dollar amount per transaction with a flat monthly fee, and it offers three different pricing tiers. The company’s “Basic” membership charges interchange plus $0.25 per transaction with a monthly fee of at least $16.58, although each business will receive a custom quote for its fixed monthly rate. Payment Depot’s “Most Popular” membership charges interchange plus $0.15 per transaction with a monthly fee of $33.25 or more, while its “Best Value” membership charges interchange plus $0.10 per transaction with a monthly fee of $49.91 or more. Payment Depot does not charge any early termination fees, PCI compliance fees, or other hidden recurring fees.
Payment Depot provides products and services for the retail, restaurant, B2B, mobile, and e-commerce industries. Our review of Payment Depot gives it an “A” rating at this time, while the BBB also gives Payment Depot an “A.”
Secondary Merchant Account Options
Founded in 2015, Paymently is a merchant account provider that specializes in flat rate merchant account pricing. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale equipment, credit card terminals, mobile phone processing, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, recurring billing, and QuickBooks integration. Paymently offers three plans with three different monthly fees and fixed rates of interchange plus $0.05, $0.10, and $0.20.
Paymently does not require long-term contracts or impose processing limits on any of its plans. Our review of Paymently current assigns it an “A” rating, while the Better Business Bureau does not maintain a profile for Paymently at this time.
If your business offers membership-style merchant accounts, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.