Of all the business types that accept credit cards, gas stations are some of the most negatively impacted by credit card processing fees. This is because their profit margins aren’t much larger than the interchange fees they pay for each transaction. Most petroleum franchisees will either inherit their pay-at-the-pump and in-store systems or have these systems chosen for them by their corporate supervisors, but independent fuel stations and convenience stores often have the freedom to choose the systems they prefer. For these merchants, the best approach is to find a reliable provider that offers easy installation, helpful customer support, and the lowest per-transaction markup that you can possibly secure.
To help you find the right processor, we’ve put together the following list of the top merchant account providers for gas stations and C-stores. These credit card processors are capable of integrating with existing POS equipment (including VeriFone Ruby and Gilbarco Passport) and can also enable merchants to accept fleet cards, EBT, prepaid cards, and other payment types. Most importantly, though, they offer some of the lowest processing rates available and have received generally positive feedback from merchants and third-party reviewers alike. In order to find the right fit for your petroleum location, be sure to contact multiple providers from this list and compare rate quotes.
Best Merchant Accounts for Gas Stations
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most upholstery businesses. 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, and merchant cash advance. This range of comprehensive features makes Host Merchant Services a great fit for gas stations.
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+.”
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. This comprehensive range of features allows merchants to charge for gas and keep inventory if they have a convenient store as part of their facility. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for gas stations.
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 petroleum suppliers 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.
Based in San Francisco, California, Dharma Merchant Services is a highly rated merchant account provider that has cultivated a reputation for social consciousness and community outreach. The company’s products and services include countertop terminals, a tablet-based POS system (via a partnership with ShopKeep), QuickBooks integration, and small business financing. The fact that the company donates a percentage of its profits to non-profit organizations each year may be especially appealing to some petroleum merchants. Dharma is best equipped to provide savings for merchants who process over $10,000 per month.
Dharma scores highly in our review and elsewhere due to its positively reviewed customer service, transparent marketing practices, competitive interchange-plus rates, and fair service agreements. The BBB currently assigns a rating of “A+” for Dharma Merchant Services, while CardPaymentOptions.com also gives the company an “A+.”
Based in Dallas, Texas, Chase Paymentech is the credit card processing division of banking giant JPMorgan Chase. The company’s size enables it to offer a wide range of processing solutions for gas station owners, including POS system integration, fleet card acceptance, gift and loyalty programs, and address verification (AVS). Chase Paymentech is capable of serving all sizes of business, from very small to very large.
Chase Paymentech customizes its pricing depending on each merchant’s size, type, and processing history, so its contract terms will vary. However, the company is showing a remarkably low number of public complaints in relation to its massive size, which indicates that most of its merchants are satisfied with the service they receive. Our review of Chase Paymentech gives the company an “A” rating, while the BBB gives Paymentech an “A+.”
BankCard Central is a Kansas City, Missouri-based merchant account provider that offers a wide range of solutions for gas stations and convenience stores. The company’s services include fleet card and EBT acceptance, VSAT connection upgrades (for faster authorization), enhanced sales reporting, customer loyalty programs, merchant cash advance, and AVS for compatible fuel pumps. The company is a great choice for small and midsize fuel stations.
BankCard Central customizes its pricing based on each merchant’s business type and processing history, so rates will vary. The company has nearly zero complaints across all consumer protection websites and is in fact showing mostly positive reviews. Our review of BankCard Central assigns the company an “A” rating, while the BBB gives BankCard Central an “A+.”
Founded in 1997, Heartland Payment Systems is a very large merchant account provider with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. In addition to credit, debit, EBT, and fleet card acceptance, the company offers two specialized solutions for fuel vendors and C-stores. The first, PetroPay, is a standard credit card processing solution that has been tailored to the needs of petroleum merchants. The second, SmartLink Managed Network Services, adds secure payment processing and enhanced connectivity across the various networks at a merchant’s location.
Heartland Payment Systems offers interchange-plus pricing with a variable contract length and consistently maintains a low complaint rate for its size. Our review of Heartland Payment Systems gives the company an “A-” rating, while the BBB gives Heartland an “A+” rating.