Best Merchant Accounts for Photographers

What to Know Before Getting Started

The online revolution has brought about incredible new opportunities for independent photographers. Photography professionals can now share portfolios with a click, freelance for lifestyle blogs, and drum up new business through online advertising. They can also accept payments cheaply and easily through tools like mobile credit card processing apps and online payment gateways. When choosing a merchant account provider for your business, it’s best to identify the features that suit your specific business model and then research providers that can offer those features at a competitive price.

To help you find these processors, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for photographers. The providers on this list offer online marketing tools, digital invoicing, accounting software integration, and other useful services for growing and maintaining your photography business. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your photography company, 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

Fattmerchant

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 photographers 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.

For more information, visit the Fattmerchant website, or call (866) 397-9826.

Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is ideal for most full-time photographers. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, third-party software integration, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to interested new users. Host is a great option for photographers who would like an affordable way to accept payments online and in person.

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 Better Business Bureau gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”

For more information, visit the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 727-4538.

Shopify

Shopify is primarily known as an e-commerce platform for online merchants, but the company recently launched a point-of-sale software solution for iPad and iPhone. The Shopify POS app can accept cards via a headphone jack card swiper or a $129 EMV reader and includes features like inventory syncing with a webstore, emailed receipts, automatic tax calculations, basic email marketing, and in-store refunds. The service can also be paired with a Shopify online store, which comes with numerous customization options. Shopify POS is a great fit for photographers who would like to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as online.

Shopify offers month-to-month pricing plans with variable pricing and product tiers. The company is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and has been in operation since 2005. The company provides phone, email, and live chat support to all of its merchant tiers and enjoys very few online complaints despite its massive user base. The BBB gives Shopify an “A+” rating at this time, while CardPaymentOptions.com awards the company an “A.”

For more information, see the Shopify website.

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

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.


CDG Commerce

Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is a great option for photographers of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers a proprietary payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for photographers who require a simple, low-cost, fully integrated retail or online processing solution.

CDG Commerce only charges a low, fixed fee per transaction and offers competitive contractual terms, including no annual fees, monthly minimums, or termination fees. CDG also offers next day funding to most business types. CDG has earned an “A+” rating in our review as well as an “A+” rating with the BBB.

For more information, see the CDG Commerce website or call (888) 393-1079.

Payline Data

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 photographers of all sizes and types. The company offers mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, and API integration for websites. Payline Data is a great option for almost any photography service, from part-time wedding photographers to major, high-volume photography businesses.

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+.”

Dharma Merchant Services

Based in San Francisco, California, Dharma Merchant Services is a highly rated merchant account provider that places a corporate emphasis on social consciousness and community outreach. The company’s products and services include countertop terminals, a tablet-based POS system (via a partnership with ShopKeep), mobile device payment processing, an online payment gateway (Authorize.Net), QuickBooks integration, small business financing, and custom fundraising pages for non-profits. The company extends special pricing to non-profit organizations and donates a percentage of its profits to non-profits of its choosing every year. Dharma is best suited to provide savings for photographers 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+.”

For more information, see the Dharma Merchant Services website or call (888) 404-1237.

Spark Pay

Launched in April 2013, Spark Pay by Capital One is a mobile processing app offered as part of Capital One’s “Spark Business” suite of small business solutions. It can be acquired via a free download from the App Store or Google Play Store and comes with a free headphone jack card reader. Spark Pay enables photographers to accept payments using their mobile devices and send digital receipts to their customers. The service also comes with live phone support and email support for all users. Spark Pay is a great option for independent photographers who require a simple, low-cost credit card processing solution for on-site payments.

Spark Pay offers two pricing plans for merchants. The first, the Go Plan, is intended for low-volume merchants who simply wish to accept credit cards via their mobile devices. It charges 2.7% per swiped transaction, 2.95% per swiped American Express transaction, and 3.7% per keyed-in transaction. There are no other monthly fees associated with this plan. The Pro Plan, which is intended for higher-volume merchants, charges 1.95% per swiped transaction, 2.95% per swiped American Express transaction, and 2.95% per keyed-in transaction. It includes a monthly fee of $9.95 and can be cancelled anytime without penalty.

You can learn more by visiting the Spark Pay website.


If your business offers merchant services for photographers, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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