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.
Salesforce is the world’s fastest-growing and most popular customer relationship management (CRM) software. The company held a market share of 16.1% as of mid-2014 and has grown 24.7% faster than its nearest competitor in the past year. Its software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM model is designed to boost revenues for small businesses and enterprise-level corporations alike, with features like cloud-based data storage, customer service solutions, and automated marketing campaigns.
If you currently use Salesforce to manage your sales process, you might be interested in finding a way to directly integrate your merchant account with the Salesforce software. This way, all of your data—from transaction history to conversion analytics to customer tracking—is searchable, sortable, and up-to-date within a single program.
Unfortunately, linking a merchant account to Salesforce is a slightly complicated process. Salesforce appears to only allow payment processing integration through apps developed for AppExchange, the Salesforce app store. Therefore, your options are limited to providers that offer payment gateways that are compatible with apps found in the AppExchange store. To help you determine which of these options is best for you, we’ve compiled the following list of highly rated merchant account providers who offer Salesforce integration.
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 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 interested merchants.
Host Merchant Services integrates with SalesForce via the Authorize.Net payment gateway, which the company sells alongside its proprietary gateway. Host Merchant Services has received exclusively 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. These features allow merchants to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as through online billing. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for merchants who utilize Salesforce.
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 users can integrate their Fattmerchant account with Salesforce by using an Authorize.net payment gateway in conjunction with the Chargent Salesforce integration.
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.
Since its inception in 1998, CDG Commerce has maintained an excellent reputation within the credit card processing industry due to its month-to-month contracts, lack of an early termination fee, low complaint volume, and positively reviewed customer support. A privately owned company, CDG Commerce specializes in online credit card processing for e-commerce businesses but can also assist retail merchants with physical storefronts.
Like Fattmerchant, CDG Commerce appears to only integrate with Salesforce via an Authorize.net payment gateway and an app like Chargent. However, CDG Commerce’s Authorize.net solution is especially appealing due to the fact that it offers free setup (usually $99 directly through Authorize.net), a monthly fee of $15, and a transaction fee of $0.05. These costs are in addition to CDG Commerce’s standard merchant account pricing.
Payline Data has been included on this list because of its well-established reputation for honest, transparent pricing. Payline Data offers interchange-plus pricing to all of its merchants with month-to-month contracts, no early termination fees, and low monthly fees. Additionally, the company has only received a handful of public complaints in its entire history—a number that is dwarfed by the dozens of positive reviews of its service.
Payline Data also resells the Authorize.net payment gateway, so it is possible for Payline merchants to sync with Salesforce via Chargent. Payline charges a flat monthly fee of $5 for its Simple plan and a monthly fee of $20 for its Pro plan, plus a low, fixed markup over interchange for each program. Its pricing for an additional Authorize.net account may vary. Merchants should note that the company’s Payline Gateway does not appear to be compatible with Salesforce directly, but it may be possible as a custom solution through Chargent.
Payline Data is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and has been in operation since 2009. The company offers phone and email support as well as an online help forum and knowledge base for all of its merchants. Payline Data currently has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an “A+” rating with CardPaymentOptions.com.
Dharma Merchant Services
Dharma Merchant Services earns a spot on this list thanks to its transparent interchange-plus pricing model and its month-to-month contracts. Like most of the other processors on this list, Dharma also has a positive reputation among online reviewers, but the company sets itself apart by donating 50% of its annual net revenues to charitable organizations of its choosing.
Dharma’s primary payment gateway provider is Authorize.net, so it can also be integrated with Salesforce through Chargent. An Authorize.net account through Dharma will cost $99 upon setup, $20 per month thereafter, and $0.05 per transaction, but the company does extend special pricing to non-profits.
Founded in 2007, Dharma Merchant Services is based in San Francisco, California. The company offers phone support and a contact form on its websites for merchants. The BBB currently provides a rating of “A+” for Dharma Merchant Services, while CardPaymentOptions.com also gives the company an “A+.”
Helcim is an excellent all-around option for most retail, mobile, and e-commerce merchants. The company exclusively promotes interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month agreements and no early termination fees, and it plainly discloses all of its monthly and one-time fees on its website. Helcim also receives overwhelmingly positive reviews of its customer service on all consumer protection forums.
Helcim can be integrated with Salesforce via its Authorize.net payment gateway. As an Authorize.net reseller, Helcim is able to set merchants up with Authorize.net gateway and also control the pricing and monthly fees that merchants pay for the gateway. Authorize.net is supported for Salesforce integration through an application called Chargent, which costs $5 per month and is very positively reviewed by Salesforce users. At this time, it does not appear that Helcim’s proprietary gateway is capable of direct integration with Chargent or with Salesforce.
Helcim is headquartered in Alberta, Canada, but is able to serve both U.S. and Canadian merchants. The company has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an “A+” rating on CardPaymentOptions.com.
For more information, see the Helcim Website.
Bluefin Payment Systems
Bluefin Payment Systems was originally founded under the name “Capital Payments” in 2007 but was rebranded as Bluefin in mid-2012. The company specializes in secure payment platforms for online processing but is able to provide solutions for mobile POS and traditional retail merchants. Bluefin enjoys a near-spotless complaint record across all consumer protection websites and is a great solution for merchants with technologically complex processing needs.
Unlike the other providers on this list, Bluefin can integrate directly with Salesforce via its PayConex payment gateway. This eliminates the need for a third-party app like Chargent and is free for existing Bluefin merchants. Although the PayConex integration solution has no reviews on AppExchange at this time, its description claims that it provides native Salesforce integration for end-to-end encrypted payment processing.
If your business offers Salesforce integration for merchant accounts, please leave a comment in the section below or get in touch using our contact page in order to get listed in this article.