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.
Hair salons, barbershops, and independent hairstylists operate in a diverse range of credit card processing environments. From busy salons to rented booths to home-based operations, hair care professionals need to accept credit cards with minimal equipment, maximum speed, and at the lowest cost possible. Traditional salons and barbershops will benefit most from an in-store point-of-sale system with customer management and marketing integration, while independent stylists will usually only require a simple mobile phone app. There are dozens of different solutions available, however, and many more providers. It can be difficult to find a payment processing service that is enough for your needs without being excessive or overpriced.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top merchant account providers for hair salons and barbershops. These providers offer a wide range of services designed to speed up checkout, promote repeat business, and enable customers to pay and tip however they like. These companies have all earned positive reputations among merchants and third-party reviewers and are known to offer competitive pricing for hair care professionals. To ensure that you receive the lowest rates and the right equipment for your salon, be sure to contact multiple processors on this list to compare contract terms and services.
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 salon-type merchants. 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. Host Merchant Services also offers a wide range of e-commerce solutions for salon owners who wish to maintain a strong web presence.
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 stylists 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 hair salons to manage their inventory of shampoo, conditioner, and other products, keep accurate customer records, and charge for services from haircuts to dye jobs and everything in between. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for hair salons.
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 hair salons 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.
Founded in 2007, SalesVu is an Austin, Texas-based software provider that has partnered with Mercury Payment Systems and Century Payments to offer a full POS system for iPad and iPhone. SalesVu’s invoicing feature enables merchants to send invoices by email, collect payment via email, track outstanding invoices, and integrate invoices into labor cost analyses. SalesVu’s free POS app also comes with a free card reader and allows for Quickbooks integration, end-of-shift reports, labor tracking, recurring billing, barcode scanning, automated discounts, tip adjusting, split checks, a free website, and telephone support.
SalesVu currently receives an “A+” from CardPaymentOptions.com, and although the company does not have a Better Business Bureau profile at this time, the BBB profile for Mercury Payment Systems is showing an “A+” rating.
For more information, see the SalesVu Website.
Founded in 1998, CDG Commerce is a privately owned merchant account provider with headquarters in Chesapeake, Virginia. CDG Commerce offers in-store and mobile processing solutions for hair salon owners and can supply payment processing for salons of all sizes and types.
CDG Commerce offers fixed per-transaction fees with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees. The company has a remarkably low complaint total considering the fact that it has been in business and growing since 1998 and has retained the same ownership during that time. Our review of CDG Commerce gives the company an “A+” rating, and the BBB also gives CDG Commerce an “A+.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is an all-purpose merchant account provider that can provide affordable payment processing solutions for hair salons of all sizes. Founded in 2009, the company offers conventional POS systems that include cash drawers, receipt printers, inventory management, customer engagement, and sales reporting. For smaller or single-register locations, Payline Data can also provide a QuickBooks-integrated virtual terminal, check scanning devices, and mobile payment processing.
Payline Data is a great low-cost option because it offers interchange-plus pricing to all of its merchants with no long-term contracts or early termination fees. This pricing plan has resulted in a steady stream of positive merchant reviews for the company on this website and other third-party forums. Additionally, Payline’s sales and support teams are often singled out for praise by satisfied business owners. Our review of Payline Data gives the company an “A+” rating at this time, while the Better Business Bureau gives Payline an “A” rating.
Helcim is a Canada-based credit card processor that is a good general option for U.S.-based and Canadian businesses of all sizes, including hair salons. The company offers iPhone, iPad, and Android processing via a headphone jack card reader, a secure virtual terminal for PC, and traditional debit and credit card terminals.
One of Helcim’s most appealing features is its transparently quoted interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees. The company charges a flat monthly rate for its services plus a low per-transaction markup with no additional PCI compliance fees or annual fees. This has produced a large number of positive reviews from merchants. Our review of Helcim gives the company an “A+” rating at this time, while the BBB also gives Helcim an “A+.”
For more information, see the Helcim Website.
Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, PayJunction is a merchant account provider that offers a paper-free virtual terminal as its primary payment processing option. The company’s virtual terminal runs on any web-enabled device and offers in-person processing via a USB card swiper, payment tokenization, electronic signature capture, mobile phone processing via a free app, and digital receipts. PayJunction is best for single-register locations and home-based businesses that would like to accept credit cards without purchasing any additional equipment.
PayJunction customizes its pricing for each merchant but is capable of offering a month-to-month agreement with interchange-plus pricing and no early termination fees. The company has nearly zero complaints across all consumer protection websites and an “A+” rating on CardPaymentOptions.com, while the BBB also gives PayJunction an “A+.”
If your business offers payment processing solutions for hair salons and barber shops, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.