What to Know Before Getting Started
As the owner of a spa, you provide your customers with a place where they can unwind, receive special care, and emerge feeling refreshed. Unfortunately, it can be hard for you to enjoy that same peace of mind when taking credit cards from them. Credit card processors are notorious for locking business owners into long-term contracts and expensive equipment leases, as well as for hiding their per-transaction markups in confusing rate quotes. For this reason, you’ll want to do a little research before signing up for a merchant account. Not only will an affordable processing solution add convenience for your customers, but it can include useful features like point-of-sale solutions, online payment tools, and gift and loyalty programs.
To help you find a provider that suits your location as well as your budget, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for spas. The companies on this list offer point of sale systems, online marketing tools, accounting software integration, and other useful tools for operating your salon or day spa. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your spa, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
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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 spas 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.
Host Merchant Services
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most spa and retreat locations. 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, third-party software integration, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to interested merchants. Host is a perfect fit for spas that maintain online stores or that engage heavily in online promotion.
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+.”
Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is another great option for spas of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers EMV-compatible credit card terminals, 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 spa owners who would like a simple, low-cost, flexible method for accepting payments.
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.
Secondary Merchant Account Options
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 spas of all sizes and types. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration for websites, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great option for almost any size of spa, from home-based locations to high-end resorts.
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+.”
ShopKeep is a tablet-based POS system provider based in New York City. ShopKeep’s useful features for spas include inventory management, layout customization, labor tracking, customizable receipts, customer profiling, real-time analytics, a mobile dashboard app for live sales tracking, and a barcode scanner. ShopKeep is a good option for spas that have highly active points of sale or a large number of regular clients.
ShopKeep costs $49 per month per register, but it allows you to choose the credit card processor you would like to use or keep your current processor. This provider-agnostic flexibility is ideal for merchants who are looking to keep costs to a minimum. Our review of ShopKeep awards the company an “A” rating, while the BBB is awarding the company an “A+” rating at this time.
For more information, see the ShopKeep Website.
PayJunction is a merchant account provider headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. Like Payline Data, the company offers a proprietary web-based virtual terminal that is perfect for single-register, subscription-based organizations like smaller spas. PayJunction’s paperless payments system enables spas to securely accept credit cards using only an internet-connected desktop computer, and it can also securely establish recurring billing, accept ACH payments, identify returning customers, set up and manage payment plans, add a “Buy Now”-style button to existing websites, and view each given credit card’s transaction history. PayJunction is a good option for locations without busy point-of-sale needs that would like to process payments without buying or leasing a traditional credit card terminal or paying for a dedicated phone line.
PayJunction offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to most merchants and is also able to customize rates based on a business’s type and volume. Our review of PayJunction currently gives the company an “A+,” and the BBB also gives PayJunction an “A+.”
For more information, see the PayJunction website.
If your business offers merchant services for spas, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.