Best Membership-Based Merchant Account Providers

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.

One of the nice things about running a membership- or subscription-based business is the relative predictability: amount of revenues can be counted on each month to offset amount of expenses. But this dependable payment stream comes with a specific set of payment processing needs, including customer relationship management, recurring billing, secure data storage, and multichannel payment acceptance. Of course, it’s also nice to keep costs as low as possible.

When it comes to these particular criteria, certain credit card processors are better options than others. That’s why we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant account providers for subscription and membership businesses. The providers on this list are able to provide recurring billing options, e-commerce solutions, secure customer data storage, and other useful services for a reasonable cost. More importantly, though, they all consistently receive positive feedback from merchants and third-party reviewers. In order to make sure you get the best deal, be sure to contact several providers on this list and compare their features and pricing.

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, subscription-style businesses 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 well-suited for subscription- or membership-based 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. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to new merchants who require them, which can help membership-based businesses grow their regular customer bases.

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+.”

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

SalesVu

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 free POS app comes with a free card reader and allows for Quickbooks integration, end-of-shift reports, labor tracking, recurring billing, barcode scanning, automated discounts, split checks, and invoicing. The service also comes with a free, customizable e-commerce website and telephone support. SalesVu is a great option for membership-style businesses with heavily trafficked points of sale, like gyms.

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.

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

CDG Commerce is a Chesapeake, Virginia-based merchant account provider that offers retail, mobile, and e-commerce solutions for subscription business types. The company’s products include an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, fraud protection, a chargeback dispute resolution system, tokenized payments, ACH processing, and recurring billing.

CDG Commerce was founded in 1998 and has consistently maintained a positive reputation among merchants and third-party reviewers since then. The company currently has an “A+” rating from CardPaymentOptions.com and an “A+” from the BBB.

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

Payline Data

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is an excellent all-around merchant account provider for membership-based and subscription-style businesses. The company’s products and features include traditional and tablet-based POS solutions, a QuickBooks-integrated online payment gateway and virtual terminal, automated recurring billing, payment tokenization, online shopping carts, mobile processing, and customizable sales analytics. Payline’s virtual terminal securely transmits customers’ encrypted payment information to Payline’s secure servers, eliminating the merchant’s liability while still allowing the merchant to initiate future payments without direct access to card data.

Payline Data consistently receives praise from merchants for its transparent sales policies, helpful customer support, and affordable pricing model, which typically includes interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees. Our review of Payline Data gives the company an “A+” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives Payline an “A” at this time.

Cayan

Cayan is a large merchant account provider based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company offers a wide range of services for membership-style businesses, including most types of POS equipment, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, transaction histories and reporting, API- and IP-based software integration, and payment tokenization. Cayan also offers a proprietary cloud-based customer engagement platform called “Genius” that enables merchants to offer loyalty and rewards programs as well as reinforce branding across all customer interactions.

Cayan customizes its pricing based on each merchant’s business type and size, but it typically offers a month-to-month agreement with no early termination fees. The company currently has an “A” rating with CardPaymentOptions.com and an “A+” rating with the BBB.

For more information, see the Cayan website or call (888) 506-8019.

Helcim

Based in Alberta, Canada, Helcim is an all-purpose processor that supplies in-person, mobile, and online payment solutions to businesses in both the U.S. and Canada. Helcim’s products and services include a virtual terminal, traditional POS equipment, secure data storage and access, recurring billing, email invoicing, and a payment gateway that can be directly integrated with a website, shopping cart, billing system, or other application via an API.

Helcim is known for its transparent pricing structure (interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month agreements and no early termination fees) and frequently receives positive merchant reviews related to its sales and support staff. CardPaymentOptions.com gives Helcim an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB also assigns Helcim an “A+.”

For more information, see the Helcim Website.


If your business offers merchant accounts and payment solutions to subscription-style businesses, 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 and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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