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.
Before You Switch Merchant Account Providers
Changing merchant accounts can be a major pain in the neck. If you have an existing business and are just looking to save money on fees, save yourself the headache of switching by getting your fees negotiated by a professional.
We’ve Made It Easy For You
Finding the right merchant account provider for your business can be a real chore. The credit card processing industry is notorious for hidden fees, deceptive sales tactics, and unsavory contract terms that penalize business owners who do not take the time to educate themselves before shopping. Even if you are wise enough to read through your contract before signing, you might find that you’ve accidentally purchased the wrong equipment or that the rates you pay aren’t as competitive as you thought they were. Arming yourself with knowledge is the first step to getting a good deal, but it isn’t the only step. You’ll also want to find a provider that can identify your business’s needs and supply a solution that fits your sales environment, your budget, and your customers’ expectations.
No Cancellation Fees, Low Rates, Great Support
Below we’ve compiled the following list of the best all-purpose merchant account providers in the United States (Related: Best Canadian). The companies in this list are able to supply industry-leading products and services for a wide range of business sizes and types. More importantly, though, these providers are some of the best processors that CPO has reviewed when it comes to transparent pricing, positive merchant feedback, and helpful customer service. In short, you can expect these providers to understand your business’s needs and provide the appropriate solution for a fair price. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. We encourage you to contact multiple companies on this list and compare their pricing and services in order to get the best deal for your business.
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
Best Overall Option
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 new merchants who require them.
Host Merchant Services Pricing
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+.”
Accepts All Business Types
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving businesses of nearly any type. This includes “high-risk” industries such as CBD and Kratom businesses. 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. PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account.
Custom Pricing Plans
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.”
Flat Rate Pricing
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 retail, mobile, and e-commerce business types.
Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates, but all of its plans charge a fixed monthly fee and a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, none of Fattmerchant’s plans charge a percentage-based fee on each transaction, meaning that merchants will not pay more to process a large transaction than they will a small 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.
Supporting Holistic Support for Merchant of All Shapes and Sizes
Card Z3N offers and abundance of options that are tailored to merchants across different industries regardless of their size, level of risk, or specific needs. The company’s Z3N Gateway acts as the fulcrum for e-commerce merchants. Card Z3N also offers unique merchant services for in-store transactions for small to mid-sized businesses, B2B/B2G focused transactions, and enterprise level merchants. Card Z3N’s other services include ACH payment processing, mobile POS, and recurring billing services that meet different facets of any merchant’s needs.
About Card Z3N
Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Card Z3N holds the distinction of serving both standard and high risk merchant types. Card Z3N’s expertise in serving high risk merchants allows them to offer competitive rates, even to start-ups. The company also provides discounted rates to merchant processing over $100,000 per month for well-established larger scale businesses. In addition to facilitating payment processing, Card Z3N also provides merchants with simplified online payroll services.
Card Z3N offers merchants with phone support, a live chat feature, and a troubleshooting ticket form to instigate a customer service request. Card Z3N currently has an “A” rating with the BBB and has fewer than 10 complaints online.
For more information, visit the Card Z3N website.
Proven Industry Leader
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 merchants of all sizes and types, including some high risk business industries. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great option for almost any business size, from small, single-register merchants to large, enterprise-level organizations.
Payline Data Pricing
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 on other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A.”
ACH Processing Specialists
Based in Lindon, Utah, National Processing offers straightforward merchant account contract terms and specializes in ACH payment processing which is ideal for B2B businesses that process high-ticket sales. The company primarily offers transparent pricing via an interchange-plus program or a zero-fee program.
National Processing Reviews
National Processing has a great reputation with only one complaint lodged in the last three years. Even so, the complaint is not of a serious nature and has not been factored into our rating of the company. Our independent assessment finds National Processing to be a solid choice for most businesses.
Based in Orange, California, Payment Depot is a versatile payment processor for all standard-risk merchant types. The company was founded in 2013 and offers Clover POS products, a virtual terminal, mobile phone processing, an Authorize.net payment gateway, and chargeback monitoring. Payment Depot is a pioneer of membership-style pricing, which offers transparent wholesale transaction rates (with no markups) in exchange for a fixed monthly fee.
Payment Depot Reviews
Payment Depot offers multiple pricing plans depending on merchant volume and does not charge any equipment lease fees, PCI compliance fees, or termination fees. Payment Depot also offers next day funding to most business types. Payment Depot has earned an “A” rating in our review as well as an “A+” rating with the BBB.
Centurion Payment Services
Payment Processing For Any Business
Founded in 2012, Centurion Payment Services is a Miami, Florida-based merchant account provider that serves both standard and high risk businesses. Centurion Payment Services offers an online payment gateway and virtual terminal as well as EMV-compliant payment processing equipment for face-to-face purchases. The company offers 24/7 customer support and free equipment setup for all merchants.
Centurion CBD Pricing
Centurion currently offers CBD merchants a per-transaction fee of 6.95% plus $0.30 and a monthly fee of $35. The company does not charge a setup fee or impose processing limits, and it does not require a cash reserve in many cases. Centurion can serve merchants who sell CBD vape products, but not those who sell CBD flower or pre-rolled products. Centurion’s CBD e-commerce solution can be used with popular platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
Centurion Payment Services Reviews
Centurion has not received any public complaints for the entire time that it has been operational. The company claims to offer interchange-plus pricing, no reserve, single-day approval, no PCI compliance fees, and no start up fees. The BBB does not assign a rating rating to Centurion Payment Services, while CPO gives the company an “A.”
If your business offers quality merchant services at a fair, transparent price, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.