What to Know Before Getting Started
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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.
There are numerous ways to build payment processing into a website or application, from simple “Buy Now” buttons to custom checkout pages and APIs. Most developers prefer to utilize a simple API integration, as this minimizes the amount of development necessary and passes the responsibility for payment security to a third-party processor. But APIs are available from a growing number of credit card processors, including many merchant account aggregators, making it difficult to determine which options are best for a specific website.
To help you find the best credit card processor for your clients, we’ve put together the following list of the top five payment processing solutions for web developers. These companies offer simple integration solutions for their merchant accounts, including simple payment buttons, hosted checkout solutions, and full APIs for backend integration. These companies have also received positive reviews from merchants with regard to their pricing, products, and customer service. Each company on this list will have different strengths and options for developers, so it’s best to do your research and contact a few providers before signing up.
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 web developers and e-commerce businesses. The company’s executive leadership has a great deal of experience with web development, as CEO Lou Honick previously served as the founder and CEO of HostMySite.com from 1997 to 2008. Host’s products and services include 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. The company also provides web hosting, a free website, and business class email to interested new merchants.
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 a great option for standard-risk merchants of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers 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 web developers who require a simple, low-cost, integrated retail or online processing solution.
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.
Like Braintree, Stripe is an online payment processor that primarily offers simple yet robust integration options for websites and applications. The company provides basic APIs in Curl, Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, Node, and Go in addition to prebuilt payment forms, integrated mobile payments, Apple Pay and Bitcoin acceptance, recurring billing, international currency support, and integrations with QuickBooks, Shopify, and WordPress. Based in San Francisco, California, Stripe is also popular among developers for its active developer support community.
Stripe is commonly seen as one of the simplest and cheapest payment processing options for web developers, and this reputation is largely deserved. The company charges no monthly fees and does not require any long-term contracts, and its per-transaction fee is a standard 2.9% plus $0.30. However, Stripe does suffer from a moderate number of complaints related to its lack of phone support for merchants. This lack of live support is not likely to be a problem for developers, but their clients may be dissatisfied with purely email-based customer support. For this reason, developers who use Stripe are encouraged to make it clear to their clients that Stripe will not provide live support in most cases. Stripe currently has a “B” rating on CardPaymentOptions.com and an “A-” rating with the BBB.
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.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is a highly rated all-purpose merchant account option that is a good fit for most business types. Payline Data is a traditional merchant account provider rather than a merchant account aggregator like Braintree or Stripe, meaning that Payline opens a new, dedicated merchant account for each client. As a result, the setup process with Payline is a little more rigorous than with Braintree or Stripe, and Payline typically cannot be used alongside an existing merchant account. However, Payline’s status as a full-service merchant account provider enables it to provide services that Braintree and Stripe cannot, including physical credit card processing equipment, custom pricing plans, and tablet POS products. The company also provides a QuickBooks-integrated online payment gateway and virtual terminal with web APIs and mobile SDKs for custom integration.
Payline Data is recommended for in-house developers who would like to find the most affordable option for all of their company’s payment channels (not just online payments). While its overall setup process may be more involved than that of Stripe or Braintree, the company can generally offer the lowest-cost and most effective suite of payment processing solutions for in-person, mobile, and online payment acceptance. Payline Data consistently receives positive feedback from merchants for its transparent pricing, which typically offers interchange-plus with no early termination fees. The company has also been praised for its friendly sales team and helpful support staff. Our review of Payline Data gives the company an “A+” rating, while the BBB gives Payline an “A” at this time.
Braintree Payment Solutions
Due to its simple integration, wide range of payment options, and secure processing network, Braintree is recommended for independent developers who need to build payment acceptance into a client’s website or application. Braintree’s pricing is fairly standard for a service of its type, with no monthly fees or long-term contracts and a per-transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 for all domestic payments. Braintree distinguishes itself, however, by offering the first $50,000 in payments for free and providing free phone support for all of its users. CardPaymentOptions.com currently gives Braintree an “A+” rating, while the Better Business Bureau also gives the company an “A+.”
Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, PayJunction is a traditional merchant account provider that offers a proprietary online payment gateway and virtual terminal. From a payment processing perspective, PayJunction is comparable to Payline Data in that it requires merchants to open up a dedicated merchant account in order to process payments. However, PayJunction’s lightweight, paperless processing system is especially useful for online businesses that have minimal point-of-sale requirements. PayJunction’s virtual terminal can be integrated with any merchant website as well as a variety of third-party apps via a well-documented API.
PayJunction is another good option for in-house developers who would like to implement a simple, affordable, all-in-one payment processing option. The company typically offers interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and live customer support for all of its merchants. Our review of PayJunction gives the company an “A+” rating, and the BBB also gives PayJunction an “A+.”
Based in Alberta, Canada, Helcim is an all-purpose processor that supplies an online payment gateway and open API to businesses in both the U.S. and Canada. Helcim can supply processing solutions for retail, mobile, and e-commerce business types and includes API documentation for integration with websites, shopping carts, billing systems, and applications.
Helcim is another good option for in-house developers who need a low-cost, multichannel payment option. 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 regarding its sales team. CardPaymentOptions.com gives Helcim an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB also assigns Helcim an “A+.”
If your business offers merchant accounts and payment solutions for web developers, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.