Comparison of Credit Card Processors

Want to start accepting credit card payments? There are dozens of point of sale (POS) software systems on the market. The freedom to choose might feel liberating—but for new small business owners, it can be quite intimidating as well. Luckily, Processing Card's here to help. To make things easier, we've made an in-depth comparison of credit card processors—3 apps—for you to choose from.

These are the top three best credit card processing systems business owners from all across the country use to accept payments. We're pitting them against each other for an unbiased, no-holds-barred review.

After all, having a neutral third party review your credit card processing options is undoubtedly the quickest, most efficient way to find the best credit and debit payment processer for your business.

Are you looking to expand your online store by accepting credit card payments globally? Reach out to Processing Card! Our team can help you find the best, most cost-efficient high-risk merchant account service providers in the country.

Square
paypal logo
Provides users with a free card reader/chip reader for the payment processing of swiped transactions
POS app is suitable for both online and in-person credit card payments
Credit card processing fees are at 2.65% for swiped transactions
$0.10 for Tap/Interac Chip and Pin sales
$0.30 via Square Online Sale Invoice
3.4% plus $0.15 for manually keyed-in transactions
Paypal
paypal logo
Allows clients to sign up on month-to-month terms
Business clients have the option of getting their POS equipment for free
Very comprehensive POS system best suited for in-store credit card processing
NFC enabled, accept payments via contactless wallets (Google Pay, PayPal, or Apple Pay)
Standard rates monthly fee of $29.99
PCI compliance fee of $99 per year
Stripe
paypal logo
One of the best credit card processors for small businesses
Offers POS systems for both brick-and-mortar and online stores
Geared toward low-volume small businesses that focus on low monthly fees
Doesn't charge a cancellation fee
Statement fee of $5
Annual PCI-compliance fee of $99
Rates to range anywhere around 1.35% to 6%

A Comprehensive Review of the Top 3 Credit Card Processing Systems on the Market Today

Before we get started, it's important to remember that there's no one-size-fits-all credit card processor. The needs and demands of large and small businesses vary on a case-by-case basis—the same rule applies when comparing the needs of a brick-and-mortar shop versus an online store.

For example, some focus on getting the lowest transaction fees and most competitive pricing model. Meanwhile, others prioritize finding credit card processing brands that provide a wide array of processing equipment and offer excellent 24/7 customer support.

With that in mind, we chose not to rank our list of credit card companies. Instead, we opted to list down the top three credit card processors on the market and specify who would benefit the most from each payment processing option.

Best for POS Software Versatility: Square

When it comes to credit card processing versatility, Square definitely tops the list. Square prides itself on innovation and adaptability. They're constantly updating their card processors to better suit the payment processor needs of both large and small business owners.

Square offers a wide range of credit and debit card payment processing hardware options. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar shop or an e-commerce store, they've got the ideal card readers for your business model.

Square Hardware POS Systems

For the POS credit card processors, Square provides users with a free card reader/chip reader for the payment processing of swiped transactions. You can opt to upgrade to a card reader that processes both chip cards and contactless payments for a meager fee of $49.

If you're looking for the Square Stand, you can have one set up for $199. It's compatible with any iPad mobile device and can process credit card payments via swiped and contactless transactions.

For those who want a more professional and comprehensive credit card processor, opt for the Square Register. The POS comes with a screen display, stand, and card reader that can accept payments made via card swipe, tap, or dip. Square Register costs less than $800 and has a per-transaction fee of 2.6% plus $0.10.

Square Point of Sale (POS) Software

The Square POS app is suitable for both online and in-person credit card payments. You can have it set up on any Android or iOS mobile device.

Despite the program's versatility and comprehensive features, the POS app Square offers is actually very easy to use. Even older users who aren't as well-versed with technology won't have trouble shifting to online payment processing options.

To get started, open the Square POS application then log in to the store you want to customize—users can enroll in multiple stores. From there, you'll see a small grid pop up in the corners. You'll be able to customize your products on the left grid and sort out sales receipts on the right grid.

The former generally gives you access to inventory management. Here users will see which products are performing well, which ones aren't, and which ones need to be restocked ASAP. We urge business owners to regularly check these.

Meanwhile, the latter gives you access to your offline/online payment history. You'll see all the payments that went through both the virtual terminal and in-store Square point of sale system. The digital receipt printer, taxes, and promo discounts are also available here.

Also, entrepreneurs that run a brick-and-mortar business will be glad to know that the credit card processing system of Square can run offline. This is important for those who have pop-up stores or boutiques in locations with unstable internet access.

Square Credit Card Processing Fees

Square is well-known among entrepreneurs for its flat, predictable, and transparent pricing model. Unlike other credit card processing companies, they are 100% upfront about all the fees they charge their business clients for payment processing. This makes accounting easier for those who are on a tight budget.

Credit card processing fees are at 2.65% for swiped transactions, $0.10 for Tap/Interac Chip and Pin sales, 2.9% plus $0.30 via Square Online Sale Invoice, and 3.4% plus $0.15 for manually keyed-in transactions.

Cons of Using Square

High-volume businesses may experience account freezes from time to time. This is done to prevent fraudulent activity.

Square is suitable for both small and large businesses. However, those who process a high amount of payments per month may find themselves stuck with increasing monthly fees.

Best for Flexible Pricing: Flagship Merchant Services (FMS)

For those looking for flexible fees and rates, look no further than Flagship Merchant Services! They are known as the most flexible business merchant account and credit card processing companies on the market.

In fact, FMS allows clients to sign up on month-to-month terms. This means you can switch between the interchange and tiered pricing—as well as modify other contract details—if you feel the need to do so in the middle of your contract. At the same time, you can cancel your subscription for free. They don't charge any early termination fee.

The flexibility allows entrepreneurs to adjust their point of sale software accordingly based on their current credit card processing needs. As we said, there's no one-size-fits-all credit card processor. The same rule applies to the fees and rates charged by your service provider. What your business prioritizes today might not be your main focus one to two years from now.

FMS Hardware POS Systems

FMS business clients have the option of getting their POS equipment for free. However, the tradeoff here is that the user will be obliged to adhere to a standard three-year contract—actual term length may vary. You'll also be sacrificing some of the original month-to-month benefits.

Should you get the POS equipment for free? It really depends on your specific business goals. If you don't have sufficient funds to purchase the necessary systems as of the moment and are willing to commit to a multiple-year contract with FMS, then opt to get the equipment for free.

However, if you have the necessary funds, we advise reconsidering your decision. The month-to-month terms that FMS offers are what sets them apart from any other mobile/credit card processing brand on the market. Free equipment might initially sound great, but you need to consider your long-term goals as well.

FMS Point of Sale Software

FMS has a very comprehensive POS system best suited for in-store credit card processing. Their application features a modern credit card terminal that can accept even mobile credit card payments.

For small businesses with sales volumes that are less than average, we advise going with a Verifone credit terminal. It allows you to process credit card payments at the checkout counter without committing to the full fees per transaction that bigger businesses pay.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs whose business primarily depends on online or phone sales can utilize the FMS virtual terminal and payment gateway. The former allows one to accept credit card payments via phone while the latter gives customers the option to make payments online through a website or landing page.

Plus, all the credit card processors of FMS are NFC-enabled so you can also accept payments via contactless wallets and cards such as Google Pay, PayPal, or Apple Pay.

FMS Credit Card Processing Fees

Those who are new to the mobile/credit card processing world might feel annoyed that FMS doesn't disclose their fees. This isn't because they aren't transparent. Rather, because they offer clients month-to-month terms. Perhaps the only standard rates they offer are their monthly fee of $29.99 and PCI compliance fee of $99 per year.

Cons of Using FMS

The tiered pricing model is unpredictable. You'll have to consult with a dedicated agent regarding this for more information.

Best for Small Businesses: Credit Card Processing.com

One of the best credit card processors for small businesses that are just starting is Credit Card Processing.com. They can be used by all types of businesses that want to start accepting credit cards, but based on their features and benefits, they are most suitable for those that only need to process around $2,500 to no more than $75,000 per month.

Similar to FMS, they also offer flexible contract terms. Clients won't be able to follow a month-to-month contract, but one can freely choose between the interchange and tiered pricing. Plus, they don't have a cancellation fee! Once your small business takes off and you'll have to process a lot more orders, you can freely move on to another service provider.

Credit Card Processing.com Hardware POS Systems

The brand offers POS systems for both brick-and-mortar and online stores. They have a basic payment processor that allows businesses to transact the standard card payments via a POS system at the checkout counter. Meanwhile, those who are into e-commerce can upgrade their plan to have a payment gateway.

Credit Card Processing.com Point of Sale Software

They don't have many advancements and innovative features to offer, but it's fine given that they're geared toward low-volume small businesses that focus on low monthly fees rather than top-notch payment processing technology. And as we said, they don't have a cancellation fee. One can opt to upgrade their plan and move on to a more expensive brand at any time they want.

Credit Card Processing.com Credit Card Processing Fees

Credit Card Processing. com doesn't charge a cancellation fee. However, they do have a statement fee of $5 and an annual PCI-compliance fee of $99. If you run an online shop, you'll have to shell out $7.95 per month for your payment gateway.

For the per-transaction processing fee, you'll have to consult with an agent yourself. As we said, the brand offers flexible terms so the exact processing fees will vary on a case-by-case basis. Generally, however, you can expect the rates to range anywhere around 1.35% to 6%.

Cons of Using Credit Card Processing.com

Some users have complained that the brand sometimes squeezes in additional monthly fees in exchange for the free equipment. Be careful and always ask for transparent cost breakdowns.

Additional Resources

Popular card brands in America

If you're planning to add a mobile/credit card processing system to your business, make sure you read up on what card brands your consumers use first.

Still having trouble deciding which debit and credit card processors to use for your small business? Get in touch with Processing Card! We help both big and small businesses find a credit card payment system that best suits their needs, goals, and demands.

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