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Credit Card Processors for Retailers

Get Recommendations for the Best Merchant Account

    One thing that small businesses must think carefully about when setting up shop is what credit card processing service can address their needs best. You must take the time to select a card processor that can ensure smooth transactions, low monthly costs, reasonable transaction costs, and the like.

    A mistake that small business owners often make is simply using their existing bank's services for this. Accountant Kwame A. Michel warns that banks do not always have the most reasonable deals. Moreover, they are known for charging hefty card processing costs, which can add to your expenses.

    Technology has introduced new payment options and enhanced security for these processors. As such, today's retailers can now determine the best credit card processor according to low costs, flexible terms, customer support, security levels, and accepted payment methods.

    Keeping all of this in mind, here are some of the top retail credit card processor options in the market today:

    Best for Low Transaction Fees: National Processing

    • Extremely Low Interchange-Plus Rates: National Processing has rate-lock guarantees to ensure that there are no hidden costs for payment processing. They have three pricing models designed for e-commerce, restaurants, and retailers, which all cost $9.95 monthly. The additional fees per transaction depend on your chosen pricing model.
    • Account Representatives: Your assigned representative is available from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday. They also have 24/7 tech support in case you need assistance.
    • Virtual Terminal: You will be able to receive payments for credit and debit cards on your online store.

    With National Processing, payments can be processed in a brick and mortar or online store through a mobile point of sale system. Their billing software can send invoices, and minimize chargebacks and fraudulent activity. There is no monthly minimum with National Processing.

    Best for Flexibility: Flagship Merchant Services

    • No Long-Term Contracts: Flagship Merchant Services has flexible card processing contracts and no early termination fee.
    • Tiered Processing or Interchange-Plus Rates: Clients have the option to choose either a tiered processing or interchange-plus rates payment plan, which will then be customized according to your needs.
    • Numerous Card Processing Hardware Options: They have all kinds of payment processing choices for your business, from regular card terminals to POS systems, and the like.

    Opening an account with Flagship will also grant you access to an online reporting tool for better analysis and tracking.

    Best for Low-Risk Merchants: Payment Depot

    • Membership or Subscription Pricing: You will be able to save money on fees and processing costs with Payment Depot's membership pricing. Membership with them means no percentage-based markups. Every month, you pay a fixed amount to the banks and card networks, together with $0.05-$0.15 per transaction.
    • Transparent Pricing: Due to their membership pricing model, there are no hidden costs. Monthly fees are all factored into your retail business's chosen membership plan, which ranges from $49 to $199 monthly.
    • Excellent Customer Service: Payment Depot handles customer support directly. If you opt for an annual membership, you will receive a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If you're unhappy with the service within this time frame, you will be refunded your membership fee.

    Opening an account with Payment Depot means you will be able to accept payments online or in a physical store. These will be transferred into your account with two business days. It is a great choice for businesses with high volumes.

    Best for High-Risk Merchants: ProMerchant

    • Two Pricing Models: A high-risk business may choose between fixed-rate or interchange-plus pricing plans, depending on their rate of sales every month.
    • High Approval Rate: Aside from looking into a high-risk business' credit score, ProMerchant factors in their operations, sales, the potential for growth, among others, leading to a higher approval rate.
    • Quick Response Time: Online applicants may hear back on the approval of their services within the same day. On average, you may have to wait two business days upon submitting your application. They also have overnight delivery of payment gateway tools for free.

    High-risk businesses need not worry about possible problems because ProMerchant also assigns you a dedicated account manager.

    Best for Transparency: Payline

    • Upfront About Pricing Plans: They have a number of standardized pricing packages to choose from upfront, so you know what you will be paying for.
    • Honest Sales Practices: There is no need for negotiations and clients will not be surprised by hidden fees.
    • Fraud Protection: Each pricing plan is guaranteed fraud protection. They partner with Verifi and Ethoca to prevent chargebacks.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I add credit card processing fees to an invoice?

    One way to charge customers card fees is by adding a line on the invoice with an item called "credit card surcharge" and calculating it at standard rates. If you have your system set up correctly, this can be done automatically without any manual effort.

    You can also ensure that card surcharges are processed smoothly by setting them as automated charges against each customer's account when they place their order.

    Can I process my own credit cards?

    Avoid processing your own card through a merchant account that you are affiliated with. You should also avoid paying someone else when it's not necessary because this can be considered fraudulent and money laundering—both of which are considered strictly prohibited by card companies.

    Can I charge a fee to accept credit cards?

    Card surcharges are optional fees added when customers use their credit cards to pay at checkout. These can be legal, unless restricted by state law. Such fees can work on an individual basis or as part of the brand level surcharge; the latter adds the same fee to all transactions from that one payment network such Visa or Mastercard.

    How do you get approved for a merchant account?

    To increase your account eligibility, it is important to maintain a positive credit rating. Be honest about previous merchant accounts, bankruptcies, liens, or judgments. From there, take the time to compare and contrast different processors in order to find one that best suits your needs.

    What is a good merchant processing fee?

    Merchants typically pay roughly a processing fee of 1.5% to 2.9% depending on the type of card, but 3.5% for a keyed-in transaction due to the increased risk associated with this kind of purchase.

    From the above information, it is evident that there is a credit card processing solution for every possible concern you can think of. Choosing the right payment processing service is a matter of weighing your options, considering interchange fees, looking at the reputation of payment processors, and knowing what will serve your customers best.

    Interested in learning more about credit card processing companies? Get in touch with Processing Card today!

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