Top Credit Card Payment Processors

Get Recommendations for the Best Merchant Account

    As a small business owner, investing in credit card processing for your brand can be a significant expense for your company. However, 2020 statistics from Statista show that the credit card was the most popular payment method in the United States, with 38% of users displaying this preference. Because of this, establishments that accept credit cards are at an advantage.

    However, choosing the right merchant services provider can be tricky. To help you find the best credit card processing services for your brand, here are some of the top companies that offer ease of use, transparent pricing, third-party integrations, effective customer support, and more.


    The Best Credit Card Payment Processor in 2021

    Finding the top credit card processors for your business means taking your budget into account in relation to security, credit card processing fees, whether you pay a fixed monthly fee, and whether it is compatible with your existing processing equipment.

    Best for Small Companies: Square

    Square is one of the most popular companies that can enable your growing business to accept credit card payments. Their technology is easy to set up within minutes, and they can provide a free point of sale (POS) system depending on the plan you choose. They also offer advanced end-to-end encryption online, providing maximum security for your customers.


    • Provides free POS software
    • Has many equipment options
    • Is compatible with all major credit cards
    • Features good security protocols
    • Provides access to many online tutorials
    • Has no early terminations or PCI compliance fees
    • Offers a flat-rate pricing scheme


    • Limited phone support
    • Higher fees for high-risk businesses
    • Not ideal for companies that have a high volume of transactions
    • Suspicious transactions can result in account suspension

    Best for Medium-Sized Businesses: Helcim

    For organizations that are more established, Helcim is a great option for those looking for merchant services with interchange-plus pricing. It provides discounts and rewards for those with high transaction volumes, and they're also known for their high quality of customer service and relatively low account fees. However, they have a limited selection of POS systems.


    • Perks for merchants who have overseas sales
    • Good interchange-plus pricing options
    • Has a mobile application for smartphone or tablet POS systems
    • Has a lot of online features
    • Offers 24/7 phone support
    • One of the few companies with a rate lock


    • Not suited for smaller companies
    • Offers a limited selection of free terminals and hardware
    • Online fee chart can be complicated

    Best for Online Businesses: Stripe

    Stripe is one of the most reputable credit card processing companies that offer mobile processing. This makes them a great option for e-commerce companies, due to their flexible options and flat-rate plans. They also provide plenty of integrations including e-commerce platforms, accounting software, and CRMs. However, phone support is only available upon request.


    • Plenty of integration options with business software
    • Lots of assistance with managing refunds and disputes
    • Offers recurring payments
    • Provides useful analytics
    • Accepts plenty of mobile wallet payments


    • Lacks automatic tax support
    • Phone support is only available upon request
    • Processing rates are a little higher compared to to `her companies
    • The user interface could be more intuitive

    Best for Freelancers: PayPal

    If you're looking for a processing company that is geared towards solo entrepreneurs and freelancers, PayPal offers budget-friendly pricing. It provides secure online transactions, but costs can quickly go up if you invest in additional services. With its intuitive user interface and 24/7 phone and email customer support, it is an easily recognizable brand for many customers.


    • Easy to use for customers and businesses
    • Only requires an email account
    • Automatically records transactions
    • Provides high-quality encryption
    • Compatible with mobile
    • Sending money to family and friends is free


    • Charges high fees per transaction
    • Often a target of phishing scams
    • Account suspension can result in frozen funds

    Best Budget Option: National Processing

    If you're on a budget, this is an affordable option that offers transparent pricing and relatively low fees. It's well-suited to those who have small and medium-sized businesses and is also PCI compliant for maximum security. On the other hand, terminating your account can be tricky as they charge early termination fees.


    • Has a partnership with Clover
    • Offers transparent pricing
    • Provides NFC payment support for contactless payments
    • Known for low fees and a wide variety of plans
    • ACH processing is quite affordable


    • Charges an early termination fee
    • Obtaining equipment comes requires signing up for longer contracts
    • Could come with more features

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a credit card processing company?

    A payment processing company helps business owners by authorizing credit and debit card transactions and enables them to get paid on time, transferring the funds to their account.

    Which credit card processing is cheapest for a small business?

    For smaller companies, services that offer a more affordable pricing model include Square and National Processing. With low monthly fees, a relatively wide variety of features, and ease of use, they're great for low-volume transactions.

    Additional Resources

    SBA - Cybersecurity Tips For Small Businesses

    To help protect your website, this resource highlights vulnerabilities and common cyber threats and suggests ways for you to improve your cybersecurity while accepting payments online.

    In order to accept payments through your website or physical store, investing in a mobile credit card reader and processing app can ultimately widen your customer base and increase your revenue. When it comes to choosing an affordable and effective processing service, finding a provider that checks all the boxes can be difficult.

    For additional assistance and plan comparisons for small businesses, contact us today at ProcessingCard.