Tuesday February 2, 2021 By Dave
The Best Merchant Services You Should Consider Using in 2021

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Service provider companies exist to assist companies course of bank card funds. You would possibly know them by the identify “bank card processors.” 

No matter what you name them, it’s vital to decide on the proper service provider service to your particular enterprise.

I’ve reviewed the highest six service provider companies out there immediately. These are all confirmed, widespread merchandise with cheap charges.

All of them do issues slightly in a different way, nevertheless, and serve specific sorts of companies higher than others.

Hold studying to search out the one which’s going to suit together with your scenario. We’ll stroll via the key standards it’s worthwhile to contemplate as you consider your choices, and end with an in-depth have a look at the perfect merchandise available on the market.

The Prime 6 Service provider Companies:

  1. Payment Depot — Greatest for established companies
  2. Square — Greatest for clear pricing/charges
  3. Flagship Merchant ServicesGreatest for excellent customer support
  4. Helcim — Greatest for small enterprise
  5. Fattmerchant — Greatest for subscription-based Companies
  6. Stripe — Greatest for on-line fee processing

Tips on how to Select The Greatest Service provider Companies For You 

Earlier than we get into the opinions, let’s discuss find out how to decide what makes a superb service provider service.

I’ve damaged this down into three main areas:

  1. Processing charges/month-to-month charges
  2. Companies
  3. Kind of service provider companies account

Let’s undergo every of those standards, one after the other.

Processing Charges/Month-to-month Charges

It’s all in regards to the cash, and bank card processing isn’t so simple as you suppose. You must weigh the professionals and cons with every service; in any other case, you possibly can find yourself paying far more than you deliberate. 

We have to have a look at the processing charges first. With each service provider service, you pay a small charge every time a transaction is processed. It’s normally between 1 to three%.

You’ll additionally pay month-to-month charges, which range relying on the service you select.

To get a decrease processing fee, you normally need to pay a better month-to-month charge.

So, if you happen to’re processing a ton of funds, a service provider service with a excessive month-to-month charge and low processing charges generally is a good choice.

On the opposite aspect, if you happen to’re not processing a number of funds, having increased course of charges received’t damage you as a lot as a excessive month-to-month charge would. 

There are additionally the charges that totally different bank cards like Visa and Mastercard cost. Service provider companies like Toast allow you to select between flat-rate and interchange processing rates.

With flat-rate, you pay a set quantity for processing every month. With interchange, you pay no matter Visa or Mastercard fees plus a small charge to Toast.

Flat-rate processing is a predictable answer that works nicely for companies that need to keep away from massive modifications of their charges. That stated, interchange pricing is mostly extra inexpensive. 


You need to have a look at what the fee processor presents along with bank card processing. Do they provide free POS methods, {hardware}, cell funds, integrations, and many others?

Some service provider companies even supply consulting, buyer loyalty options, and invoicing instruments. 

Typically the “further advantages” you get from a service provider service supplier can outweigh a few of the negatives. 

The Kind of Service provider Service Account 

There are two major sorts of accounts, one is an aggregator (or intermediary), and one is an ISO (or unbiased gross sales group). Let’s evaluate the 2 and see why it’s vital to know the distinction.


These are middlemen working in between the enterprise and the financial institution, providing a straightforward fee processing answer for companies. Sq. is an instance of this, and whereas they make it simpler, they normally have increased charges and transaction prices. 


Fee Depot is an instance of an ISO, and whereas they normally have a extra strict acceptance coverage, they provide decrease charges and user-friendly software program in comparison with a direct processor. 


One of the crucial vital elements to contemplate is, “how will this combine with my present methods”? 

Your fee processor ought to by no means get in the best way or trigger your conversion charges to lower; it ought to complement your present course of and even improve it. Ensure you select one thing that can simply combine into your corporation with out requiring too many modifications or changes. 

The Totally different Kinds of Service provider Companies

After a lot analysis and cautious consideration, these are my prime six service provider companies for each in-person and on-line gross sales. 

#1. Payment Depot — Greatest for Established Companies

Payment Depot makes use of a membership pricing mannequin, making it easier to know however can typically lead to you paying increased charges. Fortunately, Fee Depot’s charges are fairly aggressive, and so they embody interchange-plus pricing for each on-line, in-person, and cell funds.

This technique really makes Fee Depot one of the vital inexpensive fee processors for established companies which are doing a certain quantity of quantity. Not like different firms, the processing charges stay constant and predictable irrespective of how a lot enterprise you do.

Fee Depot accepts all main playing cards and contactless Apple Pay and Google Pay as nicely. You get next-day funding and integration with POS methods in addition to ecommerce platforms equivalent to: 

  • Shopify
  • Revel
  • QuickBooks
  • PrestaShop
  • BigComemrce
  • WooCommerce

I don’t suppose this is without doubt one of the greatest service provider companies for small companies due to how they construction their pricing. The transaction charges go down as you pay a better month-to-month charge, and so they seemingly pressure you to extend your plan due to strict processing limits. 

Right here’s a breakdown of their pricing: 

Fundamental Plan

  • Charge: $49
  • Transaction Charge: $0.15
  • Month-to-month Restrict: $25,000

Common Plan

  • Charge: $79
  • Transaction Charge: $0.10
  • Month-to-month Restrict: $75,000


  • Charge: $99
  • Transaction Charge: $0.07
  • Month-to-month Restrict: $150,000


  • Charge: $199
  • Transaction Charge: $0.05
  • Month-to-month Restrict: Limitless 

So, as you possibly can see – if you happen to’re doing excessive quantity, it could take advantage of sense to improve to the most costly plan for the bottom transaction charges. 

#2. Square — Greatest for Clear Pricing/Charges


  • No month-to-month charge
  • Clear processing
  • Free card reader
  • Nice added options


  • No ACH fee processing
  • Increased charges than desired

Square is widespread for its bank card processing and POS methods, nevertheless it presents far more. It hosts options such because the “Card on File” function, permitting customers to retailer buyer card info that works nice for repeat prospects making an attempt to build up loyalty factors and rewards of that nature. 

The processor additionally doesn’t have a month-to-month charge, and whereas Sq.’s options won’t be as superior as a few of the different fee processors we’re speaking about, for a POS with out a month-to-month charge, you possibly can’t beat the worth. 

The one factor that stands out most to me is the transaction prices and the way they range whether or not you’re doing enterprise in particular person or on-line.

For in-person gross sales, anticipate to pay 2.6% and $0.10 per transaction. For on-line transactions, it’ll price you 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. There are different situations, equivalent to:

  • Digital terminal transactions
  • Card-on-file transactions
  • And card-not-present transactions

These will price 3.5% and $0.15 per transaction. 

Primarily based on these numbers, Sq. isn’t essentially the most inexpensive flat-rate processor, however the transparency makes it simpler so that you can perceive what the charges are and the way they’ll impression your processing primarily based on quantity and value. 


  • Devoted account supervisor
  • Free account setup
  • Free card terminal (with charges)


  • Complicated possession
  • Little info relating to value

Flagship Merchant Services lower the tape in 2001 and was acquired by iPayment in 2012. Now, they primarily resell iPayment, so hold that in thoughts. 

This firm was one of many first to supply free account setup with none software or charges and actual month-to-month contracts. They function tens of 1000’s of retailers, and so they have a robust fame. 

Since they’re not a direct processor, most of their service provider accounts are arrange via iPayment. iPayment makes use of First Knowledge as their processor, and it might probably get complicated making an attempt to determine who’s processing what via what service.

For retailers, Flagship does supply a free bank card terminal, however you’re accountable for paying account charges and insurance coverage on that terminal to stick with it and operating. 

For ecommerce, they provide both for processing and integration of a web based cart onto your website. 

One factor that was slightly irritating about Flagship is looking for info on their charges. For those who go to their website, you’ll see that it’s worthwhile to fill out a kind to get any information about what they cost. 

I’d wish to see extra transparency, however it’s possible you’ll find yourself with a extra catered bundle cope with this technique. 

My favourite function is that you just get a single line of contact with the corporate if you buy a gateway; they act as account managers. For those who ever have an issue, you contact that particular particular person, and this isn’t a function I’ve ever seen with every other service provider service.

#4. Helcim — Greatest for Small Enterprise 


  • Restricted charges
  • Charges primarily based on quantity
  • Free on-line retailer software program


  • Restricted integrations
  • $199 for the cardboard reader

For those who’re a small enterprise proprietor, Helcim would possibly attraction to you. With this service, you’re in a position to course of credit score and debit playing cards on-line and in particular person. You too can do a few of the following: 

  • Arrange recurring funds
  • Ship invoices
  • Gather funds


  • No contract processing
  • Aggressive charges
  • Simple to combine on-line


  • Greatest for high-volume enterprise
  • Software course of

With a Helcim card reader, you possibly can settle for all main playing cards, together with Amex plus Google Pay, Apple Pay, and JCB. 

Helcim fees $20 per 30 days with transaction charges primarily based on quantity. They don’t have any contracts or cancellation charges, and so they’ll wave your month-to-month charge if you happen to don’t course of any funds. 

Total, Helcim is inexpensive however far more for in-person funds than they’re on-line. Right here’s a fast breakdown of their pricing construction, which is predicated on how a lot enterprise you do every month: 

Month-to-month Quantity: $0 – $25,000

  • In-Particular person: 0.3% + 8 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.5% + 25 cents (+ interchange)

Month-to-month Quantity: $25,001 – $50,000

  • In-Particular person: 0.25% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.45% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Month-to-month Quantity: $50,001 – $100,000

  • In-Particular person: 0.2% + 7 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.4% + 20 cents (+ interchange)

Month-to-month Quantity: $100,001 – $250,000

  • In-Particular person: 0.18% + 6 cents (+ interchange)
  • On-line: 0.35% + 15 cents (+ interchange) 

Helcim presents good options for these of you trying to combine this fee gateway into your on-line retailer. You may add a checkout to your website for invoicing and buyer registration whereas additionally accepting recurring subscriptions. 

#5. Fattmerchant — Greatest for Subscription-Primarily based Companies


  • Easy pricing
  • Omni software program
  • A strong alternative for subscription companies


  • Increased month-to-month charges
  • Transaction charges are comparatively commonplace

Fattmerchant is about up quite a bit like lots of the fee processors. As you improve your month-to-month charge, your transaction charges go down. They provide Omni, which is the place you’ll do your invoicing, funds, and reporting. The service is extremely user-friendly, nice for learners, and it comes included together with your month-to-month charge. 

Whereas Fattmerchant is a good alternative for budget-conscious enterprise house owners, it’s additionally a fantastic choice for subscription-based companies. For those who’re promoting month-to-month teaching packages, company companies, or counseling, you’ll profit from Fattmerchant’s construction. 

The processor accepts all main playing cards, together with ACH, invoicing, Text2Pay, and extra. Identical day funding is obtainable, and also you get a free iOS and Android POS app and Bluetooth card readers that you should use on the go. 

They’ve two pricing plans, that are primarily based on how a lot enterprise you do every year.

For companies processing as much as $500,000 yearly:

  • Beginning at $99/month
  • Card-Current Charge: $0.08 + Interchange
  • Card-Not-Current: $0.15 + Interchange
  • ACH Transaction Charge: $0.25

For companies processing greater than $500,000 yearly:

  • Beginning at $199/month
  • Card-Current Charge: $0.06 + Interchange
  • Card-Not-Current: $0.12 + Interchange
  • ACH Transaction Charge: $0.25

Fattmerchant has a better month-to-month charge than some others, however the firm says that’s how they hold their transaction charges down. 

#6. Stripe — Greatest for On-line Fee Processing 


  • Means that you can develop
  • Cheap pricing
  • Nice answer for on-line companies


  • Difficult setup
  • Could require builders

If your corporation runs completely on-line, Stripe is your best option. It’s made particularly for ecommerce and web enterprise, and tons of startups and Fortune 500 firms belief Stripe. 

The corporate presents refined software program and APIs that enable on-line retailer house owners to customise their checkout expertise. You need to use the pre-built integrations to attach a Stripe checkout instantly after which customise it as you go alongside. 

That’s one of many important explanation why I really like Stripe; it’s a fee processor that grows with you and lets you change it as your corporation wants change. 

With all of those options and shifting elements comes issues. It’s not the best to arrange, and if you happen to plan on using the various advantages of Stripe, you’ll probably want a developer to deal with it for you. 

Stripe presents a “pay as you go” technique with out month-to-month charges and clear transaction charges throughout the board. 

  • On-line: 2.9% and $0.30
  • In-Particular person: 2.7% and $0.05
  • Worldwide: Add 1% per transaction
  • ACH Direct: 0.8% maxed at $5.00 per transaction
  • ACH Credit score: $1.00 per transaction

You need to use all main credit score and debit playing cards plus ACH, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and far more. Count on to attend two enterprise days for deposits or pay a one p.c charge to get on the spot deposits. 

Stripe integrates with WordPress, Magento, Squarespace, 3DCart, Zoho, Huge Cartel, and extra.


By this level, you need to know which of those service provider companies is best for you. All of them have their execs and cons, and you need to select in keeping with the kind of enterprise you personal.

Established companies ought to discover Payment Depot.

Square is an total strong answer for all companies, however the transaction charges are a bit excessive, and scalability is missing. 

I’m additionally an enormous fan of Helcim as a result of they can help you develop together with your processor by rising the month-to-month fee as your quantity wants improve. 

No matter which alternative you make, hold the vital elements in thoughts and select rigorously, so that you don’t remorse your determination down the street. 

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