Want to start accepting credit cards in your business? You'll need a merchant account service provider. Here is our overview of the top four providers and our choice for the best merchant account services provider.
The Top Four
It can be hard to select the right merchant
account provider that gives you the
functionality you need
Without a lot of expensive add ons or unseen fees
that you don’t. We’ve reviewed four top merchant
account services so you can select the right
account and get down to business.
In order to make an informed decision about choosing
the right merchant account service for your business,
You first need to understand everything that goes into accepting credit
cards. For a full overview of the setup and pricing options start with our
Ultimate Guide to Accepting Credit Cards.
Our Top Choice For In-Store,
Online, and Mobile Credit Card
pricing works go
amount + $0.10
We were quoted:
Debit: ﬂat rate of
0.39% and $0.25
for all debit cards
Credit Card Rate:
$4.95 a month and
$99 per year.
pricing if you ask
Retail debit card
fee qualiﬁed cards:
Retail credit card:
Monthly Fees: $10
PCI Fees: Varies
must call company.
We were quoted:
1.79% for a consumer
Consumer credit card
$0.15 transaction fee
*(Bluepay will also
offer interchange plus
pricing, and agrees to
beat any competitor’s
price or give you $500
month (with 3
8am to 5pm PST.
24/7 24/7 24/7
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes Yes
USA ePay with
for Best All Around Merchant Account Provider?
Why We Chose
Unlike most of their competitors dharma does not charge you an application
fee or monthly minimum. If that weren’t enough, dharma also donates 50%
of their profits to charity.
Dharma offer honest, low, and straightforward
transparent pricing with 24/7 technical support.
Dharma Merchant Services
vs. Merchant Warehouse
vs. Gotmerchant vs.
Determining the price of a merchant account
service can be something of a mystery.
That’s why we’ve included a
comprehensive guide to the fees
associated with accepting credit cards
which you can read here.
You are going to pay different rates for debit and credit
cards. You are also going to pay different rates depending
on the type of credit card your customers use.
For example, you will pay more when your customers us American
Express than Visa, and also for customers who use certain rewards cards
or international cards.
The fees that the banks and credit card
companies charge you
Are generally going to be the same, as long as you are working with
one of the larger merchant account service providers.
(called interchange fees)
The fees that the
merchant account service
providers charge you
however, are going to
differ from provider to
There are two main pricing models
used by the merchant account
service providers: the interchange
plus pricing model and the tiered
The Interchange Plus Model
With an interchange plus model the merchant account service provider
charges a fixed percentage of the transaction, and a fixed transaction fee
for every sale you process through them. With this model the percentage
and transaction fee paid to the merchant account service provider remain
the same, regardless of the type of card used.
This is a full table showing you exactly how
much you will be charged when processing
credit cards with dharma.
The Tiered Pricing Model
This is in comparison to the tiered pricing
model, where you just pay a percentage of
each transaction that includes all the fees
(credit card provider fees, bank fees, and
merchant account service provider fees).
can fluctuate depending on the type of card used and whether they
consider that card “qualified”, “mid-qualified”, “non-qualified”, or
With a tiered pricing model the merchant
account service provider’s fees,
We Recommend Going
With The Interchange
Plus Pricing Model
It’s clear what you are paying.
For a more in depth explanation and overview of both the tiered
and interchange plus pricing model as well as all the other costs
involved with accepting credit cards go here.
Dharma Merchant Account Services
Follows an interchange plus pricing model, and takes
the time to educate customers on the website.
There is no termination fee, though there is a minimal account closure fee of
$25. Dharma makes it easy to understand the rates at 0.25% + $0.10/
transaction above interchange (the rates the credit card companies charge).
Does not have the clear pricing structure that Dharma does.
We communicated with a polite, friendly and helpful rep named Laura via live
chat who went out of her way to answer all of our pricing questions and even
suggested questions to ask other companies while shopping around.
For a single retail store with one terminal, we were quoted via live chat rates
of 0.39% and $0.25 for all debit cards and 1.85% for qualified credit cards.
(We didn’t get into mid-qualified and non-qualified cards, though we did find
out that Interchange plus pricing is also available for anyone.)
Other fees here included a $4.95 monthly customer service free, a minimum
monthly fee of $25 and a PCI compliance fee of $99 per year.
Displays the fees and rates for credit and debit card
processing right on the website.
With a monthly fee of $10.00, a monthly minimum of $25 and
samples rates of 1.69% for qualified retail debit cards, 2.44% for
mid-qualified cards and 3.29% for non-qualified cards and a
transaction fee of $0.20.
Doesn’t provide 24/7 customer service, but they do have phone support
from Monday to Friday between 8AM and 5PM PST, as well as email and
numbers for third parties, such as payment gateways.
Just won a Stevie Award for customer service and we can see why.This
company really excels with their customer service, and offers delightful 24/7
in-house phone support, live chat 24 hours from Monday to Friday and
mobile support for the Zappix app as well as email help.
Also has 24/7 phone support, which, as a bonus, also includes tech support
for customers with the free POS system. They also offer email support. When
we connected via live chat, answers were immediate and complete.
Provides a number of hardware options and you can buy the
hardware and save on leasing costs. It also works with most
existing hardware, but be sure to check first.
Isn’t called a warehouse for nothing. They have a complete line of credit
card processing equipment available that you can select from. Reps can
help you decide what you need – we were offered a terminal for $159 and
the rep did not try to upsell us more equipment.
Offers hardware and some is even free, such as the Nurit
Wireless Credit Card terminal.
Most providers accept all major debit and credit cards.
Several accept mobile payments as well, or allow you to
integrate these with your system.
Accepts all of the standard debit and credit cards payments. They work
with three payment gateways; Authorize.net, USAePay and Priority
Payment’s MX, all of which have various costs and fees associated with
them. This provider also accepts ACH Direct.
Holds one major advantage over Dharma; they offer free use of
Authorize.net and LinkPoint Payment gateways, in addition to debit cards
and credit cards.
Works with debit, credit cards and
Philanthropy is the major standout service for
this provider, as well as Dharma Lite, for low
Has that personal gateway, the in-
house IT team and a customized POS
system. They’ll also throw in free
mobile processing and one free device.
Will give you a free retail or restaurant POS system if you’re willing
to sign a five year merchant account service contract with them.
They also offer a free gift card option, Internet merchant accounts,
cell phone processing and a Yahoo Store Merchant Account.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a comprehensive provider that can handle in store,
online, and mobile payment processing then Bluepay is the clear choice.
They offer to beat any competitors pricing or pay you $500 so shop around
and get the best price their competitors offer and then call Bluepay.
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