Merchant Account Services: Who's The Best?

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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 …

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.

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  • 1. Best Merchant The Top Four Options Account Service
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. Our Top Choice For In-Store, Online, and Mobile Credit Card Processing:
  • 5. Dharma Merchant Services Merchant Warehouse Gotmerchant Bluepay Pricing
 (To fully understand how pricing works go here) Interchange Plus ! ! Sample Rates: (0.25% of transaction amount + $0.10 + Interchange Rate) 
 
 See pricing example here. ! ! Monthly Fees: $15 *Tiered ! We were quoted:! Debit: flat rate of 0.39% and $0.25 for all debit cards! Credit Card Rate: 1.85%. (For Qualified Cards)! $25 Monthly minimum! $4.95 a month and $99 per year. ! * (Merchant warehouse will also offer interchange plus pricing if you ask for it) *Tiered ! ! Retail debit card fee qualified cards: 0.69%! ! Retail credit card: 1.69%! Mid-Qualified rate: 2.44%! Non-Qualified rate: 3.29%! ! Transaction fee: $0.20! ! Monthly Fees: $10! ! PCI Fees: Varies must call company.! Monthly Minimum $25 *Tiered! ! We were quoted: ! ! 1.79% for a consumer debit card! ! Consumer credit card 2.09%! ! Non-qualified rates (business, rewards cards, international cards) 2.89%! ! $0.15 transaction fee! ! Monthly Minimum: $25! ! *(Bluepay will also offer interchange plus pricing, and agrees to beat any competitor’s price or give you $500 cash)
  • 6. Dharma Merchant Services Merchant Warehouse Gotmerchant Bluepay Minimum Contract Length Month-to- month Month-to- month Month-to- month (with 3 month cancellation notice required) 1 Year Customer Service Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm PST. 24/7 24/7 24/7 Shopkeep Integration? 
 (Recommend POS system) Yes Yes Yes Yes Quickbooks Integration? 
 (Recommend) Yes Yes Yes Yes Mobile Payment Processing? Dependent on gateway! ! iPhone/iPad with MX Gateway! ! USA ePay with Apple/Android iOS and Android iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows iOS and Android
  • 7. Bluepay for Best All Around Merchant Account Provider? Why We Chose
  • 8. And spent the most time walking us through all the different options available. In fact, if they can’t beat the rate you are offered by one of their competitors, they will pay you $500. Bluepay was the most flexible company we spoke to in regards to pricing
  • 9. While other providers seem to have “tacked on” their internet and mobile payment solutions, Bluepay has their own payment gateway (for accepting online ]payments) and mobile swiper (for accepting payments via smartphone) Bluepay is the most technologically savvy of all the providers we spoke with.
  • 10. Most providers get you your money in two days only for in store payments. Online and mobile payments take longer. With Bluepay you get access to your funds in two days regardless of whether payment was taken in store, online, or via a mobile device. With Bluepay you also get 24/7 customer service and the fastest access to your money.
  • 11. What Are The Drawbacks of Bluepay
  • 12. Bluepay wants the flexibility to come up with a custom solution that best fits each client, so their pricing is not as straightforward as Dharma. They do however guarantee that they will beat any competitors price of give you $500. For this reason it pays to shop around a bit to get the best rate their competitors will offer you, and then get Bluepay to beat it.
  • 13. They also require a 1 year contract, instead of letting you go month to month like many other providers.
  • 14. Dharma Merchant Services vs. Merchant Warehouse vs. Gotmerchant vs. BluePay In-Depth Review
  • 15. Pricing Buyers Beware
  • 16. 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.
  • 17. 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.
  • 18. 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)
  • 19. The fees that the merchant account service providers charge you however, are going to differ from provider to provider. There are two main pricing models used by the merchant account service providers: the interchange plus pricing model and the tiered pricing model.
  • 20. 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.
  • 21. 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).
  • 22. can fluctuate depending on the type of card used and whether they consider that card “qualified”, “mid-qualified”, “non-qualified”, or something else. With a tiered pricing model the merchant account service provider’s fees,
  • 23. 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.
  • 24. Merchant Account Service Provider Pricing Comparison
  • 25. BluePay Works on an annual contract basis, rather than providing a month to month solution. Like Merchant Warehouse, customers need to speak to a sales rep. This company prides itself on finding a custom fit for each customer, and offers $500 if you have rates that they can’t meet or beat.
  • 26. While there is some pricing on the website, such as rates as low as 0.95%, it really depends. We communicated with a senior sales executive by phone and email and were quoted starter rates of 1.79% for consumer debit cards, 2.09% for consumer credit cards and a non-qualified card rate of $2.89%, with a $0.15 transaction fee.
  • 27. 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).
  • 28. Merchant Warehouse 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.
  • 29. Gotmerchant 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.
  • 30. Customer Service
  • 31. BluePay Offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and chat and a personal account rep that you can communicate with during office hours. Another big advantage of Bluepay is that they have an in house IT team to support custom integrations with your existing in store and online setups.
  • 32. Dharma 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.
  • 33. Merchant Warehouse 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.
  • 34. Gotmerchant 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.
  • 35. Hardware
  • 36. BluePay Offers the advantage of an in-house IT team that can help you use your existing hardware (and software) so it integrates with their merchant account. 
 
 They also work with major hardware providers and can help you select the hardware that you need, and you can purchase directly from Bluepay as well.
  • 37. Dharma 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.
  • 38. 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.
  • 39. Gotmerchant Offers hardware and some is even free, such as the Nurit Wireless Credit Card terminal.
  • 40. Payment Options Most providers accept all major debit and credit cards. Several accept mobile payments as well, or allow you to integrate these with your system.
  • 41. BluePay Has another advantage to their in-house IT team: they offer their own payment gateway free of charge. They also accept the standard debit and credit cards as well as, like Dharma, ACH payments.
  • 42. DharmaAccepts 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.
  • 43. Merchant Warehouse 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.
  • 44. Works with debit, credit cards and authorize.net.
  • 45. Add Ons
  • 46. BluePay 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. Dharma’s philanthropy is the major standout service for this provider, as well as Dharma Lite, for low transaction businesses.
  • 47. Merchant Warehouse 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. Gotmerchant 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.
  • 48. 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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