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 services provider.

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Merchant Account Services: Who's The Best?

  1. 1. Best Merchant The Top Four Options Account Services
  2. 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. 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. 4. Our Top Choice For In-Store, Online, and Mobile Credit Card Processing:
  5. 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) 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. 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. 7. Dharma for Best All Around Merchant Account Provider? Why We Chose
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. Dharma Merchant Services vs. Merchant Warehouse vs. Gotmerchant vs. BluePay In-Depth Review
  10. 10. Pricing Buyers Beware
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. 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)
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. This is a full table showing you exactly how much you will be charged when processing credit cards with dharma.
  17. 17. 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).
  18. 18. 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,
  19. 19. 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.
  20. 20. Merchant Account Service Provider Pricing Comparison
  21. 21. 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).
  22. 22. 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.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. 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.
  25. 25. Customer Service
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. 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.
  28. 28. 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.
  29. 29. Hardware
  30. 30. 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.
  31. 31. 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.
  32. 32. Gotmerchant Offers hardware and some is even free, such as the Nurit Wireless Credit Card terminal.
  33. 33. 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.
  34. 34. Dharma Accepts all of the standard debit and credit cards payments. They work with three payment gateways;, USAePay and Priority Payment’s MX, all of which have various costs and fees associated with them. This provider also accepts ACH Direct.
  35. 35. Merchant Warehouse Holds one major advantage over Dharma; they offer free use of and LinkPoint Payment gateways, in addition to debit cards and credit cards.
  36. 36. Works with debit, credit cards and
  37. 37. Add Ons
  38. 38. Dharma’s Philanthropy is the major standout service for this provider, as well as Dharma Lite, for low transaction businesses.
  39. 39. 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.
  40. 40. 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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