Cheapest Credit Card Processing for Your Business

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Customers are more and more using credit cards today to pay for their purchases. So having the ability to process credit cards is a must for businesses of all sizes, regardless of their industries. But high and often complicated credit card processing fees eat up total profits, forcing business owners to constantly look for the cheapest credit card processing solution.

So which small business credit card processing options are the cheapest for your small business?

In this definitive guide, we will find an answer to that question. But let us explore some background first.



What are Card Processing Services?

Though it appears simple from the outside, credit card processing is complicated. This is because various entities are involved in this payment processing method. From you collecting credit card information to the acquiring bank account getting funds, a number of moving parts are inherent in the process. A credit card processing service enables you to accept credit cards in your business without any hassle as payment options.

Companies offering card processing services work as mediators between customers, merchants, and financial institutions, making payment processing seamless.

When you decide to start accepting credit cards in your business, you have two options – one is a merchant account, and another is a card payment processor.

Why You Should Use a Credit Card Payment Processing Service for Your Business

Credit cards have become a preferred way of making payments among customers now. If you don’t have the capability to process credit cards, you’re going to lose tons of credit card sales to your competitors.

Here are key reasons why you should use a credit card payment processing service for your small business:

  • Accepting credit cards is convenient for your customers
  • Credit card payments can improve cash flow in your business because credit cards transactions are cleared quickly as opposed to cheque payments that take time
  • Credit cards inspire customers to buy impulsively. So, accepting credit cards means more impulse purchases in your store
  • You eliminate the risk of bad checks when you accept credit card payments
  • Credit card processing is essential for online business as cards are a preferred online payment method

Now a question comes – should you charge credit card fees if customers decide to pay via credit cards? Well, it depends. In some states, it is illegal to charge card processing. So, you should check local guidelines in this regard.

15 Cheapest Credit Card Processing Services for Your Small Business

When you look for the cheapest credit card processing services, it is worth noting that the cheapest is not always the best solution.

Instead, you should make a list of leading credit card processing providers and compare their features. Doing so will help you find the best payment service provider that can meet your needs and fall within your budget.

Here are the top seventeen cheapest credit card processing solutions to start your research:

1. Square

Square Payments is one of the most reputed credit card processors in the market. The company offers a wide range of POS hardware and equipment to enable small business owners to process card payments. The product range includes Square Terminal, Square Reader, Square Register, etc.

Pros:

Here are key benefits of using Square payment processing:

  • Simple transparent pricing
  • No lock-in contracts
  • Fast setup (account creation and verification in minutes)
  • Free dispute management and fraud protection

Cons:

  • You have to pay a fee if you want to access your money instantly
  • Custom price is available only if you process more than $250,000 yearly

Square Pricing

Square offers simple pricing with no hidden fees. If you tap, dip, or swipe a credit card, Square will charge 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction. For eCommerce transactions, Square charges 2.9% + 30¢ for cards or 1% with a minimum of $1 per transaction for ACH bank transfers (via invoices only).

For those who wish to manually enter card details or use a credit card on file, Square will take 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.

Square Payments is well-suited for restaurants and the retail industry.

2. PayPal

PayPal Zettle is a complete POS solution for your small business. It enables you to accept credit card payments online and on-site.

To start processing credit cards, you have to buy a PayPal Zettle reader. PayPal Zettle POS app is free. Also, PayPal Zettle offers a range of cash registers and card terminals to choose from. This is an alternative to PayPal for business with more features.

Pros:

Here are the main highlights of the PayPal credit card payment processing solution:

  • Capability to accept major credit cards, mobile payments
  • Complete POS solution with inventory tracking
  • Easy setup that takes just 5 minutes
  • Free QR code payment tool

Cons:

  • Known to freeze accounts
  • Hard to reach customer service department

PayPal Pricing

PayPal Zettle doesn’t charge any monthly fee. For each transaction through PayPal Zettle, you have to pay 2.29% + $0.09 transaction fee per card-present transaction. And for manual card entry transactions, you will have to shell out 3.49% + 0.09 USD per transaction.

PayPal also offers contactless payment processing. QR code transactions $10.00 and below will cost you 2.4% + 0.05 USD per transaction.

PayPal Zettle is good for no-profits as it offers discounted transactions rates for charities.

3. Stripe

Stripe is a reputed name in credit card processing. With Stripe, you can customize online and personal checkout experiences for your customers.

The company offers reasonably priced pre-certified card readers that come with cloud-based hardware management to help you accept credit cards on-site.

Pros:

  • Highly customizable experience
  • No long-term contract
  • Unified reporting with online payments
  • Comprehensive security

Cons:

  • Technical expertise is required to get the most out of the
  • Account stability issues for riskier businesses
  • Daily payout limit may be applied on instant payouts

Stripe Pricing

Stripe charge 2.9% +30¢ per online transaction. It also charges + 1% for international cards and + 1% if currency conversion is required for online transactions.

An on-site transaction will cost you 2.7% + 5¢ per successful card transaction. You will be charged $15 for a lost dispute transaction.

Stripe is ideal for companies offering online business services. Thanks to its quick setup, you can create a free account online in just a few minutes.

4. Stax by Fattmerchant

Stax by Fattmerchant is a subscription-based credit card processing solution for small business owners. This all-in-one payment processing solution will enable your business to accept payments from anywhere – swiped, keyed, mobile, online, or contactless.

The company offers a free terminal or mobile reader to process credit card payments in your store.

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Powerful analytics reporting
  • 0% Markup on direct-cost interchange fees
  • Useful optional add-ons, such as custom branding, digital gift cards, QuickBooks Online Pro Sync, etc.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for businesses that have just started and don’t have many credit card transactions in a month
  • Some add-ons are available for free or at lower charges with other credit card processing providers

Stax by Fattmerchant Pricing

For small businesses, Stax by Fattmerchant offers three monthly credit card processing subscription plans – Growth ($99), Pro (159), and Ultimate ($199).

Also, it offers some additional paid add-ons like a one-click shopping cart, QuickBook Online Pro Sync, Terminal Protection, Same Day funding, and more.

Stax by Fattmerchant is good for businesses that have a large volume of credit card processing per month. If you just started out and process a smaller amount of money per month, its subscription cost might be costlier than any other transaction-based credit card processor.

5. Payment Depot

Payment Depot is a subscription-based cheapest credit card processing solution for small businesses. Some plans of Payment Depot come with free equipment and discounts.

A good thing about Payment Depot is your subscription plan will cover everything – online payment, virtual terminal payment, in-store payment, etc.

Pros:

  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • No hidden fee or cancellation fees
  • Rate protection
  • Free Payment gateway and virtual terminal

Cons:

  • Not suitable for high-risk industries
  • Monthly commitment regardless of payment processing volume

Payment Depot Pricing

Payment Depot…

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