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Best Merchant Services - December 2019

Looking for the best credit card processing services on the market? Let us help you find the best service with the most affordable rates, complete security, and flexible payment.

CCP - Leaders
UPDATED FOR DECEMBER 2019
Merchant Service
Score
Features We Like
Bottom Line
Editor's choice
9.8

  • Rates Starting at 0.15%
  • $500 Assurance Program
  • Transparent Pricing
  • Free EMV Equipment
Inexpensive transaction fees and many payment options.
9.5

  • Month-to-Month Contracts
  • No Upfront Costs
  • Free Clover and EMV equipment
Smart terminal solutions with many added services
9.1

  • Enhanced Reporting
  • Multi-Channel Support
  • No Hidden Fees
Subscription-based credit card processing.
High Risk Specialist
8.3

  • 98% Approval Rating
  • Low Rates & Fast Approvals
  • All credit scores accepted
Specializes in dealing with high-risk merchants.

Joe Schwartz | Credit Card Processing Editor

Our chief content editor, Joe manages a diverse team of content writers. He holds a degree in online communications and his writing has been featured in a wide range of online publications.

Most Commonly Asked Questions about Credit Card Processing

Businesses looking for the best credit card processing services with the best credit card processing rates can get started right here with answers to the most commonly asked questions. Find out more about available features, pricing, and fees, choosing the best credit card processing company and more with the most frequently asked questions below.  

 

What Are Some Important Features of Credit Card Processing?

Merchants have many options for credit card processing beyond a standard payment terminal that ensures enhanced security and flexible payment. When comparing the best credit card processing companies, ensure you look for modernized key features such as: 

  • Mobile processing
  • NFC payments (when customers can make a payment by holding up their phone to the reader)
  • R code payments (payment via QR scanner)
  • EMV chips (the global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology that improves security)
  • Marketing offers at point-of-sale
  • Mobile marketing offered via SMS
  • Payment method coverage (Ensure your credit card processor accepts all, or most, forms of cards to avoid disappointing your    customers)
  • These important features will most likely only be available on POS which offers advanced functions such as mobile payments and security against fraud. 
     

What Does 'Tiered-Pricing' Mean?

Used by many credit card processing companies, tiered-pricing defines a price per unit within a range meaning that the credit card processing service will charge different fee levels for each transaction. For example, a company may charge more for an airline credit card than for a standard credit card. Some businesses do not prefer tiered-pricing as they find it difficult to track different fees. Typically credit card processing companies break down fee levels according to the following with different rates for credit and debit cards: 


Qualified Discount Rate: ~1%

Mid-Qualified Discount Rate: ~2%

Non-Qualified Discount Rate: ~3%


Tiered-pricing allows processors to group interchange fees into these three separate tiers which give a clear statement of all fees. However, this method of pricing is often expensive and includes many hidden fees. 

 

What is Interchange-Pricing?

Interchange-pricing, another pricing system used by credit card processors, typically incorporates two credit card processing rates from the company: the interchange markup fee and the transaction fee. With interchange-pricing, merchants pay a flat fee plus a small fee for each transaction. 

For example, a company may charge a merchant a 0.30% rate and a $0.15 transaction fee. In that case, the business will pay the wholesale interchange fee, plus 0.30%, plus 15 cents. Businesses may prefer the consistency of interchange pricing.

 

How do I Choose the Best Credit Card Processing Company?

Selecting the Best Credit Card Processing Company will vary depending on your purpose.  From receiving credit card payments via a terminal in your store to selling products on your online site. However, there are some key elements to consider which you should look for in all companies: 

  • Transparency - Ensure that there are no hidden fees and you are aware of all costs and payments.
  • No long term commitment - You should look for a month to month contract which allows you to change monthly, for any reason. You may receive a better deal elsewhere and wish to switch. This gives you the flexibility to do so without waiting for a yearly contract to end or paying a huge early cancellation fee.
  • Comparison shopping - Always have a look around and compare several companies to search for value and savings. Some companies are willing to waive certain fees for you if you are thinking about starting a contract with them, so always ask. However, when choosing the Top Credit Card Processors you should always evaluate the quality of the service in comparison to the price. - Some companies may offer free bonuses, although ensure you are clear on the terms and conditions of this. You don't want to end up having any extra costs.

A great way to assist your decision when searching for the Top Credit Card Processing Companies is to read others experiences online such as credit card processing reviews on Facebook or Best Business Bureau. This allows you to get honest, unbiased feedback from those who have already used the service. 

 

What Fees are Involved with Credit Card Processing?

When considering the most affordable Credit Card Processing Company, you should consider all the fees included in the package such as the cost of a terminal or other equipment needed. Credit Card Processing Businesses take a percentage of any sale processed via this payment method. This will vary depending on which supplier you are with. Additionally, on top of each transaction fee, you pay monthly fees for using a company’s service. Also, you may need to pay incidental fees if a customer tries to process a payment which is declined due to insufficient funds or a charge back occurs.

 

How does Credit Card Processing Differ from POS?

The Credit Card Processing Terminals have one basic purpose: to process credit card transactions. Sometimes they support gift cards but their main function supports credit card sales. Point of Sale (POS) not only processes credit card transactions but also offers advanced features such as printing a receipt, employee time monitoring, and cash drawer management. 

Companies would benefit more from using POS over CCP as it conveniently authorized transactions at the point of sale ensuring a smooth process for your business. This option allows for a straightforward payment process and extra benefits to support your company. Consumers will likely save money by opting for the basic CCP. However, POS becomes more beneficial in the long run.

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