Any business that wants to accept credit card payments needs the right processing equipment and software. It’s often worthwhile to accept credit card payments from your customers – it opens up another line of revenue and makes your customers feel like they have flexible options when patronizing your store.
But what if you don’t have the cash to subscribe to a pricey credit card processing company? No worries. There are lots of cheap options available if you know where to look. Let’s dive in and check out the five cheapest credit card processing companies of 2021.
What To Look For in a Credit Card Processing Company
No two credit card processing companies are alike. So it can be tough to know which you should use for your business. We prioritized a few different factors as we looked for the cheapest and best credit card processing companies.
- Pricing is obviously quite important. However, you can’t always look at the flat cost for how much a credit card processing company will charge. Pricing models can be complex and you need to double-check fees and regular expenses before signing on the dotted line.
- Contract length is also crucial to consider. Try not to get stuck in a long-term contract with expensive termination fees if you try to leave early. Month-to-month contracts are generally better for cheap credit card processing companies for small businesses, which is what we focused on here.
- See if a given company has add-on services. Many of the best credit card processing companies will include bonus features or services to save your business time and save you money. Consider integrations as well – companies that provide integration compatibility can work with other systems or companies more easily.
- Hardware options are one last thing to consider. Unless your business is digital-only, you’ll need hardware to process customer credit card payments. These include things like POS systems, credit card terminals, mobile processing, software and even contactless payment equipment due to COVID-19.
Top 5 Cheapest Credit Card Processing Companies
With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at five of the best and cheapest credit card processing companies you can use for your business starting today.
PaymentCloud is an excellent and cheap credit card processing company that provides very reasonable fees and regular subscription rates. It also offers top-tier customer service. Most importantly, it’s a good choice if your business deals with high-risk credit card processing regularly.
Costs are low since PaymentCloud is partnered with many other bigger banks. This maximizes the chance of your business being approved for processing, and you’ll enjoy low payment rates over the term of your subscription. PaymentCloud’s interchange fee is a little high, but markup costs are otherwise relatively cheap.
Its many benefits include:
- eCommerce shopping cart integration – this makes PaymentCloud a great choice if you run an online business and primarily take credit card payments through that format
- ACH and eCheck processing capabilities
- A free payment gateway for secure credit card payments
PaymentCloud also provides multiple hardware choices for processing in-person credit card payments. These include contactless terminals and regular credit card swipers.
Unfortunately, you won’t know how much you should fully expect to pay since pricing is not disclosed on PaymentCloud’s website. That’s because pricing depends on your choice of backend processor.
Still, it’s an excellent payment processing company through and through and pretty affordable compared to many other options on the market.
Payment Depot is another fantastic choice, both due to its easy integration with other services and its subscription-based pricing model. In fact, it doesn’t include any percentage-based markup, meaning your small business won’t have to spend more just to take credit card payments from your loyal customers.
Instead, Payment Depot simply combines any recurring fees into one subscription fee that begins at $49 per month for a basic payment plan.
This particular company has very low credit card processing fees overall, in part because it doesn’t charge any percentage-based markup. Other plan prices range from $79 per month to $199 per month – this last option also includes unlimited monthly processing, so it’s great for really busy businesses that process a lot of credit card payments.
As mentioned, it’s a good choice in terms of integrations. You can use Payment Depot’s hardware and software with programs like QuickBooks, Opencart, WooCommerce, and more. This makes it easy for you to get your entire payment system up and running with a minimum of fuss. The hardware in question is relatively cheap, and this company also provides contactless credit card readers if you need them for your customers’ peace of mind.
On the downside, Payment Depot only accepts merchants based in the US and it’s not a particularly good choice for high-risk businesses. But it does have excellent customer support and good user reviews overall. You’ll also want to make sure that your business brings in a good profit every month since you have to pay your flat fee regardless of your actual payment volume.
You may want to consider Fattmerchant; a low-cost ACH processing company that also provides a subscription-based model.
However, it has a slightly different structure for its prices. You’ll pay a monthly fee of $99 minimum and a small transaction fee that’s a little lower than Payment Depot’s. Therefore, it may be a good choice if your business is growing and expects to see good returns in the future.
Additionally, all subscribers will get to use Omni software, which comes by default with each subscription plan. Omni software provides a number of benefits such as:
- Invoice management
- Customer management
- Text to pay options
- Payment reporting dashboard
- and more!
It’s a great financial management software suite that you or your accountants will likely make great use of.
Fattmerchant subscribers benefit from affordable credit card processing, plus a virtual terminal you can use for free. It offers every payment type as well, such as ACH payments, card-on-file recurring payments, processing for levels 2 and 3, and more. In other words, your business will be able to accept more revenue streams from more people, which is always a good thing.
However, note that it does charge a $25 chargeback fee and its flat monthly fee is a little high. Keep this in mind if you don’t have a lot of credit card traffic already but hope to grow more of it in the future.
Consider Square if you want a credit card processing company that comes with plenty of extra features without being exorbitantly costly.
This company provides a free POS system that, in addition to its main benefits, includes excellent security, which is great for providing your customers with peace of mind. The POS system can also report transactions, offers free invoicing, and comes with a virtual payment terminal.
This third-party processor company is extremely convenient for small business owners. It offers a main dashboard chock-full of extra features, such as a customer directory, the ability to make a free store website, and even online check out functionality. This last feature allows you to place payment links anywhere you want on the aforementioned site.
Thus, it’s a great choice if you want to build an online payment portal for customers’ (and your own) personal ease of use. Square also provides multiple hardware options, such as contactless equipment, QR code readers, and more.
This being said, the online account you get by subscribing to Square can be a little unstable. But considering the flat rates and affordable hardware equipment, Square is still one of the cheapest and most valuable credit card processing companies you can check out today.
Last but not least is National Processing, which offers a full-service merchant account with low interchange-plus rates for credit card swipes. This company also accepts eChecks and ACH payments for added business flexibility.
It has low fees overall and a multitude of different payment hardware options, including contactless payments through a company called Clover. The primary card readers available for your business are very secure and affordable, too. You won’t pay much at all no matter what you want from National Processing.
The downside is that it doesn’t come with a lot of extra features, such as invoicing or the ability to build an online payment portal. National Processing also charges an early termination fee – if you want the free payment terminal that comes with most plans, you’ll need to lock yourself into a long-term contract.
Still, National Processing is a good overall choice for companies that just want something cheap and basic without a lot of bells and whistles.
All in all, there are multiple cheap credit card processing companies you can choose from. Hopefully the above reviews can help you narrow down your options and pick the best one for your business’s needs.