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Picking the finest credit card processing provider for small businesses that want to accept credit cards depends on which services are most crucial to your industry. We took into consideration things such as processing fees, setup time, fund deposit duration, the capacity to accept both in-person and online payments, and customer service. Here is the list of the 10 best credit card processing companies for restaurants and other small businesses.

Best 10 Credit Card Processing Companies List

What Is a Credit Card Processing Company? Credit card processors facilitate the acceptance of credit card payments by integrating the necessary infrastructure components. The credit card association, the issuing bank, and your own merchant bank account all play a role.

A credit card processing company is responsible for converting the data from a customer’s credit card swipe into usable funds for the business. This method ensures the safety of the customer’s data, confirms the availability of funds, and expedites the transfer of those funds to the vendor.

In this list, we examined the different leading credit card processing companies. To assist you in locating the greatest one for your small business. Here is the list of 10 best credit card processing companies:

  • Helcim 
  • Chase
  • Clover
  • Stax by Fattmerchant
  • Merchant One
  • Square
  • National Processing
  • ProMerchant
  • Paysafe
  • Flagship

Let us now look at the 10 listed credit card processing companies above for more information about them. 

#1. Helcim

First in the list of the best 10 credit card processing companies above is Helcim. This company only offers one hardware option, but its software can be downloaded and installed on laptops, tablets, and computers to create a cheap, feature-rich POS system. It accepts payments for subscriptions, invoices, and recurring billing.

They offer interchange-plus rates that are reasonable, clear, and free of monthly fees. It has fewer fees than the norm, including the chargeback cost (which is typical in the sector). The processing fees charged by Helcim for credit card transactions are as follows: for card-present transactions, 0.3% + $0.08 above interchange; for online payments and keyed-in transactions, 0.5% + $0.25 above interchange; and for foreign transactions, 0.5% + $0.25 above interchange.

#2. Chase

Compared to many other processors, Chase charges high credit card processing fees: 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person transactions, 2.9% + $0.25 for online transactions, and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions.

Two hardware solutions are available: the QuickAccept mobile reader costs $49.95, and the Smart Terminal wireless equipment with an LED screen costs $399. If you receive free equipment from Chase and decide to cancel before your term is up, you can be charged an early termination fee. We appreciate that Chase offers a 24-hour support line and a ton of resources in its online Merchant Support Center.

#3. Clover

The third in our list of the best 10 credit card processing companies is Clover. Many other payment processors resell Clover’s point of sale (POS) software and hardware because they are the industry standard. Since restaurants make up a sizable share of Clover’s merchants, the platform provides a range of restaurant-specific functionality like online ordering, takeout, and curbside pickup. To simplify ordering, one of its many integrations is with DoorDash. There are three pricing tiers for Clover, with monthly costs ranging from $9.95 to $49.90. The processing fees each transaction range from 2.3% to 3.5% plus $0.10. Each additional POS station has a monthly cost of $9.95.

#4. Stax By Fattmerchant

Low interchange-plus rates are available with a subscription-based pricing structure through Stax by Fattmerchant. Each of Stax’s three subscriptions, Pro, Growth, and Ultimate, costs $99 to $199 per month and offers a different set of software features. Small and midsize firms can manage their revenue and expenses with the Stax program, including sales and payments as well as inventory and employee levels. You can repurchase inventory and deploy resources for optimal effectiveness and minimal expense using the full reports.

Stax tells you instantly when a customer settles an invoice, so you don’t have to keep checking. The system also prioritizes the payment method with the lowest merchant costs on e-commerce payment screens, influencing your customers to use that method. This feature is one of our favorites because it lowers your processing costs. If you already have an online store, Stax can integrate with it, which is a fantastic advantage.

#5. Merchant One

Merchant One among the best 10 credit card processing companies, does not believe that a difficult application process or a low credit score should hinder you from operating a business. It considers factors other than a candidate’s credit score and boasts a 98% acceptance record.

In addition to the interchange rates, Merchant One charges prices ranging from 0.29 to 1.99% for keyed-in transactions and 0.29 to 1.55% for card-present transactions. Additionally, there is an annual fee of $99 and a monthly fee starting at $6.95.

Merchant One as seen in the list of credit card processing companies above, offers high-speed processing, gift and loyalty card support, the option to start text message marketing campaigns, and sells Clover POS hardware. Many other services, such as a free shopping cart and remote access, are included in its e-commerce offering.

#6. Square

For in-person payments, internet payments, and keyed-in transactions, Square has flat processing fees of 2.6% + $0.10, 2.9% + $0.30, and 3.5% + $0.15, respectively. There are no tiered plans, monthly fees of any kind, or varying rates for various card types. Customers receive free digital gift cards and the Square POS app. Countless more third-party apps and e-commerce platforms are seamlessly integrated with Square.

Additionally, Square offers robust point-of-sale (POS) software with several features, such as customer and employee management, as well as tailored features for any kind of restaurant. You may get integrated email marketing, text message marketing, coupon redemption, and reports on your marketing efforts for an extra $15 to $35 each month.

#7. ProMerchant

There are no early cancellation penalties with ProMerchant’s month-to-month contract. Interchange-plus rates and the Zero Cost plan are both options. With the novel Zero Cost plan, the merchant virtually avoids paying the processing fee because it is immediately passed along to customers. You would nevertheless be obligated to pay any ongoing or one-time expenses.

When you sign up with ProMerchant, you receive a free smart terminal. Additionally, it offers Clover POS systems and portable credit card readers; read more about these products in our in-depth analysis of Clover POS. The following day is paid out for transactions completed by 8:30 p.m. EST, which is a quicker turnaround than most of the other credit card processors we looked at provide.

#8. National Processing

Different rate options offered by National Processing are available for $9.95 per month. Restaurants pay 0.14% + $0.07 more than interchange for each transaction than shops, charitable organizations pay 0.12% + $0.06, and e-commerce businesses pay 0.3% + $0.15 more than interchange. There are no long-term commitments, and National Processing is so certain of the competitiveness of its rates that it will reimburse you $500 if your current rate cannot be matched.

Point-of-sale systems from Clover, a well-known name in the POS industry, are available from National Processing. Our liking for National Processing also extends to its customer service.

#9. Paysafe

Paysafe enables you to accept credit cards, much like other processors, but it also enables you to give your clients some cutting-edge payment options. One such is the eCash card, which enables users to use a prepaid account with a 16-digit number even without a bank account or credit card. There is no chance of chargebacks when using eCash for payments.

Rapid Transfer is yet another intriguing Paysafe payment option. This enables clients to pay instantaneously without leaving your website by logging into their online banking account. Additionally, Paysafe allows subscriptions, recurring payments, and online invoicing. However, it’s not just internet enterprises that can make use of it: Additionally, Paysafe offers in-person payment processing using Clover’s technology, including its POS components.

#10. Flagship Merchant Services

Flagship doesn’t make its rates available online. Instead, it claims that price is customized to meet the specific needs of each business. If Flagship cannot match or beat competing offers, it will give away $200 in American Express gift cards as a sign of its confidence in its ability to deliver reasonable pricing. All Flagship terminals allow chip (EMV) and tap (NFC) payments from digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay as well as NFC-enabled credit cards. Along with Verifone credit card readers, Flagship also offers other Clover hardware for sale, including the Clover Station for POS and the Clover Go mobile reader.

iAccess, an online site where you can view your transactions and e-statements, is a feature of every Flagship merchant account. You can discover instructional videos and other self-service resources on iAccess. Flagship’s programs for branded gift cards and customer loyalty awards are an additional advantage it provides retailers.

Best Credit Card Processing Companies for Small Businesses

How do you determine which is ideal for your company? Here is the list of top credit card processing companies for small businesses depending on our in-depth analysis.

#1. Helcim

Helcim assists you in growing your different businesses from credit card processing companies to financial technology company by providing a range of business solutions with clear pricing and volume-based savings. This is our top overall winner for the credit card processing companies for small businesses since it’s a fantastic solution with lots of possibilities for small business owners. Businesses utilize Helcim to take payments from customers using Apple Pay, Google Pay, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

#2. National Processing

With its no-frills approach, this business caters to those on a tight budget by offering reduced processing costs. It is the clear winner for the lowest rates thanks to their $9.95 per month programs that allow you to handle payments for a little price each transaction. National Processing adheres to PCI standards. The business takes all of the major payment methods, including electronic checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and MasterCard. Additionally helpful to merchants are phone and email support, as well as a support staff that may assist with system integration or plan selection. Among the best credit card processing companies for small businesses

#3. Stripe

The features and personalization that online shops require are offered by Stripe. Due to its adaptability, integrating it into different business systems is simple. Stripe definitely takes first place in the category of best e-commerce credit card processing companies for small businesses. Thanks to its flat pricing and myriad customization options.

Stripe assures security by employing a variety of security measures and adhering to the most recent laws as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider. The business takes a wide range of credit cards and electronic payment methods, including American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Visa Debit.

It usually takes two days to get funds after the original payment, albeit there is a waiting time. Alternatively, you can choose Instant Payouts, which instantly transfers money to your debit card. Though you can’t phone customer care, Stripe provides email and chat help around the clock.

#4. Square

Within minutes, you may begin receiving credit card payments online and in person. Square is the market leader in terms of technology and security protocols, including end-to-end encryption, and conforms with all PCI regulations. All popular credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, UnionPay, and others, can be accepted with Square credit processing.

You must purchase the Square reader in order to use Square. Many registrations, though, are eligible for a free magstripe reader. The Square terminal or Square register are further choices. You have two payment options: a one-time fee or a 12- to the 24-month payment schedule. In addition, Square provides a range of hardware choices, including docks, printers, and barcode scanners. Due to the fact that you pay a flat cost regardless of the credit card type, Square’s fees are distinctive. You won’t be charged monthly, chargeback, early termination, or PCI compliance fees with Square. This is found among the best credit card processing companies for small businesses

#5. PayPal

Because it provides the best merchant services for small businesses with low transaction volumes, PayPal stands out. It possesses numerous PCI compliance certifications, including those from the Visa Cardholder Information Security Program and the Mastercard Site Data Protection Program. PayPal is a fantastic option to immediately take payments as there are no startup or monthly fees. With the exception of the $20 chargeback fee, PayPal includes other costs, although for firms with low transaction volumes, you won’t typically see many of them.

All popular credit and debit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, etc., can be accepted with PayPal. PayPal connects with Revel Systems, Vend, Lavu, and TouchBistro if you already have a point of sale setup. Additionally, you may link it to your Shopify, Constant Contact, or QuickBooks accounts.

#6. PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud is the winner in our high-risk credit card processing companies for small businesses category among the 10 listed above. Because it offers reasonable pricing while helping businesses who have problems qualifying for other providers. Major credit cards, such as Visa, American Express, Mastercard, Discover, and Apple Pay, are accepted by PaymentCloud, which complies with PCI security standards.

Due to the difficulties high-risk businesses confront, PaymentCloud provides you with a professional account manager. This person assists with the integration of necessary software and hardware and works with you to decide your plan and cost structure. You won’t discover fee information on PaymentCloud’s website since high-risk services have risk-based prices.

Due to its open API, PaymentCloud may be integrated with WooCommerce, WordPress, and Wix. Additionally, you can link your QuickBooks account. Other services include assistance with data migration and detailed setup instructions.

Best Credit Card Processing Companies for Restaurants

You will want a payment processor or merchant account if you want to take credit card payments at your restaurant. The majority of restaurant POS companies provide built-in payment processing, while many also collaborate with several different suppliers so you may compare prices. Below is the list of the best credit card processing companies for restaurants.

#1. CDGcommerce: Best Overall Restaurants Credit Card Processing Companies

In order to assist restaurants of all sizes, CDGcommerce, a merchant services provider, offers three different membership packages. Low-volume mom-and-pop eateries can get straightforward flat-rate pricing, whereas high-volume eateries can get competitive interchange-plus pricing. It was praised for its flexible payment options, month-to-month memberships, and thorough chargeback support.

All sizes of restaurants can benefit from CDGcommerce because of its low cost and POS connections. But its chargeback monitoring tools are one feature that makes it stand out above its rivals. You’ll appreciate CDGcommerce’s proactive chargeback monitoring and comprehensive chargeback assistance if chargebacks are a top concern for your restaurant. Additionally, CDGcommerce will reward you for your efforts by returning your chargeback expenses if you prevail in the dispute.

#2. Square: Best for Small Restaurants Wanting Built-in Credit Card Processing Companies

Square is a mobile and POS terminal-compatible payment processor that is exceedingly simple to use. Small restaurants can start accepting Square payments right away, without having to fill out intrusive questionnaires or wait days for account approval. No matter what kind of card your customers use, its flat-rate transaction costs stay the same.

Without utilizing a back-end processor, Square acts as a payment facilitator, handling credit, debit, and mobile wallet payments from the bank to the business. For reasonable rates, you can collect invoicing and online payments in addition to in-person swiped, dipped, and tapped payments. Use Square card readers on cellular-enabled devices to avoid paying card-not-present fees if your business is mobile, such as a food truck or caterer, or if you wish to process delivery payments in the field.

#3. Stax by Fattmerchant: Best for Midsize Restaurants Processing Less than $500,000 Annually

Midsize independent eateries can take advantage of a novel offer from Stax by Fattmerchant: they can pay a flat monthly charge plus a few cents per transaction in place of exorbitant transaction costs. Stax accepts card and mobile wallet payments with a markup of 8 to 15 cents over interchange for businesses processing up to $500,000 yearly. Midsize independent eateries can take advantage of a novel offer from Stax by Fattmerchant: they can pay a flat monthly charge plus a few cents per transaction in place of exorbitant transaction costs. Stax accepts card and mobile wallet payments with a markup of 8 to 15 cents over interchange for businesses processing up to $500,000 yearly.

Stax by Fattmerchant provides a simple pricing structure. There are no cancellation, statement, or batch fees, much as Square and CDGcommerce. Customers of Stax pay interchange rates on their transactions in addition to a monthly subscription charge dependent on their sales volume, just as users of Payment Depot. There is no hard calculation required to determine what you will spend for each purchase because Stax does not apply a percentage markup.

#4. Payment Depot: Best for High-volume Online Restaurants Sales for Credit Card Processing Companies

Similar to Stax by Fattmerchant, Payment Depot gives wholesale transaction fees to customers who pay a monthly subscription fee. Although transaction rates are the same, Payment Depot’s monthly fees are lower than Stax’s, and the service provider also offers a free online payment gateway.

If your restaurant places a lot of online orders, you’ll save money right away with Payment Depot because other processors put a greater markup on online payments. In fact, it states on its website that switching from conventional processors results in an average 40% savings for its restaurant customers.

On our annual list of the cheapest credit card processors, Payment Depot frequently features. In addition to providing competitive interchange-only rates, Payment Depot has traditionally given new clients a 90-day money-back guarantee. Payment Depot, like Dharma Merchant Services, supports a variety of well-liked POS systems and leverages both TSYS and Fiserv for back-end processing.

#5. Dharma Merchant Services: Best for High-volume On-site Restaurants Sales for Credit Card Processing Companies

For restaurants of all sizes, companies like Dharma Merchant Services offer some of the lowest interchange-plus credit card processing rates available. For high-volume restaurants wishing to reduce transaction fees, add it to a reasonable $25 monthly subscription charge, and you’ve got an amazingly economical alternative. According to our standards for restaurant payment processing, the processor received a 3.89 out of 5. It received high marks for its inexpensive rates and free mobile processing software, but received bad marks for its cancellation fee ($49), typical financing time of two days, and constrained customer service hours.

Dharma Merchant Services uses both TSYS and First Data for back-end processing, similar to Payment Depot. Dharma may now be integrated with a variety of POS systems thanks to this. Any POS that is compatible with First Data or TSYS ought to be able to use it, but make sure to check with your current POS provider first.

What credit card processing is best?

This is dependent on a variety of elements, including your industry, the volume of transactions, the average transaction value, and more. Having all that, Stax is a fantastic option for the majority of organizations, providing dependable processing and a strong feature set in exchange for a reasonable monthly subscription. To find out which processor would be a suitable fit for your company, you can also look at our comparison of the top 10 credit card processors above. Make sure to read the thorough evaluation of a certain one for more details.

Best Payment Processing Companies

  • Helcim.
  • PayPal.
  • National Processing.
  •  Square.
  • Stripe.
  • Stax by Fattmerchant.
  •  PaymentCloud

How do I choose a credit card processing company?

To choose the right credit card processing company, here are the things to consider:

  • What Is the Total Cost of All Fees?
  • How Well Do Different Versions of the Processor’s Dedicated Software Work Together?
  • Do They Offer Interchange Plus Pricing at the Processing Facility?
  • Is There a Penalty for Leaving a Contract Early?

Which payment processor is the best?

Best payment processors include:

  • Authorize.Net.
  • Stripe.
  •  PayPal.
  • Square.
  • Braintree.
  • WePay.
  • 2Checkout

Who is the largest credit card processing company?

The list below contains the largest credit card processors: 

  • Citibank
  • Wells Fargo.
  • Bank of America 
  • Financial services firm JPMorgan Chase
  • Barclays
  • Fiserv
  • Global Payments

Is square or stripe better?

When it comes to point-of-sale (POS) hardware and systems, Square comes out on top, but Stripe is the superior choice for online shops. Both can connect to software made by other developers. Overall, Stripe is superior when it comes to interacting with other programs. They both have multiple ways for customers to contact them if they have any questions or concerns.

What is considered a high-risk merchant?

If a merchant processes a lot of transactions per day or has a high rate of transactions per day, they may be labeled as high risk. A merchant may be considered high risk if they process more than $20,000 in monthly payments or if their average transaction amount is $500 or more.

Which merchant account is the best?

The best merchant account includes: 

  • Square
  • Stripe
  • Stax
  • PayPal
  • National Processing

How do I get a high-risk merchant account?

An online application is required to open a high-risk merchant account. You’ll also need to choose a trustworthy high-risk payment processor if you intend to accept credit cards. A high-risk merchant account application is quick and easy to complete.

Is Paypal a high-risk merchant?

Utilizing PayPal as a high-risk merchant account is fraught with dangers. Among these is being permanently locked out of your account. As a huge enterprise with millions of users, PayPal employs sophisticated computer algorithms to monitor accounts for suspicious activity and prevent financial loss.

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