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Every time a client or customer uses a debit or credit card to purchase from your company, you must pay credit card processing fees. Additionally, some card issuers impose account and incidental charges that add to the overall expense of allowing your customers to use credit and debit cards. There are several credit card processing companies with affordable fees for small businesses.

Every business needs credit card processing, particularly now that more customers prefer to make in-person or online contactless payments. Your company may incur significant costs due to the costs involved in credit card processing. To significantly reduce costs, though, the right processor should be selected.

One of the most annoying expenses for a small business owner is probably the costs associated with accepting credit and debit card payments. Think about utilizing one of the credit card processing services in this guide to reduce those costs and safeguard your profit margins.

Types of Credit Card Processing Fees

The three pricing models that payment processors employ are as follows:

#1. Flat rate

Pay the same amount, typically a percentage plus a small fee, for each transaction. For small businesses with low ticket prices or monthly transaction volumes under $5,000, this is typically the best business model.

#2. Interchange Plus.

 Pay a flat fee per transaction (the processor’s cut) along with an interchange fee that varies depending on how much the credit card company charges per transaction. Businesses that process a large volume of credit card transactions each month will benefit from this model because they can work out a better deal on the processor’s fee.

#3. Tiered Pricing. 

Instead of paying different rates for each credit card, the processor combines interchange fees and tier pricing into a single variable rate that is divided into three tiers. Since pricing is opaque and therefore difficult to negotiate, experts typically advise against using a service provider with this model.

The monthly fee, also known as the monthly statement fee, is used to defray the cost of the support services provided by the payment processors, such as the creation of monthly statements and customer support.

The cost of using a payment gateway to accept credit cards online is covered by this fee, which is billed monthly.

Credit Card Processing Fees 

What Factors Determine Credit Card Processing Fees?

#1. Type of Business

Depending on the registered Merchant Category Code (MCC) for your business—a supermarket, a retail store, a travel agency, or a fuel station—payment processors charge different credit card processing rates.

#2. B2B businesses

Level 2 and Level 3 credit card processing are available for B2B companies, such as high-volume or government suppliers, at cheaper rates. However, businesses with conventional eCommerce or physical terminals are not eligible for this type of discount.

#3. High-risk level businesses

If the payment processors classify your business as high-risk due to the nature of your goods and services, a sizable history of chargebacks, or both, you must open a special account for high-risk sellers. Your credit card processing costs will increase as a result.

#4. Type of transaction: 

Card-present transactions (such as those made with swiped cards or at POS terminals with hovering NFC/chip) frequently have lower processing costs than card-not-present transactions (such as orders placed over the phone or online). The fees increase as the risk increases. 

Best Credit Card Processing Companies and their Fees

#1. Stax 

Stax is a good option for businesses with high transaction volumes because the lower processing costs offset the higher monthly costs. For businesses with low transaction volumes, a higher flat rate without a monthly fee offered by other companies in our rating might be preferable.

Stax by Fattmerchant is a credit card processing platform that bills a fixed monthly fee for your transactions rather than the typical 2% to 3% transaction fee that most businesses impose. 

For businesses with annual revenues below $500,000, the monthly cost begins at $99. Your annual income determines how much you will pay each month for Stax, which operates on a shelf system. You will be required to pay $199 per month (although this is flexible and can be assessed on an individual basis) when your company generates between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue.

#2. Helcim 

Both monthly fees and contracts are not necessary for Helcim’s clients. You only need to pay Helcim’s rate and the interchange rate; the latter automatically goes down for those who process more data. For instance, if you carry out anywhere between $0 and $25,000 worth of transactions each month, you will pay:

  • Each in-person transaction will cost 0.30% plus 8 cents.
  • Card not present and online transactions are subject to a 0.50% plus 25 cents fee.

However, you will pay the following if your monthly transaction volume ranges from $25,001 to $50,000:

  • Each in-person transaction costs 0.25% plus 7 cents.
  • 0.45% plus $0.20 for online transactions and cards not present 

Helcim provides flat-rate credit card processing costs without any setup, ongoing, or termination fees. 

#3. Payment Depot 

Depending on your monthly transaction volume, Payment Depot charges for subscriptions. No matter what kind of transaction you make, you’ll only have to pay a flat fee per transaction plus the interchange rate.

Payment Depot offers plans with monthly fees ranging from $59 to $99 for transaction volumes between $125,000 and $500,000. In addition to the interchange rate, you only pay a small fee of 7 to 15 cents per transaction.

Payment Depot gives customers access to their money within 24 to 48 hours and doesn’t impose any cancellation or additional fees. Additionally, the business provides a selection of terminals, credit card readers, and POS systems, along with round-the-clock customer support.

  • Initial: $59 monthly plus 15 cents per transaction for companies processing up to $125,000 annually
  • For companies processing up to $125,000 annually, Starter Plus costs $79 per month plus 10 cents per transaction.
  • In case of growth, businesses processing up to $500,000 annually would pay $99 per month plus 7 cents per transaction.
  • Custom rates are available for companies that process more than $500,000 in credit card payments annually.

#4. National Processing

In addition to flat-rate interchange-plus transaction fees and a free mobile credit card reader, National Processing offers a subscription plan with reasonable pricing for $9.95 per month.

  • Restaurants: 0.14% plus 7 cents for each transaction
  • Retail plan: 0.18 percent plus ten cents for each transaction
  • Online shopping: 0.29% plus 15 cents for each transaction

Additionally, for larger businesses, the company provides two interchange-plus plans.

  • $59 per month includes a mobile reader, terminal, and pin pad for free, as well as no percentage upcharge and 9 cents per transaction.
  • A free SwipeSimple terminal that can be upgraded every two years is included in the $199 per month price, along with no percentage upcharge, 5 cents per transaction with the same free equipment, and no additional fees. 

Numerous well-known programs, including Shopify, BigCommerce, and QuickBooks, are compatible with the platform that National Processing uses. Although there is a termination fee, it is waived if your company is sold or shut down. 

#5. Merchant One 

The credit card processing business Merchant One employs the customary tiered fee system. It offers low processing rates in addition to the lowest monthly price we’ve seen so far, which is $6.95. 

0.29% to 1.55% for swiped transactions and 0.29% to 1.99% for keyed-in transactions are the competitive rate ranges offered by Merchant One.

Pricing is determined by a quote and depends on the type of business, equipment requirements, and sales volume. Additionally offered is exchange-plus pricing.

For companies looking for low monthly costs, predictable fees, and round-the-clock customer service, there is Merchant One. 

Clover mobile card readers, terminals, and point-of-sale systems are just a few of the terminal brands that Merchant One works with.

Quickbooks Credit Card Processing Fees 

It costs nothing per month to use QuickBooks Payments with QuickBooks Online. However, a QuickBooks Online account is required, and prices range from $30 to $200 per month, depending on the plan.

  • 2.4% plus $0.25 for each transaction made in person
  • 2.9% plus $0.25 for each transaction as invoiced
  • Keyed-in transactions: 3.4% plus $0.25 per transaction
  • 1% of ACH bank transactions (up to $10 per transaction)

You have a choice between a $0 monthly pay-as-you-go plan and a $20 monthly subscription with lower credit card processing fees if you use the QuickBooks Desktop software ($799.99 to $1,340 per year).

Pay as you go

  • Payments made in person cost 2.4% plus 30 cents each.
  • 3.5% plus 30 cents per transaction were invoiced.
  • Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% plus 30 cents each.
  • ACH bank transfers: $3

Pay each month

  • Payments made in person cost 1.6% plus 30 cents each. 
  • 3.3% plus 30 cents for each transaction as invoiced
  • Keyed-in transactions: 3.3% plus 30 cents each
  • ACH bank transfers: $3

Despite charging less than Square, QuickBooks Payments does charge a $25 chargeback fee and does not include a free card reader with new accounts. In addition to supporting invoicing and e-commerce payments, the service provides a mobile payment app, reconciles with QuickBooks accounting software, and makes deferred funds accessible the following day.

You can accept payments for your company using QuickBooks Payments, which is a particularly practical way for QuickBooks customers to keep all of their accounting and payments in one place.

In addition to bank transfers and Apple Pay, QuickBooks Payments also accepts payments made with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Despite not having a monthly fee, using QuickBooks Payments requires a QuickBooks Online account.

Square Credit Card Processing Fees 

For companies of all sizes, including startups, small brick-and-mortar businesses, and large, multi-store operations, Square is a platform for processing payments online and through mobile devices at the point of sale (POS). No matter the size of your business, there is no monthly fee; instead, there is a percentage-based transaction fee.

The point of sale (POS) and payment processing platform Square is used by companies of all sizes, from small one-store operations to massive multi-location chains. Square provides small businesses and startups with a reasonable fee structure, which is a nice perk for those whose monthly revenue fluctuates. This inexpensive, user-friendly POS has a lot to offer.

Square Processing Fees

Due to the numerous fees charged by banks, credit card companies, and compliance regulations, businesses may find it difficult to process payments. You only have to pay Square a few cents for each transaction to use their platform, which takes care of all of these things for you.

Payments made with a card through a Square Reader, Register, Stand, Terminal, Retail Plus, or Square for Restaurants are subject to a 2.6% + 10 cent transaction fee. A transaction fee of 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction is charged if the card information is manually entered or read from a file. You must pay 2.9% plus 30 cents for card purchases made using eCommerce API, Square Online Store, Square Online Checkout, or online invoicing, or 1% plus a minimum of $1 per transaction for ACH bank transfers (made only through invoices), depending on the method of payment. 

Credit Card Processing Fees for Small Business

#1. Clover

Small businesses and restaurants like Clover, another credit card processing business. Contrary to Square, Clover offers a wider range of individually designed POS systems and hardware packages. Simple flat-rate credit card processing fees are available from Clover, with swiped transactions costing 2.3% plus 10 cents and keyed transactions costing 3.5% plus 10 cents.

Depending on the plan type, tier, and hardware requirements, each of Clover’s six business-specific plans costs between $14.95 and $290 per month. You’ll pay the least per month if you purchase a terminal or register hardware upfront. Or, you can pay more per month and have no upfront terminal or registration costs. Although Clover states that most funds are available the following day, access to funds can be obtained in one to three business days. Additionally, the business accepts returns for any item within 60 days and offers round-the-clock phone, email, and chat support. 

#2. Stripe 

The well-known payment processing and merchant services business, Stripe was established in 2011. Advanced reporting tools that enable personalized reports are available to business owners. There is no monthly fee for services at Stripe. Its fees are all transparently priced per transaction. This is another credit card processing company with affordable fees for small businesses

For online transactions, budget 2.9% plus 30 cents. Transactions involving foreign countries or currency conversions will incur an additional 1% fee. Expect to pay 2.7% plus 5 cents per transaction for in-person card processing; any currency conversion or use of an international card will be charged an additional 1%.

Processing fees:

  • For online transactions, there is a 2.9% plus 30 cent fee.
  • For in-person purchases, there is a 2.7% fee plus 5 cents.
  • Transactions that are manually typed in will be charged an additional 30 cents at 3.4%.
  • 3.9% plus 30 cents for foreign cards or currency conversion.

With Stripe, it’s simple to modify the payment process to fit your company’s needs. You can modify Stripe’s interface to provide your users with a branded checkout experience within your application thanks to its extensive documentation and system made for developers.

Low Credit Card Processing Fees 

#1. Paypal Credit Card Processing Fees

PayPal is a popular payment method for online stores. It has one of the best credit card processing fees for small businesses. The best merchant services for small businesses with low transaction volumes are provided by PayPal, making it stand out from the competition. In addition to a well-known reliable security seal, PayPal provides a free pay-as-you-go subscription for mobile and online payments. 

Overall, PayPal has very reasonable prices and is one of the simplest ways to accept payments online. It is better for businesses with low transaction volumes due to its flat-rate pricing structure and lack of monthly fees. When compared to commercial rates, Square has a higher fee per transaction (49 cents) than Square (30 cents), so if you process a lot of transactions, Square might be more cost-effective.

You can integrate PayPal with your current online checkout to let customers pay with their Venmo or PayPal accounts. In contrast, PayPal can handle all forms of online payment, including those made with credit and debit cards. Quick Response (QR) payments can also be made with it because it offers lower rates than Square (1.90 to 2.40 percent plus 10 cents as opposed to 2.90 percent plus 30 cents). 

PayPal Zettle charges 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person transactions, whereas different methods have different fees for online transactions. Venmo transactions cost 3.49% plus 49 cents while commercial PayPal processing for standard credit cards is 2.99% plus. 

Can I Charge Customers a Credit Card Processing Fee?

Yes, except for those states whose laws forbid credit card surcharges. If a credit card is used at the time of purchase, surcharging enables small businesses to automatically pass credit card processing fees to their clients. Businesses can use credit card surcharging to transfer the cost of credit card processing fees to customers by adding the fee to each credit card transaction. 

The maximum credit card surcharge that sellers may charge is 5% of the purchase price. Before payment, surcharges must be posted and explained. 

Is There a Way to Avoid Credit Card Processing Fees?

To use these services, you must pay credit processing fees. Nevertheless, there are ways for businesses to lower credit card processing fees.

Simple errors could result in higher credit card processing costs. If your account is set up incorrectly, providing false information about your company could result in higher processing fees.

Additionally, a portion of the processing fee goes toward protecting your issuing bank and the payment processor from risk. Your payment processors will charge you more for accepting credit cards if you’re a high-risk merchant. On the other hand, if you can show that your company has a lower risk of fraud and credit risk, processors will lower their rates. 

Are There Credit Card Processing Fees on Debit Cards?

Yes. Merchants are charged per transaction whether a debit card or credit card is used. Though less expensive than credit card processing, debit card processing is just as complicated. Many factors continue to affect the price, and they are still reliant on interchange rates.

Who Pays the Credit Card Processing Fee?

Vendors, not customers, are responsible for covering the cost of credit card processing. Each credit card transaction results in fees for businesses that range from 1.3% to 3.5%.

What Do Banks Charge for Credit Card Processing?

The typical transaction processing fee for credit cards ranges from 1.3% to 3.5%. The fees business levies are determined by the payment method you select (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa), the merchant category code (MCC), and the kind of credit card.


Businesses can conduct credit and debit card transactions thanks to credit card processing. Working with a credit card processor is a requirement if you want to accept different payment methods, regardless of the size of your business. Nevertheless, particularly for small businesses, selecting the best credit card processing companies with affordable fees, for your business involves a lot of factors. 

Even though credit card processing fees cannot be avoided, small businesses can frequently haggle fees to ensure you receive the best deal. By personally accepting card payments and making sure your terminal and account are configured properly, you can save money. Your processing costs may increase due to account fees, some of which are negotiable. 

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