The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital—this was evident as lockdowns set in during Q1 of 2020. Online consumer spending increased by 44% in 2020 from the previous year. Retailers and new business owners have been left to manage with an adapt or die mindset, incorporating technologies like online payment processors to accommodate the shift.
One of the biggest draws of shopping online is convenience. Nowadays, there are countless ways to make customers’ shopping experiences as pleasant and seamless as possible. Online credit card processors are some of the wisest investments merchants can make for their businesses in 2021.
Choosing the right online credit card processor is a sure-fire way to boost your overall sales, enhance your credibility, accept international payments, and ensure the security of your transactions. Because businesses are now spoiled for choice when it comes to options for online credit card processors, we have narrowed down a list to make your life simpler.
Square is one of the most popular credit card processing companies, and it’s easy to see why. First of all, you can get everything set up in mere minutes. To get started, you simply have to open an account on their website—for free. This also comes with a free mobile card reader. Afterward, you can download their Square app to begin accepting payments.
If you have an online store and want to integrate their payment processor on your site, the rate is 2.9% + $0.30 for every transaction. Remote payments made on the computer will cost you 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction. You can email your customers their invoices for 2.9% + $0.30 for every invoice. There is no monthly fee and they accept every major credit card.
Square has also been praised for its array of point-of-sale (POS) features. Some of these include payroll services, inventory management, performance monitoring, loyalty and rewards programs, scheduling software, to name a few.
Their POS system is compatible with both Android and Apple. There are several possible integrations that are available on the Square App Marketplace, like QuickBooks, IFTTT, and TaxJar, among others.
They promise end-to-end encryption and also comply with all the PCI regulations. Sellers can also receive their funds in one to two business days. Instant transfer options are also available with a fee of 1.5%.
If your business sees larger-volume transactions, Helcim is a fantastic choice. They actually reward higher volumes with their fee schedule. This payment processor has no monthly fees, fees for early termination, or long-term contracts.
As we said, higher volumes mean lower rates. Both the interchange and transaction fees are dependent on your volume. Helcim is known for being very transparent about its pricing, and you can easily learn what your company’s rates will be by inputting your monthly volume on their site.
To give you an idea, businesses with volumes of $25,000 and less per month will pay 0.50% + $0.25 for online transactions. Monthly volumes of $100,001 to $250,000 will have fees of 0.35% + $0.15. You can receive your money in two business days.
Helcim will also give you access to their very own online store. This allows you to customize different templates to suit your e-commerce shop, without fees for web hosting. Businesses can make use of any device they have to use Helcim’s inventory and customer management, POS system, discount counts, product catalogs, invoice creation, and others.
Stripe is a great credit card processor for e-commerce sites. There are numerous customizable features, which existing online shops may actually prefer. You will even be able to expand your reach, as Stripe allows you to increase your global sales as they work with 135 different currencies. Although they have a relatively higher processing fee, there are no monthly fees.
Fees for card-not-present transactions are 2.9% + $0.30, while ACH transactions have an 0.8% fee with a cap of $5.00. Merchants based in the US can receive their funds within two days, unless they are classified as high-risk. They accept all types of mobile payments as well.
Stripe has a suite of their own business management solutions, which should be helpful for any online shop: Stripe Sigma, Atlas, Connect, and Billing. Regarding their integrations, Stripe works well with QuickBooks, WooCommerce, Mailchimp, Shopify, and others.
You can also utilize their checkout form, which can be embedded onto your site. Stripe has subscription management tools that will do wonders for keeping tabs on your customers and personalizing plans for them. You’ll be able to track their usage and behavior and create plans for them depending on their usage.
They have their own solution to fraud with a tool called Radar that employs machine learning to spot fraudulent and potentially fraudulent behavior. They have a real-time reporting feature which can keep you informed about your sales and payment activity as they occur.
While we suggested Helcim for companies with higher volumes of transactions, those who prefer a payment processor where volume is not a concern may opt for National Processing. Here, there are no monthly minimum volumes. They also have some of the lowest fees compared to other credit card processing companies.
They have $10 per month fees for retail, e-commerce, and restaurants. These, of course, still have transaction fees and interchange rates. Retail is an added 0.20% + $0.10, e-commerce is 0.30% + $0.15, and restaurants are 0.15% + $0.07. Enterprises pay $59 monthly, with an added 0% + $0.09, and there is another option at $199 monthly, with 0% + $0.05.
Funds will be available within three days and they have a rate-lock guarantee that ensures your existing rates will stay the same. Unlike some other payment processors, they have an early termination policy—unless you sell or shut down your business. They partner with Authorize.Net for e-commerce businesses, with a possible gateway fee of $5 monthly.
They also work with Clover to provide their clients with numerous pieces of equipment if needed—whether for POS systems or mobile registers. One thing National Processing is known for is its excellent customer service. Should any issues come up, you will be able to reach an agent 24/7.
PayPal is practically a household name. It has still made it onto this list because of the ease of use and solid reputation it has built for itself through the years. It is another ideal choice for newer businesses whose transaction volumes are still on the lower side. It is very easy to set up, particularly for online transactions.
Once you download the PayPal Here app, create your account and begin. There are no startup costs or monthly payments with PayPal. Pricing is per payment—for every online transaction, the fee is 2.9% + $0.30. They let you accept all major debit and credit cards. Payments are secure, as they are PCI compliant, and adhere to the Mastercard Site Data Protection Program.
With PayPal, there are no hidden termination fees or long-term contracts. They remain transparent about their terms. This processor allows you to integrate with existing shipping software, accounting tools, and shopping carts. You can have access to your funds in as little as 24 hours.
Using PayPal Checkout, you can use PayPal as a payment solution for your e-commerce platform or website. PayPal Payments Standard is another option that allows for more customization with implementing this service. You can adjust how you want the checkout to look and function. For full control over your checkouts, you may want to use PayPal Payments Pro.
They also have other tools that are geared towards businesses. PayPal Commerce, for one, is great for vaulting features that securely store customer data. PayPal also has a number of available system integrations and partnerships that give you access to different POS solutions.
When it comes to choosing an online credit card processor, the decision rests on your company’s particular needs: your volume of transactions, your budget, your POS system, and the like. You will also need to look into the additional features each of these processors have.
The above list is a good place to start—we have carefully chosen the processors based on aggregated reviews, customer ratings, security compliance, and reputation. In addition, we have also considered various pricing structures and fees or costs. Some of these also have more multi-channel functions than others, are easier to integrate, and work well with other systems.
Today’s online businesses must operate with a forward-thinking mindset, and so it is also pertinent that your chosen credit card processor grows with you and your business. Keep this in mind as you select a company to work with.
Still curious about how to choose a payment processor for your business? Try to read side-by-side comparisons of online processors to give you a picture of how this works. Have you tried any of these companies? Share your experience in the comments section below.