Payment Depot vs. Gravity Payments: Features, Pricing, and Merchant Ratings
Sifting through the noise to find the right payment provider is tough. There’s jargon, marketing spin, and myriad features being touted. But do you really know what you need?
It’s not just you feeling like these comparisons are getting harder. The payments industry is changing so rapidly. Undeniably the pandemic accelerated digital payment technology. Small businesses had to finally go all-in, and those already all-in have just been pushing further.
Payment Depot and Gravity Payments are two popular debit and credit card processing services. Both provide innovative processing solutions for business owners, though each has its own unique set of offerings.
In this article, we will stick to the facts and stats to compare Payment Depot and Gravity Payments on important factors like features, pricing, merchant ratings, and agility.
Payment Depot vs. Gravity Payments
Digital wallet adoption is on the rise, “buy now pay later” is the consumers’ new best friend, and cautious customers are putting away their credit cards in favor of paying with debit cards. Hard to believe, but a recent survey found the scales tipping in 2022.
In 2021, consumers favored credit over debit—54.6% vs. 40.2%. By 2022, the favor had gone the other way. Just 39.5% preferred credit, while 56.2% were team debit. Filling in those gaps are cash and checks. Which, unsurprisingly, are also on the way out.
The indicator here is that the financial services industry is now up there with the tech sector. It’s rapidly moving, and consumers expect their buying experience to move along with it. The challenge for merchants is then to not only look for what will suit the business today. It has to be applicable to the ever-changing future.
With that in mind, let’s kick off this comparison by getting to know the two solutions first.
Payment Depot is a merchant account provider and credit card processing company based in Orange County, California. Founded in 2013, Payment Depot puts a huge focus on transparency. It provides merchants with an affordable, membership-based pricing structure without any hidden fees or long-term contracts. Its low pricing model offer is particularly attractive to businesses with higher transaction volumes.
In 2021, Payment Depot was acquired by Stax, another payment processing company. While the two operate as separate entities, the acquisition gave both an extra competitive edge with a larger selection of services, more innovative technology, and even better customer support.
Gravity Payments is comparatively a Seattle-based payment processing provider specializing in small and medium-sized businesses. Its services are tailored towards those who process fewer than 100,000 transactions per month. Gravity Payments also offers a more traditional tiered pricing model, which can be advantageous to businesses with lower transaction volumes.
Founded in 2004, Gravity Payments is an established, smaller provider with a focus on customer service and support. Outside of their merchant services to accept payments, Gravity has a business financing arm where merchants can apply for working capital.
As is already clear, the two credit card processors have different client profiles. Payment Depot caters to high-volume merchants, and Gravity Payments caters to low. There is, however, a middle point where the clientele of these two processors crosses over.
If you’re in this middle point, with a mid-range transaction volume, this article is particularly important for you. You will need to look deeper at the features of each, the pricing, and also consider the long-term needs of your business.
Features and Capabilities
Payment Depot has the advantage of offering a larger selection of features. It sells a range of hardware through partners like Dejavoo, Poynt, Clover, First Data, and SwipeSimple. The benefit here is that merchants with existing hardware, in most cases, can switch to Payment Depot without having to change their physical systems. For online sales, Payment Depot provides virtual terminals as a standard.
Payment Depot’s key features are advanced fraud prevention tools and chargeback protection. It also provides analytics for merchants to better understand customer behavior, sales trends, payment histories, etc. The company also offers access to its own loyalty program, so you can reward customers for repeat purchases.
Gravity Payments’ most popular feature has to be its reporting and analytics software. Through Gravity Analytics, merchants can manage social media, marketing, and loyalty programs. It also provides sales reports, and lets merchants manage customer data. Invoicing and recurring billing are also key features.
As a payment processor, they also offer POS payment solutions through partners. While fewer, they support popular brands like Clover, Pax, and MagTek.
Outside of this, both offer relatively similar features, but Payment Depot has the edge with more hardware and software integrations. Why is that important? It depends on where your business is headed. With a huge suite of integrations, there is more flexibility to adapt and change. But this may not matter to all SMEs.
Payment Depot is hard to beat on integrations. You can choose from a wide range of payment gateways (Stripe, Authorize.net, PayPal, USAePay, etc.), accounting software (QuickBooks, Sage), and POS systems (Vend and Lightspeed retail). For eCommerce businesses, Payment Depot not only has its virtual terminal as a standard, but it also boasts platform integrations with the likes of Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
Gravity Payments is limited in comparison. Its integrations are mostly catered toward the small business market. That said, it still supports a small range of payment gateways, POS systems, accounting software, and some big shopping cart software providers. One fun integration that Gravity Payments does offer is Yiftee—a mobile gift card solution.
Payment Depot is renowned for its membership pricing model that charges low rates on all transactions. As we’ve already mentioned, this is great for businesses with higher transaction volumes.
To crunch those numbers, the monthly fees start at $59, and transactions (swiped/chip, keyed, and online) are all interchange + 15¢.
That starting plan is for businesses processing up to $125,000 annually. If that increases, the only fees to increase are the monthly fees: $79 per month for up to $250,000 annually and $99 per month for up to $500,000.
A huge perk here is that the transaction fees actually go down as the transaction volume goes up. If you’re on the $99 /month plan, for example, you are instead charged the interchange fee + only 7¢. Again, making it quite attractive to high-volume merchants.
Gravity Payments offers a more traditional tiered pricing model. This is ideal if you process fewer than 100,000 transactions monthly, as tiered models are most attractive at the lower end.
Once transaction volumes increase, that tiered pricing will get very high (when compared to a flat-rate model). This is not unique to Gravity Payments. All tiered pricing businesses are for low-volume merchants. If you’re a low-volume merchant, you may think high-volume payment processing fees are too high, but once your transactions increase, the tiered pricing is higher.
Unfortunately, Gravity Payments don’t disclose any pricing information online. Some reports suggest that they are 0.5% of the transaction price + 10¢ but it’s unconfirmed. As Gravity Payments is known for its customer service, we recommend asking them for a quote directly.
Longevity and Scalability
When selecting a payment processing provider, their longevity is key. You don’t want to get stuck with a merchant provider that may not last the test of time. The good news is that both Payment Depot and Gravity Payments are well-established. They’ve been around long enough to prove their staying power.
The longevity you should be considering is how long each would suit your business needs. This is where scalability comes into play.
As we keep repeating, Payment Depot’s subscription-based pricing makes it a winner for growing and high-volume merchants. The rate drops as transaction volumes increase. That’s a huge benefit to your business long-term.
Integrations are also key. Remember we spoke about the rapidly-changing industry. The pressure is on merchants to provide payment services that are as adaptive as tech solutions. Payment Depot excels again against this criteria. Integrations give you more flexibility. Rather than needing your payment processor to constantly develop new tech, you just need to rely on them to offer integrations for you to simply add on what you need.
With Gravity Payments, it’s more of a one-size-fits-all approach. They do have integrations if all you need are a few different options for your gateway, POS, and accounting software. But they don’t reach the number offered by Payment Depot.
Payment Depot has in-house customer support at its Orange County HQ available to all customers Monday to Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Outside of those hours, their customer support team in Arizona takes over. Then, in Colorado, there is support staff on hand 24/7 to handle customer inquiries. They offer phone, email, or live chat to fit whatever your preference may be.
Outside of their people power, Payment Depot has created an online knowledge base where you can find a huge range of helpful articles. If you’re a DIY-type merchant or you have a challenge that is probably easy to fix, this is a good first step before having to call for support.
Gravity Payments also has a strong customer support service. It’s one of the most common compliments given to the company in online reviews. By phone, email, or contact form, they boast 24/7 support. While they don’t have a live chat option, it doesn’t seem to change the sentiment from their merchants giving high praise for their customer service.
Payment Depot vs Gravity Payments: Pros and Cons
Both payment processors are undoubtedly reputable and well-established. The pros and cons really depend on what you need from them.
Payment Depot pros:
- Low, flat-rate fees for high-volume merchants
- Huge range of integrations and hardware support
- Transparent pricing
- Superb customer support
Payment Depot cons:
- Not ideal for low-volume merchants
Gravity Payments pros:
- Ideal for low-volume merchants
- Great customer service
Gravity Payments cons:
- Tiered pricing increases as transaction volume increases
- Limited integrations and hardware support options
- No pricing information is available online
Ultimately, we can see again that the two differ primarily in what your business needs. If you’re a small business that is likely to stay with a low transaction volume, Gravity Payments may be right for you. If you’re a medium-sized business or a small business with a growing transaction volume, Payment Depot is more likely to suit your needs.
Customer Reviews and Ratings
Payment Depot scores are high on customer reviews. Of 1244 reviews on Trust Pilot, it is classed as “Great” with a score of 4.2/5. 89% of customers gave it five stars.
The most common reviews spoke to Payment Depot’s customer service and the savings that merchants got through their pricing model. Comments also referred to the ease of switching from another provider to Payment Depot. Transitioning can be a daunting idea, so this is very comforting news.
Gravity Payments, interestingly, doesn’t have much of a presence on the review sites. They have one review on Trust Pilot (5 stars), but it is from an employee speaking to Gravity Payments as an employer.
On the Gravity Payments website, there is no shortage of glowing reviews to scroll through. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to speak to the other perspectives and no links to show where the reviews have originally been submitted.
As always, the winning provider will be different according to your business needs. The easiest way to determine this would be to look at your transaction volume. Do you process more than 100,000 transactions each month? If you don’t, Gravity Payments is probably going to be a good contender. Depending on the amounts of those transactions, their pricing should be favorable compared to Payment Depot.
If you’re processing more than 100,000 transactions per month and your annual turnover is more than $100,000, Payment Depot is more likely to be your winner.
Our advice? Crunch the numbers and look at your business projections. Transaction volume and price, in this case, are the first considerations. If it’s tight, do an in-depth assessment of your projections. Are you likely to quickly outgrow the Gravity Payments lower tier? If so, it may be worth paying Payment Depot’s higher monthly fees in the beginning, knowing that you’re soon going to outgrow that category, and Payment Depot will become your cheaper option.
If you’re going to grow, but it may be a while away, perhaps you can start at Gravity Payments and grow into Payment Depot. Just make sure you check if Gravity Payments has cancellation fees. Some articles say they do, but there is no information online to confirm. If they do, crunch the numbers again to see if it’s worth starting there and then moving over.
Then finally, if you’re a small business with unusually broad feature requirements, compare the integrations of the two and see what you would pay to add them onto Gravity Payments vs. paying the monthly fees of Payment Depot. To learn more about how Payment Depot can help you save on processing fees, contact us today.