Merchant Services Reviews: 8 Sites to Check Out When Shopping for a Payment Processor

When your business needs to get a merchant account, just starting the search can be overwhelming because of the hundreds (literally) of options available. How do you know which companies are reputable and which ones are full of hot air?

That can be a bit tricky to answer, mainly because vendors are hardly ever upfront about their shortcomings and limitations.

That’s why it’s important to check out the company’s online reputation. There are plenty of websites out there that offer reviews from real business owners like yourself, as well as unbiased commentaries from experts that keep merchant account companies honest.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of websites to visit when you’re vetting merchant account companies.

These 8 resources contain user reviews, solution comparisons, and expert commentaries that give you the lowdown on the providers that you’re considering. They offer priceless insights into the hundreds of different merchant account companies in the market, so make it a point to visit at least one of these websites if you’re shopping around for a payment processor.

1. Merchant Maverick

Merchant Maverick prides itself on providing unbiased reviews that save its users time and money. They publish reviews for several companies in the payments industry, as well as software and hardware used by merchants.

Merchant Maverick is always keeping itself transparent by showing users how it makes money and continually updating reviews when they get new information. Each company page offers users a lengthy company review, as well as a place for users to write comments, reactions and questions to the company.

Aside from payment processors, Merchant Maverick also covers small business loans, POS systems, inventory software, shipping solutions, and more. Whether you’re a small biz operating a storefront or an ecommerce company selling merchandise online, you’re bound to get some useful nuggets from Merchant Maverick.

2. Card Fellow

Card Fellow strives to make sure business owners are getting fair prices when they sign up for merchant accounts. They’ve created their site as a marketplace that has specific standards, meaning merchants are able to come to the site and interact with merchant account companies that have been screened and approved by Card Fellow.

CardFellow has a 3-step process for helping merchants score the most competitive rates. You start off by describing your business and providing some details around your processing methods and volumes. Next, CardFellow gives you certified and competitive quotes that enable you to compare different processors with ease. And once you find a processor that fits your needs, you can lock in the quote and submit it to CardFellow.

Want to search for or compare specific processors? Visit CardFellow’s processor directory, a page that lists payment processors side by side, along with their star ratings. The directory lets you narrow down the search based on compatibility, location, and whether or not they’re CardFellow-certified.

In addition to the marketplace feature, the site also offers company reviews of the different merchant account companies that are operating in their marketplace. They also have an educational blog that covers topics like finance, legal, and security and PCI compliance.

3. Card Payment Options

This site offers a place where users can look up different merchant account companies and see reviews by its staff.  Card Payment Options looks at a company’s sales and marketing, costs and contracts, complaints and service, and the company’s Better Business Bureau review. Based on these factors, the company will receive a rating between A+ and F.

Need a shortcut to find reviews? Just enter the company name into the site’s search box on the top right to see the posts and commentaries relevant to your search.

The site also has a nifty Merchant Account Statement Analyzer that helps you find hidden fees. Simply upload your statement, enter your email address, and Card Payment Options will analyze it for you.

4. Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau, or BBB, works with consumers and businesses to make sure each business is operating fairly and up to the set community standards.

It gives consumers the chance to review a company or lodge a complaint in hopes that the business will reach out and fix the situation. Every time a business receives and negative or positive interaction with a customer, the business’s rating goes up or down accordingly.

The Better Business Bureau covers the gamut of business and consumer services in the market, so whether you’re looking for payment processors, lawyers, accounts, or maintenance companies, you’ll likely find some helpful reviews on the site.

5. Trustpilot

Trustpilot is an open review platform that gives consumers an avenue where they share and discover company feedback. Trustpilot is a rapidly growing platform that sees more than 1.2 million news reviews per month and 400 million monthly Google impressions. There are currently 270,000+ businesses reviewed on the site, so if you’re vetting a fairly well-known company, you can bet they have a page on Trustpilot

Trustpilot also has a reply feature that enables businesses to respond to feedback. This is a nifty a capability because it gives companies the opportunity to reach out to reviewers and share their side of the story (particularly when it comes to negative reviews).

6.  FitSmallBusiness

FitSmallBusiness totally lives up to its tagline of “Get Your Business into Shape.” The site constantly publishes well-researched and informative content on just about every aspect of running a small biz — from marketing and advertising to financing and operations.

In addition to educational guides and articles, FitSmallBusiness has a wide repository of software reviews, so if you’re looking for in-depth commentary on any of the business solutions that you’re considering, FSB is a great place to start.

The site also has a forum section that covers categories like HR, marketing, ecommerce, real estate, and more. The forum offers a great platform for asking questions and connecting with other small biz owners.

7. ValuePenguin

At first glance, it may look like ValuePenguin is mainly for consumers looking for the best credit cards or insurance plans, but the site also has an excellent Small Business section to help entrepreneurs find the best credit card processors and financing options.

Value Penguin even has a handy credit card processor comparison tool that gives you an at-a-glance view of different card processors and their rates.

Just enter your estimated sales and average transaction amount, and the site will recommend processors that fit your needs.

8. Capterra

Capterra is a review platform that focuses on helping people find the right software. Much like the sites mentioned above, Capterra has articles and reviews on various categories, including merchant services, contract management software, LMS solutions, project management software, and more.

One of our favorite things about Capterra is its “Compare” feature, which lets you select up to 4 solutions, so you can compare them side-by-side.

Capterra also has several blogs that offer industry-specific software advice, so you can get practical knowledge on using different software and running a better business in general.

Going beyond reviews

Reading merchant services reviews is essential when you’re shopping around for the right processor. Do note, though, that it’s just the first step. Reviews can help you narrow down your search for a merchant services provider, but once you already have a shortlist of vendors, you should take the following steps to decide which one is the best fit for your business:

Run the numbers in your business – The right payment processor will ultimately depend on your numbers — specifically, your sales volume and average transaction amount. Before signing up with payment partner, run the numbers in your business by analyzing your statement or proposal and calculating your fees based on the quotes you receive.

Be warned, though, that some processors can get a little sneaky with their rates. When in doubt, get a specialist to analyze your statements or proposals. Doing so will help you estimate your costs and compare providers, so you can make an informed decision.

Ask for references – If you’re curious about the quality of customer support that a company offers, talk to similar businesses that are using their services. Vendors tend to put their best foot forward when trying to close a sale, so it’s always helpful to speak to other merchants to get some information on the quality of their support.

Bottom line

These days, you can discover a lot about a company just by looking them up online, so there’s virtually no excuse for not doing enough research. Hopefully, our pointers above help you find some informative reviews and, ultimately, lead you to the best credit card processor for your business.

Considering Payment Depot? We’d love to chat. Get in touch to learn more about services or talk to our payment specialists who can analyze your statements and/or proposals for free.