18 of the Best Payment Processing Companies That Make Transactions a Breeze

18 of the Best Payment Processing Companies That Make Transactions a Breeze

Payment processing is an unavoidable part of business life. From brick-and-mortar retailers and online businesses to small business owners taking payments on the road, everyone needs it.

Cash usage has been decreasing for years now, with the pandemic only serving to amplify the trend, sending the demand for digital solutions into overdrive. In-person transactions with contactless and EMV technologies are the favorites, and research says that the digital payment industry will reach $11.55 trillion in 2024. By 2028, it’s predicted to reach $16.62 trillion.

Payment Processing Companies_Digital Payments_Infographic

Digital payments already make up the majority of payments in the US. As of 2022, cash only accounts for 18% of payments. Finding the right payment processor is crucial for small businesses as it impacts the customer experience as well as your bottom line.

These days, the options are endless. From full 360-degree payment processors to fintech companies that facilitate transactions while taking all the risk—you can have it all. No matter the setup of your small business, there’s a solution to suit your needs.

Here’s a rundown of the best payment processing companies you need to know of and what they can do to help your business.

The Function of Payment Processors and Credit Card Processing Companies

Merchants new to the world of payment processing may, understandably, be a bit overwhelmed with the technicalities of this sector. Payment processors not only give you a system to accept credit cards or digital payments, but they also take care of the backend process.

Your bank needs to connect with your customer’s bank and the card issuer, also known as the “issuing bank.” Fees need to be distributed to all, and then the money clears and lands in your account. Thankfully, you don’t have to calculate and send these fees off to all the financial institutions involved. Your payment processor, the same as a credit card processing company, does that for you.

Your payment processor is the link that connects software (and sometimes hardware) with bank accounts, card networks, and consumers. This company helps you make this process seamless, convenient, quick, and secure.

Payments could be by traditional credit cards—Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express—or through gift cards, eCheck, mobile payments (Apple Pay or Google Pay), and other digital payment types. 

All-In-One Digital Payment and Credit Card Processors for Small Businesses

The following payment processing companies are the top-notch one-stop shops for payment processing. Accepting credit card payments and other online payments, they handle all payment solutions and processing fees. All meet PCI compliance. 

1. Payment Depot 

Payment Depot is best for small businesses that see a high volume of credit and debit card transactions each month. The pricing structure is transparent, with interchange-plus pricing and zero termination fee. They also offer top-notch customer support. 

Businesses get a merchant account through Payment Depot that enables payments to be taken online, at a credit card terminal, or via a mobile device. It also integrates with invoicing and bookkeeping solutions like QuickBooks, as well as eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and 3dcart.

2. Stax 

Stax has often ranked as one of the best platforms for small businesses, thanks to its transparent pricing and software. The monthly fee is a flat rate, and instead of marking up a percentage on the interchange fee, it simply charges a per-transaction fee. 

Through the platform’s merchant account, users can perform customer-first data analysis to assess sales and overall business performance, including order trends.

3. Square

Square has become a popular option for small businesses still in the startup or early stages of their business. For those with lower volume transactions, Square has low flat rates, and it also offers a free eCommerce app and point-of-sale software. 

Square’s software, including its eCommerce API, lets small businesses manage inventory and analyze customer data through its app or desktop software. It also accepts ACH payments via invoices. 

4. Clover

Clover is a popular solution for small businesses in retail or restaurants. Its POS system—software and card reader—is one of its selling points as it’s widely available, compatible, and robust. It also offers a virtual terminal for businesses that don’t want hardware. 

Clover offers flat-rate pricing with a few plans suited for businesses of different transaction volumes. It integrates with QuickBooks and Xero for finance management and has partnerships with social, eCommerce, and online platforms.

5. TSYS

TSYS offers a comprehensive payment processing solution that covers your POS system, merchant acquiring, and issuer bank processing. Pricing is hard to ascertain. Merchants need to submit a request online to receive a quote. 

Features of TSYS include time tracking, reporting, invoicing, online credit card payments, acceptance of digital wallets, and more.

6. Payline Data

Payline Data is a payment processor with solutions for merchants wherever they are—on the go, in-store or online. Plans are based on the business type, the payment system type and are charged monthly with no early termination fees. 

Stand-out features on Payline Data are its integration options. It’s an add-on for X-Cart, and its fraud solutions help to minimize chargebacks. 

7. Helcim

Helcim caters to merchants in-store, online, or on the go. They structure their pricing on an interchange-plus model, ensuring clear and straightforward billing without hidden fees.

One of Helcim’s standout features is its all-in-one merchant platform. This platform processes payments and includes tools for managing customer relationships, inventory, and detailed analytics to help businesses understand sales trends and financial health.

8. Chase Merchant Services

Chase Merchant Services is a payment processor owned by Chase Bank. It allows businesses to accept various forms of payment, including credit and debit cards, contactless payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and online transactions. 

One of the payment processor’s standout features is its integration with Chase banking products, which can benefit businesses that bank with Chase. 

eCommerce Payment Gateway Merchant Accounts

eCommerce businesses with lower transaction volumes, such as startups or online pop-ups, may prefer online specialists. These payment processing services are not as comprehensive as those above, but they handle online payment processing and suit some small businesses. 

9. PayPal

Although PayPal has now expanded to offer a physical terminal solution, it’s still more of an online option than a competitor for in-store payment processing. It’s best suited for online businesses with low-volume sales. This is where its flat-rate pricing is competitive, but it does get expensive as sales volume increases. 

PayPal is a favorite for accepting online payments because it is really easy to integrate into most eCommerce platforms, and there are no monthly minimums or setup fees. The pricing model is simply structured with a monthly plan, plus interchange fees and a per-transaction fee. 

10. Stripe

For online businesses, Stripe is the more comprehensive platform offering lots of integrations. While it’s a bit harder to set up, when compared to PayPal, it offers so much more as a platform. 

Pricing is structured as a flat rate of 2.9% plus a per-transaction fee of $0.30. There are no monthly fees or monthly minimums. However, it lacks a virtual terminal.

Stripe lets you customize checkout forms to match your brand. You can accept international debit and credit card transactions, activate recurring billing options, and a whole lot more through their marketplace of integrations. 

11. Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments is the integrated payment gateway solution within Shopify’s eCommerce platform, designed specifically for online retailers. It streamlines the operation of online stores with a unified platform that handles everything from payment processing to inventory management, all under one roof. 

The platform supports many payment methods, including major credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, catering to a diverse, global customer base. 

Buy Now Pay Later Merchant Services

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services have become extremely popular in recent years. Consumers get what they want without being out of pocket large sums, while merchants can make large ticket sales more easily. 

There’s a lot to love about having BNPL as one of your available payment methods. With adoption up 200% since the pandemic, it’s a payment option your customers will soon expect. 

The great thing about BNPL services is that these platforms pay merchants and accept the risk. For example, if a customer doesn’t pay on time, they take care of chasing them down and getting them to pay late fees. Here are the major players in the BNPL space: 

12. Afterpay

Afterpay lets consumers buy items when they want and pay the total over six weeks. They have 16 million consumers using their services in the US. 

Retailers can set it up at the in-person POS system or online shopping carts. At the same time, consumers can download their mobile app to manage their payments. 

13. Klarna

Klarna is a global payment system with a similar setup to Afterpay. Through their mobile app, consumers can avail BNPL services anywhere they like. 

Small businesses can offer this service at the online virtual terminal or with a QR code at the in-store point of sale. 

14. Affirm

Affirm is a BNPL service provider for eCommerce platforms. It allows users to buy goods now and pay over four interest-free payments. They have 6.2 million users.

Affirm can be connected with online stores to accept the service at the checkout. Consumers can then manage their payments through their mobile devices with the Affirm app. 

Innovative Fintech Companies Going Beyond Traditional Credit Card Processing

Every year there are new innovations coming to the world of online payments and processing. Some businesses expand in important niches, and others create brand new solutions that present new worlds of possibility. These are the FinTech innovators to follow: 

15. Amazon Pay

Although Amazon has been around forever, it is always developing in the way it supports its merchants. For any merchants that sell almost exclusively with Amazon, this could be a better option than any of those we’ve mentioned above. 

Amazon Pay integrates with X-Cart so that merchants can use it as an option on their other websites to keep sales within the Amazon marketplace. Transaction fees start at 1.9% + $0.30, and it’s free to set up.

16. BitPay

Dealing in the crypto market, Bitpay helps businesses to accept cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin. BitPay is used by thousands of businesses. As a platform that is able to manage tax payments for businesses using cryptocurrency, BitPay is quite a unique solution. 

This ability to be able to accept cryptocurrency and still be tax compliant will probably tempt a lot of businesses on board as consumer crypto use increases. 

Through the BitPay system, merchants can accept Bitcoin payments online, in person, or even via email. Consumers can also use the platform to manage their Bitcoin and make purchases. 

17. Verifi

Verifi is a Visa solution fighting online fraud and chargebacks with payment protection solutions for eCommerce businesses. 

Through its secure payment gateway, Verifi acts as a middle step to confirm identity and, as a result, reduce the fees of payment processing. It also reduces chargebacks. 

18. SecurePay

SecurePay is a free online payment solution that focuses on making payments extremely secure. Through tools like SecureBill, FraudGuard, Secure Frame, Secure IVR, and others, SecurePay is picking up favor with online businesses. 

Through its merchant account, businesses have access to all of its security tools, as well as online payments, reporting capabilities, and integrations. It’s also an add-on for X-Cart allowing merchants to set up preauthorization, 3D Secure, and FraudGuard.

The Best Payment Processing Solution for Your Business

Payment Depot Transparent Pricing_Banner

When deciding the best payment processing company for your business needs, you must consider longevity, growth, and far-reaching services. If you’re planning to grow your business, and scale the way you accept payments and interact with customers, you need a payment provider that can grow with you. 

Payment Depot can help you grow and scale your business while ensuring that hefty credit card processing fees don’t eat away at your profits. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you save up to $400 in credit card processing fees every month!

FAQs about Payment Processing Companies

Q: Are payment processors necessary?

Technically, yes. But realistically, only very few businesses could get away with going without. Payment processors are the connection to the cash and check-alternative payment methods. There is no way to accept cards or digital payments without a payment processor. If your customers still mostly pay with cash, you’re in an area where the culture looks to be staying the same, and you prefer to work with cash, you could enjoy this period a little longer. But for most businesses, this means missing out on a huge number of benefits. 

Beyond just letting you accept non-cash payments, having a payment processor gives you tools to streamline your business operations. It opens up opportunities for seamless online sales, automatic billing, subscriptions, and easy access to customer transaction records. You can learn more about your customer base, and as a result, you can boost cash flow. 

Payment processors can also enhance the customer experience by speeding up the checkout process with user-friendly in-person payments and online transactions, too. 

Essentially, it’s not just about accommodating more customers; it’s about providing a smoother, quicker, and more versatile service that meets modern consumer expectations. Without one, you’d miss out on a lot, possibly including sales.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a payment processor for my business?

Setting up with a payment processor is relatively simple. But changing can be quite a process. Once you have all of your infrastructure in place and you and your team are used to the processes around that provider and its tools, moving elsewhere can feel like a big feat. Planning for the long term is strongly advised. 

Here are a few key factors to consider when picking a payment processor:

Pricing and transaction fees

Make sure you understand the fee structure—look for transparency to avoid any nasty surprises. Make sure it fits your business model, whether it’s a flat fee per transaction or a percentage plus the interchange rate.

Contract tTerms

Check the length of the contract and what commitments you’re signing up for. Is there a penalty for early termination?

Supported payment methods

The more methods they support, the better. Think credit cards, e-wallets, direct bank transfers, and even cryptocurrencies if that’s relevant to your audience. However, just check to see that you’re not paying extra for methods you don’t need.  

Online payments

Your chosen processor should offer robust solutions for online payments to allow for secure and efficient eCommerce transactions. Accepting various types of payments online is just one part of the solution you want. They should also provide features like recurring billing, secure customer data storage, and seamless integration with your online shopping carts.

Currency support

This is especially important if you plan to sell internationally. Can the processor handle multiple currencies, and how much do they charge for them?

Integration capabilities

Make sure the processor can integrate smoothly with your existing POS systems, accounting software, and eCommerce platforms.

Customer support

Reliable customer service is crucial. You want a provider that could be on your side if things went sideways at midnight before a big sale.

Q: How does an all-in-one payment processor differ from a payment gateway, buy-now-pay-later, or fintech platform?

There are a lot of “payment solutions” out there, and as a result, there is a lot of confusion about the difference between a payment processor and any one of these other payment platforms. It helps to use analogies. 

Think of an all-in-one payment processor as a Swiss Army knife—it’s got everything you need to accept payments. This is your complete package; it manages transactions from start to finish. It provides both the technology to process payments and the merchant services to handle the financial side.

A payment gateway, on the other hand, is more like a knife blade connecting your store to the payment networks. It acts as a bridge between your sales and the payment network. It doesn’t handle funds directly; it just forwards payment information to the processor.

Then there are Buy Now, Pay Later services—they’re like letting your customers put a tab on their purchases. These are gaining traction by offering customers the option to pay in installments, often interest-free. This can boost sales but comes with its own set of risks and costs.

And fintech platforms? These are hard to categorize as there are so many that then fit into numerous subcategories. One commonality is that they tend to focus on specific financial services like loans, investments, or more innovative banking services. They can include payment processing but aren’t limited to it.

Q: How does the integration process of a payment processor work with my existing systems?

Today, most processors work smoothly with a variety of business software. They usually come with plugins or APIs that let them interact with your systems. Point-of-sale systems, accounting software, and online stores will all be able to be integrated with payment processors. 

There are a variety of integration methods:

  • APIs (Application Programming Interfaces): These allow for custom integrations with your existing apps, giving you flexibility and control over how payments are processed within your systems.
  • Plugins and Extensions: Ideal for eCommerce platforms, these are often ready to install and require minimal technical knowledge, making the integration process smoother and quicker.
  • Support and Documentation: A good processor will provide thorough documentation and proactive support to guide your IT team through the setup process to ensure everything works harmoniously and securely.

Q: Are there any security risks involved with using a payment processor, and how are they mitigated?

All technology comes with security risks, but equally, all reputable payment processors are equipped with tools to manage and mitigate these risks. The risk responsibility of merchants is to work only with a compliant provider. It is up to the provider to do the rest. You want to partner with a provider that complies with and uses the following: 

  • PCI DSS Compliance: To protect card information, all processors must adhere to these security standards. This is a standard. You should not even be able to find a supplier that does not comply with this. 
  • Fraud Detection Tools: These include real-time monitoring and alerts, anomaly detection algorithms, and predictive analytics to identify and prevent fraudulent transactions.
  • Encryption and Tokenization: These technologies protect sensitive data by encoding payment information and replacing it with a unique identifier (token).
  • Regular Security Audits and Updates: Ensuring that all systems are up-to-date and secure from potential new threats. This is an important point. Everyone hates constant updates with technology, but in this case, it’s a regular reminder that your payment processor is keeping your customer data safe and, as such, protecting your business and your reputation. 

Want to save 40% on payment processing? Let's Talk!