Understanding Intuit QuickBooks Online Merchant Services
NOTE: We updated this post in May 2020 to reflect QuickBooks’ new pricing for payment processing.
Today, we are reviewing Intuit’s QuickBooks’ credit card processing services. Note that this shouldn’t be confused with a review of Intuit’s very popular QuickBooks accounting software.
And, maybe this confusion and lack of differentiation is the perfect place to start this post. Almost everyone has some understanding of what Intuit’s popular QuickBooks accounting software is and what it does.
That being said, Intuit has banked on its brand recognition and loyal customer base to promote its merchant services. QuickBooks merchant services and its accounting software integrate seamlessly, but this integration is basically the only thing its credit card processing has going for it.
If you look a little deeper, you’ll find that Intuit is overcharging merchants for its credit card processing because the service is easy to use (if you’re already on their accounting platform).
It’s convenient, for sure — but at what cost?
Let’s break it down below.
Intuit Merchant Services Payment Structures
First things first. What exactly are the types of merchant services that Intuit offers and how much do they cost? The answer to that depends on the QuickBooks version that you’re using. Intuit has different payment structures for the following:
- QuickBooks Online
- QuickBooks Desktop
- QuickBooks Ecommerce (compatible only with Big commerce and Shopify)
- QuickBooks Go Payment (mobile payments)
It’s also important to note that Intuit has amended its merchant agreements several times, and it has four different pricing schedules, depending on when you signed up. So, if you’re an existing Intuit merchant, take a look at the pricing schedule that applies to your account to view the specific fees you’re paying:
- Standard Pricing Schedule (merchants approved on or after 9/1/2017 that are not considered a “Legacy customer” or merchants that have had their pricing plan upgraded)
- Standard Pricing Schedule (merchants approved on or after 12/7/16 that are not considered a “Legacy customer” or merchants that have had their pricing plan upgraded)
- Standard Pricing Schedule (merchants approved on or after 8/2/14 that are not considered a “Legacy customer” or merchants that have had their pricing plan upgraded)
- Qualified Pricing Schedule (merchants approved on or before 8/1/14 or considered a “Legacy customer” as defined in this schedule)
QuickBooks Credit Card Processing Fees
Now let’s break down those costs. As of the time of writing this, QuickBooks credit card processing fees are outlined as follows:
|Bank Transfer (ACH)||1% (max $10)|
|Card – Swiped||2.4% + 25¢|
|Card – Invoiced||2.9% + 25¢|
|Card – Keyed||3.4% + 25¢|
|Transaction Type||Fee – Pay as you go||Fee – Monthly|
|Bank Transfer (ACH)||$3.00||$3.00|
|Card – Swiped||2.4% + 30¢||1.6% + 30¢|
|Card – Invoiced||3.5% + 30¢||3.3% + 30¢|
|Card – Keyed||3.5% + 30¢||3.3% + 30¢|
|Transaction Type||Fee – Pay as you go||Fee – Monthly|
|Swiped qualified rate||2.4%||1.6%|
|Keyed qualified rate||3.5%||3.3%|
QuickBooks Pay as You Go Mobile Payments
|Transaction Type||Fee – Pay as you go|
|Per swipe, dip, and tap||2.4% + 25¢|
|For keyed entries||3.4% + 25¢|
Intuit Credit Card Processing Review
Pro: Seamless Integration with QuickBooks Accounting Software
Merchants that use QuickBooks merchant services have a couple of advantages. As mentioned earlier, Intuit’s accounting software and payment processing are tightly integrated, so it’s easy to accept credit cards, generate payment reports, and reconcile your accounts.
Pro: Easy to Read Merchant Statements
In some cases, Intuit uses a flat rate payment structure, which blends the interchange rate with the processor’s markup. However, QuickBooks payments for online stores seem to use a tiered pricing structure, which charges higher rates for “non-qualified” transactions.
These pricing structures make your merchant statements easier to understand. Rather than having to calculate the interchange + markup, you end up with one flat rate.
Con: Higher Credit Card Processing Fees
But the advantages end there. When compared with other payment processors, QuickBooks merchant services are far from being the most cost-effective option. The minimum per-transaction rate is 2.4% and that only applies to swiped cards. Many businesses have to key in card payments from time to time, so that rate is bound to go up.
Plus, if you key in transactions regularly or if you process card not present transactions (CNP), then your rate goes up to 3.5%.
Intuit also charges a flat fee per transaction, which costs $0.25 for QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, and Pay as You Go. Ecommerce merchants are charged $0.30 per transaction. Then there’s a $9.95 monthly PCI for those who are on a Pay as You Go Plan. (This is a fee that’s waived by other providers.)
Con: Slow Deposit Times
QuickBooks deposit schedule can take up to 7 business days, which is not ideal if you’re a small business who needs quick access to funds.
That said, depending on your plan and when you signed up, you may qualify for next-day deposits. (Though this is subject to certain eligibility requirements and you may need to contact them to find out.)
Con: Confusing Payment Processing Pricing Structure
Another downside? QuickBooks credit card processing fees and policies vary across a number of products. As discussed earlier, QBO, QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Ecommerce, and its mobile payments product have different pricing structures, which can make the process confusing.
If you’re considering Intuit merchant services, you need to make sure you’re on the right product page so you can get an accurate idea or estimate of how much you’ll pay.
For instance, if you’re interested in ecommerce payment processing, double check that that you’re looking at QuickBooks Ecommerce and not QuickBooks Desktop as the two products have different fees.
This also makes getting customer support more difficult. Rather than having just one phone number to call, QuickBooks has different support portals and processes depending on the product.
QuickBooks Merchant Services Email and Phone Support
Intuit offers a knowledge base, along with email support. Phone support is available Monday to Friday from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm Pacific time and Saturday from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm. Be aware, though, that many customers have reported long hold times and insufficient responses.
Intuit’s customer support hours go beyond the traditional 8 to 5 window, which is good. But note that there are other merchant service providers (such as Payment Depot) that offer 24/7 customer service.
Hypothetical Example of QuickBooks Online Merchant Services for a Retailer
We’ve talked about QuickBooks credit card processing fees and the pros and cons using Intuit to power your payments. Now, to give you a better of what’s Intuit’s merchant services actually look like, here’s a hypothetical example of a retailer on QuickBooks Online doing that’s doing $30,000 sales volume per month, with an average transaction value of $100:
|160 swiped $100 transactions @ 2.4%||$384|
|140 keyed in $100 transactions @ 3.4%||$476|
|300 transactions x $.0.25||$75|
|PCI Fee (monthly)||$9.95|
Now, let’s compare that to the payment processing fees of Payment Depot, which doesn’t charge a percentage off your sales. Those transactions would be charged as follows:
|300 transactions @ $0.10 flat fee||$30|
|$30,000 @ 1.8% [average interchange rate]||$540|
|Payment Depot monthly membership fee||$79|
|PCI Fee (monthly)||$0|
Looking at the processing fees alone, we can see that Intuit’s merchant services fees cost $11,939.4 a year. Payment Depot’s fees, on the other hand, amount to $7,788 a year. What’s more, Payment Depot’s transaction fees go down as your credit card volume increases, allowing merchants to save even more.
Wrapping Up QuickBooks Credit Card Processing
QuickBooks credit card processing has a couple of things going for it. For one, its accounting software and merchant services are tightly integrated and easy to use. And since Intuit uses a flat rate pricing structure, the fees are simple to understand.
But its credit card processing costs far outweigh these benefits. Businesses can find more cost-effective merchant services that are just as easy to use and understand.
Our advice? If you’re happy with QuickBooks accounting software, you should, by all means, stick with it. But do yourself a favor and look for a better payment processor for your biz.
An Alternative to Intuit QuickBooks Online Merchant Services
Consider Payment Depot. Unlike most merchant services providers, Payment Depot uses a membership-based pricing model which means we don’t charge a markup on top of your sales. Instead, merchants pay monthly membership dues to get access to wholesale payment processing costs. Think of Payment Depot as the Costco of credit card processing.
Get in touch with us to learn more. And if you’re shopping around for a new merchant services provider, you can send us your proposal or your existing merchant statement and we can give you an unbiased analysis for free.