Comparing the Best Merchant Service Providers

Merchant services refer to the software, hardware and services that are used by businesses to accept credit and debit card payments. Merchant services can also allow businesses to accept payments in-person, online or over the phone.

These products and services often integrate with the business tools you already have. For instance, your payment provider may connect to a POS system for your retail store or to your QuickBooks Online for reconciliation. Merchant Service Providers can also provide customer management, inventory systems, and payment reporting. Depending on the provider, businesses may be able to receive same-day settlement of funds or it may take a few days for the funds to go into their account.

Let’s compare some of the top merchant services providers in market.

Compare Merchant Services Providers
Reviews
Best For
Industries served
Free Trial Period
Contract
Set Up Fee
Customer Service
SME with high sales volume and high risk merchants
Businesses that process at least $5,000 per month.
Month to Month
$0
24/7 emai & phone Mon-Fri 9am to 7:30pm EST
SME looking for custom pricing, flexible contracts and a range of features like POS, mobile and online eCommerce solutions
Retail, Restaurant, wireless, phone or mail order, and e-commerce businesses
Month to Month
$0
24/7 phone & email; live chat
SME looking for an integrated solution for payment processing and a long-term contract; High risk businesses
All
3 year contracts
$25
24/7 phone & email
SME for monthly subscription and low transaction rates
Businesses that process at least $10,000 per month.
Month to Month
$0
24/7 phone & email
High-volume SMB looking for subscription based deals
Professional services, field services, healthcare, retail, online businesses
Month to Month
$0
24/7 phone & email; live chat

 

Flagship

Flagship offers payment processing solutions for retail, restaurant, wireless, phone or mail order, and e-commerce businesses. They provide a merchant account so your business can take accept payments from all major cards, and getting set up is fast with an easy-to use platform that is nifty enough for any size company.

Key Features

  1. Flagship’s payment gateway service lets you accept credit card payments online via a shopping cart
  2. Digital Loyalty Program for Retail and Restaurants
  3. POS System & Smart Terminal options
  4. Tiered pricing and customized options available to suit your business
  5. Low rates with Interchange-Plus Pricing
  6. Accept all major payment types including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay

Pros & Cons

  • No early termination fee (if free equipment offer declined)
  • No setup or application fees
  • Payment gateway with shopping cart
  • Interchange Plus Pricing
  • Loyalty app
  • Dedicated customer support


  • Tiered pricing is often unpredictable

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Leaders Merchant Services

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) specializes in business credit and debit card payment services. Electronic payment processing includes physical terminals for face-to-face transactions, which support swipe cards, EMV transactions (cards with integrated chips), and contactless payments. The company also provides virtual POS terminals for online platforms, offering integration with a shopping cart solution. Both physical and online terminals will support major gateway merchant services, including Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Instant Accept.

Key Features

  1. Authorize.net Payment Gateway
  2. Clover POS System
  3. Services beyond merchant accounts and payment processing include business cash advances and loans
  4. Loyalty Programs
  5. Gift Cards
  6. eCommerce Shopping Cart
  7. Contactless Payment Processing

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality and reputable point-of-sale and payment gateway
  • Business cash advances and loans
  • 24/7 support
  • Loyalty program and gift cards


  • Mobile processing system not available

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Stax

Stax is a subscription-style merchant services provider that streamlines your payments with an all-in-one platform. Forget having to deal with numerous vendors, Stax enables companies to confidently manage customers, financials, sales data, inventory and invoicing in one place.

Key Features

  1. Invoicing made easy
  2. In-person payments
  3. e-Commerce
  4. Contactless payment solutions
  5. Mobile payments app
  6. Integrations
  7. Keyed in payments
  8. Monthly subscriptions
  9. Optional add-ons

Pros & Cons

  • Transparent pricing
  • Monthly subscription model
  • Cost effective for high volume businesses


  • Monthly fixed cost which may not suit small businesses with low volumes
  • No free trial

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Payment Depot

Payment Depot is a membership based payment processor where customers pay a monthly fee to access wholesale rates for processing transactions. Where most providers charge the “interchange plus” pricing structure method, this provider uses a wholesale subscription model.

Key Features

  1. Subscription based model
  2. 90-day money back guarantee
  3. All-in-one membership for online, in-store, and mobile processing
  4. Compatible with third party software vendors, including gateways like Authorize.net and USAePay, which makes it easier to integrate with popular software like FreshBooks and Shopify.
  5. Able to reprogram some existing terminal models
  6. PCI compliant processing at no extra cost

Pros & Cons

  • Easy-to-understand pricing plans
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • No interchange rate markup
  • Compatible with several card readers
  • Free virtual terminal
  • Low chargeback fees


  • Might be expensive for some small businesses with low volumes
  • No knowledgebase and limited online support options

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Creditcardprocessing.com

CCP offers month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees, meaning you are not committed to a long-term subscription. For a monthly fee of $49 to $249, CCP will guarantee a fixed transaction fee and a variety of other benefits like a terminal with dual-mode connections, the highest level of end-to-end encryption for maximum data transmission security and some of the most advanced hardware on the market today like EMV terminals, NFC readers, Clover POS and mobile payments.

Key Features

  1. Subscription based model
  2. EMV terminals
  3. NFC readers for contactless payments
  4. iAccess app for online reporting and analytics
  5. Able to reprogram some existing terminal models
  6. Free card terminal

Pros & Cons

  • No long term contracts
  • Affordable and predictable transaction costs
  • Accepts high risk merchants
  • No set up or application fees


  • Can be expensive for low volume merchants
  • Rates can be confusing

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