One of the best decisions that you can make as a small business owner is accepting credit cards as payment for goods or services. By only accepting cash, you could be missing out on a lot of sales, including the potential to take your business online. However, the hardest part of making this decision is choosing a company to process your credit card payments. There are hundreds of credit card processing companies, so take a look at this list of top picks to get a head start.
Flagship Merchant Services
With point-of-sale systems and a loyalty program, Flagship Merchant Services processes credit cards for all types of businesses, from restaurants and retail shops to mail-order companies and internet stores. Giving you everything that you need to accept credit card payments, it even allows you to process cards offline and from mobile devices. This processing company is particularly great for small businesses that sell a high volume of goods or services because it reduces its rates based on transaction volumes. As of March 2016, its rates are 0.38 to 1.58 percent plus 19 to 21 cents per transaction and a monthly fee. With 24/7 customer support, Flagship Merchant Services offers flexible contracts and doesn’t charge extra to process American Express credit cards. Some of its top clients include Avon, Mac Tools, Subway and Verizon.
As a cost-effect processing solution that allows businesses of all sizes to grow, Payline Data processes credit cards for thousands of merchants in the United States. Its affordable, comprehensive and simple service includes customer insights, electronic invoicing and fraud protection. Payline Data has a range of contract plans, and the Simple plan is great for small businesses that process less than $5,000 every month. If you start out with this plan, it’s easy to upgrade when your sales grow and the needs of your business change. If standard plans don’t fit your needs, custom solutions are available as well. With POS systems, credit card machines and mobile processing, Payline Data charges 0.2 to 0.5 percent plus 15 cents per transaction as of March 2016. Some of its other benefits include 24/7 customer service, scheduled payments and no hidden fees.
As a company owned and operated by PayPal, Braintree allows you to accept more than one type of payment online. Along with credit card and PayPal processing, it processes payments through Android Pay, Apple Pay, Bitcoin, Venmo and other online financial services with just one integration into your app or website. In just minutes, you can sign up for a merchant account and begin accepting payments, which take two to four business days to fully process. Braintree allows you to reach customers on an international level because it works with 130 currencies across dozens of countries. The company also provides fraud protection and recurring billing. As of March 2016, it is offering free processing on the first $50,000 processed.
As a mobile payment service, Square allows you to accept payments via credit card reader, POS system or mobile app. It’s considered the fastest and simplest way to accept card payments with a cellphone or tablet because there’s no complicated setup or credit checks. Along with perks such as a free online store and business loans, Square offers affordable, transparent pricing at only 2.75 percent per transaction or 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for each transaction that you enter manually. Other benefits include no long-term contracts, inventory alerts, a customer directory and tax-preparation shortcuts. The only downside is that customer support via phone is only available during business hours.
As mentioned, these are only a few of the credit card processing companies that are great for small businesses. If you’re unsure about which one to choose, try two or more for short periods at a time. Then you can decide which one suits your business for the long haul.