Today’s business environment has changed dramatically. It has been as a result of the introduction of technology. Majority of businesses, both retailers and wholesalers know that accepting credit cards as an alternative means of payment is crucial for their business survival. Not every customer like using cash. Sometimes you as a customer may run short of money. The only left option is to top up using a credit or debit card to settle the bill.
For this reason, business people must look for the best card processing companies for their enterprises. If you as a business owner have never accepted credit cards before, the process of doing your accepting credit card payments for small business may be a bit confusing. But you have to press on. Looking for the best card processors might not be easy. However, you should not get stranded as information about third-party merchant’s accounts for a start is all over on the internet.
Card processing companies operate independently according to their laid down rules and regulations. Each of the companies has its registration and processing fees structure. However, some of these companies may register your business for free. Others may need you to do credit card processing for small business with no monthly fee at all. Such a move is very motivating to any business person.
How do you go about choosing the best service provider?
Before rushing to open an account with any service provider, you should study the costs and benefits. If the weight falls on the benefits, then you are good to go. We have two types of service providers.
- Traditional merchant account providers
- Payment service providers
Traditional merchant accounts
Traditional merchant accounts are different from the payment service providers in many ways. For instance, merchant accounts have a distinct merchant identification numbers. The number gets issued to you as the business owner. The digit is the unique identifier for your business by card processors. Any credit or debit card used at your company to purchase products or services gets traced through that n
A merchant account identification number protects your business from fraudulent attacks. As a traditional merchant account holder, you enjoy essential services like PCI security scans, e-check payments where customers know how to transfer money using the routing number and account number, and online payments support. These services come with a fee. The service providers must make money from your business.
Payment Service Providers
Payment Service Providers (PSP) are slightly different from Traditional Service Providers in that; they don’t provide their customers with a merchant identification number. They aggregate your account with other merchant accounts. It helps lower the PCI compliance as well as the monthly fees.
The biggest shortcoming with these accounts is that the accounts are vulnerable to fraud that may lead to freezing. It can temporarily slow down your business activities before resuming back to normal. The good thing with Payment Service Providers is that they don’t charge you recurrent monthly fees. They are the best credit card processors with no monthly fee. The most common PSP are stripe and square.
But how do you choose the best service provider for your business? There are several things you must put into consideration. Let’s look at them one by one.
The process of processing cards does not happen in the air. Even when looking on ways on how to accept credit card payments without a merchant account, remember that hardware is a must. Some machines accompany the process. Your e-commerce business requires card reader machines and the necessary software installed.
Mobile card swipers can also get used. It is only through the computer and the software that you will link with your card processor. Apart from EMV card readers, you require a Point of Sale (POS) system. The POS integrates with your card reader to send transaction details to your card processor. You need to see whether a service provider offers them for free or you have to purchase them yourself.
Remember, you are looking for a possible service provider with no monthly fees. It explains why you should scrutinize the available options and see if you can get one with no monthly charges or maybe charging very little.
It is essential for your business. How easily can you communicate with the service provider during transactions? How easy is it to integrate your online shop with the card processor without complications? You should ensure that the service provider you choose easily and quickly agrees on the input from your machines. It saves time and allows you to deal with many customers within a given period.
Ease of terminating a contract
It reaches a point whereby you can’t continue with your service provider. The only option is to terminate the agreement with them. Check the cost of concluding a contract. It can be costly to terminate a contract. It explains why you should consider a company with the cheapest termination fees.
Sometimes you develop issues with the payment system. You are required to contact the customer care. How responsive are they? Make sure that the company of choice has the best customer assistance channels.
Having gone through the essential considerations to make before choosing a service provider, let’s now see the best credit card processors in the market.
Who are the top 5 credit card processors for small business with no monthly fee?
Several companies are an excellent fit for small businesses. We are going to discuss them in detail.
1. Helcim Credit Card Processor
Helcim is an excellent company to consider. This company is a good fit for small business.
They offer transparent services. It means that they don’t have hidden fees. The Helcim provide full-service card processing using interchange-plus option for pricing. Helcim has published all their costs on their websites for their customers to view. It is thus easy to compare their pricing with other companies. Again the company guarantees its customers flat rate fees that do not change.
Helcim is quite affordable. Their interchange prices are a bit lower. Your business can enjoy some monthly discounts if you manage to have transactions exceeding $25000. Their monthly fees are inclusive of PCI compliance, processing fees, as well as other services you enjoy.
Again, you can easily cancel your contracts with them since they offer month to month contracts.
They offer 24/7 email and phone customer care
3. Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship is among the best card processors with flexible terms. You can switch to your most favorable conditions according to the position of your business. Flexible terms mean that you don’t get locked into a contract.
The company has a month to month contracts, thus being flexible to customers. There are no contract termination fees at all. Flagship interchange pricing is very convenient for small businesses. Interchange pricing ensures transparency to the customers, thus increasing their confidence with the company.
Flagship Merchant services are very affordable. Even when you want to send money with checking account number, the charges are very friendly. They allow for negotiations of payment based on the volume of sales done. If you are operating both online sales and physical sales point, the payments get channeled into a single account.
Their customer care is 24/7. You can either choose email or phone.
3. Square credit card processors
Square credit card processors require you to use mobile credit card readers. The use of mobile card readers allows zero monthly deductions. Again, the company doesn’t have monthly fees. You will only incur processing fees.
They have simple and transparent fees. Their mobile credit card readers are easy to use. They charge a flat-rate processing fee for all types of business and card types. But the costs vary depending on whether you used the square software or card readers. They have no monthly fees.
Moreover, you don’t get tied into lengthy contracts. They are very flexible. Payments are normally instant.
No monthly payments or hidden fees. They offer their customers the required processing materials that include a credit card reader, square terminal, and square register.
They have all-time customer support. You can get them on their toes even at midnight.
4. PayPal Credit Card Processor
Paypal credit card processor is ideal for small businesses. They accept both debit and credit card payments. A company with monthly transactions of $2500 or less should consider PayPal.
They support pay as you go terms for credit card payments. It means that you can stop your business and resume later with them without any penalties. Additionally, their prices are transparent. You will not get charged set up fees. PayPal does not charge monthly payments as well. Moreover, you can quit their services anytime as they don’t require you to sign long term contracts. Registration with PayPal takes a few minutes to get completed.
PayPal is affordable for small businesses. They don’t have PCI compliance and monthly fees.
PayPal has a dedicated customer care team available 24/7 through phone and email.
5. Stripe online payment processor
Stripe is an ideal online card processor for online shops. Their software has the necessary tools to integrate with online carts for efficient processing of transactions.
Stripe offers a secure sign up for an account. First payments may take several days. Mostly, they take ten days. The amounts afterward reflect on your account between 2-7 days.
Stripe is very affordable to small businesses.
Most of these card processors can also be used to process personal loans for students with no income. Students can repay their loans by use of their credit cards.
Having seen different card processors and their applicable fees, you can now decide the best for your business. Check their terms and conditions carefully to make sure you don’t accept what you can’t fulfill. It is good to go with transparency. Choose the best company with transparent fees. Any company with hidden ones, just ignore it. I hope this article helps you through your business journey.