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Best payment processors

Top notch processors for businesses large and small.

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Customer making a payment

Finding the right payment processor for your business can be a challenge, regardless of its size or which industry you’re in. We break down the best providers for a range of business types to help you narrow down your options.

9 best payment processors

Best for small businesses: Payment Depot

Payment Depot is one of the big names in merchant services for good reason. This California-based provider sets itself apart with transparent, membership-based pricing and monthly billing. The icing on the cake? It gets excellent reviews across the board. It earns an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and a superb TrustScore of 4.7 out of 5 based on 351 reviews.

While Payment Depot is a viable option for both large and small businesses, it’s exceptionally well suited to businesses processing between $10,000 to $25,000 monthly. Smaller businesses can take advantage of wholesale rates, won’t be saddled with a lengthy contract and have the option to upgrade their service as their business grows.

Payment Depot offers an attractive balance of fair rates, practical services and good business practices — a solid, well-rounded option for small- to mid-sized businesses.

Best for large businesses: Fattmerchant

Like Payment Depot, Fattmerchant also offers markup-free rates — rare in the industry, and one of the reasons Fattmerchant makes the cut. But we also like Fattmerchant for its next-day funding, robust full-service merchant account and 24/7 support by phone and email.

You won’t encounter PCI-compliance, batch or statement fees with this provider. Fattmerchant’s monthly fee takes care of that. Large businesses pay $199 a month along with per-transaction fees — that’s it.

If your business has over 100 employees or processes over $500,000 annually, consider Fattmerchant. For enterprises processing over $5 million annually, Fattmerchant offers custom packages and rates.

Best all-in-one business provider: Chase Merchant Services

There’s a lot of setup involved in processing customer transactions and it’s nearly impossible to get the job done with a single provider. In fact, most businesses rely on two or three providers to cover all their processing needs.

Chase Merchant Services offers everything a business needs to process payments — and we do mean everything. From dedicated payment processing to a range of business checking accounts, Chase Merchant Services handles it.

Best for seasonal merchants: Square

Businesses that contend with off-seasons need a processor as flexible as they are. And the last thing a seasonal merchant wants to worry about is being locked into a contract or getting gouged on monthly fees for a service they don’t use when business is slow.

Luckily, Square’s in-person and online payment processing has no setup fees, no monthly fees and no monthly minimums for off-peak months. Businesses that don’t require year-round processing and prefer a pay-as-you-go processor should consider Square.

Best for restaurants: Toast

Restaurateurs not only need the right payment processor, they also need the right point-of-sale (POS) hardware. And that’s where a provider like Toast really shines.

Boston-based Toast offers POS systems for restaurants with integrated payment processing: a one-stop-shop for all you need to get service up and running. But, you’ll need to sign a one-year contract to access the service, so make sure Toast’s niche offerings are for you.

From quick-service establishments to upscale eateries, Toast has something to offer those in the restaurant business.

Best for micro merchants: PayPal Here

Micro merchants find plenty to celebrate with online payments giant, PayPal. And that’s because, despite PayPal’s massive customer base of 267 million account holders, it offers one of the most affordable pricing models for low volume merchants.

PayPal reaches beyond online transactions to offer in-person processing with its PayPal Here card reader and app, supporting credit, debit and contactless mobile payments on the go. PayPal also integrates into most online stores, is quick to set up and offers flat-rate fixed processing fees. For these reasons, PayPal is a solid choice for micro merchants processing less than $5,000 monthly.

Best for e-commerce businesses: Stripe

Stripe’s repertoire of big-name customers like Amazon, Kickstarter, Wish and DoorDash make it attractive for online businesses. But this processor isn’t just for e-commerce heavyweights.

While you get all the advantages of a well-established processor, including 24/7 tech support, and comprehensive API client libraries, this cloud-based processor’s transparent rates include the cost of service so you don’t have to pay a monthly fee.

Not sure you can wield Stripe’s developer-focused toolset? Stripe’s startup launching platform, Atlas, can help you build your company from the ground up for a one-time fee of $500.

Best for high-risk merchants: Payline Data

High-risk merchants operate in industries that experience frequent chargebacks, like travel agencies, adult products, online tech support, online gaming and credit repair. If you operate in one of these fields, you know first hand that finding a payment processor willing to take you on can be a challenge. Payline Data is a processor that specializes in high-risk merchants.

But Payline Data didn’t make the cut just for accepting high-risk merchants. We choose Payline because it also offers a solid lineup of practical features, including numerous payment gateway integrations, a chargeback prevention platform and flexible API tools.

Best for nonprofits: CDG Commerce

Not many processors offer unique options for nonprofits. And even fewer offer nonprofit-specific rates. Sure, you could saddle up with a standard processor — but you don’t run a standard business.

CDG Commerce offers features designed to help your nonprofit blossom, including discounted rates, dedicated donation pages and no required contracts.

How we picked these payment processors.

We considered a handful of key factors that separate the best payment processors from the rest. We looked at rates, account fees, services offered, customer reviews and perhaps most important of all — transparency.

Transparency matters in the merchant services industry because many providers don’t disclose their rates or disguise contracts and hefty termination fees with misleading marketing lingo. While we considered many aspects of the processors, providers with reputations for transparency were given preference.

Customer reviews and reputation

CompanyBBB ratingTrustpilot ratingMost common praiseMost common complaint
Payment DepotA+

★★★★★

Outstanding customer serviceOccasional chargebacks
FattmerchantA-

★★★★★

Speedy processing and competitive ratesSteep monthly account fees
PayPalAN/A Easy account setupDisappointing customer support
StripeA+

★★★★★

Knowledgeable and efficient tech supportAccount holds for high-risk businesses
ToastB

★★★★★

User-friendly POS systemsBuggy online ordering
Chase Merchant ServicesA+N/A Competitive ratesLong customer service wait times
SquareF

★★★★★

Easy to useTransaction holds
Payline DataA+N/AFast onboardingDelays in account closure process
CDG CommerceA+N/APrompt customer serviceTransaction holds

Bottom line

Choosing a payment processor is a big undertaking. Don’t see a processor that meets your needs? Explore your processing options with multiple providers to find the service for your business.

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