E-commerce companies, SaaS companies, "high-risk businesses", & established small/medium businesses ($500,000+ in annual sales)
Easy Pay Direct has unique gateway software and banking solutions to optimize payments for eCommerce, SaaS, information products, supplements, and CBD amongst other verticals.
Setup Fee: $99
Monthly Fee: $24.95
Swipe Rate: 1.59% + $0.17
Keyed-in Rate: 2.39% + $0.29
Early Termination Fee: $0 (domestic accounts)
Online, retail, service industries
Setup Fee: $0
Monthly Fee: $20
Swipe Rate: Variable
Keyed-in Rate: Variable
Early Termination Fee: $0
Merchants with standard-risk businesses who are in need of payment processing services or ATMs.
Cornerstone Merchant Services specializes in working with merchants who are standard-risk. This company has received accolades from the Florida Family Policy Council for not doing business with objectionable companies.
Setup Fee: Unknown
Monthly Fee: Unknown
Swipe Rate: Unknown
Keyed-in Rate: Unknown
Early Termination Fee: Unknown
Setup Fee: None
Monthly Fee: None
Swipe Rate: Unknown
Keyed-in Rate: Unknown
Early Termination Fee: Unknown
Merchants searching for POS systems and software that are easy to use and that offer subscription billing and payment capabilities.
Mynt specializes in providing POS systems and its own proprietary software to merchants of varying risk levels who want to process payments and bill for subscriptions or memberships. This provider particularly specializes in offering the Mynt Enterprise solution for restaurants.
Setup Fee: N/A
Monthly Fee: $69 for software costs
Swipe Rate: 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate: 1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee: 50% of Remaining POS Subscription
Simply put, ecommerce payment processing is a way for merchants (aka business owners) to accept payments when customers make purchases on their websites.
Technology has made it possible for ecommerce merchants to have a lot of options available to them for accepting payments from their customers.
The best processors offer customized solutions to their merchant customers that will meet their unique needs.
It all begins with setting up a merchant account. This is a special kind of bank account that is offered through an acquiring bank.
The function of the merchant account is to serve as a type of “holding tank” for customer payments. When a customer’s payment is approved, money is transferred from the customer’s account to the merchant account.
Once transaction fees and any other fees have been removed from the funds in the merchant account, money is then transferred over to a business bank account, where it is accessible.
A merchant services provider is a company that offers both merchant accounts and payment processing services.
Some companies only specialize in one or the other, and it is not uncommon for some merchant account providers to partner with payment processors.
A lot of business owners prefer to work with merchant services providers to get all of the services they need from one company.
As an ecommerce business, you have many options for processing your payments online.
You may choose one of the following, or even mix and match if, for example, you have a business that sells online as well as through a mobile app.
A payment gateway is similar to a POS system or credit card terminal. It works by entering credit card information into a terminal, or manually keying it into a shopping cart or hosted payment form.
From there, the credit card information is encrypted and forwarded to the payment processor, where it enters the network and the payment is either approved or declined.
Virtual terminals can be used to accept many payment types, including credit cards, debit cards, ACH, and electronic checks.
Accessing a virtual terminal involves using a computer, tablet, or another device with an internet or data connection. The merchant simply logs in to their online account and enters payment information into a form for processing.
Shopping cart integration is one of the more popular options among ecommerce merchants, and for good reason.
Using your payment processor’s API, you can easily integrate your shopping cart with their services to begin accepting payments from your customers.
One of the benefits of shopping cart integration is that it can be completed quickly, and merchants can be up and running in very little time.
Mobile payment processing is another option that is available to ecommerce merchants. This method can involve using a mobile credit card reader to capture customers’ payment information.
Alternatively, many companies also offer the ability to process payments by app by integrating with the app’s shopping cart.
A lot of ecommerce business owners opt to use a payment aggregator over a merchant services provider.
First, what is a payment aggregator?
It’s a company like PayPal, Stripe, and Square that offers payment processing services. But they do so in a different way than merchant services providers.
These companies use one master merchant account for everyone who does business with them. Money paid by customers goes into that merchant account, fees are removed, and the money is sent to the merchant.
The problem is that because there is only one merchant account, that increases the risk for the payment aggregator. If something happens - like a merchant gets too many chargebacks - that can cause problems for the processor.
It’s not uncommon for some merchants to have their funds frozen or their accounts closed because of issues with payment aggregators. Even one instance of fraud could ultimately result in the merchant losing access to their funds for several months until the situation is resolved.
Choosing to work with a merchant services provider yields different results - even in response to fraud and chargebacks.
When you work with a merchant services provider, they will set you up with your own, dedicated merchant account, and sometimes even more than one, if they feel it necessary. That helps to ensure that if you run into issues, you don’t lose access to all your money.
Your business carries less risk in that model than with a payment aggregator whose master merchant account services multiple businesses.
Now that you know the basics about ecommerce payment processing, it’s time to choose one.
But don’t act too quickly. As demonstrated by the list above, you have a lot of options. It helps to know what you should be considering before you make your choice.
The more ways you give your customers to pay, the more likely it is that they’ll make it all the way through the checkout process.
That’s exactly what you want.
Now here’s the reality - there are a lot of ways to pay for the things we buy. Credit and debit cards are just scratching the surface.
Here are some other options you might want to consider adding:
Some processors may even be able to help your customers set up “buy now, pay later” for their payments.
In short, the more payment options you can offer your customers, the better.
When you make a decision on a credit card processor, you’ll discuss what’s in your contract. You’ll want to find out as much information as you can, and ask questions like:
You’ll want to avoid getting into a long-term contract that carries a hefty early termination fee.
That type of contract could be very costly for you in the long run if you decide that this ecommerce payment processing company is not for you.
Ask as many questions as you can think of. The more you ask, the better informed you’ll be, and that will help you ultimately make your decision.
The deeper you dive into the world of online credit card payments, the more you learn about some of the incredible features that are at your disposal.
You’ll want to spend some time thinking about the features that you’ll need, but here are some ideas about what’s out there:
It’s also important to note that if your business is going to grow, you may want to be able to add more features later. Choose a processor that can handle that request.
Now that you have a more basic idea of what you’re looking for in an ecommerce credit card processing company, it’s time to choose one.
We’ve gone to the liberty of offering you some advice regarding our favorites, but we also have some pro tips for you too.
No two ecommerce payment processors are the same, so there are a couple of things for you to keep in mind as you shop around.
Whenever you process payments through a processor, there are going to be fees attached. It’s important to know what the industry standards are, and it helps to know what certain words mean too.
The interchange rate is the amount that the credit card company receives every time a customer pays with a credit card. Each network sets its own rates, and they change twice a year (April and October).
Your merchant account provider may set a fee that allows you to use your account when you start accepting payments. You may also see monthly maintenance fees, annual fees, or chargeback fees (for charges that customers dispute).
If your customer has their card, it is a card-present transaction that has a lower risk for fraud. The opposite is true if they do not have their card.
There are different transaction rates assigned to these two types of purchases.
If you have a merchant account provider that offers an interchange-plus pricing model, that means that you will pay the cost of interchange plus an additional amount that the merchant account provider requires for that particular transaction.
For example, if a customer pays with a Visa card, and they have their card in their hand, you may be charged 2.7% (interchange) + $0.20. This is actually the most transparent pricing option.
Flat-rate pricing charges the same amount to each customer across the board. They can be a percentage, or a percentage plus an additional amount.
This option is often chosen by newer ecommerce businesses that don’t process as much volume, so once these merchants grow, they may want to negotiate to get better rates.
With tiered rate pricing, each transaction falls into a different category - qualified, mid-qualified, or non-qualified.
This method is not as transparent because the merchant might not know which category a transaction falls into, and there are few customers who make it into the qualified category.
Once transaction fees are removed, your funds are deposited into your business bank account. This is where you have access to them.
The question is, how long does it take for that to occur?
Some processors promise daily deposits with a 24-hour turnaround. Others - especially if your business is considered to be high-risk - might take up to a week to deposit your money.
Find out this information before you sign any contracts so you’ll know what to expect.
What does the credit card processing company offer for fraud protection? Is there a chargeback prevention program?
Fraud is a real problem in the payment processing world, and the last thing you need is for something to go wrong and then you lose the ability to process payments.
Any company you choose to work with should have a solid fraud prevention plan in place. You may have to pay a monthly or annual fee for PCI compliance, but you can do so knowing that your risk of fraud is significantly decreased.
You’ll want to make sure the processor you choose has adequate customer service and tech support.
There will be issues. You may run into a problem with processing a customer’s payment, or maybe an app stops working. You’ll want to know that the company you’re working with will answer you quickly so you don’t lose sales.