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Bolt Payments is an online payment and checkout platform for e-commerce retailers, including both small and medium-sized businesses and enterprise businesses. It's designed to increase conversion rates and reduce the number of abandoned carts through its fast, low-friction checkout process. While other good solutions for fast checkouts exist, this product offers solid value to most online businesses.
Bolt Payments deciding factors
Quote-based, based on network-driven transactions. Additional processing fees apply if merchants use Bolt as their payment service provider.
Payment processing cost
Quote-based. Merchants can also use their own payment service provider with Bolt.
Good. Varies depending on the program chosen.
Ease of use
Excellent. Intuitive design and useful features.
Good. At the time of writing, 44 different integrations are available, including integrations with payments platforms, alternative payment methods and e-commerce platforms.
How does Bolt Payments work?
Bolt Payments is an all-in-one payment platform for e-commerce retailers. Its integrated technology sets it apart from other checkout solutions, creating an optimized system intended to help smaller online retailers compete with Amazon’s famously streamlined checkout experience.
Bolt offers a payment gateway, payment processor, fraud detection and shopping cart into a single platform. The product eliminates the need for merchants to sign up for separate payment gateways (like Authorize.Net), shopping carts (like Magento) and fraud prevention services (like Signifyd). However, if you prefer to use your own payment gateway, shopping cart or other services, the platform supports 44 different integrations as of the time of writing.
The platform's user-friendly interface makes the checkout experience much easier for customers, too, which reduces abandoned shopping carts and improves conversion.
» MORE: NerdWallet's best POS systems
How much does Bolt cost?
Bolt Payments has quote-based pricing. It bases pricing on several factors, including your sales volume and risk of fraud, then calls you to discuss pricing. Fees are based on network-driven transactions, and additional payment processing fees apply if merchants use Bolt as their payment service provider.
Benefits of Bolt
Bolt reduces your customers’ manual input when they’re checking out by allowing them to save basic information, such as payment and shipping preferences. Because the information is saved on the first checkout for all stores on the Bolt network, future transactions require filling out fewer fields, like billing addresses. Its interface is also optimized for mobile.
The platform also provides a virtual terminal so merchants can accept keyed-in payments in-person or over the phone, without needing external card-reading hardware.
Robust fraud protection
Although Bolt's advanced fraud detection technology is powered by machine learning, its risk team reviews any suspicious activity the technology detects in-person. That sets it apart from many fraud-prevention tools on the market, which are purely algorithmic and often lead to blocking good transactions.
Bolt also provides 100% fraud coverage, meaning that it will handle and cover all fraud-related chargeback costs from credit card companies. Most payment platforms don't offer this coverage. The risk coverage applies to both domestic and international transactions.
Useful merchant dashboard
On Bolt’s centralized dashboard, merchants can track and manage important data about transactions and customer behavior. They can then export that data into analytics reports to keep for their records or use it for accounting purposes. On the dashboard, merchants can review and approve any transactions that the company's risk team flags as fraudulent. They can also contact a customer support representative via live chat, email or phone 24/7.
Drawbacks of Bolt
Most of the customer feedback on Bolt is overwhelmingly positive, but one common complaint from reviewers on Capterra is that reporting could be improved. In particular, reviewers say that the daily settlement reports could be more detailed to help with reconciliation. This is a common complaint with most payment processors, though.
Some reviewers mention that Bolt’s price point is a bit high compared to other options. But for the features offered, including a higher sales conversion rate, the benefits could outweigh the cost.
Alternatives to Bolt
Several major tech companies use Stripe as their payment processor, and for good reason: this platform boasts some of the most robust tools available for fully customizing checkout with a single integration. Merchants can accept virtually every payment type through several methods, including an embeddable checkout on their website or e-commerce store, in person with Stripe Terminal’s physical hardware and via invoicing. The service charges a flat fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for online payments, plus an additional 1% fee for international transactions.
Braintree is another online payment processor to consider if you want a totally customizable checkout experience for your online business. The platform gives merchants the tools they need to virtually accept and process all major credit and debit cards, ACH payments, PayPal, Venmo (in the U.S.), digital wallets and local payment methods in more than 130 currencies from 45 countries. Other features include customizable sales reporting, recurring billing, global payout capabilities and integration with third-party apps.
Billie Anne Grigg, a NerdWallet contributor, added reporting to this story.