National Processing Review 2023: Fees, Features and Alternatives

This payment processor offers competitive rates and works with high-risk businesses, but requires long-term contracts.
Whitney Vandiver
By Whitney Vandiver 
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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3.5

NerdWallet rating 

What is National Processing?

National Processing is a payment processor with competitive rates, useful integrations and compatibility with several card readers. It works with high-risk merchants. Its long-term contracts make it a so-so choice overall, but it’s a competitive option for businesses in high-risk industries.

National Processing

National Processing
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on National Processing's website

Deciding factors

Processing rates

  • Restaurant: interchange plus 0.14% and 7 cents per transaction.

  • Retail: interchange plus 0.18% and 10 cents per transaction.

  • E-commerce: interchange plus 0.29% and 15 cents per transaction.

  • Subscription: interchange plus 9 cents per transaction.

  • Subscription Plus: interchange plus 5 cents per transaction.

Monthly fees

  • $9.95 for restaurant, retail and e-commerce.

  • $15 for ACH processing.

  • $39.95 for cash discounting.

  • $59 for Subscription or $199 for Subscription Plus plan.

Hardware cost

Undisclosed; you have to call to get a quote. National Processing sells card readers and bundles of POS hardware from third-party manufacturers, including hardware from Clover.

Accepted payment methods

Cash, credit and debit cards, digital wallets and ACH transfers.

Contract length

Two to three years; early termination fee runs $495 to $595 (with some exceptions).

Customer support

Technical support is available 24/7. Other customer support services are available Monday through Friday by phone, chat, online tickets and SMS.

National Processing’s payment processing fees are only guaranteed for merchants that process at least $10,000 in sales a month.

National Processing features

Plans

Customers choose a plan based on either their type of business or the types of payments they want to accept. Because each plan’s features are already determined, there’s no room for customization.

National Processing has plans for the following types of businesses:

  • Restaurant.

  • Retail.

  • E-commerce.

  • Nonprofit organizations.

  • Subscriptions.

The company also offers plans that specialize in types of payments. These include:

The Cash Discount plan lets you charge customers who pay with credit cards the payment processing fee for their transactions. This means you won’t pay an extra fee for running those transactions, and you can charge cash-paying customers a lower price.

The ACH Processing plan is for transferring funds between banks; it does not include credit card processing capabilities.

Plans cannot be combined, so you’ll need to determine which type of payment processing works best before choosing a plan.

All plans except the ACH Processing plan include a free mobile card reader and allow you to have your existing equipment reprogrammed to work with the National Processing system. Other plan features include free gateway setup, free PIN pad, a virtual terminal and recurring transaction options.

Point-of-sale system

National Processing has its own point-of-sale, or POS, system that includes an impressive set of features, including:

  • Real-time reporting.

  • Loyalty program.

  • Gift card processing.

  • Inventory management with alerts.

  • Staff management.

  • Employee time tracking.

The POS system also includes features that are specific to certain industries. For restaurants, users can split payments, provide estimates and invoices, and assign tables. By-appointment businesses can let customers schedule appointments, sort appointments by employee and categorize appointments by resource, such as by table or bowling lane.

Credit card readers

One of the cool features of National Processing is that it lets you purchase a Clover, Dejavoo or SwipeSimple credit card reader with your account or use one you already have.

The company can also reprogram some existing card readers, which means you might be able to keep your favorite model if you switch to National Processing.

National Processing also sells accessories to build out your hardware setup, offering a thermal printer and cash drawer as part of its startup bundle.

Virtual terminal

Every National Processing plan comes with the SwipeSimple virtual terminal, which allows you to enter credit cards manually for over-the-phone orders or times when you don’t have a credit card reader handy. The virtual terminal includes features similar to those offered by other POS systems, including the ability to store customer information, track customer purchase histories and identify bestselling products.

Payment gateways

National Processing has its own processing gateway for online transactions. This allows you to connect your shopping cart with a POS system or virtual terminal to sell your products through your website.

You can also use Authorize.net as your payment gateway. If you already have an account, you can work with Authorize.net to reprogram the gateway to work with National Processing as your processor.

National Processing

National Processing
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on National Processing's website

National Processing pros

Works with high-risk merchants

National Processing works with multiple banks with high risk tolerance, allowing them to provide services to merchants in high-risk industries. The company also provides several ways for high-risk businesses to mitigate their risks, including fraud and chargeback management tools. These tools can make it easier to avoid potential losses and maintain a good processing track record.

Offers popular integrations

National Processing offers several good integrations for accounting, online selling and shopping carts. Available integrations include:

These integrations can save you time, make your checkout more streamlined and reduce accounting errors.

National Processing cons

Fees add up

All plans require customers to pay a monthly fee in addition to transaction fees.

Contract required

National Processing requires a two- or three-year contract, and it charges an early termination fee (with a few exceptions).

National Processing alternatives

Square: No long-term contracts

Payment processing fees:

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).

  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file.

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.

Why we like it: Although it’s not an option for high-risk merchants, Square offers month-to-month plans with no long-term contracts. There's no monthly fee, but processing rates are higher than National Processing’s rates. Square also provides payment gateway services. And its POS comes with features that include inventory management, reporting and management of different store locations.

Square
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on Square's website

PaymentCloud: More features for high-risk businesses

Payment processing fees: Undisclosed/quote only.

Why we like it: For high-risk businesses, PaymentCloud is a strong option.It also offers several shopping cart integrations, along with high-risk business tools such as chargeback protection and fraud prevention.

PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud
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on PaymentCloud's website