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6 Cheapest Payment Gateways of July 2024

Accepting payments online with these low-cost payment gateways can save you money.
By Kurt Woock, Karrin Sehmbi, Hillary Crawford
Last updated on January 5, 2024
Edited byChristine Aebischer
Fact checked and reviewed

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Payment gateways are a must, especially for businesses that sell online, but you’ll want to understand the total cost associated with them before committing to one. To find the cheapest payment gateway, look for competitive processing fees and low-cost (or even free) monthly software plans. And try to avoid products that charge additional fees for things like setup.
Many companies offer payment gateways and payment processing services in tandem — payment gateways let customers securely enter their card information online, whereas payment processors move that information to and from financial institutions. Consider the overall product’s pricing structure and your business’s monthly sales volume to find the best option.
Here are some of the cheapest payment gateways for your small business.

Cheapest Payment Gateways

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Estimates assume an average interchange fee of 1.81% + $0.10, based on our latest available data. Estimates provided reflect online and in-person transactions, but exclude any keyed transactions. Estimates are based on the lowest monthly plan and processing fees for each provider.

Product
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Payment processing fees
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Helcim

Learn more

on Helcim's secure website

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
5.0/5

Best for Transparent interchange-plus pricing

In-person: 0.4% + $0.08

Online: 0.5% + $0.25

Plus interchange

$0.00

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
Learn more

on Helcim's secure website

Stripe

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

5.0/5

Best for Customized checkout pages

In-person: 2.7% + $0.05

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Square

Learn more

on Square's secure website

5.0/5

Best for All-in-one payments solution

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

Starts at $0/month for unlimited devices and locations.

Learn more

on Square's secure website

Chase Payment Solutions℠

Learn more

on Chase Payment Solutions℠'s secure website

4.5/5

Best for Quick payouts

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.25

$0.00

Monthly fee in some instances.

Learn more

on Chase Payment Solutions℠'s secure website

Stax by Fattmerchant

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on Stax by Fattmerchant's secure website

4.0/5

Best for High sales volumes

In-person: 0% + $0.08

Online: 0% + $0.15

Plus interchange

$99.00

and up.

Learn more

on Stax by Fattmerchant's secure website

Adyen

4.0/5

Best for Payment gateway for larger businesses

0.6% + $0.13

Plus interchange for Visa and Mastercard; 3.3% + $0.23 for AmEx.

$0.00

Our pick for

Transparent interchange-plus pricing

Learn more

on Helcim's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our pick for

Customized checkout pages

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our pick for

All-in-one payments solution

Learn more

on Square's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

Starts at $0/month for unlimited devices and locations.

Our pick for

Quick payouts

Chase Payment Solutions℠

Learn more

on Chase Payment Solutions℠'s secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

Monthly fee in some instances.

Our pick for

High sales volumes

Stax by Fattmerchant

Learn more

on Stax by Fattmerchant's secure website

Monthly fee
$99.00

and up.

Our pick for

Payment gateway for larger businesses

Payment processing fees
0.6% + $0.13

Plus interchange for Visa and Mastercard; 3.3% + $0.23 for AmEx.

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our picks for cheapest payment gateways

Adyen: Best payment gateway for larger businesses

Why we like it: Adyen's slim margin on top of standard bank and card network fees is among the lowest we've seen. However, there are monthly transaction volume minimums, and you'll need to contact Adyen to see if you qualify. Read NerdWallet's complete Adyen review.

Helcim: Best for transparent interchange-plus pricing

Why we like it: Helcim offers low interchange rates, and its website shows exactly what you'll pay for any card a customer uses. Helcim’s Online Checkout feature helps merchants set up an e-commerce store and accept payments online. It also includes other capabilities, like inventory management, reporting, customer logins and shipping options. Read NerdWallet's complete Helcim review.

Stripe: Best for customized checkout pages

Why we like it: Stripe combines payment processing and customizable payment gateway tools into a single service. It’s an especially good choice for business owners who want to tailor their online payments platform to match the rest of their site’s branding (and have the coding experience to do so).  Read NerdWallet's complete Stripe Payments review

Stax: Best for high sales volumes

Why we like it: Stax's rate doesn't add a percentage margin to the interchange rate — it adds only a fee of either 8 cents for in-person transactions or 15 cents for manually keyed transactions. However, there's a monthly fee that can be hefty for some. On the other hand, it could be cost-effective if you're spreading it across a high sales volume. Read NerdWallet's complete Stax review.

Chase Payment Solutions: Best for quick payouts

Why we like it: This payment gateway combines Chase and Authorize.net services. It's a nickel cheaper per transaction compared with working directly with Authorize.net. In addition, if you use a Chase business checking account, you'll get your money the next day — faster than the industry standard of two business days. Read NerdWallet's complete Chase Payment Solutions review.

Square: Best all-in-one payments solution

Why we like it: Square’s free POS software plans and competitive processing rates make it an ideal choice for business owners prioritizing convenience and affordability. While it’s a good choice for retail stores and restaurants alike, freelancers and very small businesses with a smaller online presence can also benefit from its range of free features. Read NerdWallet’s full Square POS review.

How much are payment gateway fees?

Payment gateways are typically bundled with payment processing services and usually involve a monthly subscription fee and a per-transaction fee. Subscription fees can cost anywhere from $0 to $99 or more each month. Per-transaction fees can be flat-rate or interchange-plus.
Under a flat-rate pricing model, you’ll typically pay a percentage of the total transaction cost plus a fixed amount. For example, with a fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per online transaction, you'd pay $3.20 to process a customer's $100 online order.
Other companies use an interchange-plus pricing structure. This model is more complicated, as prices vary based on so-called interchange fees that depend on factors like card and transaction type. A fee under this model may look like the interchange cost plus a markup — for instance, interchange plus 25 cents. That means, for a $100 transaction, you could pay $1.45 (if the interchange fee was 1.15% + 5 cents), $3.50 (3.15% + 10 cents) or an entirely different amount.
Interchange-plus pricing is more transparent because you can see where processors are charging markups. It may also be cheaper for your business depending on your underlying transactions, but you’ll have to do some math to be sure.

What is the cheapest payment gateway?

The cheapest payment gateway for your business will depend on the product’s pricing type (flat rate or interchange-plus) and your business’s monthly sales volume, among other factors. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option.
Here are some additional tips to help you track down the right solution:

Know what type of service you need

Not all payment gateways work the same way. Some will redirect customers away from your site to the gateway's site for payment, which can negatively affect completion rates. Others have pre-built payment gateways you can embed directly on your website. White-label gateways allow you to build a custom checkout experience on your site, which can be a good addition but one that requires technical skills.
It's important to confirm that the gateway will work the way you expect and have a price tag you're comfortable with.

Look for transparency

It's easiest to compare prices when they're published. A company that uses custom pricing or requires you to call for a quote might have a reasonable price, but it takes more time to compare. Aside from monthly and processing fees, look for other fees that could impact your costs.

Avoid those extra fees (most of the time)

There's no getting around paying a per-transaction fee. But most businesses can avoid companies that charge additional fees, like fees for setup or PCI compliance, a process that keeps card data secure.
However, not all fees should be avoided equally. Before you rule out every payment gateway that charges a monthly fee for service, consider the total costs. Companies with monthly fees sometimes offer great per-transaction fees. Depending on your sales information, you might come out ahead, even after paying a monthly fee. The only way to know for sure is to run your numbers. Use this calculator to estimate your costs:
Last updated on January 5, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings of payment processing providers rewards companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including overall cost, hardware and software options, system capabilities, customer service, contract requirements and integrations. Learn more about how we rate payment processing providers.
These ratings are a guide, but fees, hardware, software and contract requirements can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
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