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8 Best Merchant Services of November 2022

These merchant services are at the top of our list based on overall cost, terms, customer support and integrations.
Last updated on August 17, 2022

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Merchant services allow a business to accept credit and debit card transactions by transmitting the customer information to the card network and issuing bank and giving businesses access to the payments received.
The companies that offer merchant services vary in the related products and services they offer, and in their pricing models (flat rate, interchange-plus, membership). Here’s our list of the best merchant services and what sets them apart.

Our pick for

Best overall option

Helcim

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on Helcim's secure website

Payment processing fees

0.30% + 8¢

plus interchange, in-person; 0.50% + 25¢ plus interchange, online.

Monthly fee

$0

Helcim’s transparent pricing, lack of monthly fees and volume discounts are what pushes it to the top of the list. And without a contract or cancellation fees, there’s no penalty to close your account.

Our pick for

Best flat-rate option

Square POS

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on Square POS's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0

Free plan; $29 and up Plus plan.

Square is our top pick for flat-rate pricing with no monthly fees, low transaction rates and free virtual terminal.

Our pick for

Best for e-commerce

Dharma Merchant Services

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Payment processing fees

0.15% + 8¢

plus interchange in-person; 0.20% + 11¢ plus interchange online.

Monthly fee

$25

Dharma specializes in helping e-commerce businesses and has one of the lowest rates for card-not-present transactions.

Our pick for

Best flat rate for online sales

Stripe

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on Stripe's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.7% + 5¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0

Stripe is best for online sales because it supports processing payments in multiple currencies, allowing customers to charge in their native currency and businesses to receive funds in theirs.

Our pick for

Best for large transaction amounts

Payment Depot

Read Review
Shop now

on Payment Depot's secure website

Payment processing fees

$0

plus interchange (no markup).

Monthly fee

$59

and up

Payment Depot offers membership plans that give businesses access to wholesale interchange rates at a set monthly fee.

Our pick for

Best for high-risk businesses

PaymentCloud

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on PaymentCloud's secure website

Payment processing fees

Not disclosed

You have to call to get a quote.

Monthly fee

$10

and up

PaymentCloud specializes in services for high risk industries, although they also offer services to low and medium risk businesses.

Our pick for

Best for customized rates

National Processing

3.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on National Processing's secure website

Payment processing fees

0%-1.5% + 0¢-48¢

plus interchange; varies by business and transaction type.

Monthly fee

$10

and up

National Processing customizes its fees based on industry and risk. For example, the rate a restaurant pays is less than that of a retail organization.

Our pick for

Best for QuickBooks loyalists

QuickBooks Payments

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Learn more

on NerdWallet's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.4% + 25¢

in-person; 2.9% + 25¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0

QuickBooks subscription required.

For loyal QuickBooks users, QuickBooks Payments can process online, in-person and invoiced transactions.

Helcim: Best overall option

Payment processing:
  • Interchange plus 0.3% and 8 cents per in-person transaction (if <$25,000 in monthly card transactions).
  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per online transaction (if <$25,000 in monthly card transactions).
  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per manually keyed transaction (if <$25,000 in monthly card transactions).
  • 0.5% plus 25 cents for ACH payments.
Software: Free. Hardware: Card reader is $109. Stands, printers and other equipment available through Helcim Shop.
It's easy to sign up for a Helcim account online by providing some basic information. Funds from your transactions are deposited within one to two business days. Customer support is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time and on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time. You can sync data with both QuickBooks Desktop and Online. Other integrations include WooCommerce, Magento and Zone 4.

Square: Best flat-rate option

Payment processing:
  • 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 (2.6% plus 30 cents with Premium plan).
  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.
Software: Free option. Hardware: Free card reader. A terminal costs $299 or $27 per month for 12 months and a register costs $799 or $39 a month for 24 months.
Square can accommodate all types of credit card transactions. You receive your funds as fast as the next business day for free, or you can pay a fee to receive funds instantly. Square offers free dispute management for chargebacks and doesn’t charge processing fees for customer refunds. Free phone support is available during the week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time. Square integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, Stitch Labs and other popular apps.

Dharma Merchant Services: Best for e-commerce.

Payment processing:
  • Interchange plus 0.15% + 8 cents for in-person transactions.
  • Interchange plus 0.20% + 11 cents for online transactions.
  • Interchange plus 0.25% + 8 cents for in-person Amex transactions.
  • Interchange plus; 0.30% + 11 cents for online Amex transactions.
Software: $25 monthly fee. Hardware: Terminals start at $295 and a Clover Mini standalone device can be purchased for $899.
With Dharma Merchant Services, businesses with monthly card sales over $100,000 or more than 5,000 transactions may qualify for volume discounts, as well as restaurants with average ticket amounts of less than $25. Funding is guaranteed in two business days. Customer support to process your card transactions is available 24 hours a day. You can export data into an Excel file to import into QuickBooks.

Stripe: Best flat rate for online sales

Payment processing:
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 2.7% plus 5 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 3.4% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions (starting 11/10/22).
  • 3.9% plus 30 cents for international cards or currency conversion.
Software: Free option. Hardware: Card readers cost $59 and up. A POS register is $249.
With Stripe, payments are typically processed in two business days. Stripe integrates with a large number of apps and automatically syncs with QuickBooks and NetSuite. You can use the developer tools in Stripe Terminal and pre-certified card readers to build your own in-person checkout system.

Payment Depot: Best for large transaction amounts

Payment processing: Interchange rate per transaction. Software: Membership pricing plans with monthly fees of $59, $79 or $99 per month that are based on your annual processing. Hardware: Free and up. Terminals and POS systems from Clover, SwipeSimple, First Data and other brands available for purchase.
Payment Depot is an independent sales organization that handles merchant accounts for Wells Fargo Bank. Automatic deposit of funds within one to two days. Support is available 24/7 through the bank. Payment Depot integrates with Shopify, OpenCart, QuickBooks, PrestaShop, Shift4Shop, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, Zen Cart, Revel, NCR and Authorize.net.

PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk businesses

Payment processing: Rates determined on a case-by-case basis. Software: $10 and up monthly. Hardware: A card reader and terminal included with the account. Mobile POS systems, terminals, POS registers, and other devices can be purchased.
PaymentCloud's payment processing is available for in-person, online, mobile, keyed and cryptocurrency transactions. It has multiple banking relationships that can be used to secure a merchant account for high-risk businesses. The platform integrates with QuickBooks and most shopping carts including BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.

National Processing: Best for customized rates

Payment processing: In addition to the interchange rate, fees based on business type are charged. For example, 0.14% plus 7 cents per transaction for restaurants, 0.18% plus 10 cents per transaction for retail businesses and 0.29% plus 15 cents per transaction for e-commerce business are applied. Software: $9.95 per month or more based on industry. Hardware: A mobile reader is included with most plans at no additional cost. Based on the plan you select, a terminal and PIN pad may also be included. A large number of POS devices are available including Clover hardware.
National Processing offers processing services for some high-risk businesses. You can expect to receive your funds in two days with an opportunity for next-day deposits. Phone support is available 24/7. Integrations are offered for popular business apps including QuickBooks, WooCommerce, Ecwid, Zendesk, BigCommerce, OpenCart and Shopify.

QuickBooks Payments: Best for QuickBooks loyalists

Payment processing:
  • 2.4% plus 25 cents for in-person payments.
  • 2.9% plus 25 cents for online and invoiced payments.
  • 3.4% plus 25 cents for manually keyed payments.
Software: Free and up. Hardware: A PIN pad costs $389 and a hardware bundle that includes a cash drawer, receipt printer, wired barcode and PIN pad is $900. Additional devices available.
You’ll need a QuickBooks Online account to use QuickBooks Payments. Funds are typically deposited the next business day when the cutoff time of 3 p.m. Pacific time is met. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time. QuickBooks Payments integrates with Shopify, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, Walmart and Etsy shopping carts.
Last updated on August 17, 2022