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8 Best Online Payment Processing Services of March 2024

These payment processing services open up your business to online customers. Just make sure they integrate with your e-commerce platform.
By Karrin Sehmbi, Hillary Crawford
Last updated on January 2, 2024
Edited byChristine Aebischer
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 11 minutes

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Online payment processing is a must for e-commerce businesses and physical stores with an online presence. The best online payment processing services offer some combination of competitive processing rates, e-commerce integrations and solid customer support. Many of the options bundle payment gateways into their offerings, too, so that customers can securely enter their card information online.
Businesses with a brick-and-mortar location in addition to an online store may consider products that also sell their own payment processing hardware. That way you can be sure that your card readers and POS terminals are compatible with your online payment system.
Here are our top picks for online payment processing services.

Best Online Payment Processing Services

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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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Shopify Payments

Learn more

on Shopify Payments' secure website

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
4.5/5

Best for E-commerce platform integration

In-person: 2.7% + $0.00

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$29.00

Basic plan; $79 Shopify plan; $299 Advanced plan.

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
Learn more

on Shopify Payments' secure website

Square

Learn more

on Square's secure website

5.0/5

Best for Overall online payment processing

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

Stripe

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

5.0/5

Best for API customization

In-person: 2.7% + $0.05

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Clover POS

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for Integrations

In-person: 2.3% + $0.10

Online: 3.5% + $0.10

$14.95

and up.

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

PaymentCloud

Learn more

on PaymentCloud's secure website

4.5/5

Best for High-risk merchants

2.4% + $0.10

to 3.5% + $0.25 on average.

$0.00

to $50.

Learn more

on PaymentCloud's secure website

Amazon Pay

4.5/5

Best for Streamlined checkout

2.9% + $0.30

web and mobile; 4% + 30¢ Alexa transactions.

$0.00

Adyen

4.0/5

Best for Omnichannel commerce

0% + $0.13

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

$0.00

BlueSnap

Best for Splitting payments with other vendors

2.9% + $0.30

Or customized rate for large-volume businesses.

$0.00

Our pick for

E-commerce platform integration

Shopify Payments

Learn more

on Shopify Payments' secure website

Our pick for

Overall online payment processing

Learn more

on Square's secure website

Our pick for

API customization

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Our pick for

Integrations

Clover POS

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

Our pick for

High-risk merchants

PaymentCloud

Learn more

on PaymentCloud's secure website

Our pick for

Streamlined checkout

Amazon Pay

Our pick for

Omnichannel commerce

Our pick for

Splitting payments with other vendors

BlueSnap

Our picks for best online payment processing services

Square: Best for overall online payment processing

Why we like it: Square charges simple, flat-rate processing fees and integrates with several platforms, allowing you to make online sales through multiple channels. For example, with a Mailchimp integration, you can use the email platform to create landing pages for selling items and accepting payments. Read our full Square review.

Stripe: Best for API customization

Why we like it: Stripe makes it easy to customize the payment process to fit your business. With extensive documentation and a system designed for developers, you can tweak Stripe’s interface to give your customers a branded checkout experience within your own application. Read our full Stripe review.

Shopify Payments: Best for e-commerce platform integration

Why we like it: Shopify's setup offers a good foundation for e-commerce businesses. It has competitive transaction fees, 24/7 customer support and the ability to create an online store with strong analytics. Even the free version of its POS requires purchase of one of its monthly e-commerce plans, so it's best suited for businesses already using Shopify. Read our full Shopify Payments review.

Amazon Pay: Best for streamlined checkout

Why we like it: Amazon Pay lets consumers pay small businesses using the payment information saved on their Amazon accounts. This eliminates the need for new customers to enter their payment details, which can speed up the checkout process, and provides payment security associated with the Amazon name. Adding the Amazon Pay button to your website is also relatively easy. Read our full Amazon Pay review.

BlueSnap: Best for splitting payments with other vendors

Why we like it: For businesses that have revenue-sharing contracts with vendors, BlueSnap could be a good option. Instead of having to wait for a payment to hit your bank account and then sending a portion to another vendor for a commission, you can set up the vendor to automatically receive its portion when the payment is received.

Clover: Best for integrations

Why we like it: Clover integrates with e-commerce apps Ecwid and BigCommerce. It also syncs employee information across platforms like Gusto, Paychex and QuickBooks for accounting. Some apps automatically update when you change information in Clover, so you have to change information only once. Read our full Clover review.

Adyen: Best for omnichannel commerce

Why we like it: In addition to solid payment processing options, Adyen also offers an omnichannel commerce tool, Unified Commerce, that can help you combine data from online and offline sources for better data insights. For businesses that also have in-store sales, this is a great feature. Read our full Adyen review.

PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk merchants

Why we like it: PaymentCloud offers services for high-risk merchants that might otherwise struggle to find payment processors. Working with businesses in multiple high-risk industries, such as CBD and supplement distribution, makes the company a competitive option. Read our full PaymentCloud review.

What is online payment processing?

Online payment processing lets you accept payments from customers shopping online. The full process involves a few different phases.
Generally, online payment processing services provide a payment gateway for the customer, which allows them to securely enter their card information online. Then, the gateway authenticates that information. From there, the payment processor oversees the transfer of funds from the customer’s bank (also known as the issuing bank) to the business’s bank account.

How do you process credit card payments online?

Your payment processor will complete a handful of behind-the-scenes steps to let you accept credit card payments online. Your role in the process is to subscribe to a processing service and sync it with your website. Here’s how:
  • Compare payment processing services. Look for services that integrate with your business’s e-commerce platform — some platforms, like Square and Shopify, offer their own in-house payment processing services. 
  • Calculate payment processing fees. Per-transaction fees for online purchases can be more expensive than the per-transaction fees for in-person sales, so make sure to factor that into your budget. To figure out how much payment processing may cost you, try out NerdWallet’s credit card processing fees calculator
  • Integrate the payment processing service. Follow the instructions from your e-commerce platform and payment processor (if they're different) to sync the two products and begin accepting payments.
  • Make your payments on time. Depending on the service you choose, you may have to pay a monthly subscription fee — and you should definitely expect to pay per-transaction fees. Stay on top of those bills to ensure your customers’ online payments will be deposited into your business’s bank account as quickly as possible. 

How to choose an online payment processing service

Here are several factors to consider while comparing online payment processing services.

Your sales channels

If your business completes sales entirely online, you can keep it simple by sticking with a payment processing service that specializes in online transactions.
If you also do sales in-person, you might choose an option that offers in-house POS hardware and mobile card readers. That way, you don’t have to worry about integrating your POS system with a third-party payment processing service.

Cost

Going with your e-commerce platform’s in-house payment processing service is likely the easiest option, and it might even save you time. But it’s possible that integrating with a third-party processor could save you money in the long run. That’s why it’s important to forecast your monthly sales volume and average purchase price, so that you can confidently run the numbers and decide whether the potential savings are worth the extra time.
You can also keep costs down by avoiding services that charge fees for PCI compliance, termination or setup.

Integrations

Scrolling through your e-commerce platform’s payments integrations is an easy way to narrow down your options. Not all platforms are compatible with multiple services. If you sell goods or services in-person, too, make sure the payment processing service integrates with your POS hardware.

Customer service

If your online business’s payment processing services crash, you could miss out on valuable sales. Make sure your online payment processing service offers phone support or live chat options in case you need a quick fix. Reading reviews can be a great way of gauging the quality of a product’s customer support, too.
If you’re still deciding which service is right for you, NerdWallet’s online payment processor quiz can help you land on the best match.
Last updated on January 2, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings of payment processing providers reward 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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