Best Merchant Services 2020
Merchant ServiceScoreFeatures We LikeSpecial OffersBottom LinePriceSiteThe GoodThe BadThe Bottom Line
Leaders Merchant Services


Rates Starting at 0.15%
$500 Assurance Program
Transparent Pricing
Free EMV Equipment
Inexpensive transaction fees and many payment options.
$10Visit Site Caters to a wide variety of industries Accepts high-risk merchants Deceptive advertising Deceptive sales tactics Untransparent tiered pricing An early termination fee of $250-$350 Expensive for low-volume merchants Numerous public complaints


Monthly Contracts
No Upfront Costs
Free Clover and EMV equipment
FreeVisit SiteNo cancellation fees. Interchange plus pricing is an option for merchants.Tiered pricing is often unpredictable. Equipment pricing not listed.Flagship Merchant Services has everything most customers will want from a credit card processing service, but its somewhat unclear on what everything costs.


No Cancellation Fees
Free Terminal
Free application and set-up falls into a trap that several of its competitors have also tripped: it's great when it comes to offering a full range of pricing plans and processing equipment, but is too vague about exactly what everything costs.
FreeVisit SiteOffers interchange-plus pricing. No cancellation fees."Free" equipment offers could be deceptive. Monthly minimums apply.


Enhanced Reporting
Multi-Channel Support
No Hidden Fees
Subscription-based credit card processing.
$99Visit Site Transparent cost-plus pricing 0% markup rate with subscription Next-day funding Free high-quality invoicing included Free analytics dashboard and tools No early termination fee Integrates with QuickBooks US-based merchants only Best value for mid-volume or higher


98% Approval Rating
Low Rates & Fast Approvals
All credit scores accepted
Specializes in dealing with high-risk merchants.
$15Visit Site Good for ecommerce businesses Good for high-risk businesses No account setup fee No monthly minimum for low-risk Free credit card terminal Excellent customer support Few public complaints No publicly disclosed pricing Website needs improvement

Top Merchant Services rating updated for October 2020


Merchant services

Buyers are increasingly paying with bank cards for goods and services ordered in online stores. To conduct these operations, the site owner may need a tool such as a merchant. Until recently, this concept was known only in narrow circles, so many people have a question with the word “merchant” – what is it in simple words, what is it used for and how to connect to it.


What is a “merchant” and what is it used for?

Merchant is a special program that enables you to receive payments from bank cards and bank accounts via the Internet. It is efficient, reliable and completely safe.

Money transfer is carried out automatically, semi-automatically and manually. When a buyer decides to purchase an item through the Internet, the system offers him several payment methods. And each proposed method has its own merchant, due to which payments are accepted.

The main advantage of this tool is that it does not limit the geography of transactions and allows you to trade around the clock, 7 days a week. But it will not replace a classic bank account, in addition, it should not be used for transactions that are not related to trade.

A merchant account is needed, first of all, for companies that trade in goods and services via the Internet. These include:
– online stores;
– forex brokers;
– online casinos;
– dating websites;
– gaming sites;
– content exchanges, etc.


Types of merchant accounts

Trading merchant accounts.
Used in regular stores. Their task is to accept payments for purchases made. In this case, payment is carried out using a bank card and special equipment (POS-terminal, imprinter).

Online merchant accounts.
Used on all commercial sites. Payment is carried out without the use of special equipment, it is enough for the buyer to enter the bank card information in the payment form. After that, the money will be debited from his account and credited to the seller’s account.


What are the advantages of opening a merchant account:

1.The ability to make payments in different currencies.
2. Confidentiality and security of transactions.
3. Minimal risk of fraud.
4. Operations are processed in seconds.
5. The system works around the clock.


Merchant Payment Gateway

Specific software is installed on the site of the owner of the merchant account, which is called the merchant’s payment gateway. Its task is to control the acceptance of payments. The mechanism of operation of the payment gateway is as follows:

– bank card activity is checked;
– data on a perfect purchase are encoded;
– data is redirected to the processing center;
– if the request was successful, the data is returned to the site again;
– the user receives a confirmation of the transaction (or failure).
The payment will be refused if the bank card is inactive, the user entered incorrect data or the system detected other problems.

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How to open Merchant Account

Merchant registration is a step-by-step process, the purpose of which is to integrate a payment system for receiving payments on a commercial site. Only legal entities can create a merchant account. But here there are limitations, as banks have very high requirements for applicants for a merchant account.

To open a Merchant Account, the following conditions must be met:
– the organization must have its own website through which payments will pass;
– An Internet resource should contain a detailed description of goods and services, a list of available payment methods, a description of how to place an order, prices, and detailed information about the company;
– the site should have a special section for registering and authorizing users;
– it is necessary that the site be hosted on a paid hosting;
– it is unacceptable that the details of bank cards of customers are requested on the pages of the site; the request should occur only after going to the secure pages of the processing center.

On the main page of the Internet resource, it is desirable to place the logos of the international payment systems that this company works with.

After registering the merchant, the organization receives its own internal code, which will be present in all transactions conducted through its website. This code will be tied to the account of the organization, and after that, funds from customers’ cards will be transferred directly to it.

To process online payments, the owner of a commercial Internet resource must conclude an agreement with a bank and a payment card processing center. In addition, without fail, he will have to open a checking account. It is important that the bank has a processing license.

To open an account, the bank usually asks for the following information:
– a detailed description of the goods and services provided by the organization;
personal data of the leaders of the organization;
– a set of registration documents (charter, registration certificate, license, memorandum of association);
– credit history of a legal entity;
– information on sales volumes and the territory to which the company operates;


Refund policy details

The address of the site through which payments will pass.

If the application for opening an account is approved, the bank will send a letter to the head of the organization with the contract prepared for signing (in duplicate). One copy will remain in the organization, and the second should be sent to the bank. After that, the bank will issue the merchant account ID, system integration instructions and encryption keys to the applicant. After system integration, when purchasing goods on the company’s website, it will be possible to pay by credit card.


Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center is a convenient tool for online stores and other sites operating on a commercial basis. After registering with this service, site owners will be able to publish information about them and their product range in Google product listing ads and services.

Thanks to the Google Merchant service, users of the Google search engine see product listing ads in the search results. The announcement contains the following information: the name of the product with a picture, its value and the name of the online store. By clicking on the ad, users automatically get to the product page. At the same time, it’s the transitions that are paid, not the impressions.


The Merchant Center offers obvious advantages for online stores. Millions of potential customers will see the product listing, and if the product is of interest to them, the level of sales of the online store will increase significantly. To run Product Listing Ads, you must sign up for the Google Merchant Center.

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