top credit card processors

In the bustling world of small business ownership, finding the best payment processing for small businesses can be as challenging as finding the perfect cup of coffee in a foreign city.

You’re in the right place if you’re looking for a digest of the top 15 credit card processors for small businesses. We’ve considered factors like security, cost, compatibility, and reliability to provide you with a comprehensive list.

Whether you’re after seamless system integration, 24/7 customer service, or a variety of card-type support, we’ve got you covered.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s discover your ideal credit card processor.

Key Takeaways

  • When choosing a credit card processor for your small business, it is important to consider factors such as security and reputation, cost, compatibility, reliability, and necessary equipment.
  • Security and reputation should be a top priority, so look for processors that are PCI compliant, adhere to security standards, and offer features like card verification value (CVV) requirements, address verification services (AVS), secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption, and fraud-prevention software.
  • Cost is an important factor to consider, so look for processors with clear pricing and fees, and be mindful of hidden fees that can impact your bottom line. Expenses vary from company to company, so choose a processor that fits your budget.
  • Compatibility with your existing payment infrastructure is crucial, so ensure that the processor can seamlessly integrate with your systems and workflows. Consider merging inventory management and accounting systems for simplified processes, and be open to making necessary changes or switching providers if needed.

Small Business Credit Card Processors

Listed below are the best payment processing for small businesses that I have come across in my years of experience. Considering costs to be a primary factor when it comes to payment processing and also considering the possibility of both online and offline payments processing, I have listed the best ones in the list below:

Your Local Bank

If you process in-person transactions then it’s best to ignore all other payment processors below and take this one seriously. I know it’s very surprising when I say this but most likely the best payment processing for small businesses is your local bank provider.

The standard rate for payment processors out there is around 3% plus 25 cents for every transaction but in my years of experience working with small businesses, I have seen some businesses get amazing credit card processing pricing from local banks, as low as the standard rate that Visa/Mastercard, etc charge + 10 cents on every $100 processed.

Before you start looking at any of the providers mentioned below, call your local bank and tell them to point blank “I process this much money a month, what’s your best rate?” Chances are you will get better rates than any of the solutions mentioned below by miles.


With Square, you’re getting a credit card processor known for its mobile payment terminals, offering you the flexibility to accept payments wherever your business takes you. One of the main advantages of Square is its ease of use and affordability, making it a preferred choice for many small businesses.

When comparing Square and Stripe, both offer robust features but differ in certain aspects. Here’s a brief comparison:

Ease of UseHighModerate
CostAffordableSlightly Higher
Customer Support24/7Limited

Square’s simplicity and round-the-clock customer support give it an edge. However, both are excellent choices, and the final decision should align with your specific business needs.


If your business’s needs align more with transparency and the ability to accept a variety of payment types, Helcim’s credit card processing solution might be a perfect fit for you. One of the key benefits is the clear and honest Helcim processor pricing. It’s structured in a way that scales based on your volume of transactions, thus eliminating any hidden fees.

You won’t deal with contracts or unnecessary monthly fees, which is a huge plus for small businesses keeping an eye on the bottom line. Another significant advantage is the Helcim processor customer service. They provide live representatives who are ready to help when you need it.

With Helcim, you can expect a processor that’s transparent, versatile, and supportive.

HubSpot Payments

As you seek a processor that supports your desired card types and payment methods, you’ll find that HubSpot Payments could be an excellent fit for your small business.

One of the main advantages of HubSpot Payments is its flexibility. It accepts major credit cards, ACH payments, and even allows for recurring payments. This ensures your customers have a variety of options when it comes to completing their transactions.

HubSpot Payments also offers various integration options, allowing it to seamlessly fit into your current business operations. You can embed payment links into texts and emails, making it easier for your customers to pay.

Moreover, HubSpot uses layered security to ensure both your business and customer data are protected. This combination of flexibility, ease of integration, and security makes HubSpot a reliable choice for your small business.


Moving on from Helcim, let’s dive into the features and benefits of Stripe, another top-notch credit card processor for small businesses.

Stripe offers a competitive pricing model, charging 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful transaction, with no setup or monthly fees. When making a Stripe processor pricing comparison, you’ll find its transparency and simplicity appealing.

Stripe’s strength lies in its robust integration options. It can seamlessly blend with numerous e-commerce platforms and applications, streamlining your payment process. Whether you’re using Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento, Stripe’s API allows for easy integration, providing you with a smooth and efficient operation.


You might consider PayPal as your credit card processor due to its wide acceptance and popularity among small businesses. The advantages of PayPal include its ease of integration with various e-commerce platforms, transparent pricing, and support for international transactions.

Unlike other processors, PayPal charges no setup or monthly fees, which can significantly reduce your operational costs. Furthermore, PayPal’s multilingual support is a notable advantage when dealing with customers around the globe. With a reputation for reliability and a vast user base, it’s a trusted choice.

However, remember, it’s crucial to evaluate PayPal vs. other processors based on your specific business needs and budget. The right processor for you offers a balance of cost, functionality, and service.


Switching from PayPal to Fattmerchant could offer significant benefits for your small business, especially with its unique subscription-based pricing model. One of the main advantages of Fattmerchant processor is its transparent pricing structure. Unlike traditional processors, it doesn’t charge per-transaction fees, which can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Furthermore, Fattmerchant offers advanced analytics and reporting features that provide valuable insights into your sales and customer behavior. It also assigns a dedicated account manager to each client, ensuring personalized support and guidance.

Comparing it to the benefits of Helcim processor, which is known for its honest and clear pricing, Fattmerchant stands out with its subscription model. This could mean controlled costs and predictable payments, leading to better financial planning for your business.


Why should you consider Payline Data as your credit card processor for your small business? Payline Data offers flexible, scalable payment solutions tailored to your business’s needs. They offer customizable pricing plans that grow with your business. Plus, they offer advanced fraud protection tools, providing you with peace of mind and security.

Here’s a brief overview:

Pricing PlansCustomizable, scalable
Fraud ProtectionAdvanced tools
IntegrationPopular e-commerce platforms
Support24/7 customer service

Payline data processor’s pricing plans are designed to adapt to your business, saving you money in the long run. Their fraud protection features help keep your transactions safe and secure. These factors make Payline Data a compelling option for small businesses.

Understanding Credit Card Processors

To understand credit card processors, you’ve got to grasp their role in the transaction process: they’re the crucial link transferring funds from a customer’s credit card account to your business’s bank account.

When considering the pros and cons of credit card processors, you must look at different aspects. On the plus side, they facilitate immediate, secure transactions, expanding your market reach. However, they do come with processing fees, which can eat into your profits.

Understanding how credit card processors work is also pivotal. They verify the transaction details, ensure funds are available, and initiate the fund transfer process. This process is quick, efficient, but also complex, involving multiple parties.

Choose wisely, keeping in mind your business needs, budget, and the processor’s reliability.

Key Factors in Choosing a Processor

When it comes to choosing a credit card processor, your decision should hinge on several key factors that align best with your business needs. One of the main considerations is the factors affecting pricing. Assess the cost structure and watch out for hidden fees. Ensure the processor offers a clear, understandable pricing model that fits your budget.

Equally important is a comparison of security features. Given the rise of cyber threats, a processor with robust security measures, such as SSL encryption and fraud-prevention software, is non-negotiable. Look for PCI compliance as an indicator of strong security practices.

Importance of Security and Reputation

As a small business owner, you can’t underestimate the importance of choosing a credit card processor with a solid reputation for security. Ensuring that your processor complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is crucial. It provides a secure environment for your transactions and protects your customer’s card information.

The importance of fraud prevention can’t be overstated. A good processor provides robust fraud prevention tools to protect your business from fraudulent transactions. Remember, a single security breach can significantly damage your brand’s reputation and customer trust.

Here’s a brief overview to help you understand the importance:

SecurityHighProtects customer’s card information
ReputationHighEstablishes customer trust
PCI ComplianceEssentialEnsures secure transactions
Fraud PreventionCrucialProtects your business from fraud

Cost Considerations

Considering the costs associated with different credit card processors, you’ll need to find one that fits your budget while offering the services essential for your business. The principle of cost vs. value is crucial here. While a low-cost processor may seem appealing, it may lack important features or have hidden fees. Alternatively, a higher-priced processor might offer value-added services that enhance your business operations.

When comparing pricing structures, look beyond the surface. Consider the transaction fees, monthly charges, setup fees, and any potential hidden costs. It’s also worth evaluating if the processor charges differently for various types of transactions. A detailed, analytical review of the pricing structures will help you identify the processor that offers the best value for your investment.

Compatibility With Existing Systems

You’ll need to ensure that your chosen credit card processor is compatible with your existing payment infrastructure for a smooth and efficient operation. This includes checking its fit with your current POS system, accounting software, inventory management, and other tech tools. Ignoring this could lead to integration challenges that will undoubtedly disrupt your business operations.

Streamlining workflows is important for any small business, and it’s easier when your payment processor integrates seamlessly into your existing systems. This not only simplifies transaction processing but also reduces errors, saving you valuable time and resources.

If your current setup can’t support the processor, you may need to invest in upgrades or consider another option that’s a better match. Making wise compatibility decisions can lead to improved operational efficiency.

Reliability and Customer Service

While making sure your credit card processor is compatible with your existing systems, don’t overlook the importance of reliability and top-notch customer service. A reliable processor ensures smooth transactions, minimizing the impact of downtime on your business revenue. Unplanned outages can disrupt your operations, leading to lost sales and frustrated customers.

Equally critical is excellent customer service. If issues arise, you need to trust that your processor’s support team is readily available to assist. Whether it’s a technical glitch or a billing dispute, swift and efficient customer service can make a significant difference in resolving such matters.

Necessary Equipment for Processing

In addition to ensuring reliability and excellent customer service, it’s crucial to focus on the physical equipment necessary for processing credit card payments.

This includes point-of-sale (POS) systems or credit card terminals. While comparing physical terminals, weigh factors like cost, ease of use, and compatibility with your current setup.

Also, consider the benefits of mobile payments. They allow you to accept payments anywhere, offering flexibility and convenience to both you and your customers. Several credit card processors offer mobile card readers that plug directly into your smartphone or tablet, turning them into mobile POS systems.

Supported Card and Payment Types

When choosing a credit card processor for your small business, it’s crucial to consider the types of cards and payments they support. You want a processor that can handle all major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. It should also support contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, as they’re increasingly popular with customers.

The processor should also provide additional services, but be aware of the costs involved. Some processors may charge extra for services like fraud protection, customer support, and advanced reporting. Make sure to inquire about these costs upfront, so there are no surprise charges down the line.

Choosing a processor that supports your desired card types and payment methods is essential for your business’s smooth operation.


Choosing the right credit card processor can make a significant difference in your small business’ operations. Businesses that invest in a well-suited processor can save up to 40% on processing fees, according to a report from Forbes.

So, whether it’s Stripe, PayPal, Fattmerchant, or Payline Data, your perfect match is out there – one that balances cost, security, and compatibility to keep your business running smoothly and your customers satisfied.

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