Which is the Best Payment Processor For Your Business?

Ready to start processing payments online? The good news is that you have plenty of options. The bad news… there’s so many options, it can be overwhelming.

There are different features, payment methods, and even fees. In fact, some fee structures are so complex, we had to bring out the calculator to work out which one was the most affordable.

In any case, this is exactly why we’ve created this complete guide. Hopefully, by the end of it, you will have a better understanding of the best payment processors for your business.

What is a Payment Processor?

Online Payment Processors are essential for selling your products and services online. By connecting your merchant account with your customers’ bank account, they allow you to receive payments from customers across the globe. It is your payment processor that communicates between the two separate bank accounts and makes sure each payment goes through without a hitch.

What Makes a Good Payment Processor?

Before we start diving in, here are a few of the criteria we looked at for our selection:

  • Hosting: Can the checkout page be hosted on your own website? Or is it hosted by the payment processor?
  • Payment Options: Which currencies and payment options are available?
  • Application Process: How easy is it to sign up and get approved?
  • Support: What kind of support team do they offer?
  • Fees: How much is an account? How much do they charge to process transactions?

Can You Use Any Payment Processor You Want?

In most cases, yes. However, some businesses are considered high risk because of the type of customers they attract, and because of the type of transactions they process. These include volatile and high turnover businesses such as those dealing with:

  • Tobacco
  • Debt Collection
  • Diet Programs
  • Credit Repair
  • Gambling

If you are in a high-risk business, or you deal with a lot of clients, it is a good idea to affiliate yourself with as many processors as possible. This will increase your chances of having a high successful transaction rate. 

In some cases, a payment processor will reject your application as a result of the industry you work in, which brings us to our next consideration.

How About Using More Than One At The Same Time?

It’s not only possible but actively recommended. For example, if your business needs to process payments in various countries, you might require different processors to optimize all the transactions in different currencies and a billing software to connect them all. 

As mentioned above,  “high risk” industries can also see some transactions declined by one processor but approved by another.  So when it comes to processing a high volume of transactions, having access to multiple payment processors is always a good idea.

It is also possible that a payment processor will shut down your account for unknown reasons. This usually happens without notice and the appeal process can be long and arduous. Without a backup payment processor, this can lead to lost revenue and dissatisfied customers. 

Source: Rebilly.com

Another advantage of working with a subscription billing platform like Rebilly is that you have all of your customers’ information in one place, instead of scattered across multiple payment processors. You can then analyze all of your transaction data to make smarter routing decisions. 

And now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at individual payment processors:

Stripe – The Payment Processor Engineered for Growth

Stripe Payment Processor
  • On & off-site hosting
  • 135 Currencies
  • 24/7 support email/chat/phone    
  • eCommerce integration
  • Beautiful embeddable checkout flows
  • Robust developer platform

Pricing:
2.9% + $ 0.30 per successful card charge
+    0.6% for international cards

Hosting

With Stripe, you can tailor the checkout experience to suit your style and requirements, or you can simply opt for stripes ready-made and ready to go checkout forms. 

Payment options

Stripe works with all major forms of payment except cryptocurrency (it ended its four-year affiliation with Bitcoin in 2018 but may engage in the cryptocurrency market again in the near future). 

From credit and debit cards to digital payment apps such as e-wallets, they have all the major bases covered. Internationally, the Sources platform allows users to pay with their own preferred local payment method. 

Stripe works with an impressive 135 Currencies, which helps customers avoid costly conversion fees. There is also an option to integrate with all the major third-party eCommerce plug-ins, such as Shopify, Ecwid, and BigCommerce.

Fraud, Compliance & Support

Intelligent authentication and authorization tools help you stay fully fraud-proof and compliant. There is a chat, phone and email support service that runs 24/7. 

Fees

At 2.9% with an extra 30 cents per successful transaction, Stripe is on the more costly side of the payment processor spectrum. However, with no setup fees, monthly fees, or hidden fees, it can still be a great deal for many companies. They also offer volume discounts and country-specific rates.

Pros of Stripe

  • A slick and professional service that is easy to use and well supported

Cons of Stripe

  • No direct integration with Quickbooks
  • It doesn’t accept Cryptocurrency
  • Also, do check out their Restricted Businesses list

PayPal Payflow – Concentrate On Your Business

Paypal Payflow Payment Processor
  • No setup fee or monthly fee
  • 25 Currencies in 202 Countries
  • Customizable checkout page
  • Lowest fees on the Market

Pricing:
$0.10 per transaction
 $25 per month for a pro account

Payflow by Paypal is a free payment gateway that works with almost every merchant service and shopping platform in the world. Plugging in the Payflow API allows merchants to easily process payments online. Some even estimate that Payflow can increase the checkout conversion rate by up to 44%.

Hosting

Merchants who want total control over the checkout experience can host their own checkout pages. This option is available with the Pro account, which costs $25/month. With the Free Payflow Link account, PayPal has to host the checkout pages and manage security for sales and authorizations. While this helps with compliance, it does send your customers to another site for the checkout process. 

Payment Options

Payflow Link lets you accept payments from all major credit and debit cards, as well as offering PayPal and PayPal Credit payment options to customers at no extra cost. The optimized mobile checkout allows your customers to shop with their smartphones and they also accept and provide for e-wallet payment options. Easy integration with almost any merchant account, bank, processor, and shopping cart solution means this is an all-access gateway. You can also accept PayPal payments in 25 currencies from over 200 countries worldwide.

Fraud, Compliance, and Support

PayPal’s PCI-compliant solution simplifies the work and cost of meeting regulatory requirements, especially when your checkout page is hosted on PayPal’s site. Basic fraud protection comes included at no additional fee. You can also add a Premium, extra level of protection with advanced security tools.

Application Process

Clicking the sign-up button will give you the option to either take the free Payflow link or the Payflow pro account. From here you need to submit your General business information, Primary business contact information, Credit Card and Billing Contact Information, and your Merchant Bank and Processor Information. 

After you complete the signup process, you can begin configuring and managing your service(s) within the PayPal Manager.

Fees

Payflow Link offers the cheapest transaction fee rate out of all its competitors. The Payflow Pro account provides more options, but it comes with a $99 setup fee and a $25 monthly fee. At 10 cents per transaction with no added fees Payflow Link offers the lowest fee on this list, and with the added security of the Paypal brand.

Pros of Payflow

  • PayPal ease of use can reduce friction and increase conversion.
  • Low processing fees.

Cons of Payflow

  • The free account doesn’t have enough features for us, and the paid account might be too expensive for some business owners.
  • It doesn’t accept Cryptocurrencies.   
  • Certain Countries & Industries are prohibited.

Braintree – Maximize Your Business Opportunities

Braintree Payment Processor
  • Global reach                           
  • 3D secure Fraud prevention
  • eCommerce Integrations
  • Hosted Checkout

Pricing:
2.9% + $ 0.30 per transaction

Braintree is a full-stack payment platform that strives to make online transactions simple and safe with a single, modern integration. Their acquisition by Paypal has bolstered its service portfolio and cemented them as a worthy option in the payment processor market.

Hosting

One easy integration – which means the service cannot be hosted on your own site. However, the ready-made Drop-in UI  and the option to create a Custom UI allow some flexibility for the checkout page.

Payment Options

As a subsidiary of Paypal, Braintree is able to offer access to all major forms of payment from credit and debit, to e-wallets and ACH payments. A truly global reach, they support 130 local currencies in 44 countries and offer a multi-currency setup by which can save clients the trouble of paying exchange rate fees. Third-party integrations are made easy, so plugging into most of the popular enterprise platforms poses no problems. 

Fraud, Compliance & Support. 

As a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant service provider, Braintree meets established industry standards and guidelines. Choose from basic or advanced fraud tools, and add 3D Secure for an additional layer of fraud prevention to help protect your business and your customers from fraudulent transactions. Their website includes a host of useful support articles, and their support team is available online or by phone at all times. 

Fees

At 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction, Braintree offers the same pricing package as Stripe but with slightly fewer options in terms of hosting and checkout. 

Application Process

Email them, get a link and a ticket number, and fill out an in-depth form including all your business, banking, and personal details. They’ll process your application and will get back to you in a maximum of three days.

Pros of Braintree

  • No Monthly Rates
  • Global Reach
  • Easy to Use

Cons of Braintree

  • Hidden Transaction fees
  • No cryptos
  • Same restrictions as their owner, Paypal.

Orbital – The Payment Gateway From US Giant Chase

Orbital by Chase Payment Processor
  • Virtual Terminal
  • Flexible Integration
  • Fraud Prevention
  • Online Access To Reports

Pricing:
2.90% + $0.25 per transaction

US banking giant Chase is a solid choice in payment gateway for US-based businesses with local clients. Obviously well positioned in the old-world of commerce, Chase is slightly behind the pack when it comes to international online payment services. However, they do have a European based website for EU users.

Hosting

Orbital Payment Gateway’s payment page is securely hosted on Chase Paymentech, which offers businesses and their customers a good combo of simple checkout and tight security. If you are looking to match the checkout page to your brand, this is possible with their tailored customizations.  

Payment Options

Orbital Payments virtual terminal allows both businesses and their clients to enjoy more payment options. You can securely accept all major credit and debit card transactions. Currency-wise Chase is US-centric, you have to apply to see whether or not a currency other than USD can be handled.

Fraud, Compliance, and Support

The Orbital Gateway protects data while adhering strictly to compliance policies and regulations. All information entered by customers is stored securely on Chase’s servers. 24/7 email and phone support services are provided upon registration.

Fees

2.9% 25cents. Chase is slightly cheaper than both Stripe and Braintree but they do not offer as many features.

Application Process

Signing up with Chase requires you to fill out a form on their website. From here you will be contacted by one of their payment specialists. Signing up and accepting payments means you will also have a merchant account with Chase.

Pros of Chase Orbital Virtual Terminal

  • Good if you have a history with Chase and operate mainly in the USA
  • Integration with major eCommerce stores

Cons of Chase Orbital Virtual Terminal

  • Not ideal for global reach
  • Less flexible than other processors

Moneris Gateway – Canada’s Elite Payment Processor

  • Digital Wallet Support
  • Recurring Payments
  • Account Updaters
  • Multi-Currency Pricing

Pricing:
Undisclosed Fees

Hosting

Moneris offers both on and off-site hosting. Their off-site Moneris Checkout is semi-customizable to give it the feel of your own personal website. To integrate fully with your website you can choose their API tool which gives you full hosting capabilities. 

Payment Options

Moneris offers over 70 global currencies with an added Multi-Currency Pricing feature. This allows you to price your products and services in international currencies while settling in Canadian dollars.

Fraud, Compliance, & Support

Their Merchant Resource Centre helps you handle all issues of compliance and fraud by providing access to administrative and reporting tools. You can contact their support staff by phone or live chat 24/7, they are also available through social media (Twitter & Facebook).

Fees

The cost of the Moneris payment gateway is undisclosed on their website. You will need to contact a sales representative to find out the fees they charge. 

Application Process

After filling out a standard form you will be contacted by a representative. Using Moneris Gateway requires you to have a merchant account with them.

Pros of Moneris

  • You or your clientele are based in Canada

Cons of Moneris

  • Need to have an account with them.
  • Not ideal for International payments.
  • No Cryptocurrency.
  • There is at least a small chance that your application will be denied if you run a “High-Risk” business.

WorldPay- Advancing the Way the World Pays

  • Easy refund
  • Pricing Plans
  • Online Portal
  • Fraud Mitigation

Pricing:
2.75% + £0.20per transaction
Or
£19.95 + 2.75% on credit cards & 0.75% on debit cards

Hosting

Worldpay gives you the option to host the checkout on your own site from where you can control the customer experience and page design. Alternatively, you can have Worldpay host the pay page. 

Payment Options

Payments can be made in 116 currencies around the world and can also be taken by phone and email. All major forms of payment are accepted including credit cards and e-wallets. No cryptocurrency as of yet. 

Fraud, Compliance & Support

Compliance is taken care of if you allow Worldpay to host the payment page. If it is hosted on your site, it is your responsibility to stay compliant. For this, they offer a safer payments program. They provide an integrated fraud screening and alert system to mitigate fraud. Customer service is available 24/7 via phone and email. 

Fees

You can either pay at 2.75% + £0.20 per transaction or pay a monthly rate of £19.95 which will lower the debit card interest rate to 0.75% while credit cards stay the same at 2.75%. Customers outside the UK must apply for a quote.

Application Process

After calling or emailing you will be put in touch with a payment expert who will walk you through the sign-up process. You will need a merchant bank account to process online payments. This can either be provided by Worldpay or integrated with an existing merchant account.

Pros of Worldpay

  • Great overall package.
  • Excellent global coverage.
  • Long-time industry knowledge.

Cons of WorldPay

Skrill – Focused on Secure Payment Processing

Skrill
  • Simple Integration
  • Enhanced Fraud Management
  • Chargeback protection
  • Mobile Optimised

Pricing:
1.90% + €0.29 per transaction

Hosting

Skrill’s Quick Checkout is hosted on their servers and thus fully PCI compliant. They provide customizable options which include adding your company logo to the page or embedding it onto your website through an iframe. Plus, you get an additional digital wallet that comes as part of the contract.

Payment Options

Access 100+ local payment solutions, 170 banks with 1 easy integration and connect with 30+ million Skrill account holders, the majority of whom are in Europe. They also connect with eCommerce shopping carts, all major credit and debit cards are accepted. Signing up with Skrill also provides clients with a Skrill e-wallet. 

Fraud, Compliance, and Support

Skrill offer live web, email, and phone support, and they boast the highest security standards and anti-fraud technology available. They also handle cryptocurrency which allows you to avoid the issue of card fraud altogether. 

Fees

Skrill provides a free and quick setup, after which they charge a flat 1.90% + €0.29 per transaction.

Application Process

You will need a Skrill merchant account – which comes as part of the application – to use their payment processing service. After entering your email address on their website, an application process link will be sent to your email account. The form is thorough, asking for all relevant personal, banking, and business details.

Pros of Skrill

  • Modern, conscientious, and international company.
  • Convenient and fast e-wallet option. 
  • Supports cryptocurrencies

Cons of Skrill

Bitpay – The Crypto Payment Gateway

  • Global Reach
  • Eliminate fraud
  • No chargebacks or ID theft
  • Just 1% — No hidden fees ever

Pricing:
1% Flat Rate

Hosting

BitPay provides payments buttons, a hosted checkout, and embeddable invoices for your website. They also work with numerous plugins and integrations.

Payment Options

Working with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin eliminates the problem of exchanging in different national currencies. However, it is possible to exchange your bit pay payment into a currency of your choice at a later date. Cryptocurrencies are now accepted in 200+ countries. 

Fraud, Compliance, and Support

Paying with cryptocurrency removes the problem of credit card fraud and likewise the need to be PCI compliant. Their support is handled online with rigorous support literature and a ticket system for requesting personal help via email or webchat. 

Fees

Bitpay charges a simple flat fee of 1%. There are no extra hidden fees for transactions.

Application Process

After requesting to sign up for a business account on their website you can verify your business, and register with a bank account or cryptocurrency account of your choice.

Pros of Bitpay

  • Low transaction fee
  • Global reach
  • Fast processing

Cons of Bitpay

  • Only supports cryptocurrencies
  • Risky for businesses

Authorize.Net – Simplifying the Payment Process

Authorize.Net
  • Advanced Fraud Detection
  • Account Updater
  • Simple Checkout
  • Invoicing

Pricing:
If you don’t have a merchant account:
●      $20 per month + (2.9% + $0.30) per transaction
If you already have a merchant account:
●      $25 per month + $0.10 per transaction + $0.10 daily batch fee.

Hosting

Authorize.Net provides a hosted option called Simple Checkout, which comes with the option for API customization.

Payment Options

As long as your business is based in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe or Australia, you can accept international payments from anywhere in the world. They accept payments from all major methods except cryptocurrency.

Fraud, Compliance, & Support

Authorize.Net provides 24/7 phone support and a well managed online support system. The hosted payment page means they deal with issues of compliance and fraud on your behalf.

Fees

If you already have a merchant account, your monthly account fee of $25 will give you a transaction rate of 10 cents. They also charge a 10 cents daily batch fee for end of day batch processing. If you sign up for a merchant account with Authorise.Net your monthly fee will be reduced to $20, however, your per-transaction rate will rise to 2.9% + 30c without a batch fee.

Application Process

They give you the option of working with your existing merchant account, alternatively, you can opt for their all-in-one option when signing up with them. This provides payment processing solutions and a merchant account. The merchant application form on the website is thorough and requests MID and business details as standard.

Pros of Authorize.Net

  • Great portfolio of features and tools.

Cons of Authorize.Net

  • Not available everywhere in the world.

Forte – Payments Done Right

Forte
  • All-in-one payment solution
  • Simple Integration
  • Secure and Compliant
  • Best-in-Class Support

Pricing:
To accept ACH/eCheck
●      $2.50 per month gateway fee
●      US: $0.25 per transaction
●      US: $1.00 per return/reject fee
To accept Credit Cards
●      $2.50 per month gateway fee
●      2.75% for Visa/Mastercard + $0.30 per transaction
●      3.15% for AMEX + $0.30 per transaction
+      Hidden fees

Hosting

Forte.js, Forte Checkout, and Forte Secure Web Pay provide both onsite and off-site hosting options.

Payment Options

Forte can process all major brands of credit and debit, as well as ACH and electronic checks.

Fraud, Compliance, & Support

Online and phone support is offered but many clients have been left frustrated by their support staff.  

Tokenization, data protection, PCI compliant are all taken care of but they have been known to charge extra for PCI compliance without letting their clients know in advance. 

Fees

The general fee is set at 2.75% and C$0.30 per transaction. However, this rises to 3.15% for payments made with American Express. Forte also charges a monthly fee of $2.50 and a $75 application fee. However, many customers have complained about hidden fees and poor customer service. 

Application Process

Must have a merchant account with Forte to use their payment processing services. The application consists of filling out a comprehensive banking info form, including MID details. Turnaround is approximately 48 hours.

Pros of Forte

  • Flexible with payments
  • Fast application process

Cons of Forte

Comparison Table

Hosting Payment Options Merchant Account Fees Score
Stripe On and off-site 135 currencies. All major payment methods except crypto. Must be with Stripe 2.9% + $ 0.30 per successful card charge, 0.6% for international cards 8/10
Paypal Payflow Link Off-site 25 Currencies. All major payment methods except crypto. Any $0.10 per transaction, $25 per month for a pro account 7.5/10
Braintree Off-site 130 currencies. All major payment methods except crypto. Any 2.9% + $ 0.30 per transaction 7/10
Chase Off-site USD, others on request. Most payment services Must be with Chase 2.90% + $0.25 per transaction 5.5/10
Moneris On and off-site 70 Currencies. All major payment methods except crypto. Must be with Moneris Undisclosed 6.5/10
Worldpay On and off-site 116 Currencies All major payment methods except crypto. Any 2.75% + £0.20 per transactionOr£19.95 + 2.75% on credit cards & 0.75% on debit cards 8.5/10
Skrill Off-site 100 Currencies Crypto All major methods. Must be with Skrill 1.90% + €0.29 per transaction 7.5/10
Bitpay Off-site Crypto-only Any 1% 6.5/10
Authorize.Net Off-site All major Payment methods except crypto. Businesses must be based in Europe, North America, or Australia. Any Don’t have a merchant account:$20 per month + (2.9% + $0.30) per transaction Already have a merchant account:$25/Month + $0.10 per transaction + $0.10 daily batch fee. 7/10
Forte On and off-site Currencies unknown. All major payment methods except crypto. Must be with Forte 2.75% and $0.30 per transaction + Hidden Fees 5/10

Best Business Payment Processor – Key Takeaways

When selecting an online payment processor, you have to take into account the type of business you are running. This also means the type of clients and transactions that are most relevant to you. For example, Bitpay has scored quite low on our list because they only accept payments in bitcoin. If that suits your business, however, it’s probably the number one option.

Now don’t forget that this guide is an overall assessment and not a final say on the absolute best solution. The beauty of payment processors is that they are not exclusive: you can connect more than one to your business to simplify payment for all your customers. 

And don’t forget to take our survey and find out which payment processor is best suited to your company!

More Articles for You

The 3 Best Hearing Aids of 2019

While an estimated 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, only 30% of adults aged 70 or over have ever …

The 3 Best VOIP Phone Services for Businesses in 2019

VOIP services for business come in all shapes and forms these days. We tested 3 of the best ones for flexibility, mobile use, pricing, and much more.

How Custom Gateway Routing Can Improve Your Transaction Approval Rate

3 Easy Steps to Take Control of Your Subscription Billing If you have been in the subscription business for a …

Startups Core Values: The #1 Secret to Sustained Success

Most successful startups have one thing in common… and it’s not the technology. A lot has been said about the …

Online Surveillance 2019: Are You Being Watched?

Everything you do online leaves a trace. What is the state of online surveillance in 2019? My Tech Reviews has …

2019’s Top VPN Services for Online Privacy

In the modern world, threats of online surveillance and hacking are very real…never fear, VPN’s are here! Whether it be …