80% of Americans use their debit cards for everyday expenses like paying gas and buying groceries. 39% of the population use credit cards while only 15% of respondents still use cash for regular expenses. When split into demographics, nearly 98% of 18-24-year-olds use either credit cards or debits every week.

With more people ditching cash for cashless payment methods, your business can’t survive without a credit card processor.  There are more than ten popular companies you could choose from. Each has its own payments and quality of services.

Credit Card Processing Services

We’ve made work easy for you by compiling the very best low-free processors as rated by business owners worldwide.

Payment Depot

Transparent prices, good customer services, and zero setup fees spurred Payment Depot to a small startup not so long ago to one of the best providers. If you restock at huge wholesalers, Payment Depot helps you save tons of cash with its flat monthly fees. There is also a per-transaction fee of between $0.05 and $0.15. That’s it. No more hidden fees.

While it’s great for all-year-round businesses, you may not want to use Payment Depot for your seasonal shop. Their monthly fees of between $49 and $199 must be paid whether you make a sale or not. As already mentioned, the processor is top-rated for its personalized support. If you need any assistance, they are quick and efficient at helping you.

The major downside to the company is that it serves US-based businesses only. Another limitation- -although convenient- – is the maximum processing volumes it can handle. If you choose their $49 per month plan, they handle a maximum of $25,000 for you. The $79 plan is capped at $75,000, the $99 plan is limited to $200K while the $199 plan has no limits.

Flagship Merchant Services

First founded in 2001, Flagship was purchased by iPayment Inc in 2012. iPayment is a backend processor that owns more than five merchant credit card processing services. Most of their subsidiaries have mixed reviews. A few like Flagship and MerchantPlus have great reviews and for genuine reviews.

First, Flagship gives you one free terminal for your payments. They also offer a choice between Authorize.Net and Quiq for a payment gateway. Setup for either is free but there is a monthly charge of $7.95 per month. The company also offers mobile processing and a free online cart with each plan.

Like most processors, Flagship isn’t free of drawbacks. Unlike Payment Depot, their prices can be misleading. The $0.38-$0.19 rate published on their site is for debits only. Credit processing is much more expensive.

However, the company also allows you to negotiate a deal. Speaking of negotiations, you’ll want to request full disclosure about the company’s monthly fees. The biggest complaints about the company relate to its hidden fees, some which rack up to $30 per month.


With one of the easiest names for a credit card processor, it’s no surprise CCP is one of the top companies in the industry. Like Flagship, CCP is owned by iPayment- -meaning they don’t differ very much in the services they offer. For instance, you can negotiate your payment fees—the same with Flagship.

There is no cancellation fee but merchants must pay a $99 PCI-compliance charge. A $7.95 monthly payment gateway fee is required. A $5 fee is also charged if you fail to meet the minimum processing fee. When it comes to customer approval ratings, the company has an A+ rating from better Business Bureau.

While it has legitimate complaints, CCP is one of a few credit card processing companies with high approval ratings in the industry. Processors with high approval ratings tend to offer better services overall.


Clear prices, trusted by millions globally and ideal for small businesses makes PayPal an ideal processor for almost any kind of business. 267 million people use PayPal globally. Most of them have their credit and debits linked to the processor.

Setting a PayPal payment gateway takes less than an hour. You can link it to your Point of Sale or use a credit card reader alone. It can link with your online shop and work with customers without a PayPal account also.

PayPal’s disadvantages start showing up as your business grows. You are charged 2.9% plus $0.30 for every online transaction. Credit cards and NFC payments come at a cost of 2.75 each. Mobile payments are more expensive at 3.5% plus $0.15 and $20 for every chargeback made by your customers. Their best deal is the Payflow Pro which is charged monthly at $25 per month and no per transaction fees.

There are no contractual commitments with PayPal. Again, the company is open with almost everything about it. For customer support, you have up to five options. The community forum is where every other customer flocks to share their experience. If you need a quick guide, check with their knowledge base. For more personalized support, contact PayPal by mail or social media.


Launched in 2009, Square came in as a revolutionary credit card processor that aimed to change the industry for the better. Ten years later, the company has achieved some of its goals. The biggest achievement is that it’s one of the most feature-rich credit card processors.

Unlike many processors, Square uses its equipment to complete backend processing. It also provides a mobile POS software at no extra cost. Also, there are zero monthly fees. You pay a flat $2.75 rate for swiped or tapped card payments. For keyed transactions, the charge is 2.9% plus $0.30. There are no statement fees as well.

Square’s disadvantages come in maintaining your account. The account is highly sensitive to risky transactions and will hold or terminate your account at the slightest suspicion of fraud. This is also reflected by most of the negative reviews about it. Most complaints relate to terminated accounts.

To Conclude

The credit card processing space is full of great, average and outright scam companies. The best-rated companies in the industry are anything but perfect. On any single one of them, expect complaints of some kind. But if you are keen on research, you’ll be able to pick the right company to cater to your business needs.


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