Okay it may not be as glamorous as the Grammy or Golden Globe awards…but payment processors can be fun too right?
I know, I know, I’m probably the only one that feels that way…. but like awards shows, payment processors are best broken down into categories, taking a “one size fits all approach” and getting random recommendations from people in a different industry can be a costly mistake. Before you decide consider the following questions:
Do you take cards in person or online only?
Do you need recurring payments?
How many transactions per month do you average and on average how much per transaction do you charge?
Do you want an all-in-one solution that’s integrated with a workflow manager, your bookkeeping software or inventory management software?
You can find lots of charts and articles online comparing different processors, just type in any 2 payment processors and “compare” into google and you can compare specific fees, so I’m not going to do that here.
Instead I’m going to give you a list of card processors that may be the best fit for YOUR company based on my research of over 30 payment processors.
And now ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Mosaic Bookkeeping Awards for payment processors…
In the category of best for simple online stores, for small businesses receiving all of their payments online, the winner is:
Braintree (by paypal): (Enter sounds of cheering crowd here) Braintree is a “full-stack” payment company. It makes dealing with merchant accounts easy and simple to set up. I recommend this for online stores because it’s owned by paypal, so you can easily offer paypal payments, which some online consumers prefer. I don’t recommend just using paypal because they’re known for holding onto funds and often siding with consumers over businesses.
And the award for best subscription and recurring billing goes to:
Stripe: Everywhere I look Stripe gets some of the highest recommendations from users. Like Braintree they’re a “full-stack” payment platform which means they are super easy to set-up and you don’t have to deal with too many details like figuring out merchant accounts and PCI compliance. Stripe is the clear leader for recurring subscriptions and billing thanks to all the features they have, they are the best suited to deal with: discounts and proration (like offering 25% off your first month), coupon codes, updating customers expired credit cards, free trial periods, and cancellations.
The award for best payment processor with online and in-person options goes to:
Square: Neither Stripe nor Braintree can handle in person transactions. Square can connect to smart phones and ipads as well as handling online transactions. Their rates are good, in fact one business owner I know with a high volume of daily in-person transactions saved around $5000 per year by switching to square from a traditional card swiping machine
In the category of best for processing ACH transactions only, the award goes to:
Receivable.es has great rates for accepting ACH payments (1% per transaction max 6%) and integrates with Xero and Freshbooks
Quickbooks: If you do your bookkeeping in Quickbooks, great news! They are now offering FREE ACH payments, credit card rates are also good at 2.9% +25 cents/transaction (compared to stripe and braintree 2.9% +30 cents/transaction)
And the winner for best payment processor with Inventory Management Integration goes to:
Square for Retail: Featuring a beautiful interface, multi location ready, and able to handle thousands of different products, square for retail alerts you when inventory is getting low and helps you create purchase orders quickly. You can also create customer profiles including notes so you can give everyone a personalized experience, give different employees different levels of access, and it integrates with with square as your payment processor.
For businesses processing $10,000 or more per month the award goes to:
Dharma Merchant Services uses interchange-plus pricing which tends to be much lower than standard fees. Dharma Merchant Services can accept payments at virtual and physical locations and online, and are good for B2B, restaurants and retail companies processing 10k+ per month. Bonus: extra discounts for nonprofits and Dharma donates a portion of all their proceeds to charities
The award for best All-In-One product goes to:
Dubsado: A great CRM, all-in-one package. Dubsado is a small family run business with incredible customer support and robust services. It allows you to send proposals, create a lead capture with automatic responses, send questionnaires, obtain e-signatures, automate workflow, track time, send invoices and receive payments, includes calendar integration, beautiful templates for emails/quotes/contracts and integration with quickbooks is in the works. They also provide you with a portal to collaborate with your clients on projects, PLUS your first 3 customers are free.