Merchant Account Providers Reviewed Side-by-Side


Intelli-Collect/United Bank Card is our top pick and we recommend them to all our customers, read more
Rates are subject to fluctiations and changes.


Merchant Name:
Features:
Application fee: $0.00

$0.00
This company is our top pick!
Why?

$0.00 $0.00

$0.00 to $75

depends on which program

0 $0.00
Acct Setup fee: $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Discount Rate: 2.49% 2.14% 2.30%* 2.35% 2.17 - 2.29% 2.30% 2.42%
3.5% Am. Exp
Transaction fee:
Telecharge fee:

AVS fee:

$0.30

$0.30

$0.05

$0.20 (includes gateway fee)

$0.22

$0.00

$0.30

$0.30

 

$0.25

$0.25

$0.05

$0.25

$0.25

$0.05

$0.30

$0.25

$0.30

$0.05

Monthly
Statement fee:
$10.00 $9.95 $9.00 $10.00 $9.95 $10.00 $10.00

Monthly Minimum fee:(If your total monthly fees do not equal $25 the bank bills you to make up to $25.)

$25.00 $0.00 $20.00 $25.00 not known $20.00 or $25.00, depending on your product or service $25.00
Gateway setup fee free with icommerce gateway $0.00 ! lease only or high setup fee $195 one time or see lease $179 or $229
depends on which program
$195 one time fee $295.00
Monthly Gateway fee not known $5/auth.net
$10 $19.95 $14.95 $10 $20.00
Contract Lease Term not known none none, if
software purchased
$39/month/ 6 months 1 year not known n/a
Software: $199l no need to buy any not known yet 0 not known yet see gateway not known yet
Gateway Terminal(s) -Icommerce Gateway
-Plug 'n Play
authorize.net not known yet Linkpoint Authorize.net not known yet LinkPoint
Card Types: MC, Visa, Am. Exp.,Discover, Diners Club Visa, MC, Am. Express, Discover not known yet All major Credit Cards Visa, MC, Am Express All types Visa, MC,Am. Exp, Discover, etc.
Extra setup Charge for Am. Expr. $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Extra setup Charge for Discover not known $0.00 0 $25.00 $50 not known $25.00
Online checks? not known yes, no set up fee yes, no setup fee yes, $45.00 setup fee yes, at extra cost yes $10.00 a month
Shopping Cart? not known yes not known yes yes (Linux) yes yes, various
Daily Funding to bank? not known depends on type of account application not known not known not known yes not known
Virtual Terminal?
for checking validity of credit cards thru mail orders, etc.
not known yes, no software needed not known yes yes yes yes
Apply now if available:   Intelli-Collect/United Bank Card

Contact them now
  yes

yes

Note:we found this company very upfront and honest about their fees as well.

yes yes

back to top

Rates will vary from one provider to the other and are subject to change.

Application/Setup fee:
$0 - $500+ (one time fee)
Watch out here. All providers have an application fee. Some charge it right out at the beginning, while others add it into the solution purchase/lease costs.
Note: Some merchant account providers heavily promote no application fee, only to find out during the application process that there is a setup or lease fee, so be aware. I suggest you email each provider with some very specific questions. We've done some of this for you above but rates and fees may change at any time so please do verify all charges first! Gateway setup fees vary from $100 to $1000 and are usually one time fees.
back to top

Hardware/Software:
Purchase: $99 and up or Lease: $20/month and up
One important note worth mentioning here, stay away from leases if all possible. It's always better to purchase from the beginning than pay a lease for the next 12, 24, 36 or 48 months. (However, I have seen purchases prices go anywhere from $189 to over $500 so again watch out here.)
Why? With a lease you'll end up paying sometimes 3 times or more then if you would of just purchased the solution outright from the beginning. While a $29.95 monthly lease for 48 months sounds good in reality it isn't. Leases are very hard to get out of once started. If your business goes under before the 48 months are up, you still have to pay on the hardware/software costs until the last penny has been received by the leasing company. Also, the lease fee you see does not include your state sales tax or the amount charged for the damage/loss waiver. If you do go for the lease, always determine the lease's buyout clause, end of lease terms, and especially beware of clauses that allow the lease company to continue charging you even after the 48 months have passed (they say that you should contact them in writing one month prior to the end of the lease, or you can just let them keep charging you). Note: This lease fee or purchase price does not include a Gateway Fee of around $10/month!
back to top

Programming:
$0 - $100+ (one time fee)
This usually only applies to retail merchants who have changed from one provider to another. The programming process isn't difficult but watch out for the cost, some providers may nickel and dime you on programming fees. Why do they charge this fee if you use your own equipment? It's used to somewhat make up for the loss of not selling or leasing you their equipment.
back to top

Discount Rate:
2.00% - 4.00% per transaction
This is the fixed percentage amount that is deducted from the purchase cost. These rates are for Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) and Internet-based businesses. Between 2% and 2.5% for internet is reasonable these days.
Non-US businesses will pay a higher discount rate closer to the 3% to 4% range.
Important Note: Don't let a few tenths of a percentage point be the deciding factor between two providers. For example, if Provider "A" charges 2.15% and Provider "B" charges 2.35% you'll only save $0.20 for every $100 processed through your merchant account. Much better is to look at all your monthly fees and the service the provider gives you, remember this is a long time realtionship you are entering!
back to top

Transaction fee:
$0.20 - $0.50 per transaction
In addition to the discount rate a transaction fee is also deducted from the purchase cost. Also, just as with discount rates, transaction fees are lower for retail businesses while slightly higher amounts are charged for MOTO and Internet
establishments. Address Verification (AVS) may either cost an additional fee, or may be included in the base transaction fee. The typical transaction fee for US businesses is right around $0.30 while the higher end of this fee is sometimes the case for Non-US businesses.
back to top

Monthly Minimum:
$0 - $25 per month
The fee is based on your transaction and discount rate fees from your credit card sales each month. For instance, say your bank charged $25 as a monthly minimum, the transaction and discount rate fees collected by the bank must equal or go over
$25 each month. If this is the case no monthly minimum will be charged. However, if the fees collected for that month do not meet the $25 minimum, you will then be charged the difference. Not all processors have a monthly minimum fee, however most do.
back to top

Gateway Access fee:
$0 - $25+ per month
Since in most cases, the Secure Payment Gateway provider (e.g. Authorize.Net, VeriSign, etc.) is a separate company from the Merchant Processor, they charge extra fees. For every month that you are on their system, you pay an access fee.
The usual fee to pay for gateway access is around $10.
back to top

Statement fee:
$0 - $15 per month
The statement fee is charged because at the end of each month you will receive a statement from your processing bank that will list all the transactions that went through for that particular month. It's very much like your credit card or telephone bills, only they like to charge you for this of course!
back to top

Address Verification System (AVS):
$0 - $0.05 per transaction
The AVS service checks to see that the billing address given by the customer matches the credit card. If you opt not to use AVS, VISA and MasterCard will not support your transactions and will charge you an additional 0.17% to 1.25% on those sales. Most merchant accounts come with AVS at no extra charge. If there is a charge, it is combined in with the per transaction fee in most cases. The AVS service works only with US credit card holders. Currently, there is no AVS service in place for non-US credit card holders.
back to top

Chargeback:
$5 - $25 per instance
A chargeback occurs when the cardholder disputes a charge that they found on their monthly credit card statement. A large number of chargebacks can cause your merchant account to be dropped totally and leave you in a bind when trying to
get another merchant account for your business. If this is the case you may not be able to get another merchant account for several years. As a merchant it is important that you take the necessary steps to reduce and potentially eliminate the
instances of chargebacks and therefore please read the important tips on how to avoid charge backs below.
back to top

Reserve:
Varies, ask the provider for details
Some providers will require you to have a reserve account where the amount is determined by your businesses estimated sales receipts. Usually a reserve is almost always charged to a Non-US based merchant who is trying to obtain a merchant account. Also, businesses that do a high volume of sales each month may be charged a reserve fee. Otherwise, there usually isn't a charge. In most cases, the reserve fee is used to cover for any chargebacks on the merchants account. A reserve should be avoided if all possible.
back to top

Annual Fee:
$0 to $100 per year
Some credit card processors will charge this fee just as additional way to pay for maintenance and system upgrades. This fee isn't always disclosed upfront. Please ask this important question before you sign up.
back to top

© Copyright 2005 Lionsites Web Hosting & Design - Elmira, NY - Site Map