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  5. 6 Best Credit Card Processing for Food Trucks [Save in 2023]

6 Best Credit Card Processing for Food Trucks [Save in 2023]

Dawn Prevete Dawn PreveteFinance Specialist September 13, 2023
September 13, 2023
As fewer and fewer customers carry cash, securing fast and reliable credit card processing for your food truck has become essential.

You might not realize how much payment processors differ in terms of pricing and features – but these variables can be substantial to your bottom line. If you choose the wrong processor, you could end up paying a premium for features you don’t need or commit to a costly pricing model designed for a different type of business.

To help you navigate the complex world of credit card processors, I researched dozens of popular services and found the ones best suited to food trucks. Each recommendation offers affordable rates, valuable features to manage and grow your business, and the type of point-of-sale (POS) hardware a food truck needs – compact, fast, and mobile.

Taking everything into account, it was easy to put Stax at the top of the list. It offers a great selection of free equipment, easy onboarding, reduced fees for small businesses, and monthly contracts with no strings attached.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Credit Card Processors for Food Trucks in 2023

  1. Stax – Easy integrations for accounting and inventory, plus a choice of free hardware.
  2. Payment Depot – Special pricing for food truck owners, quick onboarding, and 24/7 technical support.
  3. LMS – Stable rates, free hardware with long-term contracts, and a meet-or-beat guarantee on your current rates.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Credit Card Processing Companies for Food Trucks

When researching the best credit card processors for food trucks, I focused on the features and benefits a fast-paced, mobile business needs.

  • Mobile payment processing. Each recommended payment processor offers multiple mobile payment solutions that allow food truck operators to accept payments anywhere – from their counter window or online.
  • Fast processing of all payment types. Food trucks often have long lines of customers waiting to place and pick up orders. These payment processors offer efficient processing of both in-person and online payments. They also allow customers to pay however they prefer – cash, credit/debit card, and digital wallet (e.g., Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay).
  • Easy to set up and manage. A user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up your account, track sales, manage your inventory, and access business tools. Some services even allow you to automate out-of-stock notifications for essential ingredients.
  • Marketing and promotion tools. The payment processors on this list offer loyalty programs and integrated marketing tools that can help food trucks reach new diners, retain customers, and increase sales.

With fast, secure, and affordable payment processing, Stax is an excellent option for food trucks and food truck/restaurant businesses. It also offers free Bluetooth-enabled mobile terminals and POS terminals, plus a mobile app that allows you to accept offline payments.

Your Stax dashboard contains all the information you need for sales, payments, ingredient inventory, marketing campaigns, and more. You can view detailed reports that give you valuable insights into your customers and their preferences, including whether they are new or regular diners – and even which menu items they prefer.

The fee for a monthly subscription usually starts at $99.00, but small businesses like food trucks can negotiate custom prices as low as $39. Stax’s affordable plan pricing and 0% + 10¢ (in-person) fee for in-person or online transactions can help food trucks save as much as 40% on processing costs compared to other services.

Since Stax doesn’t mark up its fee for online transactions, feel free to offer your customers the option to skip the line and pick up their order at a designated location.

Features and Benefits

  • Full-featured mobile app. The Stax app for iOS and Android turns your smartphone or tablet into a mobile POS for your food truck. You can accept payments (even while offline), send invoices for online orders, email digital receipts, track your inventory, and access customer and sales data on the go.
  • Great integrations. Stax integrates with dozens of popular e-commerce, marketing, productivity, and financial apps, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Mailchimp, QuickBooks, and Zapier. Note you’ll be charged a fee for some integrations.
  • One-click shopping cart setup. You can set up Stax’s built-in shopping cart in minutes so customers can skip the queue by ordering and paying online.
  • Fast processing. With fast and reliable processing, your diners won’t experience any disruptions at checkout.
Read our expert Stax review for more details.

Mobile payment processing
Payout time 1-3 days
Free terminal or mobile reader Dejavoo Z11 terminal or free Bluetooth mobile terminal
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $99.00

Payment Depot stands out for its low-cost pricing, fast approval (typically within 24 hours), and quick and easy onboarding. Once Payment Depot approves your application, you can start accepting payments and expect to see funds in your account within 48 hours.

Every Payment Depot customer gets a free Dejavoo Z11 terminal with their plan. It accepts all popular payment types: credit and debit cards and digital wallets through EMV and tap/contactless methods. Best of all, it’s WiFi-enabled and compact enough to fit on a crowded food truck countertop.

While you’d typically pay $79.00 monthly and 0% + 10¢ (in-person) per transaction (for both in-person and online payments), my Payment Depot agent said he would honor special “restaurant and bar” pricing for food trucks. That lowered the monthly fee to $59 and the transaction fee to 0% + 0.5¢. As an added perk, this deal includes a free SwipeSimple mobile card reader that will turn your smartphone or tablet into a fast, convenient POS terminal.

Features and Benefits

  • Next-day deposits. Not only does Payment Depot offer fast processing, but it also offers fast payouts. If you get approval for quick payouts, you can expect to see funds deposited to your account within 24 hours.
  • Online ordering. Integration with multiple online ordering platforms makes it easy for diners to browse your menu, place an online order, pay, and pick up at your truck’s location.
  • Wholesale interchange rates. Unlike many credit card processors, Payment Depot doesn’t markup interchange rates or take a percentage of your food truck’s sales.
  • Exceptional customer support. Payment Depot’s technical support agents are available by phone 24/7 to help you resolve any issues.
Learn more about its features in our expert Payment Depot review.

Mobile payment processing
Payout time Generally within 24 hours
Free terminal or mobile reader WiFi-enabled Dejavoo Z11 terminal and virtual card reader with any plan or SwipeSimple B250 mobile card reader. Discounted pricing on other POS equipment.
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $79.00

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) offers low-cost interchange-plus pricing and free POS and mobile POS (mPOS) equipment with a long-term contract. What’s more, you can also customize your plan features to fit your budget, making LMS suitable for both new and established food truck businesses.

Depending on your truck’s space and internet capabilities, you can choose a Clover POS terminal, compact Clover Mini, or the tiny but capable Clover Flex. The latter two work on LTE and WiFi, making them ideal for food trucks that need efficient mobile payment processing. LMS also offers SwipeSimple solutions for food truck mobile payment processing.

LMS charges a low monthly fee of $9.00, plus an in-person transaction fee of ~2% + 0¢. If customers place orders and pay online, the transaction fee is higher at ~2.9% + 30¢. There are other fees you should consider, including an annual PCI compliance fee.

Features and Benefits

  • Assured savings offer. Established food trucks looking to switch processors can take advantage of the LMS meet-or-beat guarantee. If LMS can’t at least meet the fees you’re currently paying, it will give you a $200 gift card.
  • Range of payment types. In addition to all major credit and debit cards, LMS lets you accept payments from Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. If you’ve purchased a Clover terminal, you can also accept PayPal and Venmo payments.
  • Discount offers. Offering special promotions to your customers, including discounts and rewards, can help you increase your sales and build a loyal base of diners. For example, you can retain customers by printing discounts and promotions on a SwipeSimple receipt.
  • Innovative POS solutions. As a SwipeSimple and Clover provider, LMS gives you access to quality equipment for food truck mobile payment processing. You’ll also be able to accept payments via mobile or tablet with the SwipeSimple Mobile App .
Our expert LMS review has more info about rates.

Mobile payment processing
Payout time Within 72 hours
Free terminal or mobile reader Clover Mini, Clover Flex, or Clover POS terminal with long-term contract, SwipeSimple mobile card reader and portable terminal (free or purchase)
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2% + 0¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

PaymentCloud is a good option if you’re launching a new food truck, have a poor credit score, or lack sufficient payment processing history to satisfy other top providers. It has a 98% acceptance rate and is my recommended processor for food truck vendors struggling to get approved.

PaymentCloud also stands out for its range of POS equipment. You can choose a free POS terminal (if your food truck has the space and connectivity), a wireless mobile reader, or a card reader that you can use with a smartphone or tablet. If you already have POS or mPOS equipment, Payment Cloud will also reprogram it for free.

Just be aware that PaymentCloud’s fees vary depending on whether its underwriters rate your business as low, medium, or high risk. Be sure to ask about pricing for a short-term, month-to-month agreement to avoid the cancellation fee if you decide to switch processors early.

Features and Benefits

  • Funding options. Payment Cloud customers can apply for bridge loans, lines of credit, and equipment financing, which is ideal for food truck startups or those looking to expand or upgrade their food prep and refrigeration equipment.
  • Dedicated account manager. Your PaymentCloud rep will help you with your application, the approval process, onboarding, and PCI compliance. If your food truck is your first business, this help can go a long way.
  • Fraud protection. Chargeback fees for fraudulent transactions can hurt your bottom line and credit rating – not to mention put your business reputation at risk. PaymentCloud’s fraud protection services can help reduce disputed payments and save you money.
  • Payment convenience. Fast processing and various payment options make it easier for customers to pay, shortening wait times and increasing satisfaction. LMS supports credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and payment methods like NFC, QR codes, and text messages.
Read our PaymentCloud review for more info.

Mobile payment processing
Payout time 24-48 hours, next day on average
Free terminal or mobile reader POS terminal, wireless mobile reader, or a card reader that attaches to your phone/tablet
Transaction fees on cheapest plan Around 2.1% + 15¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $14.00

5. Flagship Merchant Services: Speedy Sign-Up for Food Truck Payment Processing

Flagship makes it easy to get started with fast and secure food truck mobile payment processing. A simple online application, helpful agents, and quick and hassle-free onboarding means most food trucks can expect approval within 48 hours and start accepting payments the next day.

You have the option to select one of two pricing models: interchange-plus or tiered pricing. While tiered pricing may appear more cost-effective initially, it generally proves to be more expensive than interchange fees in the long term, particularly for small businesses such as food trucks.

Whichever plan you choose, Flagship will offer you a free terminal or mobile reader, but only with a long-term contract. But there are additional fees: Flagship charges extra for features like payment gateways and ACH processing. You can (and should) negotiate better terms to get the best deal with Flagship.

Features and Benefits

  • Mobile payments. Flagship offers a robust selection of hardware for food truck mobile payment processing that allows you to accept payments and issue digital receipts anywhere your truck takes you.
  • Digital loyalty programs. Gift cards and discount offers can help you build your brand, expand your base of loyal customers, and increase your sales.
  • Same-day payout. Flagship offers qualified food trucks the option to pay a small fee to have funds deposited in their accounts on the same day.
  • Zero-cost payment processing. Flagship’s cash discount program allows you to pass the cost of credit card processing to your customers. This can reduce your monthly costs and encourage diners to pay with cash.
Read our expert Flagship review for more features.

Mobile payment processing
Payout time 2-3 days, same-day payout for a fee
Free terminal or mobile reader For qualified food trucks with a long-term contract
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 3.58% + 0.19¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

6. National Processing: Low and Transparent Pricing for Food Truck Vendors

While National Processing offers multiple plans, the sweet spot for most food trucks will be the interchange-plus plan for food and beverage businesses. This affordable plan comes with a free mobile reader and costs $9.95 per month. Qualified food trucks will pay 0.14% + 7¢ per transaction.

You can use the SwipeSimple virtual terminal to key-in payments for phone orders and catering gigs. Your SwipeSimple dashboard also offers valuable insights into your sales, inventory, customers, and top-selling menu items. Such granular data can help you refine your offerings, target your marketing efforts, and grow your business.

National Processing’s online fee calculator can help you estimate your food truck’s processing costs. Remember, you need to be processing at least $10,000 per month to qualify for the lowest rates. Moreover, you’ll want to factor in the annual PCI compliance fee and the cost of leasing or purchasing equipment to get an accurate estimate of what you’ll actually pay.

Features and Benefits

  • Excellent POS choices. From mobile card readers that connect to your phone/tablet to portable cellular and WiFi-enabled terminals with offline capability, National Processing has the answer for your mobile payment processing needs.
  • Fast, easy, and free setup. National Processing will help you quickly get your food truck payment processing off the ground – and will do it for free.
  • Cash discount program. If you’re new to the business and selling inexpensive menu items, offering cash discounts to customers can help you save on processing costs. There’s a $30 monthly fee if you process less than $3,000.
  • Free equipment reprogramming. National Processing only offers free equipment with a 2-year contract. That makes its offer to reprogram your existing equipment a lot more attractive.
Read our expert National Processing review for more details.

Mobile payment processing
Payout time Next day (on average)
Free terminal or mobile reader Dejavoo Z9, Clover Flex, Clover Go, SwipeSimple (A920, B250), qualified merchants with 2-year contract
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0.14% + 7¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.95

Which of the Best Credit Card Processing for Food Trucks is Right for You?

Choosing the best food truck credit card processing company for you will vary depending on your monthly sales volume, the price of your menu items, and whether you allow customers to order online.

Other factors to consider are the number of trucks you have and whether you also have a restaurant or offer catering services.

Stax is my top choice for food trucks based on its outstanding features, mobile payment solutions, and affordable pricing. And with Stax’s monthly subscription, you’re free to test everything it offers without worrying about a costly cancellation fee.

Exceptional customer service and subscription-style plans make Payment Depot a great option. Be sure to ask about Payment Depot’s special rates for food trucks. You may even qualify for two free terminals if you have more than one truck.

If you want to switch processors, consider LMS for its assured savings guarantee and low monthly fees. LMS also offers a good selection of POS and mPOS equipment for food truck mobile payment processing.

To help you make an informed choice, here’s a recap of the best credit card processors for food trucks:
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Stax Industry-leading mPOS solutions and advanced reporting tools Food trucks that want an all-in-one payment processor and helpful business tools $99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Payment Depot Subscription-style plans and wholesale rates Food truck owners looking for low rates and predictable pricing $79.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
LMS Assured saving guarantee Food trucks looking to switch processors for a better deal $9.00 ~2% + 0¢
Payment Cloud Fair pricing for higher risk food truck owners New food trucks or vendors that lack processing history or have lower credit scores $14.00 Around 2.1% + 15¢
Flagship Fast approval and onboarding Food trucks that need to quickly start accepting payments $7.95 3.58% + 0.19¢ (in-person)
National Processing Transparent pricing and a zero-cost processing option Food trucks that accept cash payments and want clarity on rates $9.95 0.14% + 7¢


Which is the best payment processing company for food trucks?

Stax is the best credit card processor for food truck owners. It offers fast and secure mobile payment solutions and affordable rates with no interchange markup fees. Its full-featured app transforms your smartphone or tablet into an mPOS terminal. You’ll also get a compact POS terminal, a built-in shopping cart for online ordering, useful tools to manage your inventory and finances, helpful integrations, and more.

Do any credit card processors offer payment plans designed for food trucks?

Payment Depot offers a food industry payment plan designed for restaurants, food trucks, and food truck/restaurant hybrids. With this plan, you’ll save on both Payment Depot’s standard monthly subscription and per-transaction fee. If you prefer an interchange plus payment model, National Processing also has a low-cost restaurant plan suitable for food trucks.

What should food truck owners look for in POS credit card processing equipment?

Food trucks need compact, mobile POS solutions due to space constraints and the need to process payments in the field (often without WiFi connectivity). Stax offers Bluetooth-enabled readers that allow you to accept chip, swiped, and tap-to-pay transactions. You’ll also get a free app for iOS and Android that turns your tablet or smartphone into a full-featured mobile POS system.

What is the cheapest credit card processor for food trucks?

It depends on your sales volume, the price of your menu items, the number of food trucks you have, and whether you own a restaurant or catering business. You’ll also want to weigh additional fees (PCI compliance, virtual terminal, etc.) and whether a processor offers free equipment. That said, consider LMS if you’re looking to switch processors because you can use your current rates to negotiate a better deal.

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