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6 Best Event Payment Processing: Boost Your Next Event [2024]

Ashley Hague Ashley HagueFinance Specialist April 04, 2024
April 04, 2024
Seamless payment processing is crucial for the success of any event. Generally, you’ll want to provide online ticket sales before the event, while also having the flexibility to accept door sales on the spot. You may also want to sell food or other memorabilia to commemorate the occasion.

Finding an event payment processor that meets all those criteria can be a challenge. That’s why I’ve rounded up six of the best event payment processors in the industry. From advanced security features to flexible payment options and intuitive point-of-sale (POS) user interfaces, these payment processors offer a range of features designed for both one-off and regular events across all budgets.

After all my research, I’ve discovered that Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is the best event payment processing provider. With industry-leading payment gateways for online sales and a variety of advanced point-of-sale (POS) systems to use on event day, LMS is perfect for events big or small.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Event Payment Processors in 2024

  1. Leaders Merchant Services1 – The best all-around processor for event payment processing with negotiable rates and free POS equipment.
  2. PAYARC1 – Advanced security and sales reporting features perfect for events selling tickets online.
  3. ProMerchant1 – A great option for high-risk businesses seeking flexible options for occasional events.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Event Payment Processing Companies

As I researched event payment processing options, I considered features that would be of most use for event organizers, including:
  • Advanced security measures. I only considered payment processors that offer advanced security measures, including PCI compliance, tokenization, and robust fraud prevention tools.
  • Payment gateways. I looked for payment processors that offer secure payment gateways or e-commerce integrations to make it easy to accept payments on your website.
  • Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) offerings. I looked for processors that also offer mobile POS systems or the ability to accept payments through a mobile app for door ticket sales, as well as food, drink, and merchandise sales during an event. Using your mobile or tablet to take payments can also cut down on equipment costs.
  • Competitive pricing. I also evaluated the payment processors on their payment structures and included various competitive options for different event needs, including low transaction fees, software included in your monthly fees, and no-contract options.
  • Dedicated customer support. All the processors on this list offer reliable customer support, with accessible channels to assist you with any payment-related inquiries or issues that may arise during your event planning and execution.

One standout feature that makes LMS the perfect choice for events is its seamless integration with payment gateway Authorize.net. With this integration, you can set up online presales, allowing attendees to purchase tickets or products weeks before the event. By maximizing online sales through secure and reliable transactions, you can enhance attendee convenience and minimize on-site congestion.

To further improve the payment experience during events, LMS offers the SwipeSimple app and card reader1 for mobile payments. This makes it easy for your staff to handle transactions on the spot, even in bustling environments. If you plan on having door sales or food and merchandise stalls, this is crucial.

But what truly sets Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) apart is its commitment to providing industry-low rates and negotiable plans. Monthly plans start at $9.00, with low interchange-plus fees of ~0.15% + $0 for card-present transactions. With its personalized approach, you’ll only have to pay for the features you need, ensuring that it can meet your specific needs while staying within your budget.

Features and Benefits

  • Free POS hardware. LMS is one of the few credit card processors that will offer you a free Clover or SwipeSimple terminal (POS or mPOS) or free mobile card reader for signing up. Not only are these top-of-the-line card processing solutions, but they also come equipped with advanced software for loyalty programs, inventory management, and sales analytics.
  • “Meet or beat” guarantee. LMS offers a price match policy if you’re already working with another provider. If it can’t beat or at least meet your current fees, you’ll receive a $200 gift card.
  • 24/7 technical support. With events at all hours of the day, having round-the-clock technical support is crucial to ensuring a smooth operation, should any issue arise.
  • Dedicated chargeback department. Unfortunately, chargebacks are common with card-not-present transactions, so LMS offers a whole team to help you handle them when they happen.
Check out our expert LMS review for more features.

Mobile POS options SwipeSimple, Clover Flex
Payment gateway Authorize.net
Support 24/7 phone support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~0.15% + $0
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

For event businesses in the US with high transaction volumes earning more than $8,000 per month, Stax offers a subscription-based payment model that can save you money in the long run. By opting for a subscription plan starting at $99.00, you can unlock competitive flat fee rates and save nearly 40% in transaction fees. However, for smaller event businesses or those with more sporadic event schedules, Stax may not be worth the monthly fees.

Stax understands the importance of convenience in event payment processing. To cater to your online needs, Stax provides a prebuilt shopping cart feature. This feature allows you to seamlessly integrate an online purchasing system into your event website, enabling smooth and secure presales transactions.

Additionally, Stax offers a powerful mobile app to manage payments on the go, which means you’ll still have access to your customer dashboard, analytics, and transaction history during your event. You can accept contactless payments with a mobile reader or scan the credit card with your smartphone for quick payment processing.

Features and Benefits

  • Accounting software integrations. Simple integrations for popular bookkeeping software like QuickBooks and Zoho Books free up your time from administrative work and ensure your records are up to date and accurate. Stax’s two-way sync with QuickBooks can update your both platforms in real time.
  • Advanced security. In addition to being Level 1 PCI-compliant, Stax offers tokenization, end-to-end encryption, and multi-factor authentication. Its advanced fraud detection and prevention tools also offer instant payer verification.
  • E-commerce integrations. If you have an existing events website from e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce or BigCommerce, you can easily integrate Stax to streamline your operations and securely accept payments online.
  • Support for international cards. Stax supports a handful of international credit cards so you’ll be able to accept payments from all event attendees, no matter where they’re from.
Discover more features in our comprehensive Stax review.

Mobile POS options Stax Pay app, SwipeSimple mobile reader, Dejavoo QD, Clover Flex, Clover Mini
Payment gateway Stax API, Authorize.net
Support Phone, live chat, email, and ticket support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $99.00
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3. Chase Payment Solutions: Great Event Payment Processor for Chase Business Members1

Chase’s transparency makes it a good payment processor for new or small event businesses. Its flat rate pricing model is straightforward and doesn’t have any hidden or monthly fees – even for software or PCI compliance. Best of all, you can opt to sign up for a monthly contract and won’t be subject to early termination fees.

With Chase, you’ll gain access to Chase Customer Insights, a powerful proprietary analytics software. This tool allows you to dive deep into your event’s data and gain valuable insights into attendee behavior, preferences, and trends. Armed with this knowledge, you can fine-tune your marketing strategies, tailor your event experiences, and keep your attendees coming back for more.

 However, to get the most out of Chase Payment Solutions, it pays to have a Chase Business Account. For instance, Chase Payment Solutions offers next-day funding – but if you want same-day funding, you’ll need that account. Similarly, some POS options for in-person event sales are only available for Chase customers, including the Chase QuickAccept mobile POS and virtual terminal.

Features and Benefits

  • Eventzilla integration. Manage your event registration, marketing, and payments all in one place with Eventzilla. Chase Payment’s integration with this leading event software allows you to build a custom website and even throw virtual events or livestream to your at-home audience.
  • net payment gateway. Chase uses the Visa-backed Authorize.net payment gateway to accept online payments so you can be sure your attendees’ information is secure when they buy tickets online.
  • BigCommerce partnership. Once you open a merchant account with Chase, you can sign up for a free 15-day trial with BigCommerce and start accepting payments immediately. If you bank with Chase, you’ll also be eligible for same-day e-commerce deposits and per-transaction fees of 2.9% + 25¢.
  • Tap to Pay on iPhone. Chase can turn your iPhone into a contactless card reader through its phone app. Once activated, you can accept card payments as well as digital wallets.
Read our Chase Payment Solutions review to learn more.

Mobile POS options Chase QuickAccept, Tap to Pay (iPhone only)
Payment gateway Authorize.net
Support 24/7 phone support line
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.6% + 10¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

4. PaymentCloud: High Approval Rates, Even for High-Risk Businesses1

PaymentCloud has a 98% approval rating and specializes in high-risk merchant accounts, even accepting high-risk event industries like educational seminars and coaching. Keep in mind that PaymentCloud’s ability to accommodate high-risk businesses means you may pay slightly higher fees than Leaders Merchant Services or ProMerchant and will have to sign a long-term contract with cancellation fees.

PaymentCloud’s integration with Paysley provides innovative ways to digitally pay with payment links sent via text, email, online invoices, QR codes, and social media. These provide attendees with modern and flexible payment options and can work well for food or merchandise sales throughout your event.

In addition to mobile payment options, PaymentCloud also offers a ton of different payment gateway integrations including Authorize.net, Braintree, and Payeezy. With these, you can ensure your attendees have a way to purchase advance tickets in a secure, PCI-compliant setting. Many of these even work globally so international guests can attend your events.

Features and Benefits

  • Range of payment methods. PaymentCloud accepts a huge variety of payment methods including credit and debit cards, ACH/eChecks, digital wallets, and even cryptocurrencies.
  • Advanced fraud detection. With robust fraud prevention measures in place, PaymentCloud helps protect your event from fraudulent transactions. It utilizes industry-leading security protocols and anti-fraud tools to mitigate risks effectively.
  • Funding options. If you’re ever in need of a cash injection for operating costs, PaymentCloud offers several financing options tailored to support businesses such as microloans, lines of credit, and cash advances. These are perfect for getting your events up and running when you’re low on cash.
  • Dedicated account manager. Once you start the application process, PaymentCloud will assign you a personal customer service representative that will remain with you throughout the whole process and provide support for onboarding, terminal and shopping cart set up, and anything else you might need assistance with.
Discover more features in our expert PaymentCloud review.

Mobile POS options Paysley mobile app, mobile card reader
Payment gateway Authorize.net, Braintree, Payeezy
Support Phone support available Monday to Sunday during business hours
Transaction fees on cheapest plan Around 2.1% + 15¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan  $14.00

5. PAYARC: Advanced Dashboard for Reporting and Tracking Ticket Sales

PAYARC offers a user-friendly dashboard available both online and through a convenient mobile app1, which allows you to access transaction data, sales analytics, and customer insights of your event attendees. This can make it easier to check online payments against the guest list and keep track of important financial insights like when and how tickets are purchased.

PAYARC’s cash discount plans present an advantageous feature if you’re looking to promote cash door sales. These plans offer the flexibility to slash processing costs by incentivizing attendees to pay in cash by providing discounts. PAYARC also offers two other pricing plan types: volume-based membership and flat rate pricing.

PAYARC offers reduced rates for non-profits too. If you’re a non-profit looking to host fundraising events, the reduced processing fees may help alleviate some operating costs. However, it’s worth noting that one potential downside of PAYARC is the requirement to sign up for a contract. This may not be ideal if you only host a few events a year or are seeking a more flexible payment processing solution.

Features and Benefits

  • Advanced security and fraud prevention. Events that focus on online ticket sales can benefit from PAYARC’s standard encryption and tokenization features, as well as the ability to limit the number of attempted transactions made from a single customer or from certain IP addresses.
  • Same-day payouts. While PAYARC’s 24-48 hours payouts as standard is one of the fastest in the industry, if you need instant access to your cash you can pay an additional $20 fee to receive your funds by the end of the business day.
  • Easy invoicing. If you own the event center or an event company, PAYARC makes it easy to create custom invoices to accept payments from event organizers and vendors.
  • Variety of POS options. PAYARC offers a range of PAX and Dejavoo POS systems and mobile card readers to fit the needs of your event. You might even be eligible for a free PAX A920 portable terminal when you sign up.
See more processing solutions in our full PAYARC review.

Mobile POS options Pax A920, Dejavoo Z1
Payment gateway PAYARC API, Authorize.net, NMI, USAePay, and Planet Payment
Support 24/7 phone support, email, online knowledge base
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

6. ProMerchant: No Fixed Contracts – Only Flexible Payment Options for Your Event

If you’re seeking a more flexible payment processing solution for your events, ProMerchant is an excellent option. Unlike many payment processors, ProMerchant has no long-term contracts1, opting instead for month-to-month contracts. This ensures that you can easily adjust your payment solution as needed, especially if you only have occasional or seasonal events.

For events that need on-site payment options, ProMerchant goes the extra mile by offering free point-of-sale (POS) systems from a range of leading companies like Clover and PAX. While you’ll have to return these devices if you stop using ProMerchant, it’s a great cost-effective solution for in-person sales at an event.

ProMerchant offers two distinct payment structures: Zero Cost Processing and Interchange Plus Fixed Rate. The Zero Cost Processing option can be an attractive choice for eligible event organizers. It allows you to offset processing fees by passing them onto the card-paying customer. Alternatively, the Interchange Plus Fixed Rate provides transparency and predictability with per-transaction fees of 3% + 10¢ (credit) and 3% + 10¢ (debit).

Features and Benefits

  • High-risk merchant accounts. ProMerchant partners with a dozen high-risk processors to provide merchant accounts to businesses deemed high risk. If you have little or no credit history or fall under a high risk label for selling event tickets, ProMerchant will offer you fair and transparent pricing.
  • 24/7 customer support. ProMerchant provides 24/7 phone and email support, which is ideal for events that run outside of standard business hours.
  • Quick and easy setup. ProMerchant simplifies the setup process and approves accounts within 2–24 hours, ensuring event planners can start accepting payments swiftly without significant delays.
  • Mail Order/Telephone Order solutions. If you offer ticket purchasing over the phone, ProMerchant offers two secure virtual terminals through its partnership with Payments Hub and Authorize.net. While you’ll have to pay a software fee to use Authorize.net, ProMerchant offers Payments Hub for free.
See our in-depth ProMerchant review for more details.

Mobile POS options Payanywhere App and Bluetooth credit card reader, PAX A920, Clover Mini, Clover Flex
Payment gateway Authorize.net, Payments Hub
Support 24/7 phone and email support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan Custom
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

Choose the Payment Processor That’s Right for Your Next Event

Every event is different and has unique payment needs. Ensuring your event payment processing is smooth for you and your attendees can help you pull off a successful occasion time and time again.

If you’re looking for a more tailored approach or are on a tighter budget, Leaders Merchant Services is my top recommendation1. It gives you the ability to negotiate your rates and choose only the features you actually need. Plus, with the online and in-person payment options, you’ll have the flexibility you’ll need for any event.

If online security is your main priority, consider PAYARC instead. PAYARC offers industry-leading security measures to keep your attendees’ information safe and to mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity when selling tickets through the web.

Or, if you’re a higher-risk business organizing occasional or seasonal events, go with ProMerchant. With its month-to-month contracts and fast setup and funding, you’ll be able to run events without a hitch.

To see how these companies stack up, check out the table below.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Negotiable plans and affordable interchange-plus pricing Event business on a tight budget $9.00 ~0.15% + $0
PAYARC Advanced e-commerce security features Events that mainly sell online tickets N/A 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
ProMerchant Flexible pricing and no long-term contracts Businesses that want flexibility for casual or occasional events $7.95 Custom
Stax Mobile app for contactless payments and reporting High-volume event businesses that host a lot of monthly events $99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Chase Payment Solutions Integration with BigCommerce and Eventzilla Small- to medium-sized event companies that bank with Chase N/A 2.6% + 10¢
PaymentCloud Specialized high-risk merchant accounts High-risk event businesses that offer seminars and coaching $14.00 Around 2.1% + 15¢

FAQ

How do I decide what credit card processor is right for my events?

Assess your specific event needs, budget, and attendee payment preferences to help guide you toward choosing the right credit card processor that aligns with your goals and ensures a smooth and secure payment experience for both you and your attendees. Leaders Merchant Services is a great all-around processor for events and offers negotiable rates for any budget.

What is the best way to collect payments for an event?

The best way to collect payments for an event is to offer a variety of convenient and secure payment methods such as online presales through a trusted payment gateway and a POS system for on-site transactions like door sales. You can also consider a cash discount program to save on processing fees.

Am I able to sell tickets online and at the door for a single event?

Yes, you can sell tickets both online and at the door for a single event. By utilizing an event ticketing platform or website, you can offer online ticket sales in advance, while also providing the option for attendees to purchase tickets at the door on the day of the event. Stax offers a great way to accept payments on your phone so you won’t even need a full POS system.

How quickly can I expect to receive my funds after processing payments through event payment processors?

It depends on which payment processor you use for your events. Standard payout times vary between 24 to 72 hours usually, though some might take longer if you’re considered high-risk or there are any issues with security or fraud. However, ProMerchant offers next-day funding as standard for quick payout for all events.

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