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  5. Best Flat-Rate Credit Card Processing: Easy Pricing in 2024

Best Flat-Rate Credit Card Processing: Easy Pricing in 2024

Kamso Oguejiofor Kamso OguejioforFinance Specialist May 30, 2024
May 30, 2024
I get it. The variable costs associated with interchange-plus pricing models can be annoying. Each transaction feels like a guessing game as you wonder what fees will hit your account next. This not only makes it frustrating but also makes it hard to budget, and it can eat into your profits when you least expect it.

Meanwhile, the reverse is the case with flat-rate credit card processors. They lock in a consistent fee per transaction, allowing you to budget and plan more clearly. However, with a flat-rate processing plan, you could pay more of a markup on the baseline interchange rates.

That’s why it’s important to be careful when choosing a flat-rate credit card processor. After scouring the offerings of 50+ flat-rate payment processors, I found Stax to be the best option. Stax uses a simplified monthly subscription style and flexible contracts, letting you focus more on your business growth and less on deciphering fees.

I recommend checking out Stax’s low rates right away. Alternatively, keep reading to discover 5 other flat-rate credit card processing services that could be a great fit for your business.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Flat Rate Credit Card Processors in 2024

  1. Stax1 – Simplified monthly subscription plan for high-volume businesses.
  2. Payment Depot1 – Best flat-rate credit card processor for small to medium-sized businesses.
  3. Leaders Merchant Services1 – Best payment processor to bargain a better deal with.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Flat Rate Credit Card Processing Companies

In my investigation of flat-rate credit card processors, I sought specific features and benefits that directly influence your operations and cost management.
  • Transparent fees. Transparency in fee structure is crucial as it prevents unexpected costs. I looked for processors that clearly outline their fees, helping you avoid hidden charges and understand precisely what you’re paying for.
  • Flexible contract terms. Flexibility in contract terms can significantly impact your ability to adapt and manage costs. Most of my recommended vendors offer month-to-month agreements with no cancellation fees, allowing you to switch if your needs change.
  • Reliable security. Security is paramount, as it protects your financial data and your customers’ information. I prioritized processors that offer advanced encryption and comply with PCI standards to ensure your transactions are secure from fraud.
  • Fast payouts. I looked for payment processors that offer either next-day or same-day funding, whether for a price or as a standard feature. This ensures you have a steady cash flow to run your business effectively.

Stax uses a subscription-based pricing model. You pay a flat monthly fee and a small transaction fee with no markup on interchange fees. This means that you pay the exact, direct cost of interchange – unlike some flat-rate credit card processors that include additional charges beyond the interchange fees.

There are 3 Stax plans to choose from – Growth ($99.00 monthly), Pro ($159.00 monthly), and Ultimate ($199.00 monthly). Each has the same transaction fee of 0% + 10¢ (online) but differs in terms of features. Pro comes with digital invoicing and Quickbooks integration, while Ultimate has more advanced features like recurring invoices and data exportation. Whatever you choose, if you process over $8,000/month, you can save up to 40% with Stax.

Stax also integrates with e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify. Alternatively, you can add a shopping cart to your site using one of Stax’s code-free templates. If your business has a physical location, you can purchase POS devices like a Swipe Simple or PAX payment terminal – or use your existing equipment, as Stax is compatible with most devices.

Features and Benefits

  • Same-day payouts. For an extra fee, Stax will send your funds to your bank account the same day you process them.
  • QuickBooks integration. You can connect your Stax account to your QuickBooks account and automate your accounting process. This will help you save time, as your payments, invoices, customers, products, and services are automatically shared between Stax and QuickBooks.
  • Stax Pay. Stax Pay is a versatile payment platform that you can use to create and schedule payments, explore your sales data, view customer information, and more.
  • Stax mobile app. You can download Stax’s mobile app on your phone or tablet and use your device as a Point of Sale (POS) system. This way, you can quickly receive payments on the go during informal in-person events, for example.
Read our comprehensive Stax review for more details.

Flat rate structure Flat rate per transaction
and monthly fee
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation
fees)
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant,
end-to-end encryption,
tokenization, multi-factor
authentication, payer
verification, advanced
fraud detection and
prevention
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0% + 10¢ (online)
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$99.00

Payment Depot is a subsidiary of Stax, so they are broadly similar, except that Stax is more feature-rich. That said, Payment Depot is still a great option when looking for a flat-rate payment processor. It uses the same subscription-based model as Stax, with the same per-transaction rate of 0% + 10¢ (online) but a slightly lower monthly flat rate starting from $79.00.

I was really impressed with Payment Depot’s customer service. I had seen a lot of positive reviews about the customer support, so I decided to try it out myself. During my tests, I tried calling the team over the phone, and within a minute, an agent responded. They answered all my questions efficiently without transferring me to someone else or putting me on hold.

Payment Depot lets you create a shopping cart for your website, or you could easily install one of its pre-built templates. Unlike Stax, Payment Depot doesn’t integrate directly with e-commerce platforms like Shopify. However, it does integrate with the Authorize.net payment gateway, which connects seamlessly with various platforms, including Shopify and Woocommerce.

Features and Benefits

  • Free Dejavoo Z11 terminal. As a Payment Depot merchant, you get a free Dejavoo Z11 terminal. The EMV-enabled tool accepts contactless payments and can capture signatures via the touch screen.
  • Chargeback management. Payment Depot employs a 24/7 risk monitoring team to minimize chargebacks and fraud. You can also dispute chargebacks directly from your merchant account.
  • Comprehensive payment dashboard. Payment Depot has an all-in-one payment dashboard where you can create and send branded invoices, generate payment links, input payments manually, run promotions, and monitor sales performance.
  • Fast onboarding process. You can start taking payments with Payment Depot in as little as 24 hours. Ensure you provide the required documentation and information on time, and the sales team will help you get started as soon as possible.
Check out our full Payment Depot review for more details.

Flat rate structure Flat rate per transaction
and monthly fee
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation
fees)
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant,
end-to-end encryption,
tokenization, payer
authentication, 24/7 fraud
risk monitoring
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0% + 10¢ (online)
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$79.00
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3. Leaders Merchant Services: Most Affordable Non-Flat Rate Option1

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) doesn’t offer flat rate pricing, but it’s one of the most affordable credit payment processors I’ve encountered. Because its interchange-plus pricing is very cost-effective, the fluctuations that come with it aren’t as significant and won’t stress your budget. Moreover, LMS lets you negotiate rates and promises to meet or beat your current rates.

If you need some extra capital to grow your business, contact LMS to see if you qualify for a cash advance. One thing I like about LMS’ funding is that you don’t have to put up collateral or adhere to a strict payback deadline. You simply pay back through a small commission on your future sales, a pressure-free process.

Plans start from as low as ~0.15% + $0 per transaction and $9.00 per month, but you can probably get lower fees if you contact LMS. If you sign a long-term contract, you can get a free POS device, minimizing your costs down the line.

Features and Benefits

  • Shopping cart integration. LMS integrates with CartManager, a shopping cart tool you can add to your website. This tool has several features, including real-time shipping, sales tax calculation, custom languages, and more.
  • High approval rate. LMS has one of the highest approval rates in the industry. It approves 98% of merchant applications, so it’s a great option if you’re in a high-risk industry or have a limited credit history.
  • Chargeback and fraud department. There’s an entire department dedicated to resolving any chargeback issues you may encounter while using LMS. It’s one of the largest such departments in the industry.
  • Same-day onboarding. After LMS approves your merchant application, it will set up your account in as little as 24 hours so you can start processing payments immediately.
For more details, read our full Leaders Merchant Services review.

Flat rate structure N/A
Contract length 3 years average (no
cancellation fee)
Security PCI-compliant, end-to-end
encryption, advanced fraud detection and prevention,
tokenization
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
~0.15% + $0
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$9.00

Chase Payment Solutions gives you fast access to your funds – you can either get your money the next day after processing or the same day. While next-day funding is a standard feature, same-day payouts are only available to Chase Business Banking account holders. This account costs $15/month, but the fee can be waived if you meet a minimum balance.

Chase’s flat rate pricing starts from 2.6% + 10¢ for card-present transactions. Keyed-in per transaction rates go for 3.5% + 10¢, while online transactions cost 2.6% + 10¢ per payment. There are no monthly fees.

I’m a big fan of Chase’s analytics and intelligence software. It lets you track your daily, weekly, and monthly sales and see how your sales trends compare with competitors. You can also see what time of day your customers are most likely to buy, allowing you to optimize your marketing and sales strategies accordingly.

Features and Benefits

  • Card-not-present options. Chase gives you access to two options for handling card-not-present transactions: the Orbital virtual terminal and the Authorize.net payment gateway.
  • Specialized payment software. As a Chase merchant, you can access 10 free and premium payment software tools for different industries. These include EventZilla for event registrations, FuseBill for subscriptions, and PayRent for rent.
  • Chase Mobile. Chase provides an intuitive mobile app that is available on iOS and Android. You can use the app to manage business accounts, create and send payment links, accept payments, manage disputes, and more.
  • Developer toolkit. With Chase’s developer toolkit, you can build your own software solution, test it in real time, and integrate it within your own development environment.
Our expert Chase Payment Solutions review has more on pricing.

Flat rate structure Flat rate per transaction
and monthly fee
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation fees)
or variable (cancellation fees
may apply)
Security PCI-compliant, end-to-end
encryption, tokenization,
advanced fraud detection
and prevention, payer
verification
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
2.6% + 10¢
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
N/A

5. Square: Best for New Online Businesses1

Square supports new businesses by providing multiple free offerings. You can sign up for a free Square account and start processing payments immediately. You also get a free mobile card reader, cutting down your hardware costs and allowing you to allocate money to other parts of your business.

One of my favorite Square features is that you can create and launch an online store at no extra cost. Alternatively, you could sell your products without a website by sharing buy buttons and QR codes to your customers via social media or email.

With a minimum per-transaction fee of 2.5% + 10¢ and monthly fees either nonexistent or at $89.00, Square is very transparent about its prices. You can also easily add services to your plan, with the costs clearly outlined on Square’s site. The only issue with Square is that it doesn’t screen its merchants thoroughly, so it has a reputation for unexpectedly suspending accounts.

Features and Benefits

  • Afterpay. Square partners with Afterpay to provide customers with a buy now, pay later option. They can pay for orders in four interest-free installments over 6 weeks or monthly over 6 or 12 months for larger online purchases, but with interest. You still get paid the full amount upfront.
  • Super fast onboarding. Creating an account with Square is free and straightforward. You don’t need any approval – just provide some basic information about your business, and you can start accepting payments immediately.
  • Analytics and reporting tool. Square’s reports and analytics tool provides real-time data about your sales, a general overview of your sales within a specific timeframe, a list of the top used discounts, updates on any disputes you may have received, customer insights, and much more.
  • Multiple software integrations. Square integrates with multiple e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Ecwid, WordPress, and more. It also syncs seamlessly with other software, such as QuickBooks and Mailchimp.
Read our expert Square review for more info.

Flat rate structure Flat rate per transaction
with or without a monthly
fee
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation
fees)
Security PCI-compliant, end-to-end
encryption, tokenization,
two-factor authentication,
handles PCI compliance
for you
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
2.5% + 10¢
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$0

6. Helcim: Budget-Friendly Processor for E-Commerce Businesses1

Helcim is one of the most affordable credit card processors on the market. It charges you a flat per-transaction fee of 0.30% + 8¢ (in-person) for in-person payments and 0.50% +25¢ (online) for online payments. But if you process over $25,000 in transactions every month, you may qualify for even lower rates.

Helcim will give you access to a fully hosted online store builder that automatically syncs to your merchant account. Provided you have a domain name, the payment processor will transfer products from your account onto the web store so you can start selling immediately.

I like how user-friendly Helcim’s user interface (UI) is. The dashboard is clean, modern, and very easy to navigate, even if you’re not tech-savvy or have no experience with credit card processing. The only downside to Helcim is that it doesn’t support high-risk industries or third-party card processing equipment, but beyond that, it’s a solid option for new businesses.

Features and Benefits

  • Customer portal. Helcim’s online store builder lets you add a customer portal. Here, customers can manage their invoices, payment methods, subscriptions, and addresses without contacting you all the time.
  • Online food ordering system. If you own a small restaurant, Helcim provides an online food ordering system that can help you save money on food delivery app commissions. With this system, you can create an online menu, manage tax calculations, and even create discount codes.
  • Custom integrations. While Helcim has limited pre-built e-commerce integrations, you can use its API to build custom integrations if you want to connect to other e-commerce platforms outside of what Helcim provides.
  • Built-in CRM. Helcim has a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that allows you to securely store customer information, update customer data, send invoices and emails, and track orders.
For more details, check out our comprehensive Helcim review.

Flat rate structure Flat rate per transaction
with or without a monthly
fee
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation
fees)
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant,
voluntarily NIST compliant,
advanced fraud detection
and prevention
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0.30% + 8¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
N/A

Enjoy Consistent Rates With the Best Flat-Rate Credit Card Processors

Not everyone is a fan of varied costs, especially when the present month’s charge is higher than the previous month’s. This is where flat rate pricing comes in, ensuring you pay the exact same rate every time.

Stax is the best choice1 if you process a high volume of transactions every month. It features a subscription-style plan that includes a flat monthly fee and a small transaction fee with zero markup on interchange fees. If you handle $8,000+ per month in credit card transactions, you can save up to 40% with Stax.

If you’re looking for a processor that offers simplified subscription-based pricing suitable for small to mid-sized businesses, I recommend Payment Depot1. It offers a slightly cheaper monthly fee than Stax and one of the best customer support teams in the industry.

If you want the most affordable payment processor, go with Leaders Merchant Services1. Not only is LMS cheap, but it’s open to negotiating rates with you. In fact, it will give you $200 if it can’t meet or beat the pricing of your current credit card processor.

Below is a brief comparison of the best flat-rate credit card processors.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee
on cheapest
plan
Transaction
fees on
cheapest plan
Stax Simple pricing without markups on interchange rates High-volume businesses looking for flat-rate pricing $99.00 0% + 10¢ (online)
Payment Depot Simplified subscription-based pricing plan with zero monthly fees Small to mid-sized enterprises looking for flat-rate pricing $79.00 0% + 10¢ (online)
Leaders Merchant Services Affordable rates and negotiable
fees
Businesses that want to negotiate pricing $9.00 ~0.15% + $0
Chase Payment Solutions Same-day
funding
Companies that need fast access to their funds N/A 2.6% + 10¢
Square Free account and credit card reader New, online-first businesses $89.00 2.5% + 10¢
Helcim Fully hosted
online store builder
E-commerce businesses with a tight budget N/A 0.30% + 8¢ (in-person)

FAQ

What is flat-rate credit card processing?

Flat-rate credit card processing is a pricing model where you pay a fixed percentage of the transaction amount plus a set fee per transaction, regardless of the type of card used by your customers. For instance, Payment Depot charges you 0% + 10¢ (online) for every transaction you process, whether your customers use Visa or Mastercard.

How does flat rate pricing compare to tiered pricing?

Flat rate pricing is simpler and more predictable than tiered pricing, as it involves the same rate for all transactions. Tiered pricing categorizes transactions into different rates based on criteria like the card type and whether the transaction is in-person or online​​. Tiered pricing can potentially be more affordable, but it really depends on your business.

Can I use flat-rate processing for both online and in-store transactions?

Yes, flat-rate processing is available for both online and in-store transactions. However, rates may vary across different transaction types depending on the payment processor. For instance, Stax offers the same per-transaction rates for both in-person and online transactions. Meanwhile, Helcim’s online fees are slightly higher than its in-person transaction rates.

What should I look for when choosing a flat-rate credit card processor?

When choosing a flat-rate credit card processor, look for transparency in pricing, short-term contracts, and strong security. Ensure the processor supports all major credit cards and offers solutions tailored to your business size and type​​.

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