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6 BEST Online Payment Processing Services + Low Fees 2024

Ashley Hague Ashley HagueFinance Specialist April 04, 2024
April 04, 2024
Online payment processing is an essential component of running a successful online business. No matter how impeccable your products and website design are, a cumbersome or ineffective payment processor can drive potential customers away, leaving your efforts in vain.

There are a lot of payment processors that process online transactions, but not all of them are designed for online businesses. As an online business, you’ll need top fraud detection, low card-not-present (CNP) transactions fees, and advanced features like shopping cart integration or recurring billing.

Unfortunately, it can be tough to separate the good ones from the not-so-good ones. That’s why I’ve combed through the top payment processors to narrow the list down to the best six online payment processors that offer secure and reliable online payment processing. Whatever your industry or business size, you’ll find an online solution that works for you.

Among these options, one processor rises above the rest: Leaders Merchant Services (LMS). With its extensive array of online processing features, negotiable transactions fees, and commitment to exceptional customer satisfaction, LMS emerges as the go-to payment processor for online businesses.

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

  1. Expert’s Choice
    1 1LMS_Monogram Leaders Merchant Services
    Leaders Merchant Services is a popular choice with our readers
    An established online payment processor with negotiable rates.
  2. 1 1staxx logo Stax A great option for subscription-based businesses looking for advanced security.
  3. 1 1Payementcloudlogo PaymentCloud Perfect for high-risk online businesses that need personalized support.

What We Look For in the Best Online Payment Processors

When researching the best payment processors for online businesses, I focused only on reliable payment processors that offer the following features:
  • Robust security measures. I looked for payment processors that offer advanced security measures for online card transactions, including PCI compliance, real-time fraud monitoring, address verification, and chargeback assistance.
  • Wide range of payment options. All the payment processors on this list support a range of payment methods, including major credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and more. This flexibility allows your customers to choose their preferred payment method, increasing convenience and boosting conversion rates.
  • Online store integrations. I only included payment processors that offer seamless integration with shopping carts and retail sites to ensure you have a hassle-free setup and a streamlined checkout process for customers.
  • Reporting and analytics. The online payment processors I picked come with comprehensive reporting capabilities that provide valuable information such as sales trends, customer behavior, and revenue breakdowns to help you run your online business better.
  • Competitive pricing. Finally, I considered pricing as a key factor when choosing my top processors, especially for CNP transactions, which make up the bulk of most online businesses’ sales.

My top choice for online payment processing is Leaders Merchant Services (LMS). A standout feature is LMS’s industry-high approval rate – 98% for authorized businesses. With its reliable service and dedication to helping businesses thrive, LMS provides a smooth and fast onboarding process, whether your online business is new or looking for a better payment processor.

Taking a personalized approach, LMS doesn’t advertise its pricing online. Instead, it works directly with your business to negotiate a tailored plan that meets your specific business needs. This means you’ll only pay for the features you actually need such as subscription tools, loyalty programs, or a POS system if you also have in-person operations.

LMS offers a range of integration options with popular online platforms like Authorize.Net and CartManager. It also offers a virtual terminal that allows you to accept payments over the phone or manually process transactions when an online checkout isn’t feasible. With LMS, you can save valuable time and effort by connecting these services with your preferred platforms, enabling you to focus on what matters most – growing your online business.

Features and Benefits

  • Chargeback protection. LMS offers chargeback protection mechanisms to help you mitigate the risk of disputed transactions and minimize potential revenue loss due to chargebacks, which can be common for CNP transactions.
  • Dedicated account manager. LMS will assign a personal account manager to assist you with any questions, concerns, or technical issues you may encounter, ensuring personalized support throughout your partnership.
  • “Meet or beat” policy. LMS guarantees that it’ll match or beat your current processor’s prices when you switch. If it can’t deliver on its promise, LMS will give you a $200 gift card.
  • 24/7 customer support. LMS offers round-the-clock customer support, ensuring that assistance is available whenever you need it, no matter the time zone or issue you’re facing.
Read our expert LMS review for more details.

Integrations Authorize.net and CartManager
Security features PCI compliant, advanced fraud detection and prevention, end-to-end encryption, tokenization
Customer support 24/7 phone support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~0.15% + $0
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

Stax is a payment processor that’s simple and cost-effective for established, high-volume businesses. If you process more than $8000/month, Stax’s competitive subscription-based pricing model can save you up to 40% and there are no hidden fees or long-term contracts.

Stax offers pre-built shopping carts that you can quickly add to your website, or an advanced API to create a custom one that’s unique to your business. Additionally, there are a range of other software integrations like HubSpot and Mailchimp that can streamline your operations and make your life easier.

Stax’s customer support team is always ready to assist you with any questions or technical issues. Plus, Stax takes fraud and chargeback monitoring seriously. With robust tools like tokenization and fraud monitoring, it actively keeps an eye out for suspicious activities, helping you protect your revenue and maintain trust with your customers.

Features and Benefits

  • Invoicing and recurring billing. Stax enables you to set up professional invoicing or recurring billing for subscription-based services, making it simple to automate regular payment collections from your customers.
  • Comprehensive reports. Stax provides in-depth reporting and analytics tools for your online business needs, including inventory tracking, sales trends, and customer reporting.
  • International card support. Stax offers the ability to accept card payments from around the world, allowing your online business to expand cross-border.
  • QuickBooks integration. Stax seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks, along with other accounting and ecommerce software. This can help you easily stay on top of all your financial information and streamline your online operations.
Check out our expert Stax review for more details.

Integrations 15+ including QuickBooks, Zoho, Xero, and HubSpot
Security features Level 1 PCI compliant, HIPAA compliant, advanced fraud detection and prevention, tokenization
Customer support Phone, live chat, email, and ticket support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $99.00
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Unlike traditional payment processors, PaymentCloud caters specifically to high-risk businesses. With a 98% merchant approval rating regardless of industry, PaymentCloud understands the unique challenges high-risk merchants face and offers tailored solutions to meet your needs.

Once you’ve been approved, PaymentCloud will work with you to onboard and set up your online business. PaymentCloud even offers a range of financing options like business loans and merchant cash advances. If your online business has struggled to get funding from traditional banks, PaymentCloud could prove to be a viable solution.

In addition to debit and credit cards, PaymentCloud enables you to accept alternative payment options like ACH transfers, mobile wallet payments, buy-now-pay-later schemes, and even cryptocurrencies. Plus, with PaymentCloud’s robust integrations, you can accept payments worldwide, which is crucial for many online businesses that want to sell cross-border.

Features and Benefits

  • Customizable payment solutions. PaymentCloud provides customizable online payment solutions, allowing you to tailor your checkout experience to align with your branding and customer preferences.
  • Automated billing support. PaymentCloud offers robust recurring billing and subscription management tools, simplifying the process of managing and collecting recurring payments for subscription-based businesses.
  • Fraud detection and prevention. With advanced fraud detection and prevention systems in place, PaymentCloud helps you identify and mitigate fraudulent CNP transactions, safeguarding your revenue and reputation.
  • Paysley integration. Expand your business across the web through payment links, QR codes, and social media integrations. Paisley’s flexibility can enhance the customer experience, drive engagement, and improve conversion rates.
Read our full PaymentCloud review for more details.

Integrations 100+ including QuickBooks, WooCommerce, and Shopify
Security features Level 1 PCI compliant, tokenization, end-to-end encryption, advanced fraud detection and prevention
Customer support Phone support available Monday to Friday, 7:00 – 18:00 PST
Transaction fees on cheapest plan Around 2.1% + 15¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $14.00

4. PAYARC: Advanced Security Measures to Protect Your Online Business

PAYARC is a great online payment processor that puts security at the forefront. By employing state-of-the-art encryption, tokenization, and velocity filtering technologies, PAYARC ensures sensitive payment information is secure. This helps mitigate fraudulent activities that are especially crucial for card-not-present payments.

If your business offers monthly subscriptions, tiered pricing plans, or usage-based billing, PAYARC’s flexible subscription management tools allow you to handle recurring payments seamlessly. You can create professional invoices, track payments, and integrate with third-party accounting software for easy reconciliation.

PAYARC offers two pricing models relevant for online businesses: membership and flat rate. The membership tiers are based on sales volume, and if you process up to $25K a month, you’ll only have to pay a flat rate of 0% + 15¢ (in-person & online) in transaction fees. While it’s one of the lowest in the industry, the monthly fee is slightly higher than some of the other processors on my list.

Features and Benefits

  • Same-day processing. If you need quick access to funds for improved cash flow and operating costs, PAYARC offers same-day funding to ensure that you can receive payouts on the same day they are processed.
  • E-commerce integrations. PAYARC integrates seamlessly with popular e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento, and more, enabling smooth payment processing within your existing setup.
  • Account management dashboard. Gain control over your transactions, generate reports, and manage your payment settings conveniently through PAYARC’s intuitive account management dashboard.
  • International support. With the use of third-party integrations, PAYARC allows you to easily expand your online business and accept payments from customers worldwide.
Discover more features in our expert PAYARC review.

Integrations 10+ including QuickBooks, WooCommerce, Verifi, and more
Security features Level 1 PCI compliant, HIPAA compliance, AVS/CVV, tokenization, and velocity filtering
Customer 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

5. Flagship Merchant Services: Best for Online Businesses That Need Quick and Easy Approval

Flagship Merchant Services is another reliable choice for many new and established online businesses. Getting set up is easy, as businesses are often approved the very same day. There are no set-up fees and only month-to-month contracts, making it convenient to sign up without worrying about committing to a lengthy commitment.

Providing a range of benefits for online businesses, Flagship Merchant Services prioritizes data security and offers the trusted payment gateway Authorize.Net. Plus, for an additional fee, you can have same-day access to your funds, providing a significant boost to cash flow if needed.

Flagship Merchant Services offers a “meet-or-beat” pricing guarantee, demonstrating its commitment to competitive pricing. However, it’s important to note that Flagship Merchant Services offers a tiered pricing model, which may end up costing more in the long run if your business is high volume. I suggest negotiating an interchange-plus rate instead.

Features and Benefits

  • Reporting and analytics. Flagship provides comprehensive reporting and analytics tools through its iAccess portal, allowing you to gain insights into your payment data and make informed decisions.
  • Gift card programs. Flagship integrates with Pirq, an app-based loyalty program. You can implement this within your online business to boost sales, attract new customers, and enhance customer loyalty.
  • Personalized support. You’ll receive support and guidance from a dedicated account manager. This ensures that you’ll always have a point of contact that understands your unique business needs.
  • ACH processing. You can leverage ACH processing to accept bank transfers (for an additional $5/month), providing your online customers with another payment option for ultimate flexibility.
Read our expert Flagship Merchant Services review for more.

Integrations 140+ including Authorize.Net, Pirq, and BigCommerce
Security features Level 1 PCI compliant, GDPR and CCPA compliant, AVS/CVV, end-to-end encryption, and tokenization
Customer support Phone and online form support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.98% + 0.21¢ (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

6. ProMerchant: Simple Pricing and No Contracts for Your Online Business

ProMerchant offers two pricing models: interchange-plus and subscription (zero cost processing). Because these are tailored to your specific needs, exact pricing isn’t available online. Luckily, ProMerchant offers month-to-month contracts so if you find the pricing isn’t perfect for your online business, it’s easy to switch with no cancellation fees.

To safeguard businesses from potentially fraudulent activities, ProMerchant actively monitors online transactions and identifies any suspicious activities. You can also set filters and alerts to monitor or block transactions from specific IP addresses or regions, for even more security. If you’re a high-risk business, this could help reduce your number of chargebacks.

ProMerchant is a great option for newer or high-risk businesses looking for flexible and custom services. Like PaymentCloud, ProMerchant has high approval rates across most industries. This specialized approach empowers businesses to thrive online, while effectively mitigating potential risks.

Features and Benefits

  • 24/7 customer support. Online payment transactions can happen at any time. ProMerchant offers round-the-clock customer support via email or phone, which ensures you have access to assistance whenever you need it.
  • Next-day funding. ProMerchant’s next-day funding means you won’t have to take out a loan if you need improved cash flow. Unlike other processors, this service is free.
  • Shopping cart integrations. ProMerchant seamlessly integrates with popular shopping cart platforms, making it easy for you to integrate their payment processing with your existing website or online store.
  • Multi-channel selling. If you run a hybrid business, ProMerchant’s additional point-of-sale (POS) solutions will provide flexibility and convenience. You’ll get a free POS terminal with your merchant account, plus the option to purchase more from its 50+ hardware selection.
Read our in-depth ProMerchant review to see more.

Integrations 100+ integrations through Authorize.Net, including QuickBooks, Magento, and Recurly
Security features PCI-compliant, end-to-end encryption, tokenization, advanced fraud detection and prevention, payer verification
Customer support 24/7 phone and email support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan Custom
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

Grow Your Business With an Online Payment Processor That Works for You

A good online payment processor can make a huge difference in your business. It can protect your customers’ information, monitor fraud, and streamline your payments, all while saving you money on transaction fees.

If you’re looking for an established company that checks all these boxes, LMS is my top recommendation1. It gives you all the online tools you need to set up an effective payment system while also offering in-person options and personalized support.

Or, if security is your main concern or you are a subscription-based business, consider PayArc instead. With robust fraud monitoring technologies, Stax goes above and beyond1 to ensure your payments are safe.

Finally, if you’re a high-risk online business, go with PaymentCloud1. With a 98% approval rate across all industries, this payment processor offers fast payouts, dedicated customer support, and advanced security features.

See how my choices for the best online payment processors compare in the table below.

Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Negotiable interchange-plus pricing Online businesses looking for a tailored approach $9.00 ~0.15% + $0
PAYARC Advanced security Subscription-based online businesses N/A 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
PaymentCloud 98% approval rating across all industries Mid- or high-risk online businesses looking for more support $14.00 Around 2.1% + 15¢
Flagship Merchant Services Quick approval and onboarding New online businesses looking to get started quickly $7.95 1.98% + 0.21¢ (online)
ProMerchant Flexible pricing models and next-day funding Startups or high-risk businesses that need a steady cash flow $7.95 Custom
Stax In-depth reporting and analytics Online businesses with high sales volume $99.00 0% + 10¢ (online)

FAQ

Which online payment processor is the most secure?

With robust encryption protocols, secure payment gateways, and proactive fraud monitoring, PAYARC ensures a highly secure environment for payment processing. It uses tokenization, encryption, AVS/CVV verification, as well as the ability to block or limit transactions from certain IP addresses or countries to help mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions.

Which online payment processor is the best for new online businesses?

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is the best online payment processor for new online businesses. LMS offers a seamless onboarding process, designed to cater specifically to the needs of startups and new businesses. With its high approval rate for merchants, LMS provides a welcoming platform for you to kickstart your online business.

What online payment processor is the best for high-volume sales?

With Stax, businesses experiencing high-volume sales can save up to 40% with subscription-based pricing models. By offering favorable pricing arrangements for high-volume sales, Stax enables businesses to maximize their revenue potential and maintain profitability even with significant transaction volumes.

How can my online business accept payments outside of a website?

If your online business sells across different platforms or over the phone, consider using PaymentCloud as your payment processor. PaymentCloud offers Paysley, a unique software solution that allows you to create payment links, QR codes, and social media integrations so your customers can pay no matter how they shop.

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