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9 Best Payment Gateways for Small Business in 2024

Ivana Shteriova Ivana ShteriovaFinance Specialist May 28, 2024
May 28, 2024
Using a payment gateway alone for your online business typically involves fewer payment methods and higher costs. However, using a payment gateway with a good credit card processor overcomes these limitations, opening up a wider range of payment methods, integrations, and more personalized support. Also, many payment processors, like the ones on this list, provide access to the most trusted payment gateways at discounted rates.

However, finding the right credit card processor and gateway combo is challenging, even for someone like me, with a degree in Economics and extensive experience in the card processing industry.

First, online transactions are typically associated with higher processing fees and a greater risk of fraud. On top of that, integrating gateways with your website usually requires technical skills. As a small business, you may not have the budget to hire outside help.

After a month of research, I’ve found that Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is the best option for most small businesses. It lets you create a custom plan and negotiate low fees that suit your needs and budget. It also integrates seamlessly with the popular Authorize.net payment gateway and offers robust e-commerce features.

Check out LMS or continue reading to discover other reliable payment gateways for small businesses.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Payment Gateways for Small Businesses in 2024

    1. Leaders Merchant Services1 – The lowest fees for most small businesses and access to the trusted Authorize.net gateway.
    2. Paysafe1 – Discounted access to Authorize.net and support for global processing in 120+ markets.
    3. Chase Payment Solutions1 – Integration with Authorize.net and same-day access to your funds.

See 6 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Payment Gateways for Small Businesses

To find the best payment gateway for every small business, I prioritized the following features and benefits:
  • Affordable rates. Fees can quickly eat into a small business’s profits. All the listed services offer competitive pricing to keep your processing costs low. Most also have diverse pricing models to suit different needs.
  • Multiple payment methods. This is essential as it allows you to cater to a broader range of customer preferences. All services I selected support numerous payment methods.
  • Ease of use. A straightforward setup and operation mean you can focus more on your business rather than figuring out complex systems or spending money on hiring professionals. My recommended services are easy to use – some even offer professional help.
  • Advanced security. Protecting both your data and your customers’ data is non-negotiable. Each of my recommendations incorporates robust security measures for peace of mind.
  • International processing. All payment gateways and processors I selected support multiple payment methods.

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) stands out with its high approval rates, so all small businesses, including those considered high-risk, are welcome to apply for a merchant account. Its integration with the widely trusted Authorize.net gateway allows you to process digital invoices, set up subscriptions, and accept eChecks in addition to standard online payments.

Authorize.net streamlines the checkout experience with “Buy Now” buttons that take customers directly to the order page. LMS also allows you to create payment links that you can attach across your website, emails, social media accounts, and digital ads. With LMS’ payment links, you don’t necessarily need a website to sell online, which is ideal for resource-strapped small businesses.

LMS allows you to negotiate a custom plan with only the features you need and rates that fit your budget. If you process payments elsewhere, LMS will match your current rates or offer something lower – and you’ll receive $200 if LMS can’t at least match your current rates. While you have to contact LMS for a custom quote, you can expect to pay around $9.00/month and ~2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

Features and Benefits

  • Shopping cart integration. The CartManager Shopping Cart system enables secure transactions, supports unlimited products, is compatible with eBay, and can take multiple payment options. You can also create coupons and discounts using CartManager to boost customer engagement. It integrates seamlessly with practically every major web host or site builder.
  • Cash advances. With LMS’ cash advances, you can invest in growth or support your small business during slower periods. You receive a sum of cash immediately without any collateral and repay it through a portion of your future sales, so repayment aligns with your cash flow.
  • Chargeback and fraud management. LMS’ chargeback and fraud team is one of the largest in the industry and is dedicated to helping you safeguard your business against disputes and fraudulent transactions.
  • Free high-quality equipment. If you also need to process in-person payments, LMS lets you choose from POS equipment options at no extra cost, provided you commit to a long-term contract.
Read our expert Leaders Merchant Services review for more features and benefits.

Payment gateway Authorize.net
Payout time 72 hours
Accepted payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2.9% + 30¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

Paysafe offers the widely recognized Authorize.net payment gateway for a fraction of its usual price. This rate, coupled with Paysafe’s affordable monthly fee of around $7.95, makes it an excellent choice for small businesses looking to cut processing costs without compromising features.

Paysafe enables international processing across 120+ markets and supports over 250 payment methods. Most of these payment methods also support online processing, meaning you aren’t restricted to Authorize.net’s selection of accepted payment types. Combined with its low transaction fees of 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards), these capabilities make Paysafe ideal for small businesses selling high-ticket items globally.

Paysafe also serves as a reliable processing partner for subscription-based businesses thanks to its partnership with Vindicia, which offers advanced subscription management and payment recovery solutions. Vindicia specializes in boosting customer retention and can fix up to 50% of failed recurring transactions, which is essential for subscription-based models.

Features and Benefits

  • Affordable chargeback program. Paysafe’s Encytro program offers a cost-effective solution for managing chargebacks. For $29.95 per month for each business location, you can get reimbursed up to $250 per chargeback.
  • Next-level security. Paysafe’s security measures are further enhanced by its dedicated risk-management team and the Enhanced Security package, which acts like an insurance policy against data breaches.
  • On-the-go business management. The free MobilePay by Paysafe app lets you track inventory, take in-person payments, and manage your business from anywhere.
  • Support for underserved industries. It is one of the few processors serving specific high-risk industries like iGaming, video gaming, crypto, and forex. These industries carry higher risks than other high-risk merchants, making it hard to access merchant services and fair pricing. Paysafe goes a step further, offering custom payment solutions for such industries.
Read our expert Paysafe review for more details.

Payment gateway Authorize.net
Payout time 1–2 business days
Accepted payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • ACH and bank transfers
  • EFT
  • Digital wallets
  • 250+ payment methods, including local ones
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0.50% + $0.10
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95
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3. Chase Payment Solutions: Best Payment Gateway for Fast Payouts1

Chase Payment Solutions is ideal for small businesses seeking predictable costs. Its flat transaction fees start at 2.9% + 25¢, providing financial clarity. For only a month, It integrates with the Authorize.net payment gateway, allowing for seamless online transactions.

Chase Payment Solutions is designed for businesses that prioritize quick access to their funds. It offers same-day deposits as standard for e-commerce, in-person, and mobile sales as long as you deposit into a Chase Business Checking account. Using another banking account still ensures next-day fund access, which is faster than most competitors.

Plus, as it’s run by one of the largest banking institutions, Chase Payment Solutions offers a variety of funding options. That includes small business loans, commercial financing, and business lines of credit to support growth and operational stability.

Features and Benefits

  • Chase customer insights. Chase provides a proprietary business intelligence tool that delivers in-depth analytics on customer behavior to support your future business decisions. This tool lets you identify trends, optimize marketing strategies, and improve customer retention.
  • Pre-built BigCommerce integration. Chase’s seamless integration with BigCommerce ensures access to industry-leading e-commerce solutions and same-day funding for those depositing into a Chase banking account.
  • Software integrations. Chase connects you to industry-specific solutions that streamline small business operations. For example, Agree.com efficiently handles contracts, Fusebill provides robust subscription management, and mHelpDesk automates repetitive tasks for service-oriented firms.
  • Tap to Pay on iPhone. This feature allows you to accept all types of payments in-store or directly from your iPhone without any extra hardware. It’s ideal for remote selling at markets or pop-up events and for small businesses needing multiple POS stations, like restaurants.
See our detailed Chase Payment Solutions review for more information.

Payment gateway Authorize.net
Payout time Same day
Accepted payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.9% + 25¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan

Sekure Payment Experts does not directly provide payment processing but leverages an extensive partner network to deliver custom solutions for growing small businesses. This flexibility allows businesses to start small and scale. Sekure also makes Authorize.net accessible at significantly reduced costs or even for free, depending on your plan.

Sekure also maintains partnerships with other payment gateways to accommodate different business needs. Sekure will likely suggest the PayFlow Pro payment gateway for advanced checkout process customizations. Furthermore, it integrates with the NMI gateway, which caters to high-risk merchants, and Cybersource, which enables international payment acceptance.

Sekure offers specialized payment solutions for small businesses such as boutiques, salons, and nonprofits. That means you can choose from various payment models – for example, the Interchange-plus model with no monthly fees and average transaction fees of 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online). For a fixed monthly cost, opt for the Simplified Pricing plan, which allows you to pay a single flat (but higher) fee of 3.5% + 19¢ (in-person & online) for all card types.

Features and Benefits

  • Personalized e-commerce plan. Sekure will assign you a dedicated payment expert to research and prepare a customized e-commerce plan based on your business needs. This tailor-made approach ensures that every aspect of your online business is optimized for success.
  • Multiple e-commerce integrations. Sekure’s e-commerce partner network is impressive, featuring platforms like BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Volusion, along with shopping cart integrations such as ZenCart and Ubercart.
  • Free equipment of choice. Sekure lets you choose your free equipment from various options without the burden of monthly, annual, or PCI compliance fees. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses looking to minimize upfront costs while setting up their payment processing system.
  • Breach forgiveness. Sekure’s PCI Plus program includes breach forgiveness of up to $100,000 for businesses classified as PCI Level-3 or PCI Level-4. This means if your business suffers a data breach, you won’t need to reimburse any expenses unless the amount exceeds $100,000.
Check out our expert Sekure Payment Experts review for more details.

Payment gateway
  • Authorize.net
  • Cybersource
    NMI
  • PayFlow Pro
Payout time Free same or next-day funding
Accepted payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards 
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

5. Square: Best Payment Gateway for Online-First Small Businesses1

Square is an excellent choice for online-first small businesses because it offers a cost-effective, all-in-one solution for selling online. With Square Online, you can launch a simple online store for free or use Square’s buy buttons and QR codes to sell online without a website. Its proprietary payment gateway integrates easily with any website or mobile app.

While Square doesn’t charge monthly fees on its entry-level plans, you’ll need a premium plan starting at for more advanced features. You also pay a flat fee of $12.00 (or $72.00 with a higher-tier plan) for each online transaction when you make a sale. This transparency in pricing, which isn’t typical among processors, helps you forecast your expenses accurately.

While Square caters to some high-risk businesses, it lacks a rigorous vetting process, so it’s known to terminate accounts without prior notice. This unpredictability can pose a significant operational risk for small businesses that are deemed high-risk, whether because of their sector or their credit score.

Features and Benefits

  • Free and discounted card readers. Your first mobile credit card reader is free and mailed directly to your business, allowing you to accept credit card payments from your location or remotely. Each additional mobile reader costs only $10​, which is a steal by any metric.
  • Hundreds of integrations. Square supports a variety of business needs with integrations, such as Tripleseat for event management, SalonInteractive for beauty businesses, and Acuity Scheduling for appointment-based businesses​.
  • Pay later options. Boost your online sales by letting customers pay in installments via Afterpay. This feature allows customers more payment flexibility while ensuring you still receive the full payment upfront.
  • Quick access to funds. It typically takes just one to two business days to receive your funds. If this isn’t fast enough, Square offers an instant transfer option for a 1.75% fee, which provides immediate access to your funds.
Read our expert Square review to see how it can help your small business.

Payment gateway Square payment gateway
Payout time 48 hours, same-day and instant payouts available for a fee
Accepted payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Afterpay
Transaction fees on cheapest plan $12.00
Monthly fee on cheapest plan

POS Pros is optimal for brick-and-mortar businesses expanding into e-commerce due to its vast selection of 25+ POS equipment brands tailored to various industries. POS Pros is also the only processor I know that offers free virtual demos and consultations with POS specialists to ensure you select the right equipment.

Additionally, you can access the Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal for free under certain conditions, like processing over $250,000 per month. Even if you don’t process over $250,000, POS Pros offers Authorize.net at a significantly lower cost than its standard rate.

POS Pros provides competitive prices that suit various business needs, including interchange plus, tiered, and cash discount plans. Expect monthly fees of $5.00 and transaction fees of 1.95% (online). However, approach verbal quotes cautiously and review contracts carefully, as some reviews criticize agents for unclear pricing information.

Features and Benefits

  • Accounting integrations. By integrating with leading accounting software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks, POS Pros ensures seamless financial management. These integrations simplify documentation, eliminate double data entry, and reduce the time to manage accounting tasks.
  • E-commerce integrations. POS Pros integrates with popular shopping carts and e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify to ensure seamless online sales and payments.
  • Reporting and analytics. POS Pros offers tailored reporting and analytics based on industry-specific needs. Depending on the POS software you use, these insights may include performance-related statistics, sales trends, customer behavior, and other data.
  • Flexible contracts. POS Pros allows the use of its services monthly with no cancellation fees.
Read our expert POS Pros review for more details.

Payment gateway Authorize.net
Payout time Next day
Accepted payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.95% (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $5.00

Other Notable Payment Gateways for Small Businesses

7. Payment Depot1

Payment Depot is suitable for small, high-volume businesses due to its subscription-based pricing model with low transaction fees of 0% + 10¢ (online). It incorporates Authorize.net for less than its original price. Payment Depot also allows you to create a custom shopping cart for your website or install a pre-built template.

However, Payment Depot’s pricing model may have above-average monthly fees. To effectively offset the monthly charges, you need to process a minimum of $8,000/month in card sales. The high monthly fee could outweigh the benefits of lower transaction costs for businesses processing lower volumes.

8. Helcim1

Helcim provides a free proprietary payment gateway. If you prefer to avoid coding, you can use Helcim’s online checkout and hosted payment pages as an out-of-the-box solution for accepting online transactions. If you have access to a developer, you can add payment functionality to your existing website with the Helcim Pay.js API.

The average transaction fee is 0.50% +25¢ (online) for online payments, but it decreases as your processing volume increases, making it a good option for growing businesses. However, Helcim doesn’t support high-risk merchants and requires you to use its proprietary card readers, which might not suit established businesses already equipped with POS devices. It’s also restrictive if you decide to switch to another processor in the future.

9. ProMerchant1

ProMerchant integrates with Authorize.net for a fraction of Authorize.net’s usual cost. ProMerchant is particularly beneficial for retail and restaurant businesses, as it offers free equipment and zero-cost processing for these categories.

Still, ProMerchant’s zero-cost processing is limited to retail and restaurant businesses, unlike competitors that offer such programs to all merchants, regardless of industry. ProMerchant also offers fewer features and software integrations than my top recommendations.

Select the Best Payment Gateway for Your Small Business

Combining a payment gateway with the right credit card processor can make all the difference for your business. Navigating the many credit card processors that integrate with gateways can feel daunting. However, focusing on your specific needs can help narrow down the choices.

If you prioritize low fees and custom plans, Leaders Merchant Services stands out1. It offers competitive and negotiable rates and integrates with the payment gateway Authorize.net. Additionally, it has tools for making a straightforward checkout process and convenient payment links that you can embed anywhere.

For small businesses with international customers, especially those selling high-value products or subscriptions, Paysafe is my top pick1. It has low transaction fees, integrates with Authorize.net, and can process payments in over 120 markets and 40 currencies. You also get access to advanced subscription and payment recovery services.

Meanwhile, Chase Payment Solutions is best for fast access to funds1. You’ll get your earnings as soon as the same day if you deposit into a Chase business account or the next day if you deposit into a third-party account, and Chase integrates easily with Authorize.net.

To sum it up, here’s how the best payment gateways compare.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Integration with the trusted Authorize.net, low fees, and e-commerce features for small businesses Most small businesses looking for a cost-effective payment solution $9.00 ~2.9% + 30¢
Paysafe Discounted payment gateway and international payment processing Businesses selling high-ticket items globally and subscriptions $7.95 0.50% + $0.10
Chase Payment Solutions Access to Authorize.net, variety of business loans, and same-day payouts Businesses that need fast access to funds N/A 2.9% + 25¢
Sekure Payment Experts Integrations with multiple payment gateways for different needs Growing e-commerce businesses N/A 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Square Proprietary payment gateway and free online store New online-first businesses $12.00
POS Pros Potentially free or discounted payment gateway and POS equipment from 25 brands Brick-and-mortar businesses that want to sell online $5.00 0.30% + 10¢ (in-person)

FAQ

What is the best payment gateway for a small business?

First, remember that using only a payment gateway usually means having fewer payment methods and higher fees. The best option is to use a payment gateway together with a processor. That said, Authorize.net is a pretty good payment gateway option. It’s why most of the processors on my list, such as Leaders Merchant Services, integrate with Authorize.net.

Which payment gateway has the lowest fees?

For the lowest online transaction fees, consider using Authorize.net through Paysafe. Paysafe gives you access to this widely recognized payment gateway at a significantly discounted rate. In addition, Paysafe offers possibly the most affordable combination of online transaction fees and monthly account fees, making it ideal for small businesses selling high-value items.

Is there a free payment gateway?

No, but using a payment gateway through a trusted credit card processor typically ensures lower fees. For example, POS Pros may waive the gateway fee if your business processes over $250,000, plus provide significant savings on transaction costs​​​​. Also, some processors like Sekure Payment Experts offer the widely popular Authorize.net for a discounted price.

Which payment method is best for an online business?

The best payment method for an online business is to offer various options to suit different customer preferences. Most payment processors let you accept more payment methods than a payment gateway alone would allow. For a broader look at your options, check out our list of the best credit card processors in 2024.

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