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9 Best Card-Not-Present Transaction Processors in 2024

Ivana Shteriova Ivana ShteriovaFinance Specialist May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024
Card-not-present (CNP) transactions carry a greater risk than in-person ones because the customer is not physically present to verify the payment. For this reason, card-not-present transactions typically have higher fees than in-person transactions.

Many payment processors lack advanced security features to protect your business from fraud associated with CNP payment processing. They also lack adequate chargeback management and have hard-to-reach customer support. Choosing the wrong cart-not-present payment processor may jeopardize your business’s reputation and earnings and, in extreme cases, lead to a data breach that closes your business.

Additionally, navigating the fees associated with card-not-present transactions can be challenging, especially for online-first businesses and those taking both in-person and CNP payments.

So, armed with a degree in Economics and extensive experience reviewing credit card processors, I embarked on a search for the best card-not-present payment processing solutions.

After weeks of research, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) emerged as the optimal choice due to its low, negotiable CNP fees and strong chargeback and fraud management. It also seamlessly integrates with the trusted Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal. I recommend asking LMS for a custom quote or continue reading to learn about other top card-not-present transaction processors.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Card-Not-Present Payment Processors in 2024

  1. Leaders Merchant Services1 – The lowest card-not-present fees and integration with Authorize.net.
  2. Paysafe1 – Discounted access to Authorize.net and international processing in over 120 markets.
  3. Stax1 – Lowest CNP transaction fees for high-volume businesses and discounts on Authorize.net.

See 6 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Card-Not-Present Payment Processing Companies

I prioritized features and benefits crucial for both online-first businesses and those managing in-person and card-not-present transactions. I focused on the following aspects:
  • Affordable pricing. Card-not-present transactions typically cost more because they carry greater risk, so every service I recommend offers competitive rates and/or cost-saving features.
  • Advanced security features. The customer not being present to verify the transaction makes CNP payments more prone to fraud. All card-not-present payment processing services listed here provide robust security features like end-to-end encryption, tokenization, and chargeback management.
  • A range of payment methods. Each recommended service supports various payment options, including credit and debit cards and digital wallets. This is essential for reaching a broader customer base. I also selected processors that support international processing.
  • Customization and integrations. I only included payment processors that integrate easily with your existing tools and systems. Some of my recommendations have robust APIs that allow for a tailored payment experience, while others integrate with helpful e-commerce and business tools.
  • Reliable customer support. Your e-commerce store is open 24/7, so access to round-the-clock support means any issues can be promptly addressed. Most of my recommended processors have 24/7 merchant support.

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) enables you to accept CNP transactions through the Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal. This means you can facilitate CNP payments not only through your website but also via invoicing, subscriptions, eCheck payments, and Mail-Order Telephone Order (MOTO) payments. Most importantly, Authorize.net features an advanced fraud detection suite, helping you identify, manage, and prevent fraudulent activities.

Furthermore, LMS provides the CartManager shopping cart, which is ideal for online businesses selling multiple items. You can integrate it into your website and tailor it to your branding needs. It includes a comprehensive order management system, promotional tools like coupons and special offers, and a customer login feature for returning customers.

LMS stands out with some of the industry’s most competitive rates. Its flexible pricing structure allows you to negotiate an optimal price for your business by only paying for necessary features. LMS’ virtual terminal fees are around $9.00 a month and ~2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. Additionally, LMS’ meet-or-beat guarantee means you’ll receive $200 if LMS can’t at least match your current rates.

Features and Benefits

  • Payment links. You can place payment links across various platforms, including emails and social media, so viewers or recipients can easily pay you. This is ideal for bringing more visibility to your online store or even selling without a dedicated website.
  • Simple checkout. With Authorize.net, you can add ‘Buy Now’ buttons to your site to direct customers to a simplified checkout. This solution is excellent for specialty merchants selling one item at a time, charities looking to fundraise online, or small stores with limited inventories.
  • High-risk merchant accounts. With an impressive 98% approval rate, LMS caters to merchants from high-risk sectors, new businesses, and those with poor credit.
  • Chargeback and fraud assistance. LMS boasts one of the most extensive chargeback and fraud management departments in the industry, offering you expert guidance and support in navigating the challenges that come with CNP transactions.
Read our expert LMS review to see how it can help your business.

CNP solutions
  • Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal
  • CartManager shopping cart
Security features
  • PCI-compliant
  • Advanced fraud detection and prevention
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Tokenization
  • Chargeback management
Supported payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
CNP transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2.9% + 30¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

Paysafe’s pricing varies, but it’s generally optimal for businesses selling low volumes of high-ticket items. Paysafe has below-average fees for CNP transactions, starting at 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards). With the Paysafe payment gateway, you can benefit from international processing capabilities in 120+ markets and multiple currencies.

What’s more, Paysafe offers access to the Authorize.net gateway and virtual terminal at a discounted rate. With this seamless integration, you have additional methods to facilitate card-not-present transactions, including digital invoicing, payment links, MOTO, and subscriptions.

For businesses selling subscriptions, Paysafe has a partnership with Vindicia, a subscription management solution. Vindicia offers tools to manage subscription billing, retain customers, and retrieve failed payments. It can help you recover up to 50% of failed recurring payments with the help of artificial intelligence.

Features and Benefits

  • 250+ payment methods. Paysafe supports the widest array of card-not-present payment options beyond the standard credit and debit cards and digital wallets. This includes EFT, online cash, and local payment methods like Boleto and ePay, making it easy to cater to a broad customer base.
  • Robust API. Paysafe’s comprehensive API means your website can easily integrate with digital wallets, value-added services, and more. It also integrates with Authorize.net, providing extensive options for customizing your card-not-present payment experience.
  • Chargeback program. Paysafe offers the Encytro program for chargeback management. For a flat monthly fee of $29.95, you can get reimbursements of up to $250 per qualified chargeback.
  • Advanced security features. Paysafe has a dedicated risk management team that uses advanced technologies designed to prevent fraud, especially for card-not-present transactions. For an additional fee, Paysafe offers the Enhanced Security Package, which acts as an insurance policy in case customer information is compromised.
See our expert Paysafe review for more benefits.

CNP solutions Authorize.net
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI & GDPR compliant
  • Tokenization
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Advanced fraud detection and prevention
  • Enhanced Security Package
Supported payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • ACH and bank transfers
  • EFT
  • Digital wallets
  • 250+ payment methods, including local ones
CNP transaction fees on cheapest plan 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $16.00
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Stax is best suited for high-volume businesses due to its subscription payment model. For a monthly fee starting at $99.00, you can access industry-low transaction fees of 0% + 10¢ (online). Unlike most processors that charge higher fees for online transactions, Stax offers the same low rates regardless of how the payment is made. If you process over $8,000 a month, Stax’s model can save you up to 40% compared to traditional processors.

Stax provides many avenues for facilitating card-not-present payments. You can add Stax’s pre-built, professionally designed payment pages to your website. Additionally, Stax lets you collect CNP payments with QR codes, custom-branded invoices, shareable payment links, and text payments. It also offers access to Authorize.net at a heavily discounted rate.

Stax is ideal for online businesses as it seamlessly integrates with popular e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify. It offers a pre-built one-click shopping cart setup with catalog management, but you can also build a custom one using its robust developer tools.

Features and Benefits

  • Free surcharging capabilities. Thanks to its subsidiary CardX, Stax includes a surcharging program in its monthly subscription. This means you can seamlessly pass credit card fees to customers to preserve profit margins​​​​ while CardX ensures compliance with state and card brand rules.
  • Stax Bill. This is the processor’s solution for automating and streamlining subscription billing and payments. Benefits include a flexible product catalog, automated payment recovery, and a customer self-service portal, among other features. It can reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks by up to 80%.
  • Built-in business management. Stax’s comprehensive software allows access to transaction history, customer management, reports, and more for efficient business management. Additionally, Stax’s free mobile app enables on-the-go management.
  • Business software integrations. Stax integrates with various business solutions, including QuickBooks for accounting, Salesforce for customer relationship management (CRM), and Mailchimp for email and marketing automation via Zapier.
Read our expert Stax review for more benefits.

CNP solutions
  • Authorize.net
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI and HIPAA compliant
  • Tokenization
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Advanced fraud detection and prevention
Supported payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
CNP transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $99.00

Payment Depot integrates with Authorize.net at a discounted price and provides its own virtual terminal for free. It also supports various e-commerce, accounting, and other software integrations, making it a complete solution for businesses looking to streamline e-commerce operations and boost online sales.

It has fewer features than Stax (its parent company) but offers a more versatile pricing structure ideal for small to mid-sized businesses that need a scalable payment processor. Payment Depot offers interchange-plus pricing without monthly fees and transaction fees from around 0.2%-1.95%.

The interchange-plus plan is a flexible option for businesses with lower card volume, while businesses processing at least $8,000/month can save more with subscription plans starting at $79.00 per month and transaction fees as low as 0% + 10¢ (online). This card volume ensures that the savings on transaction fees outweigh the subscription cost.

Features and Benefits

  • Shopping cart options. Payment Depot’s pre-built shopping cart template lets you start selling immediately. It also integrates with popular third-party solutions like 3dcart, OpenCart, and ZenCart. Alternatively, you can use Payment Depot’s extensive API to build custom shopping carts for your websites or mobile apps.
  • E-commerce integrations. Payment Depot integrates with popular e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and PrestaShop, so you can accept payments with the platform of your choice.
  • 24/7 risk monitoring team. Payment Depot’s risk monitoring team helps you mitigate the risk of chargebacks and fraud, and it takes a preventative stance by monitoring banking policy changes and the latest fraud methods.
  • Easy chargeback management. You can manage your chargebacks directly from your account dashboard. This feature centralizes all necessary information, saving you time.
See our expert Payment Depot review to learn more.

CNP solutions
  • Authorize.net
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI-compliant
  • Tokenization
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Payer authentication
  • 24/7 fraud risk monitoring
Supported payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
CNP transaction fees on cheapest plan 0.2%-1.95%
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

Sekure Payment Experts is an ideal partner for growing online stores. It’s not a payment processor itself but uses an extensive network of partners to secure processing solutions tailored to your specific needs. Your dedicated payment expert will research and prepare a personalized plan, which is great if you want to start small and scale up as needed.

For example, you can start with Authorize.net, which is available for a fraction of its original price (or even for free for some merchants). As your business grows, you might want to expand globally – the Cybersource gateway can help you process international transactions. Other gateway options include PayFlow Pro and NMI. Additionally, Sekure has an extensive e-commerce partner network.

Sekure’s flexible pricing models cater to diverse needs, including an interchange-plus plan without monthly fees and an average transaction fee of 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online). But no matter the pricing model, carefully review your contract to avoid hidden fees because I’ve encountered a few complaints alleging that issue.

Features and Benefits

  • One-click checkout. You can attach “Buy Now” buttons across your website, social media, emails, and other places. Your customers can complete transactions with a single click, which removes friction and increases sales.
  • Breach forgiveness. Breach forgiveness. Sekure’s PCI Plus program includes breach forgiveness of up to $100,000 for businesses classified as PCI Level 3 or 4. If your business suffers a data breach, you won’t need to reimburse any expenses unless the costs exceed $100,000.
  • No PCI fees. Your business automatically becomes PCI compliant by utilizing Sekure’s free Payanywhere equipment. Sekure also has the PCI Plus program, free for some merchants, that handles PCI compliance, including handling PCI fees.
  • Fast funding. Sekure Payment Experts offers free same- or next-day funding, a service that usually costs extra with other processors.
Read our detailed Stax review for more information.

CNP solutions
  • Authorize.net
  • Cybersource
  • NMI
  • PayFlow Pro
  • Payeezy
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI-compliant,
  • Advanced fraud detection
  • Breach forgiveness
  • Chargeback management
Supported payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
CNP transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

POS Pros is ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to expand into e-commerce. It offers the widest POS selection among processors, with over 25 brands, including options for specific businesses such as medical practices, liquor stores, salons, and spas. POS Pros also lets you consult a POS specialist for free to help you choose the right equipment.

POS Pros provides the widely trusted Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal for card-not-present payment processing at a fraction of the usual cost. If you process over $250,000, POS Pros might waive the gateway fee altogether.

Regarding pricing, POS Pros has affordable interchange plus, tiered, and cash discount plans. For example, if you opt for the traditional interchange model, you’ll pay around $5.00 per month and 1.95% (online) for each transaction, which are some of the lowest prices I’ve seen. However, as with many processors, POS Pros gets complaints for ambiguous pricing information. For this reason, I recommend carefully reviewing your contract.

Features and Benefits

  • Integrations. POS Pros seamlessly integrates with popular e-commerce and business software solutions like WooCommerce, Shopify, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks through Authorize.net.
  • Free POS equipment. You can choose from free Dejavoo Z11, Clover Mini, or Clover Flex terminals. This allows you to equip your business with the necessary technology for processing in-person transactions without additional investment.
  • 24/7 technical support. CNP transactions often occur outside of regular business hours. POS Pros provides around-the-clock support, ensuring you receive help whenever necessary.
  • No contracts or cancellation fees. You’re not locked into long-term contracts, making it easier to adjust your payment processing needs without financial penalties.
Read our expert POS Pros review for more details.

CNP solutions
  • Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal
Security features
  • Level 1 PCI compliant
  • Tokenization
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Fraud prevention Chargeback management
Supported payment methods
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Digital wallets
  • ACH
  • Bank transfers
CNP transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.95% (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $5.00

Other Notable Card-Not-Present Payment Processing Companies

7. Chase Payment Solutions1

Through its partnership with Authorize.net, Chase provides you with a trusted gateway and virtual terminal. Chase also offers the Orbital virtual terminal for free, meaning you can accept MOTO payments solely for the transaction fee. However, the card-not-present fees of 2.9% + 25¢ (e-commerce) and 3.5% + 10¢ (keyed-in) are slightly higher than average interchange-plus fees.

Chase offsets the higher fees by providing free same-day access to your funds if you use a Chase business bank account, and next-day access is available for all other customers. Plus, thanks to its direct integration with BigCommerce, you can access your e-commerce sales on the same business day if you use the platform.

8. Square1

Square is suited for various types of businesses operating in card-not-present environments. Square Online lets you build a simple online store for free. Additionally, you can sell without a website using buy buttons and QR codes. Square provides a proprietary payment gateway and virtual terminal without a monthly fee, so you only pay transaction fees.

While this setup may seem more affordable than alternatives that charge a monthly gateway fee, transactions manually entered using its virtual terminal incur significantly higher fees than my other recommendations. Furthermore, Square has a reputation for suddenly terminating accounts it considers high-risk. Therefore, I recommend Square only to low-risk businesses with a healthy credit score.

9. Helcim1

Helcim offers multiple proprietary solutions for processing card-not-present payments. These include online checkout systems, hosted payment pages, ecommerce stores, invoices, ‘Pay now’ buttons, and Helcim Pay.js, a payment tool that lets you embed payment functionality into websites. Helcim’s virtual terminal further extends its utility by providing a free solution for handling phone and mail orders.

While Helcim is good for new online stores, established businesses and those with a physical presence may find it limiting. Its equipment is incompatible with third-party software, and you can’t use other devices with its software. Despite these limitations, Helcim remains a strong contender due to its affordable rates, starting at 0.50% +25¢ (online).

Best Practices for Card-Not-Present-Transactions

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you process many CNP transactions:
  • Comply with PCI Security Standards. To safeguard customer data, your payment processing system needs to adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Choose a processor that either provides PCI compliance by default or helps you achieve and maintain it.
  • Prioritize Security. Partner with a processor that offers robust security features, such as Address Verification Service (AVS), Card Verification Value (CVV) checks, tokenization, end-to-end encryption, and dedicated fraud monitoring.
  • Handle customer data responsibly. Never write down sensitive information such as card numbers or request these details through text or email. To prevent data leaks and build customer trust, ensure everyone on your team is well-trained in handling customer data responsibly.
  • Avoid chargebacks. Chargebacks can be costly and damaging to your reputation. Try to find a payment processor with strong chargeback resources. Additionally, maintain unambiguous refund and cancellation policies, have accurate product descriptions, use a clear billing descriptor on customer statements, and keep proof of customer participation.

Go With One of These Card-Not-Present Payment Processors

Selecting the right credit card processor is critical for businesses operating online or in other card-not-present environments. Here are my top recommendations.

If you want to negotiate the lowest CNP rates and create a plan based on your specific needs, I recommend Leaders Merchant Services1. It integrates seamlessly with the trusted Authorize.net payment gateway and virtual terminal. Plus, it works with all business types, including high-risk ones, and has one of the largest chargeback and fraud management teams.

Go with Stax if you handle high volumes1 of card-not-present transactions. Its subscription-based payment model with low transaction fees can save you up to 40% compared to traditional interchange-plus processors. This fee covers CNP solutions like shopping cart setup, invoicing, and more. You also get discounted access to Authorize.net.

Or, if you sell high-value items globally, use Paysafe1. It has below-average transaction fees, and its support for international processing makes it easy to expand into new markets. It’s also a great option for businesses that sell subscriptions and offers Authorize.net at a reduced cost.

Here is a short comparison of the best card-not-present payment processing companies.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Low, negotiable rates, payment links to sell online everywhere All types of businesses, including high-risk merchants, looking to save on CNP payment processing $9.00 ~2.9% + 30¢
Paysafe Discounted access to Authorize.net, advanced subscription management Businesses selling high-value items and subscriptions globally $16.00 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards)
Stax Subscription-based pricing model with low CNP transaction fees Businesses processing a high volume of CNP transactions 0% + 10¢ (in-person) 0% + 10¢ (online)
Payment Depot Versatile pricing accommodating any card volume and free virtual terminal Businesses processing any card volume N/A 0.2%-1.95%
Sekure Payment Experts Integrations with many payment gateways and an extensive e-commerce partner network Growing online businesses that need a payment solution that can follow their changing needs N/A 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
POS Pros Authorize.net available for a fraction of its original price (or for free) and extensive POS selection Brick-and-mortar businesses venturing into e-commerce $5.00 1.95% (online)

FAQ

What is a card-not-present payment method?

A card-not-present payment method involves transactions where the cardholder does not physically present their card to the merchant, typically in online purchases or phone or mail orders. The best processor depends on your volume of CNP transactions. Leaders Merchant Services is good if you process low to medium volumes, while Stax is better for high-volume businesses.

How can card-not-present payments be received?

Card-not-present payments can be received through payment gateways and virtual terminals. Gateways let customers input their card info, while virtual terminals let you input customer card info. Authorize.net is one of the most common payment gateways, but there are others. For example, Sekure integrates with Authorize.net, NMS, Cybersource, and more.

What is the best payment processor for e-commerce?

It depends on your unique needs. For example, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) offers the best CNP rates for most businesses due to its negotiable prices. POS Pros is a good option for online businesses with a brick-and-mortar location because of its free equipment selection. Sekure Payment Merchants is also ideal for growing online businesses, as you can add more services as you expand.

What is the most preferred method of payment in e-commerce?

Digital wallets have become increasingly popular due to their convenience, security, and seamless checkout process. Credit and debit cards remain widely used among shoppers. It is essential to accommodate all standard options for either of those methods. But if you need more versatility, Paysafe offers 250+ payment types, including crypto.

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