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10 Best Credit Card Processing Services in 2024

The Biggest Comparison of Credit Card Processing Companies Ever Done


Finding the right payment processor for your business isn’t easy – after all, it’s an industry filled with aggressive marketing and not-so-transparent fees. That’s why we decided to look past the flashy deals and share the facts on pricing, features, security, and more, so that you can make an informed decision.

Credit card processing companies are at an advantage. They know that credit card processing is no longer optional for businesses, big or small. This has emboldened many to adopt some unsavory business practices. It’s not uncommon for a sales agent to sweet-talk a business into a great-sounding deal, only to laden them with exorbitant hidden fees.

Sadly, credit card processing companies are almost impossible to compare on the surface, as many offer no information on their site besides a few empty promises about how they are definitely your cheapest choice. These difficulties have caused many businesses to just accept a poor deal and service – but you don’t have to.

We spent hundreds of hours putting together a list of the top 10 credit card processing companies operating today. To perform the most detailed comparison possible, we compiled thousands of merchant reviews, extensively compared features and pricing, and even tested the trustworthiness of each provider’s sales process ourselves.

With our comparison, you’ll be able to minimize your processing fees while benefiting from some truly great features. Read through our findings below to find the right credit card processor for your business.

  • Leaders Merchant Services homepage
    • Free equipment with a long-term contract
    • 24/7 technical support, entire department available to help with chargebacks
    • Friendly to high-risk merchants
    • Some of the lowest interchange-plus rates for various businesses

    Leaders Merchant Services promises to try to at least meet, but in many cases beat, the rates of your previous processor. You’ll be asked to provide your two most recent monthly processing statements and the sales agent will try to offer a better deal overall. 

    This makes Leaders Merchant Services a nice option if you’re already with a payment processor – you can use your current rates as a starting point on the negotiation table.

    While merchants looking for their first payment processor won’t have existing rates to beat, they’ll still benefit from Leaders’ industry low processing rates, quick approval, and impressive features such as customer loyalty programs, business loans, and cash advances.

    As for the actual payment processing services, Leaders Merchant Services offers reliable solutions1 for both in-person and online transactions, from all-in-one terminals to iPad and Android card readers that allow you to accept payments wherever your business takes you. Its terminals integrate with a range of e-commerce software. 

    Leaders also offers 24/7 technical support, with an entire department dedicated to helping you effectively dispute chargebacks. If you’re a mid or high-risk merchant, this will likely save you a lot of money (and headaches) over time.

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    • Process payments in 120 markets and multiple currencies
    • Reduce chargeback costs with Encytro Advantage Program
    • High-risk merchant accounts
    • Various competitively priced payment models

    Paysafe suits businesses selling high-value items such as art, luxury goods, and antiques at low volumes. Its low transaction fees starting at 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards) and support for 120 markets and multiple currencies, including local payment methods, make it ideal for processing transactions of significant value without barriers. Paysafe also caters to high-risk sectors such as gaming, crypto, and forex.

    The processor offers e-commerce solutions, including online shopping carts, gateways, customizable hosted checkout, and various integration options. For example, through its software partnership with Vindicia, you can access advanced subscription billing tools. The platform’s sophisticated algorithms and subscription intelligence also aid in recovering failed payments.

    Paysafe simplifies chargeback management1 with its Encytro Advantage Program. Instead of paying fees for every chargeback, you’ll pay a flat monthly fee per location, which makes you eligible to submit claims for reimbursement for covered chargebacks and costs. This approach reduces chargeback costs, particularly for high-risk merchants, helping maintain financial stability.

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    • Free support in launching your online store and free card reader
    • Immediate access to funds through a small business checking account
    • Easy and fast sign-up – no long approval process
    • Generous free plan and affordable premium plan

    Square stands out for businesses that sell across multiple channels, offering comprehensive features for both online and in-person transactions. Besides seamlessly integrating with various e-commerce platforms, Square stands out as one of the few processors offering a proprietary website builder. This allows you to build a simple e-commerce store for free using Square Online. Square also provides a card reader even on its free plan.

    In addition, Square allows you to easily create a small business checking account and gives you instant access to your earned funds.  It offers transparent pricing with a percentage markup and a flat transaction fee, with different rates for online and in-person sales.

    You can be selling with Square in just two minutes1 – there’s no lengthy vetting process. But there’s a catch – Square doesn’t work with high-risk merchants and might terminate your account at any point if it classifies you as one. That said, if you’re a low-risk merchant and have left setting up a processor until the last minute, this is one of the few processors that won’t delay the launch of your new business.

  • A list of Stax's benefits
    • Many e-commerce tools and integrations
    • Access to multiple payment gateways
    • Advanced analytics and inventory management
    • Flat monthly fee with no markup suitable for high-volume businesses

    If you’re tired of credit card processors taking a sizable cut of every transaction, you’ll like Stax’s simple monthly payment model. You just pay a monthly subscription with no percentage-based markup. While there is a small flat fee per transaction in addition to the wholesale interchange rates, Stax’s per-transaction fees of 0% + 10¢ (in-person) are among the lowest in the industry.

    Due to the higher-than-usual monthly subscription, Stax’s pricing model makes sense If you’re processing over $8,000/month in card sales. High-volume businesses processing around $500,000 a year can save up to 40% with Stax1 compared to a traditional processor that uses a percentage markup on every transaction.

    Stax is a particularly good option for online selling,  featuring a tool that allows you to create a custom shopping cart in a few clicks. It also provides easy integrations for popular e-commerce and accounting platforms, though you’ll have to pay for some integrations. Its flexible API even lets you implement your own checkout system and create custom integrations.

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    • Most satisfied customers
    • Free terminal without a contract
    • Above-and-beyond 24/7 support
    • Low-cost monthly billing with no markup for high-volume merchants

    Payment Depot has high customer satisfaction. Anywhere you look online, you’ll find happy merchants speaking of the savings they’ve made working with Payment Depot. And they’re not lying – Payment Depot is among your cheapest options1, thanks to its low-priced monthly subscription model.

    Like nearly all monthly subscription credit card processors, there’s a minimum amount you’ll need to be earning to really take advantage of Payment Depot’s monthly pricing. Like Stax, I’d recommend a stable monthly income of at least $8000.

    Unlike the support teams of many credit card processors, who seem to disappear when issues occur, Payment Depot offers responsive and incredibly helpful 24/7 phone support. In fact, Payment Depot’s dedicated risk monitoring team helps your business avoid roadblocks even before they occur by minimizing your risk of chargebacks and fraud.

  • Chase Payments Solutions website
    • Next- and same-day payouts as standard
    • Zero liability protection against unauthorized transactions
    • A range of software to power your business
    • No monthly or hidden fees and reasonable transaction fees

    Small to medium-sized enterprises will find a lot to love about Chase Payment Solutions. With no mandatory contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs and simple interchange-plus pricing, this credit card processor is designed to keep your overhead low. You won’t miss out on any core features, either. Your merchant account comes with a range of software to help you grow your business, including a customer buying habits tracker.

    Chase also stands out for providing rapid access to your funds. Next-day payouts come as standard, and Chase banking customers even get same-day payouts1. You may have to pay a small monthly fee for your bank account, but this can be waived if you meet certain criteria that are fairly accessible for mid-sized businesses.

    Please note that you will need to buy all the required hardware directly from Chase’s limited POS selection, which comprises proprietary devices that may not be reprogrammable in the future. The good news is that Chase frequently offers promotions on its device range, allowing you to obtain equipment for your premises (or field technicians) at a discounted price.

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    • Save up to 100% on processing costs with Edge
    • Free equipment of choice
    • Free same or next-day payouts
    • Diverse payment models with reasonable fees for every business type

    Sekure Payment Experts is not a typical processor, but it leverages a broad partner network to provide tailored solutions for your business. It’s an attractive option for small businesses looking to minimize expenses because it offers free equipment, PCI compliance, and same or next-day payouts. Additionally, your business can benefit from a free virtual terminal and gain access to the trusted Authorize.net payment gateway for a fraction of the usual cost.

    Sekure’s focus on budget efficiency is further backed by its zero-cost processing program1, Edge. It allows you to save up to 100% on processing fees by passing a 4% fee onto customers who choose to pay with a credit card while still offering the option to pay with cash without extra charges. This model fully complies with credit card brand rules and provides a transparent way to eliminate processing fees.

    Additionally, Sekure offers custom pricing for unique business operations and transparent interchange-plus pricing. For new businesses or those processing low volumes, Sekure’s Simplified Pricing model offers a single flat fee for all transactions, ensuring predictability in your processing costs. However, make sure you carefully review your contract terms before signing, as conversations with its sales team often lack clarity.

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    • Build and host your own store with Helcim
    • No contracts – cancel at any time without paying a fee
    • User-friendly customer and inventory management tools
    • Free processing with Helcim Fee Saver and volume discounts on interchange-plus rates

    Starting an e-commerce business isn’t easy. Not only do you have to select a good payment processor, but you’ll also have to find a web hosting company that provides decent performance and store development tools. Helcim handles this for you by offering free web hosting, a store builder, and payment processing services.

    This is great if you’re selling online, but the picture isn’t quite as rosy if you take payments in a brick-and-mortar store. Helcim only integrates with a limited range of third-party POS hardware, which doesn’t include any third-party card terminals. Essentially, you’re forced to purchase its proprietary card reader outright.

    Still, if you’re happy to use Helcim’s hardware, this all-in-one solution definitely makes things easier. Helcim’s platform is super user-friendly1 – every aspect, from store and checkout creation to customer & inventory management, requires zero code and can be controlled with a few clicks. Best of all, Helcim doesn’t lock you into a contract – you can cancel anytime without paying a fee.

  • images-10
    • Industry-specific POS hardware and software
    • Fast payout times for in-person and online transactions
    • Quick loan approvals for qualifying businesses
    • Interchange plus, tiered, and cash discount plans with no contracts or termination fees

    POS Pros’ industry-specific approach to POS solutions1 offers a lot to businesses that rely mostly on in-person transactions. Restaurants, retailers, hotels, and healthcare practitioners can all benefit from this approach, which takes into account not just your business type, but also its size and unique processing needs.

    During an initial consultation, a POS Pros specialist will recommend several point-of-sale equipment options. You’ll then be able to test the interface and features of each POS system during a free virtual demo. This personalized approach can help both new and established businesses avoid buying the wrong equipment.

    While POS Pros offers interchange plus, tiered pricing, and cash discount plans for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce merchants, it doesn’t post pricing and fees on its website. While this quote-only approach has its advantages, it can make it more difficult if you’re comparing multiple processors to determine which is your best option.

  • paymentcloud-review-1.png
    • High approval rate
    • Fast same-day setup
    • Wide range of payment methods
    • Free hardware with your contract

    If you operate in a high-risk industry or have a poor credit score, you’ll probably find that many credit card processors won’t even speak to you. Thankfully, PaymentCloud has a 98% approval rate1 – one of the highest in the US.

    While mid and high-risk merchants are charged a slightly higher percentage markup per transaction, the rates are reasonable compared to other high-risk payment processors that often take advantage of your narrower range of choice.

    In addition to providing a free POS terminal, PaymentCloud can set up a virtual terminal and payment gateway for you. Furthermore, PaymentCloud has one of the longest lists of accepted payment methods I’ve seen from a credit card processor. It even accepts crypto, including popular coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero.

Quick Overview Table

That’s a lot to take in at once, so here’s a side-by-side comparison of all the top credit card processing vendors featured above:
Leaders Merchant Services Paysafe Square Stax  Payment Depot Chase Payment Solutions Sekure Payment Experts Helcim POS Pros
Best for Various businesses looking to save on payment processing Businesses processing high-value transactions globally Businesses selling across multiple channels High-volume businesses processing over $8,000/month High-volume businesses processing at least $8,000/month Businesses that need fast access to their funds New and small businesses on a budget Small e-commerce businesses Brick-and-mortar businesses
Pricing model Interchange plus, cash discount Interchange plus, cash discount Flat rate Subscription with 0% markups and flat transaction fees Subscription with 0% markups and flat transaction fees Flat rate Interchange plus, flat rate, zero-cost processing Interchange plus, zero-cost Interchange plus, cash discount
Monthly fee on the cheapest plan $9.00 $7.95 N/A $99.00 $79.00 N/A N/A N/A $5.00
Transaction fees on the cheapest plan ~0.15% + $0 0.50% + $0.10 2.5% + 10¢ 0% + 10¢ (in-person) 0% + 10¢ (in-person) 2.6% + 10¢ 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online) 0.30% + 8¢ (in-person) 0.30% + 10¢ (in-person)
Free equipment Free equipment of choice Free mobile card reader Free mobile reader Free terminal Free terminal No Free equipment of choice No Free equipment of choice
Contract length Variable or 3 years Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly or variable Monthly or 3 years Monthly Monthly
Cancellation fees No No No No No Cancellation fees may apply Cancellation fees may apply No No

How Do We Evaluate Credit Card Processors?

Unlike other review sites, we at Website Planet believe you deserve to know more than just the surface-level details of each credit card processor. To get at the truth beyond the marketing, here are the measures we take to evaluate the payment processors we review.


Obviously you need your credit card processor to process payments, but this isn’t all a good processor should offer. The best credit card processors also make running your business and managing your finances far easier by giving you management tools, detailed analytics, and integratable e-commerce and POS solutions.

We separately research the features listed by every payment processor to get at the reality behind all the marketing jargon. This allows us to determine what, if anything, really stands. For example, Leaders Merchant Services’ e-commerce tools1 and integrations are among the most versatile in the business – even more so than those offered by more expensive payment processors.

Ease of Use

Most businesses simply want something that works, and works well. No one wants to get trapped in hours of setup and coding just to get their payment processor to integrate with their backend. After all, time is valuable – the best credit card processors can be set up in minutes.

That’s why we evaluate every payment processor on its overall ease of use. Will a beginner have difficulty setting things up? Are there guides or training available? How user-friendly is the platform? These are just some of the questions we ask when considering how easy to use a platform really is.

Compliance and Security

Security is a priority. If your payment processor cannot ensure PCI-compliance, your business could face heavy fines and class-action lawsuits. A data breach can easily bring an otherwise successful business to its knees, and customers need to be able to trust you if they’re going to hand over their money and data.

That’s why we ensure that every credit card processor we review is PCI-compliant. We also check overall security standards, whether data breaches occurred in the past, and more. Additional protections against fraud and chargebacks are always a bonus.


Credit card processors have a reputation for smuggling non-disclosed fees into their contracts. To make matters worse, many payment processors completely hide their rates, forcing you to ring their sales line. This immediately puts you at a disadvantage, as the trained sales agent has all the information while you have none.

We cut through this obscurity to give you more precise details on what you can expect to pay. That way, you can make an informed decision. We also reward credit card processors who offer transparent pricing information, which is something we’d love to see become the norm.


If the finances of your business are at stake, there had better be a responsive support team to help whenever there’s an issue. You can find plenty of horror stories online where crucial funds were withheld from merchants and the credit card processor’s support team just didn’t seem to care.

Testing the support team of each credit card processor is an important part of all our reviews. We call the sales team ourselves to find out whether they give honest and helpful information, and we also evaluate the responsiveness and availability of the technical support team.


Which credit card processor is best?

This depends on many factors, such as your industry, transaction volume, average transaction amount, and more. That said, Leaders Merchant Services is an excellent choice1 for most businesses, offering reliable low-cost interchange plus processing, innovative POS solutions, and a meet-or-beat guarantee.

Otherwise, you can check out our comparison of the top 10 credit card processors above to get a feel for which processor might be a good fit for your business. For more information on a particular one, be sure to check out its detailed review.

What is the largest credit card processor in the US?

The largest payment processors in the US tend to be banks, such as Bank of America and First Data. However, this doesn’t mean that they are good options. They tend to charge high processing fees and offer little to no features that can help manage your business and finances. All of the credit card processors above offer better value.

What are typical credit card processing fees?

Most businesses will pay 1.5% – 4.5% of every cashless transaction in processing fees. The exact percentage will vary depending on the interchange rate charged by card-issuing banks, as well as the pricing model and fees charged by the credit card processor. For example, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is among the cheapest interchange processors, charging only $9.00/month and ~0.15% + $0/transaction, on average. On the other hand, Stax, with its subscription pricing model, charges a higher monthly fee starting at $99.00 in exchange for low transaction fees of 0% + 10¢ (in-person).

What is the fastest credit card processor?

Square offers instant access to your funds through its small business checking account. Another option for fast payouts is Chase Payment Solutions, which offers same-day payouts for Chase banking customers and next-day payouts for all other merchants.
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