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Merchant One Review: Is It Worth Your Business in 2024?

Emma Ayres Emma Ayres Finance Specialist

With a 98% approval rate and an advertised 24-hour setup time, Merchant One is a good choice for new businesses. You’ll get great modern hardware, secure e-commerce software, and highly competitive interchange-plus pricing. However, Merchant One’s lack of transparency and lack of unique features doesn’t exactly help it to stand out from the competition.


POS equipment 4 Clover devices, 4 terminals, and 3 mobile card readers available to purchase
Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Payout times An average of 7-9 days
Contract length Variable (cancellation fees apply)
Customer support 24/7 phone and email
Security PCI compliant, advanced fraud protection and detection features

Don’t Worry About Having No Credit or Bad Credit – Merchant One Can Still Help

Merchant One is a US-only credit card processing company that promises a simplified and transparent processing service for small businesses. With a simple interchange-plus pricing structure, POS devices for every budget, and a payment gateway with a slew of e-commerce integrations, this processor is a good choice for almost any type of business.

MerchantOne's credit card processing options
Merchant One offers plenty of hardware and software options to meet almost all business needs.

If you’ve been turned away from other payment processors because you don’t have great credit, it’s worth giving Merchant One a try. It advertises a 98% approval rate and setup within 24 hours, making it ideal for new businesses. That said, its acceptance of less-than-stellar credit doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll accept businesses in high-risk industries.

Overall, Merchant One is a decent place to start for new businesses. It offers a respectable range of POS hardware to help you get set up, even if you only have a small budget to work with. It’s worth noting, though, that MechantOne no longer offers any free POS hardware, despite what it says on its site. You’ll need to set up a payment plan or purchase any devices outright.

If you’re here, then there’s a good chance you’ve seen that Merchant One has a lot of mixed reviews across Trustpilot, the Better Business Bureau, and other review aggregate websites. I’ve spent several days researching this credit card processor to see if it’s right for you and your business, so keep reading to see what I discovered.



Merchant One Offers the Basics – and Not Much More

Overall, Merchant One does the basics pretty well. You can expect a decent range of modern hardware, a payment gateway and virtual terminal with good e-commerce support, and even built-in loyalty programs. It’s clear this processor focuses more on the quality of its features than quantity, which is a good thing for new and small businesses that just need a solution that works.

With that being said, the lack of advanced or unique features means that Merchant One does struggle to compete with the very best credit card processors.

Merchant One’s Software Lets You Sell Online

Payment gateways and virtual terminals are a must in today’s market, so you’ll be pleased to know that Merchant One includes both of these in your monthly fee. This software has a payment gateway with 175+ shopping cart integrations, as well as a virtual terminal that allows you to accept card and ACH payments.

You’ll also be able to use Merchant One’s virtual terminal to set up recurring payments. This is ideal if you have an e-commerce business that sells subscriptions, or if you want to set up custom payment plans.

Merchant One’s software doesn’t offer any distinctive features compared to some of the industry-leading payment gateways and virtual terminals. But if you just need e-commerce payment software that covers the essentials, it’s more than adequate.

Good Hardware Options… Just Don’t Expect a Free Terminal

Merchant One doesn’t have the most impressive range of hardware I’ve seen, but you’ve still get plenty of options to choose from. There are four “basic” card terminals, three mobile card readers, and four Clover POS devices available. Unfortunately, here’s where things get confusing.

MerchantOne's credit card terminals
In addition to these options, Merchant One offers modern smart payment technology from Clover.

Even though the website says you can choose from three free terminals, Merchant One no longer leases equipment to merchants. Instead, you’ll have to purchase your hardware upfront or set up a payment plan. And if you cancel your plan with Merchant One before your plan’s expiration date, you’ll have to pay the remaining balance in full.

Accept (Almost) All Payment Types

You’ll be able to accept cash, card payments, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and ACH transfers with Merchant One. You’ll also be able to accept PayPal via the payment gateway. On top of that, Merchant One offers check processing as an additional service, so it’s best to assume this will come at an additional cost.

Although Merchant One doesn’t disclose payout times on its website, most merchant reviews claim it takes an average of 7-9 days to receive payouts. This is considerably longer than most payment processors, so Merchant One might not be the best choice if you need your money quickly.

Develop Your Own Payment Solution With Merchant One’s Developer Toolkit

Merchant One’s advanced payment gateway allows you to build custom payment solutions using its library of pre-built solutions. A bonus is that Merchant One’s SDKs allow you to connect its software to pre-certified solutions, saving you the hassle of needing to fill out the lengthier PCI compliance questionnaires.

If Merchant One’s SDKs don’t provide the solution you need, you can build it yourself with one of its many APIs. This will mean that you’ll need to fill out a different PCI compliance questionnaire – which you won’t necessarily get help with – but it’s a good option to have.


Ease of use

Merchant One Offers a Great Onboarding Experience

Merchant One’s application and onboarding process is quick and easy. This payment processor promises to set up your merchant account within 24 hours of your application. Most reviewers also agree that Merchant One’s account managers were highly communicative throughout the process.

Getting Started With Merchant One

MerchantOne contact form
You can check if Merchant One is right for you with a free quote.

Merchant One is one of the few credit card processors that doesn’t allow you to apply online. Instead, you’ll have to call Merchant One’s customer support to start the application process. Given that rates can vary, I recommend you fill out the contact form to get a free quote before you call.

To apply, you’ll need to provide Merchant One with your banking information, a driver’s license, and your social security number. While you don’t need to give them your EIN number, the customer service agent I spoke with said doing so would speed up the application. Merchant One is also one of the few payment processors that doesn’t require you to provide any transaction history, which is perfect for new businesses.

Dedicated Account Managers

Once your Merchant One account is set up, you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager that will handle all your requests. Most customer reviews agree that Merchant One’s dedicated account managers are friendly, responsive, and helpful. Given that some credit card processors only have a general customer support team, it’s a refreshing change to have a familiar person to call when you need support.

Free Unlimited Training

If you’ve never worked with a payment processor before, don’t worry – Merchant One offers free, unlimited support to teach you how to use its platform. Whether you need help setting up your POS hardware or connecting your e-commerce software, your dedicated account manager can help. This is particularly useful if you want to use some of Merchant One’s more advanced options like Clover hardware or the developer toolkit.



Decent Pricing, But Read the Fine Print Before You Sign

Merchant One offers interchange-plus pricing. You’ll pay a fixed percentage interchange markup on your payments with no additional transaction fees, plus a fixed monthly fee. Even though these fees will vary from business to business, they’re still relatively low compared to competitors like Square or PayPal. Merchant One’s keyed-in rate of 0.29% - 1.99% + 0¢ is comparable to most other processors’ card-present transaction rates, which makes it a good choice for businesses that primarily sell online or over the phone.

On top of this, you’ll also pay a monthly fee of $13.95, which includes the use of Merchant One’s payment gateway and virtual terminal, gift and loyalty cards, and more. And if you’ve taken out a payment plan for your POS hardware, you’ll have to take these monthly fees into account, too.

As with most other interchange-plus credit card processors, Merchant One’s pricing structure will benefit new and small businesses. But because pricing plans are negotiable and determined on a case-by-case basis, even larger businesses that process a low number of large ticket transactions (like car dealerships or furniture stores) can potentially save money with Merchant One.

The biggest thing that reviewers mention is hidden fees. Merchant One’s program terms and conditions state that merchants should expect to pay an early termination fee if they leave before their 3-year contract ends. This is something that multiple recent reviews on Trustpilot and the BBB have backed up.

That said, when I asked a customer service representative about the fee, he told me they rarely sign 3-year contracts anymore. I was also advised that the early termination fee remains in place, although it’s unclear how much this is. I also couldn’t find any information on the website or in any official documentation stipulating the minimum contract length.

Reviewers also claim that Merchant One charges PCI compliance and non-compliance fees, but the customer service agent I spoke to claimed that compliance fees are covered in the monthly fee, so this may no longer be the case.

In the credit card processing industry, pricing transparency is, unfortunately, a rarity, which is why we rate Stax so highly. While Merchant One’s prices are extremely competitive, it’s lack of transparency is disappointing.


Compliance & Security

You’ll Get a Decent Level of Payment Security

Merchant One is fully PCI compliant and offers basic support with setting up your own PCI compliance. Its proprietary payment gateway also comes with built-in fraud detection and prevention tools. While it doesn’t have a ton of security tools on offer, it does the basics well.

PCI Compliance & More

The amount of PCI compliance support you’ll get from Merchant One isn’t clear. According to customer reviews, if you ask for support, your account manager will guide you through your PCI questionnaire.

It’s worth noting that a handful of reviewers claim that Merchant One never notified them about having to renew their PCI compliance – and they were charged as a result. It’s best to assume that support is only available if you explicitly ask for it.

Additional Security Features

Merchant One’s payment gateway has built-in security features, including advanced fraud tools and built-in payer authentication to verify the cardholder’s identity. Both features can reduce the rate of incoming chargebacks. With that being said, there is very little information available for Merchant One’s payment gateway security, so it’s unclear how it stacks up against the competition.


Customer Support

Merchant One’s Phone Support Is Helpful – It’s Email Support Isn’t

Merchant One offers 24/7 customer support via phone and email – and true to its word, it took less than a minute before I was connected to a customer support representative. The agent wasn’t overly enthusiastic, but they weren’t rude either. I got answers to all my questions about fees, PCI compliance, and how to start the application process.

I encountered a challenge in obtaining a clear answer regarding the presence of any restricted business types. This challenge is affecting my capacity to endorse Merchant One for high-risk merchants. Nevertheless, if you fall under this category, I recommend that you get in touch with a representative to ascertain your eligibility, as this could still hold value for you.

The following morning, I sent an email asking about Merchant One’s payment gateway. A week later, I still haven’t received a response.

To add fuel to the fire, I couldn’t find any information about a knowledge base. That’s not to say that Merchant One doesn’t offer one, but I’ve not come across any mentions of a knowledge base or tutorials in my own research or any of the reviews I’ve read.

If you need answers, then, you’ll have to pick up the phone. Fortunately, Merchant One’s phone support is prompt and helpful. And if the overwhelming majority of merchant reviews are anything to go by, you’ll get an impressive level of service from your dedicated account manager after you sign up.


How does Merchant One match up to the competition?

Leaders Merchant ServicesCompareOur Score4.8Compare
PAYARCCompareOur Score4.7Compare
Merchant OneCompareOur Score4.2Compare
QuickBooks PaymentsCompareOur Score3.5Compare


With Merchant One, you’ll get modern hardware, effective e-commerce software, and access to a dedicated account manager to help you along the way. It’s a good choice for new businesses that just want something that works, and it’s worth giving it a try, particularly if you’ve been turned away from other processors because of a poor or limited credit history.

With that being said, a lack of transparency or more advanced features hold Merchant One back. If you like Merchant One’s budget-friendly interchange-plus pricing but need more than the basics, take a look at Leaders Merchant Services. You’ll get the same set of features as Merchant One, plus cash advances and free hardware.

Here are the key pros and cons you need to consider if you’re interested in Merchant One:
Pros Cons
  • Budget-friendly interchange-plus pricing
  • Modern hardware
  • Proprietary payment software with built-in fraud prevention
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Lack of transparency on fees
  • No free hardware


Is Merchant One safe to use?

Yes, Merchant One is fully PCI compliant. On top of that, its proprietary payment gateway and virtual terminal comes with built-in fraud detection and prevention tools to help reduce fraudulent chargebacks.

What are the fees for Merchant One?

Merchant One charges a flat monthly fee of $13.95, plus a low interchange markup on all transactions. These rates are some of the lowest among our top 10 credit card processors in 2024. This makes it a good credit card processor for new and small businesses as it’ll help you save money while your business grows.

Does Merchant One have an app?

Merchant One doesn’t have an app for account administration, but you’ll get an app for its payment gateway. It also offers multiple mPOS solutions that have their own associated apps, such as Authorize.net and Clover. It’s worth noting that Merchant One’s payment gateway is included in your monthly fee, while Clover Go will incur an additional monthly fee.

Does Merchant One use contracts?

This isn’t entirely clear. When I spoke to its customer support, I was told that Merchant One no longer offers the 3-year contracts mentioned in several merchant reviews. However, Merchant One still charges an early termination fee, so it’s safe to expect you’ll have to sign a contract of some sort if you open an account with this credit card processor.
Emma Ayres Emma Ayres
Emma is a freelance content writer who specializes in thoughtful and insightful blogs and articles. Her main passion is the intersection of human behavior and modern technology, particularly in the context of marketing and cybersecurity. Outside of work, Emma loves video games, superhero movies, crochet, and cuddling her German Shepherd.
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