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National Processing Review: Is It the Right Choice in 2024?

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis Finance Specialist

While it might not offer as many features as other top competitors, National Processing’s simple plans and transparent rates make it a reliable option for small businesses.

Merchants can expect helpful customer support, but may want to weigh that against limited features, equipment costs, long-term contracts, early termination fees, and other charges. Businesses looking for affordable processing may want to consider other highly-rated services.

Overview

POS equipment Free SwipeSimple mobile reader (plus other free hardware depending on your plan). SwipeSimple Aries8, Pax E700 and 2 Pax 2 terminals, Clover Solo/Clover Duo systems and 1 Clover terminal available to purchase
Payments methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers, cryptocurrency
Payout times 48-72 hours as standard, faster funding available with a Premium plan and minimum processing volume of $30,000 monthly, optional same-day payout add-on
Contract length Monthly or long term depending on plan and features ($495 – $595 cancellation fee for long term contracts*)
Customer support 24/7 phone and email support, live chat available Monday to Friday
Security PCI-compliant, regular security scans, end-to-end encryption, tokenization, payer verification

* Cancellation fee may be waived if your Business closes or National Processing can’t beat your new rates. 

National Processing’s Rates Are Competitive

National processing plans
National Processing offers transparent, low-cost plans and services

National Processing offers several card processing solutions, as well as free hardware and gateway setup for all types of businesses. If you’re a small or new business that doesn’t currently have the resources to deal with technical issues, this service can be invaluable.

Although there’s no free plan, all of National Processing’s subscriptions are priced competitively. The flat transaction fees range from 2.4% + 0.10¢ (in-person transactions) (in-person) to 2.9% + 0.30¢ (online transactions) for online payments, which is cheaper than competitors with this pricing model, though these processors typically don’t charge monthly fees.

National Processing also offers a $500 meet-or-beat guarantee. So, if you’ve already got a good processing deal, it’s worth getting a quote from this processor for the chance of getting some extra cash.

After filling out your application, make sure you contact the sales team directly to receive your custom quote and get a better idea of what each subscription plan offers.

Just be aware that National Processing’s favorable rates are only available to low-risk merchants and those that process a minimum of $10,000 per month. If your processing volume is lower or you’re in a high-risk industry (e.g., gambling, CBD), National Processing might not be the best choice for you. Check out our list of the best credit card processors in 2024 for more options.

3.9

Features

Easy Payment Solutions for a Range of Businesses

National Processing doesn’t offer as many features as some competitors – but what it does, it does well. This makes it a suitable choice for small businesses looking for a processor with straightforward rates that are easy to understand.

National processing gateways
National Processing offers mobile solutions, online payments, and secure gateways

National Processing offers competitive in-store, online, and mobile payment solutions, with flat rates for low-risk merchants. You can also get free equipment, but bear in mind that what you’re eligible for will depend on the length of your contract and your plan of choice.

Free SwipeSimple Mobile Reader

If you sign a contract with National Processing, you’ll receive a free SwipeSimple mobile reader as a welcome gift. You’ll also gain access to the SwipeSimple mobile app, which allows you to track sales, manage employees, and access reports on the go. Mind you, SwipeSimple isn’t the best mobile CCP solution out there – many experience connection issues, and the app itself is quite buggy.

If you’re a non-profit organization or sign up for the cash discount program, you’ll receive a free terminal and an extra mobile reader. Subscription Plus users get a free PIN pad, a free SwipeSimple terminal, and a free terminal upgrade every two years. National Processing also sells a wide range of hardware, including popular Clover and Pax models.

E-commerce Solutions

National Processing offers two payment gateways, its own and the trusted Authorize.Net gateway. Both allow you to take online payments directly from your website. They’re also easy to navigate and adheres to industry-standard protocols (e.g., address verification, CVV2, customized restrictions, etc.).

These gateway come with both a virtual terminal and a virtual POS, and integrate with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. APIs are also available for merchants who want to create customized e-commerce solutions.

Various Payment Methods

National Processing accepts payments from all major credit/debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Accepted digital payment methods include ACH, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, cryptocurrency (including Bitcoin), Klarna, and Afterpay.

If you have a Basic in-person or e-commerce plan, it normally takes 2-3 business days for your money to reach your bank account. The Premium plan offers faster payouts, but is limited to businesses processing a minimum of $30,000 monthly.

If you need access to cash quickly, you can take advantage of National Processing’s free same-day funding service – provided your bank doesn’t put a hold on the funds. (More on this in our Support section.)

ACH and eCheck Solutions Help You Save

National processing smart savings
National Processing’s now ACH program can reduce processing costs

National Processing traditionally offered a much-lauded cash discount program. Merchants only had to pay a monthly fee to ensure that customers who paid in cash received a 3.99% discount.

However, during my research I learned the cash discount program is now in the “background” and may be on its way out. In its place, National Processing is promoting its ACH plan (ACH payments have lower transaction fees) as a way to save. If you’re interested in cash discounting as a long-term solution to reducing your processing costs, Stax offers a generous plan.

4.0

Ease of use

Quick Onboarding and Plenty of Plans To Choose From

National Processing doesn’t charge any set-up fees. Once your account is approved, you can begin processing payments within a few days. Just pick the plan that best suits your needs, choose your hardware solution (free or paid), and you’re ready to receive payments.

Getting Started With National Processing

You can fill out National Processing’s application form in less than five minutes. You’ll need to select the service(s) you need and then provide general information about your industry, your monthly processing volume, and the like. A National Processing representative will then contact you to discuss your options in more detail.

National processing application form
It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out the application form

Although opening a merchant account with National Processing is relatively easy, you’ll need to submit several documents before your account is approved. Top competitor Stax, for example, offers much quicker turnaround times.

National Processing also promises to give you $500 upon signing if they can’t beat your current rate – provided you’re a low-risk merchant processing at least $10,000/month. Leaders Merchant Services has a similar guarantee – no minimum processing volume required.

National Processing does accept some merchants in high-risk industries, but those merchants won’t qualify for the low fees it advertises.

Free POS Reprogramming and Gateway Setup

National Processing is one of the few merchant services providers to offer free POS reprogramming of existing equipment. If you’re switching providers and already have hardware set up, National Processing will cover all the technical stuff and try to reprogram your equipment free of charge.

All plans also include free gateway setup for online payments and virtual terminal. Depending on your plan, though you may be charged a monthly fee for use of the gateway itself. If you don’t have a developer on your team, or you don’t know how to create payment links or set up shopping carts – National Processing has you covered with specialized training in all things e-commerce.

Stats and Analytics Through the SwipeSimple App

National processing analytics
SwipeSimple’s app allows you to keep track of your payments on the go

The SwipeSimple App makes it easy to track sales and inventory, calculate tax, add tips, and create discounts. A real-time reporting tool also provides detailed transaction data that can easily be exported to CSV format.

While the app has all the features you’d expect from an e-commerce tool, the offline feature takes it one step further. If you experience connection issues or poor reception, the app will still capture your customer’s payment information, which will be processed once you’re back online.

3.9

Pricing

National Processing’s Fees Are Competitive

That National Processing discloses its transaction fees and subscriptions prominently on its homepage is a breath of fresh air. Too often, merchant providers don’t tend to disclose much about their pricing structure on their official website.

Although National Processing charges both a monthly subscription and per transaction fees, it’s still a relatively affordable option.  Its new selection of flat-rate plans have low monthly fees and transaction fees that are lower than competitors who use this pricing model. However, processors that offer flat-rate plans typically don’t charge monthly fees. This pricing model can also be more costly as your sales volume rises.

Premium and Subscription plans benefit from an interchange plus pricing model, but have minimum transaction volumes and are suited to high-volume businesses. With these plans, you’ll pay a constant, flat margin on top of the base interchange rate. You won’t have to worry about complicated tiered pricing that results in unpredictable fee variations from month to month.

Here’s a list of available plans and their fees:

  • Non-Profit: $9.95/month, 0.12% + 6¢ per transaction
  • ACH processing: $15/month, 0.18% + 10¢ per transaction
  • Subscription: $59/month, 0% + 9¢ per transaction
  • Subscription Plus: $199/month, 0% + 0.05¢ per transaction
  • Basic In-Person: 2.4% + 0.10¢ (in-person transactions)
  • Basic eCommerce: 2.9% + 0.30¢ (online transactions)
  • Advanced: 2.4% + 0.10¢ (in-person)

In addition to these monthly plan and transaction fees, you’ll be charged $29 for use of the payment gateway, unless you’ve signed up for the Basic In-Person or eCommerce plan.

There are other potential costs you may incur because of limited plan features. If you sign up for the eCommerce plan and add a storefront location, I was told you’ll have to create a second merchant account to handle in-person sales. The same goes for the in-Person and Advanced plans, because these plans lack e-commerce capabilities.

It’s worth noting that National Processing only guarantees low rates to low-risk businesses that meet specific criteria – so before you get on the phone to cancel your current plan, fill out the application form and request a custom quote to discover exactly how much you’ll be paying.

To get free equipment apart from the SwipeSimple card reader, you’ll have to commit to a 2-year contract. The downside is that National Processing charges a $495 – $595 early termination fee (ETF).

If you sign up for a Basic in-person or eCommerce plan, you won’t t have to commit to a 2-year contract. That said, National Processing’s transaction fees are high as compared to other processors that offer monthly interchange-plus plans, like Leaders Merchant Services.

When signing a contract with National Processing, you agree to pay the early termination fee (ETF) if you leave for a competitor without giving National Processing a chance to meet or beat the competitor’s offer. National Processing promises it won’t charge the ETF if you close or sell your business or if it can’t beat a competitor’s rates, though some merchants have complained that’s not the case.

National Processing doesn’t publicly disclose any additional fees, but according to customer reviews, there’s a $79 annual PCI compliance fee, a $100 PCI non-compliance fee, and a $20 chargeback fee.

All in all, National Processing implements a relatively transparent pricing model with affordable plan fees and competitive rates for qualified merchants. It’s an option if you’re comparing it to competitors with similar transaction fees (as National Processing does on its website), but there are more affordable processors that offer lower rates and additional complimentary features.

4.0

Compliance & Security

National processing compliance certificate
National Processing is fully PCI-compliant

National Processing Is PCI-Compliant

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) ensures that customer credit card information is accepted, processed, and stored in the safest way possible. All National Processing plans, gateways, and terminals are PCI-compliant, so you can rest assured that your sensitive data will be kept secure.

PCI Compliance & More

If you’re processing any kind of credit/debit card payments, it’s your responsibility to fill out the PCI DSS self-assessment questionnaire once a year.

National Processing will perform regular security scans to ensure your account is compliant, but keep in mind that you’ll be charged a compulsory annual $79 compliance fee for this service. Make sure you become PCI-compliant as soon as possible – otherwise, you risk paying a hefty $100 non-compliance fee for every month you’re in breach of compliance.

National Processing is also CCPA compliant, covering the majority of California residents.

Additional Security Features

National Processing’s approved readers and terminals provide end-to-end encryption, keeping you and your customers safe from fraud and misuse. Many of its third-party hardware options (e.g., Clover) also come with additional safety features, such as fingerprint login and advanced employee permissions.

For e-commerce transactions, National Processing maintains PCI DSS compliance standards through Authorize.Net’s secure payment gateway and its proprietary gateway. Payment information is processed via tokenization, an advanced encryption system that converts sensitive data into unreadable tokens.

For even tighter security, you can modify National Processing’s gateway to enable an Address Verification Service (AVS), CVV2, and specific restrictions on transactions.

4.2

Customer Support

National Processing’s Support Is Helpful, Though Not Always Available

The CCP industry is known for its less-than-stellar customer support. I’ve experienced this firsthand, often having a hard time reaching merchant services providers or simply failing to get my questions answered when I do. I’m pleased to say that National Processing is not one of those providers.

You can reach National Processing’s support team 24/7 via phone and email, and there’s even a chat function that’s available five days a week during office hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. MDT).

I first reached out via live chat to ask about this provider’s same-day funding service. My question was: Does National Processing offer a same-day funding service? How much does it cost?

It was early Monday morning (6:30 a.m. MDT), but I never heard back from them. A few days later, I decided to try my luck again, this time via email. I sent my first email at 5:09 p.m. (MDT) and 5 days later there was still no response. I sent a second email and a representative got back to me in less than an hour.

National processing support interaction
Noah answered my question pretty quickly

I called customer support the following day, reaching out late in the evening at around 11:00 p.m. PDT. Fortunately, I only experienced a brief wait of a few minutes before connecting with the support center. During the call, I spent a solid twenty minutes delving into inquiries about National Processing’s plans, fees, and hardware solutions.

The phone representative was friendly, attentive, and eager to help me better understand National Processing’s offerings.

He answered my questions about additional charges that I couldn’t find on the website. I was also pleased to learn that my small (and imaginary) vegan-friendly bakery would probably qualify for National Processing’s guaranteed low rates – the representative said he needed to confirm that with another team.

If I agreed to sign a contract with National Processing, I would also qualify for a 50% discount on the Startup Bundle, which includes a SwipeSimple terminal, a thermal printer, and a cash drawer.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by National Processing’s response. The representatives were friendly and professional, even though I wasn’t yet a customer. While National Processing’s documentation falls short of the competition and the information is sometimes contradictory or even factually incorrect, support tries to make up for that.

Comparison

How does National Processing match up to the competition?

Leaders Merchant ServicesCompareOur Score4.8Compare
PAYARCCompareOur Score4.7Compare
National ProcessingCompareOur Score4.0Compare
QuickBooks PaymentsCompareOur Score3.5Compare

National Processing REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

National Processing offers straightforward rates for in-person and e-commerce businesses. If you’re a low-risk merchant willing to overlook the lack of additional features and services – for example, industry-specific analytics, a free checking account, and merchant cash advance options – you may save with this provider.

National Processing also helps with hardware and gateway setup at no additional cost, though its selection of POS systems, terminals, and mobile devices is limited. Its customer support is also helpful, even if its live chat channel is only available during business hours.

I’d recommend you consider National Processing if you have a small, low-risk business with simple processing needs. If you’re looking for more features and affordable rates a high-risk merchant looking for competitive rates, Leaders Merchant Services would be a better option.

Here are the pros and cons of setting up a merchant account with National Processing:
Pros Cons
  • Transparent pricing structure
  • $500 meet-or-beat guarantee
  • Free reprogramming of existing POS equipment on some plans
  • Two-year contracts with early termination fee
  • Doesn’t usually accept high-risk businesses
  • Doesn’t offer as many features as some competitors

FAQ

Is National Processing legit?

Yes, National Processing is a legitimate merchant account provider with thousands of active accounts. You can fill out your application online, sign up for a plan, and begin processing payments in just a few days.

How much are National Processing’s fees?

National Processing’s fees vary depending on your plan, business type, processing volume, and risk level. It has recently updated its pricing model and now offers several flat-rate plans with low monthly fees, as well as an ACH plan and custom pricing.

What payments can I take with National Processing?

National Processing accepts various payments, including all major credit/debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. For online transactions, it accepts ACH, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin), Klarna, and Afterpay.

Does National Processing charge a monthly fee?

Yes, National Processing charges a monthly fee. The cheapest flat-rate plans start at $9.95/month (Basic In-Person and eCommerce), while the ACH processing account is $15/month. There’s currently no free plan available.

If these plans aren’t quite what you’re looking for, check out our list of the top 10 credit card processors in 2024.
Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis
A freelance writer and editor with experience in digital marketing, Alex has published over 40 product reviews and comparisons on Website Planet. He has tested email marketing services, freelance websites, social media management tools, and more. Before joining our team, he worked at an Australian agency where he experimented with all things digital marketing. In addition to his work, Alex enjoys cooking and writing about games.
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