25 Payment Tools for Small Businesses, Freelancers and Startups
Billing your customers is, of course, vital -- but even more critical is getting paid for those bills. Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are more payment tools and platforms to choose from to help find the perfect option for your business based on how many payments you receive, the type of business you have and your budget.
I've worked with many payment companies over a span of more than 10 years, and I've learned that not every payment company is created equal. For that reason, I've compiled a list of 25 payment tools to consider for your business. These options will expand the number of payment methods you can accept which will help attract more clients, facilitate faster payment and ensure a secure environment for both parties during every transaction you make.
Dwolla is a developer-friendly payments system that lets you customize how you make and receive recurring, bulk or single payments. Offering a free account with no transaction fees, it only links to a U.S. bank account or credit union account. There are no account setup fees or transaction fees. However, Dwolla is strictly made for domestic payments.
Authorize.net is a payments gateway that offers domestic and some international transactions for small to medium-sized businesses. You can accept all major credit cards, signature debit cards, echecks and digital payment options like Apple Pay, PayPal and Visa Checkout. Other features include automated recurring billing, a free suite of security and fraud prevention tools and the ability to synch with your Quickbooks. Although there are no annual renewal or hidden fees involved, there are some other fees to consider: a $49 set-up fee, $25 per month gateway fee and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.
As part of PayPal, this company has bolstered the company’s payments expertise and provided more options for you to pass onto your customers -- like Venmo, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Bitcoin and debit and credit cards. There are no extra fees, including no fees for refunds, inactivity or failed transactions. You only pay for those transactions you actually carry out. After your first $50,000 in transactions, you will pay as little as 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.
2Checkout focuses on global payment acceptance, providing you with a secure and compliant gateway to do business in nearly every country around the world. It offers both online and mobile platforms for payments, including numerous language and currency options, recurring billing, hosted checkout and fraud protection. You can accept all major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal, and then get paid by bank or wire transfer. Transactions are 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction. While there are no setup or monthly fees, you will have fees like an extra 1 percent added on to each transaction from outside of the U.S., 2 to 5 percent charge above daily bank rate on currency conversion and a $20 chargeback fee.
Square is a credit card processing company that provides a way for small businesses to accept credit cards without carrying the burden of additional fees. You will be able to accept credit cards anywhere and process gift cards with their free magstripe reader that works with the Square app on smartphones and tablets. Features include fraud protection and deposits on demand with payments received in your bank account in one to two business days. You only pay per transaction with no setup or monthly fees. The fee is 2.75 percent per swipe for all major credit cards.
Stripe was built for developers to create custom payment solutions, but it can also be used in its basic form. Even as a standardized payment platform, it is packed with features like integrated mobile payments for iOS and Android, checkout, the ability to add coupons and recurring billing. As a global payment option, it works with over 100 currencies, as well as Bitcoin and local payment instruments like Alipay. You can also accept digital payment services like Apple Pay, Android Pay and AmEx Express Checkout.
WePay is an online payments processing platform that is completely customizable. Its standard payments solution is fully integrated into your business, offering fraud prevention, fraud detection tools, direct bank transfer, recurring payments, multi-party payments, compatibility with all major credit cards and ACH payments. Credit card processing fees are 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction, while ACH payment processing is 1 percent plus $0.30 per transaction. Chargebacks are $15.
Popmoney is a way to send, request and receive money within the U.S. from bank account to bank account or debit card. It has a limited amount of daily and monthly funds that can be sent and received, making this ideal for smaller transactions. This highly secure payment solution is ideal for collecting money from groups or for recurring payments. With a debit card, you can receive the funds in as little as one business day while a bank account may take up to three business days. There is a fee of $0.95 for each transaction, making this a relatively low-cost payment option.
Due is a payments solution company that offers credit card processing and international credit card processing. It charges a flat-rate transaction fee of 2.7 percent for credit card processing, including global credit card payments. It also features a digital wallet tool as well as the ability to handle ACH payments. The company has integrated PayPal and Stripe for further payment options, and in addition, it offers time-tracking and online invoicing.
PayPal has become one of the most trusted payment platforms online. It was one of the first that provided freelancers with a way to accept debit and credit card payments without having to partner with a credit card processing company and face high monthly and transaction fees. Over time, PayPal has evolved into offering personal and business accounts, its own debit and credit cards, a revolving credit line and business loans. It allows you to accept payment in foreign currency and then handles the currency exchange process for you for a minimal fee. Now, PayPal is beginning to accept Bitcoin so that customers can make and accept cryptocurrency payments.
Heartland Payment Systems
Although they do not list their pricing, they are known to be a competitively priced payment processing provider that focuses on service, security and transparent processes. They promise no fees and next-day funding on a wide range of payments, including major credit and debit cards, EMV, gift cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. They offer payment processing on any type of device and focus on EMV, tokenization and end-to-end encryption to deliver one of the most robust security solutions for card processing. They have other services for businesses, including payroll, POS, loyalty programs, e-commerce and billing solutions, mobile payments, gift cards and more.
Cybersource is an online payment processing company that offers a wide array of services, including gateway and processing connections, digital wallet and digital payments, debit and bank transfers, payer authentication, payments security, global tax calculation and more. It allows you to take and make payments in 190 countries and 40 currencies across all major and local payment cards as well as Alipay, PayPal, Visa Checkout, PayEase, Apple Pay and Android Pay. It does not list pricing but instead offers a custom program for businesses of all sizes.
Digital River is a global payment processing company working in 190 countries, including many emerging countries like China and India, as well as with 170 transaction and display currencies. It offers local and global card processing as well as transactions with retail and internet banks. Its pricing information is available by contacting the online payment processing company and working with them to develop a customized program for your business.
ecoPayz offers personal, business and merchant global payment processing services that do not require any recipient bank accounts. This is because this payments solution uses its own branded ecoCards that have a Visa or Mastercard logo and work as payment cards for transactions in 45 currencies. There is instant funding and free setup for an ecoAccount that uses these virtual payment cards.
Creditcall links to all U.S. processors and U.K. acquirers, offering online and mobile payments for your business. It uses an EMV-ready payment gateway and virtual terminal to keep your transaction costs low. Creditcall allows you to customize your hosted payment page to seamlessly integrate it into your existing website.
Elavon Converge offers a number of services, including a solution for small businesses. With an online and mobile option, Elavon Converge provides a way to process credit cards, debit cards, electronic gift cards, electronic checks, Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBTs) and mobile wallets via tools like Apple Pay. The payment processing provider is also preparing its customers for the EMV transition. Pricing information is available by calling the company to get a customized payment processing program that fits your small business.
Neteller is a global payment processing company that helps businesses work with customers in 200 countries and across 15 languages. You will be able to accept a wide array of credit and debit cards and local payment options, including cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Along with many deposit options, Neteller offers businesses instant payouts on these transactions.
Nochex is a U.K.-based credit card processing company that was established to help companies in the U.K. work with consumers and businesses around the world, accepting payments from all the major debit and credit card companies. It offers free PCI and anti-fraud tools along with low fees and transparent pricing.
Payoneer specializes in the ability for a business to make mass payments to customers all over the world, but it also offers a payment processing solution. You will be able to work with 200 countries and 150 currencies. Payoneer allows you to receive and withdraw funds through deposit in your local bank account, use of the Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard or through an online store affiliated with Payoneer’s network.
PayXpert is a global payment processing company that offers transaction rates around 1.5 percent based on volume and risk. They handle more than 40 currencies across 40 countries and work with 150 payment solutions. Features include a payment gateway, merchant account services, mobile and online payment functionality, credit card processing, data encryption and a virtual terminal.
Payment Depot operates as a membership solution to offer businesses of all sizes access to wholesale credit card processing. It works for all major credit cards and delivers one of the lowest transaction rates available. For its basic membership, which costs $29 per month or $299 per year, you can process up to $20,000 per month and receive a rate of $0.25 per transaction. As your transactions grow in value per month, you can tap into even lower transaction rates, from $0.15 all the way down to $0.05 per transaction with the highest volume of transaction value.
As a global payments system solution, the company offers numerous POS, online and mobile payment processing options. Its online payment solutions include shopping carts, payment gateways, a virtual terminal and recurring payments. You can accept all major payment types, including credit, debit, gift and direct debit cards. The pricing is also customized on a business-by-business basis.
Payline Data is a credit card and debit card company that offers low rates for small businesses, helping them grow on a budget. Its main plan, for those who process less than $5,000 in transactions per month, is interchange plus 0.5 percent and $0.15 per transaction for online credit card processing. The other plan is for those who process more than $5,000 in transactions per month: $15 per month plus a $0.10 per transaction, as well as interchange plus 0.2 percent.
Charge.com offers many types of credit card processing services, including one made for small businesses. It comes with no setup fees, low processing fees, free software and shopping card, no hidden fees and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) transactions. Charge.com lets you process all major credit and debit cards online, as well as through a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone.
Moneris Solutions is a U.S. and Canada-based payments processing company that offers a wide range of tools, including EMV solutions, online and mobile payments, gift card and loyalty programs, e-checks, ACH direct deposits, recurring payments and even payroll processing. There are custom pricing models for businesses to match business size, volume and budget.
A world of online payment options for your business.
This is just a sampling of the growing number of payments companies that include credit card processors, global payment processing firms, online payment providers, digital payment companies and cryptocurrency payment businesses. As you build out your business, you’ll be able to offer a wide range of payment options, including e-cash, e-checks, digital currencies, debit cards, credit cards and traditional payments across a wide range of different currencies.