Decide which type of processor will be the best fit for your business
There are multiple ways to integrate a credit card payment service into your unique business.
For example, you’ll need to choose between a card payment service that works with individuals or opt for a provider that serves only businesses. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the average monthly volume of credit and debit card payments that you accept.
To get the job done right, start by evaluating the following credit card payment processing solution models.
If you’re an individual who wants to accept credit cards for personal use – for example, if you want to accept credit cards at a garage sale or for freelance work, or if your business isn’t yet official – Square is a good option. (Read our review of Square for more information.)
Square is one of the few payment processors that works with you individually and works with your business. You will pay a small fee each time you accept a credit card payment, and there are no monthly or annual fees. Square gives you a card swiper, or you can buy an inexpensive chip card reader from the company.
If you desire the ability to accept credit card payments from friends, family, or other people you know and trust – such as the friends you split the bill with at dinner last night – you can use peer-to-peer payment services like PayPal (see our PayPal review for more information), Venmo, Apple Pay Cash, Google Pay or Zelle.
Tip: You don’t want to use a P2P payment service to accept payments if you don’t know the individual. Beware that buyers can reverse transactions, such as in Venmo payment scams.
Small, monthly cash amounts
If your small business processes less than $2,500 per month or has small sales tickets, you want to work with a payment facilitator like Stripe (read our Stripe review for more information).
Facilitators like Stripe are cheaper to use at this processing volume because you pay only a small fee – expressed as a percentage of each sale and, sometimes, a per-transaction fee – for each credit or debit card payment you accept. Even though payment facilitators charge a higher percentage than other types of payment processing rates, you save money because you don’t pay any other fees.
There’s no setup fee, monthly fee (such as statement and payment gateway fees), or annual PCI compliance fee.
Tip: Consider PayPal alternatives if you’re looking for low-volume credit card payment processors.