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10 great merchant account providers (that aren’t PayPal and Google Wallet)

When your ecommerce dreams are new and you aren’t yet sure how to run an online store, it makes sense that you would use the most popular online payment services providers on the web. Indeed, Paypal and Google Wallet offer some interesting and exciting merchant services when you have no clue what you need or how you want your shop to function.

However, after a few months, most people in the ecommerce industry become frustrated with the titans of the internet: Paypal is outrageously expensive, Google’s customer service is atrocious, and both have clunky interfaces that rarely mesh well with specific site branding. Eventually, every entrepreneur starts looking for merchant account alternatives, and here are the best on the web.

PayLine Data
PayLine is one of the best account providers on the web for one reason: transparency. The company provides all the services you need for your e-commerce business ― or your traditional retail store, for that matter ― and it does so for simple, low, monthly payments. You can customize your plans perfectly, choosing only the “simple” or “professional” option for each processing type, to ensure you aren’t overpaying for your needs.

Dharma
If you built your brand on business consciousness, you’ll likely be pleased to learn that there is a merchant services provider with the same goals for society and the environment. Dharma offers the standard services your business needs to survive as well as fundraising features for non-profits. Plus, Dharma generously donates a sizeable percentage of its profits to charity every year, so you can feel good about this business expense.

E-Complish
E-Complish is more than a merchant account provider. The company works hard to find challenges facing online businesses and provide ecommerce payment solutions that work with your existing business and website model. The result is nearly miraculous; E-Complish provides some of the most comprehensive services on the internet, which is astounding considering the diversity of services the business offers.

SalesVu
The sheer number of services and devices that come free with SalesVu services is perhaps what draws most businesses to this provider. SalesVu’s main product is a POS system for iPhone and iPad, but with this, you gain access to a free card reader, a free ecommerce website, and free telephone support, as well as a veritable bounty of other features, such as Quickbooks integration, digital invoicing, end-of-shift reports, mobile optimization, and more.

Dwolla
Dwolla is not a small player in the online merchant services game, but the site is so practical and straightforward, it is nearly impossible to ignore. Dwolla makes moving money online incredibly simple, and some of its services are thoroughly free. The service is fast and safe, and businesses can upgrade to unlock more advanced features for a customized monthly rate.

Authorize.Net
It may not have the flashiest name, but Authorize.Net is perhaps the oldest payment gateway online. Created in 1996, Authorize.Net has survived the twists and turns of technology (not to mention the economy) and still caters to more than 375 000 merchants. The site is stable, which you definitely need the most of in business.

CDG Commerce
In addition to its bevy of free services and noteworthy lack of fees, CDG Commerce has one of the best reputations for customer satisfaction. The company has been operating since 1998, and it has offered its reliable payment portal (thrillingly called the Quantum Gateway) since 2007. CDG offers uncomplicated services for ecommerce sites that don’t need much.

ACH Payments
The internet allows us to interact internationally, but not all merchant services providers offer global services. If your business often crosses national boundaries, you should look to ACH Payments. Along with the company’s global money transactions, its various merchant services are amazingly powerful and incredibly useful.

2CheckOut
Another global services provider, 2CheckOut differs from the rest in its disinterest in differentiating businesses from others who need to accept digital payment. Though it certainly offers quintessential merchant services ― credit and debit processing, shopping cart options, recurring billing, etc. ― the company doesn’t require merchant accounts. Anyone can sign up and start receiving payments.

WooCommerce
If you use WordPress, you need WooCommerce. As exciting as its name suggests, WooCommerce provides simplified versions of essential ecommerce services, so they are both vendor- and customer-friendly. Plus, the company compiles a number of educational resources, such as tax and shipping rules in your region, to help your business perform even better.

Featured image: FirmBee via Pixabay

  • .Did someone mention PayPal?

    Notwithstanding the otherwise constant stream of disingenuous and delusional nonsense that flows from eBay/PayPal, the share price history of these two clunky operators demonstrate the reality:

    Aug 2007: (pre John Donahoe) EBAY ~$40; AMZN ~$40;
    Jul 2015 (pre eBay-PayPal split): EBAY ~$66; AMZN ~$480;
    Jul 2015 (post-split): PYPL ~$37; EBAY ~$28; AMZN ~$530;
    Currently: PYPL ~$409; EBAY ~$24; AMZN ~$634—LOL

    PayPal is standing still, and eBay has for years been effectively going backwards—at a steady rate of knots.

    And, notwithstanding the “spin-off” of PayPal from eBay, eBay and “PreyPal” remain effectively joined at the hip—for at least the next five years—and anyone that thinks otherwise is simply uninformed; and, thanks to a continuation of most of the destructive policies introduced over the eight year reign (2007–2015) of the “Pain from Bain”, John Joseph Donahoe II, the eBay marketplace is continuing on its slow journey down the toilet; nevertheless, during Johnny Ho’s occupation of the eBay corner office, this cretin and his gang of hand-picked Keystone Kops still managed to obtain for themselves massive, unearned, “performance” bonuses—while the company’s “long” shareholders received not one penny.

    PayPal is a clunky, non-bank-licensed, non-deposit-insured, virtually non-regulated, “pretend” bank; a higher fee-charging payments intermediary that, in the main, rides on the back of the world’s banks’ existing payments systems, with no formal agreement with those banks other than PayPal’s operating of a credit card merchant account facility with, and the making of direct debits/credits on some users’ bank accounts via, one of those real banks.

    PayPal is, in its own words, “a merchant of sorts”, it is not a licensed “bank”; virtually everything that “PreyPal” does is done via “marketing” arrangements with licensed financial institutions—for example, look for the identity of the actual credit provider (in the micro print) on their credit providing instruments.

    Funds received via “PreyPal” are at risk of being subjected to lengthy arbitrary holds; funds left “on deposit” with PayPal are not FDIC-insured. Even more perilous (for PayPal’s shareholders), the great majority of PayPal’s business originates from its (still) effectively mandated place on the eBay marketplace, so it logically follows that—with the destructive Johnny Ho-Ho-Ho now sitting at the head of the PayPal boardroom table—”PreyPal” will undoubtedly be accompanying eBay on its journey to the sewage farm.

    The reality is, PayPal’s parasitic, higher fee-charging payments operation has little long-term future—outside of its mandated place on the atrophying eBay marketplace—now that professional online/mobile payments offerings from MasterCard (“MasterPass”) and Visa (“Visa Checkout”) are available to any online merchant that has (or can obtain) a credit card merchant account with a real bank.

    And, with respect particularly to “mobile” payments, notwithstanding Apple Pay’s disappointing initial showing, methinks Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, “MasterPass”, and “Visa Checkout”, that is, those operations that have formal relationships with the world’s retail banks and MasterCard/Visa, will soon enough throttle the flow of oxygen to a great deal of the clunky PayPal’s parasitic operations.

    PayPal users should never give PayPal an authority to direct debit their bank accounts; PayPal should only ever be given access to funds via a real-bank credit card account; that way your credit card-issuing bank will be the final arbiter of any transaction dispute; similarly, sellers should never accept payment via PayPal for goods that are going to be picked up by the buyer; PayPal offers sellers zero protection from scammers in such circumstances.

    PayPal’s one-time adoptive parent, eBay, is likely the most unscrupulous commercial entity operating on this planet; but, have no fear, eBay is an equal-opportunity fraudster; demonstrably, they will knowingly aid and abet the defrauding of buyers by unscrupulous eBay merchants who bid on their own auctions, and, conversely, of honest sellers by unscrupulous buyers—as long as there is a financial benefit in such fraud for eBay.

    And if anyone thinks that the clunky “PreyPal” is any more scrupulous—given their equally poor customer service and lack of any mediation of transaction disputes by human beings, which effectively results in a hard-wired bias towards buyers/payers that they now necessarily have to pander to—good luck to all you small online merchants who may get burned in the process.

    For a detailed analysis of the ugly reality of eBay’s demonstrable, calculated, facilitation of endemic shill bidding fraud on consumers on its auctions marketplace—Google “Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #5”

    Goodbye clunky PayPal—it’s not been nice knowing you—Google “Retail Payments: The Reality”

  • kim@dominoresearch.com

    Um, sorry to point this out but WooCommerce is NOT a merchant account provider. They are a WordPress plugin that works with a large number of merchant account providers, but without a provider you can’t transact.
    And I’m really not sure how you can make a list without including Stripe, that’s kind of silly.

    • Codec Pryme

      Maybe Stripe is no longer what they used to me, that’s not silly.

      • How about some facts to back up your “Stripe is no longer what they used to me” …

      • kim@dominoresearch.com

        I’m not sure what you think they used to be, I’ve just told you what they are. Have a nice day!

  • ohh you can also try http://achpayment.net for the merchant accounting