By Mariana Almeida Marques
Credit cards are amongst the most popular payment methods worldwide. In the US, 70% of the population owns at least one credit card (Shift Processing report). Offering credit cards as a payment method for your customers may open a lot of doors for your business and enable you to quickly enlarge your customer base.
By connecting to Imburse, you can start taking credit payments from your customers in just a few weeks. Our platform enables you to integrate any payment provider or technology you want, so the options are endless. Aside from having total freedom of choice, integrating new providers and technologies through Imburse is an easy, quick and cost-effective process, which gives you the flexibility to adapt fast to customer demand and market changes.
In this article, we will enlist some of the most popular credit card processing companies. You can instantly connect to these processors, or any others in the market, through the Imburse platform. Have a look at our previous article if you want to know more about what is a credit card and how it works. Before choosing a credit card processor for your company, we will look into the credit card networks available.
Credit card fees are generally higher than debit card, and you may pay a lot of additional fees for credit card processors. If your business is fully digital, you avoid all the equipment costs for the hardware needed. However, you won’t be able to avoid the standard transaction rates and service fees. These rates and fees vary greatly depending on the customers’ card network or bank.
Visa and MasterCard have lower transaction rates than American Express, hence being more widely available. Some small businesses don’t want to accept Amex due to their higher rates. Note that whilst Visa and MasterCard are card networks partnering with a bank (such as Chase and Capital One) to offer credit cards to customers, Amex works as both card network and bank.
Amex transaction rates range from 2% to 3.50% plus a few pennies (usually between $0.05 and $0.15) per transaction. This depends on the size of your business and the type of industry it operates in. Aside from the transaction rates, you will encounter fees for service, authorisation, settlement, security, regulation and chargebacks. So, as you can see, there is a long list of expenses to go through should you want to start accepting Amex cards.
As we discussed below, both Visa and MasterCard are solely card networks, so all the other additional fees depend on your customers’ bank and the payment processor you choose to partner with. For example, payment processors usually charge set up fees and monthly service fees. On average, Visa and MasterCard charge between 1.50% and 2.50% per transaction. The type of credit card also influences merchant fees: business cards are generally the most expensive to process, along with rewards cards.
Thought not as widely known as the other three credit card players, Discover is also a credit card issued by Discover Bank. It is issued in the US but available to use in 200 countries across the globe. The Discover website states that this credit card has “moderate acceptance” in the UK and in the US, it is actually more accepted than American Express. Its transaction fees vary from 1.50% to 2.30%, quite similar values to Visa and MasterCard.
Now that you have a broader understanding of credit card processors and how fees can vary, we will look into a few options of credit card processors for your business.
Adyen: Adyen has an easy-to-follow pricing list published on its website that explains all the fee variations. In sum, Adyen’s transaction fees depend on where the company is based and the type of cards they want to accept. Accepting Amex in Europe, for instance, would cost merchants 3.95% plus €0,10 per transaction.
Square: Square is aimed at growing businesses and offers its own hardware tools too. It charges a flat rate per transaction that varies depending on the industry your business operates in (it ranges from 2.5% to 3.5%) and no monthly fees.
PaySafe: PaySafe offers custom pricing and a month-by-month contract. The pricing isn’t available on their website, so you need to contact the team to get this information. It takes two days for the funds to be deposited in your account.
Stripe: Stripe charges a flat rate for transactions (1.4% plus 20p for European cards and 2.9% plus 20p for non-European cards). You can also opt for customising your own package. There are no set up or monthly fees. Stripe, similar to the other providers mentioned above, offers a wide range of additional tools and supports other payment methods.
The Imburse platform offers connection to any payment provider and technology in any market. You can quickly switch between providers or add new ones depending on business and customers needs, effectively saving a lot of valuable time, costs and your own resources. We do all the heavy-lifting, so you can allocate your resources and funds to more relevant business areas whilst still ensuring that you are providing your customers with the best payment experiences. If you would like to know more about Imburse, reach out to our team below.