If your company wants to accept credit cards, you'll need to get a merchant account service. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Comparing services and costs can be a challenge for someone new to the credit card processing game.
BusinessNewsDaily's sister site, TopTenReviews, recently reviewed the best merchant account services and breaks down the pros and cons for each. Here's an overview of what they found.
The top two
Flagship Merchant Services and Merchant Warehouse are the two biggest names in Merchant Services. They achieved this status by being the standard-bearers in the industry in every category we evaluate. Both merchant account services offer high approval ratings, speedy setup time and great customer service. It was difficult to choose one of these great services over the other. Let's break down each service in a head-to-head matchup.
Average Approval Rating
A small note on this before we begin. The term "approval rating" means something a different from the generally understood meaning of the term in this context. Approval rating for merchant account services indicates how many applications the merchants account service approves.
That being said; Flagship Merchant Services approves 98 percent of all merchant account applications that come across their digital desk. Whereas Merchant Warehouse, which approves 99 percent. In this category, Merchant Warehouse has a slight edge over Flagship Merchant services in this category. However, both services scored a perfect 4 stars on our side-by-side comparison chart.
Cost Per Month
When it comes right down to it, choosing a Merchant Account Service is a business decision. The monthly costs of a merchant account should weigh heavily in this category.
Flagship Merchant Servies charges $9.00 a month for the use of their payment Gateway, contrast that to Merchant Warehouses $5.00 each month. However, it should be noted that certain merchant accounts through Flagship waive this fee.
Both merchant account services charge $7.95 monthly statement fee. So, that's a wash. The deciding factor in this category comes down to the monthly minimum transaction required by each service. Flagship requires merchants to do at least $20.00 in transactions per month; Merchant Warehouse's requirement is slightly higher at $25.00.
Flagship takes this category, but only by a hair.
This is another area where both merchant account services set the standard for the rest of the category. Unlike many other merchant account services, both Flagship and Merchant Warehouse charge exactly zero startup fees. We can declare no winner in this category, but suffice it to say both are excellent.
Account Setup Time
When you need to start taking payment via credit and debit card, you need to do it fast. With Flagship your merchant account will be ready within one business day. The same applies to Merchant Warehouse, which turns around your application for a merchant account in a business day or less. We cannot declare a decisive winner in this category since both services hold themselves to an exceptional standard.
Both services offer excellent customer service twenty-four hours a day. It doesn't get any better than that. This category has no clear victor.
Internet Based Features
A growing number of retailers do business solely online these days. Having solid and stable internet based features is necessary in today's digital world. The chief online feature of any merchant account is the payment gateway.
Flagship offers a single gateway option: Authorize.net. Merchant Warehouse on the other hand, offers a multitude of payment gateways to choose from. This round goes to Merchant Warehouse.
The final category in this head-to-head match deals with brick and mortar retailers. It all comes down to the variety and quality of hardware such as Point of Sale Terminals, Credit Card Swipers and PIN Pads. When you examine the array of hardware provided by each service, it's clear that Flagship wins this category without trouble.
As mentioned earlier, it was difficult to choose which Merchant Account Service would take the number one spot. At the end of our analysis, we concluded that Flagship Merchant Services takes the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award crown. However, the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award is no badge of shame for Merchant Warehouse. The contest was so close we are of the opinion that either of these services would do you and your business a great service for years to come.
To check out our complete lineup of Merchant Account Services simply follow this link to our side-by-side comparison chart.