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The Top 10 Inventory Management Software Options

Shopify Logo

Shopify

Best overall

4.0 4.0 Stars
  • Transparent transaction fees
  • Strong security and analytics
  • 24/7 customer support
Shopify’s integrated online payment processing service helps e-commerce businesses host and process customer payments, among other functions. You get competitive processing rates, the ability to sell in 133 currencies, strong security and analytics, and excellent 24/7 customer support.

  • Pricing structure: Flat rate depending on the plan you’re subscribed to

  • Customer support: 24/7 email, live chat, call support

  • Integrations: Over 100 other payment providers globally

  • Security and compliance: Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, two-step authentication, Transport Layer Security (TLS)



Shopify Payments service makes it easy to set up and receive online payments. 

We rated Shopify as our best overall because it’s simple to set up and use, so you won’t struggle with third-party merchant accounts or payment providers. The platform also offers transparent yet competitive transaction fees. It has a seamless checkout experience for customers and organizes your sales and payment information in its ecosystem.

Once you create your Shopify store, you can set up all major payment methods automatically and start accepting payments online. The service isn’t available in all countries, though, and the multiple currency feature is limited to stores using the Shopify platform.

An Automatic Dispute Resolution is available in case you get unnecessary charge-backs.

Security is guaranteed as Shopify stores automatically meet PCI DSS compliance standards. It also supports online and recurring payments and integrates with popular marketing and accounting apps, and major e-commerce platforms.

Who is Shopify best for?

We recommend Shopify for omnichannel sellers looking for a quick way of accepting online payments. If you’re just starting out or are already in business but want to set up an e-commerce store, you won’t go wrong with Shopify Payments.

Shopify’s strong analytics and reporting features help you easily review your store’s performance.

Recent upgrades to Shopify

Shopify constantly updates its platform by adding new features and payment options, making it accessible to new markets and countries. The company recently added:

  • BNPL options, which allow your customers to pay in monthly installments of up to 12 months or four interest-free biweekly payments

  • Due on fulfillment for B2B orders

  • Custom pricing by market on all plans

  • Branding customization for new customer accounts and consistent checkout experiences

  • Shopify Tax option (if you’re selling within the U.S.) that lets you collect the right sales tax amount at the right time

  • Purchase options to Shopify’s Selling Plan API so your customers can try products before buying


Shopify pricing

If you’re a Shopify store owner, there are no added transaction fees for orders processed via Shopify Payments, Shop Pay Installments, Shop Pay, and PayPal Express. However, you’ll pay transaction fees ranging from 2.4% plus 0 cents to 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. If you use third-party payment processors, an additional fee varies depending on your plan — Shopify Starter (5%), Shopify Basic (2%), Shopify (1%), and Shopify Advanced (0.5%).

Pros and cons of Shopify

Pros

  • Transparent transaction fees
  • Strong analytics, security, and compliance
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Not available in all countries
  • Requires monthly fee to use the service besides transaction and third-party gateway fees
  • Only stores using it as the primary gateway can process payments in their customers’ local currencies

      Summary

      • Pricing
        • Transaction costs: $0 if using Shopify Payments; third-party transaction fees apply (0% to 5%) depending on the plan
        • in addition to monthly subscription
      • Customer support
        24/7 email, live chat, call support
      • Integrations
        Over 100 other payment providers globally
      • Security and compliance
        Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, two-step authentication, Transport Layer Security (TLS)
      Features
      • Transparent transaction fees
      • Strong security and analytics
      • 24/7 customer support
      Stripe Logo

      Stripe

      Best for customizability

      4.6 4.6 Stars
      • Stripe Connect
      • Flat-rate, pay-as-you-go pricing model
      • Customizable interface and reporting tools
      Stripe is a unified platform that provides a suite of products to power payments for online businesses. The payment processor applies a tech-first approach to help business owners send invoices, issue virtual cards, reduce checkout friction, manage your business spending, and beat fraud.

      • Pricing structure: Flat-rate

      • Customer support: Online chat, phone, email

      • Integrations: Works with over 135 consulting and technology partner services

      • Security and compliance: PCI DSS Level 1, PSD2 and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) compliant, SSAE18/SOC 1 type 1 and type 2, SSAE18/SOC 2 type 1 and type 2 reports, UK and EU e-money licenses.



      In Stripe’s dashboard, you can tweak the interface for a branded checkout experience.

      If you want to truly tailor your online payment experience for your customers, Stripe offers the best options. That includes customizing the invoicing and payment processes with your brand elements (logo, colors, fonts, shapes), and tweaking the interface in the Stripe dashboard to provide a branded checkout experience in your store. Plus, you can design custom payment forms using Stripe Elements, or change a checkout page’s name and customize its domain name, too.

      I liked that Stripe supports processing international payments in more than 135 currencies, meaning you can charge customers in their native currency and receive funds in yours.

      Its out-of-the-box integrations with top e-commerce platforms help you streamline your checkout process and set up customer payments with several options, such as custom payment forms and custom invoices.

      And with Stripe Connect, you can collect payments online and get paid in over 30 countries with a single platform. You can also add payments to your platform for free using Standard Connect, and process charges on your own.

      Who is Stripe best for?

      Our testing showed that Stripe works best for online businesses (subscription, software, marketplaces) and large companies wanting more payment options, like recurring payments and subscriptions.

      Stripe Connect offers a powerful API and tools for accepting online payments.

      Recent upgrades to Stripe

      Recent updates include adding embedded financial services like lending, financial accounts, and cards, and global crypto payouts for Connect that allow a select group of creators on Twitter to use crypto-based rails to get their earnings via Twitter.

      Fast-growing Software as a service (SaaS) businesses can take advantage of Stripe’s new Revenue Recognition feature, which offers insightful reporting, automatic updates on all transitions and payment changes, and the ability to import non-Stripe transactions. You won’t need technical expertise to integrate it with Stripe Billing, Stripe Invoicing, and other apps in the payments platform.

      Stripe pricing

      Stripe’s flat-rate, pay-as-you-go pricing structure is designed to suit businesses of all sizes.

      Stripe offers Integrated and Customized plans. Transaction fees for its Integrated plan are 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful card charge, while the Customized plan is tailored for unique business models, high-value transactions, or large payments volume.

      Pros and cons of Stripe

      Pros

      • Good API customizations
      • No setup or monthly fees
      • Variety of payment methods and customer support options

      Cons

      • It can have a steep learning curve
      • Flat-rate model is costlier with high sales volumes

          Summary

          • Pricing
            • Transaction costs: 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful card charge
          • Customer support
            Online chat, phone, email
          • Integrations
            Works with over 135 consulting and technology partner services
          • Security and compliance
            PCI DSS Level 1, PSD2 and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) compliant, SSAE18/SOC 1 type 1 and type 2, SSAE18/SOC 2 type 1 and type 2 reports, UK and EU e-money licenses.
          Features
          • Stripe Connect
          • Flat-rate, pay-as-you-go pricing model
          • Customizable interface and reporting tools
          Square Logo

          Square

          Best for selling through social media

          4.5 4.5 Stars
          • Intuitive dashboard
          • Seamless integration with third-party tools
          • Social commerce (Google, Facebook, Instagram)
          Square is best known for its suite of business software and POS systems, but the service also offers its customers easier ways to collect payments online with no extra fees or long-term contracts. You can also access a complete suite of tools to grow your business, including Square Online — a robust platform that covers your store, inventory, order fulfillment, customers, and more.

          • Pricing structure: Flat-rate

          • Customer support: Phone, email, Square Communities Forum, and messaging within the app.

          • Integrations: Square Online integrates with popular marketing, inventory management, and shipping tools

          • Security and compliance: Square Secure, PCI compliant, two-step verification, Risk Manager (detect fraud and prevent loss), and other industry-leading ISO 27001 certified measures.



          Square’s simple dashboard offers quick insights, as well as free advanced analytics and sales reports.

          Square’s business tools help you accept payments quickly and get paid fast. Unlike other online payment services, it also connects with your social media accounts, which allows you to sell wherever your customers hang out online, boost your store’s discovery, and increase sales.

          Like Shopify, Square Online comes with its payment processing service — Square Online Checkout — which lets you accept payment almost anywhere. A transaction fee applies whenever you make a sale.

          You can offer your customers fast and easy checkout through a customized page, offer subscriptions, collect tips, and accept payments with digital wallets or in installments with Afterpay.

          I particularly liked the format options: buy buttons, QR codes, or payment links. They can be customized to suit my business and share with my customers via email, text, social media, or my website.

          Square integrates with marketing, inventory management, business POS systems, and shipping tools, making it easier for you to track payments and fulfill orders with Square Online Checkout.

          Square’s support is available for its customers via email, phone (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST), or online chat. The online support assistant was helpful, but I couldn’t access a human agent outside of support hours.

          While email support was available 24/7, I waited anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to get a response — sometimes longer, depending on when I sent my query. That left me with Square’s Seller Community, which is active but not always reliable when you need a quick answer.

          Who is Square best for?

          We recommend Square for omnichannel sellers, particularly if you also sell through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

          You can set up sales tax for online orders through Square’s Online Payments option.

          Recent upgrades to Square

          As a Square Online Checkout merchant, you’re eligible for the built-in BNPL option.

          Square also introduced the option to accept payments with Afterpay online, meaning customers can pay for purchases over six weeks in four interest-free installments, and you get paid in full immediately. It’s a great way to increase business and boost online sales.

          Square Banking is also available for merchants. This service syncs your payments, cash flow, and business banking accounts seamlessly, allowing you to sell, save, spend, and borrow. There’s no opening deposit, minimum balance, overdraft fees, or monthly account fees.

          Square pricing

          Pricing is fair and transparent. If your business processes less than $250,000 annually, you’ll pay the standard 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction rate, similar to what other online payment services charge.

          Pros and cons of Square

          Pros

          • No signup, charge-back, or hidden fees
          • Doesn’t lock you into any type of contracts
          • Free website hosting
          • Makes selling easy on Facebook and Instagram

          Cons

          • Doesn’t work with certain high-risk merchants
          • Costs can add up for large businesses with high volumes and transactions
          • Limited customization options

              Summary

              • Pricing
                • Transaction costs: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
              • Customer support
                Phone, email, Square Communities Forum, and messaging within the app
              • Integrations
                Square Online integrates with popular marketing, inventory management, and shipping tools
              • Security and compliance
                Square Secure, PCI compliant, two-step verification, Risk Manager (detect fraud and prevent loss), and other industry-leading ISO 27001 certified measures.
              Features
              • Intuitive dashboard
              • Seamless integration with third-party tools
              • Social commerce (Google, Facebook, Instagram)
              Stax Logo

              Stax

              Best for subscription-based pricing

              4.5 4.5 Stars
              • Surcharge-free payment options
              • Subscription-based pricing
              • Integration with accounting software
              Since 2014, Stax has provided businesses across the U.S. with payment technology solutions to process payments at scale with minimal costs. The flexible platform provides a simple flat-rate monthly subscription to process payments and cover transaction processing and interchange costs.

              • Pricing structure: Subscription-based; interchange processing rates

              • Customer support: Phone, fax, online ticketing

              • Integrations: Slack, QuickBooks, Xero, Wave, Mailchimp, Asana, Wrike, and other popular business apps to automate your workflow

              • Security and compliance: Level 1 PCI Service Provider, end-to-end encryption and tokenization, TLS1.3, and GDPR compliance



              Stax offers detailed reports about payment methods, sales, item categories, deposits, and more, so you can keep a pulse on your store’s status and financial health.

              This platform is for small and large businesses to accept payments online. You can connect your entire payments experience and manage your business from one unified dashboard.

              What I like about Stax is it eliminates the need to work with multiple vendors because I get everything I need under one roof. I can run my entire business with Stax.

              Plus, Stax integrates with customizable tools, which enhance your business. You can also access advanced insights for better decision-making, and ultimately, increase your profits and maximize revenue.

              Stax also offers pre-built carts, which you can activate with one click and process online orders. Alternatively, you can use Stax developer tools to build custom shopping carts that integrate into your store.

              Who is Stax best for?

              Stax works for small but actively growing businesses with steady high-volume sales (at least $20,000 per month) that benefit from a set monthly fee. While Stax offers a subscription-based pricing structure that covers transaction processing, its fees (monthly and charge-back) aren’t cost-effective for small businesses with low-volume sales.

              You can accept payments from customers using international credit cards or via your website payment links.

              Recent upgrades to Stax

              Stax is committed to empowering businesses to move faster, think smarter, and make better decisions. The company continues to upgrade its payment technology and solutions to better represent this commitment and meet the future needs of every business. Some of its recent updates include:

              • Upgraded Level 2 processing

              • Fully re-envisioned mobile dashboard experience

              • Push notifications for daily deposits

              • Comparison stats for sales and refunds

              • Reliable credit surcharging


              Stax pricing

              Stax’s pricing plans may be quite expensive for low-volume sales businesses compared to top competitors, whose monthly fees range from $0 to $60. Some features, like the Level 2 processing, are only available in higher plans as an add-on. Stax also offers custom pricing for businesses processing over $500,000 per year, making it an excellent choice for large- volume transactions.

              Pros and cons of Stax

              Pros

              • Integrates with accounting tools
              • No markup on interchange rates
              • Subscription fees are inclusive of transaction processing
              • No hidden fees or contract cancellation charges

              Cons

              • Lengthy merchant application and setup process
              • High monthly subscription costs
              • Unsuitable for small businesses with low-volume sales

                  Summary

                  • Pricing
                    • Transaction costs: from $99
                    • inclusive of transaction processing
                  • Customer support
                    Phone, fax, online ticketing
                  • Integrations
                    Slack, QuickBooks, Xero, Wave, Mailchimp, Asana, Wrike, and other popular business apps to automate your workflow
                  • Security and compliance
                    Level 1 PCI Service Provider, end-to-end encryption and tokenization, TLS1.3, and GDPR compliance
                  Features
                  • Surcharge-free payment options
                  • Subscription-based pricing
                  • Integration with accounting software
                  Helcim Logo

                  Helcim

                  Cheapest for fast-growing and established businesses

                  4.2 4.2 Stars
                  • Automatic volume-based discount pricing
                  • Detailed merchant and business statements
                  • Customer-facing portal for subscription management
                  Helcim offers a world-class payments solution that lets you accept payments from more customers. You don’t have to worry about monthly fees, outsourcing, expensive developers, web servers, complicated code, or plug-ins. Plus, you benefit from Helcim’s fast deposits, lower rates, and automatic volume discounts.

                  • Pricing structure: Interchange Plus

                  • Customer support: Phone, email, live chat/support assistant

                  • Integrations: Works with accounting software, shopping carts, and billing tools, including QuickBooks and e-commerce platforms

                  • Security and compliance: Firewalls and Intrusion Detection (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), regular data backups, PCI DSS and NIST compliant, multi-factor authentication, password protection, and 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)



                  Helcim is an all-in-one payment processing service with free tools, including invoicing, online checkout, payment links, card vault, SMS payments, QR codes, and others, to grow your business.

                  The service syncs your customer data (billing, shipping, credit card, and bank account details) automatically to your merchant account while updating your inventory.

                  Its low, transparent rates and Interchange Plus pricing are a favorite of fast-growing and established businesses.

                  I particularly liked its volume discounts, which lower processing fees as transaction volumes go up, without having to negotiate rates with the company. This feature is ideal for fast-growing and established businesses doing heavy volumes, so startups or small businesses processing under $20,000-$25,000 may find it expensive to start and maintain.

                  And you can use Helcim’s borderless payment processing to accept and receive international credit card payments in your local currency.

                  Who is Helcim best for?

                  I found that Helcim works best for fast-growing and established businesses processing at least $25,000 per month. If you’re looking for better ways to accept online payments and get paid faster, at the lowest rate possible, Helcim is worth considering. You don’t have to negotiate rates for volume discounts, because it automatically reduces the cost as your volumes increase.

                  Helcim provides clean, easy-to-read, and concise merchant statements clearly listing the processing fee, interchange cost, and card brand network costs by section.

                  Recent upgrades to Helcim

                  Like other payment processors, Helcim also regularly upgrades its solution to offer the best services to its customers.

                  Offering small businesses every possible edge to thrive, the company recently kicked off a partnership with Xero, popular accounting software, integrating its credit card payments into Xero invoices. If using Xero you can request and accept payments effortlessly while benefiting from Helcim’s pricing model.

                  New features, including a sync between Helcim and Xero accounts and the ability to pay invoices via Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, will also be added to the integration.

                  Helcimpricing

                  Helcim prides itself in offering honest, transparent pricing that saves you money — no monthly fees, contracts, or hidden charges. You get free e-commerce, hosting, international credit card processing, and the latest technology and tools to accept payments and grow your business.

                  Pros and cons of Helcim

                  Pros

                  • No monthly fees
                  • Responsive and professional customer service
                  • Free merchant account
                  • Automatic volume-based discounted pricing

                  Cons

                  • Strict account setup
                  • Unsuitable for high-risk business types
                  • Two-business-day deposits

                      Summary

                      • Pricing
                        • Transaction costs: From 0.30% plus 8 cents per transaction
                      • Customer support
                        Phone, email, live chat/support assistant
                      • Integrations
                        Works with accounting software, shopping carts, and billing tools, including QuickBooks and e-commerce platforms
                      • Security and compliance
                        Firewalls and Intrusion Detection (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), regular data backups, PCI DSS and NIST compliant, multi-factor authentication, password protection, and 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
                      Features
                      • Automatic volume-based discount pricing
                      • Detailed merchant and business statements
                      • Customer-facing portal for subscription management
                      Amazon Logo

                      Amazon

                      Best for voice commerce

                      4.2 4.2 Stars
                      • Recurring payments/checkout
                      • Seamless checkout
                      • Voice commerce
                      Amazon also has an online payment processor — Amazon Pay (formerly Amazon Payments), which offers quick, friendly, and secure checkouts. Shoppers can pay for orders using the information in their Amazon accounts or use Alexa to pay by voice.

                      • Pricing structure: Flat-rate

                      • Customer support: Live chat, online form, phone (toll-free line)

                      • Integrations: Works with website builders, e-commerce platforms, shopping carts, and marketplaces.

                      • Security and compliance: PCI DSS compliance, machine learning to identify risky attempters, and Card Verification Value (CVV), one-time passcode or biometric for user verification.



                      Amazon Pay is a quick and secure option for your customers to check out online. You can add the payment processing platform to your website and pay flat-rate transaction fees without monthly or startup costs.

                      Enable the Amazon Pay button to make payment processing easier for your customers with one click and checkouts. Transactions are safe and secure, and you can access payment history in your Seller Central dashboard to review your business’s performance.

                      The platform gives your customers more ways to pay for their purchases thanks to its mobile, online, and Alexa devices or voice payments features.

                      One of Amazon Pay’s biggest selling points is that you can add it to your store or social selling and other platforms so customers can purchase from you with their Amazon accounts. They’ll also feel more secure purchasing at your store without entering all their credit card details on a separate site.

                      I found Amazon Pay’s merchant signup easier and faster than Helcim or Stax, but its long approval process can take weeks before you can put it on your site.

                      Amazon also subjects all accounts to a tiered reserve. The company sets aside and holds a portion of your processing funds, after which it’ll take three to five business days to reflect in your bank account. This can be frustrating as it eats into your cash flow, especially when you’re not expecting it.

                      Other than that, you get analytics reporting tools, security and fraud management, recurring payments, charge-back controls, and risk management processes for free.

                      Who is Amazon best for?

                      We recommend Amazon Pay as a supplemental option because it’s designed to be used by shoppers with Amazon accounts. The solution also works best when you want to manage international payments, reduce cart abandonment, and enable voice payments so shoppers can buy from your store through Alexa devices.

                      You can add the Amazon Pay button to your site for an easier and friendlier checkout experience.

                      Recent upgrades to Amazon

                      Amazon Pay now allows its customers to use Venmo at checkout. This development comes after the company announced its partnership with Venmo to provide it as a payment option for Amazon purchases for all its U.S.-based customers.

                      This adds to the platform’s convenience, security, and ease of use over other payment processors with fewer payment options.

                      Amazon pricing

                      For businesses, Amazon Pay’s flat-rate 2.9% plus 30 cents transaction fee, which includes domestic processing fees, authorization fees, and tax (where applicable). The processing fee depends on whether you are accepting cross-border or local payments and only applies to successfully authorized and processed purchases.

                      Pros and cons of Amazon

                      Pros

                      • Security for customer data and dispute resolution through Amazon Pay A-to-z Guarantee
                      • Quick and easy integration
                      • No setup required
                      • Works seamlessly across devices

                      Cons

                      • Long merchant account approval time
                      • Can delay fund transfers for new merchant accounts

                          Summary

                          • Pricing
                            • Transaction costs: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
                          • Customer support
                            Live chat, online form, phone (toll-free line)
                          • Integrations
                            Works with website builders, e-commerce platforms, shopping carts, and marketplaces
                          • Security and compliance
                            PCI DSS compliance, machine learning to identify risky attempters, and Card Verification Value (CVV), one-time passcode or biometric for user verification
                          Features
                          • Recurring payments/checkout
                          • Seamless checkout
                          • Voice commerce
                          Clover Logo

                          Clover

                          Best for established businesses

                          4.0 4.0 Stars
                          • Integration with best-in-class apps and e-commerce platforms
                          • 30-day free trial
                          • Online portal and recurring payment options
                          Clover is owned by Fiserv — a payments and fintech service provider. The platform offers small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners commerce-enabling solutions and applications for a seamless customer-merchant experience. From credit and debit cards to mobile wallets, Clover allows you to accept payments however your customers want to pay — in all of their native currencies.

                          • Pricing structure: Flat-rate

                          • Customer support: Phone, email, live help on website

                          • Integrations: Works with multiple online store solutions, including WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Ecwid, and Shopify

                          • Security and compliance: End-to-end encryption; PCI compliant



                          Clover is an intuitive, feature-rich, and versatile payment processing service that streamlines your checkout process, making it easier for your customers.

                          You don’t need to buy Clover’s POS hardware or credit card terminal to use the online payment option. That means you can process payments for all major credit and debit cards on any device, invoice your customers and get paid faster via the online portal, or through recurring payments to get paid regularly.

                          You can create trending reports on fast-moving items, sales, daily totals, and open orders. Plus, Clover’s integration with best-in-class apps like QuickBooks makes it easier to keep your books up to date.

                          Clover doesn’t limit you to using its partner e-commerce platforms for your business. You can easily integrate it with your existing site, then use its developer tools to further customize.

                          What I like about using Clover partner platforms like BigCommerce or WooCommerce is the real-time inventory updates as transactions happen online and the ability to manage everything from one platform.

                          You can get many Clover features with its basic paid plan, except the website builder function, a paid add-on.

                          Who is Clover best for?

                          We recommend Clover for small and growing businesses needing a simple online presence and Interchange Plus pricing. Clover offers commerce-enabling features that empower you to grow your business.

                          But it might not be the best option for fast-moving inventory or if you’re a casual seller as the transaction fees may be costly with higher volumes. Shopify or Square offer similar features and lower transaction fees.

                          You can reach more customers through your store and other public marketplaces using Clover’s online payment system and partnership with BigCommerce.

                          Recent upgrades to Clover

                          Clover also receives updates to its features, back end, and apps. Some changes include an improved App Market layout, new top navigation, improved search functionality, and sorting and filtering options. All these are designed to encourage merchant engagement and help you easily find apps relevant to your needs.

                          The company also reorganized app categories, which you can update on the Developer Dashboard to suit your customers. Third-party and Clover apps you’ve installed are displayed along with the developer’s name and merchant subscription so you can rate or uninstall the app, or change your subscription.

                          Clover also has an updated payments screen for its POS devices with impactful tweaks, but the payment functionality remains the same.

                          Cloverpricing

                          As a Clover merchant, you’ll pay monthly software fees and processing rates for each transaction. The first 30 days are free, after which fees start at $9.95, based on your type of business. You’ll pay 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for payments taken virtually, depending on your business.

                          For instance, retail businesses taking online payments will incur a 3.5% plus 10 cents per transaction fee, which can make Clover costlier than platforms with similar offerings like Square.

                          Pros and cons of Clover

                          Pros

                          • Good for small and growing businesses
                          • Easy and quick setup
                          • Offers 30-day trial period
                          • Integrates with Ecwid, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Bigcommerce

                          Cons

                          • Expensive transaction fees
                          • Charges monthly subscription fee
                          • Email support may be slow and unresponsive
                          • Website builder comes as a paid add-on

                              Summary

                              • Pricing
                                • Transaction costs: From 2.9% plus 30 cents for payments taken virtually
                                • 3.5% plus 10 cents for retail online transactions
                              • Customer support
                                Phone, email, live help on website
                              • Integrations
                                Works with multiple online store solutions, including WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Ecwid, and Shopify
                              • Security and compliance
                                End-to-end encryption; PCI compliant
                              Features
                              • Integration with best-in-class apps and e-commerce platforms
                              • 30-day free trial
                              • Online portal and recurring payment options
                              PaymentCloud Logo

                              PaymentCloud

                              Best for high-risk businesses

                              4.0 4.0 Stars
                              • Supports high-risk businesses
                              • Multiple integrations with the latest and popular tools
                              • Quick merchant approvals and setup
                              PaymentCloud serves businesses in medium and high-risk sectors, offering online payment services, countless integrations, level 1 and 2 processing, and anti-fraud tools, among other features. There’s no application or setup fee to open a PaymentCloud account, but the process is lengthy owing to the high-risk nature of businesses it supports.

                              • Pricing structure: Varies based on the type of business

                              • Customer support: Phone, online form

                              • Integrations: Works with popular e-commerce platforms

                              • Security and compliance: PCI DSS, Level 1 and 2 processing, encryption, AVStechnology, tokenization, and authentication protocols — Visa 3D Secure, Mastercard SecureCode, JCB International J/Secure, and American Express SafeKey



                              Traditional financial institutions and payment processors don’t know how to handle merchants in high-risk industries, such as credit repair, tech support, guns and firearms, dating sites, tobacco, and cigars.

                              PaymentCloud understands your business and won’t shut you down. The company supports high-risk businesses with services that help them process payments right away. Its hands-on, white-glove approach to the application and setup, quick approvals, and post-setup process ensures you get processing immediately.

                              I found the application process lengthy and detailed, but that’s how PaymentCloud scrutinizes each high-risk merchant that comes on board. The company’s trained merchant service reps ensure you’re clear about the costs, payment processing systems, and products or services that will help you scale your business.

                              You can accept payments via mobile, online, or credit cards, and set up ACH and eCheck options for direct deposits. PaymentCloud is PCI DSS compliant, offering fraud and charge-back prevention, which defends your business from uncharted charge-backs and fraudulent activity.

                              Plus, you can integrate your store with the latest shopping cart integrations and access funding through business loans.

                              Who is PaymentCloud best for?

                              We found that PaymentCloud serves a host of high-risk merchant service providers, working with firearms, nutraceuticals, electronics, tobacco, and other products. This list includes online seminar providers, nutrition coaching, tech support, software and e-book providers, and more.

                              Recent upgrades to PaymentCloud

                              PaymentCloud recently announced its partnership with RocketFuel Blockchain, Inc. This global payment and infrastructure solutions provider for cryptocurrencies helps secure payment processing for all types of businesses (low-risk, high-risk, or hard-to-place).

                              Through a results-driven approach, the companies will enable vendors and customers to use crypto for e-commerce payments and checkout solutions.

                              PaymentCloud pricing

                              PaymentCloud doesn’t publicly disclose its pricing plans or transaction costs on its website because it customizes them based on the business or merchant. For instance, it could work with different pricing models depending on which type you’re familiar with; the costs may be high or low based on the tailored plan. However, the company strives to secure low rates through multiple backend processors.

                              Pros and cons of PaymentCloud

                              Pros

                              • Works with high-risk businesses
                              • Integrates with most e-commerce platforms
                              • Quick approvals (up to 48 hours depending on account-related stipulations)
                              • No cancellation fee

                              Cons

                              • Locks merchants in a contract of at least 2 years
                              • Monthly volume limit
                              • Lengthy application process
                              • Lacks 24/7 support

                                  Summary

                                  • Pricing
                                    • Transaction costs: From 2.90% plus 30 cents; depends on pricing structure
                                  • Customer support
                                    Phone, online form
                                  • Integrations
                                    Works with popular e-commerce platforms
                                  • Security and compliance
                                    PCI DSS, Level 1 and 2 processing, encryption, AVStechnology, tokenization, and authentication protocols — Visa 3D Secure, Mastercard SecureCode, JCB International J/Secure, and American Express SafeKey
                                  Features
                                  • Supports high-risk businesses
                                  • Multiple integrations with the latest and popular tools
                                  • Quick merchant approvals and setup
                                  Authorize.net Logo

                                  Authorize.net

                                  Most robust payment toolkit

                                  4.1 4.1 Stars
                                  • AFDS
                                  • CIM
                                  • eCheck payments
                                  Since 1996, Authorize.net has been simplifying transaction processing for merchants to receive payments via electronic, online, or credit card means. The company is trusted by over 440,000 merchants owing to its easy ways of streamlining payment processing that helps optimize their cash flow.

                                  • Pricing structure: Flat-rate

                                  • Customer support: Chat, phone, online ticketing

                                  • Integrations: Works with other apps through API

                                  • Security and compliance: AFDS, PCI DSS compliant



                                  Authorize.net or Authnet offers both a payment gateway and payment processing option. As a payment gateway, you can select your own merchant service while the latter option offers a flat-rate pricing structure. Whichever you choose, you still pay the monthly $25 gateway fee.

                                  Based on our criteria, we gave Authnet high marks because of its robust payment toolkit and security features.

                                  While those factors make it a top choice for most businesses with online stores, there are a few concerns about held funds. We’ve also seen this with other tools including PaymentCloud and Amazon Pay, though this may not necessarily be directly attributed to Authnet.

                                  You can process international payments in any way that works for your business, and customers can pay via credit or debit cards, digital wallets like Apple Pay or PayPal, and eChecks.

                                  A modern API helps you integrate Authorize.net with other tools and even add a Buy Now button for one-time payments.

                                  Who is Authorize.net best for?

                                  From our research and testing, Authorize.net is suitable for businesses with existing merchant accounts, but you can always set up a new account and start accepting payments online anytime, anywhere.

                                  Authorize.net offers multiple payment options for online transactions, including credit card and digital wallets.

                                  Recent upgrades to Authorize.net

                                  Authorize.net occasionally announces updates to its platforms, but there are a few changes in the recent past, including:

                                  • Digital invoicing and eChecks for faster payments

                                  • Partnership with Chase for customers to take payments seamlessly on your site or phone and get paid faster

                                  • Listed as part of Shopify’s supported U.S. payment gateways


                                  Authorize.netpricing

                                  Authorize.net offers two pricing plans: an all-in-one option, which includes a merchant account and payment gateway, and the payment gateway only option. If you have an existing merchant account, the latter plan is good for you, but you’ll still pay the monthly $25 gateway fee, no matter how much you use the service.

                                  And if you sell occasionally, you’re better off adding Amazon Pay to your store. Merchants without existing accounts can settle for the all-in-one option, which also attracts a $25 monthly gateway fee along with a 2.9% plus 30 cent fee per transaction.

                                  Pros and cons of Authorize.net

                                  Pros

                                  • No contract, setup fee, or early termination fee
                                  • Works with PaymentCloud and Shopify
                                  • Returning customers can pay without re-entering payment details
                                  • Strong security suite

                                  Cons

                                  • Charges monthly gateway fee
                                  • Doesn’t work for merchants in U.K. and Europe
                                  • Separate merchant account required to use the payment gateway
                                  • Automatic updates only for Visa and Mastercard card types

                                      Summary

                                      • Pricing
                                        • Transaction costs: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction plus monthly fees $25
                                      • Customer support
                                        Chat, phone, online ticketing
                                      • Integrations
                                        Works with other apps through API
                                      • Security and compliance
                                        AFDS, PCI DSS compliant
                                      Features
                                      • AFDS
                                      • CIM
                                      • eCheck payments
                                      PayPal Logo

                                      PayPal

                                      Most widely used

                                      4.1 4.1 Stars
                                      • Multiple payment options
                                      • Buyer and seller protection
                                      • Easy integration with popular e-commerce, accounting, and POS platforms
                                      PayPal is one of the most popular online payment services, with about 429 million users worldwide. Business owners readily add PayPal to their websites and online stores because customers trust it. And it offers easy payment options, including crypto and Venmo, and protection for both buyers and sellers while transacting online.

                                      • Pricing structure: Flat-rate

                                      • Customer support: Live chat, email, phone, text, resolution center, online community

                                      • Integrations: Works with many popular e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, and accounting systems, among other tools

                                      • Security and compliance: PCI DSS compliant, buyer and seller protection, PayPal Security key for logins, advanced fraud detection, key pinning, data encryption, email payment confirmation, TLS and secure HTTPS connections



                                      PayPal is trusted by small business users as it lets them accept and process payments online. The service integrates with multiple apps, including e-commerce and accounting, making it a great choice for online transactions.

                                      While it works for domestic and international SMBs, I highly recommend it for freelancers or solopreneurs, and businesses with occasional/seasonal sales.

                                      What I like about PayPal is its name recognition and the trust consumers associate with it, which gives businesses higher chances of closing sales online.

                                      Who is PayPal best for?

                                      We recommend PayPal for startups and small businesses handling low-volume transactions. I found its application and setup process, ease of use, and processing fees to be geared towards such businesses requiring quick setup and reasonable transaction processing fees.

                                      You can choose the checkout integration options that work for your business.

                                      Recent upgrades to PayPal

                                      Just recently, PayPal proposed a $2,500 fine on merchants for spreading misinformation through its Acceptable Use Policy. But the company had to pull the “erroneously released” update after severe social media backlash.

                                      PayPal pricing

                                      PayPal fees vary based on the payment method. For instance, the online card payment fee for domestic card payments is 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction while international card payments pay an additional 1.50% per transaction. These fees are added to extra costs like the $20 charge-back, instant transfer fees, and more.

                                      Pros and cons of PayPal

                                      Pros

                                      • Offers protection for buyers and merchants
                                      • Ideal for new businesses or those with fairly low transaction volumes
                                      • Works in multiple countries worldwide

                                      Cons

                                      • May be costly for high-volume businesses
                                      • Charges extra fees for international card payments
                                      • Applies payment holds (especially for new or dormant accounts)

                                          Summary

                                          • Pricing
                                            • Transaction costs: 3.49% plus $0.49 per transaction and 2.59% plus $0.49 per transaction for online credit and debit card payments
                                          • Customer support
                                            Live chat, email, phone, text, resolution center, online community
                                          • Integrations
                                            Works with many popular e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, and accounting systems, among other tools
                                          • Security and compliance
                                            PCI DSS compliant, buyer and seller protection, PayPal Security key for logins, advanced fraud detection, key pinning, data encryption, email payment confirmation, TLS and secure HTTPS connections
                                          Features
                                          • Multiple payment options
                                          • Buyer and seller protection
                                          • Easy integration with popular e-commerce, accounting, and POS platforms

                                          How I Tested the Best Online Payment Processing Services

                                          I test each online payment processing service by signing up for a free plan and demo to see what each provides new users and the ease of navigating its dashboard. Also, I pay a great deal of attention to the support provided.

                                          I weigh the details and rank each online payment processor based on the quality of its features and how transparent the company is regarding its product and transaction fees. 

                                          It's crucial to pick a payment processing company you can trust, so I focus on whether each provider presents its products honestly, clearly, and transparently. In my tests, this is easy to pick up on as I compare the list of features each company claims it offers to what I have access to once I begin using the service.

                                          Lastly, I base my online payment processorratings on the provider’s ability to meet certain criteria. These include transparent pricing (no hidden fees); excellent, round-the-clock customer support; availability of multiple payment integration and customization options; strong security and compliance to payment processing standards, and advanced features.

                                          I then test each tool with a mock seller account to check whether it meets the criteria. This gives me a general indication of the services to expect, and the helpfulness of the support team. It also reveals what you’d likely experience when you finally settle on the best online payment processing service for your business. 

                                          Each online payment processing service has been selected based on its being at the top of its game for one aspect or another.