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Cheapest Credit Card Processing

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Last editedJan 20223 min read

Credit and debit cards are popular and widely used in Australia, accounting for 52% of online payments. Whether your business accepts payments in-person or online, you’ll need to factor in the cost of credit card processing when creating a budget. So, which credit card processing is cheapest for small businesses? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the most affordable credit card payment processing service – processors offer a range of tiered pricing plans and structures. To find the best fit, you’ll need to think about factors like your sales volume and client preferences. Here are a few of your top options.

1. Pin Payments

Pin Payments is an all-in-one payments processor, allowing small businesses in Australia to accept card payments in multiple currencies. One factor that keeps the fees low is the fact that you don’t need to sign up for a merchant account to use this service, eliminating set-up and maintenance fees. It’s also compatible with numerous e-commerce platforms like Shopify and others. You don’t need to commit to a long-term contract, and the company offers full support.

  • For domestic card transactions, the fee is 1.75% + 30c

  • For international cards, the fee is 2.9% + 30c

There’s also an additional conversion fee to settle the transaction into AUD.

2. Square

Businesses with an in-person and online presence can benefit from using the Square Point of Sale app. Square offers flat-rate pricing to keep things simple, throwing free POS software and mobile card readers into the bargain. The sign-up process is easy and there’s no application process or monthly fees.

Fees are kept low, making this one of the cheapest credit card payment processing options:

  • 1.6% for card-present transactions using Square Terminal

  • 1.9% for card-present transactions using Square Reader or Square Stand

  • 2.2% for online card payments using the Square app or e-commerce API

Square also offers custom rates on processing fees if your annual sales exceed $250,000.

3. Stripe

Another popular option in the search for affordable credit card processing is Stripe, an integrated payments platform. Like others on this list, Stripe offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model and the platform easily integrates with most e-commerce platforms for easy online card payments. Stripe also offers 24/7 customer support

Flat-rate fees break down as follows:

  • For domestic cards, the per-transaction rate is 1.75% + 30c

  • For international cards, the rate is 2.9% + 30c

There aren’t any set-up or monthly maintenance fees, either, for a straightforward pricing model.

4. PayPal

Your customers will already be familiar with PayPal, which has long been an affordable payment processor for small businesses. It offers flat rates and pay-as-you-go pricing models for merchants, without the need to set up a specialty account. However, one thing to note is that there can be holds placed on accounts if you go over your limit or PayPal raises any red flags – which can impact your cash flow.

In terms of pricing, here are PayPal’s rates for Australian businesses:

  • Credit and debit card payments are 1.75% plus a fixed transaction fee

  • Hosted website payments are also 1.75% plus a fixed transaction fee

  • International card payments are 3.6% plus a fee


Owned by CyberSource, allows Australian businesses to accept card payments over major networks like Via and MasterCard along with six acquiring banks. There are no set-up fees involved, though there is a monthly charge of 35 AUD to use the supported payment gateway for processing. On top of the monthly rate, the transaction fee is 30 cents per card sale. However, there aren’t any additional fees beyond those, keeping the pricing model transparent and costs low.

What is the cheapest credit card processing for small businesses?

So, which credit card processing is cheapest for small businesses out of those mentioned above? As you can see, the per-transaction rates are quite similar. You’ll need to look at these merchant fees along with factors like your monthly sales volumes and currency exchange rates to find the most affordable option.

As one of the most popular forms of payment, it’s important for any small business to accept credit and debit cards. However, they do incur higher transaction costs in comparison to some other forms of payment. Cards also put the customer in control of the payment. It’s up to the customer to trigger the payment, and there are high failure rates due to factors beyond your control such as expired card details – all of which can translate into lost sales.

GoCardless provides a Direct Debit solution as an alternative to card payments, putting merchants in control of incoming payments. If you’re looking for ways to reduce credit card fees, you’ll find pull payments via Direct Debit offer lower transaction costs in comparison. They’re also convenient for recurring payments and invoicing, for improved customer satisfaction. And with GoCardless’s Success+ product, you can cut down on failed payments using this intelligent retry tool.

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GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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