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The 8 Best Payment Processing Systems

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Last editedOct 20213 min read

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? You’ll need an efficient payment processor to help. Here’s what to look for when comparing the best payment processing companies, along with our pick of the top payment processors.

What is a payment processor?

A payment processor refers to any company or system that manages the credit card transaction on a business’s behalf. It serves as the go-to middleman between the parties involved in a transaction – typically the merchant and customer.

When a customer wishes to make a payment, their financial details usually follow this process:

  1. Card details are submitted to merchant

  2. Merchant’s payment processor takes the details

  3. Details are passed to payment gateway (if not integrated with processor)

  4. Details are passed to customer’s bank for authorization

  5. Payment is submitted to the merchant’s bank account

The payment processing service you choose is important not only to facilitate these transactions, but also as part of the wider customer experience.

Features of the best payment processing companies

As you start comparing various options, you may note that there are a few features that the best payment processing systems will have in common.

  • Multiple layers of security

  • User-friendly interface

  • PCI compliance

  • Integration with payment gateway

The 8 best payment processing systems

Now that we’ve outlined a few of the features to look for, here’s our pick of the top payment processors out there.

1. Due

We’ll start this list with a top option designed for small business owners as well as freelancers. Due is a service that not only helps you process payments, but also includes features like invoicing, cross-border payments, and time management. It can handle a multitude of languages and tax systems which makes it a great choice if you work with lots of clients based overseas.

2. Stripe

While Due is great for international freelancers, Stripe offers a more general solution sure to suit any online retailer. It’s highly customizable, meaning you can choose from a variety of APIs to best match its service to your own website. You’ll be able to accept credit and debit card payments in over 100 currencies as well as cryptocurrency.

3. PayPal

You’re probably already familiar with PayPal, but this popular service deserves to be on the list of best payment processing companies for its ease of use and ubiquity. It’s a good choice for small businesses dealing with low volumes of transactions, due to its wallet-friendly fee system. It’s also widely accepted abroad with easy website integration.

4. Square

If your business needs to process payments in person, Square comes with a bevy of handy point of sale features like a contactless chip reader, magstripe reader, and convertible stand. All these components let you take payments directly from your own smartphone. The system connects with your online business presence as well for seamless transactions.

5. Adyen

Based in Amsterdam, Adyen is an international payment processing company available in multiple countries so you can accept money anywhere. It’s a good option for any small business that needs to transfer money in real-time, with multiple payment methods available from credit card payments to bank transfers.

6. Flagship Merchant Services

As your small business starts to grow, you may need to think about scaling up to a processor that can handle higher volumes of credit card transactions. Flagship Merchant Services is an all-in-one processor that charges a flexible monthly rate to businesses. It enables both in-person and online credit card payments, as well as mobile payments.

7. Apple Pay

If your client base includes a high percentage of Apple product fans, you’ll want to give them the choice of Apple Pay. They’ll be able to pay you directly from their iPhone or iPad with contactless technology. Apple Pay also enables credit and debit card payments, bank transfers, and cryptocurrency all from its digital wallet.

8. BitPay

If your business is embracing cryptocurrency, BitPay is a payment processor that focuses solely on Bitcoin payments. Users do need to download a specific blockchain wallet to keep track of finances, but the upside is that all transfers are highly secure.

How to choose the best payment processing company

There’s no single answer to this question for small businesses, as the best solution will depend on whether you operate solely online or have a brick-and-mortar presence as well. The best credit card payment processing companies blend convenience with user-friendly features and low fees, keeping your customers’ card details safe.

We can help

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 70,000 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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