Monthly costs and fees that come with owning a small business, quickly add up. Finding services that carry zero monthly fees can relieve financial and administrative burdens, and often work better for both merchants, as well as service providers.
This article will look at a range of five merchant account services that carry zero monthly fees. Instead of monthly charges, the services below tend to change transaction fees that range between 2-3% per transaction, and can vary depending on your country.
Since its launch in 2011, Stripe has become a forerunning payment processor.
A key to the platform’s success has been its accessibility to companies of all sizes. In addition to the service carrying zero monthly fees, Stripe also has a notoriously developer-friendly API. The platform has also integrated with Shopify, allowing startups to accept card payments easily, without the need for a developer to help with the setup.
In general, integrating Stripe with website CMS will involve creating a free Stripe account, obtaining API keys from that account, and then activating the service using the API keys, on the CMS backend.
From there, merchants will be able to see breakdowns of website sales activity on the Stripe Dashboard, where they can process refunds, set up subscriptions, activate Apple and Google pay, and much more. For more info, Merchant Savvy did an extensive review of the platform, listing the pros and cons of the provider.
PayPal was the first of its kind, taking off in the early 2000s as a convenient payment option on eBay. The platform continues to provide customers with the convenience and assurance of secure transactions.
Notably, the platform also facilitates sales where they may otherwise not happen, because consumers know that they can trust transactions through PayPal.
Anyone who has ever sold an item on eBay, will know that PayPal changes small percentages of sales as a transaction fee. The same applies to online businesses that sell via PayPal.
Setting up PayPal with a website CMS requires a similar process to that outlined above with Stripe. Merchants will need a PayPal business account, where they will be able to manage customer transactions.
Amazon Pay allows customers to pay for goods on merchant websites, using their Amazon login credentials.
Once set up on the merchant website, customers will see a ‘Pay via Amazon’ button at the checkout. If chosen, customers will then be able to pay on for their order using Amazon’s secure servers, and with the details that are saved on their Amazon account.
A common query about Amazon Pay, is whether it is possible to use Amazon Gift Card credit at the Amazon Pay checkout.
Unfortunately, Amazon does not support that currently. The good news though, is that Amazon Pay is a convenient and secure payment option for customers, and is likely to boost sales conversions for some online merchants.
Finally, Amazon Pay is available to customers in selected countries.
Square was co-founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2009. Dorsey’s aim was to provide affordable card payment solutions to small businesses.
As it exists today, Square provides a unique service to merchants. The company provides both in-person card payment solutions, as well as online and remote payment gateways. Merchants who operate the same business in-person and online, can keep track of their overall inventory via the Square dashboard.
Square’s card readers start at an affordable £19 in the UK. The company also provides a Square reader and Stand combination, which transforms an iPad into a point-of-sale, as well as a range of other sales accessories that support flexible business models.
GoCardless is a Direct debit merchant account service, that currently serves around 30,000 businesses worldwide.
While integrating GoCardless with your website generally comes at a one-off cost, for example, $79 on WooCommerce, the service has the lowest transaction fee of any of the services listed in this article, at 1% per transaction, capped at £2 in the UK.
The relatively low transaction fee, in most cases, would pay off the up-front cost of the service within a few months and would make GoCardless a more affordable option than most, if not all of its competitors.
Finally, GoCardless gives you access to an online merchant dashboard, where you can manage direct debits, and create fixed payment plans.