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Compare Merchant Account Costs with The MACULATOR!

Internet Payment Processing Solutions: Credit Card
Processors - Merchant Account Providers
Internet Gateways - International Commerce

Your selection of a merchant account can either make you or break you!  Most of the billions of dollars that pass through the internet each year are processed through traditional merchant accounts through major internet gateways and shopping carts.  For e-businesses with a cash flow of several thousands of dollars a month, there's no question that the merchant account/gateway/shopping cart system is the most efficient and effective way to move the money and provide maximum convenience for your customers.  In other words, if you anticipate bringing in more than $5,000 to $10,000 a month in sales in the next 6 months or so, you don't need PayPal!  A tool like the Maculator can help you determine the cash-flow scenario that best supports your business profile.

What's the Maculator™ and Why Do I Need It? 

A variety of monthly fees, gateway fees, minimum fees, batch header fees, transaction fees, setup fees, annual fees and other fees are charged by merchant account providers.  The Maculator™ allows you to enter your expected or current monthly sales volume and calculate the monthly cost and the cost percent of sales for two selected providers side-by-side.  With the Maculator™ you simply select pre-loaded rates for many of the merchant account providers listed on this page and 40 other 3rd party processors and press the Maculate button. You can also enter the rates for any merchant account offer not already listed. The Maculator™ also allows you to save your data and return later on to compare your saved calculations with other offers of interest to you. Check out the Maculator™ and see for yourself!

Read the Fine Print!

Some merchants who don't understand the terms of their contract with the acquiring bank may find themselves facing unexpected fees, fines and threats to close the account.  Selecting a bank and processor for handling your credit card transactions online is usually done through the services of a sales organization that represents one or more banks.  This organization, often called an ISO (Independent Sales Organization), will also offer retail point-of-sale equipment, if needed, and possibly several options for linking your internet business to the processor through a gateway.  The sales organization will usually provide several important services such as the training needed to use the POS equipment and gateway services you purchase.  A representative selection of ISO's and processors is listed below, including some of the biggest players on the web.

If you're selling products online, such as through an e-business or home business, and not through a brick-and-mortar retail store, your processing costs may be higher unless you are able to make direct contact the processor.  The processors provide the technological links to the Visa and MasterCard networks for authorizing credit cards and settling the transactions.  

E-commerce discount rates are higher than retail  (brick-and-mortar) discount rates because there's no face-to-face interaction with the cardholder and no swipe or signature, thereby increasing the risk of chargebacks.  Some types of businesses may also have higher risks due to the types of products they carry, the credit background of the business principals, the amount of monthly sales and the average amount of each sale (average ticket).  

Any factor that may increase the number and amount of chargebacks increases the underwriting liability for the bank or processor.  This results in a higher discount rate to the merchant.   Based on Visa and MasterCard rules, a chargeback requires that the cardholder be refunded, regardless of whether the merchant account has ample funds.  

Some merchants who have paid high chargeback losses feel that the credit card rules favor the buyer at the expense of the merchant.  Keep in mind that if the cardholder is afraid of getting ripped off by the merchant without protection by the system, especially on the internet, he will simply not use the card and the merchants will not get the business.  The best protection for the merchant is to carefully study the rules and fully understand the fine print in the merchant account agreement.

A number of representative processors and sales organizations are listed below.  For your convenience, there is a handy Full Disclosure Request Form below to help you get specific pricing and cost information from over a dozen merchant account providers.  Understanding all the costs and restrictions imposed by merchant account providers is critical in order to avoid situations where your account may be closed due to excessive chargebacks. 

If your account is closed, your business is shut down, and your name may be black listed in the MATCH list to prevent you from ever qualifying for a merchant account in the future.  You may also visit the web sites of the merchant account providers below to gather information about rates and services provided.  We suggest you do both, visit the web site and also send the email requesting full disclosure using the form below.  Although the Maculator™ gives you a fairly accurate computation of published rates and costs, it does not include all possible costs that may not published on the web.

Why do both?  When you visit a web site you get a limited amount of information which is biased in favor of promoting sales, in other words "hype."  The information on the web site may change from one day to the next.  Unless you print or copy the entire web site, you have no real proof of the offerings and rates published at the time you visited the site.  If, on the other hand, you request full disclosures by email, the response is a legal document and should comply with the legal disclosure requirements imposed by various legal authorities.  

In addition to hype, the web sites give very general information intended for only certain types of businesses.  On the Full Disclosure form you indicate your specific type of business, your anticipated monthly sales, and your location (city, state and country).  If you're located in another country, for example, you want to state this information up front so that the rates you are quoted are relevant.  A number of providers on the email form list serve both domestic and foreign businesses. 

We deliberately left out a place for your phone number on the Full Disclosure form because we don't want the sales people to give you verbal, undocumented quotes over the phone.  When, and if, you're ready to apply for a merchant account, you can give them your complete address, phone number, etc., as required.  At that point, they will also have to run a report on your credit history.  (If you have problems with your credit rating, you may wish to look at the credit and debt counseling services on the Merchant Goldmine Financial Resources page.)

The email you send through the Full Disclosure form is dated and records your email address and the recipients email address.  If you include the previous correspondence in all replies, you have a complete history of every word said, by both parties, in one document, which you can take to court, if ever needed.  The web site is important to give you enough information to determine your initial interest.  If the response to your Full Disclosure request is insufficient or uncooperative, simply go on to the next candidate.  In other words, vote with your feet, or, in this case, vote with your email.

Need Help?

We can also help you find the best merchant account deal for your business by shopping around for you with our connections in the e-commerce business.  Fill out the E-Commerce Profile form to tell us the deal you would like to beat.  If we can save you a couple of points, that could mean considerably more dollars in your pocket at the end of the month.  Fill out the E-Commerce Profile form and request our professional assistance today!  All information you provide on your E-Commerce Profile will be treated as confidential.  There is no obligation or extra cost on your part to accept the offers provided through the E-Commerce Profile.

International Commerce

Planet Payment™ is a leading provider of Internet payment solutions for e-businesses - globally - in nearly any currency. Planet Payment™ features multi-currency credit card acceptance services, advanced payment gateway technology, and value-added products and services. Planet Payment's state-of-the-art Internet payment service enables e-businesses to accept MasterCard®, Visa®, American Express® and other major cards in a secure online environment in over 140 currencies. These affordable solutions are compatible with most shopping carts and website technologies, so implementation and setup is complete within minutes.

WorldPay pioneered multi-currency processing in association with NatWest bank in 1996.  The WorldPay multi-currency processing system enables you to offer your products and services in over 120 different currencies, and to receive payment for them from the range of 14 remittance currencies. WorldPay manages the uncertainty of foreign exchange rates for you, allowing your shoppers the unique choice of purchasing goods and services from you in a currency that they recognize and understand. 

ePagos provides complete e-Commerce solutions from web design and hosting to merchant accounts and gateways.  Everything you need in one package.  Borders are no problem for ePagos ePagos is the engine driving the electronic business revolution in Latin America. It isComercio atras de las linias - borders are no problem! the answer for small and mid-size businesses needing tools to establish a virtual store and perform all of the operations of e-commerce on the Internet. Full support is provided in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Si hablas Espanol, no problema!  A través de su software de comercio electrónico instalado en su sitio Web con ePagos, envian sus transacciones con tarjetas de crédito, utilizando SSL, directamente a las redes de Visa, MasterCard y American Express para ser procesadas y aprobadas.

Accessing these solutions is extremely easy. It can all be done on the Internet. ePagos is an on-line solution that allows you to open a virtual store in about an hour. With ePagos you can design your page, obtain and register a domain name for your virtual store, sell products over the Net, accept credit card payments, automatically calculate the corresponding taxes, and include the associated shipping costs with each purchase.  Compare Rates for ePagos with the Maculator™ .

Domestic and International

We have selected some of the lowest cost and most professional payment solution providers available.  For example, AMS Merchant Account Services provides an internet e-commerce gateway and merchant account for only $99 and $10 a month service fee.  This includes the Authorize.Net Virtual Web Terminal to directly process credit card transactions on the web and the AMS E-Check service for secure electronic check acceptance.  Internet merchants are offered discount rates of 2.25% with a transaction fee of $0.30.  The internet gateway bundle includes the popular Authorize.Net service for only $10 a month.  Over 190 shopping carts are compatible with this gateway arrangement.  Compare Rates for AMS Merchant Account Services with the Maculator™ .

Lowest Merchant Accounts - Starting at 1.33%:

  • tickCompare Low Rates & Terms from 7 Top Banks
  • tickShop Real Processors That Are PCI DSS Compliant
  • tickNegotiate a Straight Deal (Owner to Owner)
  • tickStreamline All Criteria for Getting Approved
  • tickStudy The Fine Print Before You Sign a Contract
  • tickSwipe Credit Cards on Any Mobile Phone or Tablet
  • tickChoose The Right Gateway For Your Webstore
  • tickSidestep All Hidden Fees and Junk Charges


CARDSERVICE INTERNATIONAL is an industry leader in credit card processing for traditional and Internet businesses. They offer merchant accounts with competitive pricing, customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 140 languages and dialects, and one of the largest credit card fraud, loss prevention and chargeback departments in the credit card processing industry.  Cardservice International® has a 95% approval rate for merchant accounts, and merchant accounts are generally approved in two business days.  A complete range of products and services to enable e-commerce success including the LinkPoint Secure Payment and multi-language and multi-currency suppor.  The free Merchant Accounts Insiders Guide contains very useful information for all merchants.  Sign up as an affiliate with Cardservice International® to bring in extra revenue including residuals!  Compare Rates for Cardservice International® with the Maculator™

CDGcommerce offers a complete package of merchant account solutions and ecommerce products.  CDGcommerce is a registered ISO/MSP for Merrick Bank and directly operates and manages its own BIN hierarchy of merchant accounts. CDGcommerce provides all of its own merchant, technical and customer support in-house and has maintained one of the very highest client retention rates in the industry since its inception in 1998.

Become a reseller and partner with CDGcommerce to earn residual income.   Compare Rates for CDGcommerce with the Maculator™

Increase sales and profits.  Accept credit cards!

Charge.com provides internet gateway technology and full merchant account services to give you everything you need in one package for most merchants.  Charge.com offers an Internet e-commerce account for a 2.39% discount rate and $0.25 per transaction.  The monthly service fee is $10 and the gateway monthly fee is $29.95.  No setup fees and you can also apply for your American Express account for no cost.  You can usually save money by dealing directly with a gateway provider rather than a reseller.  Compare Rates for Charge.com with the Maculator™. 

Electronic Transfer, Inc. is a credit card processing company with one of the highest approval rates in the industry offering credit-worthy merchants responsive turnaround on their applications.  ETI offers no arbitrary processing limits -- they handle both the "mom and pop" business as well as the million-dollar company.  They also have the ability to set low rates and reserve requirements based on your type of business and charge back history for your business type.  Compare Rates for Electronic Transfer, Inc. with the Maculator™ .

Merchant account credit card processing

Some processors focus on certain types of business and can offer better rates for their specialty.  If you like to pick and choose your options from a wide variety of programs and services, investigate the offerings of Del West Merchant Bankcard services.  In addition to numerous technologies and tools, options for international merchants are also provided. Compare Rates for Del West Merchant Bankcard with the Maculator™ .


For $59.95 a month GoEmerchant packages the Internet Store, Buy_Me Button and Cyber Circular which organizes a list of e-mail addresses from your customers and helps you keep them informed of promotional offerings.  GoEmerchant is a full service provider that includes the EZ Payment Gateway and goEcheck to process electronic checks.  Compare Rates for GoEmerchant with the Maculator™

The Internet Marketing Center® provides a complete e-commerce solution called Total Merchant Services.  The package includes the TotalPay gateway backed by Authorize.net for only $397.  E-Commerce discount rates and monthly fees are competitive with other merchant account providers.  Compare Rates for Internet Marketing Center® with the Maculator™ .

TotalPay - complete e-commerce solution

Merchant-Systems.com is a complete e-commerce source.  Account applications are expedited by email and they have a 99% approval rate. Their fees are summarized on their web site as listed below.  Compare Rates for Merchant-Systems.com with the Maculator™ .   

Application Fee: FREE - We pay it for you!
Acceptance Rate: 99% Regardless of Credit!
VISA & MC Discount Rate: 1.99% - 2.47% Internet sales.
Transaction Fee: $.20 - .30 per transaction
Monthly Statement Fee: $10 - $12 per month
Gateway Fee: $15 per month
Payment Processing System: Call for Special Pricing!!
Customer Support Hours: 24 hours
Optional Enhanced ChargeNet Gateway:
Setup: NO SET UP FEE - Free 30 Day Trial

MerchantAccounts4Less offers many conveniences including free online merchant statement reports and free website templates.  MerchantAccounts4Less accepts international and high risk merchants.  Brick and Mortar merchants rates are as low as 1.66%.  High risk accounts may have higher rates. Compare Rates for MerchantAccounts4Less with the Maculator™ .

Merchant Accounts Express can setup your business with a merchant account to accept all major credit cards, at the lowest possible cost. They offer only bank direct merchant accounts, saving their merchants thousands of dollars per year in credit card processing costs!  They even provide a 110% price guarantee to give you 30 days to find a lower price after you sign up!  Compare Rates for Merchant Accounts Express with the Maculator™.

Merchant Account Providers Full Fee Disclosure Request Form

Request Info by Email Directly To Selected Merchant Account Providers:

We suggest you ask these questions (you can copy and paste into the form below):

  1. What are your best e-commerce account rates?

  2. Tell me all your fees and possible penalties including periodic charges?

  3. Specifically what penalty do you charge for chargebacks?

  4. Will my sales deposits be held for a number of days?

  5. Will reserve rates be deducted from my sales?  For how long?

  6. What is the maximum monthly sales limit for this offer?

  7. What can I do to increase my monthly limit if needed?

  8. What bank(s) are you registered with as an ISO?

  9. Can I purchase needed equipment or software instead of leasing?

  10. Do you provide 24/7 merchant account support by phone?

Collect the information you receive from each provider in a spreadsheet to help you compare the rates and terms.  Remember that the lowest rate does not always mean the best deal in terms of service and help in building your business.  

When you are ready to sign the dotted line, be sure you carefully read the fine print.  Think of the merchant account agreement as one of the most important business transactions you will ever make.  If you are not sure about the terms in the agreement, ask for assistance, or do some research at the Nuggets of Knowledge page of Merchant Goldmine.

We suggest you send these questions by email to all potential merchant account providers you are considering.  If you would like us to add a specific provider to this list, please contact us at map@merchantgoldmine.comYour email address will be included in this message to the selected recipients.  Email messages are electronic documents that serve as verifiable records of communication.  Save your questions and answers in case you encounter issues with providers in the future.  If you wish, you can also send copies of your email correspondence to business associates or family members for additional documentation.  Feel free to forward a copy of your email messages to Merchant Goldmine at map@merchantgoldmine.com, as well,  to help us monitor the effectiveness of this system.

Note: If you use a non-standard e-mail service such as AOL, you cannot use the form below.  In this case, copy the disclosure questions above to your e-mail message and use the e-mail addresses you find on the merchant account provider website of interest.

Full Fee Disclosure Direct Email Request Form

Your Name:
Your Email:
City, ST, Country:
Business Type:
Monthly Sales:
Paste or 
write your
here >>


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Merchant Accounts & Credit Card Processing
Accept credit cards for your business!

Quickly compare rates and monthly costs between 2CheckOut, Affero, BTClick&Buy, CCAvenue, CCBill, CCNow, ClickBank, DigiBuy, DigitalCandle, FastPay, iBill, iKobo, ImagineNation, InstaBill, InterBill, Jettis, Kagi, MembershipPlus, Moneybookers, MultiCards, NoChex, PartyKey, Pay-Line, Paymate, PayPal, Process54, Reg.Net, RegNow, RegSoft, setSystems, Share*It, StormPay, SWREG, Transecute, V-Share, Verotel and other alternatives, including over a dozen Merchant Accounts with the Maculator™



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Charge.Com -- Accept Credit Cards from your customers






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