In the market for a new credit card payment processor? The devil is in the details — specifically the fees.

Hidden fees are some of the biggest concerns for small business owners, and credit card processing is one of the biggest offenders. If you’re considering signing up for a new payment processor or making the switch from your current one, you’re probably curious about whether you’ve found the best deal. 

That’s why we’re breaking down some of the most common payment processors along with some of the lesser-known options (many of which offer as good or even better rates!), so you can make the decision with a clear head and conscience. 

Credit Card Payment Processors: A Comparison Chart

The payment processors we’re comparing: 

  • Square
  • Stripe
  • Schedulicity Pay 
  • Quickbooks Payment Processing
  • Mindbody
  • Vagaro 
  • Shopify
  • PayPal

Note: we’ve ranked these in descending order from most expensive processing fee to least expensive. Other elements we’re comparing: whether processing equipment is complimentary, contract requirements, hidden fees, and access to customer support.

Payment ProcessorProcessing FeeIndependent Platform?Rental Fees/Charges for Readers?Contract?Hidden Fees? Next-day Funding Available?Support?Additional Information
STRIPEFlat rate of 2.9% + 30¢ on all types of transactionsYes.$59-$299 for readersNo.Additional fees for international cards, $15 fee for chargebacks.Offers an “instant payout” option for an additional fee.24/7 phone, chat, and email supportHere.
PAYPALOnline transactions: 2.9%, plus a fixed fee based on currency.
In-store transactions: 2.7%
Yes.$99.99 for the PayPal payment chip reader.No.Additional fees for international cards and for chargebacks.Offers an instant transfer option for an additional fee. Phone support available. Here.
SHOPIFY2.4% + 30¢ + $299 per month.
2.9% + 30¢ + $29 per month.
Yes.Buy a “retail kit” for $280 or a tap and dip card reader for $49.No.You’ll need to do some careful calculations to determine which plan is the most cost-effective for you.Yes.Only for the higher tier monthly plans.Here.
MINDBODY2.75% (qualified), 3.5% + $0.15 (non-qualified) and a $15 monthly minimum fee applies if you process less than $550/monthNo, you’ll need a Mindbody account.$40-$119 for card readersNo.No.No.Yes.Here.
VAGARO2.75% for “small businesses”, i.e. any business processing less than $4,000 per monthNo, you’ll sign up for a Vagaro account which includes appointment booking. Free card reader provided, POS systems starting at $74. No.No.No, but Vagaro promises payments within 24-48 hours. Yes.Here.
SQUAREFlat rate of 2.75% to 2.6% + $0.10Yes.Free magstripe reader, $49 for a contactless & chip reader No.No.Yes.Yes.Here.
QUICKBOOKS2.4% swiped,
2.9% invoiced, 3.4% keyed-in + 25¢ per transaction
Yes$19-49 for card readers.No.No.Yes.Some phone support. Here.
SCHEDULICITY PAY$1.99% + $0.10 for credit card dips, swipes, or tapsYou’ll need a Schedulicity business account, which also gives you access to appointment and class booking! No, we send them to you free! Nope.None.Yes.Yes, our full-time customer support team is available to you via phone and email.Here.

If you’re a service-based business and interested in seamless payment processing, Schedulicity Pay really is the most affordable in your industry. We did this intentionally because we know how quickly fees can affect a small business’ budget.

As a Schedulicity user, you’ll have instant access to all our booking and marketing tools. Adding Schedulicity Pay is the cherry on top — it means that you can run the entire process from a new client first booking to checkout (including selling products) from one account.

Curious? Here’s an article breaking down why we’re the cheapest credit card payment processor in the biz, plus additional details about Schedulicity Pay features.