Cheapest Payment Gateways (2024)

Payment gateways are a must, especially for businesses that sell online, but you’ll want to understand the total cost associated with them before committing to one. To find the cheapest payment gateway, look for competitive processing fees and low-cost (or even free) monthly software plans. And try to avoid products that charge additional fees for things like setup.

Many companies offer payment gateways and payment processing services in tandem — payment gateways let customers securely enter their card information online, whereas payment processors move that information to and from financial institutions. Consider the overall product’s pricing structure and your business’s monthly sales volume to find the best option.

Here are some of the cheapest payment gateways for your small business.

Our Nerdy picks for

Transparent interchange-plus pricingHelcim5.0NerdWallet Rating
Customized checkout pagesStripe Payments5.0NerdWallet Rating
High sales volumesStax by Fattmerchant4.0NerdWallet Rating
Quick payoutsChase Payment Solutions℠4.5NerdWallet Rating

Our pick for

Transparent interchange-plus pricing

Helcim

5.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Helcim's secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Our pick for

Customized checkout pages

Stripe

5.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Our pick for

High sales volumes

Stax by Fattmerchant

4.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Stax by Fattmerchant's secure website

Monthly fee

$99.00

and up.

Our pick for

Quick payouts

Chase Payment Solutions℠

4.5

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Chase Payment Solutions℠'s secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Monthly fee in some instances.

Our pick for

All-in-one payments solution

Square

5.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Square's secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Starts at $0/month for unlimited devices and locations.

Our pick for

Payment gateway for larger businesses

Adyen

4.0

NerdWallet rating

Payment processing fees

0.6% + $0.13

Plus interchange for Visa and Mastercard; 3.3% + $0.23 for AmEx.

Monthly fee

$0.00

Our picks for cheapest payment gateways

Adyen: Best payment gateway for larger businesses

Why we like it: Adyen's slim margin on top of standard bank and card network fees is among the lowest we've seen. However, there are monthly transaction volume minimums, and you'll need to contact Adyen to see if you qualify. Read NerdWallet's complete Adyen review.

Helcim: Best for transparent interchange-plus pricing

Why we like it: Helcim offers low interchange rates, and its website shows exactly what you'll pay for any card a customer uses. Helcim’s Online Checkout feature helps merchants set up an e-commerce store and accept payments online. It also includes other capabilities, like inventory management, reporting, customer logins and shipping options. Read NerdWallet's complete Helcim review.

Stripe: Best for customized checkout pages

Why we like it: Stripe combines payment processing and customizable payment gateway tools into a single service. It’s an especially good choice for business owners who want to tailor their online payments platform to match the rest of their site’s branding (and have the coding experience to do so). Read NerdWallet's complete Stripe Payments review.

Stax: Best for high sales volumes

Why we like it: Stax's rate doesn't add a percentage margin to the interchange rate — it adds only a fee of either 8 cents for in-person transactions or 15 cents for manually keyed transactions. However, there's a monthly fee that can be hefty for some. On the other hand, it could be cost-effective if you're spreading it across a high sales volume. Read NerdWallet's complete Stax review.

Chase Payment Solutions: Best for quick payouts

Why we like it: This payment gateway combines Chase and Authorize.net services. It's a nickel cheaper per transaction compared with working directly with Authorize.net. In addition, if you use a Chase business checking account, you'll get your money the next day — faster than the industry standard of two business days. Read NerdWallet's complete Chase Payment Solutions review.

Square: Best all-in-one payments solution

Why we like it: Square’s free POS software plans and competitive processing rates make it an ideal choice for business owners prioritizing convenience and affordability. While it’s a good choice for retail stores and restaurants alike, freelancers and very small businesses with a smaller online presence can also benefit from its range of free features. Read NerdWallet’s full Square POS review.

How much are payment gateway fees?

Payment gateways are typically bundled with payment processing services and usually involve a monthly subscription fee and a per-transaction fee. Subscription fees can cost anywhere from $0 to $99 or more each month. Per-transaction fees can be flat-rate or interchange-plus.

Under a flat-rate pricing model, you’ll typically pay a percentage of the total transaction cost plus a fixed amount. For example, with a fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per online transaction, you'd pay $3.20 to process a customer's $100 online order.

Other companies use an interchange-plus pricing structure. This model is more complicated, as prices vary based on so-called interchange fees that depend on factors like card and transaction type. A fee under this model may look like the interchange cost plus a markup — for instance, interchange plus 25 cents. That means, for a $100 transaction, you could pay $1.45 (if the interchange fee was 1.15% + 5 cents), $3.50 (3.15% + 10 cents) or an entirely different amount.

Interchange-plus pricing is more transparent because you can see where processors are charging markups. It may also be cheaper for your business depending on your underlying transactions, but you’ll have to do some math to be sure.

What is the cheapest payment gateway?

The cheapest payment gateway for your business will depend on the product’s pricing type (flat rate or interchange-plus) and your business’s monthly sales volume, among other factors. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option.

Here are some additional tips to help you track down the right solution:

Know what type of service you need

Not all payment gateways work the same way. Some will redirect customers away from your site to the gateway's site for payment, which can negatively affect completion rates. Others have pre-built payment gateways you can embed directly on your website. White-label gateways allow you to build a custom checkout experience on your site, which can be a good addition but one that requires technical skills.

It's important to confirm that the gateway will work the way you expect and have a price tag you're comfortable with.

Look for transparency

It's easiest to compare prices when they're published. A company that uses custom pricing or requires you to call for a quote might have a reasonable price, but it takes more time to compare. Aside from monthly and processing fees, look for other fees that could impact your costs.

Avoid those extra fees (most of the time)

There's no getting around paying a per-transaction fee. But most businesses can avoid companies that charge additional fees, like fees for setup or PCI compliance, a process that keeps card data secure.

However, not all fees should be avoided equally. Before you rule out every payment gateway that charges a monthly fee for service, consider the total costs. Companies with monthly fees sometimes offer great per-transaction fees. Depending on your sales information, you might come out ahead, even after paying a monthly fee. The only way to know for sure is to run your numbers. Use this calculator to estimate your costs:

» MORE: Cheapest credit card processing companies

Cheapest Payment Gateways (2024)

FAQs

Which payment service has the lowest fees? ›

Adyen offers low processing prices for most card types and doesn't have any monthly fees. It can also support in-person payments. And if you're an omnichannel merchant, Adyen has tools that connect your sales data, wherever you sell.

Which is the best free payment gateway? ›

Top Free Payment Gateways
  • PaySimple.
  • Dwolla.
  • Spreedly.
  • PayLane.
  • Sila.
  • CSG Forte.
  • Payrexx.
  • HighRadius.

What is the average cost of a payment gateway? ›

What is the average cost of a payment gateway? The average cost varies widely, but most gateways charge a fee per transaction, typically ranging from 0.3 to 3.5% + a fixed fee depending on the volume of transactions. PayPal and Stripe have some of the highest fees.

What is the most used payment gateway? ›

PayPal develops different ways for consumers to pay, including Venmo and its own service for buy now, pay later. One of the most commonly used payment processing platforms. Easy to use and integrate with website hosts and shopping carts.

What payment app has no fees? ›

Google Pay doesn't charge to dump money into your bank account. International transfers pay even higher fees. For details on that, see the International Support section below.

Is Stripe free to use? ›

Transaction fees: Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ for each successful card charge. Additional fees apply for specific scenarios: 0.5% for manually entered cards, 1.5% for international cards, and 1% if currency conversion is necessary.

How do I avoid payment gateway charges? ›

8 ways to minimize payment processing fees
  1. Review your statement regularly.
  2. Switch processors.
  3. Try surcharging.
  4. Set a credit card minimum.
  5. Accept cards in person.
  6. Chargeback policies and fraud prevention.
  7. Offer cash discounts.
  8. Partner with Sekure.
Oct 20, 2023

Is Google pay payment gateway free? ›

Does Google Pay charge any fees? Google Pay doesn't additionally charge users, merchants, and developers additional fees to use the Google Pay API for payments. Merchants, specifically, continue to pay processing fees to their payment processor.

How much does Stripe charge? ›

Stripe is free to set up and the company does not charge a monthly or annual fee for its services. Instead, all Stripe fees are per transaction with transparent pricing. Online sales cost businesses 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

What is a disadvantage of payment gateway? ›

Disadvantages. Payment gateways can be expensive. Transaction fees are usually charged on each transaction and additional monthly fees may apply. Payment gateways may require merchants to organise their own PCI compliance.

Is payment gateway free? ›

Payment gateway charges are calculated as a percentage of an online payment amount and vary according to the type of online payment methods used by the customer.

Is PayPal payment gateway free? ›

Payflow Payment Gateway starts at $0.00 per month with no startup fee.

Is Square better than Stripe? ›

The main difference between Square and Stripe is that Square is best suited for in-person transactions while Stripe is a developer-friendly platform best suited for e-commerce, subscriptions and other online payments.

How do I choose a payment gateway? ›

Here are several factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway:
  1. Transaction fees. Most payment gateways charge a fee per transaction. ...
  2. Payment methods. ...
  3. Security. ...
  4. Integration. ...
  5. Customer experience. ...
  6. Global transactions. ...
  7. Customer support. ...
  8. Fraud detection.
Jul 20, 2023

How can I receive free payments online? ›

You can usually accept payment online for free via ACH transfer, as long as the payer facilitates the transaction. Most banks let you accept an ACH transfer without fees. You can't avoid fees for credit card payments, but you could negate them by adding a surcharge for customers who pay with credit cards.

Who has lower fees than PayPal? ›

Adyen offers low prices and doesn't have any monthly fees. It also offers support for in-person payments. If you're an omnichannel merchant, Adyen has tools that connect your sales data, wherever you sell. No monthly, setup, integration or closure fees.

Does Zelle charge a fee? ›

Zelle® doesn't charge a fee to send or receive money. We recommend confirming with your bank or credit union that there are no fees for Zelle® transactions.

How do I avoid payment processing fees? ›

8 ways to minimize payment processing fees
  1. Review your statement regularly.
  2. Switch processors.
  3. Try surcharging.
  4. Set a credit card minimum.
  5. Accept cards in person.
  6. Chargeback policies and fraud prevention.
  7. Offer cash discounts.
  8. Partner with Sekure.
Oct 20, 2023

Does venmo charge a fee? ›

Venmo offers a free platform for transferring money between private parties, with options to fund transactions via credit card for a small fee. It's also free to pay for purchases in-store using Venmo (but not by tapping into a credit card.)

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