Solution Finder: Payment Processing Systems

Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

A person holds a credit card while using a payment processing system

Almost every brick-and-mortar business—and those with on-the-go sales teams—needs a physical system for processing payments. When your team needs to scan bar codes, tally up transaction totals, swipe credit cards, or print receipts, payment processing systems are great ways to take on these important tasks.

Are any payment processing systems worth considering? We think so. Here are three options we think are great picks for virtually any business:


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2.6% + $0.10
  • Full service for online and brick-and-mortar businesses
  • Card-present rate: 2.6% + $0.10
  • Card-not-present rate: 3.5% + $0.15
  • Purchased through your Square Online Store, Square Online Checkout, eCommerce API or invoice 2.9% + $0.30
  • Volume discounts available
  • Additional services include banking, payroll, customer loyalty, and invoicing
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Avg. 1.92% + $0.08
  • Best value
  • Prices range by card type
  • Card-present range: (0.48% + $0.32) to (3.13% + $0.20) with a weighted average of 1.92% + $0.08
  • Card-not-present range: (0.65% + $0.50) to (3.44% + $0.37) with a weighted average of 2.38% + $0.25
  • Volume discounts available
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2.9% + $0.05
  • Best for internet-based businesses
  • Card-present rate: 2.7% + $0.5
  • Card-not-present rate: 2.9% +$.030
  • Volume discounts available
  • Wide range of services available, including sales tax compliance, fraud management, customer reports, billing, and invoicing


Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.



Perhaps the most recognizable option, Square helps sales teams stay on top of orders and handle payments with a few simple taps.

Square has a free, simple solution that makes it easy to sell in person, online, or over the phone, but as your business grows, you can also add additional features that allow you to invoice your customers, schedule and pay your team members, and set up countertop payment terminals.

Square will also allow you to track your customers’ preferences and purchases with card swipes. You can save customers’ cards for future purchases and, if it’s practical for your business, set up a loyalty program that keeps your customers coming back.

As for pricing, you can attain a free card reader or upgrade to a full-sized terminal (talk to Square’s sales team for pricing). There is no monthly fee, but there is a processing fee per tap, dip, or swipe, which averages about 2.6% plus $0.10/sale.

Learn more about this solution and view a demo of the product by visiting Square’s site.



Helcim stands out from other options because of its portability, long battery life, and connectivity to printers and barcode scanners.

Lots of business owners call Helcim a best bet because of the reliability of the equipment, but the software, breadth of payment options, storage tools, and real-time transaction data make Helcim one of the best point-of-sale options in its category.

It’s easy to set up a Helcim device, and the intuitive software makes using Helcim a snap. Even so, Helcim’s customer support team is available to help with setup, configuration, and use across a broad range of scenarios.

With Helcim, there are no contracts or surprise fees. The company uses a transparent pricing model that makes it easy to see what you’ll be charged per transaction. With monthly credit card volumes up to $25,000, Helcim’s average charge is 1.92% plus $0.08 per sale for in-person payments and 2.38% plus $0.25 for online or keyed-in sales.

Helcim is one of the payment processing systems worth checking out. Find out more and view a demo of this point-of-sale system by visiting Helcim’s site.



Many online businesses depend on Stripe, but this company also offers a terminal to take on in-person payments. This makes Stripe a great solution for companies that need a single solution for selling online and offline.

Even better, Stripe terminals work seamlessly with Stripe Payments, Connect, and Billing to simplify the entire cash collection and reconciliation process.

Stripe offers lots of added features, including sales tax compliance, fraud management, customer reports, billing, and invoicing, and there are many more tools to build optimized checkout flows.

As with the other options we mention, there are no setups, monthly, or hidden fees. The per-transaction charge averages 2.9% plus $0.30.

Want to learn more? Check out Stripe’s website.



Interested in other small business solutions? Let us help you find the right systems. Then, log into your owner’s portal for more articles and advice tailored to your business’s needs.

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