Payment Processing

The 8 Best Online Payment Processors Your (S-M) Business

December 3, 2021

For small-to-medium business owners, the payment processor you choose is essential for the growth of your company. They allow you to charge credit cards in-store and online, and the best option for you depends on your monthly volume and other individual factors.

Here we’ll break down the 8 best payment processors currently available and allow you to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Option 1: RAYL

Price: No Processor markup, 1.51% interchange fees and a $0.04 transaction fee.

RAYL is a secure and powerful way to accept payments of all types. You can automate recurring payments, manage transactions, chargebacks, reporting, and more, and receive next-day deposits and no additional fees. RAYL is proud to offer 24/7 multilingual support every day of the year.

RAYL’s software integrates with contactless and chip-based payments on connected devices and helps prevent fraud with secure online checkout.


  • Integration with a wide variety of payment types
  • Can enable your current POS terminal
  • Manage payments, chargebacks, reporting, and much more from RAYL’s platform
  • Next-day deposits with no additional fees
  • 24/7 multilingual phone support every day of the year. Talk with a real person, not a machine
  • Reduced compliance efforts with RAYL’s security that protects sensitive information
  • Automates recurring payments and subscriptions
  • Higher fund limits require email only


  • Less well-known than some other options

Option 2: PayPal

Price: Processing fee of 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction for in-person sales | processing fee of 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction for online sales

If you’re interested in flat-rate pricing, PayPal is your best bet. PayPal also owns Venmo, so you can take payments using the money transfer app. Although most of us know PayPal for its consumer product, it also offers a POS system, online checkout that doesn’t require that your customers open PayPal accounts, and credit card processing.

One of the biggest reasons why PayPal is one of the best online payment processors is how widely known it is. Many consumers have a PayPal account or are familiar with it, and adding it as a payment option can increase checkout conversions by 44% as opposed to credit cards.


  • Free payment gateway option
  • Fast setup
  • Customers can pay via Venmo
  • Integrates with accounting software such as QuickBooks
  • Accepts credit and debit cards. Includes multicurrency payment processing across six different currencies
  • Accepts PayPal payments in over 200 markets across 26 currencies


  • Zettle card reader isn’t free with your plan

Option 3: Square

Price: Processing fee of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for in-person payments | 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee per transaction for invoice sales

Most of us know Square from those credit card readers merchants of all sizes have at their storefronts. What made Square one of the best online payment processors was its ability to be hooked up to smart devices rather than expensive POS hardware. It handles end-to-end payment processing, meaning you don’t need to purchase a POS system and payment gateway setup from different providers.

Square allows users to accept online and in-person payments with no startup costs or setup. The mobile card reader is also included for free.

However, one big drawback is that Square doesn’t support its competitor, PayPal. It does support all major credit cards, mobile wallet payments, ACH, or electronic check payments. Merchants can accept payments over the phone, on their website, or by invoice.


  • Free POS app
  • Free magstripe reader
  • Minimal setup or startup costs
  • Allows buyers to pay with mobile wallet
  • Integrates with online accounting software such as QuickBooks via a third-party app
  • Funds can be made available instantly for a 1.5% fee


  • Doesn’t accept PayPal
  • Doesn’t work on Windows devices

Option 4: Stripe

Price: Processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction | ACH direct debit fee of 0.8% ($5 cap)

What makes Stripe one of the best online payment processors is its developer-driven personalization. This enables the product to scale and grow with the companies that use it; you can either code your way into the platform of your dreams or use the integrations already there. These integrations include Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, WooCommerce, and more.

Stripe supports over 135 currencies and payment options, one-click checkout, subscriptions, mobile wallet payments, and provides a dashboard with in-depth reporting so you can stay on top of your business. All of these features make Stripe one of the best online payment processors for SMBs.

Stripe offers 24/7 chat, phone, and email support and an online support center. It offers a virtual POS that works on computers, mobile devices, and pre-certified card readers.


  • Fast setup
  • Instant payout option for 1% fee (minimum $0.50)
  • Integrates with online accounting software
  • 24/7 support (chat, email, and phone)
  • Supports one-click checkout, subscription billing, and mobile wallet payments
  • In-depth tracking and reporting of transactions
  • Developer-driven, and therefore highly personalizable


  • Requires developer knowledge to fully take advantage of the platform

Option 5: Stax

Price: $99 starting fee for monthly subscriptions | processing fee of $0.08 per transaction + interchange fee | processing fee of $0.15 + interchange fee for keyed-in transactions

Stax accepts all payment types and connects to your SMB tools, all in one dashboard. It offers cloud-based smart terminals that provide security and analytics to users, and it also provides faster payments with funds deposited as quickly as same-day.

Stax supports invoicing, including creating and sending customizable digital invoices. You can text or email payment links to customers, allowing them to pay with their smartphones. Digital invoices are quick to customize using drag and drop, memos, itemization, and more. You can also schedule recurring invoices with Stax.

Stax stands out as one of the best online payment processors for those transacting high amounts given their 0% markup on interchange fees. Pay the monthly subscription cost and the minimal fixed transaction fees, and that’s it!


  • 0% markup on top of interchange fees
  • Even the lowest-tier receives a free mobile reader or terminal
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Same-day funding for a 1% fee


  • Longer setup time, usually 48 hours
  • May not sync with online accounting software
  • Monthly fee does not work for all businesses -- your transaction volume should be high enough to recoup the fee (and then some)

Option 6: Helcim

Price: Depends on your transaction volume | in-person retail payments with monthly sales of less than $25,000 see fees of 0.3% + $0.08 per transaction plus Helcim’s markup

Helcim is among the best online payment processors because it provides many basics a business owner would expect. Helcim offers invoicing, in-person, and online payment options and offers customer support.

Helcim doesn’t charge monthly fees, and their average in-person rates are 1.92% + $0.08 -- compare that to 2.9% + $0.30 as seen with Stripe and PayPal. Should your monthly volume be low enough, Helcim can save you money.

Helcim accepts all credit card types, as well as mobile wallet payments.


  • Quick setup
  • Approvals within one day
  • Syncs with online accounting software
  • Automatically provides volume-based discounts
  • Accepts all major credit cards and mobile wallet payments


  • Deposits are only available within two business days (no same-day option)
  • Card reader isn’t free; it costs $199 per unit

Option 7: Payline

Price: Package options depend on business size | free cost calculator

Payline ranks as one of the best online payment processors because of its focus on payment experience. Its web solutions integrate with over 175 online shopping carts, and Payline offers mobile solutions that accept mobile app payments.

Payline integrates with online accounting software for ease of business financials. Monthly and transaction fees are the lowest for brick-and-mortar stores and are slightly higher for online stores.


  • Lower monthly fee
  • Mobile app integration
  • Built-in fraud protection


Option 8: Adyen

Price: Varies depending on payment method | learn all about it here

Adyen ranks among the best online payment processors and is used by the largest tech companies while remaining appropriate for SMB owners. You can accept all payments made to your business through one platform and are given tools for tracking results and managing risk.

Adyen is unique in that it provides “data-rich insights” which allow you to understand customer behavior. For instance, you can identify buyer patterns that enable you to tweak products and offerings accordingly.

Adyen also offers built-in risk management tools that help you identify and mitigate fraud.

This payment processing option accepts 150 global currencies and over 250 payment methods, making it widely applicable.


  • Data-driven insights to understand customer behavior
  • Built-in risk management and fraud protection tools
  • Accepts over 250 payment methods and 150 currencies


  • Pricing isn’t transparent

Which One Will You Choose?

Which of the best online payment processors listed here will you choose for your business? Your decision depends on monthly revenue and what features matter most to you in a payment processor.

If you still aren’t sure, check out Rayl. We offer more than just payment processing -- we’re a super-platform that provides payment, business management, and financial solutions. Do it all with Rayl today!

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