PROS / It offers transparent pricing options for its retail and online processing plans.
CONS / If you need a payment gateway, Payline charges a monthly gateway fee plus a per-transaction fee. It also charges a gateway setup fee.
VERDICT / Payline has exceptional customer service and low processing costs. However, you incur extra fees if you need a payment gateway.
Payline provides low retail processing costs, has an online application that is easy to complete, thorough customer service and some of the best service terms of any merchant account service we reviewed (including month-to-month service and no early cancellation fees). It also offers discounted rates to nonprofits and can customize rates for companies processing more than $80,000 per month. For these reasons and more, Payline earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Payline stood out due to its clear pricing policies and consistent information it provided. On the company website, you can easily find the processing costs, fees and terms of service. It offers industry-favored interchange-plus pricing. This data corresponded with information we received when we reach out to customer service agents as potential merchants. Reps were also quick to follow up by email with pricing quotes and full contracts for us to review. This earned Payline a Transparency and Consistency score of 100%.
If you accept cards in person (regardless of whether your business is established or you're just starting out), it's important that you have new or updated processing equipment that's EMV compliant so you can properly accept EMV chip cards.
Processing with older equipment without this capability leaves you vulnerable to liability should counterfeit fraud occur at your point of sale. Payline charges $300 for its basic EMV-compliant terminal, making it one of the most expensive equipment options in our review.
Payline uses interchange-plus pricing, also known as cost-plus or pass-through pricing. This method of pricing is becoming increasingly popular in the merchant services industry. Payline quoted us 0.20% plus $0.10 (its per-transaction fee) for its interchange-plus rates. These rates are also highlighted on the company website along with its pricing plans.
Payline's rates are competitive with the other credit card merchant services on our list. It gives you the choice between two plans: the Retail plan, best for businesses that accept credit cards in person, and the Online plan, best for businesses that accept cards through their websites.
Its markup percentage is higher for the Online plan, but this isn't uncommon. Rates may also be higher for high-risk businesses. The company offers discounted rates for nonprofits and other charitable organizations. It offers to customize rates for businesses that process more than $80,000 per month.
Fees are par for the course in the merchant service industry, and like most credit card processing companies, Payline charges the standard fees. Its fees include a $15 monthly fee, a $25 monthly minimum, a $99 annual PCI-compliance fee and, should you fail to establish PCI compliance, a $20 noncompliance fee. All of these fees are average for the merchant services industry.
Payline's monthly minimum is based on the full cost of transactions, rather than just processing costs. This is a positive thing, because it means you only have to process $25 of transactions in order to meet your monthly minimum. If your business is just starting out, or if your processing volume is variable, this is a good option since this requirement is easily met.
If you require a payment gateway, such as you need if you process online payments, you can choose either Authorize.net or NMI. Payline charges a gateway setup fee ($49), a monthly gateway fee ($10) and an additional per-transaction fee for each sale ($0.10).
If a customer disputes a sale and a chargeback occurs, you're charged $35, which is the highest such fee in our review.
Setup & Service
Of all the merchant systems we reviewed, Payline had the fastest application time as well as the one of the highest Ease of Application scores – 100%. The online application can be filled out and completed in roughly 10 minutes, and though some accounts take longer, accounts can often be approved and set up the same day you apply, plus there's no setup fee.
In addition to quick setup times, Payline has one of the fastest transaction clearing times; it takes only one business day to clear the account; that is, depositing funds into your business bank account after you batch out.
This service doesn't require you to sign a long-term contract; you receive service on a month-to-month basis, and you can cancel your account without incurring penalties or cancellation fees. However, like every credit card processing contract, it's important that you read the entire document (application, terms of service and program guide) to ensure you receive these favorable terms.
In our testing, the customer service reps we contacted were helpful, friendly and thorough. Payline received a 100% score because its account representatives provided us with pricing details over the phone, explained industry terms like PCI compliance, and took the time to describe how the different pricing models work. This service offers its customers dedicated account reps, 24/7 phone support and live chat.
Payline is one of the best merchant services companies in our review. It has low rates, favorable terms and great customer service. Although it charges more fees than some of the companies we reviewed, all are standard to the industry. It works with both established and new businesses, including those in high-risk industries. It sets up accounts quickly, deposits the money from your sales into your account faster than average and offers dedicated support.