PROS / You receive a discount if you pay the membership fee annually.
CONS / This merchant services company doesn't feature live chat on its website.
VERDICT / Payment Depot's low rates, single membership fee and easy setup make it a solid merchant service option for your small business.
In our evaluation of merchant services companies, we sought providers with low costs, excellent terms of service, hassle-free signup and helpful customer service. With these qualities, Payment Depot has proved to rank among the best merchant services, earning our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award. Payment Depot offers membership plans that work for businesses of all sizes. It has larger clients, like Sprint and Subway, but most of its clientele are small and medium-size businesses.
Payment Depot is transparent about the pricing and fees associated with its merchant services, posting its pricing, fees and terms on its website. When our reviewers contacted the company as prospective customers, the representatives we spoke with were upfront with information. They confirmed the rates posted on its website and provided consistent information in all of our interactions with the company.
Whether you have an established business or are launching a new company, it's essential to stay up to date with the latest credit card processing hardware. Most credit cards now come with EMV microchips in them and as of October 2015, companies that don't have EMV-complaint terminals to accept these cards are liable for counterfeit fraud that occurs at their point of sale. Payment Depot offers EMV-compliant terminals starting at around $200, which is an average cost.
Payment Depot's payment structure differs from the majority of plans that other merchant services companies provide. With Payment Depot, you pay a per-transaction fee and the wholesale rate, which is the combination of the interchange rate and card-brand fee.
The interchange rate and card-brand fees are non-negotiable and are the same for every processor. The interchange rate is expressed as a percentage of each transaction and a per-transaction fee, and is set by the card networks and paid to the cardholder's bank. The card-brand fee is a small fee on each transaction paid to the card network: Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.
The majority of merchant services providers add their own markup percentage to these wholesale rates, but Payment Depot doesn't. Instead, it charges a single per-transaction fee, no matter what type of card you accept. The per-transaction fee varies depending on the membership plan you choose. Four membership plans are available, with per-transaction fees ranging from $0.05 to $0.25.
The plan you select depends on the dollar amount of transactions your business processes each month. Payment Depot is one of three companies in our review that offer a rate lock, guaranteeing that your rates won't increase during the life of your account.
In our testing, we looked at the costs for a business that processes $10,000 a month or less, which is within the processing limits of the basic plan that charges $0.25 per transaction. Although this is higher than most of the other per-transaction fees we reviewed, you may pay an overall lower fee per transaction since there isn't a percentage markup.
This makes Payment Depot a good option for small to mid-size businesses; although, if you process $2,500 or less each month, the company refers you to a service like Square or PayPal that may better address your needs.
Payment Depot charges a membership fee, which can be paid monthly or yearly. If you choose the yearly option, you pay significantly less than you would if you pay monthly. Across all four membership plans, the annual rate for this fee ranges from $24.92 to $83.25.
Payment Depot doesn't charge additional fees for PCI compliance or a PCI noncompliance fee. There's also no monthly minimum. If you have a customer dispute resulting in a chargeback, the fee is $15 per instance, which is lower than average.
Processing sales online is becoming increasingly popular as it's convenient for customers. Merchant account services commonly require you to open a separate merchant account for online transactions, and usually these online accounts have rates that are higher than retail rates, but Payment Depot charges you the same per-transaction fee and membership pricing. Additionally, Payment Depot doesn't charge you a monthly gateway fee.
Setup & Service
In our testing, we evaluated how easily we could apply for each service we reviewed. Payment Depot makes the process simple and offers outstanding terms of service with minimal contractual obligations. We gave Payment Depot an Ease of Application score of 92%.
Completing the application online and signing the electronic documents take roughly 10 minutes. The only document you need to provide is a voided check, which can be sent to the merchant service online. This results in very little paperwork, making it easy to set up an account and begin using the service without delay. It takes about one to two days for your application to be approved.
After you start processing transactions, it takes around one to two business days for the money to be deposited into your account. This is the standard amount of time it takes for an account to clear, though some companies can clear the account the next day.
Payment Depot offers a high level of flexibility for its customers. It has a 90-day trial, so you can evaluate the merchant service to see if it's right for your business. If you decide to use Payment Depot as your merchant account provider, you're not charged setup fees or locked into a contract. Instead, you receive service on a month-to-month basis. If you pay your membership fee upfront for the lower, annual rate and leave Payment Depot for a new service, the company will prorate the fee and issue you a refund.
Payment Depot offers exceptional customer support. When we spoke to the support staff, they were knowledgeable about rates and fees and were helpful in explaining the pricing structure. They also provided good information about credit card processing. The agents followed up with us in a timely manner over phone and email. Based on our interactions with the company, we gave Payment Depot a Customer Service score of 95%.
Quality support is an important consideration when choosing a merchant account service. You should be able to reach customer service at any time since a delay in your system could result in lost business. Phone support is available 24/7, and when you sign up for an account, you're assigned a dedicated account representative. However, this merchant services company's website lacks live chat.
Payment Depot is one of our top-rated merchant account providers, scoring well for its rates, fees, terms and customer service. This merchant service is one of just two companies on our list that has a membership-based pricing model and one of just three that provide its merchants with a rate-lock guarantee. Its customer service agents are knowledgeable and eager to help and can get your merchant account set up in a couple of days after you submit your completed application.