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Free Credit Card Processing

Our Picks for the Top Free Payment Processors

  1. Easy Pay Direct
  2. PaymentCloud
  3. Dharma Merchant Services
  4. Helcim
  5. eMerchantBroker

1. Easy Pay Direct

Easy Pay Direct is the lead processor for high risk businesses. They offer transparent pricing with no early termination fees. For high risk customers, EPD provides the best credit card processing available. You will also receive 24/7 customer support while working with EPD if you have any questions or concerns. EPD's quarterly scans exceed PCI compliance regulations.

2. PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud specializes in working with high risk merchant accounts nationwide. As a high risk business, you are at an increased risk for chargebacks, PaymentCloud provides you with services to prevent them. They offer dedicated customer support as well for any questions. Their processing times are quick and they also provide payment options for mobile and retail customers. PaymentCloud will not charge you higher processing fees for being a high risk merchant account.

3. Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma offers lower rates for nonprofit industries. They are committed to helping you keep your costs low. Dharma will not charge a few certain fees that others do such as a; PCI compliance fee, AVS fee, or a batch fee. You can even receive a free virtual consultation in order to be sure Dharma is the merchant processor right for your company.

4. Helcim

Helcim offers you more ways to pay less. You will get the lowest interchange rate for every transaction you process. Helcim loves transparency, there are absolutely no hidden fees when working with Helcim. The more transactions processed, the more you will save. There is no monthly fee when using Helcim.

5. eMerchantBroker

EMB also specializes in working with high risk businesses. They will protect you against any fraud or chargebacks against your company. Their business is built in order to meet the specific needs of your business. If your business has unique needs. EMB is the unique solution.

The objective is to keep your costs low, regardless of how long you've been in business or how recently you started. If you know where to look, you can find free credit card processing. You simply need to know where to look.

Therefore, let us begin immediately! This is our recommendation for what you should do, as well as what to look for before signing.

What is Free Credit Card Processing?

Numerous payment processors advertise no-fee credit card processing plans. This is referred to as "free credit card processing." They view this as a way to obtain a necessary service for free. However, this is not how it works. While those who process transactions must bear the cost, there are ways to pass those costs on to consumers.

Is it Really Free?

Certainly not. You will not be able to obtain it for free, and there will be some costs associated with it. However, if they work with the right company, it can be significantly less expensive for them. We'll discuss this further in a moment.

Why Should You Opt for No-Cost Payment Processing?

As with the majority of businesses, you want to keep an eye on the costs associated with credit card processing. When you're trying to earn money, free can be a useful concept to consider. While there are some advantages to free payment processing, there are also some disadvantages.


  • Customers who pay cash may receive something in exchange for doing business with you.
  • Free plans can assist you in reducing costs and saving money for your business.
  • You'll have a better idea of how much money is coming in.


  • If not done correctly, it could lead to legal action or the closure of your merchant account. 
  • If a customer dislikes this location, they may move their business elsewhere.
  • This pricing plan may require you to pay an additional fee.
  • The law may differ depending on where your company is located.
  • You must post signs if you want your customers to be aware.

Types of Zero-Fee Credit Card Processing Pricing Plans

This is essential to comprehend if you want to continue using this payment method. Finally, you have two alternatives.

Surcharge Pricing

There is a fee for credit card payments, but not for debit card payments. This means that anyone who makes a purchase using a credit card will be charged transaction fees. For all other payment methods, except cash, you will be required to pay the fees set by your credit card processor.

Cash Discount Programs

While the terms "cash discount program" and "surcharging" are frequently used interchangeably, there are a few key differences. Individuals who pay with a credit card are charged an additional fee. When cash discounting is used, credit card customers pay the same price as other customers.

Cash-paying customers benefit from this type of program because they receive a discount. When you offer cash discounts to your customers, you must still display signs, and this method frequently results in an increase in the number of customers who pay with cash rather than credit cards.

How to Avoid a Free Payment Processing Scam

Nothing is free in life. As long as you choose the right credit card processing company, you may qualify for a free service. To avoid scams, you should understand how to identify them.

Don’t Be Fooled by Flat-Rate Pricing

There may be plans with flat-rate pricing that charge customers 4% on all transactions. Many people believe that this percentage is far too high if your business is not high-risk.

Many of these businesses believe that you will look the other way when they charge you an exorbitant amount for a transaction that they are not charging. Rather than that, they are charging your customers. However, your customers will notice, and if they do, they will be more likely to shop elsewhere.

Look for Promises of Eliminating 100% of Processing Costs

Even if your surcharging or cash discounting strategy is flawless, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to completely eliminate your credit card processing costs. As desirable as it may sound, it is impossible to eliminate all of them.

Additionally, keep in mind that you will still be responsible for the cost of your equipment, chargebacks, and so on. As a result, you'll be required to pay some fees.

Check Your Statement Carefully

There are numerous considerations when establishing a surcharge program, so proceed with caution. To run the program, you must connect to it via your payment gateway or the software that comes with your credit card terminals and point of sale system.

Customers should be able to see the additional charge on their receipts. However, some businesses charge an additional fee for each transaction, indicating that the program was not properly configured or used. You should correct this immediately.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Free Credit Card Processor

Also, don't be hesitant to inquire ahead of time if you're thinking about employing a payment processing firm. Also, there are some questions you should ask yourself.

Do Your Competitors Use Surcharging or Cash Discount Program?

You might be able to learn how others in your field handle credit card processing. You may do the same thing as long as they are also surcharging or offering cash discounts. However, if they are not, it is possible that your customers will seek out their products and services rather than yours.

How Does Your Target Market Feel About Surcharging?

The graph above demonstrates that the majority of people are unhappy to learn that they pay more than other people when they pay with a credit card. However, this may change depending on the audience you wish to reach with your business.

Assume you own a posh antique shop. The majority of your customers are unlikely to object to paying a fee to use their credit cards. It may not be the same if you operate a corner convenience store, but it may be. It will assist you if you conduct some research and determine what your customers enjoy and dislike about your business.

What are the Other Fees You Will be Charged?

What else should you consider? You want to ensure that the credit card processing company you choose does not charge you excessive transaction fees.

Due to Processor A's surcharge program, each credit card transaction incurs a 3% surcharge. This means that you, as a business owner, will be charged $500 per year for the service, in addition to $50 per month. Processor B does not have a surcharge plan in this instance.

There is no annual fee for this service, and the monthly fee is only $10. The fee may be waived if your business processes a certain amount of money.

No, I am unable to see it. Conduct research to find a good deal that will not end up costing you more in the long run.

Free Credit Card Processing Vs. Cheap Credit Card Processing

Your perception of free payment processing services may have been shattered after reading this. Try not to be overly critical of yourself. Accepting credit cards does not necessitate a significant financial investment.

There are a plethora of excellent, low-cost credit card processors available that will not charge you an arm and a leg while also providing you with value-added services. It's not free, but with the right processor, you can save money.

Tips to Keep Your Processing Costs Low

You can reduce payment processing costs even if you do not charge an additional fee or offer a cash discount. Several things that may be of assistance include the following:

Find a Quality Merchant Services Provider

You can open a merchant account and process credit cards with the help of a reputable merchant service provider. This review will help you decide which company is the best fit for you. Check their BBB rating as well as any other online reviews about them.

Don’t Sign Lengthy Contracts

One of the worst-case scenarios is that you sign a long-term contract (3-5 years) with a company and then have to cancel their service early. Unless your contract contains an early termination clause, you risk incurring significant fees if you decide to leave before the contract expires.

You may be required to pay liquidated damages, which is the amount of money the processor would have earned had they worked with your business. Numerous businesses charge in the neighborhood of $500 for this service. A company that offers short-term, month-to-month, or no-fee contracts is the best option.

Choose a Company That Offers Free POS Systems and Equipment

The new payment processor does not require you to rent all new equipment. Even if you already own the hardware, reprogramming it and getting it to work with new software is frequently quite simple. If you do require new hardware, purchasing it yourself is significantly less expensive than paying for it.

Ascertain that you do not end up with an equipment lease that cannot be canceled under any circumstances. We recommend that you seek out a company that provides free hardware. They are present.

If you cancel early, many of them will simply request that you return the equipment. There are no repercussions or penalties for returning the equipment.

Don’t Abandon Negotiations

As a new business, you may discover that transaction fees and other fees are slightly higher than anticipated. The story need not end there. Allow yourself some time to accumulate some processing history before you begin. Once you've completed this, return to the company and ask if your deal can be changed. If they refuse to alter their terms, we can assure you that others will.

Consider Setting Minimums for Your Customers’ Credit Card Purchases

You may establish a credit card minimum of up to $10 in accordance with the law. This can assist you in earning more money from lower-ticket items.

Don’t Forget to Check Out Our Recommendations for the Best Free Payment Processors

  1. Easy Pay Direct
  2. PaymentCloud
  3. Dharma Merchant Services
  4. Helcim
  5. eMerchantBroker

Merchant Accounts

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