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Top Credit Card Processors By Merchant Industry

If your business is in an industry that has particular processing needs, then you’ll want to at least consider a credit card processing company that focuses on that industry. Businesses like gas stations and restaurants / food services, need industry specific providers because of the transaction types that they process, whereas industries like law or healthcare often need them because of the regulations that apply to their businesses.

In this article we highlight what we consider the best credit card processors for various industries including law, petroleum, healthcare, and restaurants.

Legal: LawPay

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  • Eligibility: LawPay enjoys endorsements from the American Bar Association as well as from a large number of state bars, because the company understands the regulatory issues, particularly those relating to client trust accounts, that attorneys face in accepting credit cards. LawPay helps ensure that attorneys who accept credit cards for retainers and payments remain in compliance with their legal ethics rules.

  • Price: LawPay offers three different tiers for attorneys, basically based upon the amount of business a law firm conducts as well as the benefit or not of including funds in two different accounts. For example, the Trust Plan accepts advanced payments or retainers and use both trust and operating accounts. Their rate in that plan for all major credit cards is 1.95% + $.20 per transaction + $20 monthly payment.

  • Summary: LawPay enjoys high endorsements and we found very few complaints about this company’s services. Their strong point is the ability to deposit funds into two separate accounts to help attorneys meet ethical standards for trust and operating bank accounts.

  • What’s the Catch?: The biggest catch is that many small law firms or solo attorneys that don’t regularly accept credit card payments cannot justify the regular monthly fee. Another catch, is that LawPay’s rates for their Introductory plan, one where all funds enter only the operating bank account, is high considering there’s nothing particularly special about LawPay’s services if they’re not helping you keep client and firm funds separate (which with their Intro plan, they’re not).

Gas Related: Petroleum Card Services

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  • Eligibility: Although Petroleum Card Services (PCS) can provide merchant accounts to any retailer or restaurant, they focus on gas stations, fleet services, marinas, and other businesses involved with the pump services, such as truck stops and convenience stores that offer groceries and eateries.

  • Price: PCS offers no pricing on their website, and the sales rep stated that PCS prefers to talk about rates with the merchant upon learning about that merchant’s services, however, as you’ll see through the pricing available on our site, it is about as cheap as you’ll ever find.

  • Summary: PCS appears to offer great service to its customers, considering the lack of complaints against this company. Be aware that PCS offers two offices, and only one is focused on marinas and other water-based gas services.

  • What’s the Catch?: If you’re a decent sized business, processing over $50,000 per month, there is no catch. If you’re not, however, the catch is that PCS isn’t likely to accept you as a merchant. Their prices are so low that they make money on volume, and if you cannot bring volume, the overhead involved in taking on a new client makes it not a worthwhile proposition.

Etsy Sellers: Etsy

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  • Eligibility: Any merchant who opens an Etsy shop at the Etsy.com website is eligible to take payments with the Etsy Direct Payment card reader.

  • Price: Since Etsy is an international marketplace, the company offers varying rates to swipe credit cards. For the U.S. the card reader transaction equals 2.75% + $.25 per sale. That cost doesn’t include the $.20 per quarter year listing and the 3.75% take on any item sold (including cash sale). Manual transacation is 3% + $.25 per transacation.

  • Summary: Etsy doesn’t offer the best per transaction price for merchants who want to sell online; however, those prices are probably pretty palatable for merchants who don’t want to deal with merchant account services and fees that might include statements, PCI compliance, and gateway. Etsy is an aggregator, and aggregating services are sometimes the best route for small entrepreneurs just starting out.

  • What’s the Catch?: The Etsy card reader is very industry specific – geared only towards Etsy merchants. The swiper integrates fully with the online shop, and merchants also can take cash without fees other than the 3.75% and $.20 listing. The catch? Etsy is notorious for lousy customer service.

Healthcare, Restaurants, Airlines: Elavon

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  • Eligibility: Any merchant who focuses on a specific industry should consider one of the largest credit card processing companies, Elavon. Elavon offers industry-specific help for the airline, hospitality, restaurant, retail, healthcare, and education sectors.

  • Price: Elavon uses tiered pricing. An example of terminal sales is 2.65% + $.19 per card swiped+ $10 monthly fee.

  • Summary: Working with Elavon means you’ll get a broad array of hardware and features that are sufficient to outfit any business to accept credit cards. Additionally, this company does so much business for the airlines, restaurants, and healthcare industries that they have developed an expertise that is often helpful to these types of business owners.

  • What’s the Catch?: Many other credit card processing companies also provide service to retail, restaurants, airlines and healthcare providers. And despite what you may believe after reading Elavon’s marketing materials, most of the “industry specific” services and features are something that almost any processor can provide. For example, when a company states that they’re “HIPAA compliant,” what they often don’t tell you is that any terminal that processes credit cards that is PCI compliant is also HIPAA compliant.

Conclusion:

In this article we’ve covered just a few of the many industries that have credit card processors that cater to that particular industry. For example, if you sell antiques or firearms, you likely need a high-risk credit card processor, and if you’re a non-profit you need a card processor for nonprofits.

If you have any additional questions about selecting a merchant account services provider that caters to your specific industry, call us or use our match tool to search 40+ providers. That tool can provide you with a more complete picture of the best fit for your business.