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Third Party Credit Card Processors

If you want your online business to be a success you have to accept credit cards. In order to accept credit cards online as a payment method you need to have a merchant account.

With your own merchant account you must pay for expensive processing software, a secure server, customer service fees, monthly gateway fees or minimum transaction fees.

But there is solution to accept credit cards online without merchant account or with so-called free merchant account.These free merchant accounts are provided by third party credit card processors that accept credit cards on your behalf and take a percentage of the cost of the transaction. This percentage is relatively higher than it would be if you had your own merchant account, but you only pay fees if you sell your product. There are usually no monthly fees.

It is also the simplest solution - sign up with a third party processor, insert several lines of HTML code, and that's it! The service provider will take care of the rest.

Online credit card processing companies will send you payment for all of your orders processed, minus their fee and a reserve fee. A reserve fee is withheld to cover charge backs you may have. If you have no charge backs within a period of time, your reserve will be refunded to you.

An excellent feature, many of these credit card processors offer is a build-in affiliate program for your own online business.

Third party credit card processors are the best option for small and just starting businesses, as well as for international (non-US) businesses where obtaining your own merchant account is too expensive or hard to get.

Third party credit card processors are cheaper as long as your total sales are low. When your monthly sales reach around $3000, you should consider to open your own merchant account.

Below is the list of the most popular online third party credit card processors that will process credit card orders for you without merchant account.

The service I use myself and recommend for others. Cheap and reliable. Sell products or services, just about anything.

Merchants with US or Canadian Bank accounts will have payments electronically deposited directly to any bank account at no cost.

Suppliers without a US Bank account can have their payments air mailed at no charge or have the option of an international wire payment.

Can be incorporated into almost any shopping cart that supports the gateway.

Payments twice per month.5% reserve fee, 90 day hold.
Chargeback fee of $10-30 per transaction.
Available for US and international merchants.

Setup: $49.
Orders by: Credit cards and online checks.
Transaction Fees: 5.5% + $0.45.


ClickBank accepts customers who offer only downloadable products.
Provides free affiliate program management and your products will be promoted through their network of over 100,000 online affiliates.

Only issue checks. Charge $2.50 to process and send check.
Withhold 10% of each check which is released after about 90 days.
Payments twice per month.
Available for US and international merchants.

Setup: $49.95.
Orders by: Credit cards and online checks from the USA and Canada.
Transaction Fees: $1 + 7.5%.


Personal Accounts are free, but cannot accept credit card payments. Premier and Business Accounts are charged either the Standard or Merchant rate based on volume.Buyer has to register as PayPal member. Membership available in 37 countries.

To withdraw your funds from PayPal (transfer to your bank account), there is no fee for US customers, varying fees for other countries (maximum is $1.50).

If you get even one chargeback on a single account, they freeze all your funds for 35 to 75 days.

Setup: Free.
Orders by: Credit cards or direct transfer.
Transaction Fees (Standard Rate): 2.9% + $0.30.

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