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Traditional Merchant Account VS Payment Service Provider – Which is best?

By January 23, 2020 April 21st, 2020 No Comments

Whoever is offering the lowest rates and fees probably isn’t really the cheapest option and may not be the best fit for your business. Here is why:

In order for a company to offer those types of perks, corners must be cut elsewhere. Customer service may be horrible, or nonexistent altogether, hidden costs to make up for the upfront visual loss, or being locked into a contract or even “free” equipment. Those costs WILL be made up elsewhere. There is no such thing as a free lunch or processing in this case.


In order to tell the difference, we need to break down the two types of providers

You have the option of a traditional merchant account provider, or a payment services provider. Payment Services allow for credit card processing but will not have all the features of a full-service merchant account. As a business owner, you need to understand the differences between the two options.

Payment Service Providers (PSPs)

Payment service providers allow credit card transactions, but you will not have your own unique merchant ID number. Instead, your account is grouped in with other accounts and other merchants. This will take down the costs for monthly fees and PCI compliance, but it will also leave you open to the possibility of having your account shut down from a tiny hint of fraud. Since you opted for a service provider, who cut corners with customer service it will then become the bane of your existence to get your account up and running again.

We understand that small businesses find this type of model very alluring because it seems less expensive but you need to take into account a few things such as security and being fully aware that the loss of revenue from a frozen account is quite common. Some of the top payment service providers are PayPal, Square, and Stripe. Often people think they are the same as a traditional merchant account and that is not the case.

Traditional Merchant Accounts

The main thing that you will get with a merchant account is your own merchant identification number that is specific to your business. Having your own ID number will lower the risks of a fraudulent occurrence. The odds of having your account frozen or shut down are significantly less. When working with a traditional merchant account the added benefits offered are PCI security scans, payment gateways, ACH, eChecks and more. With the added benefits, there is an added cost, which is very minimal for the services provided when working with Platinum. In addition to these perks and benefits, you can land a better rate by utilizing interchange-plus, interchange optimization and other special pricing structures. A traditional merchant account is actually less expensive than a service provider, plus with the added features, why wouldn’t you want to go the safer and more secure route.


Platinum Payments can set your account up completely customized to meet your needs, US-based customer service 24-7/365, interchange optimization, all the bells and whistles that you can think of that will make your merchant account experience and not the headache you’re used to dealing with. We want to help, not hinder, we want success, not stress.

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