Payline Data Review

Pros:

  • pros Transparent pricing
  • pros Low interchange-plus fees
  • pros Full merchant account provider
  • pros Ideal for small businesses
  • pros Provides high-risk merchant accounts
  • pros Lower fees for charities and nonprofits

Cons:

  • cons US businesses only
  • cons Prices for hardware and some features are not disclosed on the Payline website
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Score: A+

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Product Overview

Based in Chicago, Payline Data was founded in 2009 as a credit card processor and a full merchant-account provider. Over the years it has grown to become one of the most popular CC processors next to providers like Square and Fattmerchant. 

Payline Data aims to provide its services to businesses of all sizes, acting as an aggregator for small-volume businesses and an ISO for medium-to-large ones. Payline Data is also one of the most popular high-risk merchant account providers.

As you’ll see later in our review of Payline Data, the company offers interchange-plus pricing plans – and cheap ones, at that. Payline has recently updated its pricing plans to make them easier to understand and more approachable. 

In addition to processing payments, Payline Data also offers point-of-sale systems, online shopping integration, and even small business loans.

Pricing Structure

Until recently, Payline Data’s pricing plans were based on transaction volume and additional features like eCommerce processing. The company has now updated and simplified its offerings. Payline now has two pricing plans: one for businesses that predominantly take swiped payments and the other for card-not-present payments – each with different Payline Data fees.

Payline Data offers interchange-plus rates. The question of whether interchange-plus or flat-rate pricing is better is, as always, subject to lively debate. While flat rates offer more predictability and can be easier to understand, interchange-plus is more transparent and usually cheaper in the long run.

Of course, how transparently interchange-plus providers lay out their plans is just as important as their rates. The folks behind Payline Data have made the company’s pricing plans as transparent and easy to understand as possible. There’s even a straightforward comparison chart on the Payline website that compares Payline’s fees with the rates charged by other popular providers. This alleviates the need to scour Payline Data reviews in order to make a comparison. We are glad to see more and more credit card processors taking real steps toward increased transparency.

Pricing Plans

Payline Data offers inexpensive-ish interchange-plus pricing, depending on the types of transactions you process. The company’s low rates, coupled with no limitations in terms of volume, make it a great choice for anyone who’s looking for credit card processing for a small business.

If you mostly take in-person, swiped transactions the price for Payline Data services is as follows:

Price = interchange + 0.2% + $0.10 per transaction + $10 per month

Card-not-present and online transactions are, as usual, pricier:

Price = interchange + 0.3% + $0.20 per transaction + $20 per month

While there are less expensive plans to be found among its competitors, Payline Data’s payment plans are not limited by transaction volume or by other parameters. As you’ll see consistently reported in Payline Data Services reviews, the company  is also a full merchant-account provider, assigning each business a unique merchant ID. All of the pricing plans are sold according to monthly contracts, meaning you don’t pay for anything in advance, and you can cancel at any time.

The pricing plans include PCI-compliance fees, saving you from an additional cost many processors charge. Furthermore, both plans include all of the core features you might need without reserving them for a pricier option or charging additionally for them. Here’s what’s included in Payline Data credit card processing packages:

Included in processing packages

Full merchant account

Payment gateway

Virtual terminal

Integration with Quickbooks

Account manager

Middleware account

API tools

PCI compliance

Mobile processing

Unfortunately, during our Payline merchant services review, the company’s one exception from full transparency was that it did not disclose prices for POS systems and any other hardware it offers.

Payline Data strives to be a charitable and socially conscious company. It offers discounted credit card processing rates for medical merchants and nonprofits:

Price = interchange + 0.1% + $0.10 per transaction + $10 per month

Features

Let’s go over the features and services that Payline offers its customers

Merchant Account – Payline Data is a full merchant-account provider, unlike many third-party credit card processors that act as payment service providers. This means that whichever pricing plan you go for, you’ll receive a full merchant account with a unique merchant ID.  This is one of the reasons reviews for Payline Data give this company such stellar ratings. There are no additional costs for opening a merchant account, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find many cheaper plans out there. Having a full merchant account gives you more flexibility with payment gateway integration, reduces the risk of account freezes, and so forth. Do note that Payline Data is not a direct processor – WordPlay acts as the primary processor when you subscribe to Payline services.

Payment Gateway – The Payline gateway covers all the features that were previously included in Payline Connect. Now, full payment gateway capabilities are available to all Payline Data customers. This provider actually has a proprietary Payline payment gateway that is used primarily for processing online transactions. It currently boasts more than 175 shopping cart integrations. Additionally, you can choose to integrate your own software by using Payline Data’s REST gateway API. The Payline gateway provides security and anti-fraud protection and provides you with a payment page. Through the gateway, you can set up recurring billing for customers, tokenize customer data, send receipts, and more. The gateway bears no additional cost and features the same per transaction fees as regular online transactions.

Virtual Terminal Payline credit card processing plans include a credit card processing virtual terminal. The virtual terminal allows you to accept payments through any computer that can connect to the internet. It’s mostly used for taking card-not-present keyed transactions. If you have a USB card reader, you can plug it into the computer, allowing it to effectively serve as a credit card terminal. The virtual terminal comes for free, can be used by unlimited staff members, accepts ACH payments, gives you access to reporting, creates invoices, and can be used to set up recurring billing. The virtual terminal brand is CardPointe.

Credit Card Readers – The next step in our Payline Data review is hardware. The company offers a selection of countertop credit card readers. The devices are from Ingenico – one of the best brands in the game. These readers are capable of accepting all sorts of payments, including EMV chip & pin, magstripe, and contactless. Currently, Payline Data does not offer terminal leases: You can either buy them outright or, in some cases, get them for free as part of your contract for services. The one exception to Payline’s total price transparency is that the company does not disclose hardware prices on the website.

POS Systems – For businesses looking for complete POS setups, Payline Data offers a range of Clover devices. During our Payline merchant services review, we saw that these POS systems allow quick and easy checkouts, inventory management, emailing and printing receipts, adding tips, and integration with more than 300 apps. Of course, these systems also accept any type of electronic transaction as well. Payline Data also offers to integrate your old POS (if you have one) with a new processor. For additional information – and a price quote – contact Payline’s sales reps.

Mobile Payments – Quick mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular, and Payline Data does not lag behind in this field. Payline mobile processing is done via the free Cardpointe Android and iOS app. The app handles most of the features found in a POS system such as sorting customer data, receipts, and automatic tax calculations.

QuickBooks Integration – Payline Data can be integrated with QuickBooks free of charge. The process is fairly easy and quick, but it does require you to have a QuickBooks license – Payline does not provide one for you.

Shopping Cart and API Integration – As you can see in most Payline credit card processing reviews, this credit card payment processing company supports more than 200 shopping cart integrations, allowing you valuable flexibility, especially if you already had an online shop set up before you started using Payline services. Additionally, developers and ISPs can use the Payline API for further integrations.

Add-ons and Additional Features

Payline Data credit card processing services also come with optional paid add-ons and additional features that are not a part of their core offer. Still, it is exactly features like these, apart from having one of the best credit card processing rates on the market, that set it apart from its competitors.

High-Risk Merchant Accounts: In addition to providing “regular” credit card processing services, Payline Data is a very popular choice for high-risk merchants. Getting a merchant account approved for businesses that banks deem risky can be notoriously difficult. Payline Data can help you get a high-risk merchant account approved through its partnership with SMB Global. While high-risk accounts almost always bring higher transaction rates, in this case the price is definitely worth it.

Chargeback Prevention – When trying to identify the best credit card processing for small business, chargeback prevention is a key feature. Chargebacks and fraud can greatly hinder your business, and handling those disputes takes endless time and money. Payline Data has partnered with Verifi to provide a suite of chargeback and fraud prevention tools. The tools give you access to detailed reports about sources of potential fraud and let you customize the level of protection you want.

Small-Business Loans – In addition to Verifi, Payline Data is partnering with Lendio, a business-loan marketplace portal. Through this service, you gain access to 75 lenders and a personal funding manager to guide you. According to abundant user Payline Data processing reviews, you just need to complete an online form to visit the marketplace. Payline says you can get funding in as little as 24 hours.

Charity and Commercial Co-Venture – Payline Data regularly contributes to charities, which has had a positive effect on its public image. In addition to giving to charity and providing better rates to charitable nonprofits, this credit card processor allows these companies to collect referral payments through the Commercial co-venture system.

Setup Process and Ease-of-Use

One of Payline Data’s main goals is to make its credit card processing plan as understandable and transparent as possible. Our experience and Payline Data customer reviews show that setting up an account with this processor is equally easy.

There are two ways to sign up with Payline Data: either over the phone by talking to a sales rep or by filling in the application form found on the website. The form contains several sections you have to fill in: information about your business, how you accept transactions and in what volume, some personal information, and bank account info. Most fields that require sensitive information have a short explanation of why it’s required, serving to alleviate fears and make you feel safer.

Our research for the Payline Data review of preauthorization services has shown that the company’s underwriting team reviews and responds to applications rapidly, and approvals are generally quick. The only segment of the application that might take a bit longer is setting up your merchant account, as it requires you to send the necessary documents to your bank, which may not feel the same sense of urgency you do.

After you finish the application process, you can immediately start processing credit card payments. If you require new hardware, it will be delivered in a few days. If you’re using your existing hardware, you can plug it into the new system almost immediately. 

The first month of using Payline Data is free.

Another thing we liked in our Payline Data review research period was the quote form located on the website. It can give you a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay on a monthly basis, based on your transaction volume and the types of transactions you take.

Integration

Payline Data offers integration on several levels:

  • QuickBooks integration
  • 200+ shopping cart integrations
  • API integration
  • POS systems integrate with more than 300 apps

In addition, Payline Data offers to integrate your existing card readers, website, and point-of-sale systems before signing up for Payline services.

BBB Rating

In our Payline Data BBB review, we learned that this credit card processor currently holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has been accredited by the BBB since 2014, and it has been in business for 10 years.

We investigated eight BBB complaints against Payline Data. The complaints are mostly disputes over fees and account closure, plus one about an over-aggressive sales rep. All the complaints have been resolved successfully. 

As far as customer reviews are concerned, Payline Data currently has a 1.5-star rating over a total of two reviews. As with Payline Data complaints, one of the reviews concerns rates, while another is about another company acquiring a customer’s account from Payline Data.

Customer Service

Payline Data customer support is available via email and over the phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Customer service and sales representatives were extremely helpful during our tests. They wield sufficient knowledge to help you with any problems that might arise.

While there’s currently no 24/7 support, the software and apps have a direct line to support staff in case you run into emergencies.

As most Payline reviews point out, the FAQ list on the Payline website is pretty thorough. It provides solutions to most common problems.

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Conclusion

Payline Data is definitely a top choice among credit card processors. Transparent pricing, low fees, and abundant integrations make it ideal for both small businesses and larger companies. Interchange-plus pricing will save you money in the long run compared to fixed rates. The fact that Payline provides full merchant accounts at these affordable rates should not be overlooked. Any business owner looking for a full suite of credit card processing capabilities will be hard-pressed to find a better partner.

FAQ

How much does Payline Data cost?

Payline data has one of the lowest credit card processing fees, with different prices for card-present and card-not-present transactions. The card-present plan costs Interchange + 0.2% + $0.10 per transaction + $10 per month, while the card-not-present one costs Interchange + 0.3% + $0.20 per transaction + $20 per month.

What is the best credit card processing provider for small businesses?

Payline Data is considered to be one of the best processors for small businesses. Square and Fattmerchant are also contenders.

What is the best way to accept credit cards?

There is no single best way to accept credit cards. In general, it’s best to allow customers as much flexibility as possible. Swiped card-present transactions entail the lowest transaction fees.

What is the cheapest credit card processing company?

As you’ve seen in our Payline Data review, Payline has some of the lowest fees available, but other providers might turn out slightly cheaper, depending on your business.