Every small business owner understands how expensive the services required to manage your business can be, which is why when something like a free payment gateway is offered, most business owners perk up!
Heck, anything being offered as “free” to a small business is something to get excited about. Unfortunately, few things in life (and business in particular) are actually, truly free.
Most of the time when you see a company, any company, offering something for “free,” they usually incorporate this cost into the other services they charge for.
They disperse the cost of the “free” service throughout the rest of the services they do charge for, so in reality, you’re still paying for service via another area of the process.
This is unfortunately something all too common in the payment processing world. Hidden fees (among other factors) can spell doom for some small businesses. As with everything, you should always be wary of companies offering “free” services to your business.
The only time in life when anyone truly ever receives something for free is when you are a kid. You get free room and board, free food, free clothes, frees toys, free trips, etc. As an adult, you might get a few present on your birthday or for Christmas. This is about it!
You rarely get anything for free from people not intimately involved in your life. You certainly don’t have other businesses or service providers banging on your door trying to offer you their services for free!
IF they are, chances are there’s something they aren’t telling you or they are not being completely transparent about their fees.
So as far as free payment gateways, the only payment processor who stands out to us is CDG Payments. They provide their Quantum Gateway free of charge. This particular gateway works very well although is not all aesthetically pleasing. But who needs it to be, right?
It covers pretty much all of the bases needed in a gateway service.
They also give you the option to go with their free gateway service, or you can opt to use Authorize.net instead, which is a $15/mo. charge. This is entirely your prerogative, however. You add what you want/need and leave what you don’t.
Your baseline cost to use CDG and their free gateway service is around $10/mo.
This is probably the best price you will find within reliable payment processor options.
They also have a track record of good customer service and support and a positive user rating on Google searches.
Now, this being said, if you are operating on a smaller level and process less than $5,000 a month, you’ll likely benefit better from going with a pay-as-you-go feature offered by companies like Square, Stripe and PayPal. Be sure and compare to see who you like best.
They are free… no monthly fee… except when someone buys something from you through their payment gateway service. Then you’re charged a percentage per transaction, usually around 2.75% to 2.9%.
These services make more sense for smaller businesses who are trying to save money. Of course, with those services, you won’t necessarily receive the same amount of customer service and support as you would with a company like CDG.
This decision is yours to make. You must assess the needs of your business and no one else can truly tell you what you must do. All we can do is advise you of the best services available (and those you should avoid).
Now, all of THIS being said, there is one other thing to consider. As great as CDG is, sometimes paying for better service is better than getting decent service for free.
It’s the theory of “paying is better than free” which basically says sometimes it is better to pay for the best regardless of the cost because the quality you receive is reflected in the service or product.
When a wealthy man goes to the Maserati dealership to buy a new sports car, does he look at the “Sale!” section? Absolutely not.
(Do those even exist at Maserati dealerships?)
He is looking for the best, and the cost is usually the last thing on his mind.
He wants the guarantee of quality and he is willing to pay for the best to get it.
Now, as a small business owner, we know this isn’t always an option. We understand. All we are trying to present with this analogy is an idea. This idea says sometimes “free” services or discounted services sometimes don’t always pay off in the end.
Sometimes “free” isn’t “worth” anything. Indeed!
There are definitely some reputable payment gateway providers who still have reasonable fees and also provide out of this world customer service and support!
As we said earlier though, only you can decide what is best for your business and what works for your budget. We trust you will do what is best for your business.
A free payment gateway is enticing to be sure. Just make sure you are getting what you are NOT paying for.
If you have any questions on this or other topics, our phone lines are open! Call our awesome support center at RedFynn at (888) 510-9871.