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I need recommendations for a good Merchant Service company that will let me go month to month...

We are going to host a booth at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation National Convention in March 2011 and it's our first trade show.   We want to be able to accept credit/debit cards in a wireless format but I don't own a smart phone yet.  Plus we won't be going to consistant trade shows so I need to not have an annual contract or monthly requirement fees... From those of you out there that are seasoned Art/trade-show booth hosters... What is a GOOD company that is easy to work with, has no monthly/annual fees or annual contract besides POS fees, that is reasonable on their costs?  I am needing to get something solidified in the next couple weeks.  Thanks, Amy

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I use Merchant Warehouse.  It's $7.95 per month sort of.  They charge average of 3 percent, + .25 per transaction.    Also, you can call them to cancel for the months you don't have any use for the service.  I signed up entirely on line, in fact the salesman talked me through the process.    I use a knucklebuster and can call in for authorization if necessary.  I don't have a smart phone either so opted for what seemed like a simpler solution.  The downside is this; there is a $25 monthly fee which the credit card fees come out of, so if you don't have $1000 in sales per month you may end up paying more than the $7.95.  I wasn't aware of it, the salesman omitted that little gem, but so far I haven't had to pay any of those charges.  It's in the contract, but I didn't see it.  When I get a smart phone I'll shop around because I'm sure there are better deals out there.  The whole thing overwhelms me though, and until I can convince my husband that he should look into it and embrace it, I'm stuck. I will also say that Merchant warehouse if very good with me over the phone with questions.  It consistantly takes 3 days to see the payment in my bank account.  If you use them, please tell them I sent you as I think I get a couple of free months for referring someone.  Hope this is helpful. Amy

I just signed up for intuit gopayment.  If sales are under $1200 a month there is no monthly fee.  However it does work with a smart phone.  I only work about 4 shows a year so this is a great plan for me.  Plus the transactions will go to my quickbooks online to be downloaded to my business quickbooks.  Which is a great plus for not having to manual entry the sales.  Hope this helps. 


Another thought is that if your cell phone has web access, or if the event you are doing has electricity and Wifi, you could take a laptop and have paypal available.


Hope this helps some.


Try First National Processing who is a sponsor here.  Rather than wireless ask them about one of their store and forward machines.  Pretty inexpensive ($150 or so), a good rate, and you simply plug into a phone line at the end of the day and upload your transactions.  Challenge with wireless is the monthly connect charge is usually $15-20.



If you are in BB&T's service area, they offer a seasonal merchant plan where you pay $15 for service only in the months you accept cards. We have used them 10 years and could not be more pleased.
The person who pays the bills here at commends you Gary for this great recommendation! Amy, it is surely worth a call to them...they have untold kinds of options and can narrow it down for you quickly. 1st National Processing is a good starting point.
Thanks for your feedback so far everybody.  Very helpful info.  I still am on the fence so far though. Trying to get as much "insider" info before I commit.  Thanks again... keep them coming!  :)

I use ProPay.  (  I have an account that's one step up from the most basic and I pay $69/year for it, but there's no monthly fee.  (Of course there are per-transaction charges  This level of account allows me to accept Visa, MC, Discover, and American Express, and it's so much easier to say "Yes, I do!" when someone asks about taking those last two cards. 


While I could enter the transactions over a phone, I prefer the online entry process.  (Use a knuckle-buster to do the sale, then enter the #'s online....which can be tedious.)  They do have a little electronic swiper gizmo, and some smartphone versions, too, for an extra cost.  A couple of times I've needed to work with them on a couple of issues (went over their processing limit twice) and they graciously and quickly extended exceptions to me--now, that's great customer service.


Check 'em out--they're a good outfit.

I, too, use Propay, love it, no issues except one time when I transposed numbers, dah.  Also when I request money, the transaction is fast!
There have been numerous blogs on this topic- just search the memory banks- research is golden
Tqke a look at Charge America, they only charge you for the months that you use the service..

I would add that I too use ProPay and I love them!  I've used them for 6 years with no problem :)


Good luck at your first trade show!




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