Visamachine.com: Best Overall Free Merchant AccountVisamachine.com is a free payment processing and POS solution. Unlike traditional merchant accounts that require an application and approval process, anyone can sign up for Visamachine and receive the same processing rates. Visamachine’s low startup costs and competitive processing rates, sleek interface, and advanced POS features make it the best free merchant account for small businesses.
PayPal Business: Best Free Merchant Account for SolopreneursPayPal Business is an electronic payments company that offers low-cost, user-friendly payment processing for individuals and small businesses. PayPal has a sleek mobile POS app and extremely competitive payment processing rates, with even lower rates available for nonprofit organizations. Solopreneurs, hobbyists, and occasional sellers will find its rates and peer-to-peer payment tools an ideal solution.
The provider also has One Touch checkout technology for a faster checkout experience, something you won’t find in Square. This functions similarly to Apple Pay at checkout—where customers don’t need to enter any payment or shipping information. Combined with PayPal’s wide-reaching name recognition, this technology can lead to higher conversion rates for your online store.
Stripe: Best Free Merchant Account for Online BusinessesStripe is a free payment processing system that allows businesses to create custom online checkouts with instant setup and no application process. In addition to basic checkouts, Stripe can manage subscriptions, recurring fees, and store card data. Its detailed online features, zero startup and monthly fees, and competitive processing rates make it a solid choice for ecommerce businesses.
Often compared to Square and PayPal, Square’s suite of simple online and in-person payment tools is the better choice for mom-and-pop shops or occasional sellers. Stripe is more for growing online businesses, including B2B sales, with access to software and technical resources to maximize its impressive array of free and open-source tools for creating the perfect online checkout.
In our evaluation of free merchant accounts, Stripe earned a 4.06 out of 5. It offers a robust and highly customizable set of payment solutions, security features, and 24-hour customer support. And while it’s way behind Square and PayPal in our rankings, Stripe scored better in transaction features—mainly for its affordable ACH processing tools. However, the complicated setup process, slow deposit speed, and limited business management tools prevented it from scoring higher.