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Merchant One Review

Mike Berner
Mike Berner
  • Merchant One is the best credit card processor with easy and fast approval due to its 98% approval rate. 
  • Merchant One offers a strong slate of features that enable businesses to make better decisions regarding cash flow.
  • Merchant One has 24/7 customer support for business owners interested in one-on-one assistance.
  • This review is for small business owners who want to learn about Merchant One's credit card processing service and why it's our best pick for easy approval.

Although new businesses need to build good credit, sometimes that isn't possible right off the bat. We recommend Merchant One for its fast and easy approval process, full slate of features, and seamless integration with a wide range of third-party software. This means you can automatically pull data on debit and credit card transactions into your other business software to more effectively track sales, customers' preferred payment methods and your hottest-selling items.

Merchant One

Merchant One

The Verdict

Merchant One has a wide range of features, seamless integration with many popular programs and a willingness to work with all small businesses. That's why it's our pick for a credit card processor with a fast and easy approval process.

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Merchant One Editor's Score: 80/100

Pricing 85
Contract 75
PCI compliance 100
Early termination tee 75
Fast deposits 70

Why We Chose Merchant One as the Best for Easy Approval

Merchant One offers top-notch credit card processing services to businesses of all sizes, but it is known for providing merchant services that cater to the specific credit card processing needs of small businesses. We particularly appreciate how easy the company makes it for merchants to be approved. 

Merchant One also offers various hardware, from point-of-sale (POS) systems to debit and credit card readers. The company even has an iPhone app that we love for wireless processing. It accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express. Its software also uses digital technologies to confirm IDs and process documents.

Merchant One credit card readers
Merchant One offers multiple credit card readers.


  • Merchant One offers fast and easy setup, approves 98% of applicants, and is willing to work with business owners who don't have the best credit.
  • Merchant One has a strong payment gateway with fraud protection and data security.
  • The easy-to-use software can search and categorize past transactions.


  • The opaque pricing and fee structure may mislead customers who don't study the terms and conditions.
  • Merchant One requires a three-year contract and charges a fee for early termination.
  • Customer service is limited to email and phone support, without live chat or an online FAQs knowledge base.


We found the user interface on Merchant One's virtual terminal clean and easy to navigate. Of particular note is the ability to easily sort and search past transactions by location or customer name. If, for example, a customer wishes to view data on past payments, you can easily recall the information. For less tech-savvy customers inputting their payment information, you can follow the transaction in real time to ensure successful payment. 

Merchant One doesn't offer its own proprietary hardware, but its processing software is compatible with several third-party payment terminals. Although additional equipment is required, you have some flexibility in the hardware you use. 

You can accept credit and debit card payments from your Merchant One web dashboard, while end-to-end encryption ensures secure and PCI-compliant transactions. Through the dashboard, you can also send invoices and receipts, as well as store customers' card information to speed up checkout in the future.

Merchant One Features

Merchant accounts Merchant One offers a merchant account, which is necessary to process card transactions, through Fiserv.
Credit card terminals New customers can get a free terminal (see details below) from one of several hardware vendors.
POS system Merchant One is a Fiserv dealer, meaning that it sells and services Clover products. This saves you the hassle of dealing with a third party.
Payment gateway The payment gateway comes with fraud detection, e-commerce integration and other features for secure processing.
Mobile payments Merchant One resells several mobile readers, including Clover Go, which allow you to receive payments on the go.
Invoicing and billing The invoicing and billing features allow businesses with recurring revenue models to easily collect payments from customers.
Categorization Businesses with multiple storefronts can categorize transactions by location, displaying useful data on what is happening and where.

Merchant One's comprehensive features help it stand out from other credit card processors. The company offers a variety of processing hardware and services for small businesses. Here's an overview of the solutions and features it offers.

Merchant Accounts

Merchant One uses Fiserv as its main back-end processor. A merchant account is required to process debit and credit card transactions. The company offers various Fiserv products and services, including Clover terminals and POS systems.

Did you know?Did you know?: In order to process any card-based transactions, you must first set up a merchant account. Most credit card processing services will help you open one.

Credit Card Terminals

Merchant One offers four standard credit card terminals. You can choose between the Pax S80, Pax S500, Verifone VX520 and Fiserv FD130. We really like that all models support NFC payments, which include contactless transactions made using mobile wallet methods like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Merchant One terminals also support EMV technology – chip payments made with a debit card. 

Like other payment processing services, Merchant One provides reliable and secure credit card terminal placement software. The company even offers one free terminal when you set up a new account. This is a significant benefit to choosing this provider, but it does come at an eventual cost. Essentially, the terminal is on loan from Merchant One, so you will have to give it back if you decide to close your account.

POS System

Since Merchant One is a Fiserv reseller, it offers the entire Clover lineup of its highly rated POS systems. You can get a Clover Station and a Clover Mini. However, these POS systems are not accessible through Merchant One's primary terminal placement software; you must purchase them upfront.

Business owners who are unfamiliar with how Clover works can take advantage of the free training Merchant One offers all customers. In case you need additional help for a technical issue, Merchant One is capable of servicing all Clover products. Check out our Clover review for more information.

Payment Gateway

Merchant One advertises the quality of its payment gateway, which is a mechanism that securely delivers transaction data to a payment processor. (Check out our explanation of how a payment gateway works.) 

Merchant One offers a virtual terminal for dedicated manual transactions, as well as built-in fraud detection and data security features. You will receive a proprietary gateway and a third-party, white-label gateway.

The best thing about the Merchant One payment gateway is that it offers all the basic features businesses need, such as the following:

  • Recurring billing support
  • ACH payment support
  • Customer database
  • Customizable API
  • QuickBooks integration
  • Invoice generator

The payment gateway can also integrate with up to 175 shopping carts online. Merchant One further offers advanced authentication and fraud prevention tools for e-commerce businesses, along with extras like a "buy now" button. 

Key TakeawayFYI: Integrating your business software improves visibility into all the data your small business generates, which can help your team make better company decisions.

Mobile Payments

Merchant One offers portable processing for businesses that want to accept credit card payments on mobile devices. For this feature, Merchant One has several different card reader options, including the Clover Go. Other available credit card readers include the Swift B250, SwipeSimple, BBPOS Chipper and MagTek aDynamo. Merchant One does not disclose pricing on these models, as it evaluates each business's needs and then prices them accordingly.

For business owners who offer services online only, Merchant One has made the process of accepting payments simple. As customers make website purchases, transaction details transfer to the Merchant One dashboard in real time. This gives you the ability to walk customers through transactions if they have questions. 

Invoicing and Billing

Business owners who offer subscriptions or payment plans can use the Merchant One dashboard to create invoices or schedule automatic billing. Invoices can also be customized to include a payment link or a QR code, allowing customers to make payments from a mobile device. Merchant One further provides the ability to use QR codes on flyers. We appreciate that the company's offerings are keeping up with new technology and popular services like QR codes.


For business owners who operate one or more physical stores, Merchant One offers the option to easily categorize transactions by location. In the event you'd prefer cashiers to have limitations on which transactions they can process, the Merchant One dashboard allows you to update permissions with the check of a box. Another great benefit, although it's not necessarily recommended, is that each sale requires just basic info: credit card number, expiration date and transaction amount. While this guarantees a quick transaction, Merchant One recommends capturing additional information to verify customers' identities. 

TipTip: Any information you use to capture a transaction can later be used as a token to search your business's transaction history if needed.

Merchant One Costs


Merchant One customizes pricing based on each company's needs, but these are the estimated rates you should expect to pay for Merchant One's processing services: 

  • Debit card transactions: 0.29%
  • Keyed-in transactions: 0.29% to 1.99%
  • Swiped transactions: 0.29% to 1.55%

As shown by the varying rates, Merchant One uses a tiered pricing system. For example, a low-volume or high-risk business may end up paying a larger transaction fee as a percentage of its sales than a high-volume or low-risk business. Be sure to obtain an estimate when you speak to a Merchant One sales representative. 

Monthly Fees

One benefit of Merchant One is its low monthly fees. Merchant One charges $6.95 per month for its base plan. This is much lower than most providers, although several alternative payment processors do not charge any monthly fees.

Early Termination Fee

All Merchant One accounts include a minimum three-year agreement. If you choose to cancel your contract early, you'll have to pay an early termination fee of $295 for each year remaining on your contract. While Merchant One has waived early termination fees for businesses in the past, it's important to understand the terms and conditions of your contract before signing an agreement. [Related article: What to Look for in Your Credit Card Processing Service Agreement]

PCI Compliance Fee

Merchant One stopped requiring business owners to pay a PCI compliance fee in 2015. Business owners who were Merchant One customers before 2015, however, may still be required to pay the $129 fee annually.  

Key TakeawayFYI: Merchant One, like many credit card processors, assesses higher fees for non-qualified transactions.

Equipment Costs

Merchant One does not require you to buy or lease credit card machines; it provides all customers with a basic terminal free of charge. If you prefer, you can pay to upgrade to a more advanced terminal instead. 


Setting up your Merchant One account requires you to get in touch with a sales agent for a customized quote. Contact information for Merchant One is available on its website. 

One particularly positive feature of Merchant One is its leniency when it comes to signing on new customers. The company approves 98% of new applicants and is willing to work with customers who have a less-than-ideal credit score. Its processing solutions are designed to work for different kinds of businesses, and this provider is known for its quick turnaround – it often has new customers up and running in just 24 hours.

Customer Service

With Merchant One, you'll receive dedicated 24/7 customer support from specialized agents. The company offers personalized recommendations to help you find the best plan for your business. It will then provide continual support to ensure you are satisfied with its services. However, Merchant One doesn't offer customer support options such as live chat or a knowledge base, which have become standard features for many competitors.

Merchant One has maintained an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau since 2010, as well as high scores on user review platforms such as Google and Trustpilot. Many customer complaints revolve around hidden fees, contracts and slow deposit times. 

Like some other credit card processing companies, Merchant One uses third-party sales agents. Carefully review the terms and conditions of your contract before signing. 


You should expect most of Merchant One's products and services to be pricey, potentially shutting out budget-conscious businesses. Merchant One also requires a three-year contract with an early termination fee. In addition to the expense, a long-term contract is simply less convenient than a month-to-month arrangement that you can cancel anytime.

Like many other processors, Merchant One offers "next-day" deposits, where customer payments clear and are deposited into your account within one day. In reality, customer complaints in user reviews indicate that funds often arrive two or three days later than advertised. Moreover, Merchant One assesses a fee for next-day deposits. Merchant One earns a lower score for deposit time based on the superior track records of other payment processors. 

Another potential downside, depending on which accounting system your business uses, is that Merchant One integrates most easily with QuickBooks. If your business uses a different software package, you'll have to contact customer support for a custom plugin. (If you haven't chosen your accounting software yet, learn more about this option in our QuickBooks Online review.)


To conduct our review of Merchant One's credit card processing service, we arranged a live demo with the Merchant One team, which gave us a walk-through of the product and conducted a thorough Q&A session. We also analyzed Merchant One's website, marketing materials and customer reviews. To make our decision, we zeroed in on criteria such as affordability, ease of use and features relevant to small businesses. In the end, we chose Merchant One's credit card processing service as the best for fast and easy approval because of its high approval rate and fast onboarding of new customers.


How much does Merchant One cost?

Merchant One costs $6.95 per month, plus a tiered processing fee ranging from 0.29% to 1.99% per transaction. 

Does Merchant One require a contract?

Yes, Merchant One requires a three-year contract. If you want to stop using the service before your three years are up, it charges an early termination fee of $295 for each year remaining on the contract.

Does Merchant One have a mobile app?

Yes, Merchant One has a mobile app that you can use to accept payments on the go. 

Overall Value

We recommend Clover credit card processing for …

  • Businesses that require fast approval and onboarding. 
  • Business owners who have less-than-stellar credit. 
  • Businesses that often need to pull up data on customer transactions. 

We don't recommend Clover credit card processing for …

  • Low-volume or high-risk businesses that may incur larger processing fees as a percentage of their sales. 
  • Business owners who don't want to be locked into a multiyear contract subject to an early termination fee.

Jamie Johnson contributed to the writing and research in this review.

Image Credit: radifanil / Getty Images
Merchant One

Merchant One

The Verdict

Merchant One has a wide range of features, seamless integration with many popular programs and a willingness to work with all small businesses. That's why it's our pick for a credit card processor with a fast and easy approval process.

Visit Site
Mike Berner
Mike Berner
Business News Daily Staff
Mike Berner is a staff writer at and Business News Daily specializing in finance. Mike has a deep background in the financial world, having written hundreds of articles and blog posts on financial markets, business and investing. He holds a B.A. in economics and a B.B.A. in finance, both from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to his writing career, he performed quantitative analysis and research as an economic analyst.