Many businesses are now choosing zero-cost credit card processing to increase revenue and reduce costs. It is also referred to as zero-fee, allowing credit card processing without a fee for the merchant. However, this cost is passed on to the consumer.

Though the charges vary from one processor to another, it doesn’t exceed 4%. The customer gets a notification of the additional cost once they swipe their card. It will also give them an option to accept or cancel the transaction. As a result, the client covers the fee giving a merchant 100% of the sale.

A zero-fee option for online payment processing helps in reducing operating costs significantly. This process is surcharging credit cards, and merchants must meet various criteria to use it. Additionally, it has advantages and disadvantages.

What to Consider in a Free Credit Card Processor

Businesses lacking enough cash flow and sales volumes to cover credit card processing fees can significantly benefit from surcharging. However, a merchant should carefully research this model before choosing it. Whether operating high-risk merchant services or others, one should look at various factors such as:

Credit Card Processing and Pricing Fees

There is no completely free payment processing solution. Though a merchant passes on the processing cost to the clients, they still need to pay additional fees. For this reason, the merchant should carefully read the contract. Some charges they should look out for include services, convenience, equipment, and PCI compliance fees.

Additional pricing also applies in high-risk industries. For this reason, a merchant should calculate these extra costs and how they can add up. They can then compare them across various payment processors to find a favorable deal.

POS Requirements

Another factor to consider when looking for a payment processor is the point of sale requirement. In the no-fee deal, many processors include the free setup of equipment. As a result, a merchant can save time. However, it can entail getting stuck with a lease of the equipment.

Additionally, through pre-programmed equipment can be convenient, one should be wary of them. They can lead to one being stuck in a long-term contract. The merchant can also be required to buy the equipment if they decide to change the payment processor.

Advantages of Zero-Cost Credit Card Processing

Zero-cost credit card processing has numerous business befits. First, it helps a merchant avoid hefty monthly fees from the merchant. Additionally, they can invest most of the profit into the business, leading to growth. Also, the merchant can adjust the pricing for their product to fit one’s needs.

This option offers more security as it ensures the credit card processing company retains all the sensitive information. For this reason, they can prevent fraud related to online payment processing options, especially in high-risk industries. Additionally, it ensures the merchant avoids being responsible for invalid credit charges.

Notably, many providers of this option do not lock merchants into long-term contracts or equipment fees. As a result, they can get started quickly.

Disadvantages of the Zero-Credit Card Processing Program

Though this plan can significantly benefit a merchant, it has some disadvantages one should consider before signing a contract. First, there are fees that a merchant should pay that include recurring and incidental costs. Notably, these can be common in other credit card processing programs. However, a merchant with a no-fee option can be charged monthly for surcharging.

A merchant should ensure these fees do not cost more without the program. It may not make sense to have this option if it is a cash-only business or relies on other online payment processing methods.

Users should be informed of any impending additional costs. For this reason, a business can lose a few customers when they realize they can incur additional charges. A merchant should ensure they have ways they can attract and retain such customers to avoid losing revenue.

Though they can decide to use other payment options, this may not work well for users who love to take advantage of credit card reward programs. As a result, they can choose to shop in other stores. Moreover, surcharging only applies to credit cards, and customers can use debit cards to pay for services.

Competitor analysis can help a merchant learn how to deal with these fees. Successful businesses may have tried several options before choosing one that works. These insights can help a merchant make the right decision for their business.

Types of Businesses Working Well Zero-Credit Card Processing

Not all businesses can work well with no-fee credit card processing. Some companies that can benefit from this option include high-risk merchants, enterprise-level, and small businesses.

High-risk merchants are those in risky industries or with irregular volumes. As a result, high-risk merchant services can include zero-credit card processing programs to help merchants invest back into their businesses. It is the same for small businesses such as small cafes, retailers, and others, where each additional merchant services charges can cripple a business.


Credit card processing is crucial for businesses that want to thrive. Most people prefer cashless payments. A zero-credit card processing program helps a business grow by eliminating additional charges. However, many customers do not appreciate having these costs passed on to them. A business needs to weigh the pros and cons before making this decision.