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Costco Payment Processing vs Clearly Payments

There are no long term contracts with Clearly Payments

Many processors have long term contracts that span 3 to 5 years. When you sign up for these contracts, it means there is a fee to get out of the contract. Sometimes this can be $500 or more. Cancellation fees are not merchant friendly. This is why Clearly Payments has no cancellation fees. According to Costco, there are no cancellation fees. Whenever you are comparing any payment processors, make sure you check for a cancellation fee.

Costco Merchant Account vs Clearly Payments

Costco payment processing and Clearly Payments both provide an actual merchant account for your business. Having a merchant account is different than getting a PayPal or Square account, which are aggregators which means you share a merchant account with thousands of merchants. Aggregator accounts have less control and less certainty in allowable processing levels and funding times. Aggregators are great for small businesses with less than $100,000 per year in revenue, however, larger businesses should move to an actual merchant account. Here is a summary of the benefits of a merchant account.

The Costco merchant account has similar features to Clearly Payments. Funding from transactions arrive in your bank account either the same day or next day, but less than 24 hours. This means fast cash flow for merchants. You’re able to accept credit cards from anywhere in the world. 

Pricing for Costco payment processing versus Clearly Payments

Pricing is where Clearly Payments outshines Costco payment processing. The main point is that you should make sure you watch out for advertised rates in credit card processing. There are no advertising standards in the payment processing industry. Sometimes you’ll see pricing as low as 1.22%, as you see with Costco. What’s not clear is that there are other costs such as non-qualified charges. 

Non-qualified rates are something merchants should never hear. It basically means that a merchant gets charged extra fees whenever anything but the most basic credit card is used. If you hear that term, it means you’re on tiered pricing with a merchant discount rate. It’s best to avoid tiered pricing.

If any payment processor truly gives 1.22%, they are losing money so be careful with those advertised rates. Saying you will get 1.22% is misleading.

What you should find out is your effective rate. That’s your rate including all fees. It’s the true way to compare rates among payment processors. 

Transaction fees are other fees you should watch out for. There is no need to pay $0.12 or $0.25 for every transaction you make. Clearly Payments charges below $0.10.

Costco credit card processing fees
Costco tiered pricing

Clearly Payments has the mission to lower payment processing fees forever. We beat the price of any other payment processor. In addition, we only use the most merchant-friendly pricing methods. We have never used tiered pricing because it is not transparent. We focus on interchange plus, flat-fee pricing, or a membership plan.

Credit card machines (payment terminals) and other hardware at Costco compared to Clearly Payments

When you look at payment terminals in the market, it’s pretty clear that they are all quite similar. Ingenico and Verifone are the most popular. You can learn more about choosing the best credit card machines. Almost all payment processors sell the same payment terminals, even Costco and Clearly Payments. From large banks to boutique payment processors, they mostly use Ingenico and Verifone. 

Hardware is not the problem in the payment industry. The problem is fees and transparency. Some payment processors will sell you a terminal for $1500 or rent them to you for $50 per month. Clearly Payments rents them for $18. If one ever breaks, we’ll swap it out for a new one. This is the most merchant-friendly and inexpensive way to get a credit card machine.

Switching from Costco to Clearly Payments

Contact us anytime to get a true rate comparison for free. Send us a recent statement and we’ll compare your current rates with what you would have with Clearly Payments. We’ll even help explain how to read your statement line by line if you like.

In the end, the Clearly Payments mission is to drive down the cost of accepting payments. We aim to be the cheapest payment processor. Period.