Elavon Review: Is It Any Good?

Elavon Review: Is It Any Good?

Elavon can be great for businesses processing over $10,000 per month. It comes with competitive fixed-rate pricing, and a standard suite of features like transaction and inventory tracking. Since it's a large company, Elavon is also able to provide custom solutions for businesses that require it, making it quite versatile. If all you care about is cost, and have simple requirements when it comes to the features you need, Helcim will likely be a better choice.

Review: Is Elavon Good For Your Business?

Elavon is one of the better of the large credit card processors. The company services over 1 million merchants, and is part of U.S. Bank's Payment Services division. In our experience, these types of processors are usually reluctant to share fee information, and come with a lot of overhead costs. While it's not perfect, Elevon is certainly better than a lot of its competitors in that regard. With Elavon, small business owners pay a flat 2.65% + $0.19 fee per transaction, which is lower than what you'd pay with other well known fixed rate credit card processors, like Square. However, we don't recommend you go with Elavon unless you are processing over $10,000 per month, because of its $10 monthly fee.

Good For…Bad For…
Mid and large sized businessesThose processing less than $10,000 per month
Companies that need custom solutions for their processingFirms looking for interchange plus pricing to save on debit transactions

When it comes to ancillary features, Elavon delivers. It has a good reporting dashboard that provides support for businesses with both single and multiple locations. The Elavon sales reps will work with business owners on a case-by-case basis to provide other types of solutions as well. For example, if you run a restaurant and need a tablet POS system to handle tips, Elavon will be able to accommodate you.

It's worth pointing out that we've come across a multitude of complaints from Elavon customers online. These usually center around hidden fees that drove up their total costs. While we are unable to verify such claims, we still advise you to tread carefully, making sure you read over any agreements before signing on. Elavon has hundreds of resellers that create and market their services, so sometimes your experience can vary depending on the sales rep you end up speaking with.

Bottom Line: We recommend Elavon to mid-sized and large businesses for whom the cost seems reasonable when compared to other options.

Elavon Benefits, Fees & Features

Elavon provides solutions for both small businesses and large enterprise-level companies, and the two are priced separately. For the purposes of this review, we focus on Elavon's small business offering. Their plans for larger firms don't disclose any information, since they are priced on a case-by-case basis.

Elavon Credit Card Processing Details
Transaction Cost
  • 2.65% + $0.19
  • 3.5% + $0.19
Monthly Fee$10
Card Reader Cost$24.99 (Magtek aDynamo) - $499.00 (Ingenico iCT250)
Supports Apple/Android Pay?Yes

Elavon comes with plans for both storefront and mobile credit card processing, though there is no price difference between the two, outside of equipment cost. You pay a fixed 2.65% + $0.19 per swiped transaction, and 3.5% + $0.19 per keyed-in transaction. This is on the lower end of the price spectrum, especially among fixed-rate plans. Elavon's website makes no mention of interchange plus pricing, which would be more beneficial to companies processing a significant amount of debit transactions. Whether you sign up for mobile or terminal processing, know that there is a $10 monthly fee charged to the account.

All your transactions are reported through MerchantConnect — a fairly robust online dashboard. You will also use this to manage any chargebacks filed against your business. MerchantConnect Basic supports businesses with a single location, and stores transaction history for up to 6 months. If you have multiple branches, you'll want to use MerchantConnect Premium instead, which allows multiple user log-ins and saves transaction history for 12 months.

Elavon and its readers are capable of processing credit cards through Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. If you want to accept payments online, Elavon handles this through their Converge platform, though they make no details available about how this is priced or packaged.

What Does Credit Card Processing With Elavon Cost?

To provide business owners with better clarity, we wanted to estimate what Elavon will cost your company on a monthly basis. To do this, we used the rates published to their website, and modeled this across different monthly sales volumes and average transaction amounts — the two factors that will most influence cost.

Monthly Transactions

$10 Avg Sale$25 Avg Sale$200 Avg Sale

How Does Elavon Compare To Other Credit Card Processors?

When reviewing Elavon, we considered how it compares to other options available to small business owners. Below are our thoughts and recommendations that you should read through, before making a final decision.

Elavon vs Helcim

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We recommend Helcim over Elavon for most merchants who are concerned about cost. Even though it charges a slightly higher monthly fee, Helcim comes with interchange plus pricing, which is cheaper than Elavon's fixed prices, especially when it comes to processing debit card transactions. On average, interchange plus pricing comes out to around 2.2% + $0.22 per transaction, after all assessments are considered.

Our recommendation of Helcim is contingent upon it having all the benefits and features you need to smoothly run your business. Since Elavon is a far larger company, you may find it can provide you with more customized solutions. Therefore, if at the end of the day if the processing solutions or reporting infrastructure on Helcim aren't compatible with your company, Elavon may be the better choice.

Interesting Note: Helcim actually uses Elavon to set up their merchant accounts. They're one of Elavon's hundreds of independent sales organizations (ISOs).

Helcim Highlights

  • Interchange Plus Pricing
  • Monthly fees between $12 and $25
  • No monthly minimums
  • Full Review

Elavon vs Square

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Square is one of the best solutions for companies that are just starting out and processing less than $10,000 per month. Though the per transaction cost is higher on Square than it is on Elavon, 2.75% vs 2.65%, there's no monthly fee. Therefore, if you're processing less than $10k per month, the money you save by skipping the monthly fee will outweigh the marginal increase in the transaction cost.

If you're a mid-to-large sized business, Elavon will serve you better than Square, because it can provide more reliable service, better customer support, and a dedicated merchant account. Business owners who process a lot of transactions through Square often report account freezes or other problems that can be difficult to resolve, unless you have an enterprise account. Therefore, if you're after greater stability we highly recommend going with Elavon.

Square Highlights

  • 2.75%/swiped transaction
  • No monthly fees or minimums
  • Full Review

Yowana is a former product analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in credit cards, rewards programs and travel. He previously covered mortgages, banking and insurance for the website. Yowana graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.