PayAnywhere Review: Should You Use It For Your Business?

PayAnywhere Review: Should You Use It For Your Business?

PayAnywhere’s Mobile credit card processing can be a good platform for businesses that are just starting out and need a way to accept payments in-person. On the other hand, their Storefront plan has hidden fees that can really cost businesses with less than $5,000 in monthly sales. PayAnywhere doesn’t provide any options for eCommerce credit card processing, so keep that in mind when making your decision.

Review: Should You Get PayAnywhere for Credit Card Processing?

PayAnywhere can be a good credit card processor for companies that do over $5,000 in monthly sales and don’t need any online eCommerce solutions. If you’re doing below $5k in sales, you’ll be better off choosing a processor like Square instead.

Good For…Bad For…
Businesses that do over $5,000 in monthly salesFirms that need online credit card processing
Companies that want cheap NFC mobile card readersThose who want good customer support over all else

PayAnywhere is predominantly focused on providing mobile credit card processing, competing with the likes of PayPal and Square. The chief disadvantages of their services is how expensive they can be for low-volume merchants, and the lack of inventory-tracking features on their mobile app. Though these things will only matter to some merchants, it’s something that is important to point out.

Out of all the services we reviewed, this is also one of the only mobile credit card processors to come with pre-authorization. This feature allows you to hold your customer’s funds for up to 7 days, which can be good for appointment-based businesses or inns. Neither Square nor PayPal come with this kind of feature.

You should know that PayAnywhere is a processing aggregator, like Square, which means you miss out on benefits you’d get through a merchant account. The biggest issue with aggregators is they historically have worse customer support, and are more prone to account freezes. If you’re processing over $10,000 in monthly sales, you should really consider signing up with a merchant account that will not only process your credit card payments, but also give you an account representative and more dedicated support.

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of PayAnywhere’s app or their cheap NFC/EMV reader, they are worth your consideration. We’re also fans of the pre-authorization features offered, that allow you to hold a customer’s funds up to 7 days in advance. Keep in mind that the Storefront plan is ill suited for businesses doing less than $5,000 in sales because of its high fees and overhead costs.

PayAnywhere Up Fees, Features & Benefits

PayAnywhere offers two plans for their customers, both of which are centered around in-person processing. Unfortunately, PayAnywhere currently does not support any eCommerce options for businesses wishing to sell things online.

PayAnywhere Credit Card ProcessingStorefrontMobile
Transaction Cost
  • Swiped, dipped, or tapped 1.69-2.69%
  • Keyed-in: 3.69% + $0.19
  • Commercial Cards: 2.69%
  • Swiped, dipped, or tapped: 2.69%
  • Keyed-in: 3.49% + $0.19
Monthly Fee$12.95None
Monthly MinimumBusinesses with less than $5,000 in monthly sales are charged $79 per monthNone
Equipment CostFree tablet, stand with built-in reader (Non-NFC), $39.95 per reader (EMV/NFC Ready)$39.95 per reader (EMV/NFC Ready)

The Storefront option should only be considered by businesses doing more than $5,000 in transactions each month. Falling below this threshold will result in a monthly volume fee of $79, which is extremely high. With the Storefront plan, businesses owners are given a free Android tablet that will work as your POS terminal -- capturing customer signatures, and giving you the ability to use PayAnywhere’s app to manage sales accounts and more. The tablet reader accepts EMV payments, but cannot process NFC contactless payments, like ApplePay. If you wish for your business to come with NFC-support, you’ll need to purchase the $39.95 3-in-1 reader that hooks up to mobile devices.

A screenshot of PayAnywhere's in-App reporting dashboard.

Note that PayAnywhere only charges 1.69% per swipe for non-rewards and non-commercial cards. Their small print says reward cards and commercial cards are charged 2.69%, just like the Mobile plan.

The Mobile plan has no monthly fees, but significantly higher per-swipe fees. It charges 2.69% per swipe, which is a fixed rate akin to processors like Square and PayPal. While it has no monthly fees or minimums, the Mobile plan does have an inactivity fee. If you don’t process a transaction for 12 months, PayAnywhere will charge you $3.99 per month until you start making sales again.

PayAnywhere is one of the few processors we’ve come across to allow pre-authorization of purchases. This allows you to prepare a sale, placing a hold on your customer’s funds, but not processing the it immediately. PayAnywhere customers are available to pre-authorize transactions for up to 7 days. This service is useful for appointment-based businesses or bed-and-breakfasts.

You can download the PayAnywhere app and take it for a test drive, without the need to register an account. The app is available on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. We recommend business owners do this to see if the type of reporting and tracking is enough. There are some notable features missing from the app, though it may not be a big deal for all retailers. PayAnywhere doesn’t allow you to track inventory on a per item basis. That is not to say the app is useless. You can get detailed reports of past sales, track performence and more.

How Much Can PayAnywhere Up Credit Card Processing Cost Your Business

We modeled the cost of using PayAnywhere for various credit card processing needs so that you can have a better idea of the actual costs involved. For both Mobile and Storefront pricing, we assumed all of your transactions were swiped, and non-commercial. We also assumed 70% of the cards were reward cards, and 30% were non-reward cards. Your actual costs will depend highly on the makeup of your these card types.

Transaction Volume (Monthly)StorefrontMobile

How Does PayAnywhere Compare to Other Credit Card Processors?

As every business owner will know, anyone who wants the best deal should shop around. That is why as part of our review, we wanted to compare PayAnywhere to other credit card processing options. In this section, we took a look at how PayAnywhere stacks up against the likes of Square and PayPal.

PayAnywhere vs Square

{"align":"left","buttonColor":"primary","buttonIcon":"lock","buttonText":"Apply Now","category":"credit_card_processors","className":"","cloudinaryImageName":"referral_logos\/us\/credit_card_processors\/square-1","cssNamespace":"AffiliateBanner","context":"","disclaimers":[""],"isButtonSquare":false,"isUnavailable":false,"link":"https:\/\/\/7BP33","name":"Square"}

We generally recommend Square to most business owners who are choosing between it and PayAnywhere. Square is significantly less expensive than PayAnywhere, especially for businesses doing less than $5,000 in monthly sales. This processor has no monthly fees or minimums, even if with Square's equivalent of the Storefront option. In terms of processing costs, Square is marginally more expensive, charging 2.75% per transaction, compared to the 2.69% on the PayAnywhere Mobile plan.

In terms of the robustness of the apps and dashboards, Square is more sophisticated than PayAnywhere. First of all, you can generate all the same types of reports about your business as you would using the PayAnywhere app. In addition to that, there is inventory tracking that can be managed down to a store-level -- something we noted is lacking from the PayAnywhere app.

Another advantage of using Square over PayAnywhere is the fact that it includes eCommerce support. If you have both a brick-and-mortar location and a website where you sell your goods or services, Square will be able to handle both for you.

Square Highlights

  • 2.75% per transaction, and 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction
  • No monthly fees or minimums
  • Better dashboard and inventory tracking
  • Square Review

PayAnywhere vs PayPal

{"align":"left","buttonColor":"primary","buttonIcon":"lock","buttonText":"Apply Now","category":"credit_card_processors","className":"","cloudinaryImageName":"referral_logos\/us\/credit_card_processors\/paypal-1","cssNamespace":"AffiliateBanner","context":"","disclaimers":[""],"isButtonSquare":false,"isUnavailable":false,"link":"https:\/\/\/us\/webapps\/mpp\/merchant-fees#fixed-fee-for-virtual-terminal","name":"PayPal"}

PayPal is another popular credit card processor that will work well for business owners who need both in-person and online solutions. Since PayAnywhere doesn’t offer any online services, we will focus our comparison on PayPal’s retail solutions, known as PayPal Here.

From a cost stand-point, PayPal and PayAnywhere are almost identical. The former charges 2.7% for every transaction, compared to PayAnywhere’s 2.69%. PayAnywhere may be more affordable, however, for businesses that use the Storefront plan, due to their lower rates, but this should only apply to those making over $5,000 in sales every month. Other than that, PayPal has no no annual or monthly fees, and no minimums just like PayAnywhere.

Unlike PayAnywhere, PayPal doesn’t offer any useful free hardware to get you started, which is a little disappointing. We specify “useful”, because technically you do get one free card reader. However, the card reader cannot process chips, making it essentially useless as no business should be using these outdated credit card machines. PayPal’s NFC reader costs $79, which is almost double the cost of the NFC reader offered by PayAnywhere.

PayPal Highlights

  • 2.7% per in-person transaction, and 2.9% + $0.30 for each online payment
  • No monthly fees or minimums
  • Worse card reader options
  • PayPal Here 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.