Payline Data: Is It A Credit Card Processor Worth Using?

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Payline Data: Is It A Credit Card Processor Worth Using?

Great processor with transparent pricing

Good for

  • Businesses of all sizes
  • Retailers that want integration into their current POS

Bad for

  • E-commerce
  • Firms that want to be able to project the cost of processing reliably every month

Editor's Rating


Payline Data can be a good credit card processor for any retail business. They offer competitive pricing plans targeted at both small and large businesses. All plans offer enough features that make this provider a good value. If you are running an e-commerce site, or would like to always know exactly how much you will pay for credit card processing, you may want to consider other processors, like Square or Stripe. These alternatives offer even more straightforward pricing models, and can be integrated into a web environment at low costs.

Review: Our Thoughts On Payline Data Credit Card Processing

Payline Data is a good payment processor that offers competitive pricing for retail credit card and debit card transactions. The three different plans you can sign up for should cover most business needs – from startups to more established mid-sized businesses. However, unless you are transacting less than $4,975 per month you shouldn’t bother signing up for the cheapest package. Doing so would increase your cost in the end, even with no monthly fees.

Good For…Bad For…
Businesses of all sizesE-commerce
Retailers that want integration into their current POSFirms that want to be able to project the cost of processing reliably every month

Payline uses an interchange plus pricing structure, which is something we like to see from payment processors. It’s one of the most transparent in the market. However, the issue with this is that it may still be difficult to forecast your payment processing expenses. They will vary month-to-month depending on the types of cards your customers use. If you are looking for total transparency, we recommend going with a processor like Square instead.

While we say Payline Data is transparent, there are still some costs that require a little bit of digging to get to. The most notable is the cost of American Express processing. If you have customers who like to pay with Amex cards, you will be charged a higher fee than normal. The exact amount depends on the final checkout price. We break this down in more detail below.

The biggest issue some business owners may have with Payline is the fact that it comes with monthly fees and minimums. These add additional overhead costs that are becoming less and less popular, especially since companies like Square and PayPal do away with them completely. Still, when it comes to fees Payline is definitely not the worst offender. Out of the dozens of card processors we looked at, they are on the cheaper end of things.

Bottom Line: We like Payline Data as a credit card processor. They have some of the most reasonably priced options for business owners, and are fairly transparent about the costs involved.

Payline Data Fees,Features & Benefits

Payline Data offers three packages for credit card processing, each of which is aimed at different types of businesses. Payline Spark and Surge are intended for small shops that are okay with only having mobile card readers for their payments. Payline Shop is the enterprise solution that allows businesses to have tabletop card readers. This is also the most expensive one of the three.

All Payline card payment solutions employ an interchange plus pricing model, which is one of the most transparent in the industry. The cost to process payments will be the interchange fee of a card, which differs based on things like network and card type, plus a markup from Payline that is between 0.3% and 0.5%. We estimate that, on average, businesses can expect to pay between 2.05% and 2.25% plus $0.30 per credit card transaction. However, note that this can vary greatly, depending on the type of credit cards you accept. For example, Visa Signature rewards credit cards will be more expensive to process than non-rewards cards.

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Payline Data Credit Card ProcessingSparkSurgeShop
Transaction Cost (*Estimated)2.25%2.05%2.05%
Monthly FeeNone$9.95$19.95
Monthly Minimum$25$25$25
Equipment Cost$49 (first one free)$149 (first one free)$149 - $349 (first one free)

Which Payline Data Credit Card Processing Plan Is Best: Spark vs Surge vs Shop

Payline Spark should only be considered by businesses processing below $4,975 in payments each month. Anything above that, and it makes sense to start paying a monthly fee for a lower markup.

The difference between Payline Surge and Payline Shop is a little less cut and dry. Both charge the same fees per transaction, but come with very different monthly charges. Payline Surge is the less expensive of the two with just a $9.95 monthly fee. However, while it’s cheaper, all your card readers will need to be hooked up to a mobile device to work. This can be less than ideal for businesses that get a lot of foot traffic. Tabletop readers, like the ones you get with the Payline Shop plan can scale better with your business. The downside is that Payline Shop charges $19.95 per month, which is on the more expensive side. Payline Shop can also integrate into existing POS solutions your business may have, while Surge requires the mobile reader plus a mobile device to work.

Payline Data Ecommerce Plan

Payline Data provides solutions for online businesses as well, though you will need to purchase a separate plan for this. Their Payline Connect plan charges a 0.65% markup on top of the interchange fee. Therefore your per-transaction cost will vary between 2.4% and 3.4%, with the interchange fees accounted for. Like with retail solutions, your cost will be greater if you accept American Express cards as well.

Other than that, the e-commerce plan doesn't charge any extra fees. There are no monthly minimums or monthly fees involved.

How Much Can Payline Data Credit Card Processing Cost Your Business

We ran Payline Data through a few simulations to estimate the monthly cost to your business. Note that in our model, we assumed the average transaction cost was $75 and the average interchange fee was 1.75%.

Transaction Volume (Monthly)Payline SparkPayline SurgePayline Shop

American Express

Note that pricing is different for American Express cards. Your fees will differ based on the dollar amount of each transaction. The table below shows the exact costs.

Transaction AmountTransaction Fee
Below $752.4%
$75 - $1,0002.75%

How Does Payline Data Compare To Other Credit Card Processors?

We took a look at how Payline Data performs against other popular credit card processors. You should always shop around and compare different options when selecting any merchant service account or payment processor. This will ensure you get the best rates. While we talk directionally about how costs compare across these different processors, you won’t truly know until you obtain a quote yourself.

Payline Data vs Stripe

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Stripe is an online-only credit card processor that has a simpler pricing structure than Payline Data. It charges a flat 2.9% + $0.30 for all transactions, no matter the network or card type. This can have its advantages and disadvantages. The plus side of a fixed pricing structure is that you can better project the cost of card processing. At the same time, however, you may end up paying more in the end, because you’ll be paying more for things like select debit payments with Stripe than you would with Payline Data.

Stripe and Payline Data both give you access to a free API that allows developers to work it into a customer checkout. You can also use both these processors with a pre-build e-commerce service, though these may come with additional costs.

Stripe Details

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction (online only)
  • No monthly fees
  • No monthly minimum
  • Stripe Review

Payline Data vs PayPal

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PayPal may be a better credit card processor than Payline Data for online transactions, but it’s not as robust for handling offline payments. When you use it for processing retail transactions, PayPal will charge you a fixed 2.7% fee. You’re likely to get a better deal through using Payline. PayPal also doesn’t offer as many retail options – there are just two card readers available, only one of which is EMV-ready.

When it comes to online transactions, PayPal dominates just like Stripe. There is, however, one major problem. If you want access to an API, you will need to pay PayPal $30 per month for their PaymentsPro service. Without it, you won’t be able to build the checkout directly into your website. Outside of that, however, PayPal’s pricing is much more competitive. You have the option to use PayPal's own website for checkout, which can be a good thing for those without a developer to integrate a custom API.

PayPal Highlights

  • 2.7% fee for all retail transactions, 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction
  • $30 monthly fee for PayPal Payments Pro, for those who want a custom checkout
  • Only two card readers
  • PayPal Review

Payline Data vs Square

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Square probably offers the best mix between online and offline credit card processing. It’s less expensive for mid-sized businesses to scale with Square, due to the relatively cheap tabletop terminals. Payline Data charges monthly fees and offers fewer card reader options for businesses. This is especially true for companies that want a tabletop reader. You need to pay $20 per month plus pay hundreds of dollars for them with Payline. Square, on the other hand, doesn’t have any monthly fees at any level, and sells tabletop terminals for $99.

When it comes to processing payments online, Square has the same advantages over Payline as PayPal and Stripe. You pay one fixed fee, making costs easier to project. Payline may be more or less expensive, depending on a number of factors like the types of credit cards your customers use, the breakdown between debit and credit payments, and more. These may even change month-to-month. If you want a reliable way to approximate your costs, Square will be the better way to go.

Square Highlights

  • 2.75% per swiped retail transaction
  • No monthly fees
  • Plenty of affordable card reader options
  • Square Review