The 5 Best Payment Apps for Small Business

Updated on April 26, 2020
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Payment apps have become an essential financial tool for businesses and consumers alike. After all, as a business owner, you likely have customers who want to pay with contactless payments, vendors who prefer to invoice online, and competitors who are moving all of their payment processing onto smart devices.

In short, if you’re not currently using a mobile payment app to accept, process, and monitor payments, you’ll want to consider how one of these products can benefit your business.

This being said, however, with all of the payment apps available on the market—including those that are consumer-focused—it can be difficult to sort through the options and find the solution that’s right for your business.

We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll break down the best payment apps for small businesses—discussing their features, pricing, and more—so that you have all the information you need to meet your business needs.

The Top Mobile Payment Apps for Small Businesses

Payment App Features Pricing Best for:
-Accept and process payments on smartphone or tablet
-Take and fulfill orders
-Track inventory, manage employees, and more
2.6% + $0.10 per magstripe, chip, or contactless payment, 3.5% + $0.15 per key-in payment
Brick-and-mortar business owners who want a full-service mobile POS system
-Receive free wired payments
-Send free invoices
-Integrate with accounting software
$0; $20 fee to change local currency to USD when sending or receiving international payments
Service or B2B businesses who are looking for the simplest, most affordable way to send and receive online payments
-Accept and process variety of payment methods online
-Integrate with ecommerce platforms and other merchant service providers
-Monitor transactions and utilize fraud protection tools
$25 monthly gateway fee; 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction or $0.10 per transaction, plus $0.10 daily batch fee depending on plan
Online businesses who need a secure and reliable payment gateway to accept payments
-Accept and process a variety of payment methods through smartphone or tablet
-Customize taxes, discounts, tipping, receipts
-Automatically sync with QuickBooks
2.4% + $0.25 per swipe, dip, or contactless transaction, 3.4% + $0.25 per key-in transaction
QuickBooks users who are looking for a simple mobile POS to accept in-person payments
-Accept and process a variety of payment methods through smartphone or tablet
-Customize your business profile, receipts, and sales tax
-Create your product list, manage employees, and track sales
2.7% per transaction for tapped, dipped, and swiped payments;3.5% + $0.15 per transaction for keyed-in card payments
Service-based businesses, B2B businesses, and online-based businesses who occasionally want to accept payments in-person

1. Square

The Square payment app for small businesses—Square Point of Sale—is one of the most powerful mobile payment apps on the market. By pairing the Square payment app with a mobile card reader, you’ll be able to convert your smartphone or tablet into a fully-functional mobile POS.

Pros:

  • Free software app
  • Free hardware included with account
  • Full mobile POS features
  • Flat-rate, simple pricing

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest processing fees
  • Account stability problems

Features

As a fully-functional mobile POS, the Square payment app includes everything you need to take orders, accept and process payments, send or print receipts, and issue refunds.

Additionally, Square allows you to accept tips, record cash and gift cards, apply discounts, customize your product list, and review sales history and data.

Moreover, the Square payment app gives you the ability to track inventory, manage employees, and connect to peripheral devices like receipt printers, bar code scanners, and cash drawers.

The Square app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices—including both smartphones and tablets.

Pricing

This mobile payment app is free to download and use, although Square fees apply to the transactions that you process through the app.

For every card that you tap, dip, or swipe, Square charges a processing fee of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. For any card payments that you manually enter or run using card on file, you’ll pay 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction in processing fees.

This being said, Square includes a free magstripe card reader with your account, but you’ll have to pay for any additional hardware you need.

Best for:

When it comes down to it, Square is the best payment app solution for business owners who are looking for an all-inclusive mobile point of sale system. With Square’s free app, they offer a variety of capabilities that you won’t often find with other mobile payment apps.

Plus, with a free card reader included with your account, Square is a great option for small brick-and-mortar businesses who need a flexible, user-friendly way to accept payments in-person.

On the other hand, however, it’s important to mention that although Square charges flat-rate credit card processing fees, they’re certainly not the cheapest processing fees on the market. Additionally, as a payment service provider—which aggregates their customers’ funds in one merchant account and then distributes them—Square is often criticized for their account stability issues—in which merchants have their accounts frozen or terminated with little notice.

Nevertheless, as a feature-rich, user-friendly, mobile POS, the Square payment app is certainly worth considering.

Read our full review of Square POS.

2. Veem

On the other hand, if you’re exclusively looking for payment processing, then Veem might be the best payment app solution for your business. Unlike Square, however, Veem is first and foremost a web-based app—meaning although you can access the web version on your mobile device, Veem does not offer a downloadable app from an app store.

Pros:

  • Free to receive U.S. payments and send invoices
  • Competitive foreign exchange rates
  • No hardware required

Cons:

Features

Although Veem doesn’t offer the same full-service mobile POS that Square does, Veem is a straight-forward, extremely low-cost payment app.

With Veem, you can receive payments at no cost, as well as send invoices for free. Veem simplifies the traditional lengthy payment process by using blockchain and cutting out the multiple middle-men that bank wires typically involve.

Therefore, all you have to do is send an online link to receive payments from your customers.

Additionally, with your Veem account you’ll also receive QuickBooks or Xero integration, multi-party sending, requests, and approvals, PayMe button and checkout page, payment tracking, and more—with no monthly subscription fees.

Pricing

Of all the payment app options out there, Veem is likely one of the most affordable.

Veem doesn’t charge anything for you to receive payments or send invoices. You can even receive payments internationally, in a local currency, for $0. If you want to keep international payments in USD, however, you’ll have to pay a $20 fee.

Additionally, if you want to send payments using Veem, you can do so for low fees. To send payments in the U.S., you’ll only pay $1 per payment. Plus, if you want to send international payments, you can do this as well—with no charge as long as you’re sending it in a local currency.

If you want to send an international payment in USD, the payment receiver will have to pay a $20 fee.

Best for: 

When it comes down to it, the Veem payment app is one of the best options for business owners who are looking to eliminate processing fees and receive customer or B2B payments in the most affordable way.

Without a doubt, Veem is the most affordable payment app on this list—and you’ll be able to use it from any computer or web browser.

This being said, however, it’s important to note that Veem only deals in online payments. Additionally, Veem does not allow you to accept online credit card payments either, but instead operates with bank transfers.

In this way, although Veem’s simplicity and ease of use are significant advantages, this app may be lacking for certain types of businesses.

Read our full review of Veem.

3. Authorize.Net

If you’re mostly looking to accept online payments, Authorize.Net might be the best payment app for your business. Authorize.Net provides a secure payment gateway to allow you to accept and process credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, digital wallets, and more.

Pros:

  • No long-term contract
  • Works with resellers and numerous integrations
  • Variety of payment types accepted

Cons:

  • Requires merchant services through a separate provider
  • Monthly gateway fee
  • Slow processing

Features

The Authorize.Net payment gateway will allow your business to accept secure payments through their website by handling the intricacies of the card payment process through their secure router.

From the forward-facing online transaction process, to the behind-the-scenes communications between the multiple financial entities involved in the transaction, Authorize.Net handles everything necessary to safely and quickly accept online payments.

This being said, Authorize.Net requires a merchant account—which you can acquire on your own or work with Authorize.Net to get one from their partners. With your merchant account, you’ll be able to integrate Authorize.Net with various ecommerce platforms to accept online payments, as well as integrate this payment gateway with payment solutions from other merchant service providers.

Pricing

Authorize.Net offers two pricing plans: the all-in-one option and the payment gateway only. With the all-in-one option, you’ll pay $25 per month for access to their payment gateway and to receive a merchant account through one of their partners. Then, you’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction in processing fees.

With the payment gateway only option, you’ll pay the same $25 monthly fee, but only $0.10 per transaction, as well as a $0.10 daily batch fee.

Best for:

Similar to Veem, Authorize.Net is not the same type of mobile payment app as Square. Instead, Authorize.Net provides the technology necessary for businesses to accept online payments.

Therefore, Authorize.Net is best-suited for larger, internet-based companies that will be processing a high-volume of online payments—and want to be able to do so quickly and securely.

Additionally, if you already have a merchant account and merchant services through another provider, it’s very likely that you can use Authorize.Net to facilitate your online payment process.

This being said, although Authorize.Net does offer a downloadable mobile app to accept payments on-the-go, this isn’t likely to be your most efficient or affordable option for in-person payments.

Read our full review of Authorize.Net.

4. QuickBooks GoPayment

Next, if you’re a QuickBooks user, you might consider QuickBooks GoPayment as the best payment app for your business.

Compared to Veem and Authorize.Net, QuickBooks GoPayment is much more similar to Square in that it allows you to process keyed-in, camera-scanned, magstripe, chip, and contactless payments, using your smartphone or tablet.

Pros:

  • Affordable, flat-rate pricing
  • No monthly fees
  • Syncs automatically with QuickBooks accounts
  • Free hardware when you sign up

Cons:

  • Requires a QuickBooks account
  • Limited mobile POS features

Features

With QuickBooks GoPayment, you’ll be able to process and record a variety of payments through your smartphone or tablet. To allow you to accept in-person payments, QuickBooks offers two EMV-compliant hardware options—the first of which is included free with your account when you sign up.

Additionally, this mobile payment app will give you the ability to manually enter credit card payments, as well as save those cards on-file for future use. QuickBooks GoPayment also includes automatic syncing with QuickBooks, easily taxable transactions, custom tipping, custom percentage and dollar-amount discounting, and virtual receipts through text and email.

Moreover, QuickBooks will transfer the funds you receive from your payments as soon as the next business day.

Pricing

This mobile payment app operates on a pay-as-you-go pricing structure. There’s no monthly fee, and you’ll pay 2.4% + $0.25 to process each swiped, dipped, or contactless transaction, and 3.4% + $0.25 to process each manually keyed-in transaction.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, if you’re not currently a QuickBooks user, you’ll have to incorporate the cost of a monthly QuickBooks subscription into your pricing to use this payment app.

Best for:

All in all, this mobile payment app is a great fit for businesses that are looking for some of the cheapest credit card processing rates to accept in-person payments. 

Particularly, this is a worthwhile solution for current QuickBooks users who can take advantage of the connection between their accounting software and their mobile POS.

This being said, however, it’s important to note that compared to a mobile POS solution like Square, QuickBooks GoPayment is very limited in its extended features. Therefore, if you need more from your mobile payment processing (especially if you don’t currently use or plan on using QuickBooks) you may want to consider your other options.

Read our full review of QuickBooks GoPayment.

5. PayPal Here

Although PayPal is typically known for their online payment solutions, if you’re looking for a mobile payment app to supplement these offerings, you’ll want to look into PayPal Here.

With PayPal Here, you can connect a card reader to your iOS or Android mobile device and accept a variety of card payments, send invoices, and record cash and check transactions.

Pros:

  • Simple, flat-rate pricing
  • Variety of hardware options
  • Free card reader with account
  • Works with other PayPal business services

Cons:

  • Limited mobile POS features
  • Not suitable for high-volume merchants

Features

Similar to the Square mobile payment app, PayPal Here allows you to accept a variety of in-person payments and turn your smart device into a mobile POS.

With PayPal Here, you can also customize your business profile, receipts, and sales tax—as well as create your product list, manage your employees, and track your sales. PayPal offers a variety of hardware plug-ins for this payment app—including a basic magstripe reader which is included for free with your account.

Additionally, when signing up for a PayPal business account, you can also take advantage of the online payment solutions, as well as the many other products PayPal offers for small businesses.

Pricing

PayPal doesn’t charge any monthly fees, minimums, or cancellation fees for this mobile payment app. Instead, you’ll only pay PayPal processing fees based on how you accept payments.

For cards that are tapped, dipped, or swiped, you’ll pay a flat-rate of 2.7% per transaction. If you key-in card payments, you’ll pay 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction. In addition, if you send online invoices to customers, you’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per invoice payment. Finally, if you need to make a cross-border transfer, you’ll pay a fee of 1.5% of the transaction amount.

Best for:

Whereas Square is one of the best payment apps for brick-and-mortar businesses, PayPal Here is a great mobile POS for businesses who need to process in-person payments on-the-go, but don’t necessarily need a full-service POS system.

In this way, PayPal Here is a worthwhile option for service-based businesses, B2B businesses, and online-based businesses who occasionally want to accept payments in-person. Moreover, if you already use PayPal for online payments or other business solutions, choosing PayPal Here is a seamless way to utilize a mobile payment app.

Read our full review of PayPal Here.

What to Look for in a Mobile Payment App

So, with these five options, you might be wondering how to choose the best payment app for your business.

Ultimately, you’ll want to pick the mobile payment app that will be able to fulfill your unique needs—however, there are certain things you’ll want to keep in mind as you explore your options.

First and foremost, it’s important to distinguish a payment app for consumers compared to those for businesses. Often, you’ll see a list of top payment apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash, and more.

Although you technically could use any of these apps for your business to a certain extent, these mobile payment apps are actually designed for consumers—to transfer money and to make payments—sometimes between individuals, and sometimes to businesses like yours.

Therefore, when you’re searching for the right payment app for your small business, you’ll want to look for an app that accepts credit card payments from these consumer apps, instead of looking at the individual apps themselves.

With this distinction in mind, you’ll also want to consider the following:

  • How the app allows you to accept payments (in-person, online, etc)
  • What payment types you can accept (credit cards, gift cards, cash)
  • How does the app run (smartphone, tablet, web browser)
  • What do the monthly fees and processing fees look like
  • What hardware, if any, is required
  • What other features are included

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, there are a number of benefits to choosing a mobile payment app for your business.

This being said, if you’re looking for a place to start, any of the five options on our list might be able to meet your needs.

Plus, if you’re unsure if any of these best payment apps are right for you, most of them operate with pay-as-you-go pricing, meaning you can test them out for yourself in order to get a better sense if they’ll work for your business.

Maddie Shepherd

Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current freelance writer. Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. Maddie has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Latin American cultures from Barnard College.
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