Choosing the right merchant services provider is a critical decision every business owner must make. On the one hand, you want to make things as easy as possible for your customer. But on the other hand, you need to keep fees down and ensure your bookkeeping processes are fully optimized.
Luckily, there are many options available to you, but this only makes it difficult to know which one is right.
Intuit, the parent company of both QuickBooks and Turbo Tax, offers merchant services software—QuickBooks Payments—that can be really useful for your business, if you already use either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop.
But if you’re not a QuickBooks user, and you have no intention to become one, then Intuit’s merchant services are probably not a viable option. But for current QuickBooks users, QuickBooks Payments can be a great option. Here’s our full review
What are Intuit Merchant Services?
Intuit merchant services are offered as “QuickBooks Payments.” Underneath QuickBooks Payments, you have a few options:
- QuickBooks Payments—Online. Payment processing software designed specifically for users of QuickBooks Online.
- QuickBooks Payments—Desktop. Similar to the online version, this option is for QuickBooks Desktop users.
- Designed for QuickBooks Online, GoPayment is QuickBooks’ solution for processing in-person payments. You get a free card reader when you sign up, and you can use it to quickly and easily process payments wherever you are.
- QuickBooks Point of Sale. Requires QuickBooks Desktop to run, but this is a very useful piece of software for managing all aspects of a brick and mortar business, such as inventory.
QuickBooks Payments at a Glance
We’re going to dig a bit deeper into the various features of QuickBooks Payments, but first, here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons:
- Process invoices instantly and integrate all payment information into your records.
- Receive a free chip reader when you sign up for GoPayment that allows you to process swipe and chip transactions.
- Seamless integration with QuickBooks Online and Desktop
- Predictable pricing including no monthly fees and no monthly minimums, although you do need a subscription to QuickBooks.
- Slightly higher per transaction fees than the competition
- Requires QuickBooks to function
- Funds become available slightly too slow for our liking (anywhere from two to seven days after the transaction, depending on how it is processed)
Review of QuickBooks Payments for QuickBooks Online
For those who subscribe to QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payments will allow you to:
- Process online credit/debit card transactions, bank transfers, and Apple Pay
- Set up automatic payment requests and recurring invoices, and accept payment using all the payment methods mentioned above
- Automatically enter payment details into your books by integrating with QuickBooks Online
- Accept payments from your eCommerce store, although it may be better to let your eCommerce provider export sales information to your QuickBooks account. QuickBooks Payments eCommerce integrations aren’t great on their own, so it may be better to use another service.
In this sense, QuickBooks Payments works very similar to other online payment services, such as PayPal. But staying within the QuickBooks family allows you to more easily enter online payments into your QuickBooks account and streamline your accounting operation.
If you also need to accept in-person transactions and you subscribe to QuickBooks Online, then you also need GoPayment.
Signing up for GoPayment is free, and when you do, you will receive a free card reader that accepts both swipe and chip cards.
GoPayment automatically syncs with QuickBooks Online, and it allows you to process payments via a smartphone or tablet. All you need to do is download the app (iOS and Android) and connect your device. Payments you process will be automatically entered on your balance sheets.
QuickBooks Payments: Fees
When adding QuickBooks Payments to your QuickBooks Online account, there are no monthly fees or minimums. However, a QuickBooks Online subscription (required) ranges from $20/month for the Simple Start plan to $60/month for the Plus version.
For QuickBooks Payments, the fees are as follows:
- Bank transfers (ACH) – Free
- Swiped transactions – 2.4 percent + $.25
- Invoice processing – 2.9 percent + $.25
- Keyed transactions – 3.4% + $.25
The main thing to get excited about here is free ACH transactions. If you can convince customers to choose this option, you can save a lot of money.
Invoiced and keyed transaction fees are on par with other services, such as Square or PayPal, but swiped transactions are a bit higher.
However, since fees are charged for each transaction, the total amount you will pay depends on the nature of your business. Here are a few examples:
- One $100 swipe transaction would cost $2.65 ($2.40 + $.25)
- Two $50 transactions would cost $2.90 ($2.40 + $.50)
- Ten $10 transactions would cost you $4.90 ($2.40 + $2.50)
As you can see, the more transactions you process, the more expensive Quickbooks Payments gets, which means this might not be a great option for businesses processing lots of little transactions.
This is largely because of the $.25 per-transaction fee added on. The competition, Square and PayPal, charge just a percentage, which helps keep costs down.
These extra fees are probably worth it if you already use QuickBooks Online, as you will be able to integrate everything nicely, a time savings worth its weight in gold. But if you’re signing up for these services strictly to process payments, know you can probably do better elsewhere.
QuickBooks Payments for QuickBooks Desktop
While it might seem archaic in today’s day and age to use desktop software, QuickBooks Desktop remains a popular option due to its robust set of features.
For example, with QuickBooks Desktop, you can track expenses, budget, monitor project profitability, and much more, features which aren’t available with QuickBooks Online.
With QuickBooks Payments for QuickBooks Desktop, you can’t use GoPayment. Instead, you will need to connect your own hardware. This leads to a slightly different fee structure, which is:
- Bank Transfers (ACH) – $1/transaction
- Swiped card transactions – 2.4 percent + .$30
- Invoiced card transactions – 3.5 percent + $.30
- Keyed card transactions – 3.5 percent +$.30
As you can see, the fees for QuickBooks Payments are even higher when linking with QuickBooks Desktop. It’s a shame you can’t combine GoPayment with QuickBooks Desktop, as this would provide a “best of both worlds” solution, and it would help keep fees down. But you can’t. To use GoPayment, you would need to also sign up for QuickBooks Online, which really makes no sense at all.
So, if you’re already using QuickBooks Desktop and you own your own hardware, then QuickBooks Payments is a great way to streamline your accounting operation.
QuickBooks Point of Sale
Another one of Intuit’s payment processing services is QuickBooks Point of Sale. This is designed for brick-and-mortar businesses that need help managing all aspects of their store. In addition to basic accounting and payment processing functionality, QuickBooks Point of Sale also allows you to:
- Track and manage inventory
- Process purchase orders to keep stocks at the right levels
- Integrate with QuickBooks Desktop
Unfortunately, we cannot give an accurate estimate of the fees associated with QuickBooks Point of Sale because fees are determined on a case-by-case basis.
But if you’re looking for ways to streamline your payments, inventory, and accounting operations, then you may want to reach out to a sales rep to find out if the fees are going to be something you can manage.
Overall, QuickBooks Payments is a good option for those who are already using either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop, or for those who are looking to add QuickBooks to their accounting software mix.
The main benefit of QuickBooks Payments is its seamless integration with other QuickBooks products. Fees are slightly higher than similar services, but they are still competitive.
If you’re interested in trying QuickBooks Payments, consider doing a trial. As mentioned, there are no monthly fees or commitments, so if you find it doesn’t work for your business, you can always change to something else.
However, if you’re already a QuickBooks user and are comfortable with the QuickBooks ecosystem, then you’ll likely find QuickBooks Payments makes processing and tracking revenue much easier.