When Picking A Payment Processor, Consider What It Costs Not Just What They Charge posted by: Leighton Cusack

Customer Guest Post: Kindrid


Picking a payment processor is an underappreciated strategic decision in a startup. At first glance, there are few differences between the major players, but as we evaluated our strategic needs vis-a-vis the major processors, important differences became evident. Differences that we believe become more pronounced with time.

This blog post outlines why we found Balanced to be the best. On an individual basis, most of the features listed below aren’t completely unique to Balanced, but the combination is.

Complete Branding Control -

We believe maintaining complete branding control and keeping customers on our site is important. It’s the difference in how our brand is perceived, how secure our customer feels, and how our service is valued.

This made companies like WePay an immediate no. It was also one of the primary reasons we switched from Stripe. It might seem small but we couldn’t handle the idea of our customers having to create their own Stripe account and then link it to ours.

Cost -

Here is a huge one we believe a lot of early stage companies miss. People often assume all payment companies cost the same, 2.9% + 30¢ right? That’s what they charge but it’s not what they cost.

What it costs your company is 2.9% + .30¢ per transaction, plus the time it takes to integrate, plus the time it takes to troubleshoot, plus the number of customers you lose while you’re taking time to integrate, etc., etc.

Picking a processor based on the transaction fee is the definition of penny-wise, pound-foolish and for an early stage company, it can be fatal. To us, Balanced is an amazingly good deal. We got our system up and running incredibly quick, the completely white labeled API helps conversion, we haven’t lost any customers over technical issues or downtimes, we get live customer support etc.

ACH Debits -

We’re in the generosity space and every percentage point matters. That’s one reason we wanted to be able to offer a system that combined debit / credit card charging as well as ACH debiting without requiring any work of our partners. Balanced stood alone in offering this to us.

This point also relates to the one above. Many people have suggested Balanced charges a lot for ACH. True, they charge more than many companies but they cost us much less.

Soft Descriptor Control & More -

Beyond the above there are many more differences that pushed our decision. Some people might consider soft descriptor control a minor difference. To us, it’s a big deal, as it substantially reduces our risk of chargeback and again, increases brand equity and value. Same goes for overnight payouts, chargeback handling and many other things. Balanced provides the platform that allows us to truly serve our customers and reduce headaches for them.


If you have one take-away from this post, let it be that your payment processor does matter! Don’t take the decision lightly and please, consider what it costs and not just what they charge.

We chose Balanced and haven’t looked back. We’ve been growing our processing volume at 100% month over month since April. With this quick growth, we don’t have the time to even consider switching processors and that’s why I’m so happy we made the right decision to start.