CDGcommerce offers in-person, online, and mobile payment processing options for small businesses of all kinds, including retail, restaurant, and professional services, as well as nonprofits and B2Bs. Its transparent and flexible volume-based pricing lets you choose between flat-rate, interchange-plus, and subscription pricing models to suit your business needs.
Founded in 1998 by a husband-and-wife team, CDGcommerce continues to be a family-owned and operated institution that aims to provide affordable payment processing services. There are $0 monthly fees unless you sign up for a wholesale membership, starting at $49.
Based on our methodology and in my review of different merchant services providers, CDGcommerce received an overall score of 3.71 out of 5. CDGCommerce lost points primarily for its various add-on fees, lack of same-day funding, and limited free business management tools.
- Annual insurance fee for free card terminals
- Best membership rates require 12 months’ advance payment
- Surcharge fee for Amex transactions
Supported Business Types
Retailers, restaurants, B2B sellers, professional services, ecommerce, nonprofit
Monthly Software Fees
Setup and Installation Fees
Payment Processing Options
In-person, online, mobile, ACH and eCheck, ecommerce platforms, POS systems, virtual terminals
Payment Processing Fees
24/7 support via live chat, email, phone
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The Fit Small Business editorial process follows strict standards to ensure that our “best” answers are founded on the basis of accuracy, clarity, authority, objectivity, and accessibility.
To evaluate CDGcommerce, I compared the system to other merchant services across 23 data points for contract and pricing, payment types, merchant account features, integrations, set up, and ease of use. I also applied product testing (when available), collected feedback from user reviews, and reached out to representatives from CDGcommerce to get clarification on pricing, policies, and procedures.
Is CDGcommerce Right for You?
- If you need merchant services for a restaurant
- If your business sells high-ticket items
- If your business is a B2B or a wholesaler
Use an alternative:
- If you’re a new business, occasional seller, or low-volume merchant looking for a free merchant account
- If you’re a low-volume business looking for a POS system; consider Square
CDGcommerce Alternatives & Comparison
Looking for the lowest rates? The payment processing rates you will pay can vary based on your business size, type, and average order value. To find the most affordable option and compare multiple processing rates, read our guide on the cheapest credit card processing.
CDGcommerce Reviews from Users
There are no available online user reviews for CDGcommerce on popular user review websites within the past five years. It is, however, listed under Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and accreditation, with 1 out 5 stars rating from 1 user. The complaint is recent (within the year) but has been quickly and clearly addressed by CDGcommerce.
Two of my favorite features of CDGcommerce are its transparent pricing and the variety of pricing plans with different pricing structures. CDGcommerce makes it easy for merchants to choose the plan that matches their business. However, the system lost a few points for its hardware, and for incidental fees such as chargebacks and surcharges for Amex transactions.
CDGCommerce’s pricing model depends on your monthly sales volume, with a flat rate for businesses that process $1,000 to $10,000 per month, interchange-plus for businesses selling from $10,000+ to $200,000 per month, and membership pricing for businesses that process over $200,000 per month.
If you process over $200,000 per month, CDGcommerce will put you on the Wholesale Subscription/Membership plan, but other businesses may find it advantageous. For example, if you sell high-ticket items, then it may be worth the monthly fee to remove the percentages and take a lower cents-per-transaction fee. To lock in the best rates, you’ll want to pay an entire year’s worth of monthly subscription fees upfront.
For those who do not want to pay for a full year in advance, CDGcommerce also offers a custom pricing plan. However, while you can return your rented card terminal at any time, make sure this is still the case in a custom plan without being tied to a long-term contract.
Each plan also includes a free online payment gateway. However, CDGcommerce also works with other third-party solutions in case you prefer to use stay with your current payment gateway provider
Additional fees include:
- Chargeback fee: $25
- PastePay (invoicing and advanced CRM): Optional for all plans, $199/year*
- Fraud Loss Reimbursement Program (fraud protection): Optional for flat rate plans, call CDGcommerce for pricing
- CDG360 (risk management): Optional, call CDGcommerce for pricing
- Alternative payment gateways (PayPal Payflow Pro, Braintree integration): Call CDGcommerce for pricing
*CDGcommerce endorses PastePay for invoicing but note that this feature is also available in most payment gateways like Authorize.net
Mobile Credit Card Readers
Credit Card Terminals
POS Hardware & System
Bluetooth, iOS, Android compatible
Wi-Fi connectivity, touch screen, EMV + NFC payments, built-in printer
Other options: PastePay Cloud POS, Echo POS
Each CDGcommerce interchange plus and wholesale pricing plans includes a free fully integrated credit card terminal. However, it costs $79 per year to insure the equipment, which includes upgrades. The most popular terminal is the DejaVoo Z11, which has 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and retails for $229.99 online.
For merchants who opt for a flat rate pricing plan, you will need to purchase your mobile credit card reader separately. CDGcommerce recommends Anywhere Commerce C2X for $99.
Additionally, merchants subscribed to CDGcommerce’s wholesale pricing plans can also integrate with a number of POS hardware and systems. CDGcommerce works directly with PastePay, Vital POS, and Echo POS. Contact CDGcommerce for pricing.
CDGcommerce supports almost every payment type, including Level 2 and 3 processing. It offers two preferred payment gateways with waived gateway fees, but it can also work with almost any payment gateway you use. Its ecommerce integrations let you create an online store and accept payments by phone or online with the use of a virtual terminal.
CDGcommerce accepts credit card, digital wallet, and ACH payments for both online and in-person transactions with discounted rates for large-volume (like B2B) businesses and nonprofit organizations. Online and card-not-present transactions are supported by payment gateways, and in-person transactions are accepted using mobile card readers and credit card payment terminals that are fully integrated into your POS software.
For B2B and professional service businesses, CDGcommerce supports invoiced payments processing and recurring billing, which includes Level 2 and 3 data processing and secure customer data vault for subscriptions. While you can download its free mobile app, CDGcommerce also supports a mobile-friendly virtual terminal for businesses such as housekeeping and service technicians.
Other payment processing features include:
- Recurring billing or subscriptions
- Automated billing
- Mobile payments
- PCI certification
- Debit and small-ticket discounts
- Reservation software integration for restaurants
- Integration with over 350 applications, such as QuickBooks and MaxMin
CDGcommerce offers a mobile app that lets you accept payments anywhere using Wi-Fi or a direct wireless connection. The app is not limited to EMV and NFC payments; it is also capable of sending invoices and receipts to your customers. A mobile app like this is highly useful for off-site businesses such as service providers, delivery companies, farmers markets, food carts/trucks, trade shows, sales booths, and anywhere else.
CDGcommerce offers direct integration with Authorize.net (for interchange plus and wholesale pricing plans) and Quantum Gateway (for all pricing plans) and waives gateway fees, saving you hundreds of dollars a year. It also works with other providers such as Shopify, PayPal, Braintree, and NMI for merchants who are already using these platforms.
With a payment gateway, merchants have access to invoicing, recurring billing, and virtual terminal payment tools. Depending on which payment gateway is being used, merchants also have access to level 2 and level 3 data processing (for B2Bs) and card updater for automatic recurring payments.
Between the two primary payment gateway options in CDGcommerce, Authorize.net is best if you have a subscription-type business, because it includes an automatic card updater, so you’re assured that payments always go through. However, B2B businesses need both Level 2 and 3 processing, which is only available with Quantum Gateway.
No gateway fee
No transaction fee
PCI level 1 compliant
Hosted web order form
Level 2 processing
Level 3 processing
Custom user permissions
CDGcommerce integrates with the most popular ecommerce software such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and X-Cart. The system also allows you to create an online store with inventory tracking. Apart from the free online payment gateway, the ecommerce package also includes integration into third-party billing software, recurring billing, discounts and loyalty programs, automatic email receipts, and mobile processing.
CDGcommerce works with all business types—retailers, restaurants, service professionals, nonprofits, B2Bs, and even international merchants. It offers a fully integrated CRM feature for a fee and a wide range of integrations. However, its deposit speed and additional fees for other services pulled down its score for features and tools.
Signing up for CDGcommerce is simple. You can call, email, or live chat with a representative to get answers to all your questions and select the best plan for your business. Then, you fill out the application online. CDGcommerce will work with you to reprogram your POS system if needed, and you should be ready to accept payments in a couple of days.
While offering a pay-as-you-go plan is normal for merchant providers like Stripe (with zero monthly fees) and Dharma Merchant Services (with wholesale subscription pricing), they don’t automatically include rented-out equipment in their plans like CDGcommerce. However, CDGcommerce bills its users one year in advance, which is most likely why they don’t require a mandatory contract length. It’s important to take this into consideration before signing up for a plan.
For an additional $199 per year, you can get the PastePay program through CDGcommerce. This is a third-party CRM that offers billing and marketing tools. You can store customer data and create customer groups for loyalty programs or email and text promotions. PastePay has a scheduling and appointments function that can include up-front payments. Further, you can create invoices, issue electronic gift cards, and create buttons for your website for appointments or sales.
If your business does not need a full POS system, you may find PastePay a cost-effective addition. Not many merchant account service providers offer a similar, fully integrated CRM feature. Stripe comes close with its partnership with myCred but will require you to have some technical skills to be able to plug in a few lines of code. However, you’ll notice that you need PastePay to be able to create payment buttons or share payment links, which almost all other payment gateways, like PayPal and Shopify, provide at no extra cost.
CDGcommerce provides integration with more than 350 apps, most of which are for ecommerce features. For instance, while it recommends Quantum Gateway and Authorize.net as payment gateways, other platform options work with the software:
- PayPal Payflow Pro
- eProcessing Network
It also supports a variety of shopping cart and online store platform integrations:
Online Store Platform
PastePay leads the list of POS that works with CDGcommerce. However, this cloud POS is advertised on the CDG website mainly for its advanced invoicing tools and CRM features. For those looking for a full POS system, PastePay also offers appointment and scheduling features, subscription and recurring billing management, and payment terminal integrations.
Other POS integrations include Vital POS and Echo POS, both of which offer full POS software and hardware features that integrate directly with CDGcommerce.
CDGcommerce does not list all of its partner integrations. However, it highlights other business management tools like QuickBooks for accounting, Dejavoo, Verifone, and Ingenico for payment terminals, and authentication tools like Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.
CDG’s chargeback program deserves a special callout. Its fraud protection feature evaluates each transaction in real time and automatically rejects ones identified as high-risk. It can also customize the level of protection by providing you with security tools that allow you to set your preferred risk tolerance. In cases where claims are filed, CDGcommerce provides immediate notification and assistance in disputing chargebacks. It also has a fraud loss reimbursement program of up to $100—or up to $250 if you sign up to CDGcommerce’s Fraud Defense Suite.
Some providers like Square Payments also reimburse successful chargebacks up to a certain amount. However, you’ll rarely find merchant account providers that partner with nationally accredited collections agencies where you can submit your claim and help you collect any lost payments. You get 50% of any collected on your behalf, which is better than losing the money completely. Additionally, the chargeback fee is refunded if you win the dispute.
As with other leading merchant account services providers, CDGcommerce has authorization-level fraud prevention tools such as IP Identity Verification, Address Verification, and 3D Secure available for all its merchant account plans.
The 24/7 support is highly praised by users; a review of a new business owner on its website noted that they felt comfortable going to them with all their newbie questions. CDGcommerce lacks any online demos or a knowledge base, however.
In evaluating CDGcommerce, I took into consideration the ideal features and functionality that we look for in payment processors for small business owners.
CDGcommerce received above-average scores for its ease of use and wide integrations. I like how it provides merchants with an online application form and fast turnaround (one to three days), which not a lot of traditional merchant account providers can promise. Some small businesses may be suitable to this if it provides them with the security of a traditional merchant account.
I also gave CDGcommerce points for providing a whole range of transparent and affordable pricing plans for almost every business type. However, I also had to dock points for certain payment terms such as advance annual subscription payments and monthly hardware insurance fees.
Feature-wise, CDGcommerce stands out for its ability to offer free payment gateway integrations with popular platforms such as Authorize.net. It even includes free loyalty and marketing tools that top providers like Square could not.
More user feedback for both the mobile app (which we did not see as of this writing) and merchant services provider as a whole would help CDGcommerce score better for this category in the next review.
Methodology—How We Evaluated CDGcommerce
Our team of payments writers and specialists, including Meaghan Brophy, Andrea Herrera, and I, test each merchant account service provider ourselves to ensure an extensive review of the products. We then compare pricing methods and identify providers that offer zero monthly fees, pay-as-you-go terms, and low transaction rates. Finally, we evaluate each according to a range of payment processing features, scalability, and ease of use.
The result is our list of the best overall merchant services. However, we adjust the criteria for specific use cases, such as for different business types and merchant categories. This is why every merchant services provider has multiple scores across our site, depending on the use case you are looking for.
Click through the tabs below for our overall merchant services evaluation criteria:
30% of Overall Score
We awarded points to merchant account providers that don’t require contracts and offer month-to-month or pay-as-you-go billing. Additionally, we prioritized providers that don’t charge hefty monthly fees, cancellation fees, or chargeback fees and only included providers that offer competitive and predictable flat-rate or interchange-plus pricing. We also awarded points to processors that offer volume discounts and extra points if those discounts are transparent or automated.
30% of Overall Score
The best merchant accounts can accept various payment types—including POS and card-present transactions, mobile payments, contactless payments, ecommerce transactions, and ACH and e-check payments—and offer free virtual terminal and invoicing solutions for phone orders, recurring billing, and card-on-file payments.
20% of Overall Score
We prioritized merchant accounts with free 24/7 phone and email support. Small businesses also need fast deposits, so payment processors offering free same- or next-day funding earned bonus points. Finally, we considered whether each system has affordable and flexible hardware options and offers any business management tools, like dispute and chargeback management, reporting, or customer management.
20% of Overall Score
We judged each system based on its overall pricing and advertising transparency, ease of use (including account stability), popularity, and reputation among business owners and sites like Better Business Bureau. Finally, we considered how well each system works with other popular small business software, like accounting, point-of-sale, and ecommerce solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most common questions I encounter about CDGcommerce.
Normally, small merchants and startups are better off with payment processors/ merchant account providers that do not require you to undergo an application due to lack of business credit history. However, CDGcommerce features great rates for small merchants so it is worth considering if you don’t mind having to go through an approval process.
According to CDGcommerce, it only takes three business days to get approved for a merchant account. You can start your application through their online form, which should only take five minutes to complete.
CDGcommerce offers a range of pricing plans for businesses based on sales volume. Most pricing plans offer $0 monthly fees. Flat rate pricing starts at 2.75% + 30 cents while businesses with higher sales volumes can get cheap interchange plus rates.
CDGcommerce is a cost-effective merchant service that offers credit card processing at flat rates or interchange-plus rates, depending on your sales volume and needs. It handles in-person and online transactions and integrates with a multitude of POS and ecommerce platforms. For small businesses, consider CDGcommerce if you prefer a traditional merchant account that offers more security in exchange and you don’t mind going through an approval process.