This article is part of a larger series on Payments.
Durango Merchant Services is a payment services provider that specializes in high-risk merchant account solutions. Its features include international and multicurrency merchant accounts, ACH and echeck processing, and chargeback and fraud protection. The system also offers ecommerce gateway services, wireless mobile payment, and cryptocurrency processing.
In our review of different merchant services providers, Durango Merchant Services received an overall score of 3.54 out of 5. It is a popular alternative for merchant accounts that conduct business in a high-risk industry or have been previously canceled. It is also optimal for those with a low credit score.
Durango Merchant Services at a Glance
Durango Merchant Services is included in our top picks for high-risk merchant account providers as best for online sellers, with an overall score of 4.66 out of 5. Its shopping cart technology and payment gateway make it a suitable option for merchants with bad credit or those in the high-risk industry.
However, it does not provide age-verification tools and, therefore, is not the best option for high-risk businesses that sell age-restricted products. These types of businesses should consider other merchant accounts, like PaymentCloud, that support this function.
If your small business or startup does not fall under the “high-risk” category, you might not need to sign up for a direct merchant account. Consider POS providers like Square that offer built-in payment processing and business management tools, a free mobile card reader, and zero monthly subscription. Or, consider our other recommended merchant service providers for small businesses.
Overall, Durango earned an average score for this category. Although it has variable monthly fees, which cost it a few points, it offers a month-to-month contract and does not charge any cancellation fees.
Durango Merchant Services offers month-to-month billing; however, financials and the level of risk involved will always be the determining factor, so expect the possibility of long-term contracts of up to three years for businesses with higher risk. Like other high-risk merchant service providers, its pricing is highly customized, so specific details are not disclosed.
We reached out to Durango’s sales team, who have been kind enough to share core pricing information with us:
Monthly account fee
Transaction fee (interchange-plus)
0.5% + 20 cents
$10–$15 per month and 10 cents per transaction (free setup)
1%–5% depending on the account
Other incidental fees include:
- Chargeback protection: 5 to 15 cents per transaction, depending on the service level
- Cryptocurrency: 1% with no per-transaction, monthly, or setup fees
- Average monthly minimum: $500/month
- Fee for not meeting the average monthly minimum: $25
- Cancellation fee: $0
- Early termination fee: $0 (for all types of accounts)
Durango Merchant Services offer several echeck and ACH options for high-risk businesses. While the transaction fee ranges from 1% to 5% depending on Durango’s risk assessment of your merchant account, there are other fees tied to signing up for this service.
Below is an example of a custom quote for accepting digital check payments with Durango:
- 1.90%–3.9% discount rate per check
- 75 cents minimum per transaction
- 48-hour approval
- 24-hour funding
- $150 refundable deposit upon approval
- $20 monthly fee minimum
- $99 set-up fee
Note that Durango Merchant Services works with multiple acquiring banks, and the rates will depend on the proposed bank. The discount rate (payment processing fee) will then reflect the final underwriting, which can be negotiated after three to six months. The minimum charge takes precedence over a lower per-transaction fee. For example, if the echeck you process is only $10 and your rate is 2.9%, Durango will bill you the minimum charge of 75 cents instead of 29 cents.
Durango Merchant Services also carries its own card reader solutions. Its sales team emphasized that it does not want to burden potential clients with upfront fees, so it’s safe to assume that it offers payment terms for purchasing hardware.
- Mobile card reader: Accepts EMV payments and connects with your mobile device via Bluetooth. Costs $115 (approximate), BBPOS chip and card reader (From $49)
- Card terminals and PIN pads: EMV chip card-ready terminals that can also accept contactless payments (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet). Comes with 3G and/or Wi-Fi support. Touch-screen terminals are also available. Costs range from $150 to $250 (approximate).
A copy of Durango’s contract & terms of service is not publicly available, but a closer look at its website and communication with the provider’s account experts provide us with concrete ideas of what to expect when signing up for a Durango Merchant Services merchant account.
- Initial required documentation: Copy of your driver’s license or passport, voided business check or bank reference letter, DBA registration, business license, articles of incorporation or articles of organization (for partnerships or corporations).
- Verification: Expect the processor to hire a third party to investigate and review your personal credit and your business model.
- Risk assessment: Like other processors, Durango will also verify if you or any of your partners are listed on the MATCH list.
Member Alert to Control High-risk Merchants (MATCH) List: A record of merchants maintained by the Card Network who have had a merchant account terminated for violating a merchant agreement.
- Contract length: All account types are considered for a month-to-month contract but will be assessed based on the following:
- Poor credit
- High volume or high ticket size
- Any industry with historically high chargebacks
- Account that has high chargebacks showing on their current history
- Businesses dealing with any future deliverable product
- Hardware purchase: Durango may offer hardware by installment, but this may mean being tied to a long-term contract.
- Additional fees: Add-on services such as digital check processing and use of third-party gateways may include additional cost.
Durango Merchant Services supports both low-risk and medium- to high-risk merchant accounts. Approval takes anywhere from three to five business days, and there are no signup fees, while setup fees depend entirely on the type of merchant account and service you require. Your application starts by filling out an inquiry form from the website. Durango Merchant Services will then assign you an expert consultant to help double-check your application and complete your requirements.
Durango offers flexibility when it comes to payment types, offering all options we considered for this evaluation. However, some of them may come with additional costs, causing it to lose a few points in our evaluation.
Durango provides a dedicated account manager available to its customers 24/7, helping it earn perfect scores for the customer support criteria. Although specific merchant terms vary, they can offer 24-hour funding as well. It only lost a few points for other features that may come with additional fees.
Durango Merchant Services is a trusted and reliable merchant service provider. Although it can cater to traditional, low-risk businesses, it is more popular for businesses in the high-risk category. Specific pricing and terms vary, depending on the business, which is typical for providers that cater to high-risk merchants.
It scored well for ease of use, popularity, and integrations, but lost a few points for affordability. Small, low-risk businesses will still find other more suitable providers without any upfront costs and offer the same payment flexibility, such as Square or Helcim.
One of Durango’s more unique payment options is its cryptocurrency processing although it can only accommodate four popular cryptocurrency—Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. If that payment type is a priority for you and you are a high-risk business, consider BitPay, which supports 15 cryptocurrencies and is our top crypto payment gateway for small businesses.
Durango Merchant Services Reviews From Users
Although we can’t find a lot of reviews online for Durango Merchant Services, recent feedback from long-time users is more than favorable. Overall, users rave about this provider’s excellent customer service and ability to secure merchant accounts.
- Trustpilot: Around 30+ users rated Durango Merchant Services an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
As in our earlier review, there is hardly any negative feedback written for this provider that you can find online. One reviewer’s concern is the high fees they pay for the service since their business is not high-risk, while another expresses disappointment over not being qualified for a merchant account with Durango. It is also an A+ accredited business in the Better Business Bureau.
|Users Like||Users Don’t Like|
|Professional, excellent customer service||Cannot support every high-risk business|
|Fast approval||Undisclosed contract terms|
Methodology—How We Evaluated Durango Merchant Services
We test each merchant account service provider ourselves to ensure an extensive review of the products. We compare pricing methods, identifying providers that offer zero monthly fees, pay-as-you-go terms, and low transaction rates. We then further evaluate 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 when looking at 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:
25% 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 echeck payments—and offer free virtual terminal and invoicing solutions for phone orders, recurring billing, and card-on-file payments.
25% 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.
Durango Merchant Services draws on its almost three decades of experience to come up with one of the most reliable services for businesses needing high-risk merchant accounts. This is obvious from the online reviews available and the number of years these reviewers have been with Durango as clients. Overall, we recommend Durango Merchant Services for high-risk online companies, such as online auctions, telemarketing, and mail or telephone order businesses. Contact Durango for a free, no-obligation quote.