Merchant Accounts and Alternatives Cost Comparison Calculator

The MaculatorTM

Maculator List

Currency Converter

  Maculator Updates

  Maculator FAQ

See Comparison Calculations

Using the Maculator

The Maculator was designed to handle rate schemes that vary for different levels of sales volumes.  If you're trying to decide between getting a merchant account or using PayPal, Yahoo! PayDirect, or other alternatives, or if you're thinking of upgrading from the popular PayPal to a merchant account to save money or to facilitate shopping carts, this is the perfect tool for you.    Definitions for each of the Maculator fees and calculations are listed below the form.

To get the most information from the MaculatorTM follow these steps:

  1. Enter your business name and unique key name if you intend to save your data
  2. Enter the number and dollars of sales you expect for one month


  1. Press the Update Rates button to calculate your Average Ticket for the month and to enable the Providers drop-down lists
  2. Select different providers to compare side-by-side in the "A" column and the "B" column
  3. Press the Maculate button to calculate monthly costs and compare "A" vs "B"
  4. Press the Save in Database button to store the data
  5. Press the View Saved Data button to see your saved data in the View Rates grid (preview saved Test Data)
  6. Press the View link on the grid's Detail column for more details about the cost calculation by each cost item
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 5 to make more comparisons for different providers
  8. On the View Rates grid you can sort the data by costs for different columns



  1. Change your estimated monthly volume to make comparisons for future scenarios

To enter the rates for a new provider, select the Provider Type (Enter MA Provider Name) or (Enter Proxy Provider Name) to load a blank template and then enter the name of the provider and as many details that you have obtained from the provider.   

To filter the Provider lists for 3rd Party Processors, Merchant Accounts, Digital Only, Multi-Currencies, Multi-Languages, Multi-Countries, High Risk Content, Affiliate Opportunities and other choices, visit the Maculator List on the home page and select the filter from the drop-down list.  Proceed to any of the items in the list and click on the Maculate Me! link.  That will return you to this page with the Providers already filtered.

E-Commerce Merchant Account Apps!

. . .

Press Update Rates Button after selecting Sales Number and Dollars to select Provider A and B for Side-By-Side Comparison

Your Expected Business Volume

Your Business Name


Type of Business

User Key Name


Other Type


Number Sales / Month #


Dollars Sales / Month $



Merchant Accounts and Alternatives Rates To Compare


Provider Type Selection



Provider Name



Provider URL

Program Offer Name



Discount Rate %



Per Transaction Fee $



Batch Header Fee $



Minimum Monthly Fee $



Monthly Statement Fee $

* *

Monthly Gateway Fee $

*  *

Annual Fee $

*  *

Setup / Application Fee $


***   Total Monthly Cost

( Press Maculate to Calculate ) 0.00

Cost Percent of Sales

( Press Maculate to Calculate )

About Merchant Accounts

About PayPal

* Required field 
** Select name for retrieving saved data

Fees and Calculations

  • Number Sales / Month:  Used to calculate Transaction Fees cost based on the Transaction Fee rate for each provider
  • Dollar Sales / Month:  Used to calculate Discount amount based on Discount Rate for each provider
  • Discount Rate:  May vary for different levels of risk, lowest for 100% retail.  Used to calculate Discount amount based on expected Dollar Sales / Month.  For Internet businesses, be sure to get the Discount Rate that applies to this type of business from your provider.
  • Per Transaction Fee: Charged for each transaction.  Used to calculate Transaction Fee cost based on Number Sales / Month
  • Batch Header Fee:  Charged for each batch of transactions submitted for capture.  Estimated cost will be based on two batches a day, 25 days a month for monthly sales numbers above 100.  For lower sales numbers the batch number will be 1/2 the sales number.
  • Minimum Monthly Fee:  Charged by provider only when Discount paid is less than this amount.  The full fee will be charged for a month with no sales or no Discount paid.  Based on expected Dollar Sales / Month and Discount Rate.
  • Monthly Statement Fee:  Charged for administration costs each month.
  • Monthly Gateway Fee:  Applies to some packages where connection services to Visa / MasterCard networks are bundled with basic Merchant Account costs
  • Annual Fee:  Charged once a year by some providers.  Will be divided by 12 for monthly cost.
  • Setup / Application Fee:  A one-time fee to be divided by 24 for monthly cost.

Calculated Values

  • Average Ticket:  Average Transaction Amount based on expected monthly Dollar Sales and Number Sales
  • Total Monthly Cost:  Total cost for all fees based on rates entered for each provider
  • Cost Percent of Sales:  Calculated by dividing Total Monthly Cost by Total Sales

Note:  After saving your data the detail view provided will show how each fee contributed to the total cost.  The monthly fees and calculated costs for pre-loaded providers are estimates based on published disclosures by the providers.   The providers may change their fees at any time and these changes may not always be updated on this site in a timely fashion.  Some providers charge more on one fee and less on another, thereby making it difficult to compare one provider's charges against another's without knowing all fees charged.  Fees may also be charged for authorization connection costs and penalties may also be levied for chargebacks and for exceeding monthly sales limits.  A reserve discount of 10% or more may also be held for six months or longer for added security on the behalf of the provider.  If two providers have similar costs, be sure to get a  Full Disclosure of all costs, fees, reserves and possible penalties that may be charged from both providers.  Some states require that merchant account providers disclose a Schedule of Fees to all merchant account applicants.

Remember that the cost calculation and comparision is based on the amount and number of monthly sales you enter for your business.  The Maculator will calculate and adjust the rates based on the formulas published by each pre-loaded provider.  For some providers the rates may be lower for more sales.  For others, the reverse may apply.  Since you can change providers in the future, you may benefit by first entering the sales numbers for your near-term business expectations and then entering those for your long-term optimistic expectations.  You can use different User Key Names to identify different scenarios or different Business Names such as MyBusinessName Stage 1, MyBusinessName Stage2, and so on.

E-Commerce Technology!

Copyright (c) 2012 BYTE4U - All Rights Reserved
Interested Parties may Contact b2bexec[AT]

Top of Page