Go PayHawk logo

PayHawk vs. Electronic Merchant Systems: Battle of Payment Processors

PayHawk! Electronic Merchant Systems! Two amazing merchant service providers. Who’s the better of the two? What do they do best? Who are they? In this article, you’ll learn all about each and be able to make a more informed, non biased decision on the better of the two for you. With that being said, let’s jump right in! 

What is Electronic Merchant Systems

Electronic Merchant Systems is a merchant service provider located in Illinois and has a focus on both online commerce and local commerce. EMS is well known online for their ‘business on the go’ approach by offering mobile tools that can be accessed from a laptop, smartphone and tablet. 

What is PayHawk

PayHawk is a merchant service provider that is located in Georgia. PayHawk is focused on local commerce and online commerce. PayHawk is well known for its sandbox API and outstanding customer service with dedicated account management. 

Fee Showdown

When it comes to choosing a payment processing provider or merchant service provider it’s important to keep in mind its fee schedules. Oftentimes payment processing charges fees that are typically a fixed percentage of a transaction plus pennies on the dollar. PayHawk uses a sliding scale format that has one fixed quoted price and never changes. EMS offers a similar fee schedule, but does have varied fee schedules depending on the solution type – for example, manually entered cards may result in a different fee than an automated solution. 

In the next section, we’ll show you in table format a breakdown on the fee schedules.


Now let’s talk about fees in a more visualized manner. Below you will find a table with the pricing charts for a quick comparison to help you make a better decision on the best merchant service provider for your business.

Type PayHawk Electronic Merchant Systems
Online Payments 2.2%-3.0% ?
ACH Transfers Free ?
Recurring/Subscriptions Free ?
Invoicing Free ?
API Connections Free ?

The short summary here is that EMS is not transparent when it comes to fees, they’re very much hidden from the main website.

Winner: PayHawk

Customer Service

Customer service is a very important component to merchant services. This section has a clear winner, PayHawk.

EMS offers a support and customer service solution that is not uniquely based on your company, there is no dedicated account management. PayHawk offers a unique approach by offering 24/7 access to an account manager who knows, loves and understands your business.

Winner: PayHawk


The elephant in the room… contracts! PayHawk has no contracts at all, you’re free to join and cancel as you please, and if you’re unhappy PayHawk will even help you cancel.

EMS? They have a time contract, and will hit you with a $595 cancellation fee if you wish to cancel.

The quick summary? PayHawk wins.

Winner: PayHawk


Integration Options

EMS is very closed source when it comes to integration options. They have their own solutions and integrate mostly internally. 

PayHawk is a sandbox API and natively integrates with nearly every CMS on the market, and integrates with any tool that has an open API. Natively, PayHawk also integrates with QuickBooks.

Winner: PayHawk


Security is another important factor in merchant service providers. Rest assured, both merchant service providers follow regulator requirements such as PCI compliance.

EMS is closed source and does not discuss its security technology stack, other than saying it’s secure. 

PayHawk offers several unique security features including fraud prevention/detection and chargeback assistance. The technology stack powering PayHawk is built by the masters at Visa and the Veri-line of companies.

Winner: PayHawk

Settlement Timeframes

Settlement timeframes matter for many, if you need or want your funds daily, you should be allowed to do that. Both PayHawk and EMS allow for daily, weekly and monthly settlements, however, PayHawk offers the unique ability to settle at any time during the day, which does not require you to wait for the end of the day for an EOD settlement.

Winner: PayHawk

Feature Compassion 

Let’s talk about features. In this section, you can quickly compare the two merchant service providers and make judgment based on feature facts.

Feature PayHawk Electronic Merchant Systems
Payment Gateway with API X Limited
Major Payment Methods X X
Fraud Detection  X X
Reporting and Analytics X X
Integration Options Sandbox API Limited
Dedicated Support X
Bill Presentment X Limited

Be Open. Be Transparent. Be PayHawk.

Want a FREE Statement Analysis?

Fill out this quick and easy form for your FREE statement analysis!

Get In Touch


1455 Old Alabama Rd #170, Roswell, GA 30076


Business Services: sales@gopayhawk.com
Careers: careers@gopayhawk.com


(844) 729-4295