It's pretty different things you are talking about. There are two ways to choose: Third party ( you call it processor) or Merchant acc. & payment gateway. It really depends on what your business is like, and where you are based, as merchan acc. may not be acceptable for you. So give us some more info.
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You may want to start with something like PayPal or 2Checkout - both of which do not have any monthly flat fees, if you are just testing the waters and wanting to experiment with a possible business model.
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I can tell you that if you want a merchant account, you will most likely (99.9%) have to pay a monthly fee. If you want a 3rd party service, usually the fees per transaction will be higher, but mostly likely without a monthly fee. But I recommend going with lower fees and paying a monthly fee, as it will help you in the long run.