Both First Data and Clearly Payments provide a merchant account for your business. Getting a merchant account is different than getting a Square or PayPal account. Square and PayPal are aggregators where you share a merchant account with many other businesses. With aggregators, you have less control of your allowed processing levels and less certainty in your funding times. In addition, you generally pay higher fees with aggregators that generally charge flat fees like 2.9% and $0.25 per transaction.
The benefit with aggregators is that they are self-serve and easy to sign up for. Aggregators work well for small businesses with less than $100,000 per year in revenue, however larger businesses should certainly go for an actual merchant account.
One thing that the Clearly Payments merchant account focuses on is fast funding. Funding from transactions generally come in either the same day or the next day, but in less than 24 hours. First Data funding time depends on which bank you use and can sometimes take 3 days or more to get your funds.
Many processors have contracts that lock you in for 3 to 5 years. When you sign up for these contracts, there is an early termination fee that is generally $350 or more. This makes it difficult for merchants because they can become stuck with a payment processor that doesn’t solve all their needs. In addition, rates can be increased and no merchant wants to be stuck in a contract with rising credit card processing rates.
Clearly Payments has no cancellation fees. We don’t lock merchants to a term with contracts or fees. The way we keep our customers is by offering the best payment processing with the lowest payment processing fees. If you ever want to cancel, we’ll make is super simple for you.
Customers have switched from First Data to Clearly Payments because of their lack of service. Some customers have had to pay a cancellation fee. It worked out in the merchants’ favour because the Clearly Payments fees were lower so it paid off in the end.
Many payment processors like First Data don’t display their payment processing rates on their websites. They want you to call in for a quote and potentially offer you teaser rates or other tricks. Clearly Payments puts its pricing transparently on its website. You don’t have to guess what you pay.
Ensure you watch out for advertised rates or teaser rates in credit card processing. There are no regulated advertising standards in the payment processing industry. Sometimes you’ll see pricing as low as 1.49%. What’s not clear is that there are other costs added to that rate, such as assessment fees, card brand fees, and non-qualified charges. Sometimes terms such as “merchant discount rate” give the misleading idea that merchants are getting a discount. If any payment processor truly gives 1.49%, they are losing money so be careful with those advertised rates. Your overall effective rate will unfortunately not be 1.49% due to interchange and other fees. Don’t let anybody fool you into thinking you get lower fees.
Contact Clearly Payments to get a true rate comparison for free with no pressure. Let us help show you the truth. We’ll ensure you get the best rates. Send us a recent statement and we’ll compare your current rates with what you would have with Clearly Payments. We’ll even help explain how to read your statement line by line if you like.
In the end, the Clearly Payments mission is to drive down the cost of accepting payments. We aim to be the lowest-cost provider. Period.