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Spark Pay Review

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PROS / Spark Pay has two pricing plans. Merchants can choose the best fit based on their sales volumes.

CONS / It doesn't offer customers a dedicated account rep.

 VERDICT / Spark Pay offers two plans to accommodate both large and small businesses, has competitive rates and doesn't charge extra fees. It lacks some customer service features.

Spark Pay is the credit card processing arm of Capital One. In addition to offering mobile credit card processing that works on Android devices, it also has online and traditional processing options. This processor offers competitive rates and different plans for merchants of varying sizes. Spark Pay lacks some customer service features, however.

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Spark Pay has two different plans for merchants: the Pro-Plan is ideal for businesses that process a higher volume of monthly sales as it has lower rates. Its other option, the Go Plan, is better for businesses with a lower sales volume because it doesn't charge a monthly fee. For this review, we looked at Spark Pay's Go Plan, since it's a better fit for small businesses owners wanting to accept credit cards using an Android phone or tablet.

The Go Plan charges a 2.65 percent flat-rate for swiped transactions plus a $0.05 per-transaction fee, regardless of the type of card you accept, and a 3.70 percent fee plus a $0.05 per-transaction fee for keyed-in transactions. The per-transaction fee is lower than most, making it a good option for businesses with small tickets.

Spark Pay doesn't charge a PCI-compliance fee and it also doesn't impose a monthly minimum processing requirement. This makes it a good choice for seasonal businesses or for entrepreneurs who may not process a lot of credit card transactions, such as artists who sell at craft fairs.

In our testing, we assigned great importance to how transparent and consistent the credit card processing services were with information like fees and terms. Spark Pay received a maximum score on transparency, because it posts all of its information about its pricing and terms on its website. The customer service reps we contacted were consistent and gave our reviewers the same information as we found online.

Spark Pay gives you up to three free Android credit card swipers, which is useful if you have multiple employees accepting credit card payments. Like several of the companies we reviewed, Spark Pay doesn't currently have an EMV-compliant mobile credit card reader, but one is in development. It says it will notify its merchants when it's available.

It can take longer to set up an account with Spark Pay than it takes with other processors we reviewed. You may need to submit additional information about your business, including an EIN number. Even so, you should be able to process cards within two days. After you begin processing, it takes between one and two business days for the funds from your transactions to be deposited into your business bank account.

Like many mobile credit card processors, Spark Pay's customer service lacks some features. Although the website includes a knowledgebase with detailed information for prospective customers, the company has extended phone hours but doesn't offer 24/7 support or live chat, nor does it offer its clients a dedicated account rep. While the representatives we spoke with were helpful and knowledgeable, no one responded to the online form we submitted. We recommend calling Spark Pay directly during its business hours.

Summary

Spark Pay, the mobile processing branch of Capital One, works with small and large businesses alike. Its Go Plan offers up to three free swipers that work with Android devices. It charges no monthly fee, no PCI-related fees and has a single, low, flat rate for swiped transactions. Overall, it's a service worth considering for your mobile credit card processing needs.

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