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Flagship Merchant Services Review

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PROS / Its monthly fees are lower than average.

CONS / This service lacks transparency. It doesn't post information about its fees and processing rates on its website.

 VERDICT / Flagship Merchant Services has lower-than-average monthly fees and provides service on a month-to-month basis. However, it doesn't post pricing information online.

Flagship Merchant Services is an ISO/MSP of iPayment, one of the largest payment processing companies in the country. It works with both small business owners and large companies such as Avon, Mac Tools and Verizon. It offers good service terms, multiple pricing options and reliable customer service.

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This credit card merchant services company doesn't post much information about its credit card processing fees and costs on the company website. The company displays only its starter rate for its tiered pricing plan – and this rate only applies to regular debit cards accepted in person.

However, this service was consistent with the information it provided during our testing. When we contacted the company as potential customers and requested pricing quotes, both over the phone and via email, account representatives quoted the same rate and fee information to our reviewers, earning it 67% on our Transparency and Consistency score.

Flagship Merchant Services has a couple of different equipment options available when you sign up for service. You can purchase an EMV-compliant terminal outright for $138, which is a lower-than-average cost. Or, you can sign a 12-month contract if you want to receive a free terminal. After the 12-month period expires, you can continue with the service on a month-to-month basis, and won't be charged a cancellation fee if you terminate service after the initial 12-month term.

If you set up an account with this credit card merchant services company, you can choose between interchange-plus and tiered pricing options. Industry experts recommend interchange-plus pricing. Flagship Merchant Services charges 0.30% + $0.10 above interchange. This is the highest markup percentage in our review. The company notes that it can provide customized rates based on your business needs, industry and processing volume.

Flagship Merchant Services charges all of the standard fees common to the merchant payment services industry. The monthly fee is $7.95, which is lower than average. The monthly minimum is $25, which is average, and is calculated against processing fees rather than the full transaction amount. This means that if you fail to process a high enough volume to meet this minimum, the amount you generated in processing costs is deducted from it and you're charged the balance.

The annual PCI-compliance fee is $99, which is also average. If you fail to establish compliance, you're charged up to $30 per month. If you receive a chargeback, you're charged $25 per incident.

If you need a payment gateway, Flagship Merchant Services can set you up with an Authorize.net account. You pay a monthly gateway fee of $7.95, and like most of the companies on our lineup, there's no gateway setup fee.

This merchant services provider received 96% on our Ease of Application score. After you submit your application, the company reviews your application and can set up your merchant service account by the next business day. It has good service terms, providing month-to-month service with no cancellation fee. When you begin processing, the company can clear the account and deposit the money from your transactions into your business bank account within the industry average of one to two business days.

Customer service for this merchant account provider is above average. Flagship Merchant Services' account representatives were knowledgeable and attentive, earning full marks for our Customer Service score. Once you set up a merchant service account, you're assigned a dedicated account rep who serves as your primary point of contact with the company. 24/7 phone support is also available.

Summary

Though Flagship lacks the transparency of other companies on our lineup and has the highest interchange-plus markup percentage in our review, it was consistent with the information it provided. It also offers favorable terms and good customer support. There's no setup fees for your merchant account or your payment gateway, and its monthly fees are lower than average.

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