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Pros / Unlimited processing is included in all three of this company's pricing plans.

Cons / You can't purchase your terminal, and if you fail to return it within two weeks of canceling your account, you're charged a steep fee.

 Verdict / Fattmerchant has transparent pricing and offers multiple service plans, but its monthly membership fee is more expensive than most.

Fattmerchant is a credit card processor in Orlando, Florida that provides merchant accounts and payment gateway services to small businesses. Along with Payment Depot, it's one of the few credit card processing companies with a membership-based pricing structure.

It has three service plans available, and all three include unlimited processing. Instead of separating service plans by processing volume, plans are arranged according to processing setup: getting started, online and invoicing, and retail. The membership fee includes the use of processing equipment, which means you can't purchase equipment outright. Fattmerchant works with Authorize.net, one of the most popular payment gateways.

This payment gateway services provider received a good transparency and consistency score – 89% – because its website clearly displays information about its pricing and fees. Further, the account representatives we spoke with gave us straightforward, consistent answers to our questions about key information. The website includes a link to the company's terms of service, but when we requested a full contract to review, we received a link to an online application, which we couldn't view in its entirety without filling it out.

For each transaction, you don't pay Fattmerchant a percentage markup. Rather, you pay wholesale interchange rates and a per-transaction fee of $0.08, $0.15 or $0.25, depending on your service plan. The retail plan's $0.08 per-transaction fee is among the lowest, while the getting started plan has one of the highest per-transaction fees at $0.25. The monthly membership fees for all three plans are expensive, however, there aren't any other regular fees. It doesn't charge monthly minimums, annual fees, setup fees, monthly statement fees, payment gateway fees or PCI compliance fees.

Like the majority of the payment gateway providers in our review, if you neglect to establish your PCI compliance each year, you'll be charged a PCI noncompliance fee of $19.95 each month until you remedy the situation. This company charges less for this fee than many of its competitors. The fee for chargebacks is also lower than most, costing $15 per instance.

Fattmerchant provides month-to-month service, with no lengthy contracts and no cancellation fees. If you wish to cancel your account, the company requires 30-days' notice in writing. It also requires you to return its processing equipment within two weeks; otherwise, you're charged a steep fee.

To apply for an account, you fill out an online application. After your application is submitted, it takes one to two days for the company to set up your account. This is an average amount of time for account creation. Once you begin processing with Fattmerchant, it clears the account next day (which means the money from your sales is deposited into your bank account). Next-day account clearing is faster than the two-day industry average.

The Fattmerchant account representatives our reviewers spoke with provided prompt, courteous customer service. They gave us straightforward answers to our questions about pricing, fees and contracts, and were quick to follow up with us via email with pricing quotes. Fattmerchant's customers work with dedicated account representatives. The company offers 24/7 phone support, and you can also contact the company through the live chat feature on its website.

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Fattmerchant offers transparent pricing, month-to-month service and a membership-based pricing structure with no markup over interchange rates. The per-transaction fees are competitive, but the monthly membership fee is expensive, even considering that there aren't any other regular fees (and that includes the use of processing equipment). It's best suited for small businesses with a high monthly volume of transactions.

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