PROS / The monthly fee is priced below average.
CONS / This company lacks transparency. Its costs and fees aren't posted on its website.
VERDICT / Flagship Merchant Services charges a low monthly fee and offers month-to-month service. However, it doesn't post its rates and fee schedule online.
Flagship Merchant Services is a payment gateway services provider that resells merchant accounts from iPayment, which is one of the largest credit card processors in the nation. Flagship Merchant Services works with clients of all sizes, from new business to small, established businesses to large companies such as Subway and Verizon. It has strong customer service and solid terms as well as different pricing models to choose from.
As we researched payment gateways, we looked for consistency and transparency in the companies we reviewed. While some service terms are posted on Flagship Merchant Services' website, there's hardly any information about fees and pricing available. We awarded Flagship a Transparency and Consistency score of 67%.
The starting rate advertised on the company's website is a tiered rate for qualified debit cards, which means that you receive this rate only for regular debit cards you accept in person. When we reached out to Flagship Merchant Services' agents via phone and email as prospective merchants, however, the information we received was consistent; we were quoted the same rates, fees and terms from several different people.
You can choose between interchange-plus pricing and tiered pricing with this payment gateway company. The interchange-plus rate is favored by industry experts, and Flagship Merchant Services' markup is 0.30% + $0.10 above interchange. Depending on the amount your business processes monthly, your industry and other factors, customized rates may be available.
Flagship Merchant Services' fee schedule includes a $7.95 monthly fee which is comparatively low, and a monthly minimum of $25 and an annual PCI-compliance fee of $99, both of which are average. The monthly minimum is based on the processing costs you generate from each transaction, not the whole purchase amount, which is a common practice.
If you neglect to become PCI compliant, you will be charged up to $30 each month until you remedy the situation. Each time a customer issues a chargeback, you pay $25. These fees are also on par with industry averages.
If you want a virtual terminal or want to accept credit cards online, Flagship Merchant Services sets you up with an Authorize.net payment gateway. There's no setup fee for the payment gateway, and the monthly payment gateway fee is $7.95 per month, which is lower than average.
This merchant gateway provider makes it easy to set up and cancel an account, earning it a 96% on our Ease of Application score. As soon as you submit your application, Flagship Merchant Services reviews it, and your account can be set up the next business day. After you begin processing, funds are deposited into your business's bank account within two business days following a transaction. This is within the industry average.
There's no long-term contract to sign, so you have a flexible month-to-month plan. There's no cancellation fee if you close your account with Flagship Merchant Services, so you can move on to a different provider.
Upon signing up with Flagship, you're assigned a dedicated account representative, and you can call the company for support 24/7. In our testing, the representatives we contacted were quick to respond to emails and follow up with us by phone with answers to our questions about terms and rates, earning the company full marks for our customer support score.
Flagship Merchant Services is a solid choice for a payment gateway service provider. While it isn't as transparent with rates and fees as other companies we reviewed, it was consistent with the information it quoted our testers. Its monthly fees are lower than average and its service terms are good, with month-to-month service and no cancellation penalties.