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Pros / This provider has low monthly fees, including the lowest monthly minimum out of the companies on our lineup that require this fee.

Cons / The EMV-compliant terminal from this service is more expensive than hardware from the other providers on our list.

 Verdict / TransFirst's fees are lower than most, which can save you money. However, you'll pay more for a basic EMV-compliant terminal.

TransFirst is a direct credit card processor, which means it processes transactions itself and doesn't resell another processor's services. It was purchased by TSYS in 2016; however, it still runs as TransFirst. It has competitively priced fees, favorable service terms and can quickly set up accounts.

We consider transparency and consistency of information an important consideration in reviewing payment gateway providers. TransFirst provides the basics about its fees, costs and terms online. However, TransFirst was one of only two services that wouldn't send us a contract to review, which lowered its transparency and consistency score to 67%.

If you're a new business needing processing equipment or an established business that needs to upgrade its equipment to accept chip cards, EMV-compliant terminals are available through this payment gateway services provider. However, at $299, it charges one of the highest prices in our review for a basic processing terminal.

You can choose either interchange-plus or tiered pricing for your credit card processing. Interchange-plus pricing is preferred by industry experts, and this company charges 0.20% + $0.18 over interchange. While the percentage rate is on a par with the best on our lineup, the per-transaction fee is on the higher end compared to other processors' prices.

TransFirst has one of the lowest monthly fees out of the services we reviewed at just $5. Its monthly minimum is also set at $5, which is the lowest out of the services we reviewed that required monthly minimums. Its PCI-compliance fees cost $75.20 per year, which is lower than average in this industry. If you neglect to comply with PCI security standards, you're charged $29 each month until you establish compliance. If a customer issues a chargeback, you pay $25 per instance, which is an average cost.

Three payment gateway options are available from this company: Transaction Express, Transaction Central or Authorize.net. The monthly payment gateway fee is $5, which is among the lowest in our review of the companies that charge this fee, and there's no gateway setup fee.

This payment gateway provider can set up your account quickly, taking just one business day to review your application and set up your account. It has good service terms, with no cancellation fees and month-to-month service. It also surpasses industry benchmarks in that after you begin processing with TransFirst, it clears the account and deposits transaction funds in your business bank account the next business day.

The representatives we spoke with when we called in to TransFirst were patient and knowledgeable, answering the many questions we presented. However, we recommend calling directly for answers to your questions as we didn't receive a response from filling out the service's online form. Though 24/7 phone support is available, this company doesn't assign its merchants a dedicated account representative.

Summary

TransFirst is a direct processor that has low fees, a competitive interchange-plus percentage markup and good service terms. However, its customer service wasn't as responsive as other companies, so you should call TransFirst directly rather than waiting for a response from the contact form on the website. As with any payment gateway provider, you want to make sure you receive a full contract (application, terms of service and product guide) to review and read it carefully before signing up for service.

Specifications and Benchmarks

Quick Picks

Transparency & Consistency
67%
Minimum Cost for EMV Upgrade
$299
Noteworthy Feature
Low fees
Best For
Businesses of all sizes
Discounted Rate for Nonprofits
Rate Lock Guarantee

Tier Pricing

Swiped Debit Card
1.63 - 2.63%
Swiped Credit Card
1.63 - 2.63%
Per Transaction
$0.19

Online Processing Fees

No Gateway Setup Fee
Monthly Gateway Fee
$5

Other Fees

PCI Compliance
$75.20
PCI Noncompliance
$29
Chargeback Fee
$25

Setup & Service Terms

Ease of Application
83%
No Contract Required
No Cancellation Fee
No Setup Fee
Quick Setup Time
Quickly Clears the Account

Interchange Plus Pricing

Interchange-Plus Markup
0.20%
Per Transaction
$0.18

Customer Support

Customer Service
80%
Dedicated Account Rep
Phone 24/7
Live Chat

Ongoing Fees

Monthly Fee
$9.95
Monthly Minimum
$5
No Annual Fee