Leaders Review
October 01, 2019 / Jack Atkins
Leaders Review
October 01, 2019 / Jack Atkins
Leaders Review
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Intro
Leaders Merchant Services is a credit card processor specializing in serving high-risk merchants (i.e. merchants at high risk of chargeback). It caters to companies of all sizes, from all types of industries, in all 50 states. It offers a wide selection of terminals and POS systems from third-party suppliers like Clover, Verifone, First Data, and more.
Pros
Caters to all types of industries
Specializes in serving high-risk merchants
Wide selection of third-party hardware
Cons
Pricing isn’t at all transparent
Hidden fees
Long contracts and high cancellation fees
Leaders Merchant Services in Brief
Monthly fee: $20 - $33
Per swipe fee: 1%-5% + $0.15-$0.25
Setup fee: $25
Cancellation fee: $250 - $300
PCI compliance fee: $129/year
Best for: High-risk merchants
Terminals
Leaders Merchant Services offers a wide selection of third-party terminals for purchase or lease. It advertises a handful of terminals on its website, but in actual fact it offers additional terminals over the phone. Following are examples of some of the most popular terminals on offer.
  • Clover Station: An all-in-one POS system that replaces the traditional cash register and drawer.
  • Clover Mini: A tablet-sized touch screen with signature capture, front-facing camera, and integrated thermal printer.
  • Clover Flex: Countertop and handheld device with a battery that lasts a full day of business without needing to be recharged.
  • Clover Go: Smartphone-sized device that does virtually everything the other Clover devices do – with the added benefit that you can use it anywhere you have a Wi-Fi or cell connection.
As a specialist in ecommerce solutions, Flagship Merchant Services also offers the Authorize.net online payment gateway for a monthly fee.
POS solutions
Flagship is an authorized seller of the highly popular Clover point-of-sale software and devices. Clover’s POS software replaces your cash register, credit card swiper, payment terminal, receipts printer, and barcode scanner with an integrated suite of products. It enables your business to accept credit card, EMV, and NFC payments. Users can add accessories and apps to the Clover POS solution to form the complete business package.
Merchants get a choice of the following Clover POS devices:
  • Clover Station: An all-in-one POS system that replaces the traditional cash register and drawer.
  • Clover Mini: A tablet-sized touch screen with signature capture, front-facing camera, and integrated thermal printer.
  • Clover Flex: Countertop and handheld device with a battery that lasts a full day of business without needing to be recharged.
  • Clover Go: Smartphone-sized device that does virtually everything the other Clover devices do – with the added benefit that you can use it anywhere you have a Wi-Fi or cell connection.
Merchant services
As its name suggests, Flagship Merchant Services offers a range of merchant services. However, it really only offers basic merchant services without standing out from the crowd.
  • Merchant cash advance for up to $150,000 with next-day funding.
  • Integration with mobile wallets Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Gift card programs that make it easy to promote your brand and impress customers.
  • Digital loyalty programs, allowing you to track customers’ buying trends so you can offer good deals at the right time.
Pricing
Flagship Merchant Services doesn’t offer any pricing information on its website, stating that it offers rates and fees “tailored to the needs of each particular type of merchant”. Like most credit card processors, Flagship charges an interchange fee + percentage of total amount + flat fee. Given the variables involved, it’s fair to say the per-transaction fee can range from anywhere from 1-5% (plus the standard $0.15 - $0.25 flat fee). Most merchants probably pay closer to 5% on average.
One plus of Flagship Merchant Services is it appears to charge fewer fees than some of its competitors. While we can’t be certain there are no hidden fees, it does appear that there are no setup fees and no cancellation fees – both pluses in our book. The one fee you should be aware of is a PCI compliance fee of $99 per year – which is slightly lower than the average CCP provider.
Applying and contracts
The Flagship Merchant Services website doesn’t provide any information about contracts. From what we can ascertain, it doesn’t lock merchants into long-term contracts (at least not as a default). It appears that in most cases contracts are on a rolling month-by-month basis, meaning you can opt out at the end of the month.
About Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship Merchant Services has been serving American small businesses since 2001. It is a contracted reseller of First Data and Clover solutions. It is a registered ISO of BBVA USA, Birmingham, Alabama.
Customer Support
The reviews for Flagship Merchant Services are fairly average, with lots of praise mixed in with complaints about hidden fees and short response times. As with any credit card processor, it’s worth speaking to Flagship yourself and gauging whether they’re a good fit for your company.
Summary
Flagship Merchant Services offers a solid credit card processing service, doing some things better and some things worse than its competitors. Like other authorized resellers of processing and POS solutions, it specializes in high-risk accounts. In Flagship’s case, it appears to have particular expertise in handling high-risk merchants with high volumes of online, phone, and mail-order transactions.
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