Fivestars is a merchant services and CRM technology provider that integrates your business’s credit card processing and marketing efforts. The Fivestars Customer Touchscreen takes payments from all major credit cards and mobile wallets and it automates sign-ups, rewards, payments, and tips. The touchscreen can be purchased as a stand-alone solution or integrated with your existing point-of-sale solution.
Automates rewards and marketing
Boosts customer acquisition
Potential hidden fees
No e-commerce solutions
Monthly fee: Payments – no monthly fee; marketing –$29-$129/month
Per swipe fee:2.6% + $0.10 or best-rate match
Cancellation fee:None (although some customers have complained of hidden fees)
PCI compliance fee:None
Best for:All-in-one payments and rewards solution
Fivestars offers a Pax credit card reader for $69/month and Pax mobile reader for $249/month, or you can use your own terminal. Terminals can be used a stand-alone reader, in an integration with third-party point-of-sale software, or in an integration with the Fivestars Customer Touchscreen (the centerpiece of the Fivestars solution – read below for more).
The Fivestars Customer Touchscreen integrates credit card payments with a suite of marketing tools. This touchscreen tablet is offered free to monthly subscribers committing to a minimum one-year contract. It works in conjunction with the Fivestars Connect tablet or third-party point-of-sale software, and faces the customer (as opposed to the cashier) at the checkout.
When a customer pays for something in your store, they can use the Fivestars Customer Touchscreen to sign up or check into your rewards program using their phone number. Once a customer has registered, their contact details and payment info are automatically added to your customer database – allowing you to offer them all the best of your Fivestars automated marketing tools.
As mentioned, the main reason to choose Fivestars is for its suite of automated marketing solutions.
- Customer acquisition - As a subscriber to Fivestars, your business will be featured on the Customer Touchscreen at neighboring (non-competing) Fivestars businesses and on the Fivestars app and website. That way, customers of other local Fivestars businesses can easily discover your business.
- Loyalty retention - Each time a customer signs up for your marketing program, they are automatically added to your customer database. From there, the Fivestars marketing solution keeps track of the points the customer earns and automatically sends them rewards based on where they are in their journey with your business.
- Customer segmentation - You can control what types of rewards are sent to each customer through features like tagging (note a customer’s age group, gender, spending habits, etc.) and segmentation (send out different rewards to different groups based on certain characteristics).
- Targeted offers - With the Autopilot tool, you can send out rewards and notifications to customers based on a series of rules like first-time visit, birthday, or specific amount of time between visits to your store.
- Promotions - The Promotions tool works alongside the Autopilot tool, suggesting promos based on the data you collect from customers. It provides recommendations on everything from the timing of your next promotion to the wording of notifications to which customer segments to target.
- Third-party integrations - If you already have a large customer database, you can easily import contacts to your Fivestars solution from Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and other third-party solutions.
- Reports - On your Fivestars software, you can easily track how your program is performing, numbers of new and returning customers, number of rewards redeemed, and more.
There are two ways to use Fivestars: (1) as a pure credit card processing solution (but there are better providers for that); or (2) as an all-in-one payments and marketing solution.
For credit card processing, the standard rate is 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. However, if your existing credit card processor charges a lower rate, then Fivestars promises to match it if you bring in proof from previous billing statements. There are no monthly, setup, or cancellation fees for credit card processing.
The all-in-one payment solution combines payment processing (same fees apply as above) with a suite of marketing tools. The monthly fee ranges from $29 per month to $129 per month, based on which marketing tools you need.
- Acquisition tools: $29/month
- Promotions tools: $49/month
- Autopilot tool: $59/month
- Loyalty tools: $69/month
- All-in-one: $129/month
To begin, fill out a short online form on the Fivestars website and then wait for a Fivestars representative to call you; or call Fivestars directly on the number shown below under “Customer Support”. In order to sign up, you’ll need to provide some details about your business such as company name, your name, phone number, number of locations, industry, and type of POS system you currently use.
A minimum one-year commitment is required to sign up for any of Fivestars’ marketing programs. According to Fivestars, you can opt out for free at the end of the initial one-year term. However, we have noted some complaints of customers being charged hidden cancellation fees after the first year has finished.
Fivestars was co-founded in 2011 by Victor Ho and Matt Doka, who met while working together as consultants at McKinsey & Company. Today, Fivestars serves 14,000+ businesses catering to millions of customers around the United States. Not surprising for what is essentially a tech company, Fivestars is located in San Francisco.
If you’re looking to learn more about Fivestars, contact customer support through the chat bot on the Fivestars website or call 877-593-8702 during business hours to speak directly with a customer representative.
Fivestars is a unique cross between a payment processing provider and CRM (customer relationship management) marketing software. It isn’t the stand-alone provider in either category, but it certainly is a pioneer in its combining of the two. If you’re looking to improve customer retention without having to purchase stand-alone marketing software, then you should definitely consider Fivestars.