Host Merchant Services Review
Application & Approval Process
Customer Support & Benefits
Equipment & Software Quality
Host Merchant Services was founded in 2008 with a strong emphasis on customer service and the business takes great pride in the fact that its customer support team is larger than its sales team. The company provides a wide range of services including payment processing, point of sales systems, credit card machines, gift & loyalty cards, merchant cash advances, and more. The company stands out as not having any application fees, setup fees, cancellation fees or hidden charges. They also offer lifetime rates that do not increase over time, and a range of business tools, such as websites and customer analytics, to help businesses grow.
- Businesses of any size looking for simple CCP and transparent pricing
- Businesses looking to expand online and accept e-payments
- Those who are looking for point of sale systems
- Those who do not want to sign a long-term contract or face cancellation fees
Not suitable for
- Businesses selling marijuana
- Those seeking exceptionally low fees
- Interchange Plus Accounts available with clear fees for different industry types.
- Cash Discount Account that passes processing fees to card holders rather than to merchants.
- Free EMV card terminal for businesses that process more than $20,000 per month.
- No long-term contract obligations and no cancellation fees.
- Fantastic customer support team available 24/7 all year round.
Host Merchant Services most popular CCP product is the Interchange Plus Account. As the name suggests, this uses Interchange Plus pricing (also known as Cost+ pricing). The aim is to provide customers with the lowest possible cost and full transparency. Interchange is the rates charged by card brands, such as Visa, MasterCard and Discover, for use of the cards. Host Merchant Services pass the interchange costs directly to customers with an added set fee for its services.
For example, if the customer uses a card with an interchange rate of 1.51% + $0.10, Host Merchant Services then adds a set fee of 0.25% + $0.10, which means that the merchant would pay 1.76% + $0.20 for the transaction. This method is widely considered the least costly.
The price per transaction varies depending on the nature of the business. Host Merchant Services adds 0.25% and $0.10 per transaction for retail storefronts, 0.25% and $0.09 per transaction for restaurants, and 0.35% and $0.10 per transaction for e-commerce.
There are a few additional fees listed on the Host Merchant Services website. There is a Batch Fee of $0.20/batch, a $0.75 Voice Authorization fee, an option $5/month Gateway fee, a $14.99/month Monthly Fee, and an Annual 1099 Reporting Fee of $24.
The company offers a second account known as a Cash Discount Account, or a No Cost Account. This account takes the processing fee and passes it to the cardholder, by adding a small fee to each transaction, meaning that the merchant does not pay for processing. The card terminal automatically adds a fee when paying by card but discounts the fee for those who pay by cash. The account is free for merchants processing over $5,000 per month, otherwise it is $19.99 per month. Host Merchant Services believe that this type of account is best for those who work with service-based businesses, but do not restrict it to specific industries.
Regardless of which type of account a customer has, there is no month-to-month contract or early cancellation fees.
The company is able to provide up to date credit card terminals and those who process over $20,000 per month may qualify for one free EMV card terminal. Host Merchant Services offers many different machines including models from Ingenico, Verifone, Dejavoo, and other manufacturers. All the models support EMV payments and many of them also support NFC-based payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. While there are no prices on the website, customer reviews suggest that they are very reasonable.
Host Merchant Services also sell a range of point of sale systems – the Clover POS, the Vital POS, the SwipeSimple POS, and the Bonsai POS. These come with a variety of tools such as inventory and sales management, and each is suitable for a different business environment. For example, the SwipeSimple POS offers high quality tablet and smartphone systems. It is available with a printer combination for a countertop solution while the mobile swiper can be used on the go. By contrast, the Cover POS is a far more involved system that can be adapted for almost any business and comes complete with a tablet interface, a printer, register draws, barcode scatters, customer-facing displays, and more.
Unfortunately, no pricing information is supplied on the Host Merchant Services website.
All the credit card machines supplied by Host Merchant Services are EMV and PCI compliant. EMV is a global standard for cards that are equipped with a chip and the technology used to authenticate transactions. It was created to prevent hackers from stealing card information and then duplicating the cards.
PCI compliance is a set of security standards that are designed for companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information. It is managed by the PIC Security Standards Council, an independent body comprised of the major payment card brands.
Host Merchant Services prides itself on its excellent customer support and states on the company website that the support team is four times larger than the sales team. Furthermore, they insist that when phoning, customers will not be held in queues and that 95% of calls are answered in three rings or less. The customer support team is available 24/7 every day of the year, so merchants can receive assistance whenever they need it.
The sales team are available from 8 AM to 6 PM on Mondays to Fridays, and Host Merchant Services promise that sales calls are answered just as quickly. It is also possible to reach them via email or through a form on the website. Those who would like a quote can apply for one online by providing details of location and the service they are interested in and Host Merchant Services will soon be in touch.
Host Merchant Services
Address: 250 Corporate Blvd Suite L Newark, Delaware 19702
Address: 10661 Airport-Pulling Road North, Suite 13, Naples, FL 34109
Email: [email protected]