In a Nutshell
- Payment processing solution with great add-ons
- Integration with most POS systems
- Easy to integrate online and mobile payments
- Pricing not disclosed
- Long contract terms and high termination fees
- Use of third-party sales agents
- Large businesses with high transaction volumes
- Small and medium businesses that don’t mind being locked into a contract
- Business looking to integrate payment processing into software they are already using
What’s on Offer
- CardPointe. A payment processing platform that enables businesses to securely accept credit card payments and manage transactions in one place.
- Bolt. Integrates payment processing into software solutions your business might already be using.
- Clover. Offers a customized POS system with more than 425 applications to help run your business.
- CardSecure. Protects every card-present transaction using patented tokenization and point-to-point encryption (P2PE).
- CardPointe Gateway. Allows businesses of all sizes and types (including ecommerce sites, mobile apps, and software/SaaS companies) to securely accept online credit card payments or process transactions in-store, using existing software.
For such a feature-rich service, CardConnect lets itself down with a lack of transparency about the application process and contracts. CardConnect works with both in-house and independent sales agents. Users should be wary of using independent sales agents, who are notorious for charging above market value and throwing in a whole bunch of hidden fees.
While the CardConnect website doesn’t shed much light on the application process, we did a bit of digging and found a mix of good and bad news. On the upside, CardConnect offers month-to-month contracts to some users, which is good for business owners wanting to test out new solutions. On the downside, some users have reported being locked into 5-year contracts and to being subjected to an early termination fee of $750 – both of which are well above the industry average.
What’s Unique About CardConnect?
There are credit card processing companies. There are point-of-sale providers. And then there’s CardConnect, a hybrid that offers a new or integrated credit card processing solution that can easily be turned into a full-fledged POS system should your business need it.
CardConnect is first and foremost a provider of credit card processing solutions. CardPointe, its flagship solution, enables businesses to easily and securely accept, integrate, and manage payments. It includes:
- A portal for managing all credit card transactions, pulling real-time reports, setting up custom bill plans for customers, saving customer information, and organizing and labelling products and services for an easier checkout process.
- A choice between integrating with a counter-top plug-and-play terminal, browser-based point-of-sale system, or free mobile app and compatible device for on-the go payments and transaction management.
- A customizable, highly-secure e-commerce gateway for online stores or business that take some payments online.
Integration with hundreds of third-party solutions, including analytics tools, shopping carts, accounting software, and more.
For businesses looking for a POS system with highly secure payments, CardConnect offers a combination of Bolt, its own in-house point-to-point encryption (P2PE), with Clover, one of the world’s most popular POS systems. This solution is designed for small businesses, such as retailers, restaurants, healthcare providers, and salons/spas.
With this combination of Bolt + Clover, users get:
- P2PE, which protests sensitive cardholder data.
- Reduced time and costs associated with maintaining PCI compliance.
- Custom branding.
- Instant firmware updates.
- A choice of four Clover terminals/devices: Clover Go, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, and Clover Station.
Overall, CardConnect offers a high degree of customization between credit card processing, add-ons, and point-of-sale. Because of the unique way it is structured, there are good odds CardConnect can tailor a solution to your business.
CardConnect offers 24/7 customer service, which is certainly a plus – especially for large global retailers that make sales round the clock. However, consistent with the lack of information about pricing and contracts, CardConnect has a reputation for poor customer service. The Better Business Bureau has recorded 47 major complaints in the last 3 years, with the majority due to billing issues and a smaller number down to actual issues with a product or service.
Pricing (Software and Hardware)
Unfortunately, CardConnect lets itself down with a lack of pricing information. When a merchant services provider doesn’t disclose pricing, it generally means one thing: each business is quoted and charged differently. Judging from customer reviews, this service is most cost-effective for large businesses with high volume transactions – who usually qualify for interchange-plus pricing, which is basically the credit card provider’s fee plus a small fee from CardConnect for each transaction. Smaller businesses may not be so lucky, although it doesn’t cost anything to get a quote and find out for yourself.
CardConnect also sells optional hardware through its CardPointe Shop. Terminals range from $115.00 for SecuRED, a certified magnetic stripe card reader that encrypts payment card data as it is swiped, to $555 for the Ingenico iSMP4, a virtual terminal that turns your computer into a payment processor. The CardPointe Mobile Device, which combines with the CardPointe Mobile app to accept card-present, swipe transactions, goes for just $25.
CardConnect is primarily a credit card processing company but with a higher degree of customization than most companies in the industry. It essentially offers the user three choices: it can be used as a basic credit card processing solution with optional add-ons. It can be integrated into an existing software solution, enabling your business to take payments while maintaining software. Or it can be combined with Clover for an-all round POS solution. Therefore, it would be accurate to call CardConnect a credit card processing solution with added benefits.
CardConnect was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 2006 under the name Financial Transaction Services. It changed to its current name and moved to its current Pennsylvania headquarters in 2013 and went public in 2016. CardConnect was acquired by First Data for $750 million in 2017 and was later absorbed into Fiserv, a global provider of financial services technology, when that company purchased First Data for $22 billion in 2019.
CardConnect helps businesses of all sizes grow through seamless integration of secure payment processing. It works with more than 200,000 businesses, including GE, Adobe, Jelly Belly, Nextech, AmeriGas, and Pampered Chef. It is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA, and Synovus Bank USA, GA.
1000 Continental Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406