SalonSwipe Review

Overall Rating Breakdown
Sales & Marketing Tactics
Costs & Contract Terms
Complaints & Service
BBB Rating

SalonSwipe Overall Rating

"B" Credit Card Processor Rating

Last Updated: January 31, 2014

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SalonSwipe Overview

SalonSwipe Logo

SalonSwipe Logo

SalonSwipe ( is a mobile payments processing service designed specifically for individuals and businesses in the salon industry. The company is not a direct processor, and it appears to be partnered with multiple credit card processing networks, including North American Bancard, First Data, and Vantiv . Launched in 2006, SalonSwipe offers two forms of electronic payment processing. The first is a traditional, wired card terminal with a PIN pad and printer capabilities. The second is a mobile processing solution wherein a free card-reading device is plugged into the headphone jack of a user’s mobile device, similar to Square’s hardware. SalonSwipe charges on a per-transaction basis and does not require any contracts or monthly minimums.

SalonSwipe Sales & Marketing Tactics | A

SalonSwipe appears to market itself primarily through its website. There is no indication at this time that the company partners with ISOs or independent agents, which are often loosely regulated and poorly trained entities. We are also unable to locate any negative SalonSwipe reviews that mention unethical practices by the company’s sales force. The company’s website lists specific rates and pricing for swiped and keyed transactions, but there is no evidence that these rates are misleading or false.

SalonSwipe Costs & Contract Terms | B-

SalonSwipe appears to offer fairly transparent pricing. The company’s contract (available below) does not include a long-term service agreement, early termination fee, or monthly minimum, just as the company advertises. In addition, there are no complaints online that dispute the company’s advertised swipe rates of 2.4% plus $0.24 (terminal) and 2.69% (mobile), or its keyed mobile rate of 3.49% plus $0.15. These pricing structures do not appear to vary from merchant to merchant.

What does appear to vary is the company’s reserve policy from merchant to merchant. Similar to Square, SalonSwipe claims the right to establish a reserve account at any time, in any amount, and at its own discretion in order to protect itself in the case of fraudulent transactions. Additionally, in the case that a merchant processes over $1,000 in card-not-present amounts in a given week, SalonSwipe reserves the right to defer payout of the amount exceeding $1,000 for 30 days. The establishment of a cash reserve is a common practice within the industry, but in the case of SalonSwipe, it appears that multiple merchants are experiencing frustration with this policy. Specifically, it seems that SalonSwipe does not openly disclose this policy or offer available customer support staff to assist merchants with unexpected holds, leaving business owners wondering when their funds will be returned. This factor has lowered the company’s grade in this category somewhat.

Click here to see a copy of the standard SalonSwipe user agreement
SalonSwipe User Agreement

SalonSwipe Complaints & Service | C-

We are currently able to locate roughly 20 SalonSwipe complaints, some of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. The overwhelming majority of complaints mention some combination of missing funds that have yet to be deposited in a merchant’s account and an inability to reach a SalonSwipe customer service representative to resolve the issue. Other complaints include difficulty cancelling service and miscommunications regarding banking info that take time to resolve. Generally speaking, it seems that SalonSwipe’s customer service phone line and email address do not provide responses to merchants in a timely fashion, which results in a great deal of frustration for merchants.

It is also worth noting that approximately half of these publicly available SalonSwipe complaints received rebuttals from company representatives. These rebuttals were sometimes unprofessional in tone and attempted to shift blame onto SalonSwipe’s processors or affiliated banks rather than resolve the merchant’s problem. In addition to the multiple complaints specifically expressing frustration with the company’s customer services, this generally antagonistic rebuttal approach has lowered the company’s overall score in this section.

SalonSwipe BBB Report | A- (CPO Adjusted)

Due to the shutdown of the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) greater Los Angeles-area branch, it is possible that SalonSwipe has had its complaint history wiped clean with the BBB at some point. At this time, the BBB’s profile indicates that SalonSwipe is an accredited business with the BBB and has no rating with seven total complaints filed in the last year. Of the total complaints, two were filed regarding billing and collections issues; the remaining five stemmed from problems with SalonSwipe’s products or services. SalonSwipe has resolved all seven complaints to the satisfaction of the merchants.

Bottom Line

SalonSwipe rates as an average merchant account provider according to our standards. The company is showing a low-to-moderate amount of complaints for its size and time in business, and its reputation primarily appears to suffer from an unreliable customer service team.

Leave your review of SalonSwipe in the comment section below:

SalonSwipe Review

Rated 3.375 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-03-19 10:40:23

UPDATED: Jan 31, 2014 – We are currently able to locate roughly 27 SalonSwipe complaints, some of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam… SalonSwipe ( rates as an average merchant account provider according to our standards. The company is showing a low-to-moderate amount of complaints for… Learn more in this SalonSwipe review.

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About the author

Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.

Phillip can help you find an ethical and honest processor that will offer you great rates. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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  1. Kimra

    This company dipped into my account and WITHDREW the amount they were supposed to credit. I have filed complaint after complaint via e-mail, and telephone, and cannot get a reply. I am out the money the stole, and a myriad of other charges that their mistake has caused. I have filed a fraud case with my bank, and have filed a civil suit. If anyone else would like to join my lawsuit and make it a class action, please feel free to reply here, and I will contact you. I am furious with this company, and I know many of you are as well.

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  2. Leah

    I too fell victim. 18 years in the business and I’m surprised I can be this put out with a so called professional company. Purchased it a month ago with a “rebate with first use” code in it. I was going to use it for the out of area weddings i do. well it didn’t state on the pkg that you have to activate it right away to receive the rebate. Next after I did set it up WITH ALL REQUIRED INFO REQUESTED it said I was ready to start taking swipes. I did a wedding. Then I’ve got nothing but a stack of reply emails that say i need more info sent. 5 times I’ve sent my info. the 24-7 support is a lie. yes lie. you get conveniently sent to leave a message where a friendly and knowledgeable person will return your… call.. no. just the same bogus emails. I understand the need to be cautious regarding fraud but that was supposedly cleared upon clearance to start making transactions, correct? I managed in 1 of my daily calls to get an operator that accidentally picked up the phone to say yes they had my funds, not MasterCard like the email said but he wasn’t authorized to tell me more. Then yes i was forwarded to yet another non helpful voice mail. So they are unlawfully withholding my funds. I’ve documented all correspondence with copies and I just submitted my complaint to the BBB. Bad and misleading business practice. A threat to small businesses.

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  3. Tiffanie Barackman

    The worst customer EVER! it has been 5 days, and NOBODY has called me back about a client that was double charged. And they blame it on me! I only used them for less than 3 weeks, and I got Square. Its just not worth the tiny bit that you save in fee’s…. This company doesn’t get how important customer service is for a start up company.

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  4. maika

    It’s worse than I thought! Not only does the company refuse to call me back when they have owed me money for a year, but they are now removing hundreds of dollars from my bank account. Unless you want this company STEALING money out of your account my advise is take my situation as an example and simply beware.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
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