CardSmart Merchant Services Review

Overview

Nearly 30 Years of Payment Processing

Founded in 1989, CardSmart Merchant Services (getcardsmart.com) is a payment processing company providing merchant accounts for retail businesses throughout the United States. Merchants should note that they may also find reviews under the spelling of “Card Smart” merchant services.

CardSmart Merchant Services Location and Ownership

The company is headquartered at 5425 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada 89119 and is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. Eric Elam is the president of CardSmart Merchant Services.

CardSmart Merchant Services Review Table of Contents

  • Sales & Marketing: CardSmart Merchant Services may or may not hire independent sales representatives and has received only one merchant complaint about its sales practices.
  • Costs & Contract: CardSmart Merchant Services appears to offer variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type.
  • Complaints & Service: CardSmart Merchant Services has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: CardSmart Merchant Services does not have a rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received zero complaints in the past three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With CardSmart Merchant Services

CardSmart Merchant Services Products and Services

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Online payment gateway (via eProcessingNetwork, USA ePay, and Authorize.net)
  • Check processing
  • POS equipment
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • Mobile payment acceptance

Industries

  • Retail
  • Wireless
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO
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Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

Employs Independent Resellers Unknown
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Outside Sales Agents

As of this update, it appears that CardSmart utilizes in-house telemarketing and independent sales agents to market its services. We have found two publicly listed complaints about the company’s sales team on non-BBB consumer protection websites. One complaint in the comment section of this review describes the following:

The telesales agent made it seem like we had a relationship with them, but when I asked they said we did not. I asked them to put the upgrade offer in writing but she said she could not, but could schedule an in-person interview. We scheduled a date and time and I asked her to send email confirmation, but it never appeared.

Another Google review complains about a sales agent’s unprofessional behavior. However, this review appears to be an isolated incident specific to that agent.

Former Deceptive Rate Quoting

At the time of our last update, CardSmart’s website both included information about Interchange-plus and featured a deceptive rate quote on its homepage of “Discounted Rates starting at 1.19%.” This rate quote is misleading because it only names the “Qualified” rate that merchants will pay, rather than the “Mid-Qualified” or “Non-Qualified” rates that they will see for the majority of their transactions. In light of the fact that this rate quote no longer appears on the company’s website, we have assigned it an “A” rating in this section. Merchants should be aware, however, a third-party statement audit could help them identify and eliminate high rates.

Response from CardSmart Merchant Services

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Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee Variable
PCI Compliance Fee Variable
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

Variable Contract Terms

As of this update, there is very little publicly available information about the standard CardSmart contract. There are is only one public complaint about the company’s pricing, which describes unspecified add-on fees appearing on the merchant’s statement. This low complaint total seems to indicate that the majority of the company’s clients are satisfied with their contract terms. CardSmart’s previous use of a “1.19%” rate quote also suggests that it primarily offers tiered pricing.

No Pricing Complaints

In the absence of many complaints, we have awarded the company an “A” for the time being. However, we do not expect it to outperform the cheapest merchant account providers available. If you have any knowledge of CardSmart’s standard contract terms (including any PCI compliance fees or early termination fees), please share that information in the comment section of this review.

Response from CardSmart Merchant Services

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Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Total

As noted above, there are only a few CardSmart reviews on this website or other non-BBB consumer protection websites. Common issues include unprofessional conduct by a sales agents and excessive fees. Although CardSmart is a smaller merchant account provider, a complaint rate this low seems to suggest that the company provides adequate customer support and prevents internal issues from going public.

CardSmart Merchant Services Support Options

The company offers 24/7 phone support for its clients, but the “Support” link on the CardSmart website is broken as of this update. This is one reason why the company is not currently a top-rated merchant account provider for customer support.

Response from CardSmart Merchant Services

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BBB

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

No BBB Complaints

As of this review, the company is not an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau and does not receive a rating. CardSmart has not received any complaints through the BBB in the past three years. It also has not received any informal reviews through the BBB, although it should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB.

No Rating Assigned

The BBB states that it does not assign a rating at this time because it does not have sufficient information about CardSmart. In light of this, we will not factor a BBB rating into this review. Merchants should be aware that there are reasons to be skeptical of BBB ratings.

Response from CardSmart Merchant Services

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Cardsmart Merchant Services Logo

CardSmart Merchant Services Bottom Line

A Solid Option for Most Businesses

CardSmart Merchant Services rates as a better-than-average merchant services provider according to our criteria. The overall lack of complaints is an encouraging sign for the company, but little is known about the specifics of its hiring practices or contract terms. Until more is known, we will assume the best about CardSmart, but, as always, merchants are advised to read their contracts carefully and compare them to top-rated processors.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

1 Review Leave Your Review for CardSmart Merchant Services Below

    Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  1. Smart Card Merchant Services cold called me and said our business rating had changed and wanted to know whether I wanted to accept an upgrade to our account for better credit card processing fees.

    The telesales agent made it seem like we had a relationship with them, but when I asked they said we did not. I asked them to put the upgrade offer in writing but she said she could not, but could schedule an in-person interview. We scheduled a date and time and I asked her to send email confirmation, but it never appeared. Strike 1.

    On the date in question, I called the number on the website and reached someone who confirmed there was an appointment and they had my email address wrong. So obviously they don’t know much about my business, and when I said it was a cold sales call, they insisted it was not since they knew our credit rating had improved.

    I told her I would be a little late for the meeting since it wasn’t confirmed. I was five minutes late – the rep was 45 minutes late. Strike 2.

    During the meeting, the rep would not put anything in writing and proceeded with a number of hard sell / hard close sales gambits. He was vague about details and said I have to commit, they only review accounts once a year and I have to decide now. I told him I needed to talk to my partners and he continued to try to close the sale.

    He finally wrote some things on his business card with a *not guaranteed* on it. He said he was not selling me, but rather his goal was to screen me out.

    I called the next day and told him we were interested and whether he could send me the contract so we can review the terms and sign. He told me he can only meet in person. Since my partner is in another state, I told him we would be happy to do that but he would have to fly across the country. He said he can’t do that. Strike 3.

    We decided the sales process and business practices are too sketchy for us to engage with them. They promise great rates, but won’t put anything in writing and keep saying “it depends”.

    While we have not done business with them, they managed to waste a lot of my time and proved to be incompetent with sketchy business practices at best. At least as far as we are concerned, they are out.

    It’s strange they behave so unprofessionally. We are currently paying sky-high rates for credit card processing and it appears they can save us a lot of money. But we can’t risk a core part of our business dealing with a vendor who:
    1) Has deceptive sales techniques
    2) Insists on meeting in person and is 45 minutes late
    3) Won’t send a contract to review

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