ClearGate Reviews & Complaints

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4.5
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Overview

In this review of ClearChoice Merchant Services, we will provide a detailed overview of the company's credit card processing services. We will cover the range of services they offer, including point-of-sale (POS) systems, mobile payment solutions, and e-commerce capabilities. The review will identify the types of businesses that might benefit from these services. Additionally, we will examine client and customer reviews to highlight common trends and potential concerns. The article will also address the company's pricing structure, contract terms, and specific services provided. By the end of this review, you will have a clear understanding of whether ClearChoice Merchant Services meets your payment processing needs.

About ClearGate

ClearGate, formerly known as ClearChoice Merchant Services, is a merchant account provider headquartered in Reno, Nevada. The company appears to have changed its name in 2014, however, the domain once registered to ClearChoice redirects to ClearGate's current website, meaning it likely does not operate under its other DBA any longer. There is some evidence that ClearGate is a reseller of First Data (now Fiserv) contracts. In 2022, ClearGate was purchased by a branch of Evolv.

ClearGate Payment Processing

ClearGate processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include EMV card readers and swipers, access to virtual terminals and payment gateways, the PayUp mobile payment, and business management app, and data reporting and analytics.

ClearGate payment processing
ClearGate offers standard payment processing services

ClearGate Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

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

Low Complaint Total

As of now, we can find only a limited number of negative ClearGate reviews online. These do not label the company as a scam or a ripoff. One ClearGate complaint mentions unauthorized charges, while the other two involve issues related to non-disclosure of contract terms. These terms include the contract’s duration, early termination fees, and cancellation policy. If you have a ClearGate review based on your experience, feel free to share it in the comments below.

ClearGate Lawsuits

We have conducted thorough research and found no current class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against ClearGate. However, merchants dissatisfied with ClearGate’s services have options for non-litigious actions. These include reporting the company to relevant supervisory organizations.

ClearGate Customer Service Options

ClearGate, potentially an ISO or reseller of First Data (Fiserv), might have some of its reviews reflected under the profiles of its larger payment processor partner. In the absence of concrete evidence, this aspect has not influenced our evaluation. ClearGate provides several customer support channels. These include a dedicated phone number and email address. However, it’s noteworthy that ClearGate is not currently recognized among the top merchant account providers for customer service.

ClearGate Customer Service Contacts

  • (866) 779-4787 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
  • (800) 998-2497 – Gateway/Virtual Terminal Support
  • (775) 336-6800 – New Merchant Inquiries
  • (866) 779-4787 – New Partnership Inquiries

Other Support Options

ClearGate Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
Total Complaints 0
Resolved Complaints 0

No BBB Complaints

ClearGate has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2006. As of this review, the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 0 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. It also has not received any informal reviews, although it should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB.

An “A” Performance Overall

In keeping with our belief that “A+” ratings should typically be reserved for companies with 0 complaints, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time. Merchants should be aware, however, that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s reviews.

ClearGate Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Swiped Rate 2.69% + $0.19
Keyed-in Rate 3.69% + $0.19
Level II Visa Rate 2.05% + $0.10
Level II MasterCard Rate 2.00% + $0.10 - 2.31% + $0.10
Level III Visa Rate 1.85% + $0.10
Level III MasterCard Rate 1.75% + $0.10 - 2.06% + $0.10
Gateway Fee Undisclosed
Early Termination Fee $250-$350
PCI Compliance Fee $19.95 Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

Three-Year Agreement

The ClearGate Program Guide is aligned with the standard First Data (Fiserv) framework, including a three-year term with automatic renewal for two-year increments, an early termination fee between $250-$350, and a monthly PCI Compliance fee of $19.95. It also mentions a monthly minimum fee and tiered pricing. Despite this, ClearGate offers proposals with flat rate or interchange-plus pricing options beyond just tiered pricing, as outlined in its program guide. While these terms may not be the most competitive, they are consistent with what is typical for First Data (Fiserv) agreements.

Merchant account pricing may vary by reseller, with First Data (Fiserv) typically offering rates of 2.69% plus $0.19 for swiped transactions up to $50,000 monthly, with lower rates for higher volumes. Contracts can range from month-to-month to up to five years, often including a two to four-year service length, an early termination fee up to $495, and a PCI Compliance fee of $19.95 per month. Merchants have also reported costly, non-cancellable equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing lasting up to 48 months.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

ClearGate promotes its virtual terminal and payment gateway services on its website, though specific pricing details are not provided. Rates for these e-commerce services, including gateway fees, technical support charges, batch fees, and transaction rates, are typically applied additionally.

Level 2 and Level 3 Processing Services

ClearMerchant provides Level 2 and Level 3 processing for B2B and B2G transactions, utilizing different interchange rates than those for consumer credit transactions. This specialized processing requires technology capable of transmitting the detailed data necessary for these transactions. Rates advertised for Level 2 processing are 2.05% plus $0.10 for Visa and 2.00% to 2.31% plus $0.10 for MasterCard, with Level 3 rates at 1.85% plus $0.10 for Visa and 1.75% to 2.06% plus $0.10 for MasterCard.

ClearGate Contract Complaints

There have been at least two complaints from merchants surprised by a $350 cancellation fee, suggesting that this fee may not always be clearly communicated by sales agents. Merchants should thoroughly review all contract terms and compare the merchant agreement with the program guide to confirm all fees.

Merchants are advised to explore our selection of the best merchant accounts for competitive options.

ClearGate virtual terminal
ClearGate offers virtual terminal and payment gateway access

ClearGate Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

ClearGate Sales Tactics

ClearGate appears to hire independently contracted sales agents to market its services. This is a common hiring practice within the credit card processing industry that often results in a sales team composed of poorly trained or unregulated agents. We are currently able to locate two ClearGate reviews that describe nondisclosure of ClearGate fees by the company’s sales agents. These complaints specifically cite a failure to explain the company’s early termination fee amount, 3-year service term, and cancellation procedures.

No Misleading Quotes

To its credit, ClearGate does not appear to list deceptive rate quotes in its official materials. This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors. If you suspect that ClearGate is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges.

Our ClearGate Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

ClearGate ranks as a better-than-average merchant services provider according to our criteria. The company’s exceptionally low complaint rate on consumer protection websites is commendable, reflecting a level of customer satisfaction that surpasses many in the industry. However, its overall score is tempered by contract terms that remain fairly standard for the industry. Merchants considering ClearGate should carefully review both the program guide and merchant agreement to get an accurate picture of potential expenses. To ensure they secure the best possible deal, merchants are encouraged to compare ClearGate’s pricing to those of top-rated merchant account providers. Taking this extra step helps ensure that merchants make an informed decision that aligns with their financial expectations and business goals.

Location & Ownership

ClearGate is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in Concord, California, and is located at 9736 S Virginia St Ste A, Reno, NV 89511-5902. Robert Onesian is listed as the founder of ClearGate.

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Which is Most Important for You?

If you had to pick one, which quality would you say will be the most important with your next credit card processor? Tap or click your selection to register your vote:

  1. Low Transaction Fees
  2. No Monthly Fees
  3. No Contract
  4. Reliable Customer Support
  5. Quick Signup

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did ClearGate Treat You?

2 User Reviews

  • Steve Donato

    This company is run by charlatans and scam artists who lock you into a fee structure, and then – without your knowledge or permission – raise the fees through the roof. The head charlatan, Pete Pistone – tried to ding me for not being “PCI Compliant.” This was utter nonsense, as I was completely within the PCI Compliant regulations and guidelines. When I cancelled this horrible service, he threatened me with collections. This guy has been trying to ding my credit for 10 years, because I refused to succumb to his bully tactics and pay his gangster fees. AVOID THIS COMPANY AT ALL COSTS.


    This post will help: PCI Compliance Myths and Misunderstandings

    -Phillip

  • Nancy M

    ClearGate charged me for a $300 machine to allow our business to use chip cards. It took them 4 months to make the machine actually take the new chip cards, all the while charging the same fees as before. Using chip cards is supposed to save businesses money in processing fees since the responsibility for fraud is now put on the business, rather than the credit companies. We did not receive any such discount in fees so we changed to a new processing service and are now in a fight with ClearGate to stop charging our bank $59.90 each month for services that they are no longer providing. Nothing has been processed through them for 2 months and yet we are still getting charged what they call access fees. I guess because they still have access to my bank account I am paying them $59.90 a month to steal from me. I would highly recommend using another service instead. We changed to Costco processing and are saving hundreds of dollars in monthly fees.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

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