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The FastTransact website is no longer active, and it appears that FrontStream has rebranded FastTransact as “FrontStream Payments”. Merchants should assume that FrontStream, FastTransact, and FrontStream Payments are related, but these organizations may have different areas of focus. We will not update this FastTransact review and encourage our users to visit our FrontStream Payments review for more up to date information.
Formerly Known as “FastTransact”
Founded in 2002, FastTransact (fasttransact.com) is a merchant account provider that serves most standard-risk business types. FastTransact originally operated as an independent e-commerce payment processor until it was acquired by a company called “FrontStream” in 2010. Between 2010 and 2018, FastTransact’s products and services were sold under the FrontStream name. In May 2018, FrontStream was acquired by Marlin Equity Partners, and it appears that FastTransact has once again been spun off into an independent brand. FrontStream is now a separate company division focused on non-profit merchant accounts, while FastTransact is dedicated to a more conventional user base of small business owners.
FrontStream appears to be a reseller of Chase Paymentech, Elavon, First Data, and TSYS. The company claims to serve over 10,000 merchants and process over $2.5 billion dollars per year. FrontStream was known to have once operated under the name of Direct Technology Innovations (DTI), but FastTransact does not appear to have any connection to this brand.
Headquartered in Virginia
FastTransact lists its primary address at 11480 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191 and its operations center at 16-18 West King Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17604. FrontStream also displays these addresses on its website, indicating that the two companies still share some resources. FastTransact Merchant Services LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of Elavon, Inc, Georgia; Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC; First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska; Merrick Bank, N.A., Chicago, Illinois; Deutsche Bank, USA, New York, New York; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. FastTransact does not disclose the names of its executive leadership team, but William C. Wood is listed as the CEO and president of FrontStream.
FastTransact Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: FastTransact offers a three-year contract with a variable early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: FastTransact has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: FastTransact has two profiles with the Better Business Bureau and has received two complaints in the past three years.
- Sales & Marketing: FastTransact appears to hire independent sales representatives but has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With FastTransact
FastTransact Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
Clean Complaint Record
We are currently unable to locate any specific FastTransact complaints that accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. We did find two public complaints about the company from 2006 and 2011, respectively, but they are not recent enough to apply to this review. We are also able to locate more than 10 FrontStream complaints on this and other consumer protection websites. Frequently cited issues include difficulty cancelling service, unavailable customer support, undisclosed rates and fees, frequent name changes by the company, and unauthorized withholding of funds. The bulk of the available complaints have been posted by current and former employees of the company who disapprove of the management, and we do not necessarily assume that the content of these reviews applies to FastTransact.
An “A” For Now
FastTransact does not list a dedicated phone number or email address for customer support on its website, but a company representative has stated that FastTransact offers “dedicated relationship management.” It is unclear what this entails, but FastTransact’s clean complaint record is along the lines of what we would expect from a top-rated merchant account provider.
FastTransact Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||2|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Two Possible Profiles
At the time of this review, the Better Business Bureau maintains two profiles that could apply to FastTransact. One profile, listed under “Front Stream Payments” in Herndon, Virginia, is not accredited and is showing an A+ rating from the BBB. The second location, listed under FrontStream FastTransact LLC in Lacey, Washington, does not have a rating with the BBB. For simplicity, we have combined these two profiles in this review.
Only Two Complaints
These pages are showing a combined total of two complaints, both of which were related to a product or service issue. One complaint received no response from FastTransact, while the BBB was unable to reach FastTransact regarding the other complaint. The BBB speculates that FastTransact may not have been able to respond because it is closed, but we’ve seen nothing to indicate that this may be the case.
What Merchants Say
FastTransact has also received one informal negative review from a BBB user. This user expresses difficulty cancelling FrontStream’s attached Giftworks service:
This business makes it difficult to cancel their subscription based service.In May after searching on their website, I sent an email asking to cancel our service. A Giftworks representative responded and said they would need to call me to discuss before they would cancel. I gave the representative my personal phone number. When I tried calling the the Giftworks number, the message always said their office was closed. At first I assumed it was because they were located on the East Coast. Now, I’ll have to assume they are deliberately avoiding customers. I don’t feel I should be charged for the month of service that occurred after they received my request for cancellation and they did not follow my request or contact me as promised.
We are unable to determine whether this merchant’s effort to cancel a merchant account without paying a fee was successful.
An “A” Performance
It appears that FastTransact’s poorly documented BBB profile is more related to incompetence at the BBB than to FastTransact itself. We therefore will not adjust the BBB’s rating of “A.”
FastTransact Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
FastTransact offers multiple standard contracts through different backend processors. The company’s standard contracts through First Data and Merrick Bank are both three-year agreements with an unspecified early termination fee. This fee should be listed in section 9 (“Service Fee Schedule”) of each merchant’s application. It is unclear whether these contracts renew automatically, and the available documentation does not disclose the company’s monthly minimum fees, PCI compliance fees, or rate structure.
Long-Term Equipment Leases
FastTransact’s First Data program guide includes a built-in equipment lease agreement through First Data Global Leasing. This is a non-cancellable lease for an unspecified length of time, which means that merchants who terminate the lease will be required to pay the entirety of the remaining months of the lease in one lump sum immediately. We strongly recommend purchasing rather than leasing equipment if possible, because equipment leases almost always end up costing far more than the retail price of the equipment itself. A table of fees associated with the lease is also included in the company’s contract:
No Contract Complaints
Despite the company’s three-year contract and non-cancellable equipment lease, we are unable to locate any FastTransact complaints that specifically mention the company’s pricing as a problem. We will therefore assume for now that most of the company’s merchants are satisfied with the rates and fees they are paying. If you have been charged fees that you feel were excessive or improperly disclosed, we advise you to leave a comment below this review or contact an independent third-party fee reduction analyst.
FastTransact Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Outside Sales Team
FastTransact appears to partner with ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. In general, this practice is often tied to high complaint volumes, as it is difficult for any company to monitor the conduct of independent sales entities. We are unable to locate any merchant complaints that accuse FastTransact of unethical sales tactics, but we have found numerous negative FrontStream reviews posted online by former and current employees. These complaints may or may not apply to FastTransact due to the shared locations and structural overlap between the two companies.
FrontStream Employee Complaints
Some FrontStream employees express dissatisfaction with the hiring decisions made by management and the lack of support for lower-level workers in the company. There are also multiple reviews accusing FrontStream management of posting fake positive reviews. In the opinion of this reviewer, several of the positive reviews we found did seem to describe a sudden and improbable turnaround in the company’s policies, and these reviews stood in stark contrast to the larger overall pattern of dissatisfaction expressed by other employees. We are therefore inclined to believe that the more negative takes on the company’s corporate environment are accurate.
A Tentative “A”
An unhappy work force can sometimes translate to negative experiences for merchants, which is why we have given FrontStream an average grade of “B” in this category. However, FastTransact markets an entirely different set of products and may have a better office culture than its affiliated company. We will therefore give FastTransact an “A” until we have more merchant feedback.
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