|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
Flint (flint.com) is a mobile payment processing service offered by Flint Mobile, a startup headquartered in Redwood City, California. Flint’s smartphone-based processing app places it in direct competition with popular services like Square and GoPayment, but there are a few significant differences between this service and its rivals. Most notably, Flint eschews a dongle or card reader in favor of enabling merchants to scan credit card numbers with the cameras in their iPhones and Android smartphones. The payments are securely processed and are never stored in a merchant’s phone, and Flint advertises one- to two-day depositing of funds. Merchants can also key in a customer’s credit card number with no increase in fees.
Merchants who sign up for service through Flint must establish a merchant account with the company’s processor, so it does not appear that they can integrate their existing merchant accounts at this time. As one final note, Flint previously supported only Visa and MasterCard, but it is now able to accept American Express and Discover cards as well. Greg Goldfarb is the CEO and co-founder of Flint.
Flint Products and Services
- Debit and credit card processing
- QuickBooks Online integration
- Transaction history tracking
- Real-time sales analytics
- Online invoicing
- Multiple user support
- “Buy Now” website buttons
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
Flint appears to primarily rely on its website and its reseller program, Flint+, to market its services. The company does not employ a team of outside sales agents, and there are currently no complaints online about its marketing tactics. The Flint website provides an easy-to-use rate calculator and lists its fees upfront, and we have not located any evidence that these rates are misleadingly quoted. Pricing doesn’t get much simpler or more clearly disclosed than it is with Flint, and we accordingly award the company an “A+” rating in this category.
Flint Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|Swiped rate:||1.95% or 2.95%|
|Keyed-in rate:||1.95% or 2.95%|
|PCI compliance fee:||None|
Flint offers flat pricing that is calculated in a simple and novel way for the industry. For debit card payments, merchants pay 1.95% of each transaction. For credit card payments, merchants pay 2.95% of each transaction. These rates do not change depending on whether the transaction was swiped or keyed, and there are no termination fees, monthly fees, or PCI compliance fees associated with the account. Merchants can terminate at any time without penalty.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Limited features|
We are currently able to locate only a handful of Flint negative reviews outside of the BBB at this time, indicating that the company is not a ripoff or a scam. This is a relatively new service, so it is possible that it has yet to receive the complaints that come with widespread use, but it is showing mostly positive reviews in both the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. Users cite its ease of use, its customizable receipt system, its clear pricing, and the ability to function without a card reader as highlights of the service. One reviewer balked at having to provide their email password to allow the service to send customizable receipts, but this shouldn’t be an issue for merchants who keep separate email addresses for their businesses. Flint offers live phone support with its service, which gives it a major advantage over Square and may be largely responsible for the general absence of complaints about the company.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
Flint is currently not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and is showing an “F” rating based on six overall complaints. Two complaints were filed due to a problem with the product or service, two were related to billing and collection disputes, one had to to with advertising, and one was due to a delivery issue. All but two were resolved with BBB assistance, but it is these remaining two that have so dramatically lowered the company’s BBB rating.
The BBB states that Flint has made no effort to resolve these two complaints, resulting in the “F” rating. One of these complaints is from a merchant who has been unable to contact customer service and get paid, possibly due to the merchant’s employee providing inaccurate information when setting up the account. The second unresolved complaint has also been posted in the comment section of this review regarding an unhelpful customer service representative. Although Flint’s inability to resolve the complaints through the BBB impacts the company’s score negatively, the fact that it has only failed to address two complaints out of a total of six indicates that there is generally not a major problem with the service Flint provides. We have therefore adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A-” based on how we would score the company.
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
This review was originally published on 10/24/13 and was last updated on 3/19/15.
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