Guardian Small Business Consulting Review: Fees, Complaints & Lawsuits
Payment Processing for Standard-Risk Businesses
Formerly known as Guardian Small Business Consulting and Financial Services, Guardian Financial is an Idaho-based merchant account provider that serves most standard-risk business types. The company was founded in the mid-2000s and appears to be a reseller of Total Merchant Services, North American Bancard, Harbortouch, and Authorize.Net. Guardian Financial shares a name with a Texas-based wealth management firm also called Guardian Financial, but the two companies do not appear to be related.
As of 2022, it appears that Guardian Financial has started focusing on processing payments for home inspections, though it appears they also process payments for other businesses as well.
Guardian Financial Payment Processing
Guardian Financial processes debit and credit cards for many business types. They boast recurring billing, ATM placement, mobile device processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminals, POS equipment, and gift card systems.
Guardian Financial Location and Ownership
Guardian is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. Ben Tolman and Aaron Fuhriman are co-owners of Guardian Financial, which is headquartered at 7187 S Pear Blossom Way, Meridian, ID 83642.
Guardian Financial Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Guardian Financial appears to offer short-term contracts with no early termination fees. The company appears to rely on Authorize.Net for its online payment gateway.
- Complaints & Service: Guardian Financial complaints number fewer than 10 on public complaints forums.
- BBB Rating: Guardian Financial does not have a profile with the Better Business Bureau at this time.
- Sales & Marketing: Guardian Financial does not appear to hire independent sales agents and has received a low number of complaints about its sales practices.
Guardian Financial 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 unable to locate any negative Guardian Financial reviews, which is a strong indicator that the company isn’t a scam or a ripoff. It’s possible that some Guardian Financial reviews are mistakenly filed against Guardian’s backend processors rather than Guardian itself, but there is no evidence to suggest that this is occurring. For a company of Guardian’s apparent time in business, a clean complaint record is admirable. We have therefore assigned it an “A” grade. If you have your own Guardian Financial review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Guardian Financial Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Guardian Financial. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Guardian Financial Customer Support Options
Guardian offers phone and email contact information on its website. According to the company’s website, it relies upon Total Merchant Services, North American Bancard, Harbortouch, and Authorize.Net for its customer support. These indirect channels are not enough to qualify it as a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.
We have located multiple Guardian Financial customer service phone numbers:
(800) 608-7363 – Toll-Free Support
(208) 854-7711 – Local Office
(866) 614-0364 – Fax
Guardian Financial also offers a customer support form and a customer service email address at [email protected]
Guardian Financial Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
No Current Profile
The Better Business Bureau does not maintain a profile for Guardian Financial at this time. Accordingly, we will not factor a BBB rating into this review.
Guardian Financial Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|ASHI Member Rate||1.69% + $0.20|
|Account Maintenance Fee||$5 Per Month|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||2.90% + $0.30|
|Payment Gateway Fee||$5 Per Month|
|Minimum Processing Fee||$25 Per Month|
|Early Termination Fee||Undisclosed|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$4.95 Per Month|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Undisclosed|
ASHI Member Pricing
It is difficult to find specific details about the standard Guardian Financial contract at this time. Since the company is apparently a Total Merchant Services reseller, it should be noted that North American Bancard, Harbortouch, and Authorize.Net, Guardian Financial rates and fees will vary in line with the range offered by those companies. On its page for ASHI members, the company advertises a per-transaction fee of 1.69% plus $0.20, a monthly account maintenance fee of $5, a monthly minimum fee of $25, and a monthly PCI compliance fee of $4.95. Guardian states that it will waive its PCI compliance fee for the first 12 months of the account and that it does not enforce setup fees, cancellation fees, annual fees, or long-term contracts. The company’s website does mention that it provides merchants with card processing terminals, although it does not specify any equipment lease terms or costs.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Guardian Financial also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services other than a $5 monthly gateway fee. There is evidence on the company’s website that it relies on Authorize.Net as a payment gateway, meaning that merchants may incur the fees associated with that provider. Authorize.Net charges 2.90% plus $0.30 per transaction and a batch fee of $0.10.
No Pricing Complaints
The Guardian Financial fees and rates quoted on this page are likely to be incomplete, and we do not take them at face value. We are unable to corroborate the company’s advertised claims with any user reviews or official documentation at this time, and it is unclear whether the pricing listed on this page is reserved for ASHI members or available to all merchants. Given the fact that there are no Guardian Financial complaints about their standard contract at this time, we will assign the company an “A” rating, but merchants should be sure to explore other low-cost providers before signing with Guardian Financial.
Guardian Financial Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Unknown|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Mixed Sales Approach
Guardian Financial appears to primarily market its services through strategic partnerships, an in-house sales team, and traditional advertising. It is unclear at this time whether the company employs independently contracted sales agents, but we are not seeing any Guardian Financial reviews that mention deceptive tactics by the company’s sales team. This indicates that Guardian likely does not have a large team of independent agents, or if it does, that it provides these agents with more support and training than is typical of the industry.
Somewhat Unclear Rates
Guardian is partnered with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which may be a major source of business for the company. The page of Guardian’s website dedicated to its ASHI partnership quotes a discount rate of 1.70%, a “communication fee” of $0.20, a Mid-Qualified downgrade fee of 0.40%, and a Non-Qualified downgrade fee of 1.40%. The company does not make it clear that the mid- and non-qualified downgrade fees are added to its base fee, but merchants should expect that to be the case. Overall, Guardian’s rate quotes are not entirely clear, but they also do not appear to be deceptively presented.
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