|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
Sometimes referred to as “InnerFence” (one word), Inner Fence, LLC (innerfence.com) is a Seattle-based company that focuses on building credit card processing software for mobile devices such as the Android and iPhone. Similar to services like Pay Anywhere, GoPayment, and Square, Inner Fence allows merchants to accept credit card payments on smartphones and tablets. However, unlike most other mobile providers, Inner Fence’s service also includes the ability to accept swiped and keyed card transactions on Windows and Mac computers. This platform flexibility makes Inner Fence one of the better choices for established merchants that regularly accept card payments in-store and on the go.
Inner Fence was founded in 2007 and operates in an apparent joint venture with Merchant Focus, which supplies the actual credit card processing. The companies also acquired AppNinjas (Swipe), another mobile processor, in 2010.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||No|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
Inner Fence uses no deceptive advertising or rate quoting tactics that are apparent to this reviewer. In fact, the company’s website is one of the most transparent among all reviewed providers (see below). It appears that Inner Fence primarily markets its service through online marketing, referral partnerships, and referrals from Merchant Focus, and there is no indication at this time that Inner Fence employs independent sales agents or utilizes telemarketing campaigns. We therefore award it an “A+” in this category.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||None|
Inner Fence splits its pricing into three categories: U.S. Merchants, Canadian Merchants, and Non-Profits. All three offer month-to-month agreements with no cancellation fees, no setup fees, no minimum fees, no annual fees, no AVS fees, no batch header fees and no leasing or PCI Compliance fees. All types also include Discover credit card acceptance while requiring a separate American Express merchant account. As for pricing, each has slightly different fees which can be customized for merchants processing over $250,000 annually.
US-based merchants will pay a $25 per month service fee and the following processing rates: 1.74% Qualified, 2.49% Mid-Qualified, and 3.79% Non-Qualified plus $0.24 per transaction for all tiers. Keyed/e-commerce accounts have two tiers: 2.09% Qualified and 3.79% Non-Qualified plus $0.24 per transaction. Inner Fence does not bundle the Dues & Assessments fees charged by the card associations, so this will add an additional 0.11% – 0.13% for VISA and MasterCard transactions and 0.105% for Discover. Other card association fees may also be passed on to the merchant as they arise, which is typical of most traditional merchant accounts. Merchants who wish to accept American Express will need to establish an account directly with the company and then supply the account number to Inner Fence.
Canada-based merchants will also have their processing handled by Merchant Focus, which includes a $25 (CAD) monthly service fee and a $25 monthly minimum fee. Canadian accounts also have tiered pricing of $0.36 plus 1.49% – 3.98%, depending on the pricing tier. Like U.S. merchants, card association fees will be passed on to the merchant.
Non-Profit companies based in the U.S. get a slight break in pricing with a $20 monthly service fee and rates of 1.74% Qualified, 2.49% Mid-Qualified, 3.09% Non-Qualified plus $0.24 per transaction. These rate tiers appear to apply to both keyed and swiped transactions, but merchants are encouraged to double check with Inner Fence before applying. Be sure to read “Fee Sweep” to get a full understanding of how rates and fees are assessed in the credit card processing industry.
Aside from processing costs, merchants who wish to have more than one card reader will need purchase them for $79 each (the first one is free). Additionally, Inner Fence credit card processing requires an Authorize.net account which is subject to its own fees. Check the company’s website and service agreement for full rate and fee disclosure.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||N/A|
Inner Fence has no complaints filed in the usual forums and the app has received high ratings in the iTunes and Android app marketplaces. This leads us to believe that the majority of Inner Fence users are satisfied with the rates and service they receive. Additionally, the company has a dedicated customer support phone number as well as email support, which sets it apart from many of its mobile competitors. We feel that the company’s low complaint rate merits an “A” rating in this section.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
Inner Fence is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently has an “A-” rating based on two complaints filed in the last three years. These complaints were both filed with regards to billing and collection issues and have been resolved with BBB assistance. The BBB states that the primary factor lowering Inner Fence’s score is its short time in business, but Inner Fence has been in business for over five years. We have therefore adjusted the BBB’s rating slightly to an “A.”
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
This review was originally published on 12/13/12 and was last updated on 2/12/14.
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