Phone Swipe (phoneswipe.com) is a mobile payment processing service provided by North American Bancard. Created in 2007, Phone Swipe allows merchants and individuals to accept credit and debit card payments via their Android phone, iPhone, or iPad using a small magnetic stripe card reader. Phone Swipe does not appear to offer an EMV-compatible reader at this time. Phone Swipe is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Walnut Creek, California, and is located at 111 North Harbor Blvd. #2, Fullerton, California 92832. The president and CEO of North American Bancard is Marc Gardner.
- Sales & Marketing: Phone Swipe does not promote misleading rate quotes on its website, but it has received complaints about undisclosed fees.
- Costs & Contract: Phone Swipe offers a free card swiper and fixed per-transaction pricing, but some merchants complain of undisclosed monthly minimum fees and fees upon termination.
- Complaints & Service: Phone Swipe has received over 20 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Phone Swipe has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 19 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Phone Swipe
Phone Swipe Products and Services
- Debit and credit card processing
- Free card reader
- Real-time transaction reporting
- Custom tip and tax support
- Emailed receipts
- Custom inventory
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Phone Swipe appears to primarily market its service through its website and online promotion. At this time, the company does not appear to employ independent sales agents, although it does allow sales organizations to resell Phone Swipe as their mobile payment solution. We are currently able to locate a handful of Phone Swipe reviews that describe nondisclosure of fees by the company’s sales team. The Phone Swipe website advertises a swiped transaction fee of 2.69% and a keyed transaction fee of 3.49% plus $0.19, and there are no merchant complaints online that challenge these rate quotes, although vaguely described “hidden fees” have been mentioned in complaints.
At the time of our previous update, the Phone Swipe website advertised a free terminal placement program for merchants who process over $10,000 per month. This $10,000 minimum was only described in the fine print of the page, and there was no mention anywhere of the additional costs listed in this full version of the company’s terminal placement agreement. The full agreement mentions that merchants whose monthly volume falls below $10,000 will be subject to monthly fees, which range from $19 to $99, and all merchants in the program will be charged an annual software license fee of $79. Failure to mention this information on the company’s website, which includes prominently placed signup forms, is a slightly misleading sales tactic in our opinion. As a positive sign for Phone Swipe, the company appears to have removed this promotion from its website.
Phone Swipe Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Keyed-in Rate||3.49% + $0.19|
|Early Termination Fee||None|
|PCI Compliance Fee||None|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Phone Swipe offers a service that is similar to Square and other smartphone-compatible processors. The company advertises no long-term service agreements, early termination fees, PCI Compliance fees, or minimum monthly fees, but we have seen complaints alleging that the company actually does charge monthly minimum fees and an early termination fee. All swiped transactions are processed at 2.69%, and all card-not-present transactions are processed at 3.49% plus $0.19. Merchants should determine which type of transaction they are more likely to require when deciding whether to use Phone Swipe.
The majority of the complaints filed against Phone Swipe appear to be the product of the company’s fraud prevention policies. Like Square, Phone Swipe reserves the right to withhold merchant funds at its discretion to establish a cash reserve. Some merchants report surprise upon learning that a large portion of their payments have been withheld without notification, and they further express difficulty resolving the issue in a timely fashion through Phone Swipe’s customer service department. The Phone Swipe website claims that it differentiates itself from Square by having an automated underwriting process (as opposed to Square’s lack of underwriting), but the service still seems to be plagued by the same complaints.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||20+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
We are currently able to locate over 20 Phone Swipe complaints on this and other consumer protection websites, some of which accuse the service of being a ripoff or a scam. Common complaints include delayed or withheld funds, poor customer service, undisclosed fees, and problems with the app itself related to a software update. The two most common complaints of delayed payment and poor customer service tend to be mentioned in the same complaints, as merchants report great difficulty reaching representatives and having their funds delivered to them in a timely fashion. The company’s website offers a dedicated phone support number and email address, and these lines appear to be serviced by North American Bancard.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||8|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||9|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||2|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
As of this update, Phone Swipe is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. The company holds an “F” rating and has had 19 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. Eight of these were filed in relation to problems with the company’s product or service, nine were due to billing or collection disputes, and two were related to advertising or sales issues. The company resolved four complaints successfully, while eleven complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. Four complaints received no response whatsoever from Phone Swipe. The BBB cites these four unaddressed complaints as the primary factors lowering the company’s grade. Given the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “D.”
Related: EMV Terminal Recommendations
About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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