Strategic Merchant Solutions Review
An Elavon Reseller
Founded in 2001, Strategic Merchant Solutions is a merchant account provider that offers a full suite of payment options. Information on the company’s website suggests that it is a reseller of Elavon merchant accounts. Its solutions range from ATMs and merchant cash advances to non-profit focused merchant accounts, solutions, and more. According to the company’s website, it serves over 100,000 merchants worldwide. It also states that it provides services to high-risk merchants.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Payment Processing
Strategic Merchant Solutions processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include POS systems, ATM machines, ACH and check processing, cash advances, EBT, gift and loyalty programs, payroll, wireless solutions, and e-commerce payments.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Location and Ownership
Strategic Merchant Solutions is located at 2985 E. Hillcrest Dr., Suite 204, Westlake Village, CA. Strategic Merchant Solutions is an ISO of Elavon which is part of U.S. Bancorp’s payment services division. Matt Litberg is listed as the owner of Strategic Merchant Solutions.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Strategic Merchant Solutions offers multi-year contract terms through Evalon with no early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Strategic Merchant Solutions complaints number fewer than 10 on public complaints forums.
- BBB Rating: Strategic Merchant Solutions currently has no rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 0 complaints in the last 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Strategic Merchant Solutions hires independent sales agents but has not had complaints about its sales practices.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Rates|
Low Complaint Volume
We have only been able to locate a few Strategic Merchant Solutions reviews. 1 Strategic Merchant Solutions complaint was left regarding fluctuating fees that were higher than those promised to the merchant at the time of their pricing consultation. A second complaint was in regard to poor customer service and an equipment problem. This means that there are no accusations of the company being a scam or engaging in fraud. If you have your own Strategic Merchant Solutions review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Strategic Merchant Solutions. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Customer Service Options
Strategic Merchant Solutions provides telephone support, a dedicated email address, and an automated form for responses to support requests. This is as comprehensive as what some of the best merchant accounts for customer service typically provide.
We have located multiple Strategic Merchant Solutions customer service phone numbers:
(888) 614-6300 – Toll-Free Support
(805) 244-9266 – Fax
Strategic Merchant Solutions Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Online Ratings Summary
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Clean Complaint Record
Strategic Merchant Solutions is not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company has no rating with the BBB and has had 0 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. The company does not have any informal reviews on its BBB profile either.
An “A” Performance Overall
We agree with the BBB’s rating at this time given Strategic Merchant Solution’s clean complaint record. Merchants should be aware, however, that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s reviews.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swipe Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.99% - 4/99%|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||2.05% - 4.99%|
|Level III Processing Rate||1.40% - 4.99%|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Up To $25 Per Month|
|Payment Gateway License||Up To $99|
|Early Termination Fee||$0|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Undisclosed|
|Account Maintenance Fee||$20 Per Occurence|
|Annual Membership Fee||$15|
|Statement Fee||$10 Per Month|
|Equipment Lease Term||48 Month (locked)|
Contract Terms Will Vary
There is little available information about Strategic Merchant Solutions rates or pricing structure. While its standard merchant agreement outlines fees associated with its account, it does not disclose its rates. However, a pricing schedule on the company’s website does list the qualified rates it offers merchants across different industries:
The table also includes additional Select Merchant Services fees otherwise not included in the company’s merchant agreement. It appears that the company assigns a different set of rates to a merchant based on its industry. Though Select Merchant Services rates are not disclosed, the transaction fee accompanying each rate is not listed. Furthermore, it is possible that a merchant may not qualify for those rates, instead of being charged mid-qualified or non-qualified rates.
Since the company resells Elavon contracts, it is beneficial for a merchant to review that pricing structure. Elavon offers 2 different pricing models, one for contracts leasing a countertop point-of-sale terminal and the other for its mobile alternative. Both contracts charge a swipe rate of 2.65% + $0.19 or a keyed-in rate of 3.50% + $0.19 per transaction. Those rates are in stark contrast to the qualified rates offered by Select Merchant Services. However, as an Elavon reseller, the company reserves the right to alter the terms and conditions of those contracts which could result in rates lower than Elavon’s standard offering.
Strategic Merchant Solutions’ right to alter Elavon’s terms and conditions is made apparent by its choice to forgo charging merchants with early termination fees. Many complaints filed against Elavon are in regard to its early termination fees. Strategic Merchant Solutions’ policy of not imposes this fee is an incentive to choose the company over Elavon. The company does include a $10 monthly statement fee, a $15 annual membership fee, and an account maintenance fee of $20 per occurrence. It is unclear as to whether or not a PCI compliance fee is included in their contract.
Long-Term Equipment Leases From Ladco
Strategic Merchant Solutions also utilizes Ladco Global Leasing Solutions to provide merchants with payment processing terminals. A typical Ladco leasing agreement is an expensive, non-cancellable 48-month equipment lease that often costs up to 10 times the actual price of the equipment.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Strategic Merchant Solutions also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. While pricing is not entirely disclosed on either of those services the company’s qualified rate for e-commerce transactions begins at 2.05%. The Strategic Merchant Solutions website also mentions a payment gateway license fee of up to $99 and a monthly gateway fee of up to $25 per month. Additional Strategic Merchant Solutions fees, including technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates may apply to these e-commerce services.
Level 2 and Level 3 Processing Services
In addition to its traditional merchant services, Strategic Merchant Solutions also advertises that it provides Level 2 and Level 3 processing for B2B and B2G transactions. Level 2 and Level 3 processing rely upon different interchange rates than traditional consumer credit transactions. Accommodating those rates requires different payment processing technology from a merchant account provider to transmit the amount of data required to facilitate the transactions.
An “A” Overall
Though the company does not disclose its mid and non-qualified rates, the fee schedule gives merchants insight into the potential costs of their contract. Despite including a non-cancellable equipment lease, the lack of an early termination fee and relatively transparent pricing schedule are reason enough for Strategic Merchant Solutions to receive an “A” in this category.
We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Strategic Merchant Solutions Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Strategic Merchant Solutions Sales Tactics
Strategic Merchant Solutions hires independently contracted sales agents to market its services. This is evident from the dedicated email address the company discloses for reseller/agent inquiries. While we’ve found a Strategic Merchant Solutions review that refers to a problem with inaccurate rates in line with what was promised by a sales agent, it is unclear if that representative was an independent reseller or part of an in-house sales team. There are no other Strategic Merchant Solutions complaints that mention the company’s sales practices despite it running an affiliate program.
This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
No Misleading Quotes
To its credit, Strategic Merchant Solutions does not appear to list deceptive rate quotes in its official materials. While the company only discloses its qualified transaction rates which may not apply to all merchants, it clearly describes them as such.
Given its transparent rate structure and lack of issues with sales practices, we award Strategic Merchant Solutions an “A” in this category.
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