Swipe4Free Credit Card Processing 2023: Reviews & Complaints

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Company Overview

Launched in May 2017, Swipe4Free is a merchant account provider that specializes in cash discount pricing. The company is a DBA of Merchant Industry, a New York-based credit card processor that has been in business since 2007. Like other cash discount payment processors, Swipe4Free enables merchants to pass the costs of accepting credit cards directly to customers by adding a 4% per-transaction surcharge to all non-cash purchases. The company claims that this eliminates credit card processing fees for its merchants, which would make it one of the cheapest merchant account providers in the industry. Swipe4Free is a reseller of TSYS and First Data (now Fiserv) products

Article Summary

Before we dive in, here’s a short summary of what we’ll cover:

  • Swipe4Free’s various payment processing services.
  • The company has received fairly consistent complaints, including some recently. Most of the complaints have to do with unexpected fees.
  • Swipe5Free’s contract contains some expensive fees, especially its early termination fee.

Swipe4Free Payment Processing

Swipe4Free processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include EMV card readers and swipers, POS solutions, access to virtual terminals and payment gateways, and mobile solutions.

Dual Pricing and Surcharging Platform

Swipe4Free offers a dual pricing platform, which allows businesses to display prices for goods and services in both cash and card amounts. For credit card transactions, a surcharge fee, not exceeding 3%, may be applied, which is displayed as a separate line item.

POS Systems

The service provides clients with point-of-sale (POS) systems and terminals that support payment acceptance in various locations, including on-the-go transactions.

Cash Payment Incentives

Swipe4Free encourages cash transactions by offering a lower price for cash-paying customers, which can help businesses avoid card fees. This approach is designed to reward customers who pay with cash, potentially reducing the business’ costs associated with card processing fees.

E-commerce and Contactless Solutions

Swipe4Free also provides solutions for e-commerce businesses, integrating a convenience fee at checkout, compatible with platforms like WooCommerce. They also offer contactless payment options and equipment.

Locations & Ownership

Swipe4Free is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California; and of Esquire Bank N.A., Jericho, New York. The company is headquartered at 36-36 33rd Street Suite 206 Long Island City, New York 11106, which is an address that it shares with Merchant Industry. Leo Vartanov is the CEO of Merchant Industry but is not publicly listed as the CEO of Swipe4Free. COO and co-founder of Swipe4Free Chris Benabu is also the CEO of Merchant Industry.

Table of Contents

Swipe4Free payment processing
Swipe4Free offers a variety of payment processing services

Swipe4Free Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Item Result
Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A
Recent Lawsuits No

Few Complaints

We are currently able to locate only a few negative Swipe4Free reviews, few of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. The available complaints describe higher-than-expected rates, undisclosed equipment lease costs, poor customer service, and difficulty canceling service. These are similar to the much larger body of Merchant Industry complaints that have been publicly filed. There is also a large volume of unverified positive Swipe4Free testimonials posted online, but we have not factored these into our rating due to their unknown origin. If you have your own Swipe4Free review to make, please do so below.

Swipe4Free Lawsuits and Fines

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Swipe4Free. Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Swipe4Free Customer Support Options

Swipe4Free offers direct phone and email support as well as live chat on their site, although it is possible that some of these lines are serviced by Merchant Industry. It’s a good sign that the company offers live support, but the few complaints that Swipe4Free has amassed in a short period of time are enough to prevent it from being considered a top merchant account for great customer service at this time.

Swipe4Free Customer Service Numbers

  • (855) 345-0040 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
  • (877) 841-4818 – Technical/Hardware Support
  • (516) 821-0484 – Risk and Underwriting
  • (718) 834-6669 – Retention

Other Support Options

Swipe4Free Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
Item Result
BBB Reports 34

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.

Over 20 Complaints

The Better Business Bureau currently groups Swipe4Free’s BBB profile with Merchant Industry’s profile. The combined organization has an “A+” rating and has been BBB-accredited since May 2015. It has received 30 complaints in the past 36 months.

What Merchants Say

Swipe4Free has also received 4 informal reviews from clients, 1 of which was positive and 3 of which were negative in tone. The most recent negative review cites a large amount in unexpected fees:

So when I signed a lease with ******(bad mistake) in 2015 they signed me up with this company. I used the machine one a week at the farmers market. We had months were we didn’t use the machine because of it being winter. They never once said anything about inactivity fees. They would never do anything about it. Our contract ended in March with ******(kept giving us the run around about the equipment) Finally in august I was able to close clover down. I assumed that since I signed with both companies at one time they would cancel both at one time. MY BAD! I haven’t used this machine for several months but yet get billed $125.00 (inactivity fees )each month. I found out that I had to cancel with this company too. I called and was told someone would call me back. I have yet to here from them. This has cost me around $900.00 so far. I guess the next thing to do is cancel my bank account. I will never work with this company,,,,

Situations like this make the need for excellent customer service an essential component of merchant account providers dedicated to serving them.

A “B” Performance Overall

The fact that Swipe4Free shares its BBB profile with Merchant Industry makes it difficult to separate complaints about the two businesses. However, this may not be necessary because they both share personnel and a location. We therefore feel that the BBB’s rating should be adjusted to a “B” given Swipe4Free’s complaint total.

Swipe4Free Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Item Result
Cancellation Penalties Yes
Monthly & Annual Fees Yes
Processing Rates 4.00% Surcharge
Equipment Leasing Yes

Swipe4Free’s Full Pricing

As of the last report we can find, the standard Swipe4Free contract is an agreement of undetermined length with a monthly fee of $49.99, an annual PCI compliance fee of $119.99, a PCI non-compliance fee of $19.95 per month, and an early termination fee of $750 or liquidated damages, whichever is greater. Clients have also reported that the company will lease credit card terminals for $30 per month, and these leasing agreements are non-cancellable four-year terms. Swipe4Free’s per-transaction pricing will be covered in greater detail below.

Swipe4Free’s Cancellation Policy

Swipe4Free’s termination fee is very large for the industry, and it has the potential to balloon into much more than merchants are expecting to pay. Here is the exact language from the Swipe4Free merchant agreement:

In the event that MERCHANT terminates this Agreement MERCHANT shall be liable to pay to ISO an EARLY TERMINATION FEE. The EARLY TERMINATION FEE shall be equivalent to the greater of (a) $750; or (b) number of whole months remaining in the TERM hereof at the time of termination multiplied by the amount of FEES paid or payable by the MERCHANT during the month preceding that during which this AGREEMENT was terminated.

Merchant Industry is known to have a similar fee, and business owners have reported frustration over having to pay it. If you are planning to cancel your contract with Swipe4Free, we recommend taking steps to cancel your merchant account without paying a fee.

Swipe4Free’s Per-Transaction Pricing

Swipe4Free’s pricing plan has technically been legal for at least a decade, but it has attracted new interest from businesses as merchant account providers have found savvy ways to market it. Essentially, Swipe4Free provides its clients with credit card processing equipment that automatically adds a 4% “service fee” to all products in the business’ store. This means that any customer who pays with a credit or debit card will be charged an additional 4% on their purchase. This Swipe4Free fee is plainly disclosed on the receipt. Customers who pay with cash will not be charged the service fee. The 4% fee is collected by Swipe4Free in place of conventional per-transaction fees, which saves the business the full cost of per-transaction fees.

Some Good, Some Bad

At first glance, passing your costs on to your customers seems like a great way to avoid worrying about transaction fees. We feel that Swipe4Free does provide some value by offering that as a pricing option. However, the company’s PCI-compliance costs, early termination fee, and equipment lease policies are average or worse-than-average for the industry. Moreover, the switch to a cash-discount plan requires a major shift in how you conduct business. Your customers may balk at paying an extra 4% that isn’t being charged by your competitors, and it will be up to you to sell them on this idea. This type of change should only be made if you know that you will save massive amounts of money without losing business in the long run, which is not a guarantee. The company’s massive termination fee makes it hard to experiment with this pricing plan because you can’t cancel for free if it doesn’t work. In short, there are some good reasons to steer clear of Swipe4Free’s contract terms at this time. We also encourage business owners to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.

Swipe4Free point of sale

Swipe4Free offers numerous POS and terminal leases

Swipe4Free Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Item Result
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Likely
Misleading Marketing Yes
Discloses All Important Terms No

Outside Sales Team

Like Merchant Industry, Swipe4Free utilizes in-house telephone appointment setters and independently contracted outside sales agents to sell its services. This approach has generated a large number of sales complaints for Merchant Industry, with clients reporting unfulfilled promises, misrepresentation of the agent’s identity, and undisclosed fees. However, we have found only a few Swipe4Free reviews that specifically mention the company’s sales team at this time. These reports describe higher-than-expected Swipe4Free fees and undisclosed costs. Swipe4Free’s low sales complaint total may simply be due to the short amount of time that the company has been active so far. This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Swipe4Free Marketing Tactics

The Swipe4Free website goes to great lengths to explain how its cash discount pricing plan works, but it fails to highlight other details of its pricing. For instance, a calculator on the Swipe4Free website shows businesses how much they could save by replacing the current total amount of their monthly merchant statement with Swipe4Free’s $49.99 monthly fee and no other costs. However, this estimate does not factor in the company’s $119.99 annual PCI compliance fee, inactivity fees, equipment lease costs, or the company’s $0.10 per transaction fee for EBT payments.

A “B” For Now

Swipe4Free’s affiliation with Merchant Industry, its organizational approach to sales, and the advertising language on its website are enough to lower its grade slightly in this section. However, the lack of client complaints that directly mention the company’s sales team has kept it at a “B” rating for now. If you suspect that Swipe4Free is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a free third-party statement audit.

Our Swipe4Free Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Swipe4Free rates as an average credit card processing provider according to our rating criteria. The company’s cash discount pricing could potentially save merchants a great deal of money, but there are other costs in its contract that are nowhere near as low as the company’s competitors. Businesses will need to weigh the potential headache of surcharging customers against the savings they can realistically expect from Swipe4Free. Before locking yourself into a long-term contract with a huge termination fee, we advise you to first see if you can secure rock-bottom pricing on a month-to-month agreement through a top-rated merchant account provider.

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Your Comments & Reviews

How Did Swipe4Free Treat You?

22 Responses

  • Peggy

    Shore Point Nutrition

    I am so disappointed. I was a new business owner when I open my business. They sold me on this Processing. My sales person Nico set all the right things. When I had a personal emergency, forcing me to close my business, I was unaware of all the cancellation fees, and all of the steps I had to go through to cancel. Here I am six months later still trying to cancel. Hopefully this will be the end.

  • Kinsley


    swipe4Free has truly revolutionized the way I handle credit card transactions in my business. The dual pricing feature allows me to clearly display cash and credit amounts, ensuring transparency
    for my customers. By offering a small surcharge on credit card transactions, I can cover the
    interchange, authorization, and transaction costs, while still keeping my profits intact. The
    provided signage and stickers help inform customers about the fee, avoiding any surprises. I
    appreciate Swipe4Free’s commitment to supporting merchants and their dedication to providing
    cost-saving solutions. It’s a win-win for both my business and my customers.”

  • Julie Smith


    “Swipe4Free has been a great partner for my business. By implementing their surcharge service, I can apply a small fee of up to 3% on credit card sales. This fee is clearly indicated as a separate
    line item on customer receipts, ensuring transparency. With Swipe4Free, I no longer have to
    worry about credit card processing fees eating into my profits. It’s a relief to keep 100% of the
    transaction value for credit card sales. The provided signage and stickers help educate customers
    about the fee, and the legal compliance across all states is a significant advantage. My business
    has benefited financially from using Swipe4Free, and I’m pleased with the results.”

    • Phillip CPO

      This comment appears to be fake review. To authenticate your testimonial, please reply with your business information.

  • ” I’ve been using Swipe4Free for my business for over a year now, and I must say it’s a game-changer. With their dual pricing platform, I can display prices in both cash and credit
    amounts, providing transparency to my customers. The best part is that when customers choose
    to pay with cash, debit card, or gift card, the dual pricing fee is automatically waived. This means
    I can eliminate credit card processing fees and keep all my profits. The provided signage and
    stickers make it easy to inform customers about the fees, ensuring transparency. Swipe4Free has
    significantly boosted my business’s profitability, and I highly recommend it to fellow merchants.”

    • Phillip CPO

      This comment appears to be fake review. To authenticate your testimonial, please reply with your business information.

  • Misti

    4 Bar M

    Swipe 4 Free and Michael Tisdale are shysters!!! We wanted to cancel our account with them prematurely because we were closing our business. I understand that I will owe a fee for this. I then saw where I was getting a $500 draft from my account from Merchant Services. I did not recognize that company name or the amount so I got that stopped at my bank. Now I get an email two days after stopping it from Merchant Services using “CLOVER” as their logo who have sent me to collections for the $500 that in two days has now grown to $750. I called those people and they are in some foreign land. I told them I am not dealing with the and I will speak to Michael my rep and pay what I owe his company. I am not paying them over the phone when they could take my bank info and do God knows what.
    I then tried emailing Michael. I tried calling the two phone numbers listed for him. One says it is a nonworking number. The other says the voicemail box is full. He doesn’t answer his emails. I’m turning them in in their state and mine for fraud.

  • Janet Wilmore

    small business accountant

    Our experience with Swipe4Free has been extremely costly. The PCI annual fee of over $100 (which is not required per Square.com), and the S4F annual fee of $129.99, S4F monthly statement fee of $7.45, and the monthly Valor equipment fee of $4.95 plus the monthly Valor Wireless Fee of $18.00, and to top it off, if you do not use the machine there is a monthly “inactivity fee” of $29.99. In order to cancel this service, which has direct access to our checking account, we had to pay a cancellation fee of $750. After complaining, the fee was discounted down to $500. On one occasion of complaining to “customer service (which is difficult to get ahold of)” the youngish man laughed at me and said that I should have read the contract more closely. RUN RUN RUN!! December 2022 total fees charged and deducted from our checking account were $220.33. January 2023 we uploaded the Square.com app, which does Not require a contract, and does NOT charge any of the above fees.



    They got me on free Clover Flex which cost to buy is over $500 after signing the contract they told me they are going to give me another brand (a much cheaper machine)I simply did not want to go further with them and wanted to cancel my contract, which Michel T (sells person)agreed (lied) and had said he will cancel my account, I thought this is finished, I noticed they were showing on my bank statement taking monthly 69.99 plus once a year $189.00 as ” Bankcard.8563 ” name, FOR 18 Months undetected because unfortunately, I had mistaken them for another legitimate company that I had a contract with the same name different 4 digit number for many years. I think they know exactly what they are doing, I called them for a refund they are saying they had to be notified of canceling by email (BS) and they don’t have one from me. looks like I am not the only one getting cut in their net I am talking to my lawyer trying to put together a lawsuit. they are going to hear from us soon for sure.

    DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH ((swipe for free )) THey are GREEDY SNAKES.

  • jerome Smith

    jeromes hot dogs

    This Marc at Swipe for free is full of s***. Stay clear from this company. they will charge the company as well as the customers each month.

  • Swipe4free is the worst merchant company I’ve ever encountered in my life time. There are multiple law suits against this company. They took more than $2600 from my business account during pandemic when my business had so much financial problems. They also charged over $1000 when I was using their service when they said everything is free with swipe4free. Liars!!! When you call the company they always pass you around to different department and hang up the phone call on you. This company is a scam. I’m surprised they are still in business when they have that much complaints and lawsuits. They also sent me to collections which later I was off because I didn’t give up fighting these thieves! Don’t give up if they steal your money. Report it! Make sure to dispute if these scammers charge your business. If I come across anyone who is interested to use swipe4free service I will definitely stop them from using this service.

  • RTaymond Hlubik

    we cancelled our swipe for free account before it was ever finished with signup
    they are still trying to collect fees ever though we never received equipment

  • Misty McCullah

    High Plains Farm

    Swipe for free is a horrible company they have taken money out of my account unauthorized multiple times now when asked about it I’ve been told that it was an audit month and or they will refund my money which they never have. They are an absolute scam do not trust them with your bank account my bank is currently going after them for fraud.

  • MB Sakho


    They 0 processing, it’s not true
    They charge you more than what you can imagine, they stole almost 50% of what I processed in 1 month, it’s a scam Be careful, they know how to get you they are professional in stealing. Never Never Never it’s a Tramp

  • Brianlyons

    Everyone BEWARE This company is a mess.They stole money from my account on several occasions and when question, they say we are working on the problem and we will refund the money. Guess what never got anything back,Anthony has no idea of whats going on..BEWARE SCAM COMPANY


    We are a small tax office and because of Covid-19 looking to save some money on merchant services, we called Swipe4free around October 2020 and spoke to Michael T, we went ahead and explain our situation. He immediately told us that we were paying too much and that he can definitely save us money if we switch to them. I asked him many times about the fees because we already had some bad experiences with other Processing companies, he gave me the numbers that were more affordable than the one that we currently have 2.25% for key transactions, 0.99% for using the terminal device, 1.6% for using a credit card and a $10 monthly fees, which I made sure to write down in case of numbers change in the future. After the first month, I noticed several transactions made on 12/31/2020 for a total of $57.94, we called Michael T to asked him about the charges and he told us that he would take care of it, that the system was charging us because it was a new account and other reasons that didn’t make much sense, another 2 weeks went by without getting a refund and more charges. We called Michael again but this time to cancel the service and he told us that we were going to take care of it, that they were taking longer to process everything because of covid and that by the next day the money should be in our account, the money never appeared in our account and call again to speak to a manager, we spoke to Oscar the “manager”, we told him what happened and that we have everything in writing, he pretty much did nothing to solve the issued and made even more difficult for us, told us that they cannot refund any money because we need to send an email to request cancellation that Michael T told us he didn’t need it to do.
    Please Guys do not trust this company!! Save yourself the time and money!! No integrity at all.



  • Saved me a ton of money. This is a no brainer. These guys came in set everything up reprogrammed my equipment and increased my bottom line by 22%. The consumers don’t even notice or care. I was worried but its the best thing I did in years.

    • Hi Roman,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  • I could not be happier with the experience I had with Swipe 4 Free. From the first conversation, I was very impressed with the level of professionalism and the the time the team took to answer all questions and inquiries so that I could grow my business. Equally impressive was the customer care experience after making the decision to proceed on with Merchant Industry. The service provided was above and beyond my expectations. I encourage any and all small to medium sized companies to reach out and work with this amazing team!!!

    There are multiple reasons to opt for Swipe for Free. From their approval rate and fast turnaround, to their customized processing solutions and state-of-the-art equipment, they offer tons of benefits and cater to multiple types of businesses. Whether your business is online or in-store, it’s likely they’ll be able to provide the right solution for your payment and processing needs.

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