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SAIL Review

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Overview

SAIL Logo

SAIL Logo

Updated 7/29/2015: Verifone discontinued its line of SAIL products in December 2012. Its assets were acquired by Capital One and restructured to create Spark Pay.

SAIL (sailpay.com), also known as “SAIL Pay” and “SAIL Payments,” is a mobile credit card processing application for use with smartphones, tablets and some dedicated countertop payment terminals. The service launched in mid-2012 and is the creation of the popular card processing hardware maker Verifone. SAIL is Verifone’s attempt to compete with similar services such as GoPayment, PayPal Here, Pay Anywhere, and Square.

Like its competitors, SAIL provides an easy signup process, free app & card reader, simple pricing and month-to-month service terms. The fees for SAIL resemble that of GoPayment because SAIL has two different account types. The first, dubbed the “Go” plan, has no monthly fee and charges a swipe rate of 2.70% (2.95% for AMEX cards) and a key-in rate of 3.70% for all card types including international transactions. The second, called the “Pro” plan, includes a $9.95 monthly service fee but lowers the swipe rate to 1.95% (2.95% for AMEX) and the key-in rate to 2.95% for all card types.

Aside from a reasonable fee schedule, SAIL promotes that it integrates with Stitch, a sales management tool, to allow merchants to track inventory across multiple sales channels including well known applications such as Etsy, BigCommerce and Shopify. Additionally, Verifone has included a 24/7 customer support number (855-SAILPAY / 855-724-5729) as well support by email, Twitter and Facebook.

As of this review, SAIL does not have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile and no complaints in the other usual forums. However, the service is getting an average rating of 3 out of 5 stars in the Android and Apple marketplaces. Of the negative reviews, users are mostly reporting difficulties with the app loading slowly, consistently crashing, or having compatibility problems with a device. It may be too early to tell if these are widespread problems or isolated incidents.

VeriFone Systems, Inc., is located at 2099 Gateway Place, Suite 600 San Jose, CA 95110. As of this review, it is unclear which company is acting as the transaction processor for SAIL.

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Leave your review or comments about SAIL in the comment section below. A full CardPaymentOptions.com review is pending for this provider and your comments will be taken into account when the review is updated.

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This review was originally published on 9/17/12 and was last updated on 7/29/15.

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Venmo Review

Overview

Venmo Logo

Venmo Logo

Venmo (venmo.com) is a personal cash transfer service owned by Braintree Payments and PayPal. Launched in June 2012, the service enables users to make direct bank (ACH) transfers or card payments to one another using a mobile phone app. Bank and debit transfers are free through Venmo, but the service charges a per-transaction fee on credit card payments. Venmo is similar in many ways to Square Cash or PayPal, but its mobile phone functionality and free transfer service make it one of the most convenient, low-cost options for cash transfers currently available.

The process for sending funds through Venmo is simple. First, the user opens the app using either a fingerprint or PIN and enters the username, phone number, email address, or Twitter handle of the person they wish to pay or charge. The user then specifies the type of transaction via a Pay/Request button on the bottom of the phone screen. Then, the user enters the amount to be paid or charged and provides a brief note describing the transfer (similar to the “Memo” line on a paper check). After the user initiates the payment, confirmation is sent via email to both parties.

Venmo is available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, and the service may also be accessed through the company’s website. Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail are listed as the co-founders of Venmo.

Venmo Features

  • Peer-to-peer cash transfer
  • Next-day deposits
  • Push, email, and text notifications for account usage
  • Fingerprint and PIN verification
  • Remote account deactivation

Related: Best Credit Card Processing Apps for Real Businesses

Venmo Pros

Venmo is simple to install and use, and it allows users to send payments to one another for free. It processes payments within one business day, and it allows users to maintain a Venmo Balance if they’d prefer not to cash out their funds immediately after receiving them. Venmo is available to anyone, and its mobile app is compatible with most modern smartphones. The initial processing limit on Venmo payments for an unverified user is $299.99 per week, but this can be increased to $2,999.99 per week if the user provides either the last four digits of their SSN or an attached Facebook account. Overall, the app is exceedingly simple to use and free for most payment types.

Venmo currently has a 4.6 out of 5 rating in the Google Play Store and a 4.5-star rating in the Apple App Store. Positive reviews praise its utility as a convenient payment option among friends and its low cost.

Venmo Cons

Although Venmo encrypts payments and processes them on its own secure servers, the app is technically only as secure as a user’s phone and Venmo PIN. As a precaution against theft, Venmo allows users to remotely deactivate their accounts on devices that they believe to be compromised. The app’s processing limits also restrict potential damages to either $299.99 or $2,999.99 for a fraudulent transaction.

Outside of potential security issues, Venmo does not receive a large number of negative reviews for any one specific problem. Some users complain of having payments frozen, but in most cases these users were using the app to conduct business transactions. Other users complain of payments getting lost or delayed as a result of account setup difficulties. Venmo is intended only for personal use in its current form. Other complaints include annoyance with the app’s social media integration and isolated customer service issues, including complaints related to Venmo’s lack of live customer support. Venmo support can only be contacted via an online form, which severely limits users’ ability to reach a representative in a timely fashion.

The company also has a “B” rating with the Better Business Bureau due to 54 total complaints in the past three years (up from eight at the time of our last review). Thirty-five of these complaints are classified as product or service problems, 12 are related to billing or collection, five have to do with delivery, and two are considered advertising or sales issues. Venmo has successfully resolved 13 of these complaints, while the remainder either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final evaluation from the merchant. According to the details of most of these complaints, many of the complainants attempted to use Venmo for business transactions and found that their accounts were frozen as a result. Merchants should understand that Venmo is intended for personal use only, so their accounts will likely be frozen if they attempt to use Venmo as a merchant account.

Although Venmo has seen a large increase in BBB complaints over the last year, it has also grown in popularity by a comparable amount. Furthermore, many complainants appear to be in violation of Venmo’s terms of agreement by their own admission. These factors mitigate the severity of the complaint increase to some degree.

Related: Best Multi-Currency Merchant Account Providers

Bottom Line


Venmo Review

Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Updated on 2015-07-08

Considering its low cost, easy installation, widespread compatibility, short transfer time, and generally positive reviews, Venmo is a clear frontrunner among peer-to-peer payment services. The service’s only potential security issues are limited to instances of device theft, and Venmo can remotely disable an account at a user’s request. Venmo has seen increased complaints related to fund holds and frozen accounts, but many of these complaints appear to be filed by people who knowingly misused the app. The app also suffers from a lack of live support. Venmo is not intended as a way for businesses to accept payments at this time, but the company is said to be investigating possibilities on this front.

This review was originally published on 4/16/14 and was last updated on 7/8/15.

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Square Wallet Review

Overview

Square Wallet

Square Wallet

Updated 5/26/2015: Square has removed Square Wallet from the iTunes App Store and has publicly stated that the service is no longer a priority. At this time, Square Wallet is not an active product.

Square Wallet (squareup.com/wallet) is a free mobile wallet application offered by Square. Like LevelUp, PayPal, or the now-defunct Google Wallet, Square Wallet allows customers to pay at eligible stores using only their smartphones. All a user needs to do is download the free Square Wallet app, link his or her credit card, provide a photo, and activate the app in a Square Register-enabled location. The cashier will see the customer’s username and photo in the Square Register, and the customer can then pay by simply stating his or her username to the cashier. The Square Wallet can only be used at stores that utilize the Square Register point-of-sale system, which means that only Square merchants can offer this service to customers. Square made a splash in late 2012 by signing an agreement with Starbucks to enable all of its stores to accept Square Wallet payments.

Square Wallet Pros

From a customer’s perspective, Square Wallet provides an easy, secure payment method that allows for discreet tipping and eliminates the need to deal with card readers. The service also automatically detects perks that are available to the customer, such as loyalty programs and active sales. Customer reviews praise the fact that users don’t have to hand their phone to the cashier or wave the phone over a scanner of some sort, since the Square Wallet can communicate with the cloud-based Register system from a user’s pocket.

For a merchant, accepting Square Wallet can have several benefits. Customers can use the app to see which nearby businesses accept Square Wallet payments, so this feature may give merchants the edge over non-Square-enabled competitors. Additionally, the use of a phone to make payments provides a seamless payment option that eliminates potential issues with cash handling or card readers. Since Square Register allows merchants to promote loyalty programs or special deals to Square Wallet customers, merchants can encourage repeat business. Best of all, though, is the fact that Square Wallet acceptance is free with the Square Register. There is no additional commitment necessary for a merchant to try it out.

Square Wallet Cons

Most Square Wallet complaints have been posted by customers who experienced slow or failed payment attempts through the app. Customers report a low number of Wallet-compatible stores in their area, employee confusion over how to accept Square Wallet payments, slow or inefficient processing that holds up lines, and occasionally not seeing a “tip” option when they want to tip a server. These reported issues may improve as more stores begin to accept Square Wallet and teach their employees how to use it. It is also possible that some of these complaints are due to the fact that Square Register cannot accept Square Wallet payments on a smartphone. Employees must accept Square Wallet payments through a Square Register-enabled iPad.

Customers also report a long load time when trying to check in at a Square Register location. Square Wallet offers an automatic check-in feature that alerts cashiers the second a Square Wallet user steps into the store, but customers have noted that this feature drains phone battery at a rapid rate.

Aside from these device-related hiccups, Square Wallet also has the issues that come with being tied to Square’s merchant services. Merchants who wish to offer Square Wallet acceptance will need to sign up for both the Square Register and credit card processing through Square. While Square is known to have transparent transaction rates (2.75% swiped, 3.5% plus $0.15 keyed), the company also suffers from a very high volume of complaints related to poor customer service and a pattern of withholding funds. Our review of Square currently awards the company an overall rating of “D,” and most merchants are not advised to sign up for Square simply to be able to accept Square Wallet payments.

Bottom Line


Square Wallet Review

Rated 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Updated on 2015-05-26

In concept, Square Wallet represents a free, streamlined, smartphone-only mobile payment option for customers. The service has a lot of potential for innovation and is a nice benefit afforded to existing Square merchants. However, it appears that many users are experiencing issues with disrupted function and low availability among merchants at this time. These issues may resolve themselves as Square Wallet gains traction, but individual experiences will probably vary for some time. Additionally, merchants should not consider signing up with Square just to be able to accept Square Wallet at this time, since Square currently does not offer live customer support and has a high volume of online complaints. Taken on its own merits (independently of Square’s flaws), Square Wallet currently receives a “B” rating.

This review was originally published on 11/13/13 and was last updated on 5/26/15.

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Square Cash Review

Overview

Square Cash

Square Cash

Square Cash (cash.me) is a personal cash transfer service launched by Square in October 2013. Like Venmo and Google Wallet, Square Cash allows individuals to directly send cash amounts to each other via email or within a dedicated mobile application using a linked debit card.

The process for making email payments is simple: when filling out an email, write the recipient’s email address in the “To” field, “[email protected]” in the “CC” field, and the dollar amount being sent in the “Subject” field. Any additional notes concerning the transaction can be included in the body of the email. Square will then send an email asking you for your debit card number. Providing your debit card number completes the account setup process. Alternatively, you can download the company’s Square Cash app from the iTunes or Android app store, and the app will walk you through this process. An email will be sent to the recipient’s email address immediately, notifying them of the payment, and the transaction will process within two days. All transfers through Square Cash are processed for free.

Square Cash Features

  • Peer-to-peer cash transfer
  • Deposits within seconds
  • Push, email, and text notifications for account usage
  • Fingerprint and CVV verification
  • Cash Pro option for businesses

Square Cash Video Introduction

Related: Best Credit Card Processing Apps for Real Businesses

Square Cash Pros

Square Cash is incredibly easy to use and costs absolutely nothing. Anyone with an email address and debit card can sign up for it and begin sending money to friends quickly. The service advertises that it takes only seconds to make a deposit, but users should plan on a one- to two-day deposit window just to be safe. Square Cash can be accessed from any device that sends emails, making it widely accessible for all users. Square initially holds users to a processing limit of $250 per week, but this amount can be increased to $2,500 by providing additional personal information to Square and linking to your Facebook account. Square Cash’s pricing, easy setup, and payment delivery are very competitive as a total package within the cash transfer market.

Square Cash Cons

Square Cash currently has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play Store and a five-star rating in the iTunes App Store. The major concern throughout most Square Cash reviews is the potential security hazard posed by the email component of the service. Since it’s linked to the user’s email address and requires no PIN or additional password, Square Cash is only as secure as a user’s email password. Someone who obtains access to a user’s Square Cash-linked account can easily send themselves money, although this amount will be limited to either $250 or $2,500. This risk can be mitigated by users who change their account settings to require entry of the card’s CVV code. Square has stated publicly that it provides top-of-the-line fraud protection for its users and is capable of reversing fraudulent payments, but there are no public accounts at this time of Square responding to an account breach. It is reasonable to assume that Square’s liability is likely limited when it comes to fraudulent transactions, and a savvy hacker would probably be able to reroute funds before Square could reverse them.

Square recently launched a feature called Cash Pro that is intended for business owners who wish to collect payments through Square Cash. Cash Pro enables merchants to direct customers to a payment page using a “cashtag,” which is simply a link to the merchant’s dedicated Square Cash profile. Customers can pay at this page using a debit card regardless of whether they have a Square Cash account. Cash Pro costs 1.5% per transaction, which is very competitive compared to traditional merchant accounts. However, users who process large payments regularly through Square Cash have reported that Square will sometimes attempt to reclassify their accounts as “Cash Pro” accounts if the company believes that users are conducting business transactions through the app. This increase in cost seems to put both parties in a difficult position, as users insist that they should be entitled to the free service while Square unilaterally requires a 1.5% fee on transactions that were previously free.

The primary concern with the service, however, is the fact that Square provides virtually no live customer support. In the event of a fraudulent payment, it is unlikely that a Square Cash user will be able to reach an account representative in time to reverse the payment. Since Square Cash collects sensitive personal information, including a user’s debit card number and bank information, users may be wary to hand this information over to an entity without live support. In fact, nearly all negative reviews of the service cite concerns over security or privacy.

Related: Best Multi-Currency Merchant Account Providers

Bottom Line


Square Cash Review

Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Updated on 2015-05-26

Square Cash offers a simple, free peer-to-peer cash transfer service that is a worthy competitor to apps like Venmo. The service’s ease of use may have come at a slight cost, however, since there is very little in the way of customer service for users. The convenience of Square Cash should be weighed against its potential risks.

This review was originally published on 11/13/13 and was last updated on 5/26/15.

Leave your review of Square Cash in the comment section below:

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