TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Flagship Merchant Services is a credit card processing company that excels in each of the areas worth considering when researching merchant accounts. Whether you look at Flagship Merchant Services from the standpoint of affordability, security, features or customer service, Flagship is a winner. In fact, it wins the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award. The application is online, and there is no setup fee and no contract that constrains you to stay. Flagship’s business model is to retain your loyalty with the carrot of low rates, useful features and 24/7 customer service, rather than with the stick of contracts and penalties.

Average Approval Rating
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
10
10
9.8
9.4
9.8
9.8
9.4
8.8
8.1

Our merchant account comparison finds that Flagship approves 98 percent of all applicants, so it is quite unusual for this credit card processing service to reject anyone. This is on par with most of the services we reviewed.

Cost Per Month*
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
10
10
10
10
9.3
9
8.8
7.5
8.1

As you compare merchant accounts, you will see that the Flagship Merchant Services monthly minimum, as well as its gateway and statement fees, are lower than average. Rates for card-present transactions can be as low as 0.38% or as high as 1.58% plus $0.19 per transaction. If the card is not present, the average discount rate is 0.98-1.98% plus $0.21 per transaction.

Startup Cost
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
10
10
9.8
10
9.4
9.4
7.5
8.8
5

Another area in which Flagship Merchant Services surpasses much of the competition is in startup costs. Some merchant account services charge setup fees that can cost $100. Flagship does not charge application or setup fees. When you sign up for a merchant account with Flagship, you get a free credit card reader for a mobile phone and Flagship sets up a free Authorize.net payment gateway. You will pay one rate for Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards, and Flagship will set your account up to also accept American Express transactions.

Account Setup Time
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
9.8
9.8
10
7.5
9.4
10
7.5
7.5
8.1

Some of the merchant account services we reviewed take two or three business days to set up a new account. Flagship Merchant Services can set you up in a day. The application process is online with a digital application and online signature system, like all the services we reviewed. Only U.S. residents can receive merchant accounts.

Customer Service
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
9.8
10
9.8
10
9.4
7.5
9.4
8.8
8.1

Flagship Merchant Services provides 24/7 support for merchants via email and online chat. The company also provides a toll-free telephone number. Flagship’s privacy policy demonstrates respect for its customers. Flagship does not share your information with third parties. Furthermore, Flagship does not link your IP address to personally identifiable information, neither does it use Cookies to store information on your computer.

Internet Based Features
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
9.8
8.8
7.5
9.4
9.4
7.5
9.4
7.5
8.1

Flagship Merchant Services provides a virtual terminal, the digital equivalent to a physical point-of-sale (POS) terminal or credit card machine. It also provides recurring billing and payment gateway services through Authorize.net. A payment gateway is necessary in order to verify transactions in real time. Flagship Merchant Services can clear a payment within two days. Unless you are selling a large number of products online, you do not need to build your own shopping cart. Flagship will give you the code necessary to pass your customers’ data to its gateway.

Merchant account holders with Flagship receive security measures to protect against fraud. Address verification authenticates customers before authorizing a transaction. SSL encryption applies to every transaction so hackers cannot capture transaction details. Another important security measure is the card verification value, or CVV2, a three- or four-digit number printed on a credit card to ensure the purchaser is in physical possession of the card. By following the minimum requirements to certify that your merchant account is compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), you will protect your customers from theft and you will protect yourself from liability. One of the PCI DSS requirements, for example, is that your payment application must not store any data from your customers’ credit cards, including the information on the magnetic strip, the CVV2 or the PIN data. By responding to an annual questionnaire and allowing a quarterly security scan by an approved scanning vendor, you will receive a certificate of compliance and you can request a logo to display online.

For brick-and-mortar retailers, Flagship provides a physical POS terminal, which allows you to swipe credit cards on site. For internet retailers and eCommerce websites, the service also has online shopping carts and allows you to accept eChecks. Your Flagship representative will train you in the use of the point-of-sale terminal that you select.

Credit Card Readers
Compare
10/10
Flagship Merchant Services
Credit Card Processing .com
Leaders Merchant Services
National Bankcard
E Commerce Exchange
Merchant Warehouse
Chase Paymentech
Merchant One
The Transaction Group
Gotmerchant
10
10
8.8
9.8
8.8
7.5
9.4
9.4
7.5
7.5

If you have a merchant account with Flagship Merchant Services, you will be able to use various credit card readers according to what makes sense for your business. Your assigned Flagship representative will consult with you about the options. There is equipment suitable for retail and restaurant environments. You could also get set up for processing transactions via telephone or mail order. Flagship can also help you process eCommerce transactions.

Flagship Merchant Services Summary:
10/10

If your business cannot accept credit cards, you are restricting potential sales. Whether you run a traditional retail store, operate a mail order or telephone order business, or manage an eCommerce website, a merchant account with Flagship Merchant Services will equip you with the right features, the lowest rates and continuously available customer service. Should you ever want to shut down your merchant account with Flagship, you can leave without penalty. The number to call for a personalized price quote is (866) 382-9179.

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Flagship Merchant Services

Pros
Flagship Merchant Services approves a high percentage of applicants. It charges low transaction fees and no cancellation fee.

Cons
The service is available only to U.S. based businesses.

The Verdict
: 10/10

Flagship Merchant Services is the best credit card processing service mainly because of its low fees and the fact that there is no charge if you choose to cancel. To get a personalized quote for your business, call (866) 382-9179.