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As you make key financial decisions for your small business, it will be almost intuitive to search for recognizable, incumbent names for each product and service you need.
On the other hand, it’s also enticing to opt for industry disruptors that are changing the game—especially when any form of financial technology is involved.
Chase Merchant Services (formerly Chase Paymentech) can offer the best of these two worlds.
Chase Merchant Services is an arm of JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the nation, and it incorporates top-of-the-line technology from the recently acquired Paymentech merchant services company. If you’re searching for a familiar name that’s also elevating the game, then Chase Merchant Services might be the perfect choice for your business.
Since acquiring Paymentech, Inc., Chase Merchant Services is now both the processor and the acquiring bank in transactions, allowing small businesses the speed and peace of mind that come with this two-in-one experience.
All payment processing systems have to connect with an acquiring bank during each transaction. However, with Chase Merchant Services, the payment processing system and the acquiring bank are one and the same.
As a result, choosing Chase Merchant Services as your payment processing system could seriously streamline the steps toward successfully getting paid.
With the fundamentals on how Chase Merchant Services functions covered, it’s time to dig a little deeper.
In order to figure out if Chase Merchant Services is the right fit for your business, we’ll need to dive into the details and become more familiar with its intricacies.
The first detail that you’ll likely want to learn about Chase Merchant Services is how much it will cost you.
Unfortunately there’s no hard-and-fast answer to the question of Chase Merchant Services’s fees and rates. The services are priced with a quote-based system, meaning you’ll have to talk to a representative to get an actual number for how much it will cost your business.
However, because Chase Merchant Services’s pricing is quote-based, you’ll have some wiggle room when it comes to payment structure and pricing. Chase offers merchants both interchange-plus pricing and tiered pricing.
Interchange-plus pricing is the more transparent option as it allows you to view your payment processing charges from Chase Merchant Services piecemeal on every bill. Tiered pricing, on the other hand, is far simpler but much less transparent.
When it comes to point of sale payments, Chase Merchant Services can provide your business with many options to choose from.
These point of sale options have a wide reach. You’ll be able to opt for some of Chase Merchant Services’s own credit card machines, like the Ingenico iCT250 or the Verifone VX680.
Additionally, you can also choose to integrate another brand’s point of sale software with your Chase Merchant Services system, in order to easily address your business’s specific needs and preferences.
You’ll also be able to set up an online payment system for your business through Chase Merchant Services.
Chase’s online payment solution—Orbital—will allow your business to accept secure payments online. Through the Orbital payment gateway, your business can run customer-managed billing capabilities, access customer profile management tools, and manage refunds on your business’s site.
With the mobile payment processing capabilities that Chase Merchant Services offers, you and your employees could run quick, secure transactions beyond the checkout counter. With a Chase card reader and the Chase Mobile Checkout app, you’ll be able to accept payments through Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
Chase also offers a wireless terminal that functions much like a desktop point of sale device but can move around as needed thanks to a WiFi or cell service connection.
Having combed through the many features that Chase Merchant Services offers businesses like yours, it’s time to take an evaluative look at these features.
First, let’s cover which of Chase’s features are particularly good news for your business:
The first bit of notable good news that Chase brings to small businesses?
The option to choose interchange-plus pricing.
If you are the type of small business owner who likes to know exactly where every single cent of your expenditure goes, then interchange-plus is the perfect payment structure for you.
If you opt for interchange-plus pricing, every bill you receive from Chase Merchant Services will be detailed to a tee—you’ll know exactly how much it cost you to process each transaction your business ran.
Another huge plus that Chase Merchant Services boasts?
Its two-in-one nature of being both a payment processor and an acquiring bank.
Since Chase will wear both of these hats, your business’s payment processing will move much more quickly and be more secure. Because there will be fewer hand-offs in the process, there will be fewer hoops for payment information to jump through.
Additionally, because there are fewer stakeholders that need to get paid in this payment processing setup, Chase will often be able to get you a better deal than other processing systems that involve more entities.
Just like any other small business financial product out there, there are drawbacks to Chase Merchant Services.
Here are two of the most notable disadvantages to choosing Chase as your business’s merchant services provider:
One of the most notable downsides to choosing Chase Merchant Services is that they have an independent reseller program.
You’re probably wondering what an independent reseller program is exactly. It essentially means that other companies will bundle Chase Merchant Services with their own merchant services and potentially mark them up.
And because Chase doesn’t explicitly note the prices of their merchant services publicly, it will be difficult for you to find out whether or not you’re paying too much through the reseller program.
Although the reseller program is easy to avoid by buying straight from the Chase Merchant Services source itself, it simply throws another uncertainty and complication into the mix of finding the right merchant services for your business.
Another downside to Chase Merchant Services that you’ve probably gathered throughout this review?
It’s one of your most complicated merchant service provider options on the market.
Don’t get us wrong—it still stands that on the back end, Chase’s payment processing is one of the more streamlined systems. However, this might not be enough to make up for how confusing it is on the front end.
You’ll have arguably too many devices, softwares, gateways, and integrations to choose from. And most of them will come with confusing, number-based, vague names.
Meanwhile, Chase Merchant Services’s competitors will, for the most part, offer you a wide range of options that are still clear-cut and easy to understand.
All in all, if you’re looking for merchant services that are straightforward and easy for you and your employees to manage from the get-go, then we suggest looking beyond Chase Merchant Services.
One slightly gray area for Chase Merchant Services that’s neither fully positive nor fully negative is the quote-based pricing.
On the one hand, quote-based pricing could potentially allow your business to drive the price down to get a better deal. Plus, because of the wiggle room that comes with quote-based pricing, your business will be able to choose between tiered or interchange-plus pricing.
On the other hand, there’s no gauge against which you can measure your Chase Merchant Services pricing. For instance, if you decide to work with one of their resellers, then you won’t have any base-level Chase Merchant Services pricing to reference if you want to check whether you’re paying for a markup or not.
Altogether, the quote-based pricing system that Chase Merchant Services operates on will ultimately render the pricing process more confusing and less transparent.
So, if you’re looking for the peace of mind that comes with getting a fair deal, then Chase’s pricing model might not be the best fit for you.
Now that you’ve learned all the ins and outs of Chase Merchant Services that are good, bad, and somewhere in the middle, what are your next steps?
Well, it depends on how you feel about everything you’ve learned. If you’re not completely convinced by Chase Merchant Services, then it’s important for you to shop some other options to see if there’s a better fit out there for your business.
We’d suggest starting your contingency search with the top two alternatives to Chase Merchant Services: Square and Clover.
First up in your list is Square.
You’ll probably recognize Square’s characteristically sleek and white payment processing gear—from its most basic magstripe reader to its souped up Stand, you’ve likely encountered a wide variety of Square products as a consumer.
But what can Square offer you as a small business owner?
Well, the list of features that Square point of sale systems offer up is a long one—you’ll be able to manage employees, manage inventory, create a streamlined checkout process, and even provide gift cards for your customers.
As for hardware, you can choose from a range of five Square point of sale devices that include a magstripe reader, a chip reader, a contactless payment and chip reader, a stand, and a register.
And for software, you can choose from a free app, Square Point of Sale, or a more pricey and powerful software called Square for Retail.
However, beyond this list of features, devices, and software options that Square boasts, Square is simply one of the easiest POS systems to use on the market. Plus, Square’s pricing is incredibly transparent and simple to wrap your head around.
All in all, Square will be much more user friendly for both you, your bookkeeper, and your employees.
Another top alternative to Chase Merchant Services for you to consider is Clover point of sale systems.
Just like Square, Clover is a tech-based point of sale company that aims to disrupt an industry that incumbents like Chase have run for years.
And they’ve succeeded in doing so by offering up some of the very best point of sale hardware and software options on the market. Clover has a wide range of point of sale device options—the Clover Go, the Clover Flex, the Clover Mini, and the Clover Station. Only the Clover Go requires a smart device to process payments, whereas the other options come fully equipped.
Clover also offers up multiple point of sale software options. You can choose from the free Payments Plus, the middle-of-the-road Register Lite, or the ultra-powerful Register software plans.
Altogether, though Clover point of sale systems aren’t as recognizable as Square or as tenured as Chase Merchant Service, they’re certainly a viable option for business owners who are searching for a straightforward, fairly priced payment processing system.
With the info you’ve learned through this guide, you’re more than equipped to decide whether or not Chase Merchant Services is the right payment processing point of sale system for your business.
The next step is simply figuring out if Chase Merchant Services’s advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
And if they do outweigh the disadvantages, do these advantages address your business’s needs as well as Chase’s simpler competitors? Because finding the right price tag and list of features is half the battle with merchant services, the less complicated alternatives—like Square and Clover—have a leg up.
So, before you sink the time into dialing in and signing on with Chase Merchant Services, we suggest examining the most streamlined options, as well.