No matter what type of business you operate, you need to accept payment for your goods or services. There are many payment processing companies out there, but not all of them serve every industry or business type.
If you’ve been struggling to find a merchant services provider to accept your high-risk business, Soar Payments might be right for you. In this Soar Payments review, we’ll explain what services this provider offers, as well as pricing, pros and cons, and top alternatives to consider. Let’s get started.
What Is Soar Payments?
Soar Payments is a merchant account provider and credit card processing company that specializes in helping mid- and high-risk businesses accept retail, mobile, virtual terminal, and ecommerce payments.
Founded in 2015, Soar Payments works with a wide range of industries for merchant accounts, including mid- and high-risk industries. Some of these industries include antiques and collectibles, credit repair, fantasy sports, transportation, pawn shops, travel, and more.
Additionally, Soar Payments also provides retail, POS, mobile, virtual terminal, and ecommerce payment solutions. They also partner with chargeback.com to offer clients tools to handle disputed payments.
If you’re not yet familiar with the term high-risk within credit card processing, you might be surprised by what types of businesses fall into that category. In addition to the examples listed above, here are a few additional industries that are classified as high-risk, and thus, have a harder time finding these services:
- Self-storage businesses
- Remote tech support
- Document preparation
- Ecommerce business
If your business has been labeled high risk, your merchant services options are more limited than a low-risk business; however, you still have options. .
While Soar Payments’ main focus is on hard-to-place businesses, they also work with standard and low-risk businesses.
Soar Payments: Products and Services
Now that we have a general understanding of what Soar Payments does, let’s take a closer look at all of the products and services they offer.
Your merchant account with Soar Payments will be assigned to one of the 13 different banks that Soar Payments works with.
After acceptance of your Soar Payments application, they’ll determine which bank is the best fit for your business and needs, do an initial underwriting, and then submit your application to the bank. Once accepted by the bank, they’ll assign you to a specific back-end processor.
If you need to accept in-person payments, you can do so with card terminals from Soar Payments. According to their FAQ section, they will provide credit card processing equipment once your account is approved for retail processing.
If you have specific equipment needs, you will be able to work with your Soar Payments sales rep to get the hardware you need. If you already have equipment prior to working with Soar Payments, you can have this equipment reprogrammed.
With Soar Payments, you’ll be able to accept all major credit and debit cards. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply for American Express and Discover payment processing, as well.
You also have the option to accept payments via your mobile device with either tablet or smartphone credit card swipers, compatible with both iPhone and Android devices.
Payment Gateways and Virtual Terminals
Soar Payments typically works with NMI, Authorize.net, and USAePay gateways; however, they can accommodate other gateways if you have another in mind. Just be sure to confirm with your sales rep ahead of time.
One of the biggest reasons that a merchant is categorized as high-risk is because of the potential for chargebacks. Soar Payments has an entire archives category on chargebacks and helping businesses prevent them.
While they don’t provide a great deal of information about their specific services on their website, they offer a chargeback alert service as part of their tech support merchant account service so that businesses can issue a full refund before a chargeback is initiated. This is done through a partnership with chargeback.com and will typically cost an additional fee.
According to their FAQ resources, businesses that are applying for an account with Soar Payments will typically need a chargeback ratio of under 2%, unless there are extenuating circumstances that explain the higher ratio.
Soar Payments offers standard integrations for online shopping carts as well as recurring billing, ACH, and e-checks. They offer a full list of integrations on their website, including accounting and CRM software, ecommerce platforms, marketing automation platforms, and more.
Soar Payments’ U.S.-based customer support team is based in Houston and offers a number of options for customer service. In general, your first call should be to your account representative, who is available during office hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. For after-hours inquiries, you’ll be redirected to the back-end processor.
Additionally, you can email Soar Payments, check their FAQ page for answers, and contact the customer service line for technical issues.
For the generally curious, they even offer a podcast about fintech and payment systems.
Soar Payments: Pricing
Pricing for Soar Payments’ services is quote based, meaning you have to submit an online application and receive a quote. They do say that their clients will receive industry minimum pricing, which will depend on their industry and sales volume, and there are no application or account setup fees.
That being said, here are some basic Soar Payments pricing details based on reviews of the company. Low-risk businesses that work with Soar Payments will have lower fees, as well as interchange-plus pricing. Any chargebacks to a low-risk business will come with a $15 fee, versus a $45 fee for mid- or high-risk businesses. Also, for mid- or high-risk businesses, there is a two-year contract requirement, with a hefty $495 early cancellation fee.
Again, while Soar Payments guarantees “industry minimum pricing,” without a transparent pricing structure, it’s not possible to confirm whether this is, in fact, true. Since submitting an application and getting a quote is free, it can’t hurt to submit your information to Soar Payments and see what kind of pricing structure they come back with. However, we recommend shopping around and getting quotes from several merchant services providers before deciding which one to use for your business—especially if you’re going to be locked into a long contract.
Soar Payments: Pros
One of the biggest pros for Soar Payments is the fact that it specializes in working with high-risk merchants, which is a designation that can be frightening for some business owners and make finding a merchant services provider more difficult.
Soar Payments also has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, as well as no customer complaints on the site. Positive Soar Payments reviews highlight the company’s consistent communication and excellent customer service. You’ll receive a dedicated account manager when you work with Soar Payments to answer any questions as you set up your account.
Other positive reviews laud the ease of setting up a Soar Payments’ account, as well as how quick and easy the underwriting process is.
Soar Payments: Cons
While Soar Payments does work with high-risk clients, they don’t work with just any business. Soar Payments doesn’t work with non-U.S. businesses, and there are certain high-risk industries they won’t work with, including bitcoin, debt relief, marijuana, and pharmaceuticals.
Another con to consider is the lack of pricing transparency around Soar Payments’ services.
Soar Payments Alternatives
While merchant services providers that specialize in working with high-risk clients, like Soar Payments, aren’t the norm, Soar Payments also isn’t your only option. Here are few high-risk merchant account provider alternatives to Soar Payments and how they measure up.
Keep in mind, none of these providers offer straightforward pricing on their website; you’ll have to contact them for a quote. However, it’s a good idea to get a range of quotes to find which provider has the best terms, as well as to help you negotiate.
Durango Merchant Services
When it comes to high-risk merchant services, Durango Merchant Services is one of the best-known and most well-respected. And, they’ve been around a while, having been founded in 1999.
Durango Merchant Services is known for offering fair prices, having honest terms, and great customer service. Customers can choose from a variety of payment terminals straight from their website, including mobile and virtual terminals.
While Soar Payments uses Authorize.net, Durango Merchant Services has built their own, proprietary competitor. In addition to the Durango payment gateway, customers get access to an Authorize.net emulator, so they can interface with any compatible shopping cart.
Pros of Durango Merchant Services include direct sale of processing equipment and a dedicated account manager. More highly qualified businesses can receive interchange-plus pricing, while less qualified businesses will likely receive tiered pricing. Durango also offers some additional products like business loans and payroll management.
Similar to Soar Payments, PaymentCloud is another merchant account provider that specializes in high-risk merchant accounts. They have almost no complaints online and quite a few positive reviews from customers.
PaymentCloud has no application, setup, or early termination fees. Plus, when you open an account you will receive credit card and virtual terminals at no extra cost. PaymentCloud uses Ingenico and Verifone credit card terminals and also sells MaxxPay POS hardware and software. For payment gateways, PaymentCloud offers Authorize.net, while also allowing for integrations with other third-party processors.
Soar Payments Review: The Bottom Line
After being designated a high-risk merchant, many business owners feel stressed to sign up with the first merchant account provider that replies to their inquiry. And many companies are aware of this and try to take advantage of business owners.
Soar Payments, however, is a reputable option for high-risk businesses. But remember, this doesn’t mean you should only seek a quote from Soar Payments and sign up without first taking all of your options into consideration—because you do have options.
Be sure to shop around and get quotes from multiple account providers before choosing the right one for your business. Getting a quote is free for the account providers we mentioned above, so there’s no reason not to get this information before making a decision.