As a small business owner, it can be difficult to choose among all the merchant services available to you. You have to research different rates, services, and different hardware and software.
Also, with the definition of merchant services continuing to expand, it doesn’t just encompass credit processing services anymore. Many merchant services providers now offer point of sale systems and online payment gateways. How do you choose the one that best suits your specific business?
If you’re looking for a “one-stop shop” merchant account provider, then Valued Merchant Services may be a provider worth considering. In this Valued Merchant Services review, we’re breaking down their features and pricing so that you can make an informed decision.
Valued Merchant Services Overview
Valued Merchant Services was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Idaho. They are a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.
At first glance, Valued Merchant Services has some impressive accolades: an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, as well as being featured twice in the list of “5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America” in Inc. Magazine. A thorough search also yields few negative Valued Merchant Services reviews from customers.
Valued Merchant Services specializes in traditional electronic payment processing but also offers more unconventional services, like social media management and human resources. This wide range testifies to their branding as a “one stop shop.” Also, Valued Merchant Services is a verified reseller for familiar merchant services and POS systems including First Data, Vital, Clover and Total System Services.
Valued Merchant Services Features
It’s worth noting Valued Merchant Services’ clunky website layout. Most would think that Valued Merchant Services would list their different products and services on their Products and Services page. However, this content was actually tucked away at the bottom of their About page.
Moreover, many of their products and services don’t have internal links to learn more, like their ATM machine sales and check/ACH processing services. To find more information, we had to sift through their agent training materials. Here are a list of services that Valued Merchant Services offers:
Credit Card Terminals
Valued Merchant Services positions credit card processing machines as their specialty. They carry both mobile and non-mobile credit card terminals, offering brands by Ingenico, Verifone, and First Data.
Since they offer so many different brands or models, features vary accordingly, but you will be able to find terminals to process chip, swipe, and contactless payments, as well as end-to-end encryption, customizable branding, and more.
POS systems help you process card payments accurately and quickly. Valued Merchant Services is a reseller for popular POS systems by Clover and Vital. Clover POS systems accept all payment types and you can equip yourself with various data reporting tools and a mobile POS system. Vital is great if you want your POS system to also display analytics, inventory, and even tax reporting.
ACH and eCheck Processing
It may surprise you to learn how many people still use checks as their preferred payment method. If you don’t want to be caught off guard when somebody asks to pay with a check, then ACH/eCheck terminals can help you. Valued Merchant Services makes it easy to verify checks by scanning them with their terminal.
Installing an ATM machine in your store can increase traffic to your business. Fortunately, Valued Merchant Services will make the process of installing an ATM in your location convenient with free shipping, free installation, and free training. Moreover, they will ensure that the ATM is properly stocked with cash.
Gift and Loyalty Cards
Gift cards and loyalty programs are a great marketing strategy for small businesses. Loyalty programs can attract new customers and transform existing customers into brand advocates.
A unique aspect of Valued Merchant Services is that they offer unsecured business loans, lines of credit, and credit card cash advances for small businesses. They offer these funding options—which span from $5,000 to $250,000 through online lender OnDeck.
You can apply with limited credit history, but you will need at least one year of business history and $100,000 in annual revenue. Your application can be reviewed in just a few minutes, while funding can be received as soon as one business day from time of approval.
ADP Payroll and HR
If your business requires help setting up payroll, Valued Merchant Service can help you. They can set up employee payment options via check or direct deposit and will prepare you for tax filing season. Moreover, Valued Merchant Services can assist you with creating a variety of HR forms, including employee handbooks, job descriptions, and hiring procedures.
Electricity and Gas
Interestingly, Valued Merchant Services has a team of energy account managers. Valued Merchant Services will review your current energy bills and will brainstorm ways to cut costs on your energy usage. Their energy management services will draw on the lowest available wholesale rates, energy industry knowledge, and their supplier relationships.
Social Media Management
Services by Valued Merchant Services don’t stop at just POS systems or even business financing. Valued Merchant Services will also help you manage your social media accounts. They can curate your content, help you adhere to a content publishing calendar, and respond regularly to visitor comments.
Valued Merchant Services Pricing
Valued Merchant Services doesn’t provide any pricing information on their website, which raises some red flags. In many Valued Merchant Services reviews transparency, customers express that they would have liked to have some information to review before reaching out to a sales rep for more information.
Sales scripts in Valued Merchant Services’ agent training materials revealed that they are aggressive in scheduling in-person meetings with prospective customers. Likely, most discussions regarding pricing and rates are delayed to these in-person meetings.
We also assume the lack of a central pricing page is due to the massive variety of services that Valued Merchant Services offers. The scope of your contract and rates can vary wildly depending on your business type, size, industry, and desired services.
However, after some scouring, we located the terms and fees for a standard Valued Merchant Services contract with First Data:
- Five year commitment
- $120 annual PCI compliance fee
- $395 early termination fee
- $25 monthly minimum fee
The $395 early termination fee seems excessive, especially when other merchant service providers, like Flagship Merchant Services, don’t charge an early termination fee at all. However, training materials show that sales representatives can waive any cancellation fees if it helps bring clients onboard. If you intend to sign with Valued Merchant Services, definitely negotiate with your sales agent to get any additional fees waived.
Another issue with Valued Merchant Services’ pricing is that they are a reseller for other businesses, like First Data, TSYS, and Clover. Valued Merchant Services does reserve the right to alter any terms and conditions meaning that you may receive higher rates than if you sign directly with the original provider. And with a lack of pricing transparency, you could wind up paying more than another business owner with similar needs.
That said, Valued Merchant Services does appear to be committed to offering you the best rates possible. They place a bold offer on their website’s main page: “If we can’t beat your current processing rates and fees, we’ll give you $500.” They also claim their point of sale services can save businesses 10% to over 30%. Again, without clear pricing, we can’t confirm these numbers. If you do choose to learn more about Valued Merchant Services, you should definitely compare their quoted prices with other merchant services providers, including the original product providers, as they may be amenable to matching or beating other offers.
Valued Merchant Services Reviews
As we mentioned before, Valued Merchant Services has a pretty solid track record. They have few customer complaints and have a five-star rating on Glassdoor and Indeed, as well as an A+ BBB rating. This usually indicates that Valued Merchant Services is a legitimate business and—while they still receive complaints—their customer support team is handling customer inquiries and issues. There is only one Valued Merchant Services review on BBB, which is a glowing testimonial that praises their customer service.
However, it’s important to note that the absence of overtly negative reviews should not suggest that Valued Merchant Services is a perfect merchant service provider. Be sure to do your own due diligence before committing to any merchant services provider.
Valued Merchant Services Pros
With this overview of Valued Merchant Services in mind, let’s take a closer look at the pros of using this merchant services provider.
Compatible Across Different Industries
Since Valued Merchant Services is a reseller of different merchant processing services, they can cater to a wide spectrum of business needs, across several industries. Not only do they offer your basic credit and debit card processing services, you can also rely on Valued Merchant Services to manage your social media presence and even help you secure a business loan. So if you’re looking for a one-stop shop to take care of several of your business needs, you might consider Valued Merchant Services.
Work With High-Risk Businesses
Being a reseller of First Data, Clover, Vital, and more Valued Merchant Services is able to serve both lower-risk and higher-risk businesses. If you’ve been turned down due to the high-risk nature of your business, then you’ll be welcomed by a high-risk merchant account, like Valued Merchant Services. According to their website, Valued Merchant Services has a 99% merchant approval rate and approves most accounts within one to two days.
24/7/365 Customer Support
Customer support can either make or break a business’s reputation. Fortunately, the absence of negative Valued Merchant Services reviews suggests that their customer service is attentive to your inquiries as a small business owner, which not all merchant services providers can say. Valued Merchant Services’ customer services and technical support is available 24/7/365, and they provide their customer service phone number, as well as the president’s and CEO’s phone numbers prominently on their website.
Valued Merchant Services Cons
With these positives noted, let’s take a closer look at some of the things we don’t love about Valued Merchant Services.
Lack of Transparency
Any company that doesn’t post upfront pricing raises red flags. This leaves business owners without the ability to compare prices among different providers without first contacting a sales rep. However, if you do decide to contact their sales team directly to learn more about pricing, we recommend getting quotes from other providers ahead of time so you have a better chance of negotiating.
Poor Website Navigation
For a company that helps you build an online brand, their own website navigation could use some work. They require you to do some extra digging before you finally stumble across their different products or services. Also, they lack in-depth descriptions of their services, as well as some outdated information, which forces you to speak with a live agent for any inquiries, where you can’t be sure if you’re receiving the same offer as another business owner.
Early Termination Fees
The sample contract with First Data shows that Valued Merchant Services does charge an early termination fee of $395. While this is a hefty number, especially for small business owners, it sounds as if you can negotiate to have this fee waived if you sign on as a client.
Valued Merchant Services Alternatives
If you’re not sold on Valued Merchant Services after reading this review (or speaking with Valued Merchant Services directly), here are some alternative merchant services providers that may suit your business needs. We recommend you comparison shop any product or service you’re considering for your business.
Durango Merchant Services
If you found Valued Merchant Services appealing because of their willingness to work with high-risk businesses, then you might also consider Durango Merchant Services. They specialize in high-risk merchant accounts and have an A+ BBB rating. Like Valued Merchant Services, they do not advertise their pricing on their website, but they do offer free rate quotes, quick setup, and great customer service.
If either of these providers interests you, you should contact them for a quote to see how their pricing compares and to see if you can’t use this information to negotiate a better rate for your business.
Another option for high-risk businesses is PaymentCloud. Their free application makes them an attractive option for interested customers. Also, many of their customers praise their stellar customer support.
However, PaymentCloud does have disadvantages, as well. Like Valued Merchant Services, PaymentCloud does not disclose any of their prices and you must contact an agent directly. Similarly, PaymentCloud’s website is not the easiest to navigate; however, their products are described as easy to use and setup is typically handled for you.
If you’re not specifically looking for a high-risk merchant and your business requires smooth POS hardware and software, then Square is an excellent contender. What is refreshing about Square is their transparent pricing. They clearly display their different products and accessories and their respective pricing. This transparent pricing of their services alone makes Square an attractive option for small business owners seeking a merchant services provider.
Is Valued Merchant Services Right for You?
Valued Merchant Services caters to a wide variety of businesses, both low-risk and high-risk and across different industries. Also, they have a wide spectrum of services in their arsenal for you to use.
However, with the lack of pricing transparency on their website and the absence of any critical reviews, it’s best that you proceed with caution. When speaking with a sales agent, make sure that you inquire about all fees associated with their services (including cancellation fees) and that you have quotes from similar companies to compare them to.
If you do decide to work with Valued Merchant Services, we highly recommend you review their sales agent training materials yourself before speaking with a rep. It’s not directly accessible through their website but you should be able to find it with a quick Google search. Researching the details of services that you’re interested can give you an advantage during negotiations.
And, of course, if Valued Merchant Services isn’t the best fit for your business, there are plenty of other merchant services providers that are worth looking into.