CardFellow Review

Pros:

  • pros Very transparent business model
  • pros Rate audits every half year
  • pros Lifetime lock ensures rates don’t go up
  • pros Certified quotes guarantee interchange-plus pricing
  • pros A+ rating on BBB

Cons:

  • cons Payment gateways cost extra
  • cons Customer service has very limited working hours
  • cons No guarantees on non-certified processors
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Score: A

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Customers used to be satisfied paying by cash or check. Now the options have multiplied. Customers pay with a card or a smartphone, by dipping, tapping, or swiping, in person or online. Every day brings new options.

Keeping up is tough – and that’s before selecting a payment-processing company to handle transactions. Each vendor supports different technologies and each has its own array of percentages, charges, and other fees.

That’s where CardFellow comes in. According to CardFellow reviews posted by users, this innovative service gathers a few simple facts about your business and then introduces you to a selection of payment processors whose services meet your needs – and the ever-expanding demands of your customers.

Product Overview

CardFellow is an online service that solicits multiple bids from payment processors based on your needs and preferences. The website gathers some information from you, then presents quotes from service providers that Cardfellow has screened. Credit card processing companies that want to do business with CardFellow have to meet certain criteria, such as having interchange-plus pricing and offering contracts without early cancellation fees.

CardFellow doesn’t stop there. The company goes out of its way to ensure that you are offered truly competitive rates. The company monitors your rate during the lifetime of your contract, too, ensuring that the processor doesn’t pull a quick one on you and increase the costs. 

The CardFellow platform provides a simple way to compare your current solution with offers from other payment processors. It supports direct, anonymous communication with merchant processing services. And much more. 

We’ll talk about all of the features and services in more detail later. Let’s start by taking a look at how you set up a new account.

Account Setup 

The speed with which you can set up an account and get quotes is one of our favorite things about CardFellow. Signing up takes only a couple of minutes. Just type the age of your business, your industry and field, which credit cards you accept, and average monthly credit card sales. The last step before receiving bids from card processing companies is to estimate the percentage of sales that fall into categories: card present, card not present, online, and so on.

You can provide more detailed information if you’d like, including credit card volume (base, reward, business, and international), card volume (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Amex), debit card volume, and whether you use a pin pad for debit card transactions. All of these options can be changed on the fly, even after you have received bids from payment processors, by clicking on the Edit Cost Estimates button in the My Quotes tab.

Main Features 

After you have provided all of the relevant information, you will receive four quotes from companies that provide merchant processing solutions. Each will disclose an interchange-plus rate, estimated monthly processing cost, wholesale price and processor’s markup costs, and an option to add equipment and software to the quote. All offers that come through CardFellow are free of cancellation fees. The estimated wholesale price will be the same for each offer so long as you don’t change your business details. 

What differs between quotes is the markup charged by each processor, which includes the cost of individual transactions plus standard and mandatory monthly charges. The total estimated processing cost is simply the wholesale price plus markup, and unless you add equipment or extra services into the Cardfellow website’s processor comparison tool, it represents the total you’ll pay each month for credit card processing with a given provider.

Quote Details: Clicking on any of the quotes or the “View Rates and Fees” tab takes you to the Quote Details screen. This is where you can review detailed explanations of all costs, split into sections labeled “Rates & Fees,” “Wholesale Rates,” and “Processor’s Markup.”

You can also contact the processor directly, add notes, or take a look at a sample statement – but we’ll get back to those options in later sections of our CardFellow review.

– Rates and Fees: This section lists all of the potential fees associated with each quote. Fees are split into four sections: transaction fees, monthly fees, annual fees, and per-occurrence fees. Standard charges include fees such as credit card transaction fees. Per-occurrence fees are for ACH rejections, chargebacks, voice authorizations, retrievals, and so on.

– Wholesale Rates: This section breaks down the wholesale price you can see on the quote page into predicted costs for both card and interchange fees. The estimates are based on current wholesale rates for popular cards and transactions. CardFellow interchange rates are the same for all processors and are paid to the issuing bank of your customer’s credit card. The same arrangement applies to Visa, MasterCard, and Discover, which make money by charging assessments when you process their cards. These costs combine to make up your wholesale rate, based on the transaction-type and card-type ratios you specified when setting up your account.

– Processor’s Markup: The final section is pretty self-explanatory. This is where the quotes from different processing firms diverge. Whether you’re looking at credit card processing companies for small business ventures or own a large multinational enterprise, you’ll find markups on card transaction fees and interchange rates here, as well as miscellaneous costs like PIN debit transaction fees if they apply.   

Other Features: Before choosing your quote, you can explore several options. You can get in touch with processors through the Messaging tab or write notes about them in the Notes section. If you’re looking for alternatives, check out the Directory tab, where you can conduct a search among all of the best credit card processing companies in the United States. The list is searchable by name or state, and you can filter out uncertified companies if you wish. If a payment processor catches your eye, just press the Request Quote button to check out its offerings.

If you still haven’t found what you want, take a look at the Invitations tab. This lets you invite processors from outside Cardfellow to send their own quotes for comparison purposes. You can also visit the homepage to find credit card processing reviews by CardFellow. We’ll talk about those reviews in more detail in the Additional Services section. 

Choosing Your Payment Processor: If you’re satisfied with your quote after having reviewed it in detail, just click on the Choose This Quote button to be taken to the final step of the process. You’ll be prompted to provide a few details about your business, and then CardFellow will send your information to the company whose bid you’ve chosen – the best credit card processor for your business. After this, you can expect to get contacted by the processing company directly. 

While its job is now technically done, CardFellow sticks around as your on-demand processing consultant for any questions and concerns  you may have. The company continues to monitor your relationship with the processor so you won’t be surprised by sudden rate increases or other changes.

Additional Services

While serving as a matchmaker for business and payment processors is its main business, CardFellow provides a variety of additional features and services. We’ve already mentioned some of them. Here are the details.

Company Directory and Reviews: In addition to having an active directory of credit card processing companies, CardFellow reviews them so you can learn more about them before making your choice. At the moment, 12 CardFellow-certified companies offer quotes, and there are another 200 or so in the database. In addition to CardFellow’s reviews, you can check verified reviews by people who have done business with those companies through CardFellow or unverified ones by people who have done business with them elsewhere.

You have the option of requesting a quote from the companies that weren’t in the top four that CardFellow selected for you. You can even invite companies that aren’t part of CardFellow’s database to submit quotes for comparison – just invite them using your CardFellow ID code.

Product Directory and Reviews: It’s not just the best credit card processing options with CardFellow. The company also maintains a detailed directory of additional services offered by the processing companies they partner with. You can use this directory to find out more about credit card machines, point-of-sale systems, virtual terminals, payment gateways, and more. 

Adding products and services to your quote is as simple as clicking on the plus sign next to the Equipment & Software tab. This is a useful resource for learning more about these systems, even if you’re not planning to add one to your quote.

Educational Resources: In addition to all of the data about the best merchant processing services in the business, CardFellow also has a wealth of interesting, useful information that it has published in blog articles. You can find dozens of interesting articles that explain various aspects of merchant processing services and how the various payment systems work. Even if you are not currently interested in finding a payment processor, this section is an absolutely fantastic way to learn more about how the entire industry works.

Sample Statements and Statement Comparison: In order to help you make the right choice, you can browse through the existing quote samples uploaded by certified processors. Alternatively, by uploading at least two months worth of your own statements, you can see how they stack up against CardFellow’s suggested companies.

Messaging System: Tired of mulling over quotes and reading reviews? Why not start a conversation? The CardFellow website lets you start a private, anonymous email conversation with any of the four top card processing companies it has chosen for you. A transcript of your conversations is saved on your dashboard automatically.

The messaging facility is limited to companies that have sent you quotes, but you can always get additional quotes by visiting the processor directory, picking a company, and clicking the Request a Quote button. After a quote has been sent, you can communicate with a representative from the company with the site’s messaging system. 

Lifetime Rate Monitoring: So you’ve taken a look at the best credit card processors and picked the one that best suits your needs. CardFellow’s job doesn’t end there. During the entire lifetime of your account, CardFellow will perform quote audits twice a year to ensure that nothing has changed for the worse. This is a fantastic feature that protects you from the possibility of sudden price hikes or other unwelcome changes.

Fees, Rates, and Contracts

The great thing about CardFellow is that the service is completely free. Instead of taking money from you for using its merchant services comparison tool, the company takes a cut as a referral fee from the payment processing company that you choose. Additionally, the certified processors that they suggest all offer interchange-plus pricing with quotes that are very competitive and locked for the lifetime of your merchant account with the company. 

The site warns you to be careful about uncertified processors, but many of them also offer interchange-plus rates. Just remember that tiered or flat-rate plans might also be in the cards here. Also, if you’re into eCommerce, you’ll have to ask separately for the additional costs of payment gateways.

Site Reputation

While there are currently no CardFellow LLC reviews on the company’s Better Business Bureau profile page, it does feature a stellar A+ rating. Although CardFellow is not accredited by BBB, the lack of complaints speaks volumes about how people perceive the site. It definitely helps that CardFellow has a strict system of vetting processors and is rigorous when choosing which companies are certified. Additionally, separating verified customer reviews from anonymous reviews adds to the transparency of the system and ensures that people know exactly what they are signing up for.

Customer Service

CardFellow customer-service agents seem ready to jump through hoops to help you find the best merchant processing services. Should you have questions or concerns even after getting your quotes, you can reach out to the friendly customer-support team through email, phone, or live chat. Staff members are friendly and knowledgeable. Our only complaint is that their availability is somewhat limited. You can contact customer-service agents through phone or live chat only on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time. You can send an email at any time, of course, but don’t expect replies during weekends or evenings.

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FAQ

What is a merchant service fee?

Retailers pay fees whenever customers pay by credit or debit card. The merchant service fee consists of three main elements. The interchange fee is paid to the card-issuing bank. The network fee goes directly to the card network – Visa, MasterCard, and so on. And the acquirer fee goes to the acquiring bank.

What is CardFellow?

Cardfellow is an online service where credit card processors compete for your business. CardFellow reviews processors and certifies quotes from those that match its screening criteria. 

In addition to offering certified quotes, CardFellow helps business owners get and compare quotes from any payment processor.

Is CardFellow free?

Yes. The service is completely free to business owners. CardFellow makes its money by collecting referral fees from the companies its users choose.