Unveiling the Truth: Behind-the-Scenes of Credit Card Processor Reviews

Unveiling the Truth: Behind-the-Scenes of Credit Card Processor Reviews

Ever wonder how those credit card processor reviews sites really work? You know, the ones that rank the top processors and claim to have done rigorous testing to determine the leaders in the industry. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most business owners don't realize. The truth is, many of those review sites are not giving you the full, unbiased story. They want you to believe their rankings are based solely on hard data and facts, but there are some shady practices in the credit card processing review business you should be aware of before trusting what you read. This article pulls back the curtain to show you what really goes into those top processor rankings and reviews so you can make a truly informed choice for your business. You may be surprised by what's really driving those "unbiased" reviews. Read on to get the inside scoop.

The Problem With Credit Card Processor Review Sites

The problem is, that most credit card processor review sites aren't actually objective. They're set up to push certain providers that pay hefty commissions. The "reviews" are really just sales pitches in disguise.

Shady Business Practices

These  sites claim to compare providers based on fees, customer service, and more. But behind the scenes, many engage in shady practices to promote companies that pay the biggest payouts, known as "bounties". The reviewers often don't even have real experience using the services - they just parrot what the company tells them to say.

Some signs a review site isn't legit:

1. They only recommend companies that pay them commissions.

2. Real review sites compare both commission and non-commission providers. All the reviews are glowingly positive. No service is perfect, so legit sites feature both pros and cons.

3. They don't disclose affiliate relationships. By law, sites need to reveal if they earn commissions from companies they reveal if they earn commissions from companies they recommend. If it's not clearly stated, that's a red flag.

4. The reviews lack detail. Surface-level praise without specifics on fees, contracts, or actual experiences using the service indicates the "reviewer" doesn't have in-depth knowledge.

5. They claim to "rank" or "rate" providers but the rankings seem random. Rankings should be based on transparent criteria, not just who pays the most.


The bottom line is to do your own homework. Don't rely on these sham review sites. Check with the providers directly, read reviews from real customers, and make an informed choice about what's best for your business. An ethical review site can be a useful starting point, but look for one that discloses affiliate links and features balanced pros and cons, not universal praise. With some digging, you can find an excellent credit card processor for your needs.

How Processor Reviews Really Work

Have you ever wondered how those credit card processor review sites really work? The truth is, many aren't as unbiased as they seem.

Follow the money

Most review sites make money through affiliate marketing, earning a commission for referral fees and signups. The companies willing to pay the biggest bucks or offer the juiciest referral fees often rise to the top of the rankings. Some sites are even owned outright by processors. Take reviews with a grain of salt and look for disclosures about affiliate relationships.

One size doesn't fit referrals

Every business has unique needs, so the "best" processor for one merchant may not suit another. Review sites that claim a single winner or push a short list of top contenders probably aren't considering individual requirements. Look for sites that compare a wide range of options based on factors like business type, transaction volume, and geographic location.

Do your own research

Don't rely solely on review sites. Once you narrow down some options, head to the processor's official websites to compare their services and fees side by side. Check out customer reviews from other sources as well to identify any recurring themes, like complaints about poor customer service or hidden fees.

Ask an expert

If you need more guidance, consider consulting an independent payment advisor or merchant services agent. They can assess your business needs in-depth and provide tailored recommendations based on your priorities, like lowest cost, best customer service, or most advanced features. An expert with experience across multiple processors may spot options you'd miss on your own.

In the end, the best way to find a credit card processor is by educating yourself, evaluating your options objectively, and choosing what works for your unique business. Don't rely entirely on what any single review site recommends. With the right approach, you can cut through the hype and make the decision that benefits you the most.


Identifying Fake or Misleading Reviews

When researching credit card processors, be on the lookout for reviews that seem a bit off. Some companies unfortunately resort to planting fake positive reviews to mislead potential customers. Watch out for these telltale signs of unreliable reviews:

1. Too good to be true. If a company has nothing but glowing 5-star reviews, it's probably too good to be true. Even the best processors will have some critical reviews.

2. Vague and repetitive. Fake reviews tend to be very vague, with similar wording or themes repeated across multiple reviews. Real customers discuss specific experiences, good or bad.

3. Focus on promotional offers only. Legitimate reviewers will discuss their actual experience using the service, not just focus on a promotional discount or perk.

4. Little detail. Fake reviewers haven't actually used the service, so they can't provide much meaningful detail about their experience. Look for reviews with specific comments on customer service, fees, contract terms, and overall satisfaction.

5. New accounts. Be wary of reviewers with very new accounts or only one or two reviews posted. While a new account isn't a definite sign of a fake review, established members with a review history are more credible.

6. Disclosure of incentives. According to FTC guidelines, reviewers receiving compensation of any kind for their review must clearly disclose that fact. If reviewers received a free product or payment in exchange for a positive review, they are legally obligated to disclose that relationship.

By being diligent and looking at multiple independent review sites to compare, you can get a more complete picture of a company's true reputation and track record. Don't get misled by companies trying to manipulate the review system in their favor. With a bit of savvy discernment, you'll be able to see through the hype and find an honest credit card processor that meets your needs.


What to Look for in Credible Credit Card Processing Reviews

When reading reviews for credit card processors, it's important to consider the source and look for signs of credibility. Some review sites accept money from the companies they review, so their rankings may be biased. Look for independent review sites focused specifically on credit card processing, or business and finance sites with a section on processor reviews.

Reviewer Experience

Seek out reviewers with years of experience in the payments industry. They'll have insight into the technical aspects of different processors as well as an understanding of business needs. Look for reviewers who have experience with a range of processors, not just one or two. The more experience, the more informed and balanced the reviews tend to be.

Recent Reviews

Technology and policies change quickly in the payments industry, so look for reviews written within the past 6-12 months. Older reviews may be outdated, especially if there have been recent changes in the processor's technology, services, or fees. Recent reviews will provide the most up-to-date and relevant information.

Detailed Comparisons

Credible review sites provide in-depth comparisons between at least 3-5 of the top processors. Surface-level overviews that only skim the basics are less helpful. Look for reviews that compare factors like.

1. Fees (interchange, statement, gateway, etc.)

2. Contract terms

3. Processing technology

4. Features (virtual terminal, mobile processing, etc.)

5. Customer service

6. Any potential downsides, or disadvantages


The best reviews are transparent about how they evaluate processors and rank them. They disclose their methodology so you know what factors are most important in their analysis. Watch out for reviews that rank processors without explaining their criteria rankings may be arbitrary. The most credible review sites are open to any potential conflicts of interest as well.

By being discerning in which credit card processing reviews you trust, you can cut through the hype and make a well-informed choice for your business. Look for experienced, independent reviewers providing recent, in-depth comparisons in a transparent manner.


Choosing the Right Processor for Your Business

Choosing a credit card processor is one of the most important business decisions you'll make The processor you select will handle all your credit card transactions, so you want one that fits your needs and budget. Some things to consider when comparing processors:


Look at the percentages charged for each transaction type-swiped, keyed-in, and online order. Some processors charge a flat rate for all transactions, while others use tiered pricing with different rates for different card types. Consider your average transaction size to determine which structure would cost less. Also check for monthly minimum fees, statement fees, and early termination fees.


If you accept cards in person, you'll need equipment like a credit card terminal, POS system, or mobile card reader. Some processors provide hardware for free or at a discount. Compare the features and costs of different options to find what suits your needs.

Payment methods

Make sure the processor accepts all major card brands like Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover. Also check if they support contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or EMV chip cards. The more payment types accepted, the fewer customers will be turned away.

Reporting and analytics

Look for a processor that provides detailed reports on your sales volumes, average transaction sizes, and other metrics that can help you gain insights into your business and customers. Some offer additional tools for managing inventory, customers, and marketing campaigns.

Customer service

Pay attention to reviews mentioning customer service. Things like 24/7 support, a dedicated account manager, and a user-friendly online portal or mobile app for accessing your account and running reports are important. You want a processor that makes it easy to get answers and resolve any issues.

By evaluating fees, hardware, payment methods, reporting, and customer service, you can find an option tailored to your business's needs and budget. The time spent researching will be well worth it for a processor that helps your company thrive.


So there you have it, the truth behind those seemingly unbiased credit card processor reviews you've been reading. Now you know many are just thinly veiled sales pitches designed to push you towards one company or another. Don't get sucked in by promises of #1 rated" or "best value without doing your own research. Talk to actual merchants in your industry, check trusted business resources, and see what they say, not just one random blog post. The processor that's right for your business depends on your specific needs and priorities. But go in with your eyes open--don't get dazzled by flashy ads or reviews that aren't really reviews at all. You'll be in a much better position to make a choice that serves you and your customers well in the long run. The truth can be inconvenient, but knowledge is power. Now you've got it—so choose wisely!

  • Share:

Comments (0)

Write a Comment