CardPointe Credit Card Processing: A Good Fit for Your Small Business?
The credit card issuing industry continues to experience steady growth as consumers and business owners use credit cards to complete more transactions. As of February 2023, almost 90% of Americans surveyed prefer using a debit or credit card (both virtual and physical) as their main payment method when making a purchase, and 36% of all purchases are done specifically with a credit card.
These numbers show that small or medium-sized businesses simply can’t afford not to accept credit card payments. Carrying large wads of cash is not only awkward but also unsafe. As such, card transactions are a convenient payment method for consumers both while shopping online and in-store. SMBs stand to lose significant sales revenue if they aren’t willing to accept card payments.
There are numerous payment processing providers out there and it can be daunting for a small business to find the right one. Card issuers earn most of their revenue by collecting fees and interest from credit card users including small businesses. On top of this, credit and debit card processors have varying rates and hidden fees based on various factors such as sales volume, flexibility, and services. For their part, companies are constantly searching for the best credit card processing solutions at the lowest cost to their business. One such solution is CardPointe.
As a small business owner shopping for a credit card processing company, CardPointe is worth your consideration. The cloud-based CardPointe platform is offered by CardConnect—a Pennsylvania company that is a payment processing platform owned by Fiserv.
For perspective, Fiserv (formerly First Data or First Data Company or Corporation) is a leading financial tech provider that serves nearly 6 million merchants around the globe. Using CardConnect as your processor means your business will receive Fiserv’s merchant account and will be using their merchant services as well.
What Does CardPointe Do?
CardPointe combines a powerful and secure online payment system with an intuitive online banking system. Once a business gets the necessary hardware and software to run CardPointe, it can start accepting both commercial and personal credit cards at its point of sale system (or POS system).
With CardPointe, you can process credit card transactions online, over the phone, in person, or using any combination of these. It not only allows businesses to process and manage card payments but also offers seamless integrations with third-party software such as QuickBooks. This allows businesses to better manage their backend systems, ensure PCI compliance, and analyze sales and transaction data.
With CardPointe you may authorize a card-present transaction in-store via countertop terminals or card readers, from a CardPointe virtual terminal on mobile devices or computers, and through their recurring billing service.
As it is a CardConnect offering, you can use the CardPointe payment gateway not only through CardConnect but also through CardConnect-compatible companies. Moreover, every credit card transaction that goes through CardPointe is encrypted using PCI DSS-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and patented tokenization. Apart from allowing businesses to accept credit and debit card payments, CardPointe can also void transactions and process refunds as and when necessary. A detailed lifecycle report is displayed on our site.
This comprehensive review of CardPointe will help you learn more about their card processing services and decide if they can be a good fit for your business.
Let’s dive in.
CardPointe Review and Features
It is marketed to business customers as “the best solution that integrates with payment systems and processes to provide streamlined processing and management.” CardPointe has all the features you need to accept payments via credit cards, debit cards, or eChecks. More information on what CardPointe customers have to say can be found towards the end of the article.
Below are some key features the platform offers for SMBs:
Summary of CardPointe Services
With CardPointe, your business can seamlessly process debit and credit card transactions. CardPointe also enables the execution of ACH (or eCheck) transactions and eCommerce payments. This versatile application also provides detailed transaction details, recurring billing support, and real-time reporting capabilities.
The CardPointe software integrates with most countertop credit card terminals that can handle a card-present transaction, though the service has a special partnership with Clover POS. The CardPointe mobile app is compatible with third-party mobile processing platforms that handle an increasing number of mobile device payments.
Finally, the CardPointe-hosted payment page (or HPP) enables eCommerce merchants to design their own website checkout pages. CardPointe adds several more features to meet the diverse needs of small business owners.
1. Credit Card processing
First and foremost, the CardPointe software enables your business to take major credit cards and debit cards. You can also process refunds and void a transaction. You can take point-of-sale (or POS) payments with the compatible Ingenico terminal or use the mobile app for CardPointe mobile payments. Similar to most other credit card processing solutions in the market, CardPointe also offers real-time reporting and the ability to send email receipts. CardPointe also partners with Clover POS to provide a seamless transaction and retail management experience.
2. Merchant accounts
All CardConnect clients receive a Fiserv merchant account. This enables businesses to take credit and debit cards in addition to ACH payments. For every successful transaction, net sales proceeds are deposited into the business’s account. From there, funds are transferred to their bank account.
All Fiserv merchant accounts contain an integrated payment gateway. This feature enables eCommerce businesses to accept credit card payments. Finally, high-risk merchants have additional account alternatives.
Merchant account features are available for CardConnect business customers. These accounts can now also be managed through First Data. Merchants with high-risk accounts can also get additional options. This makes an eCommerce platform an ideal choice for many eBusinesses.
3. Transaction management solution
The CardPointe transaction management function is available as a desktop application that enables merchants to obtain a real-time overview of all payments. Transaction management features are also available on the CardPointe mobile app. This allows users with iOS or Android mobile devices can utilize the mobile card processing app to view and manage their real-time transactions too.
Small business owners can use this feature to get a bird’s-eye view of all card transactions that their business processes. It also has several other important features that allow a business to monitor and handle PCI compliance, analyze sales data, set up customer profiles, manage recurring payments, and make changes to its catalog.
It is through this transaction management feature that businesses can process voids and refunds mentioned earlier. Also, PCI compliance can be ensured by business owners through their CardConnect account by filling up PCI questionnaires and completing PCI initiatives. The software uses SSO (Single sign-on) authentication to secure its PCI compliance management service.
4. Countertop credit card terminal
CardPointe easily integrates with varied countertop card terminals, all available in the CardConnect store. These EMV-ready terminals offer plug-and-play solutions and no additional setup is required. The latest models are equipped for contactless transactions.
CardPointe has an integrated design for many different types and models of card-topping terminals available from CardConnect. The retailer sells an excellent range of EMV-compatible plug-and-play terminals including Ingenico iCT2020. Both models feature P2PE security and the ability to accept chip cards and magstriping modes. However, the latter model (iCT250) can only handle contactless payments.
These credit card terminals are a great option for businesses in the hospitality industry such as restaurants and spas because it has Server ID and Tip Adjust features. Customer and other sensitive data are always kept separate from business data to maintain data security. This automatically ensures PCI compliance.
5. CardPointe gateway
The CardPointe electronic payment gateway enables a business to accept credit card payments in person or online. The virtual terminal feature allows computer-based payments. The CardPointe gateway also supports recurring billing functions, in addition to the virtual terminal option.
6. CardPointe virtual terminal
CardPointe offers an online virtual terminal that can be used to process cardless transactions on any device. This free option can be purchased on card from CardPointe customers. The virtual terminal software consists of a robust point-to-point encryption and tokenization system as well as an integrated terminal. It supports integrated card processing systems with keypads, allowing easy integration into different card processing systems in countertops. It is not only suitable for cardless situations, but it allows for easy access to the cardholder data when transferring cards.
The CardPointe virtual terminal is essentially an online POS system designed for a desktop computer. Users can easily process card-not-present transactions even without an operational card terminal.
You can also manage and store customer profiles, enabling easy processing of one-time transactions and recurring payments. The virtual terminal also includes desirable point-to-point encryption and tokenization for security purposes.
Finally, this virtual terminal can also be used for invoicing as well as online purchases.
7. Mobile card processing app
The CardPointe mobile card processing app is part of CardPointe’s processor platform. It’s available in Google Play for Android or Apple Store for Apple iOS phones for rapid secure transaction processing. It works seamlessly on smartphones and tablets to handle cards and provides a variety of features as the desktop version. Using the catalog tool, companies can quickly and effortlessly identify, price, and organize products.
CardPointe’s mobile credit card processing app performs the same functions as the main CardPointe platform. With the addition of a mobile card reader, mobile users can easily process a card-present transaction. Mobile business owners such as plumbers, mobile dog groomers, and craft show vendors will find the mobile app quite useful.
The mobile credit card processing app operates under two modes—Virtual Terminal and Register. In the Register mode, users are offered basic inventory management features such as reporting and categorization. Users can also create discounts. The Virtual Terminal mode does not offer discounting and inventory features. In this mode, merchants can use the app for basic credit card swiping only.
In addition to the mobile card reader, CardPointe is also launching a PCI-compliant, EMV-enabled card reader for drive-throughs and kiosks, called the Bolt Unattended.
8. CardPointe Hosted Payments Page
With the CardPointe-hosted payment page (or CardPointe HPP), eCommerce merchants can create a custom checkout page on their website. The HPP feature seamlessly integrates with the CardPointe gateway.
The CardConnect CardSecure solution provides card security via tokenization. The HPP software also enables recurring payments and invoicing functions and can take electronic checks in addition to cards. The CardPointe HPP has been specifically created for non-technical users, which means that you don’t need a programmer or developer to set it up.
9. Seamless software integrations
CardPointe is compatible with many common third-party software programs. Examples include accounting software and eCommerce shopping carts. You can establish easy integrations with QuickBooks Pro, Enterprise, and Premier, among others. (It should be noted that CardPointe doesn’t currently integrate with Shopify, despite it being the top eCommerce solution on the market at the moment.)
10. API developer tools
However, CardConnect’s developer tools enable you to create a customized link between your website and its associated gateway. You can also utilize the API for third-party software integration.
CardPointe System Security
All CardPointe transactions are backed by a high degree of system security. CardConnect’s patented tokenization removes sensitive customer information from all card-present transactions and card-not-present transactions.
Payment Card Industry (or PCI) point-to-point encryption (or P2PE) provides an additional layer of security. Merchants can comply with PCI Data Security Standards (or PCI DSS) by completing the PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire.
Each merchant is expected to meet the PCI DSS (or PCI Compliance) requirements for protecting their clients’ sensitive financial and personal information. These transaction details change hands thousands of times daily during credit card transactions.
Capture Level 2 data processing
If available, Level 2 fields may be added to a capture call. These fields should be provided to companies or purchase cards for better interchange rates. Not sending a tax exemption request. Some Level Two protocols use customer code identifiers which the customer can easily recognize.” CardPointe is populated by a prank code. If no number has been provided, the order ID is used on an authorization request.
CardPointe Pricing: How Much Does CardPointe Charge?
CardConnect does not provide CardPointe pricing details on the CardConnect website. To receive a quote, prospective clients must contact CardConnect through its site. Many card processing industry companies adhere to this practice. These vendors prefer to quote a price based on a potential customer’s business type and the products sold.
Pricing models and fees
CardPointe’s pricing depends on the credit card processor. Businesses can contact their existing credit card processing company to check if they offer CardPointe. Each card processing company lists its own service fees. As such, the typical processor costs include a gateway fee, a PCI compliance fee, a chargeback fee, and a paper statement fee.
Higher-volume companies generally receive more favorable interchange-plus pricing. Smaller businesses and higher-risk merchants are often forced into a tiered, higher-priced model.
Two contract types are common in the credit card processing industry. Many service providers offer smaller businesses a longer-term contract with a stiff early termination fee. In contrast, a flexible month-to-month contract enables a customer to discontinue the service at any time. Note that Payment Depot offers month-to-month service with no cancellation fee.
Third-Party sales representatives
CardConnect utilizes internal sales associates and independent (or third-party) sales organizations to market CardPointe’s services. Third-party salespeople are generally commission-based, and some may focus on their sales goals instead of meeting the needs of a business.
CardPointe Customer Service
CardPointe clients receive 24/7 phone and email customer support. CardConnect’s website also features a Merchants’ Support Center, an informational blog, and an API documentation resource for developers.
CardPointe has been designed to be easy to use, secure, and efficient. As the flagship device on CardConnect, its numerous features and capabilities have been adapted especially for SMB eCommerce businesses and online merchants. This cloud platform allows integrating, managing, and processing credit cards in a secure and streamlined manner.
The transaction management system is simple and business owners shouldn’t have too much trouble learning to use this system quickly. It is also useful for those who want to deep dive into their credit card sales data. For small businesses, CardPointe’s PCI compliance services remove a lot of hassles. As mentioned before, the HPP feature allows eCommerce businesses to create their own customized payments page.
CardPointe Pros and Cons
Take an objective look at CardPointe’s pros and cons. Then decide if this payment processor best supports the short- and long-term goals of your business.
- Full-featured payment software solution
- Plug-and-play payment system hardware
- Integrated tokenization and P2PE on the platform
- Easy-to-understand payments platform
- No monthly service fee or termination fee
- Lack of pricing transparency
- Monthly minimum requirement
- Questionable sales agent tactics
- Uncooperative customer service
- Doesn’t integrate with Shopify
CardPointe customers have left countless comments on popular review sites. Rather than basing your decision on a few opinions, look for longer-term customer experience trends. Following are three sample ratings:
- Better Business Bureau: F
- Capterra: 4.3 out of 5 stars
- G2 Crowd: 2.6 out of 5 stars
The negative reviews follow three main themes. Clients complained about dishonest sales agents and hidden fees. Customers have expressed their dissatisfaction at sudden fee and contract changes even after terms have been agreed upon with sales agents.
Business owners have also experienced frustration when trying to exit their contracts. They reported that CardConnect customer service associates were unhelpful when contacted for assistance. Some have said that the lack of email support meant that they had to call customer service multiple times and were shuffled among different associates with no solution in sight.
Moreover, reviews of their mobile app on Play Store show similar complaints from its mobile users. Users are unable to cancel accounts and have faced issues with hiked prices. Users have also expressed that the app is clunky to use and crashes.
On the positive side, some users say they are pleased with their low interchange-plus transaction rates. However, companies may interpret the word “low” in different ways.
Many users have found CardPointe easy to set up and use. Developers have called the application’s API “simple and intuitive.”
CardPointe by CardConnect Final Verdict
CardConnect’s CardPointe is a full-featured suite of processing services. This software program supports in-person, online, and mobile payment transactions.
Transaction management and software integration features enhance its services. However, be aware that CardConnect’s independent sales agents may not always steer you toward the best solution for your business.
Alternatively, consider Payment Depot—the preferred choice for many small business owners. Our membership-based processing requires a monthly service fee, and there are no long-term contracts.
Payment Depot provides members with low-priced wholesale processing rates with no markups, added fees, or cancellation penalties. We offer small businesses a desirable services package while minimizing merchant expenses–so you can save money and keep more in your pocket. Contact our award-winning support team today to learn more.