HMS vs. Fattmerchant

Host Merchant Services and Fattmerchant are prominent companies that offer merchant services for businesses looking to process transactions the right way. But as you will see, there are some substantial differences between these two options. You will certainly find Host Merchant Services to be a more viable choice, although there are some comparisons between the two worth noting.

Getting Merchant Accounts Ready

Host Merchant Services has a distinct advantage in how it provides many merchant account options. You can use different processing platforms with HMS, plus the service lets you integrate your existing platform into its system.  Host Merchant Services offers a wide array of pricing structures including Interchange plus, cash discount, flat rate, and subscription.  In comparison Fattmerchant is subscription only.

HMS provides different merchant accounts for retail sites, restaurants, and ecommerce businesses. The company provides merchant accounts that can link to POS stations, terminals, and mobile devices. The company doesn’t require any POS terminals for its services but has a wide array of physical and virtual options to choose from and can integrate with most technologies.

It doesn’t take long for customers to set up their accounts with Host Merchant Services. The company has an acceptance rate of about 98 percent, ensuring you can easily get an account regardless of business type or credit.

As for Fattmerchant, the company provides merchant accounts as an ISO of WorldPay. Host Merchant Services is an ISO of TSYS and FirstData with sponsorship by Wells Fargo.  Host provides access to many different technology platforms on TSYS (Sierra and Broomfield), First Data (North, Omaha, and Buypass), Paysafe, Clearent, EMS and many more.

Terminal Features

Host Merchant Services provides many point of sale options and processing platforms. Most merchants qualify for free equipment ranging from a mobile EMV reader to state of the art credit card terminals and point of sale systems.

The terminals from HMS support EMV payments, and most also support NFC and full touchless and contactless payments including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. You can also ask HMS to reprogram your current terminals at no extra cost if you prefer to use your existing equipment. HMS also supports virtual terminals, including the Authorize.Net and most other payment gateways. Mobile processing support is also available through SwipeSimple system, and most merchants qualify for a free EMV reader for mobile transactions.

You can integrate Host Merchant’s platform with whatever software you have. The system is very flexible and can handle many processes for all businesses, making it one of the most versatile solutions around.

Fattmerchant also provides many terminals, including various Dejavoo terminals for countertop use. Fattmerchant will reprogram whatever items you have if necessary, but it does not support as many third-party integrations as HMS can manage. Fattmerchant also has support for mobile transactions, but you will require purchase of a Bluetooth EMV reader.

How Are the Costs?

You’ll find Host Merchant Services to be one of the most affordable solutions around. HMS provides a low-cost interchange-plus pricing system for large and small merchants alike. The charges vary depending on business and card acceptance mix , but you’ll find them to be very reasonable and you can see exactly what mark-up HMS makes on your account each month. The company does not charge any hidden costs, nor does it charge any PCI non-compliance fees, application fees, or PIN debit or mark-up pass-thru costs.

Host Merchant Services also provides many free equipment options. You can use the equipment and return it when you no longer require the HMS platform. The company will not charge anything extra for all these items as long as you use them as planned and return them in good condition.

The best part of HMS is that the company doesn’t ask for any long-term commitments. You can use HMS for as long as you wish, as the company provides monthly contracts.

Fattmerchant charges more for services than what you’d spend on HMS’ work. Fattmerchant charges a high monthly cost in addition to interchange and pass-thru costs. The processing costs are reasonable for large merchants, but they are too expensive for smaller entities. The company may even hold funds for some of the larger transactions you complete.

You also have to spend extra on the equipment necessary for using the system. Fattmerchant charges extra for many of its processing solutions, including its mobile POS setups, shopping carts, and terminals. They do not provide an all-in-one platform, requiring you to spend extra to manage whatever you wish to use.

Fattmerchant claims to provide a “wholesale cost” system, but the company has a transaction fee that works as a mark-up. You would spend extra with Fattmerchant due to the added expense associated here. This point can be frustrating for people trying to use a convenient system without spending too much money.

There is one positive about Fattmerchant’s costs in that like Host Merchant Services, Fattmerchant does not have any long-term contracts. You would still pay for what you use each month.

Customer Service and Support

The customer service department at Host Merchant Services provides simple answers to your needs. HMS provides a toll-free line for contact 24x7x365 and a live chat feature for other times. HMS always follows up on these contacts to ensure you’re getting the help you deserve.

It is no surprise that Host Merchant Services has an A+ rating with Card Payment Options and the BBB. It also has a five-star rating with Consumer Affairs and TrustPilot.

Fattmerchant provides a customer service center on its website where you can search for answers. The website provides full details on the software and hardware you can use and will offer answers to whatever issues you hold.

But the company doesn’t have many other communication options. Fattmerchant doesn’t have a toll-free number. It has also gotten mixed reviews online, as many people have issues with how Fattmerchant charges for its services and how its system works.

In summary, Host Merchant Services has quality services you can trust while being simple to manage. You can benefit from the low prices HMS offers, not to mention its lack of long-term contracts. Fattmerchant does provide plenty of help and no long-term lock-in, but the company’s higher costs and general lack of adaptability make it tough to recommend. Take note of these points when finding a merchant services solution your business can trust.

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