Pineapple Payments isn’t the oldest player in the merchant services industry, but they are quickly rising in ranks to become a powerful force in the market. The company provides a wide variety of services and accepts all payments, making working with them a tempting offer.
But are they the real deal? Or is this all just smoke and mirrors? How do they compare to Host Merchant Services?
In this review, we’ll discuss Pineapple Payment’s services so you can determine how they stack up to Host Merchant Services and make an informed decision.
- Overview of Pineapple Payments vs. HMS
- Pineapple Payments vs. HMS At a Glance
- How Much Does Pineapple Payments Cost vs. HMS?
- Pineapple Payments Complaints and Service
- Strategy for Advertising and Sales
- Is Pineapple Payments Deserving of Consideration?
- Conclusion – Host Merchant Services Still Wins
Overview of Pineapple Payments vs. HMS
Pineapple Payments, founded in 2016, is a merchant account provider that provides a comprehensive variety of terminal and software-based payment processing services. HMS was founded in 2010.
Pineapple Payments announced the acquisition of Payline Data in October of 2017, which allowed them to grow significantly, and they now serve approximately 10,000 merchants with a total yearly processing volume of more than $2 billion due to its acquisition of that company. Despite being a relatively new firm, its innovative payment technology, and experienced senior leadership have enabled it to thrive in the three years it has been in operation.
In 2019, Pineapple Payments purchased Boston-based Beacon Payments and Pittsburgh-based merchant account provider CardChamp.
Finally, Fiserv (formerly First Data) bought Pineapple Payments in 2021 and Fiserv continues to operate Pineapple. HMS continues to operate independently.
Payment Processing with Pineapple
Pineapple Payments accepts all major credit cards and debit cards. They also accept ACH payments, mobile payments, and e-commerce. The company uses Worldpay, TSYS, and First Data to provide omnichannel payment processing services to merchants of all sizes. HMS also provides processing on TSYS and Fiserv (First Data) platforms as well as high risk merchant offerings.
They also provide Quickbooks integration services in addition to payment processing, which enables businesses to set up recurring invoicing, AR/AP tracking, and customizable payment pages like bill-pay portals.
Pineapple Payments vs. HMS At a Glance
- Pineapple Payments and contract terms: The company provides interchange-plus pricing on a three-year contract via WorldPlay, FirstData, or TSYS. If you want to terminate the contract before it’s through, you’ll have to pay a $495 early termination fee. HMS has no early term fees.
- Pineapple Payments has relatively few complaints on public complaint sites, similar to HMS which also has even fewer negative reviews.
How Much Does Pineapple Payments Cost vs. HMS?
Pineapple Processing’s rates and fees, as well as its merchant agreement or contract details, are not readily available on their website, unlike Host Merchant Services. According to online merchant ratings, the company provides interchange-plus and flat-rate pricing alternatives. Pineapple Payments likely processes on Worldpay, TSYS, and First Data, so merchants may be charged fees associated with those platforms.
Standard Worldpay, TSYS, and First Data offer multi-year contracts that typically run for three years with one-year automatic renewals. PCI compliance and early termination fees, which can be as high as $25 per month and $495, are also included in those contracts. Furthermore, merchants may be subject to non-cancellable equipment lease terms via First Data Global Leasing.
Pineapple Payments Rates and Terms vs. HMS
- Interchange-Plus rate for EMV, swipe and keyed-in payments. HMS offers similar payment structures, and also Cash Discount plans.
- 1.00%- 4.99% for virtual terminals. These rates seem higher than those advertised by HMS.
- Monthly payments of up to $25 for PCI compliance – negative compared to HMS
- Up to $495 for early contract termination. HMS has no early termination fee.
- Locked lease equipment terms of 48 months. HMS does not lock in leases for equipment and often provides free equipment.
Pricing for Virtual Terminals and Payment Gateways
The Pineapple Payments website advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services on top of its standard services. However, pricing for either of those services will most likely be determined by the resale contract a merchant signs up for through the company. The fees associated with these e-commerce services include technical support, batch fees, gateway fees, and additional transaction fees.
While Pineapple Payments’ ability to offer interchange-plus pricing provides merchants with inexpensive and transparent rates, this benefit is negated by the company’s potentially high backend processor fees. Host Merchant Services also offers low rates and highly transparent Interchange plus pricing.
Pineapple Payments Complaints and Service
There are currently no Pineapple Payments complaints that label the firm as a fraud, a ripoff, or otherwise deceptive business. Overall there is a low volume of reviews online for Pineapple Payments, while Host Merchant Services has many positive and 5 star reviews available.
Currently, there aren’t any outstanding FTC complaints or pending class-action lawsuits against Pineapple Payments.
Customer Service Options for Pineapple Payments vs. HMS
Pineapple Payment resellers are offered support channels, and the company’s general phone number and chat have a merchant support option. However, they do not provide 24/7 service. Support is instead only available during the company’s regular business hours. The corporation does not seem to integrate the customer assistance of the organizations whose services it resells.
Pineapple Payments has a single customer care phone number: (412) 235-7235 – General Support.
Although the organization has no complaints, the absence of comprehensive customer support falls far short of the benchmark set by merchant account providers specializing in this area. Host Merchant Services provides 24x7x365 merchant support, making it a better option.
How are Online Reviews of Pineapple vs. HMS
Pineapple Payments has received three complaints in the last 36 months and now has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau. HMS also has an A+ with no recent complaints.
Overall, Host Merchant Services has superior reviews and a better online review profile than Pineapple Payments. This can be verified through the BBB, TrustPilot, Consumer Affairs, and more.
Strategy for Advertising and Sales
According to the company’s website, Pineapple Payments employs independent resellers. Each of the company’s programs is tailored to the needs of agents, ISOs, and ISVs. As part of each program, independent retailers receive full training and support to ensure their independence. At the time of writing, no public complaints have been filed against them, showing that they don’t engage in fraudulent sales techniques.
- Uses Independent Resellers
- Yes, deceptive rates are advertised.
- No Important Terms Are Disclosed
- No, a company does not hire independent resellers.
Adversiting Practices and Transparency
To its credit, Pineapple Payments’ official materials do not appear to employ any fraudulent advertising methods. The company goes to extensive lengths to ensure quality connections with its independent distributors.
However, a pricing plan or a copy of its standard contract is not easily available. If you feel Pineapple Payments charges you hidden costs, you should request an independent statement audit.
Is Pineapple Payments Deserving of Consideration?
Pineapple Payments can provide complete in-store and online merchant accounts due to the experience of its leadership team in the payment processing business. Its ability to offer interchange-plus rates and be backed by industry veterans makes it a viable alternative for businesses of all sizes.
Conclusion – Host Merchant Services Still Wins
Pineapple Payments has been steadily growing as a merchant account provider, to the point of being acquired by Fiserv in recent years. While the company isn’t BBB certified, they don’t have any major complaints and offer a wide variety of services. While they use independent resellers, all their agents are fully trained as part of the company’s program. The company doesn’t provide a copy of its standard plan but doesn’t seem to use any deceptive tactics. Pineapple Payments is a verified and legitimate business, however Host Merchant Services is still the top choice for your business needs.