CardFellow isn't exactly a credit card processor, but I thought I'd review them anyway. However, I didn't give them a rating because I don't have a set of criteria by which to rate them by. But, as you'll see from this review, I highly recommend them as a service.
CardFellow was created in 2008 by Ben Dwyer. It is a comparison shopping engine for merchant accounts. It's a site that let's you pit competing credit card processors against each other in a bid to win your business. The formal name for this type of bidding process is "reverse auction".
Here's how it works:
- You sign-up by providing some information about your business.
- Pre-screened credit card processors bid for your account.
- You pick the best bid.
During the whole process, the CardFellow team is on-hand to offer support and education as well.
Let's take a look at each step in more detail...
The sign-up process is free and incredibly easy. I literally went through it in about two minutes. Here's a screenshot of the sign-up page:
Pre-screened Processors Bid for Your Account
Once you make it through the sign-up process, you end up on the comparison page, (see image below) where different processors have submitted quotes for your business.
All the processors are required by CardFellow to submit their bids in interchange-plus pricing and must be free of any cancellation fees. Additionally, all quotes will be locked in for life, and will be monitored by CardFellow to make sure they don't increase at any point in time.
As you can see from the above pic, the comparison page summarizes the most important information (e.g. total monthly cost, rates/fees, reviews, etc...) regarding each processor and their specific quote. You can then drill down into different areas to get more info.
Here are some of the features that CardFellow offers:
Education and Support
Every CardFellow customer gets a free 1/2hr to 1hr phone consultation from CardFellow staff where they'll receive assistance with quotes, processing information, analysis of current statements, etc...
Additionally, CardFellow has a great blog where you'll find a bunch of information regarding credit card processing. It's definitely worth a read!
CardFellow has an anonymous communication channel that lets you email questions to the processor without revealing your identity. Each quote has a private IM board where merchants can post questions instantly. All posts are saved chronologically in the message board (and monitored by CardFellow to ensure processors provide accurate information) and also emailed to the merchant/processor.
See what your monthly statement would look like with each processor.
Cancellation Fee Waiver (in writing)
Never trust a cancellation fee waiver unless you get it in writing. CardFellow provides you with a copy of that waiver.
Read reviews from merchants that have actually used the processor you're comparing.
On the quote detail page, you'll get a full analysis of the processor's quote, complete with explanations of each charge.
You Pick the Best Bid
Once you've decided which processor you'd like to go with, just hit the "Choose Quote" button. At that point, the processor will be able to see your contact information so they can begin the application process.
How Much Does it Cost?
CardFellow is free to use, but like any free service, there's always a built-in cost. In this case, CardFellow receives a referral fee from the processor that you pick. Similar to how we make money here at Merchant Maverick. In my opinion, it's a small price to pay for the time and money you'll save, especially if you're brand new to all of this merchant account stuff.
CardFellow is a quick and easy way to compare processors and lower your credit card processing fees. I think the service is best for those that don't really care to learn anything about interchange, and just want somebody else to help them save money quickly. Obviously, if you know anything about interchange, then you can probably negotiate some good rates on your own, but CardFellow offers some added services (e.g. pre-screening, lifetime rate monitoring, education, reviews, etc...) that make the value worth the cost. I wouldn't have any trouble recommending you to CardFellow, and I actually wish I had thought of this type of service myself. Click here to get started.