5

Flint Mobile Review

  • 58 comments
  • Updated on:
  • Review by: Tom DeSimone

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Date Established
2011
Location
Redwood City, CA

Overview:

If you’re looking for a standalone mobile processing account, you’ve no doubt been enticed by these words, often followed by an exclamation mark: Free card reader! Of course the reader doesn’t exactly come for free. It has a production cost, and the processor will pass that cost along to you through rates and fees. If you don’t process enough for them to at least break even on the cost of the reader, then the processor has lost money on you. (Note: Processors do not like to lose money on you.)

But why do you really need a card reader, anyway? Long before the free swiper protocol began, apps like Inner Fence allowed merchants to process cards by simply typing the card information in, as almost all apps still do. Well, since swiped transactions are more secure, they will usually cost less to process than a keyed-in card. Plus, it’s just more convenient and quicker to swipe than to type. But Flint Mobile may be changing this…

Flint doesn’t offer a swiper. Not a free one, not a paid one, just no reader whatsoever. So right off the bat they significantly reduce their cost for setting up your account. This gives Flint the ability to offer lower rates – and they seem to do just that, with a ridiculously low rate for processing debit alongside a very fair credit rate. No “non-qualified” rates or additional fees to worry about. To solve the convenience problem of having to key-in card info, the Flint app allows you to use your phone’s camera to scan the card numbers. Bam. Done. Easy as taking a cute cat picture, but probably more lucrative.

Other providers also offer this camera scan technology, but none price these transactions as fairly as Flint Mobile. Flint can compete with the best standalone, pay-as-you-go mobile processors out there. If you process a lot of debit transactions, Flint will save you money over any other similar mobile processor I’m currently aware of. If you (like me) are not crazy about having to keep track of another piece of low-grade, semi-disposable hardware, then giving up the swiper might even come as a relief to you.

The Flint Mobile app is perhaps the most usable, sensible, speedy, reliable mobile processing app I have ever used. During my testing I had absolutely no problems, and was running transactions at a much faster speed than other similar apps. It might take a couple tries to get your scanning settings set up the way you like, but Flint makes it easy and intuitive to customize this. I had no trouble at all.

Flint doesn’t offer the all-around perfect service yet, however, since they only process Visa and MasterCard at moment. While this accounts for about 90% of the market, that may be a deal breaker for you. They have a moderate default weekly processing limit, but you can easily increase this by providing Flint with a little more information about your business. End of the day, it’s in Flint’s best interest to have reliable merchants processing as much moolah as possible. They are aware of this, trust me.

As of mid-2014, I’m ready to give Flint Mobile a perfect 5-star rating. While the app won’t replace a full-feature tablet POS, and you’ll have to use a separate service to process Discover and AmEx, Flint offers plenty of valuable features (integrated QR coupons, invoicing, customizable receipts, etc.) and executes service flawlessly, no flimsy card reader required. This is an honest company providing a sensible, surefire way to accept payments and grow your clientele. Definitely take a look!

Products and Services:

  • Mobile credit and debit processing: Unlike Square users, merchants using Flint get their own Merchant ID number (MID). This may contribute to overall better account stability. (Good news!)
  • Real time online reporting: Flint offers a sleek and feature-filled merchant portal, which includes access to customer contact information to send offers and coupons, as well as easy export of info for syncing with your bookkeeping software.
  • QuickBooks integration: Links to your QuickBooks Online account and will automatically sync hourly (or can be synced manually with a click). This service allows you to track customers by email, sort transactions based on a number of useful attributes, and a lot more. I love QuickBooks Online and am glad to see integration offered. (Especially because I don’t care for Inuit GoPayment.)
  • Mobile app: Basically the entire Flint Mobile service exists within their app, available for most smartphones and tablets. The app has very impressive ease of use, with controls more reliable, intuitive, and commonsensical than most processing apps on the market today. It has all the essential features you need, without trying to integrate any complicated inventory management or other such features I often see halfheartedly crammed into processing apps. Features include:
    • Multi-user capabilities: The account owner can allow up to nine sub-account users conduct transactions under their account, each with a unique login and password. This is great for growing businesses that want to be able to take payments from multiple locations at the same time.
    • Invoicing: The invoicing service offered through the PayPal Here app is a big draw, so I’m glad to see Flint offering some competition here. This is a very well executed feature, allowing your customers to easily and securely pay invoices. These payments will be processed using the same rates that you receive normally. The automated reminders sent to customers with unpaid invoices are a nice touch. You can do invoicing in-app or at your computer.
    • Customized receipts: Make your receipts a little flashy with a logo, business info, coupons and additional notes. You can also make access to social media easy by including a link to post Facebook reviews right on the receipt.
    • QR-based coupons (iOS only): Flint Mobile allows you to create and issue coupons, attaching them to email receipts. Customers can save these coupons via Apple Passbook or email. This is actually a fairly sophisticated program to offer for free, especially considering you can use the merchant portal to keep track of issued and redeemed coupons. Plus the app sends customers an automated reminder before the deal expires (nice!). There are no extra fees for this service. Really impressive, and a great way to add value.
    • Multiple item transactions: Users can preset tips, sales taxes and custom memos, and add multiple items to a transaction. Increase quantities with a single tap! (I love this!) You don’t have inventory functionality comparable to full-service POS tablet-based apps, but Flint gets the job done.
    • Dollar amount discounts: Many apps make discounts really annoying to apply. Flint handles this feature flawlessly. I might like to see a percentage discount option in the future.
    • Logging cash and checks: While you can’t deposit checks with the app (like you can with PayPal Here), you can track cash and checks for a more complete cash register experience.
    • Security: I’m taking a moment to bring this up because I’d imagine many merchants are wary of the camera scan function in terms of data safety. Well, Flint has this to say:

Flint has integrated with industry leading financial services and infrastructure companies to provide a reliable, secure and scalable platform. Sensitive data is protected according to PCI DSS and other industry guidelines and all connections are encrypted for maximum security. The Flint app securely scans just the main card number. No card data or images are stored on the phone. Standard card verification info and a touch screen signature are required to complete transactions.

Furthermore, on the topic of security, Flint gives you the option to use their Mask Card Scan feature. Enabling this feature will block out the middle numbers of the card on your screen, as seen in the image below, courtesy of Flint.com. For wary customers, this can provide an added sense of security.

flint-card-scan

You can find a full and up-to-date list of support devices on the Flint FAQ. In general, all iOS devices are supported. Many Android devices are too, but the coupon feature doesn’t carry over. Regardless, the app remains well-liked among Android users, who overall rate it at over 4 stars on Google Play.

Fees and Rates:

The Flint fee structure is incredibly simple and transparent – the exact opposite of Intuit GoPayment. Flint truly has only two rates:

  • Debit transactions: 1.95%
  • Credit transactions: 2.95%

That’s it. No per transaction fees, no non-qualified fees, no surcharges of any kind. About half of all card purchases are done with debit, so you should take that 1.95% rate very seriously. It’s a damn good deal in the mobile processing market.

In Flint’s welcome email, they disclose the following standard limits:

  • Max per transaction Scanned:  $1000.00
  • Max per transaction Typed:  $500.00
  • Max per day: $1000.00
  • Max per week:  $2000.00

If you’re willing to provide a little more information about your business, Flint can substantially increase your limits. Just fill out their Merchant Information Request form. This process includes a so-called “soft credit check,” which allows Flint to check out your credit without affecting your credit score. Since having too many inquiries on your credit report can lead to a downgraded score, I sincerely appreciate Flint’s decision here. If you don’t want your personal credit to be evaluated (if you’re not the business owner, for instance), then you can use the Business Information Request form to the same end.

Overall, I believe Flint does an outstanding job of avoiding unnecessary account freezes or funding holds. There are few (if any) complaints regarding this to be found online, as opposed to the hundreds (thousands?) of such complaints filed against competitors like Square or Intuit GoPayment.

You should also note that user cannot currently accept any card issuers other than Visa and MasterCard. You also cannot accept foreign cards with Flint Mobile.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

No termination fees whatsoever! Also, being a pay-as-you-go service, Flint will not charge you if you become inactive. No monthly fees, no monthly minimums, ever. Simple as that.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

You’ll find absolutely crystal clear advertising transparency with Flint. They have very simple rates and fees, so explaining it doesn’t take much effort on their part. Since Flint doesn’t rely on sales agents to board merchants, sales transparency isn’t a big issue.

I would maybe like to see a more prominent disclosure of their 7-day default processing limit ($2,000) and policy of holding funds over the limit for 30 days – but I can also say that they are doing a better job than a lot of other providers in terms of making sure their users know about the limits and working with merchants to ensure consistent service.

Also, like many mobile processors, Flint offers instant approval and setup. This means that they give you access to their account first, and ask questions later. While this practice is the industry standard, can lead to account terminations and freezes for high-risk merchants early on. But again, Flint is really doing a great job of avoid any issues with this.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Square set the bar pretty low for mobile processing customer service, so needless to say Flint goes above and beyond that standard. I’d even say that Flint exceeds the support service offered by PayPal Here (one of my favorite mobile services) – maybe not in quantity, but almost definitely in quality.

You can get phone and email support during business hours (7am-5pm Pacific, Monday-Friday). I’d like to see a more extensive knowledge base replace their small FAQ, but I do believe Flint provides an acceptable amount of information to help users solve basic problems on their own. The simplicity and elegance of their services are perhaps suited to a diminutive self-service support page.

If you’ve used Flint’s customer service, let us know how it went!

Flint Mobile Negative Reviews and Complaints:

You can see two complaints for Flint filed with the BBB in the past three years, one of which is from back in 2012. While there are no details provided for the older complaint, it’s marked as a “delivery issue,” which seems very strange to me since Flint does not deliver any hardware. The newer complaint was quickly and amicably resolved, and seems to have been a bank account issue.

Aside from that, you’ll have a hard time digging up any dirt on the rock-solid services provided by Flint. (Pun intended.) They’re pretty new, so things could change. I have a good feeling about these guys, though.

If you’ve had first-hand experience with Flint Mobile, please leave us your independent, unbiased review in our comments section.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

The few independent reviews available for Flint Mobile all praise the service. I’m also impressed that Dharma Merchant Services uses a Flint affiliate service for their “Dharma Lite” platform. I have all the respect in the world for Dharma as a merchant services provider, so their trust in Flint comes as high praise.

Reviewers of the Flint app also have good things to say, consistently rating it four and five stars in the App Store and on Google Play. See the Products and Services heading above for a full list of features.

Once again, YOU keep our reviews great! If you’ve had first-hand experience with Flint Mobile, please leave us your independent, unbiased review in our comments section.

Final Verdict:

It’s official: I’m ready to ditch the dongle. While PayPal Here and Square still have a few features Flint hasn’t carved out yet, I’m optimistic for this industry newcomer. They’re providing fantastic service and a ton of useful features, with more arriving every update. If Flint is profitable, you can expect them to be a mobile processing frontrunner in coming years.

While time will tell if Flint can hang on in this incredibly competitive and complex industry, they’ve proven at least some staying power in the last three years. Their integrated coupons and invoicing add even more value to this already valuable and fairly priced service. For many small businesses, Flint is a perfect mobile processing solution. I like the service they offer, and – just as importantly – I like the company as a whole. It’s quick/easy/risk free to give them a shot. I recommend that you do!

Need a full-service merchant account instead? Check out CDGcommerce for an ultra low-cost option, or Dharma Merchant Services for perhaps my favorite merchant experience. But for mobile processing, no one I’ve seen can beat Flint in terms of affordability and ease. Let me know what you think in a comment below!

Tom DeSimone

Tom DeSimone

Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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58 Comments

    Jeff

    Just to clarify, Merchants do get their own unique MIDs when signing up for Flint.

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    Stacy

    I love the fact that I get a live person during business hours. No pesky reader, which works when it wants to. I love square register, but they better look out. Flint is in for my businesses.

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    ML

    After a horrible experience with Square that took two months to resolve, I am looking for a new provider. I was going to go with Spark Pay because my main credit card is Capital One and I have always been happy with their service. While researching, Flint came up and sounds interesting too. I am a very small, part time business, selling more on a seasonal basis than daily. Any thoughts on Flint vs Spark Pay?

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    Tom DeSimone

    I tried and liked both Flint and SparkPay, but personally lean toward Flint. I find the Flint app very, very reliable – plus incredibly easy to use.

    In my opinion, you should sign up for Flint and test it out. Since no card reader is needed, you can do this with no delay. See if you like the camera scan for reading cards. If the app suits you and you don’t mind that it won’t process AmEx or Discover, I think Flint is the way to go. It doesn’t have much in the way of inventory management, but it doesn’t sound like this will be an issue for you. And now if you use QuickBooks Online for bookkeeping, Flint will sync your records automatically – a feature I really like. If you process a fair amount of debit, Flint will almost certainly be the less expensive option.

    As for SparkPay, I found the card reader to work very reliably. The app is nice, with similar features to Flint, but perhaps a little better equipped for use as a light retail POS (has better peripheral connectivity). If you’ll need sophisticated inventory management, it’s definitely the way to go since it can integrate with StitchLabs. The app is a little less intuitive and smooth than Flint for me, but still good. If you think you’ll be processing over $1500 or so per month in card transactions, it’s nice to have the $9.95 per month pricing option to get lower rates. But remember, Flint will give you the same rate (1.95%) on debit transactions with no monthly fee.

    Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
    Tom

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    Lorrie

    Does flint work for Canadian companies as well?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Lorrie,

    Flint is only in the US for now. I haven’t found a mobile processor that I love for Canadian merchants yet. Helcim works well for mobile, but comes with a monthly fee. Even so, if you will be processing regularly they might make sense for you.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    David Balderrama

    Hi Tom,
    I recently became acquainted with Merchant Maverick a few days ago and I have found the reviews very useful and informative. I am a part-time birthday party entertainer who would like to start accepting credit/debit cards as a payment option, preferably with my Android phone. I only do a few shows per month so monthly fees would not be in my best interest. I would use a merchant account for 1) getting a deposit for a show at the time of booking (done most likely from my home) and 2) collecting the final payment the day of the show (via swiping / scanning a card). The ability to e-mail a customized receipt / invoice with my logo would be a big plus. I really like the reviews for Flint but do you think that would be my best option? Does Flint offer any punch-in options that I could use to collect a deposit since I won’t have direct access to the client card? I appreciate your time and advice. Dave

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Dave,

    I’m so glad you’ve found our reviews helpful! It sounds like going the mobile route will make most sense for you.

    Card-not-present transactions can be tricky with mobile processors, often triggering funding holds for one to three months. Flint does allow keyed-in transactions, but they still require a customer signature. To accept payments when you will not be face-to-face with the customer, Flint’s invoicing feature works very well. You can send customized invoices (with your company logo and contact info, plus memos if you choose) from your computer or phone, and customers pay directly from the digital invoice, so you don’t have to deal with the card info at all. Emailed receipts have the same customization options (logo, website, business information, item descriptions). No added fee for using this feature, just the normal processing fee.

    I think Flint would work well for you. The only notable limitations are (1) limited inventory management, and (2) can’t process AmEx or Discover cards. But most people who use AmEx/Discover will have a standard Visa/MC card handy. And for your type of business, complex inventory management is probably not an issue.

    Flint is free to try, so I’d suggest you sign up and test it out. See if it suits you. My second choice would be PayPal Here. Last I checked they can do card-not-present keyed-in transactions, but they don’t prefer it and withholding of funds is common.

    Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!

    -Tom

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    Jack

    @Tom DeSimone

    Just discovered your site an hour or so ago, and have been immersed in your very comprehensive reviews of mobile payment processors. Just to comment on your answer to Lori, I am also in Canada, and have verified that Paypal Here works in Canada (although their website indicates that Android is not yet supported). I need to find out whether the Android issue is a Canadian limitation, or if their information (or yours) is incorrect in that regard.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Jack,

    Thank you for the info! I’m surprised to hear that PayPal Here currently works in Canada. I knew they did a limited Canadian release in early 2012, but hadn’t seen the service promoted for Canadian merchants since then. Thank you for letting me know! Do you happen to have a link to any marketing for PayPal Here in Canada, or other official releases? I haven’t been able to find any.

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Tom

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    Tom DeSimone

    I would just like to clarify for readers that, as of July 2014, a PayPal representative has confirmed for me that PayPal Here is not currently available in Canada. Anyone with info to the contrary – aside from the preliminary Canadian release in 2012 – should please contact me directly at tom@merchantmaverick.com. Thank you!

    TD

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    Lori

    I have a Motorola Droid Maxx (as opposed to the Razr Maxx). I can find NO company that will specifically tell me that their card acceptance program will work with my phone. I’m not able to change phones due to the cost.
    How does one handle it when companies say “most phones”? If I’m out in the field and it doesn’t work, I’d be in a real mess!
    The second question is regarding personal checks. If scanned in, does that mean that we’re certain the money is in the customer’s bank account to cover it? What do you do with the check after scanning? I certainly wouldn’t want to have to keep it! Could we stamp it, “Deposited Electronically” or something?
    Sorry for so many questions…

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Lori,

    In many cases the only reliable way to figure out if a processing app will work on your phone is to test it. That’s the only way to really know for sure. For free services like Flint, you can sign up and test drive it with no risk. If you wanted to try an app that is not free to sign up for, then I would suggesting asking customer service for demo access. Most services will have demo credentials to let you see if it works for you. Try it out for a week in different settings to make sure it works reliably for you.

    As for checks, most services will only allow you to record check payments, but not actually deposit them in-app. PayPal Here is a notable exception, since you can actually deposit checks through the app by using the camera scan. It basically works exactly like depositing a check via your bank’s mobile app. The check could still bounce, but the law would be on your side of course. My advice would be to keep the physical checks at least until the deposits clear. All of the normal risks associated with taking checks are still present.

    If your phone doesn’t end up being able to work with these apps, you can sign up for the old fashioned call-in cell phone processing. Not many processors still support this option, but last time I checked GotMerchant.com does.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
    -Tom

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    Lori

    Thank you, Tom. So let’s say I sign up for Flint today. How do I “test” it if my business won’t be up and running until about Aug 1st? Do I use my own credit card and charge a dollar or something? You mention test driving it in different settings. Is this because the phone connection may not be strong where I test it? That shouldn’t be any issue, as Verizon is strong here in western new York. What about a different setting could cause the app not to work correctly, any idea?

    And thank you for the info about the checks. I think for me, it would just be better to bring them to my bank and deposit them directly. Then they’re not in my hands, wondering what to do with them! lol

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Lori,

    Yes, signal strength is definitely an important factor, and it sounds like you’ll be fine in that department. You might also want to try the app in different lighting conditions (in places that you’ll be accepting cards, or similar) and with different scan settings (there are a number of customizable settings in the app that are worth experimenting with).

    With the Flint app, they have a test mode that you can try without actually running any transactions through the network. You can also try running live transactions on your own card or the cards of friends and family for $1. I wouldn’t suggest running many transactions on your own card because this may trigger an account hold for suspicious activity (some people try to illegally get cash advances this way). Running other people’s cards is usually better for testing purposes.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Business Owner

    We signed up our*business*, which is an LLC (limited liability company). But then when we logged on and later communicated with tech support, we found out that the account is not really a *business* account in the name of our *business*, but is instead a *personal* account in the name of our employee who filled out the application and supplied the last four digits of their social.

    That is bad.

    The purpose for creating an LLC or a small corporation is to have a *business* that stands alone, apart from its employees.

    Since Flint evidently insists on setting up accounts for businesses as personal accounts in the name of one of the employees of the business, it is no good for businesses that are LLCs or corporations.

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    Tom DeSimone

    We don’t usually post comments without a real name and active email address, but in this case I want to reiterate a point made in the review. Businesses can use Flint’s Business Information Request Form when signing up to avoid having an employee’s personal credit play a role.

    -Tom

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    Tom DeSimone

    To have additional comments posted, you must follow our User Review/Comment Policy.

    Thank you.

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    Carolyn

    We have a childcare / learning center. We are just now preparing to take credit cards and this seemed like a good option.
    Should we set up a separate bank account for FLINT?
    When someone pays using FLINT, is it clear for whom the payment was made?
    Can we set up a PAY button on our website that would use FLINT?
    Thanks for the help.
    Carolyn

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Carolyn,

    It’s not necessary to open a business bank account to use Flint, but there are advantages to keeping personal and business finances separate (see this article from Legal Zoom for examples).

    When you run a card through the Flint app, the name that appears on your customer’s credit card statement will be your business name. On the other end, Flint also makes it easy for you to collect email addresses from your customers for identification.

    Flint offers emailed invoicing, but they don’t have integrated pay button or online payment options. If you’re interested in this as part of a mobile processing program, I’d suggest using PayPal/PayPal Here instead. You could also use two separate services – one to power online payments, and one for mobile payments.

    Hope this helps! Good luck.

    -Tom

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    Miriam Weinstein

    Hmmmm. Glad I read your review. I expect to process very few payments, but they will be keyed in, and many of them, over $500. And no signatures… So if a payees bill is say $850, can it somehow be broken into two payments, or should I just forget Flint? So far, I don’t have an iphone, but I expect to get one shortly. I get the impression that Square is more for regular type merchants – cafes, boutiques etc.
    Incidentally, I’ve called them twice and I believe emailed once without any response.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Miriam,

    The higher transaction size shouldn’t be an issue with Flint, but you’ll need to make sure that they set you up with transaction limits that will accommodate your business in terms of weekly volume and per transaction limits. Getting your limits increased above the default limits will take an additional form, but it’s not too complicated. The trouble is that for payments accepted within the app, you’ll need a customer signature. If you’d like to accept payment when the customer is not present (i.e. no signature), you can use Flint’s invoicing feature. With this you send an invoice via email to the customer, and then they pay it directly from there. You can create invoices using Flint on the computer or via a smartphone.

    Most mobile processors have trouble with card-not-present transactions, since the risk for fraud goes way up in these cases. But based on what I’ve seen, Flint does perhaps the best job of making sure your funds aren’t frozen for long periods of time, which is a major risk with Square.

    Splitting up a card payment is strictly forbidden by all processors, and could result in immediate termination of your account. So I don’t recommend it.

    Hope this helps!
    Tom

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    JB

    Excellent job Tom! Thank you for helping us navigate the slippery slope of dealing with banks and cheap tech dongles and their apps which not coincidentally charges you more when THEIR hardware or software doesn’t scan your customer’s card correctly. Hilarious. The information regarding Flint is VERY appealing. We have Paypal in place and it works fairly well but we aren’t thrilled with them nor their expense. Intuit was such a nightmare right out of the gate we fired them AND ditched QB Online out of principal. We don’t tolerate inexcusable customer service. We just received our PayAnywhere reader yesterday when I discovered your review on Flint. I haven’t and likely will not even open the PayAnywhere package after reading how horrendous their services have continually been. They sounded pretty rough and then I read the chargeback fine they hit you with. Nope. You’re fired too. I plan to contact Flint this evening and see how it goes. Again, thanks for the very informative information on these various companies and the real ins and outs of dealing with them as a consumer. Hats off to you sir. JB

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    scott H

    Hi. Just discovered your site. I am owner of a food truck and we just secured an agreement to sell at an outdoor public space in CHicago. We’ve been using square for our credit card transactions…the public venue is requiring that we offer paper receipts for all transactions and we record all transactions. Can you recommend a good system for me. Was looking at shopkeep but the reviews are not that good. How about FLint? We have just about 6 items that we sell.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Scott,

    If you’re happy with Square, you don’t have to switch. If you use Square on an iPad, you can connect a receipt printer (but not with the smartphone app). With the Square app, all transactions are recorded through the online reporting feature (even cash and check if you choose to input these transactions), and can even be exported to QuickBooks for bookkeeping purposes. Cash drawer connectivity is also available here – again, only with iPad, not through the smartphone app.

    If you’re looking to switch, I can tell you that Spark Pay also offers receipt printer connectivity. You can even use a receipt printer through your smartphone with Spark Pay, a nice advantage if you don’t currently process with a tablet. Cash drawer connectivity is available here also, and will work with the smartphone app to the best of my knowledge. Again, online reporting comes standard.

    Finally, PayPal Here offers a slightly larger selection of compatible printers and comparable app features. So I’d recommend checking out both Spark Pay and PayPal Here for mobile processing.

    I would not recommend Flint for you, since no receipt printer or cash drawer connectivity are supported.

    Good luck!
    Tom

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    Tom DeSimone

    NOTE: It just occurred to me that since you run a food truck, you probably won’t be able to use printers that require a router/LAN. In that case, you should give PayPal Here top priority, since their app is compatible with a Bluetooth printer. Square’s iPad app is also compatible with Bluetooth printers.

    You might also consider a more complete POS solution like from NRC Silver. You’re looking at a much higher expense for something like that though, and might be more than you need.

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    Norma

    Hi Tom,
    Wow, I’m really impressed with your site. You are now the go-to for me regarding the world of merchant know-how. I have been a part time independent contractor and consultant for many years, doing a variety of services in the performing and healing/spiritual arts. I am hired by individuals, businesses, organizations and institutions.

    Now that I am finally putting up a website and supporting my work to be more widely known, I’ve been considering these different payment service options. From what I can figure at this point, having a mobile app would support some of my clients when I’m on location with them. The invoicing would be a definite plus as well, for up front deposits and billing. My needs are fairly simple since I don’t yet have any products I’m selling.

    I was mostly considering Pay Pal but felt uneasy with all the negative reviews. I’m a big fan of good customer service so was happy to read your review of Flint. I’m going to give them a try and see how it goes.

    I have one question though, in their agreement stipulations, about the Applicable Card Association Rules which I’ve copied below. Could you tell me what they mean by the difference in chargeback rights of the buyer when the card is considered not present such as in the case of Flint? Does this apply to all the mobile apps or just this one because it does not use a swiper?

    Applicable Card Association Rules
    You acknowledge that (y) all Card transactions are processed as “card not present” transactions, even where the Consumer is at the physical point of sale and (z) under the Card Association Rules, a buyer has different Chargeback rights for “card not present” transactions than for transactions where the buyer physically presents the card to the seller.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Norma,

    So glad you’ve found the reviews helpful! I should have explained that piece of the Terms in the review (going to update it this week).

    Since Flint doesn’t read the magnetic strip on cards, all transactions process as card-not-present. (Mobile processors that use a swiper will process swiped transaction as card-present.) Flint does a great job of keeping service inexpensive despite this, most notably by charging a more reasonable rate for debit than other mobile processors, but it’s true that swiped transactions are considered easier to defend in chargeback disputes.

    Here’s the best insight I can offer you on this. Because Flint requires a signature, expiration date, CVV code and zip code, you are well-protected and will have firm ground to stand on when fighting a chargeback. But the fact remains that swiped transactions are generally considered more secure by the card networks, and they will automatically reject certain chargebacks (depending on the reason code submitted by the card issuer) if the card was swiped.

    The difference in rights and arbitration protocols of card-present versus card-absent or key-entered transactions are complex and vary depending on the reason code submitted with the chargeback and the specific card network. For instance, the type of documents you and your disputing customer will be asked to submit may be different, and the reason codes allowed to be submitted may be different.

    So you don’t lose any major rights by processing with Flint instead of swiping with PayPal Here, and the company really does all they can to make sure that, if a chargeback occurs, they have all the necessary information to fight it on your behalf. That said, even for swiped transactions, chargebacks are often decided in favor of the consumer. The most important thing for both you and your processor to do is to actively work to prevent chargebacks. And in this regard, I think Flint performs well. To learn more about chargebacks and how to prevent them, check out our article here.

    Hope this helps!

    -Tom

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    Ben

    I have one lingering question. What is to stop an employee from creating their own account and ringing up occasional sales that deposit money into their account!!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ben,

    Since that would constitute serious fraud and theft, the law is the first and foremost thing that stops employees from doing that. It’s also not a very clean way to commit fraud, since there is a major paper trail. But beyond that, it’s the same thing that stops employees from pocketing cash and doing sales off the books: oversight and integrity. It’s up to business owners to make sure they are not being stolen from, and to hire trustworthy staff.

    Flint does offer employee accounts, so that each employee (up to 10) can have unique log-in information so they can see only their own sales and so that they do not have access to any sensitive account information. This allows you to track the sales of individual employees very easily.

    Hope this helps!
    -Tom

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    Diane

    I’m a stay at home mom and I run an upscale party catering company. It’s not a registered business just something I do to stay busy. I’m in need of a mobile card reader that can accept $1500 per transactions. I set up at least 3 parties a week which totals $4500 a week. Is flint for me or would you suggest something else? I can not have my funds frozen or held because the $1500 goes towards buying the party supplies, sending out invites, food, ect… So I need something that can work for my company. Thanks again for your awesome reviews.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Diane,

    With that volume, you might consider going the traditional merchant account route rather than the mobile, pay-as-you-go option. Depending on your exact processing habits, you stand to save a substantial amount by processing with an interchange-plus plan rather than a fixed-rate plan.

    Flint does a good job of preventing withheld funds, but I’m always a little wary of sending merchants with large transactions to easy-access providers – even Flint. With your large transaction size and low number of transactions, you might consider Payment Depot in terms of best value. You’ll have to buy the $49 mobile card reader, but your savings would pay you back almost immediately. They use the RoamPay mobile app, which works well and is reliable.

    Aside from that, CDGcommerce has a nice and cost-effective mobile processing option that would also provide you with the necessary stability.

    Or if you really like the look of Flint’s features (in particular their integrated email invoicing feature is pretty unique), I would just suggest that you talk to a representative about your processing volume and the size of your transactions to make sure that your processing limits are set up properly. This might require some additional paperwork.

    Thanks for reading, and please feel free to reach out if we can help you further!

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Sara

    First, like everyone else, I am so happy I found your website. I work as the Fundraising Assistant for a smal local non-profit and we have two major events a year where we need to have a mobile credit card processing thingy. At our last event an few weeks ago I used the mobile attach to your phone card swiper thingy and it worked great, except when I tried later to figure out who all those transactions were from. It made it impossible to enter into QuickBooks and even worse from the non-profit viewpoint, some of the transactions where large amounts and I had no way to contact them to give them a “thank you for you generous support” letter. Does Flint or any mobile credit card thingy allow for the capture of the customer, or in our case donors, even basic info like name and email address?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Sara,

    I’ve also found that oversight frustrating. Flint does a pretty good job of solving this problem. First, you can automatically sync transactions with a QuickBooks Online account. If you make a sale to (or receive a donation from) a client that already exists in your QuickBooks account, then the transaction will automatically register as belonging to that client (as determined by their email address). If the client is not recognized as existing in your QuickBooks account already, a new customer will automatically be created. While there is no field to enter the customer name in the app, you can include it as a reminder in the memo of the emailed receipt. (For instance, you can have it say Thank you [Name]!) I believe that the memo will be automatically synced with QuickBooks as well. See this page for more information.

    Thanks for reading!
    Tom

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    Ewanda Thompson

    Is there a standard monthly fee for using the Flint service or are you just charged per swipe? I am a very small business with low volume but do find the need to accept credit cards from clients every once in awhile. Thanks!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ewanda,

    No monthly fee whatsoever, no setup fees or early termination fees. It’s entirely pay-as-you-go, meaning you only pay for the transactions you process. Most mobile processors work like this, but Flint is my favorite in most cases.

    Let us know if we can help further!

    Best,
    Tom

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    Ryan Shipley

    Quick question. Debit vs Credit fees. I notice the debit fees are cheaper. Traditionally with a debit card your customer enters a PIN. How do you get the debit rate if your customer uses a debit card? Does Flint know this on the back end or is there something you have to do proactively?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ryan,

    Flint differentiates on the back end via info from the payment processor, no need to do anything on your end. Debit cards won’t require a PIN entry with Flint, but will require a signature (as will credit).

    Let us know if you have any other questions!

    -Tom

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    Maurice

    Lately I haven’t been receiving funds in my bank account?? Flint used to work fine months ago and send deposits though all of a sudden they stopped? Any input/comments about this? Thank you

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Maurice,

    That’s very strange. I haven’t heard any other reports of this problem. You’ll probably have to wait until tomorrow to get someone on the phone over there, but I’d definitely recommend that you contact Flint to see why deposits are not coming through. Let us know how it goes.

    Take care,
    Tom

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    Loribeth

    My daughter’s Girl Scout troop used Flint during their cookie sales last year. Easy to use, convenient, and the least expensive option we could find. Increased our sales by more than 10%!! We love Flint!

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    ben daily

    I gave a Samsung galaxy mini 3 (model smg730a) an issue I have been having is that when I try to ‘play’ / test flint and scan my card it kicks back an error that the camera is on use by another app and has to be turned off before flint will work. have you heard of that error or how to solve it

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ben,

    I haven’t heard about that error before. My suggestions would be to turn the phone off and back on. If that doesn’t work, uninstall and reinstall the app. Make sure you don’t have any apps running in the background that might conflict with camera use privileges. You can also see what Flint has to say about this by calling or emailing them through their help page. Let us know how it goes!

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Lisa

    Thank you very much Tom for your detailed information regarding the various mobile credit card processing. I’ve read through just about all of your reviews and I have decided to choose Flint. I thought about using PayPal Here as a secondary choice for the check capture, but it looks like they have cancelled that option. Keep up the great work!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Thank you Lisa!

    Yes, I was disappointed to see PayPal Here drop that feature. Your bank may have a mobile app that allows you to make check deposits using your phone’s camera. Here’s a page with a list of some banks that offer this feature.

    Thanks again for reading. Let us know how things are going from time to time!

    -Tom

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    Jonathan

    Tom. Read through your reviews and I am very glad to have found your site. You are very knowledgable about these things. I do have a question though. My wife just got into selling Avon and the standard for Avon is to get paid by cash or check but she would like to give her customers the option of using a credit/debit card. She still has very low volume of sales coming in but is trying to increase that. Do you think that Flint would be the best option for her? Also moving forward as her sales volume increases, would Flint continue to be the wiser option if we talk to them to get the limits set higher if needed?

    Kind regards,
    Jonathan

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for checking out our site! I hope the reviews and articles have proven helpful in your search. Flint would work well for your wife in this case. The thing that makes me most confident about Flint is their account stability. Where some other providers have a reputation for withholding funds for months or suddenly terminating accounts, this happens much more rarely with Flint. So for businesses that can’t afford to have to wait for their money, I think Flint is most reliable.

    As far as later on as volume grows, Flint will likely continue to be the most reliable, hassle-free and cost-effective option. If she starts processing over $5K monthly, it might be worth running the numbers against a different processor quote – but generally speaking Flint is the best for low-volume/sporadic processing because they are entirely pay-as-you-go with no admin/maintenance fees.

    Take care and good luck!
    Tom

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    Lor

    I came across your site initially looking for reviews of the Square mobile card reader. Thank you so much for all of the information. I was able to check out a variety of options before I make a final decision. Again, thanks.

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    Connie

    Forgive me if you have already answered this question – I travel and sell my art at outdoor venues around the state and occasionally I encounter weak or non existent network service. If I this should be the case and using the Flint services – how would they handle this?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Connie,

    Unfortunately Flint doesn’t offer an offline mode for processing without data or wifi. If you don’t have some form of internet/network access available, you will not be able to process transactions.

    Square does have an offline mode, which allows you to swipe the card offline, and then connect to the web later (within 72 hours) to upload the transactions. There is the risk that the transaction will fail when you connect to the internet, since you can’t verify the transaction without internet, but generally speaking it’s a good option for merchants looking to process offline.

    Another potential option for a mobile processing app that has an offline mode is through GoEMerchant via their M+ Terminal app. I’m not 100% sure what they are charging for rates these days, but it’s probably comparable to Square’s pricing.

    Let me know if I can help you further!
    Tom

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    Marcus Carr

    I tried to sign up for a flint account online and was told that I wasn’t approved for a account. Would you happen to know why? I have an at home collection agency and would like to use flint as my processor instead of the stripe account that I have been using.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Marcus,

    Flint is mostly for in-person transactions. While their invoicing feature does allow you to accept payment from remote clients, I can imagine that if too much of your transaction percentage would be invoiced that they might decline your account. Stripe, on the other hand, is made for card-not-present transactions.

    The other issue could be your business type. I don’t know specifically if/why Flint would consider an at-home collections agency to be high risk, but it’s certainly a possibility and could lead to your account being denied approval.

    Let us know if we can help you find a different solution.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Randy

    What happens a year from now when card readers in the U.S. are supposed to be “chip and PIN” compatible? Will Flint be able to process chip-based cards? I’m guessing that “taking a picture” of a card’s chip is not the same as actually “connecting” with it.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Randy,

    Technically Flint transactions are processed as card-not-present, not swiped, so the chip and PIN protocol shouldn’t impact Flint’s service as it stands. The liability shift in relation to EMV chip cards only pertains to card-present transactions.

    -TD

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    Anna Kwan

    Much thanks for the detailed review. Do you know what the swipe companies are doing about the new chip-and-pin requirements? Would dongles have to be replaced?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Anna,

    Yes, by fall of 2015 we will see new chip-and-PIN and in some cases chip-and-signature readers in the US from all of the mobile swipe-based processors. In order to protect against fraud liability, users will need to upgrade from the swipers. Many of these companies (like PayPal Here and World Pay) have already released these devices in the UK and Europe. For the chip-and-PIN readers, they are unfortunately bulky and expensive – about the size of a smart phone and communicating via Bluetooth. The chip-and-signature readers are much smaller and less expensive (see iZettle for an example), so I’m hoping that most companies will provide that option. But it depends to some extent on the decisions made by the card issuers/networks – which is information I’m not privy to.

    Check out this write up for a little bit more info on the subject.

    Thanks for reading,
    Tom

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    Greg McIntosh

    Do you have any way to also scan checks, so they will go to you bank account?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Greg,

    The best way to do this is via an app directly from your bank. Many banks offer camera scan deposits via their mobile banking app, including Chase and Bank of America. It’s completely free to use. Check with your bank to see if they offer this feature.

    Other than that, few payment processing mobile apps allow for this anymore. Forte Payments may be the only remaining exception, but their mobile processing is considerably more expensive than Flint.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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