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- Phone Number
- (855) 979-1080
- Date Established
- Orlando, Florida
Based out of Orlando, Florida, Fattmerchant is a relatively new merchant account provider that has been in business since 2014. Originally Sunshine Payment Services, LLC, the company has changed its name and is definitely changing the way merchant accounts are priced and sold. They’re one of the few providers in the industry to offer subscription-based pricing, which eliminates the percentage markup over interchange in exchange for a higher monthly subscription fee. With Fattmerchant, account fees are also consolidated into a single monthly fee, making your costs more stable and predictable.
Like most merchant account providers, Fattmerchant is not a direct processor. Instead, they use a number of backend processors to actually process your transactions, including Vantiv and National Processing Company (a Vantiv subsidiary). If you’ve done business with these companies, or read our reviews of them, you might have some concerns. Don’t worry! Fattmerchant has pre-negotiated your processing rates and contract terms, so you’ll get a much better deal than you would by signing up with any of these processors directly. At the same time, equipment and services from these processors will usually work with Fattmerchant’s payments system.
During the company’s relatively short time in business, Fattmerchant has gone out of its way to raise its public profile and actively market its unique subscription-based pricing plans. The company’s founder, Suneera Madhani, has been profiled by Fast Company. Fattmerchant has successfully promoted an image as a young, energetic, and tech-focused company with a great future and plenty of room for growth. This is a sharp contrast to many of their competitors, who seem to hide from the limelight while putting all their efforts into harassing telemarketing and high-pressure sales tactics to sign up new customers.
There’s no doubt that this company is part of an exciting and growing trend in payment processing pricing, and while it’s not the oldest subscription-based payments processing company, Fattmerchant provides competitive value and service. In many cases, Fattmerchant can provide more value at a lower cost than any of their competitors. Their software products and equipment are all top-notch, and everything is backed up by excellent customer service and support.
Fattmerchant easily scores a perfect 5 out of 5 stars overall. That’s not to say that they’re ideal for everyone – their standardized pricing plans might not be the best for every single business out there. But with no long-term contracts to worry about, it’s worth looking into what they have to offer and seeing how it stacks up against your current provider. The company claims to save their merchants an average of 40% on their overall processing costs, and we’ve seen examples of businesses that saved even more. Give them a shot!
Products & Services:
Fattmerchant supports just about any business type through a combination of in-house and third-party products. Here’s what they have to offer:
- Merchant accounts: All of Fattmerchant’s subscription-based pricing plans come with a full-service merchant account. The company primarily uses Vantiv and National Processing Company (a Vantiv subsidiary) as their backend processors.
- Payment gateway: The company doesn’t have a proprietary payment gateway of their own, but they’ll set you up with either Authorize.Net, Payeezy, or the TSYS Payment Gateway. Authorize.Net seems to be the most common choice. Plus, there is no setup fee for any of these providers. Using Fattmerchant to access the Authorize.Net payment gateway is often more cost effective for merchants since Authorize.Net does not offer the subscription-style pricing model.
- Virtual terminal: For this feature, the company offers their Fattmerchant Payments Online virtual terminal. This proprietary software-based product allows you to process credit card transactions using a laptop or desktop computer. It’s also integrated into the Fattmerchant Payments Mobile app, enabling you to process transactions using your iPhone or iPad. Fattmerchant Payments Online is part of a full online payments hub that includes reporting, analytics, card processing, ACH processing, and pre-authorizations. It’s included in all subscription-style pricing plans.
- Countertop terminals: For brick-and-mortar merchants, Fattmerchant offers several Dejavoo terminals as part of their retail subscription pricing plan. They’re currently promoting the Dejavoo Z8, Z9, and Z11 models, all of which are EMV-compliant. The Z8 is a basic terminal that supports magstripe, EMV, and NFC payments. The Z11 is an upgraded model that includes a touchscreen for capturing a digital signature. Finally, the Z9 is a wireless version of the Z8 that works over 3G or Wi-Fi. Pricing is not disclosed for any of the terminals, but you will be able to buy your equipment outright for direct cost rather than having to lease it. If you already have your own terminal, Fattmerchant will reprogram it to work with their system for free.
- POS systems integrations: Fattmerchant doesn’t offer their own POS hardware, but their system is compatible with Aloha, Micros, Revel Systems, Vend, ShopKeep, and many other POS systems. Contact a sales representative to ensure compatibility if you already have your own hardware.
- Mobile payments: If you need a portable solution, the company offers the Fattmerchant Payments Mobile app, which can be used with or without an optional card reader. It’s only available on iOS at the moment, but an Android version is in the works. The app integrates with both the Fattmerchant Payments Online virtual terminal and the new Fattmerchant Payments Dashboard. The app can process credit cards using either photo capture or the optional Fattmerchant Mobile Card Reader, which is EMV-compliant. If you need more than one card reader, they’re $75.00 each. Fattmerchant Payments Mobile is designed to work in conjunction with their subscription pricing plans.
- Shopping cart integration: Fattmerchant’s payment system is compatible with most of the major online shopping carts on the market. Contact a sales representative to confirm that your preferred cart is one of them.
- eCheck (ACH) services: Fattmerchant integrates ACH processing directly into their Fattmerchant Payments Online virtual terminal for $29.00 per month and $0.25 per transaction. For more information about eChecks, please see our article What You Need to Know About Accepting ACH Payments.
- Developer tools: For developers or businesses that would like to use Fattmerchant for processing, but have their own custom software needs, the Fattmerchant Payments API allows for easy integration. Note that web development skills will be required for many tasks, so you will likely have to hire someone to help. Fattmerchant just provides the documentation.
- Omnichannel data analytics: The Fattmerchant Platform provides sales data, analytics, and reporting to help you manage your business. You can access the dashboard via your browser or the Fattmerchant Payments Mobile app. Data from any of your processing solutions – terminals, POS systems, virtual terminals – is accessible from a single login. You’re also able to view data from more than one location, meaning that you can see a holistic view of how your business is doing from a single place. Data from the dashboard also integrates with QuickBooks. Plus, the platform includes an Apps Marketplace which gives merchants the ability to order additional supplies, add more processing solutions, and manage their security.
Fees & Rates:
Fattmerchant offers three standardized pricing plans that cover the needs of most businesses. These are subscription (or membership) pricing plans, where you pay a monthly subscription fee in exchange for not being charged any percentage markup on your transactions. You will still, however, pay a modest fixed per-transaction fee. Your subscription fee covers services that most providers charge separately for, making your monthly costs very predictable and often much lower.
The company’s pricing plans are geared toward the needs of the most common businesses. eCommerce and professional services merchants (i.e., dentists, attorneys, etc.) will find a good fit with the $79.00 per month plan. Retail businesses, on the other hand, will usually want to subscribe to the $99.00 per month plan. If your company is large enough to qualify for the Enterprise pricing plan, you can save a significant amount of money in processing charges over traditional interchange-plus pricing.
Fattmerchant claims that users of their subscription plans save an average of 40% in total processing costs over a more traditional merchant account provider. While this is just a ballpark figure, it’s certainly possible that the right type of business could save that much – or even more. For more advice on choosing the best plan for your business, Fattmerchant’s article Which Plan Is Right for My Business? provides some additional information. Their payment consultants will also work with you to find the right solution for your business, so don’t worry if you’re not sure!
$79.00 Per Month + $0.15 Per Transaction:
Designed for eCommerce and professional services merchants, this is Fattmerchant’s most affordable subscription plan. For $79.00 per month, you receive a single processing rate of interchange + $0.15 per transaction. That’s it! There’s no percentage markup on your transactions. In theory, the fees that a percentage markup would generate are already included in your monthly subscription fee.
The solutions that are priced at this amount are shopping cart, virtual terminal + mobile, and API. To be clear, each one of those solutions is not included in one membership; rather each one is priced at the $79.00/$0.15 rate.
You’ll want to compare your current pricing plan (if you have one) with this plan to see if you would save money. As a general rule, the higher your processing volume, the more you’ll save overall. Beware, however, that low-volume merchants might actually pay more money under this plan due to the high subscription fee. If that’s the case, I suggest calling and speaking with a payment consultant to figure out the best solution for your business.
$99.00 Per Month + $0.05 Per Transaction:
For retailers and restaurants, this is Fattmerchant’s next tier subscription plan, but it could also save you the most money in processing costs. For $99.00 per month, you get a single processing rate of interchange + $0.05 per transaction. That’s about the lowest processing rate you’ll find from any merchant account provider in the industry. If your business is large enough that you can afford the hefty monthly subscription fee, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money on your processing costs.
With this plan, merchants can either have a countertop terminal or integration into a POS system. Fattmerchant integrates with 99% of the hardware on the market, and they handle all technical needs free of charge.
According to Fattmerchant, the above standardized pricing plans are designed for merchants processing less than $1 million per year. If your business is large enough to exceed this amount, you’ll want to contact the company directly for customized pricing. Enterprise plans start at $199.00 per month, but come with a number of value-adds. These include personalized chargeback monitoring, white glove customer service, and free access to their proprietary data analytics platform – something that costs standard merchants an additional $20 per month.
Because of the way Fattmerchant bundles features with their accounts according to business type rather than processing volume, you might want to ask for customized pricing even if your yearly volume isn’t quite that high. For example, a large eCommerce business might want to take advantage of the lower rates of the retail plan, but substitute the credit card terminal for the software features of the eCommerce plan.
But what about account fees? As any small business owner knows, the hidden, nickel-and-dime fees that providers like to charge can sometimes exceed the cost of processing transactions. You’ll also have to pay them whether you use your account or not. Fattmerchant’s subscription pricing plans are designed to minimize these “extra” fees as much as possible, either including them in the monthly subscription fee or not charging them at all. Under the company’s standardized pricing plans, you won’t have to pay any annual fees, batch fees, statement fees, or PCI compliance fees. This kind of pricing makes your month-to-month costs much more predictable and eliminates many of the unpleasant surprises you might experience when an unexpected charge shows up on your statement.
In addition, these membership costs include a level of customer service not yet seen before in the credit card processing industry, as you will find in the later parts of this review. When you’re paying your monthly subscription, you are paying for a better experience, not just credit card processing.
Does this mean that there aren’t any additional fees? Well, not quite. There are always going to be occasional additional charges from outside agencies that the company will pass on to you at direct cost. This includes the notorious Visa FANF fee, which is charged by Visa and not your provider. You’ll also have to pay for chargebacks, which are usually $15 to $25 each.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee:
Don’t be confused by the “no contracts” claim on Fattmerchant’s website. Like any other business relationship, your merchant account with Fattmerchant will be covered by a contract. In fact, they even provide their current Terms and Conditions right on their website – something very few providers will do for you. However, it’s not the typical three-year contract with an automatic renewal clause and a hefty early termination fee (ETF) if you close your account early. Instead, all Fattmerchant accounts feature month-to-month billing with no early termination fee. You’ll need to provide thirty days’ notice when you close your account, but that’s it. At the end of the day, their “contract” allows them to submit your information for approval with their underwriting department, but in no way holds you to any monetary obligations.
It’s also important to note that the Terms and Conditions provided on Fattmerchant’s website are from their backend processor, National Processing Company (NPC), and that document does mention a three-year initial term with an automatic renewal clause extending the contract for two-year periods. This provision does not apply to Fattmerchant customers, as your month-to-month term will be listed on your Merchant Processing Agreement/Application. Fattmerchant doesn’t provide a blank copy of this document, but it’s mostly a form, and the specific pricing provisions will vary with each merchant. The Merchant Processing Agreement/Application is also part of your contract, so you’ll want to review it very carefully before signing up for an account.
Sales & Advertising Transparency:
Your first impression of Fattmerchant will probably be through their website, which has recently been re-designed. As you would expect from a young, tech-focused company, it’s very professional looking and easy to navigate. There’s a lot of useful, easy-to-understand information for prospective merchants and clear descriptions of the company’s standardized pricing plans. We’re sad to see that their FAQ has been deleted with the re-design, but most of this information is still available on the site – it’s just spread around a little more. At the same time, the company is continuing to update their Blog with useful and informative articles. We’re also very impressed by an inclusion of the Terms and Conditions right on their website. Just be aware that (1) you will also have a Merchant Application that spells out pricing and other terms specific to your contract, and (2) the posted agreement is only for National Processing Company. Your contract will be different if you’re signed up with another backend processor.
Fattmerchant relies on an in-house sales team and an online sign-up process to bring on new merchants. Because the company mostly sets up new accounts according to one of their three standardized pricing plans, the online setup process is a good choice if you’re in a hurry to get your account activated as soon as possible and you’re confident that one of those plans is a perfect fit for your needs. We recommend talking to a sales representative rather than signing up online if you have any doubt about how well Fattmerchant’s standard plans will fit in with your business.
Like any technology-focused merchant services company, Fattmerchant has a very active social media presence. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Google+ are frequently updated with new content. They even have an account on Instagram. Also, their YouTube channel is very robust, with dozens of educational videos and a few customer testimonials.
Customer Service & Technical Support:
Fattmerchant offers free 24/7 technical support via telephone and email. Live chat is also available during regular business hours. We haven’t received a lot of feedback about the quality of that support, but the few reports we’ve seen have been quite positive. In the merchant accounts industry, customer support is an area where companies frequently fall short. Most providers – even some of the really good ones – receive a lot of negative feedback about their customer support from frustrated merchants. So, it’s quite a good sign that Fattmerchant is apparently doing well above-average in this area.
With the recent re-design of their website, Fattmerchant doesn’t provide an online knowledgebase on their main site. Users with active merchant accounts can log into Fattpay to access more self-help features.
Have you had any experience with Fattmerchant’s customer service? If so, please leave your impressions in the Comments section below. Thanks!
Negative Reviews & Complaints:
Fattmerchant has been accredited with the BBB since 2015 and currently has an A+ rating. The company has had only one complaint within the last three years, and zero complaints within the last twelve months. You’ll also find four positive reviews of the company on their BBB page. It appears that the single complaint was resolved to the satisfaction of the merchant, and Fattmerchant deserves credit for going to great lengths to untangle the situation that resulted in the criticism. Overall, this is a very low complaint volume, particularly as it encompasses almost the entire period that the company has been in business. It’s also practically unheard of for a merchant services company to have more positive reviews than complaints. Needless to say, it’s a good sign that Fattmerchant is providing fair and honest service to their customers.
There are no complaints whatsoever against the company on Ripoff Report, and they currently have an overall 4-star rating on Yelp. Note that this rating comes from six 5-star reviews and two 1-star reviews, both of which received a response from Fattmerchant’s CEO. Now that’s personalized service!
Overall, Fattmerchant shows very little negative feedback from users, which is an excellent sign in an industry where even the more reputable providers receive a lot of criticism. None of the adverse reports suggest any particular trends or recurring issues that should raise any red flags.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials:
You’ll find a brief written endorsement and links to video testimonials on Fattmerchant’s YouTube channel and the Our Customers page of their website. The testimonials – mostly from local businesses in the Orlando area – come across as unscripted and genuine. The company’s customer service receives a lot of praise, as well as the overall cost savings that clients reported after switching from their previous providers.
Fattmerchant also has four positive reviews on their BBB profile. This is somewhat remarkable given that most people use the BBB website to criticize companies, not praise them. They’re also the only provider we’ve seen that has more praise than condemnation on their BBB profile. The same trend is seen in their Google Reviews as well as Consumer Affairs.
Final Verdict on Fattmerchant:
As you might have guessed, we really like Fattmerchant. In addition to their unique take on the subscription pricing model, their open, honest business style is a refreshing change of pace. Far too many companies in the merchant services industry rely on deception to lure in customers, so it’s a genuine relief to find a provider that treats their customers with respect and offers such a flexible and affordable service. We would like to see the success of Fattmerchant and the small handful of similar providers lead to long-lasting changes throughout the entire processing industry.
At the same time, no provider is perfect, and there are a few things to look out for in evaluating whether Fattmerchant is a good match for your business. For one thing, the company does not provide high-risk merchant accounts. If you’re in the high-risk category, they’ll gladly refer you to a partner company (currently undisclosed) that can help you out. Our other concern, as we’ve discussed above, is that their subscription plans are tied too closely to the type of selling a business does rather than their overall processing volume. We’d like to see some unbundling here, where merchants could choose a subscription level that’s relevant to their processing volume, and add on extra products and services that are appropriate to how they make their sales.
Because of the above concerns, we highly recommend that you speak to a Fattmerchant payment consultant rather than go through their automated sign-up process if you have any doubts that their standardized pricing plans will work well for your business. Every business has different needs regarding equipment and services, and the company’s “one size fits all” plans won’t always work for everyone. At the least, you’ll want to carefully evaluate how large your processing volume would have to be to save money with one of Fattmerchant’s subscription pricing plans. Small businesses with low processing volume could easily end up spending more on processing due to the cost of the monthly subscription fee.
Even with those caveats, Fattmerchant easily earns a rating of 5 out of 5 stars and our highest recommendation. They may be a young company, but they’ve enjoyed remarkable success so far and seem poised to go even farther in the future. If you think that their service could be a benefit to your business, by all means, give them a try.
As always, we encourage readers who have had personal experience with Fattmerchant – good or bad – to leave a review in the Comments section below. Thanks!