Payment Depot Mobile (SwipeSimple) Review
Looking for a free POS with a free card reader?
- Phone Number
- Date Established
- Orange, California
- Feature-rich payment app
- Free chip card reader
- Competitive pricing
- No cancellation fees
- Good customer support
- Works on iOS and Android
- Not suitable for high-risk industries
Before digging into researching Payment Depot (PD) behind the scenes to create this review, I wasn’t expecting much beyond your standard run-of-the-mill mobile processing product. However, what I found was something that’s surprisingly powerful and fills a unique niche in the mobile space. I’ll go through all of Payment Depot’s features in a minute (along with pricing and all the details), but first, let’s cover the basics of what it is.
Payment Depot Mobile is powered by Payment Depot, a membership-based merchant account provider that we’ve rated highly for many reasons: competitive and transparent pricing, great customer support, and month-to-month processing agreements (just for starters). This mobile solution enters into somewhat new territory because of its pricing model (we’ll talk about that). The app that PD offers its merchants is called SwipeSimple, which was developed by a company called CardFlight. Payment Depot is just one of many companies offering SwipeSimple as its mobile processing option, similar to how ROAMpay licenses its software to merchant services providers (such as Payline Data).
I genuinely like the SwipeSimple app, and I think if I were reviewing it as a solo solution it would earn a pretty solid rating. But because Cardflight uses a network of resellers, the contract terms and processing rates available to merchants will vary. The technical information in this review — about the app features and hardware — should generally apply to SwipeSimple regardless of the payment processor. Information about rates and fees, contracts, customer service, and technical support all pertain to Payment Depot exclusively.
Payment Depot’s mobile plan has a lot going for it. I like the software. PD offers good customer service, and each merchant gets their own merchant account, which means account stability. Throw in a special exclusive rate for Merchant Maverick readers, and suddenly, you have a very competitive payment processing option, even for low-volume merchants.
For all these reasons, I am happy to award Payment Depot Mobile a perfect 5-star rating. Read on for a breakdown of the mobile POS app (SwipeSimple) as well as Payment Depot’s pricing plans, customer support, and more.
Table of Contents
Products & Services
SwipeSimple isn’t the kind of all-in-one platform you get from Square or even PayPal. If you want centralized control of in-person and online sales, this isn’t the app for you. But if you want a mid-range mobile POS option, SwipeSimple (and Payment Depot) deliver in surprising — but genuinely pleasant — ways.
First, I like that SwipeSimple has a demo mode, so you can test out the app even before you create an account. Freely available demo modes are not exactly the norm, and I genuinely get excited to see them. Typically, you have to sign up for a processing service or go through a salesperson to sign up for a demo before you can test out the software. I appreciate when a company makes a demo mode available — but keep in mind that it’s not automatically a sign of a quality product.
SwipeSimple runs on both iOS and Android, and the site advertises that the app is designed to work with different screen sizes. That means your iPad app isn’t just a scaled-up version of the iPhone app, which generally translates to a better overall experience. As far as app requirements, you’ll need iOS 11.0 or higher OR Android 5.0 or higher. We recommend enabling automatic updates in the Google Play Store for Android devices or in the iOS App Store for Apple. It’s generally safer to update your app regularly than using an outdated version, especially since processing apps tend to make upgrades to security.
As far as the app itself, I don’t love the design of the app. I find it fairly basic, but it’s not hideous. And overall, SwipeSimple is relatively intuitive. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing right away, you can play around in the demo mode without causing any harm. And even if you don’t use the demo mode, it’s hard to mess something up in the app without meaning to. I almost want to say SwipeSimple is on par with Square Point of Sale for simplicity. However, keep in mind that Square’s back-end features are far more complex (and you can play with quite a few of them from within the app itself).
Feature-wise, here’s what you can expect from the app:
- Mobile/Register Modes: If you plan to use SwipeSimple on a tablet as part of a more traditional countertop setup, the app does include a “Register Mode” with a few additional features. Namely, support for per-item and total transaction discounts as well as favorite pages.
- SMS/Email Receipts: Unsurprisingly, but good to note, you can send receipts via SMS and email, including cash transactions.
- Show Change For Cash: Pretty standard fare here.
- Signature Collection Options: You can set signatures as always on, always off, or always on for transactions over $25.
- Item Catalog: Create a catalog of products for easy reference. You can also punch in amounts for custom items or quick sales if you don’t want to mess with the inventory.
- Inventory Management: Alongside the catalog, SwipeSimple’s tools include the ability to track inventory quantities, set item categories, and even include SKUs. While it’s not the most advanced system, the ability to keep track of inventory is quite helpful.
- Invoicing: We’re happy to see that SwipeSimple recently added invoicing features, which weren’t available at the time of the original review. Email your customers an invoice right from your SwipeSimple Dashboard to collect payments. You can also send reminder emails from your dashboard and track the payment status of your invoices in real-time. Some color customization is available so that you can send out invoices in your brand colors.
- Offline Mode: One of the features I certainly didn’t expect to find was an offline mode so that you can process transactions without a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. You can set a maximum transaction amount for offline transactions as a precaution. Offline transactions must be processed within 30 days, and you must either swipe or key in the card — no chip transactions allowed. Some other limitations also apply, and obviously, you’re assuming the risk for any failed transactions.
- Save Card Information: You can toggle this feature on to prompt customers to save their card data for faster checkouts or future invoicing.
- In-App Reporting: Get access to sales data from the past 24 hours, a week, or 30 days. SwipeSimple Reports also has information on users, sales by items, tax amounts, and top customers (and what they spend).
- Discounts: You can create pre-set discounts in your Items tab by percentage or by dollar amount. In register mode, you can apply them to either single items or the total transaction.
- Tax Settings: SwipeSimple isn’t hugely advanced in its sales tax settings, but you can create multiple pre-set tax rates.
- Tips: In the app, you can enable tipping and set the prompt to specific amounts (as well as allow a custom amount).
- Multi-User Accounts: While the app’s multi-user settings aren’t as advanced as a full-fledged POS, you can create multiple accounts with two levels of permissions and track sales by employee.
- Reference Numbers: The app doesn’t offer a detailed notes section, but you can include reference numbers in transactions, so you can keep a record of relevant information.
Payment Depot Mobile Payment Readers
While we’ve covered the vast majority of features, the other primary concern is what hardware the app supports. I mentioned that SwipeSimple has a Register mode. For external hardware, merchants can connect Star Micronics’ mPOP with an integrated cash drawer and receipt printer. There’s also a small Bluetooth thermal receipt printer. And, of course, you’ll have your choice of SwipeSimple’s compatible mobile card readers. Merchants can choose between two simple card reader options: the Swift B200 and the Swift B250.
The B200 is a two-in-one card reader with support for magstripe and EMV chip transactions. It’s about the size of a business card (the official specs are 2.4 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.6 inches). It connects via Bluetooth, so it’s compatible with recent iOS and Android devices.
The Swift B250 is an all-in-one reader, so it supports swipe, chip, and contactless transactions. It’s a square device that measures 2.6 inches by 2.4 inches by 0.7 inches. The B250 also works with a charging dock (optional and sold separately), so if you wanted a countertop setup, it might be the better option.
In addition to the two simple dip and tap readers above, you also have a choice in hand-held readers that feature a touchscreen and built-in receipt printer, along with wireless connectivity: the PAX A920 and the PAX A80. The PAX A80 features a physical keypad, but you’ll lose one inch from the touchscreen (from 5 to 4 inches). These are comparable to the other smart terminal Payment Depot offers with its full merchant account, the Clover Flex.
Other SwipeSimple Features
I didn’t expect to find too much in the way of “extra” features outside of the mobile app and mobile card reader, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here are the “extras” that you get with the SwipeSimple platform through Payment Depot Mobile:
- Virtual Terminal: If you’d like to key in payments from your computer to supplement the mobile app, the SwipeSimple merchant portal includes a virtual terminal. You’ll pay the keyed-in rate for transactions, but this is always a nice touch.
- Customer Database: I mentioned above that you can save card data in the app for later use. That’s because SwipeSimple offers a customer database (managed from its online portal). In addition to keeping track of the purchase history for each customer, you can review the data and see who your best customers are.
- Flexible Billing Tools: SwipeSimple presents this as an extension of its customer database, which is a bit different than most other comparable options. But with SwipeSimple’s online platform, you can use the customer database to save cards to charge later as well as create subscriptions and installment plans for payments. As mentioned before, SwipeSimple has added invoicing, so you can now email your customer an invoice from your dashboard, and they can pay you online through a secure payment link.
I went into this review expecting to see another so-so sort of mobile app. I’ve seen a lot of them over the past few years. But what surprised me, genuinely, is how advanced the SwipeSimple merchant platform is. Between the inventory tracking and the customer database with support for subscriptions and installment payments, SwipeSimple approaches the level of complexity that we see in Square. If you’d like a budget-friendly solution with some of the frills (but not all of them), I struggle to find any reason not to use SwipeSimple.
Rates & Fees
With Payment Depot, you have a choice of two payment processing plans. The first that we’ll talk about is the newer option, targeted at low-volume merchants. This offer is exclusive to Merchant Maverick readers, so you’ll need to use the links in this review to sign up!
This exclusive payment plan, which we’ll call the low-volume plan, is a month-to-month agreement. Merchants who opt for this plan will pay the following:
- $10 monthly fee
- 2.6% + $0.10 for most swiped, dipped, or tapped transactions
- 3.2% + $0.10 per keyed entry or corporate card transaction
With this plan, there’s no monthly minimum, and no other fees apart from the monthly fee. Payment Depot will also provide a free chip card/magstripe Bluetooth card reader, the Swift B200. If you’d like to upgrade to an all-in-one reader with contactless support (the Swift B250), that’s a $25 cost. However, $25 for an all-in-one reader is a great price, and it’s certainly future proof.
I’m going to be upfront here — 2.6% + $0.10 isn’t going to be the most competitive pricing for merchants with very small ticket sizes. If your typical transaction is under $10, this flat-rate pricing from Payment Depot is going to be more competitive than interchange-plus pricing in many cases. However, it won’t be as cost-efficient as a flat percentage-based transaction.
Let’s take a minute to look at a couple of scenarios, so you can see what a difference $0.10 can make for a merchant with small transaction sizes. We’re going to look at processing fees on Payment Depot’s low-volume plan, with a merchant doing $10,000/month in card transactions and an average transaction size of $15 versus a merchant doing the same volume but an average transaction size of $50. Then we’ll compare that to a flat 2.75% processing fee.
Scenario 1: $10,000/monthly volume, $15 transaction size, 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
- Number Of Transactions: 667
- Processing Fees: $260 + 66.67
- Monthly Fee: $10
- Total Processing Costs: $336.67
Scenario 2: $10,000/monthly volume, $50 transaction size, 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
- Number Of Transactions: 200
- Processing Fees: $260 + 20
- Monthly Fee: $10
- Total Processing Costs: $290
Scenario 3: $10,000/monthly volume, 2.75% per transaction
Note: Transaction size, in this case, is irrelevant because the calculations don’t rely on the number of total transactions, just the total volume.
- Monthly Fee: $0
- Total Processing Costs: $275
This is why I say it’s always essential that you do the math and calculate your processing costs yourself. As you can see, 2.6% + $0.10 and 2.75% look very similar on paper, but for some merchants, such as coffee shop owners, it could mean a substantial difference in processing costs, especially as your volume picks up. In the scenario above, at $10,000/month in card transactions, a merchant with an average transaction size of $15 would pay $336.67/month in processing costs — nearly $40 more than a merchant with an average transaction size of $50 on the same rate plan (2.6% + $0.10) — and both plans end up costing more than a simple 2.75% per transaction.
However, unlike the vast majority of mobile processors, Payment Depot gives you the stability of your own merchant account, which is no small consideration. It could easily justify the pricing, especially if you’ve been burned by a third-party mobile payment processor in the past, or you’re wary of taking the risk.
The second pricing option is Payment Depot’s standard pricing, which is more suitable to higher-volume merchants (those doing at least $10,000/month). Payment Depot works on a membership structure, where you’ll pay a monthly fee to get interchange rates with a small flat fee per transaction. The pricing scales according to volume, with a higher monthly fee and a lower per-transaction fee.
Payment Depot’s standard pricing model is great for businesses that deal with large transactions, particularly those businesses that are processing credit cards in volumes above $10,000/month. So larger businesses may want to look at PD’s traditional payment options. But smaller merchants should absolutely take advantage of the flat-rate 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. Again, if you’d like to sign up for this low-volume plan, you need to use the links in this review; otherwise, you’ll be presented with Payment Depot’s standard pricing plans.
Contract & Cancellation
With Payment Depot, you get month-to-month agreements with no cancellation fees and no monthly minimums. You can cancel whenever you want without incurring any early termination fees. This is exactly what we want to see. Plus, you’re getting your own merchant account rather than an aggregated account, which translates to a greater amount of stability than you would get with a provider such as Square. (That’s not to say aggregators such as Square are inherently bad; they just have a risk of account instability that Payment Depot doesn’t.)
Sales & Advertising Transparency
As we’ve discussed in our full Payment Depot review, we have no serious qualms with the quality or transparency of PD’s marketing and information disclosures. While the site could do marginally better explaining why the Payment Depot pricing model is one of the best out there, it’s done well enough. By all accounts, Payment Depot’s customers are happy with the service. You won’t see complaints about how merchants feel they were lied to and ripped off, which is…well, the biggest red flag that something is seriously wrong with a processor.
SwipeSimple is also very good at its own disclosures and transparency. The website clearly spells out how its platform works, including its partnerships with different payment processors, and an explicit mention that to get SwipeSimple, you need to sign up with a processing partner.
I’m pretty happy in this regard. Clear pricing disclosures and month-to-month agreements are easy ways to score a good rating around here. As the resident mobile payments expert, I’m always happy to see competitive, stable options for mobile and low-volume merchants. Payment Depot is delivering on all counts.
Customer Service & Technical Support
As far as customer service, we’re happy to say that Payment Depot offers 24/7 phone support to deal with all kinds of account-related issues. You’ll probably get better customer service during standard business hours (7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time) because TSYS and First Data pick up some of the slack in the after hours. But Payment Depot does have staff who monitor support requests 24/7.
Payment Depot isn’t great about self-help resources; there’s no knowledgebase, just a generic FAQ section on the website. This is a reversal from many pay-as-you-go mobile processing services that tend to offer great self-help resources but more limited live customer support. But you will be able to get software support through SwipeSimple, which has its own self-service support portal and FAQ.
If you check out the SwipeSimple site, you’ll see first of all that it clearly discloses that for account-specific matters, you’ll have to go through your payment processor (in this case, Payment Depot) for support. However, you can contact SwipeSimple via phone or email if you have questions relating to the app and its features. I’m not thrilled by SwipeSimple’s knowledgebase, but it covers the major points, and it’s nice to know the company is available if you have questions.
One thing I do like is a site where you can check whether SwipeSimple’s platform is working. This is akin to Square and Stripe, both of which have update sites to tell you if there are any outages. The fact that SwipeSimple offers this says that the company has put thought into its platform, its infrastructure, and its user experience.
Upon inspecting the SwipeSimple app reviews in Google Play, there have been a considerable number of reviews since our last check. It has now earned a 4.2 out of 5-star rating with nearly 527 reviews. Things are even sunnier at the Apple Store with a 4.8 out of 5-stars and over 2.5K ratings. These overwhelmingly positive reviews and growth are a great sign of app stability and good features.
The complaints about SwipeSimple in the app stores are fairly common to smaller mobile credit card processing apps. Specifically, I see complaints about lots of glitches after an app update and trouble with card readers connecting to different devices. That’s not to dismiss the claims — they’re valid, and I am sure they’re legitimate. One of the big problems with the Android space is that it’s so fractured that getting universal support for everything is a challenge. But do I think every merchant on Android has trouble with SwipeSimple every time there’s an update? Not even close. There would be a much larger number of complaints about the app.
Apart from the app stores, it’s hard to find a lot of reviews for SwipeSimple. In part, that’s because SwipeSimple isn’t available directly to merchants; you can only get it through a reseller. That means a lot of the reviews are going to be tied to the payment processor. Given that SwipeSimple integrates with so many processors, that’s a lot of information to wade through. Experience has taught me that comments about these mobile apps tend to make up only a small part of the chatter about a particular processor.
But we can look at user reviews for Payment Depot as a processing service — and those are overwhelmingly positive. Payment Depot has an A+ business rating with the BBB with three 5-star customer reviews (out of five reviews in total), and only one official company complaint that has been marked resolved. As far as the complaints we come across, they are usually a result of trouble with one of Payment Depot’s back-end processors (usually First Data). The other main source of complaints about Payment Depot comes from merchants who aren’t suited for the company’s processing business — mostly high-risk businesses. That said, Payment Depot handles these complaints maturely and sincerely and works to make the situation right for merchants. Generally speaking, as long as you aren’t working in a high-risk or prohibited industry, and you’ve done the math to make sure the pricing works for you, you shouldn’t have any trouble with Payment Depot’s mobile processing.
Before I set out to research the updates, pricing, and features behind Payment Depot’s mobile processing service for this review, I admit the expectations were a bit lukewarm. I wasn’t expecting much beyond a middle-of-the-road feature set and decent pricing. Granted, that alone would have been enough to secure a pretty solid rating, but Payment Depot went better than “good enough” in choosing a mobile processing app for its customers. Instead of creating mobile payments as an afterthought, it’s clear that some dedicated focus went into it as an offering that could stand up against some of the more prominent players, such as Square.
I’m genuinely impressed by the array of features. SwipeSimple isn’t quite as powerful as an all-in-one platform, but it’s so much more than just a barebones mobile processing app. It has found a middle ground that I didn’t think existed. While the inventory tools could be more advanced, this app has opted to focus on including a key point — quantity tracking — rather than bells and whistles, such as modifiers or variants or descriptions. The customer database, combined with the billing tools and invoicing, could genuinely be useful to many merchants from all kinds of industries. You can use SwipeSimple in a countertop POS setup, and as long as you didn’t expect all the capabilities of a full POS, you most likely wouldn’t be disappointed. Furthermore, a free Bluetooth-enabled chip card reader is always a plus.
A lot of merchant account providers don’t offer standalone mobile processing. It’s usually bundled as an extension of other services. The only other two I’ve reviewed at Merchant Maverick are Payline Mobile and Fattmerchant Mobile. Of the three options, only Payline and Payment Depot offer a cost-effective pricing structure for low-volume merchants, and I have no issue with saying that Payment Depot’s mobile processing pricing plan — with the exclusive rate for Merchant Maverick readers — beats Payline’s. I am genuinely excited at having another cost-effective, highly stable mobile processing option in the mix because it makes the entire industry way more competitive.
For all of these reasons, I’m happy to award Payment Depot Mobile a perfect 5-star rating. The overall value of the app, plus Payment Depot’s pricing and customer service, makes it competitive for all kinds of businesses, including low-volume merchants.
That said, I do have a couple of caveats. First, Payment Depot isn’t a suitable processing option for high-risk industries. If you know you’re a high-risk business, or you’ve been told by other processors that you’re a high-risk business, check out our recommended high-risk processors. Second, if you are looking for the absolute lowest processing costs for small transaction sizes or will only be processing infrequently (once a month or every few months), you will probably be better served by Square. Just be aware that as a third-party processor, Square does come with a certain degree of risk — you are more likely to face sudden account holds or termination with Square than you would with Payment Depot.
If you’re after great value, a functional mobile processing app with more than just the basics, and reliable payment processing, Payment Depot is a great solution for you. Have questions? We’d love to hear from you, so drop us a comment!
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.