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SMB Global Review

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SMB Global Review

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Date Established
2016
Location
South Jordan, Utah

Pros

  • Offers high-risk merchant accounts to a wide variety of industries
  • Offers offshore merchant accounts
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Reasonable contract terms
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • Website lacks detailed account information

Overview

SMB Global is a merchant account provider headquartered in South Jordan, Utah. Established in 2016, this is a new partner of one of our favorite providers, Payline Data (see our review). SMB Global is set up to work exclusively with high-risk merchants and those who need an offshore merchant account. Although they’re a very new company, we’re pretty excited with what we’ve seen so far, and they’re one of the few reputable high-risk specialists we’ve found in the processing industry.

Not even high-risk experts will deal with every possible kind of business, but SMB Global covers most of the most common categories of high-risk merchants. Industries served include the following:

  • Adult entertainment
  • Auto parts and accessories
  • Collections
  • Coins and precious metals
  • Credit repair services
  • Diet and weight-loss programs
  • E-cigarettes/vaping/tobacco products
  • Extended warranties
  • Fantasy sports
  • Financial services
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Multi-level marketing
  • Nutraceuticals/herbal supplements (including CBD oil products)
  • Online electronics sales
  • Online furniture sales
  • Online gaming and casinos
  • Self-storage
  • Vacations/travel/flights

Note that this list is not inclusive, so if you don’t see your particular industry listed, give them a call anyway and they’ll let you know whether they can sign you up for an account.

Like most high-risk specialists, SMB Global doesn’t disclose specific pricing information or contract terms on their website. Pricing and terms will be customized for each merchant and will depend on factors such as length of time in business, processing history, specific high-risk industry, and several others. We can tell you that, unfortunately, you will in all likelihood pay higher rates and fees and be subject to stricter contract terms than a comparable merchant in a non-high-risk industry. Even the best high-risk specialists can’t get you the kind of affordable terms that less-risky businesses enjoy. However, you can expect to receive top-notch service and pay reasonable fees and rates. The merchant account industry is littered with shady companies who charge high-risk businesses exorbitant rates and fees, taking advantage of the fact that it’s so difficult to get approved for a high-risk account. Don’t become one of their victims! Get a quote from SMB Global before signing up for an account with a company you’ve never heard of before.

SMB Global marketing example

Overall, we’re rating SMB Global a very respectable 4.5 out of 5 stars for now. As such a new company, they don’t have much of a track record, and we have very little feedback from merchants to factor into our rating. However, their partner company Payline Data has been providing very high-quality service to the high-risk community for many years and is one of our favorite high-risk providers. With this new partnership for the high-risk segment of their business, we expect SMB Global to provide the same excellent service and fair pricing that their sister company offers. Check them out!

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Products & Services

Here’s a quick summary of the main services that SMB Global can provide to your business:

  • High-risk merchant accounts: SMB Global offers high-risk accounts exclusively. If you aren’t a high-risk merchant, take a look at their partner Payline Data (see our review). SMB Global is not a direct processor, but works with a variety of banks and processors to set you up with an account that will meet your needs.
  • Offshore merchant accounts: For merchants located in one country but primarily doing business in another, an offshore merchant account can be very beneficial. SMB Global offers offshore accounts that allow your customers to pay in their own currency, using dynamic currency conversion to process the transaction. Offshore accounts offer relaxed underwriting guidelines and avoid cross-border fees imposed by the credit card associations. You’ll need to process a minimum of $50,000 per month or have a very strong financial history to qualify for an offshore account.
  • Payment gateway: For eCommerce merchants, SMB Global offers a choice between the NMI payment gateway and Authorize.Net (see our review). Both are excellent options. Note that while SMB Global doesn’t currently have a dedicated mobile app, you can accept mobile payments using apps for either of these gateways.
  • Online shopping cart integration: Regardless of which gateway you choose, you’ll be able to integrate your website with over 175 third-party online shopping carts. SMB Global currently doesn’t provide a list of specific gateways, so check with your sales agent for compatibility if you have a particular cart you’d like to use.
  • ACH payments: The company also provides support for ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, including recurring billing support. ACH payments eliminate the need for paper checks or wire transfers and cost much less to process than credit cards. It’s not clear whether this is a standard feature or an optional service that requires an additional monthly payment.
  • Chargeback prevention suite: Chargebacks are a concern for any business, but high-risk merchants often have much higher chargeback rates than their non-high-risk counterparts. SMB Global offers a suite of automated services to monitor, prevent, and respond to chargebacks. These automated software tools provide real-time reporting and analytics, as well as help to automate the chargeback response process.
  • Business loans: If you need to take out a loan to help launch or expand your business, SMB Global works with Lendio (see our review) to get you the funds you need. Advertised minimum requirements for loan approval include having been in business for at least six months, generating at least $15,000 in monthly revenue, and having a current FICO score of over 550.

SMB Global’s service marketing

SMB Global appears to be focused heavily on eCommerce at the moment. Their website doesn’t provide any information about credit card terminals, POS system integration, or a mobile app. Retail merchants will want to inquire about these products before signing up. For credit card terminals and POS systems, we highly recommend that you buy your own equipment rather than leasing.

Fees & Rates

While Payline Data (see our review) offers full disclosure of their prices and contract terms right on their website, you won’t get the same level of transparency with a high-risk provider such as SMB Global. The company currently offers no disclosures whatsoever regarding processing rate plans or account fees on their site. Unfortunately, they have a good reason for doing this. Because they work with so many different banks and processors to get you an account, pricing and contract terms will vary wildly from one high-risk merchant to another. There simply are no standard rates or fees for them to disclose. You’ll have to get a quote from them and compare it to any quotes you receive from competing providers to see which one can offer you the best overall deal.

Although we highly recommend interchange-plus pricing for any merchant, the fact is that it’s much harder to obtain if you’re in the high-risk category. You’re more likely to be offered a tiered pricing plan instead, but it never hurts to ask for interchange-plus when you’re negotiating the details of your account. Regardless of which type of pricing plan you’re offered, be prepared to pay significantly higher rates than a comparable non-high-risk business.

Account fees are also highly variable, and will also be higher than other merchants pay in most cases. In addition to a monthly account fee, you can also expect to pay a PCI compliance fee, a PCI-noncompliance fee (which only applies if your account is out of compliance), statement fees, an annual fee, and possibly a one-time account setup fee as well. eCommerce merchants can also expect to pay a monthly gateway fee for the use of the payment gateway.

One additional expense that non-high-risk merchants usually don’t have to pay (but you will) is a rolling reserve. Although it’s not a fee per se, if you have a rolling reserve imposed on your account, you will have a specified percentage of your funds held every month as a hedge against chargebacks or the possibility of going out of business. While you can eventually pay off the rolling reserve and get your money back, it can create a significant cash flow problem for a new startup and can even put you out of business altogether if you’re not careful. Be sure to review your contract thoroughly before signing up to see if you have a rolling reserve. If you do, you’ll want to understand how much it is and what you’ll have to do to get it removed.

Visit SMB Global

Contract Length & Early Termination Fee

One of our favorite things about SMB’s partner Payline Data is that they offer month-to-month billing with no long-term contracts and no early termination fees as a standard feature. This arrangement is the gold standard in the merchant accounts industry, as it allows you the flexibility to close your merchant account or switch to a different provider without onerous restrictions or penalties.

Unfortunately, as a high-risk merchant, you probably won’t be offered these terms unless you have a very high-volume business with a strong processing history. Merchant account providers want some sort of guarantee that their relationship with your business will be profitable to them, and unfortunately, many of them see lengthy contracts and early cancellation penalties as an easier way to accomplish this than earning your loyalty by simply providing high-quality service at a fair price. We can’t tell you with any certainty what kind of contract terms SMB Global imposes on its merchants, as the company doesn’t post any contract documents on their website, and we haven’t received any feedback from customers on this subject. As a high-risk merchant, however, you should fully expect to be required to sign up for a standard three-year contract with both an automatic renewal clause and an early termination fee (typically around $500).

When negotiating the terms of your contract, it’s extremely important that you clarify these issues before you sign up for an account. While we haven’t received any negative feedback about SMB Global’s sales agents failing to disclose any important contract terms, it’s still a common problem within the industry and you should be wary of this possibility. Your best defense against encountering an unpleasant surprise down the road is to review your entire contract thoroughly before you sign up for an account. There is simply no excuse for not doing this. Even the most honest and knowledgeable sales agent is not going to have the time to walk you through every clause in your contract, so it’s up to you to know exactly what’s in it before you make a commitment.

Also note that, as discussed above, high-risk merchant account contracts frequently include a rolling reserve provision that can have a significant impact on your cash flow during the first year or so of your contract. You’ll want to be thoroughly familiar with the terms of the rolling reserve clause (if you have one) and how it’s going to affect your business.

Sales & Advertising Transparency

SMB Global’s website is very professional-looking and easy to navigate. It also includes a lot of useful information about how high-risk onboarding works and how your high-risk account will differ from more traditional merchant accounts. At the same time, the website is still a work in progress in many areas. Information for retail merchants is particularly lacking, as it doesn’t provide any information about credit card terminals or POS systems at present. We’re hopeful that more information about these and other topics will be added to the site shortly. For now, it’s a good site, but not nearly as robust as the websites we typically see from more established providers.

The company uses independent sales agents to market its accounts and actively recruits them on its website. Although this practice frequently leads to complaints about poorly-trained agents who fail to disclose important contract terms and employ unethical, high-pressure sales tactics to sell accounts, we haven’t heard any complaints from merchants alleging these kinds of problems with SMB Global’s agents. We’re satisfied that the company is providing its independent agents with the kind of training and supervision necessary to avoid these types of problems.

SMB Global is a very new company and doesn’t have any presence on social media yet. There’s no Facebook page, no accounts on Twitter or LinkedIn, or even a YouTube channel. We anticipate that these features will be added shortly, and we’ll include them in later review updates. The company has, however, recently started a blog. Although there are only two posts at the moment, the quality of the content is excellent, and prospective clients should take a look at it for an in-depth explanation of how high-risk merchant accounts are underwritten.

Customer Service & Technical Support

SMB Global offers customer service via telephone and email. They do not list the hours that phone support is available on their website. Although the lack of true 24/7 support might be inconvenient – especially for international merchants using SMB Global to do business in the United States – the truth is that most merchant account providers outsource their after-hours customer support. Instead of talking to a dedicated representative who works for the company and is authorized to make decisions on their behalf, you’ll most likely end up talking to someone with little experience in the payments industry and no authority to do much for you beyond writing you a support ticket and passing it on to SMB Global for further action.

We haven’t received much feedback – good or bad – about the quality of SMB Global’s customer support. While the lack of negative feedback is usually a good indicator of high-quality support in a larger, more established company, with a new firm like SMB Global, it’s not as relevant. Payline Data (see our review) has an excellent reputation for providing top-notch customer service, and we’re hopeful that this reputation will carry over onto SMB Global as an independent company. If you’ve had any experience with SMB Global’s customer support, please tell us about it in the Comments section below.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

SMB Global is not accredited by the BBB and does not have a profile with them at this time. We expect this situation to change as the company expands and becomes more established. Their partner Payline Data is BBB-accredited with an A+ rating and has a very low complaint volume relative to their size. Unfortunately, none of their currently-listed complaints appear to relate to high-risk merchant services. We also couldn’t find any complaints against the company on Ripoff Report or other consumer protection sites.

Ordinarily, the lack of negative feedback about a provider is a good sign that they’re providing quality service and taking care of their customers. While we expect this to be the case with SMB Global, we’d also caution you that, in this case, the lack of complaints is most likely a function of the fact that they’ve only been in business for a short time. All merchant services providers inevitably receive complaints, no matter how well satisfied the majority of their customers are, and high-risk providers usually come in for even more criticism due to the additional challenges of serving the high-risk community.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

SMB Global provides four written testimonials on their website. Although they’re brief, the business and the merchant offering the review are fully identified, and they’re fairly compelling. We’d like to see additional testimonials, including video interviews with merchants, in the near future as the company expands and becomes more established.

If you’ve had a positive experience with SMB Global, by all means, feel free to leave a review and tell us about it in the Comments section below.

Final Verdict

When Payline Data (see our review) offered services to both high-risk and non-high risk merchants, it always presented a bit of a challenge in reviewing them. The company had an excellent reputation based primarily on their extensive disclosures regarding pricing and contract terms. Competitive interchange-plus processing rates, a transparent account fee schedule, and month-to-month billing with no early termination fee made them very easy to recommend. However, those features only applied to non-high-risk merchants, and it was all too easy for a high-risk merchant to expect that those terms would apply to them as well. In reality, of course, high-risk merchants are rarely offered such attractive terms. The simple, unavoidable truth is that high-risk merchants almost always pay more for processing than their non-high-risk brethren, even with the best merchant account providers in the business.

Consequently, we’re glad to see that the company has outsourced its high-risk division into an independent firm. We think this will go a long way toward avoiding the kind of confusion high-risk merchants may have experienced in the past. Of course, there are a few tradeoffs. You won’t get the kind of transparent pricing and flexible contract terms that a non-high-risk merchant can obtain, and you will (in most cases) pay significantly more overall for processing services. Nonetheless, we’re satisfied that SMB Global does a remarkable job at working with a very wide variety of high-risk industries to get you matched up with a bank or processor that can handle your needs and will approve you for an account. We also believe that, although your costs will be higher than average, they’ll still be reasonable under the circumstances.

SMB Global rates an excellent 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. As a very new company, this score is heavily influenced by the outstanding reputation of their partner Payline Data. We’re only deducting one-half a star due to the spotty information currently available on the company’s website and the lack of proven track record given the limited time in business as of this review. We fully expect this situation to improve in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll also have some more merchant feedback available the next time we update this review. In the meantime, SMB Global is performing well enough to earn a coveted spot on our list of the best high-risk merchant account providers. If you’re in a high-risk industry and have struggled to find a good provider that can meet your needs, give them a try!

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Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl has been writing about merchant services, payment gateways, and international money transfer services since 2015. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State and a Juris Doctorate from the Ventura College of Law. After a long and enjoyable career of traveling around the world as an Air Force navigator, he’s comfortably settled down in the wine country town of Paso Robles in California’s scenic Central Coast region. He enjoys reading, photography, hiking, and numerous other outdoor pursuits.
Frank Kehl
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