3701 Trakker Trail, Suite 1F
Bozeman, Montana 59718
Frontline Processing Review
Frontline has been managing payments since 1997 and provides merchant accounts for both face-to-face and online transactions. In addition to credit and debit card processing it also provides electronic check conversion, check guarantees, gift card programs, wireless terminal services, and point-of-sale solutions. Additionally they also offer Automated Clearing House (ACH), Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and a complete payment gateway solution.
Still, there are many companies that offer those services, and with so many payment processors out there it’s important to find the right one for your merchant account needs. Let’s take a closer look at Frontline Processing, including costs, reviews, and more, to see if it’s the right payment processor for you.
- Frontline’s Processing Services
- Gift and Loyalty Cards
- Cash Advances
- Merchant Protection
- POS Systems and Equipment
- Frontline Specialist Programs
- Frontline Pricing
- Frontline Processing Reviews
Frontline provides many services for businesses, including credit and debit card processing (for both traditional and new chip cards), gift and loyalty card programs, cash advances, and more.
For card processing, you’ll be able to accept payments online, using a mobile device, or with a traditional POS system or countertop credit card machine.
Frontline provides advanced credit card processing using the latest technologies, including EMV chip card-capable terminals to help you reduce your fraud liability. (Any business still using magnetic swipe strip cards for payment will be liable for any fraudulent transactions.) Frontline provides free chip and PIN terminals to qualified businesses.
Related Article: Are Free Credit Card Machines Really Free?
Frontline also allows customers to use debit cards, together with a PIN solution that doesn’t need a signature. PIN-based debit transactions can often be less expensive than keyed or swiped credit card payments. Frontline also adds that businesses can offer cash back on debit card transactions. Additionally, PIN security can help to reduce fraud and chargebacks.
Frontline provides several options for taking payments when you’re out and about including smartphone and tablet processing and wireless terminals.
With smartphone payments, you have the option of processing payments in real time via your smartphone or tablet. Frontline provides a dedicated app that works together with a card reader that functions with most Android, Apple, or Windows phones. A smartphone or tablet solution can be a cheaper option than a dedicated wireless terminal.
If you don’t want to use a tablet or smartphone, you also have the option of a wireless terminal. These provide “card swiped” rates and are preprogrammed with your business details so you can use them immediately. Wireless terminals will work anywhere cellphone service is available, and they use GPRS communications technology to process payments.
If you only process card transactions occasionally, Frontline allows you to use your telephone to take payments. It turns your telephone into a card processing terminal that calls transactions into a central network. This is a fully-featured service including sales, refunds, voids, authorizations, and more. No internet service or wifi is needed to take payments using a telephone.
Not taking payments face-to-face? Frontline provides payment gateways for ecommerce stores and similar businesses. The payment gateway allows you to accept debit and credit cards so customers can pay online, and integrates with your website or app. You can also batch upload transactions for processing and the payment gateway handles recurring billing and subscriptions.
Related Article: Setting Up Recurring and Subscription Billing.
Frontline provides complete services for dealing with checks and ACH payments. You can get checks verified to reduce fraud and returned payments, save money on bank fees and other fees associated with card processing, get instant authorization, and have checks quickly deposited into your account. Frontline also handles issues if a check is returned due to insufficient funds—they will credit you the money and handle collections from the customer.
In addition to processing credit and debit cards, Frontline also offers loyalty and gift card programs. These are a good way to increase sales and can be custom branded with your business name and logo. Loyalty cards update every time a customer makes a purchase and provide rewards when certain criteria are met.
Gift cards can be sold to encourage future sales or entice new customers, as gift cards are often given for graduations, birthdays, and other occasions. Frontline provides the first 100 cards for free, so you can try them out and see if they’re a good fit for your business.
If you need capital to grow your business, Frontline can provide a cash advance. Cash advances can be used for almost any business expense. Frontline lists the following advantages of a cash advance:
The company states that the amount you can receive is equal to one month’s worth of debit and credit card transactions. Once they have credited the money to you, they use a percentage of your credit and debit transactions each month to repay the money you owe them. Although there are no application or upfront fees, and no interest, they do charge a “commission fee.”
The example they give is as follows, “Let’s say your monthly sales are $5,000 and a $5,000 advance is requested and approved. For the sake of simple math, let’s also say the payback amount is $6,000 with a collection rate of 20%. The $6,000 payback amount includes the initial $5,000 advance and $1,000 commission. As you process each batch, 20% will be taken out and applied to the repayment of the $6,000. After one month, you will have repaid $1,000. At the end of 6 months, the $6,000 will be repaid in full and funding will return to 100%.” Assuming an average of a 20% commission rate, that could end up being a very expensive way to borrow money, especially compared to business loans that might charge 5% to 10%.
Being PCI compliant is vital for any merchant who accepts credit or debit cards. Frontline provides several services as part of its “Merchant Protection” service.
- $50,000 of coverage for data breach protection with no deductible or co-pay. This lets your business cover the costs of a suspected or actual data breach and can go towards audits, fines, or other expenses.
- Access to online tools to ensure you’re PCI compliant.
- Quarterly network security scans to detect any vulnerabilities in your payment systems. That means checking any payment devices or software that can access the internet for security that could be used by hackers to access financial or other sensitive data.
The service costs $4.95 a month.
Frontline provides POS systems and countertop terminals for easy processing of customer credit and debit cards. For full POS systems, you can choose between the Clover Station and HioPOS Plus. The terminals are preprogrammed, easy to setup, and fully PCI compliant. They also provide advanced reporting and inventory control.
The Clover system is a cloud-based POS solution. It comes as a terminal you can install in your retail space and uploads POS transactions to the cloud so you can review them from any computer. It’s worth noting that your options for switching in the future may be limited if you choose the Clover. Be sure to read our article Before You Buy a Clover Station for more information.
HioPOS Plus is an all-in-one point of sale system designed mainly for the hospitality and retail industry.
It’s designed for simplicity and ease-of-use. Check out our full review here: HioPOS Plus.
Frontline provides paper and other supplies for POS hardware.
Frontline provides several specialist programs depending on the industry you’re in.
- Frontline referral program—refer another merchant and Frontline will give you one month of processing for free.
- Bank partnership program—banks can provide merchant services to business clients to improve satisfaction and enhance client loyalty.
- Convenience fee program—designed to make it easier to collect rent and other similar fees from clients through an online portal.
- Fundraising program—ongoing cash flow to fund projects for non-profits. This works when a business decides to move their payment processing to Frontline, who then donates a portion of the payment processing fees to you.
Although Frontline requests that you contact them for exact rates, they do provide some examples on their website. The company offers cost plus (also referred to as interchange plus) and flat rate pricing models.
Frontline publishes a rate of 0.50% of the transaction amount plus 15 cents for each transaction. A monthly fee of $9.95 applies. These quoted rates are in addition to interchange and assessments - the fees charged by Visa, Mastercard, and issuing banks.
For flat rate pricing, your swiped transactions are charged at a flat rate of 2.75%, the same as companies like Square. Keyed transactions are charged at a flat rate of 3.75%. On a flat rate model, there are no additional “per transaction” or monthly fees, but don’t confuse simplicity with competitiveness. For many businesses, flat rate pricing is more expensive than competitive interchange plus (cost plus) pricing.
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There aren’t many reviews of Frontline Processing online, but fortunately, there aren’t many complaints either. The Better Business Bureau gives Frontline Processing an A+ based on their measurements and the feedback it has received from Frontline’s customers. The BBB has only three complaints listed for Frontline, and five (positive) reviews.
The complaints allege that Frontline held funds in reserves and then charged fees to release it, that the company outsources check processing and didn’t cancel that service when the business cancelled with Frontline, and that the company overcharged for services. Frontline responds to complaints lodged with the BBB, which contributes to its overall high grade.
The reviews praise Frontline for great processing rates, helpful fraud prevention training, and great service.
Unfortunately, there are not many other reviews available, although the abundant testimonials on Frontline’s website do show that their customers are very happy with the services they’re getting. Reviews available on Frontline’s website praise the company for reliability, integrity, and excellent customer service.
Do you have any experience with Frontline Processing? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know by leaving a review!
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