SPECIALIZES IN B-TO-B
DEDICATED CARDFELLOW REP
ACCEPTS HIGH RISK
HMS offers payment processing, gift card and loyalty card programs, and equipment. What the company doesn’t offer directly (like business financing) it offers through partners that it says are carefully vetted.
As a signup bonus of sorts, HMS offers a website and business email addresses for new accounts. If you don’t already have a site, you can get started with the basic website creation package offered by HMS.
Host offers payment processing for multiple business types, including food service, retail, non-profits, health and fitness, and online businesses. The company has different solutions to fit the specific needs of your business. Retailers can offer loyalty programs, while health clubs can set up recurring billing for memberships and non-profits can benefit from lower pricing.
You can take all major credit and debit cards, as well as EBT cards issued by the government.
Online payment processing through an ecommerce website can be set up using your preferred combination of gateway and shopping cart. (HMS supports multiple options.)
Or, if you prefer to take cards by phone or mail, you can use the Host virtual terminal. A virtual terminal lets you turn your computer into a secure payment processing option, letting you enter card information into a web form.
Related Article: Credit Card Processing for Non-Profit Organizations.
Encouraging repeat business is key, and gift and loyalty cards can help you achieve your goals. HMS offers turnkey solutions for gift cards, loyalty cards, or a combination program. The company doesn’t offer much information about costs of the program(s), whether cards are reloadable, or what options are available for card customization, but you can get answers using our message board in your CardFellow account.
Host Merchant Services partners with cash advance companies. If you need funds for business expenses, HMS has one application that you can fill out to get cash advance offers from multiple companies. You may be eligible to receive funds in as little as 24 hours. Just remember that cash advances, while easier to obtain, are still a serious financial obligation. Be sure to weigh all your options when making a decision on funding.
Related Article: Should you get a merchant cash advance?
HMS claims to offer interchange plus pricing, the model we recommend at CardFellow. Interchange plus pricing is usually the lowest cost option, but pricing is specific to your business, which is why it isn’t published on a processor’s website.
That doesn’t mean you can’t see pricing before you commit, though. Host Merchant Services will give you a quote for free (and with no obligation) right here through CardFellow so you can compare it with other processors that you’re considering.
To get started, fill out the quote request form.
(Don’t worry, HMS and other processors won’t get your contact info unless you say so.)
HMS offers a free Verifone Vx 510 terminal, but it’s important to note that it isn’t an EMV chip card compliant terminal. Additional models, like a chip-capable Vx 520 are available for purchase. If that’s not what you want to use, you can also get wireless terminals, or use your tablet or smartphone with the HMSPay app.
The company also offers full point-of-sale systems for businesses that need something more comprehensive than countertop terminals. Features of the systems vary, but can include integrated credit card processing, inventory management, reporting, and more. The company lists three POS packages (Starter, TouchStarter, and Plus) as well as a custom package option, but doesn’t provide details on what’s included or the costs of the packages.
However, the company does have a “hardware” section on its website where it lists available choices. Currently, you can choosen between tablets (8” or 11” models are available) or touchscreen monitors (available in 15” and 17” models) as well as select a receipt printer. HMS states on the POS/hardware pages that installation is included.
For internet payments, Host Merchant Services supports popular gateway Authorize.Net, as well as multiple other platforms. It can also support popular shopping carts for easy integration. If you’re already using a payment gateway or shopping cart that you’d like to keep, be sure to check for compatibility with the HMS systems before signing up.
Related Article: Is “free” equipment really free?
Despite the fact that Host Merchant Services has been around for several years, there isn’t a lot of information available in terms of reviews. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but also doesn’t give us as much to go on with regards to understanding if clients are actually happy with HMS, or just not upset enough to leave a bad review. If you’ve worked with them, help us (and other businesses!) out by telling us about your experience.
Host Merchant Services, LLC does have a profile with the Better Business Bureau, where it has been accredited since 2011, and currently has an A+ rating. That’s all the help we’ll get from the BBB’s website, however, as Host has not had any complaints or reviews (good or bad) in the past 3 years.
A search of the other common places for reviews (Yelp, Ripoff Report, Google Reviews, etc.) also brings us up empty-handed.
By contrast, on the HMS website, you’ll find several testimonials that include the reviewer’s full name and business name. Reviews praise the company for providing great support and for saving them money, as well as for making it easy to accept credit cards and for creating a seamless process for switching from other companies.
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Posted by Donovan Obrien on Apr 05, 2018
Host Merchant Services has got to be hands down the worst company I’ve dealt with since opening my business. I’ve been constantly told conflicting stories and my money has been held hostage by this company. Aside from their rates being great I wouldn’t recommend this company to anyone doing business. Use them with a high level of caution.