Processor Directory > Mainstream

Mainstream Review

MainStream Merchant Services, which just goes by MainStream, is a payment processing company based in Georgia that strives for transparency. The company offers payment processing to a variety of businesses within the United States. In this review, we’ll give you the information you need about rates and fees, equipment, contracts, and more to help determine if it’s the right fit for your business.

Payment Services

MainStream provides your business with the ability to easily and securely accept credit and debit cards and checks. You can take all major cards online, over the phone, or in person.

Mainstream homepage

In Person

For credit and debit cards, you can use traditional countertop terminals, full point of sale systems, or mobile card readers attached to a compatible smartphone or tablet.

If you want to accept checks, you can choose to utilize check conversion to create an electronic transaction from a paper check, eliminating the need to physically go to the bank. Additional services, like check guarantee, can help reduce the risk of bounced checks or fraudulent checks. If you need to take recurring payments from a customer, you can choose to set up ACH transfers to debit your customer’s account.

Internet and Phone

For businesses that need to take payments online or by phone, MainStream has options. For phone orders, the virtual terminal solution lets you enter card details into a secure web portal through your internet-connected computer to take payment. It’s also a handy option for businesses that don’t need customer-facing credit card equipment, like doctors’ offices.

While it’s more common for customers to use credit and debit cards for online purchases, you can allow customers to pay with a check if you’d like. When your customer is ready to check out, they’ll enter their check information at the time of checkout to create an electronic funds transfer, moving the money for the purchase from the customer’s checking account to your account.

Additional Services

Beyond offering credit and debit acceptance, MainStream provides related services, including cash advance programs for securing working capital and gift card programs.

Cash Advances and Loans

Sometimes your business needs a little extra cash to purchase more inventory, run a marketing campaign, or expand. MainStream offers working capital services to help you secure funding.

Merchant cash advances are not quite the same as loans. There is no interest rate and no fixed monthly payment. Instead, repayment is made by deducting a portion of your daily credit card sales until the amount borrowed and a fee is repaid. The amount deducted from your credit card sales will be set a percentage of that day’s sales, meaning that on slow sale days you’ll repay a lower amount and in high sale days, you’ll repay a higher amount. Merchant cash advances are typically more expensive overall than loans, but can be beneficial for businesses that may not qualify for a small business loan. Read more about merchant cash advances.

Small business loans are typically available to businesses with good credit and an established business history. MainStream offers both of these funding options.

Gift Card Program

Gift cards replaced paper gift certificates and have cemented themselves as a popular purchase in the retail and restaurant industries. If you’re looking to implement a gift card program at your business, MainStream offers both prepackaged and custom choices.

Mainstream gift cards

You’ll be able to include your brand colors, business logo, and more. Gift cards include online reporting for you, and an online balance checker for your customers. MainStream doesn’t publish details on costs to purchase cards or if there are per-transaction fees for redemption, but we’ve reached out to the company for more information.

Pricing and Contract

MainStream uses interchange plus pricing, the most transparent model available and the one we recommend here at CardFellow. The company doesn’t post specific rates, as those will vary from one business to the next. However, MainStream can place a quote for you to review and compare against other options right here on the CardFellow site. To get started, simply fill out our short business profile. (Don’t worry, we keep your contact info private!) Get started here.

MainStream offers a 90-day trial period where you can sign up for processing and leave without penalty within 90 days if you decide that MainStream isn’t a good fit.


For accepting cards, MainStream offers a choice of countertop machines from popular manufacturers like Verifone, Ingenico, and Poynt. Specific features vary by model, but most allow for taking newer payment technologies like EMV chip cars and contactless payments like Apple Pay.

Businesses that prefer a full point of sale system can use Ordyx POS or Revel’s iPad POS, both of which provides more robust functions such as online ordering, an integrated loyalty program, attendance tracking features, gift card capabilities, and inventory tracking. There’s also an Ordyx Lite option that runs on an iPad or iPhone.

If you’d prefer a mobile reader for your smartphone or tablet, the TSYS reader will let you accept credit and debit cards from almost anywhere.

MainStream Reviews

As of November 2017, there are reviews available for MainStream in multiple places, including Google Reviews, the Better Business Bureau, and the company’s official Facebook page.

MainStream has three Google reviews, totaling 4.3 stars, but none of the reviews provide text commentary. Two reviews give the company 5 stars and one gives it 3 stars.

On the Better Business Bureau website, MainStream is not accredited but has a profile with a B- grade and 3 customer complaints. One of the complaints states that MainStream calls daily, while another states that the company continued to remove funds from the client’s bank account after cancellation. The third complaint alleges that MainStream told the business that it would program a new machine that the business owner had purchased already, but then didn’t follow through and tried to get the business to purchase another machine through MainStream. In the first two cases, MainStream replied to the complaints stating that they are not able to locate records for the businesses that complained and will look into it further if that information is provided.

The company’s official Facebook page had 8 reviews, all 5 stars, but at least a few are from current MainStream employees. However, the employees state that they work there and are not attempting to make reviews pretending to be clients. Other reviews give the company a 5-star rating but don’t provide text commentary.

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Posted by Tired of being lied to on Jan 19, 2021


I gave them a try and didn't see big savings. I canceled and was charged a fee for canceling when I had been assured there would be no cancellation fees.

Posted by Ruth on Dec 30, 2020


Nothing from the rate quoted to free paper supplies was true. Worst customer service invested hours in phone calls, texts and emails with no resolution. Ended up being charged a $350 cancelation fee and now the leasing company is trying to charge a fee on a promised "free" terminal. Nightmare.

Posted by G Merle on Oct 17, 2019


Excellent customer service and quick answers.

Posted by CardFellow on Nov 15, 2017


MainStream offers a choice of different universal terminals, which avoids getting locked in. It's also nice to see interchange plus pricing touted as the standard pricing model.