GoPayment – A Costly Mistake!
GoPayment is consistent with the high rates, bundled pricing and fine print that plague Intuit credit card processing services in general. There are several alternatives to GoPayment that offer lower rates, more transparent pricing, and easier sign up.
- (Published) Rates & Fees
- What You Will Really PayExcessive Surcharging
- Card Swiper & Compatible Devices
- Sign Up
- Contract & Cancellation
- GoPayment Reviews
- Alternatives to GoPayment
- Post Your Review
Rates & Fees
Pricing for Intuit's GoPayment service is more complicated than the company makes it seem from the pricing table on its Web site. It takes quite a bit of digging through fine print to obtain a total picture of cost.
Until August of 2014, GoPayment utilized a form of tiered pricing that allows Intuit to surcharge any transaction that it feels does not qualify for its lowest rate. However, Intuit does not disclose the criteria for specifically determining which types of transactions will be surcharged.
This type of tiered pricing is what makes bait-and-switch tactics possible in the credit card processing industry, and it is best avoided.
After August 2014, Intuit went to what appears to be a flat rate pricing model. However, it's worth noting that some of their published rates are lower than the wholesale cost of processing, indicating that there may be hidden fees or other costs that aren't disclosed up front.
GoPayment allows users to choose between two pricing plans. The first plan is called Pay-As-You-Go and is targeted at businesses with sporadic or low processing volume. The second plan is called Pay Monthly & Save and is targeted at higher volume businesses.
The pricing for GoPayment's Pay-As-You-Go option is as follows:
Keyed: 3.4% + $0.25 per transaction
GoPayment's Monthly account allows users to pay a $19.95 monthly fee in exchange for per-transaction lower rates. Pricing is published as follows:
Keyed: 3.2% + $0.25 per transaction
The 1.6% is what raises red flags. A quick look at the Visa interchange table shows that some cards cost more than 1.6% to process at wholesale, meaning that Intuit would lose money any time it processed one of those cards. Since companies aren't in business to intentionally lose money, it's extremely unlikely that Intuit is charging you less than it costs them to process your transactions.
The following table lists additional charges that apply to the GoPayment processing service that are not clearly listed on the GoPayment Web site. These charges can be found in section 1.14 of the Merchant Agreement.
|Providing Any Documentation||$2.00 per page|
|Checking Account (DDA) Change||$25.00 per change|
|Business Name Change Fee||$75.00 each|
|Third Party Payment Admin Fee||$150* (Intuit may charge a fee to implement legally enforceable requests for payment of Merchant funds to parties other than Merchant, such as tax levies, payments to secured parties or other legally enforceable payment requests of a similar nature.)|
|Voice Authorizations||$0.95 each|
|Voice Authorizations (w/live operator)||$1.75 each|
|Referral Authorizations||$2.00 each|
What You Will Really Pay
Businesses that use Intuit GoPayment should expect to pay an effective rate of 3.25% or more.
Intuit's past use of bundled pricing and excessive surcharging will result in higher than expected charges. CardFellow has analyzed countless GoPayment processing statements, and the typical effective rate is between 3.25% - 4.25%, which is significantly higher than Intuit's advertised rates would suggest.
Note that Intuit's new "flat rate" pricing structure may alter the average effective rate, but we can't specify how as Intuit hasn't been forthcoming with information about the new rates. We reached out to Intuit to ask about the charges. That exchange is detailed below:
[removed]: The Non-qualified transactions were our old fee structure. The only fees for our current service are the only ones listed on our site.
[CardFellow]: Okay, great, so if I swipe a credit card with the GoPayment reader thing, it'll be the 1.6% and 25 cents each transaction?
[CardFellow]: It doesn't matter if it's reward cards or whatever?
[removed]: Yes, that's the swipe rate for the Monthly plan. Reward cards have an additional $.15 authorization fee charged by the bank.
[CardFellow]: Is there anywhere that lists all the fees like those ones?
[removed]: No, it's only what's located on our site.
[CardFellow]: Okay, so then there will be extra fees though?
[removed]: No, just those fees.
[CardFellow]: Okay, thanks
[removed]: You're welcome. Have a good day.
Here we see that Intuit in one breath tells me that there are additional fees (in this case, a $0.15 charge for rewards cards, which is not disclosed anywhere on their site) and in the next breath tells me there are no fees other than what’s published on the site. I decided to try a more direct approach with a follow up chat with a different agent.
[CardFellow]: Your site mentions a 1.6% swiped card rate, and states that there are no extra fees
[CardFellow]: But 1.6% is lower than the wholesale cost of acceptance for some card types, so I'm curious what's going on there.
[CardFellow]: It looks like Intuit says that this is not a "tiered" pricing model anymore, so how would something like a rewards card be charged?
[removed]: It is either the 1.6% per or the 9.99 monthly fee. You can choose.
[CardFellow]: I'm not sure what you mean? Isn't the monthly fee charged in addition to the 1.6% and 25 cents per transaction?
[removed]: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
[CardFellow]: No problem.
[removed]: Sorry, I am not too informed on the pricing logistics of Payments. However, I do know that after the monthly fee, there could only be one more kind of charge.
[CardFellow]: No problem. The main issue I'm seeing is that the costs published on your website are lower than what it actually costs to process, like according to Visa and MasterCard. I'm just trying to determine if there are additional fees other than the published ones.
[CardFellow]: For example, what would I be charged if I swiped a rewards credit card using the GoPayment reader?
[removed]: Not that I am aware of. Although if you are ready for purchase and need pricing info in more depth, I recommend speaking with one of our Payments specialists.
[CardFellow]: Sure, I'd be happy to speak with them. How can I reach them? [removed]: In order for me to arrange for a specialist to call you back in the next 60 minutes, may I please have your first and last name, e-mail address, contact number and business name?
[CardFellow]: Is there any way to do it via email or live chat? I'd prefer that
[removed]: No, sorry.
It’s not encouraging that in 2 separate chats Intuit was either unwilling or unable to provide full disclosure regarding their pricing. For historical purposes, we're leaving this segment explaining Intuit's surcharging. Note that this may not apply to accounts opened after August 2014.
As we have explained in CardFellow’s credit card processing guide, the bundled pricing model that intuit uses allows it to route interchange categories to the pricing tier of its choice. For example, Intuit can choose to route the majority of credit card transactions to higher mid and non-qualified rates, which it typically does.
The following is an actual GoPayment statement provided by a business that used CardFellow’s marketplace to significantly lower its processing cost. As you can see from the highlighted portion of the statement, Intuit routes all credit card volume to mid-qualified (MQUAL) and non-qualified (NQUAL) pricing tiers, which have a rate of 3.75%. So, while Intuit advertises a rate of 2.75%, this rate will not apply to the majority of credit card volume.
Intuit's processing statements use quite a few deceitful tactics, which we have outline in detail in our article about how to read an Intuit statement.
Price isn't the only downfall to the GoPayment service. Intercepted credits are additional considerations. When a business issues a refund to a customer, the processor gets a credit of the fee paid on the original transactions. This credit is supposed to be passed to the business, but Intuit keeps refunds instead of passing them along. This hidden cost of lost refund credit card refund credits can add up even for businesses that only issue a few refunds a month.
Card Swiper & Compatible Devices
The GoPayment application and card swiper are given away free of charge with a new account. Swipers are compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
Update 12/3/2015 - Intuit expects to offer an EMV chip card capable reader for smartphones in early 2016. The reader will cost $30.
Another drawback to the GoPayment mobile processing service is the sign up process.
GoPayment requires a business to open a traditional merchant account with Intuit Payment Solutions. Applicants must provide a date of birth and social security number so that Intuit can perform a credit check.
GoPayment also requires a full personal guarantee from business principal/owner that grants Intuit the right to "proceed directly against me [the account owner] without first exhausting their remedies against any other person or entity."
Contract & Cancellation
Don't make the mistake of confusing a merchant account contract with a cancellation fee; they are two completely separate things.
The Intuit GoPayment contract does levy a cancellation fee against any business that closes its account in good standing. However, under section 1.15 of the Terms of Service, Intuit will charge a $500 cancellation fee for any account that it closes due to suspected misuse.
Do not open a GoPayment account without first reading the following agreements in their entirety. These are terms that you are agreeing to by processing with Intuit.
Despite the opaque pricing and high fees associated with GoPayment, many online reviews of the service give it high marks.
The reason many reviews of GoPayment don’t reflect reality is because Intuit pays the reviewers a commission for referring business its way.
Intuit uses a company called Commission Junction to recruit online marketers. These online marketers, called affiliates, create content that persuades people to sign people up for the GoPayment service. Intuit compensates affiliates by paying a commission in the form of a referral fee for each person that successfully signs up for GoPayment.
So, take overly positive online reviews of GoPayment with a large grain of salt. It’s very likely that the reviewer’s judgment has been clouded by Intuit’s cash incentive for referrals.
For the record, CardFellow is not an affiliate of Intuit.
Alternatives to GoPayment
Many mobile small business credit card processing options exist in today's marketplace, and most have more favorable pricing and terms than Intuit's GoPayment service.
The following solutions all utilize an Apple or Android-powered device to process credit and debit card transactions.
ROAMpay & Traditional Merchant Account
Businesses that are processing $5,000 a month of more should look toward ROAMpay coupled with a competitive traditional merchant account.
The key with this solution is to get a competitive merchant account with interchange plus pricing. The easiest way to find the best interchange plus pricing is to sign up free at CardFellow to receive instant quotes from multiple processors.
Businesses that process sporadically or with monthly volume of $5,000 or less should look toward PayPal Here or Square.
PayPal Here & Square
These two services are very similar in terms of pricing, but PayPal Here provides a true traditional merchant account where Square does not.
PayPal Here also has slightly lower pricing and much better customer service than Square. Check out our PayPal Here and Square Up Review on CardFellow for in depth information on these two mobile processing options or check out our PayPal Here vs. Square showdown article.
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