Merchant service providers help small businesses process credit card payments. They provide payment processing tools like virtual terminals, payment gateways, and card-reading hardware.
Businesses use these services and tools to process every type of electronic transaction including accepting credit and debit card payments. There are hundreds of merchant service providers in the U.S. alone, and you may also know them by the name “credit card processors.”
We took the time to review the top merchant service providers in the market, and many of them have robust, proven services and tools. However, this article will only focus on Flagship Merchant Services and Stax.
We will compare both merchant providers to help you identify which one will be the best fit for the needs of your business. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear idea of which solution is right for you.
Flagship Merchant Services vs Stax: How Do They Compare?
Let’s compare the features and capabilities of Stax and Flagship Merchant Services. Here are the key things you need to know.
Flagship Merchant Services
The company is a full-service merchant services provider and you are provided with all the tools you need to accept payments across various sales channels.
Flagship offers the Clover line of POS systems for accepting payments in your physical store, along with a range of mobile card readers for on-the-go sales, a payment gateway and a shopping cart for accepting payments on your websites, and a virtual terminal for phone orders.
All of the company’s credit card processing platforms are EMV compliant and NFC-enabled. An EMV compliant platform lets you accept credit cards and avoid liability for any fraud that may occur at your point of sale. Being NFC-enabled lets you accept mobile wallets and contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, MasterCard PayPass, and Google Wallet.
Below are the key features, tools, and services offered by Flagship Merchant Services:
- Business management portal: Each account includes iAccess, an online reporting tool that lets you monitor your transactions and manage your account.
- Clover POS systems: This line of POS systems gives retailers and restaurants payment terminals that are EMV and NFC compliant.
- eCommerce: the Flagship payment gateway lets you accept payments online via the Flagship shopping cart on your e-commerce website.
- Phone/Mail order: Get fast and secure payments for your phone order or mail order business using the Flagship virtual terminal.
- Wireless: Use the iPayment MobilePay Swiper to accept payments from customers on the go. The dongle plugs into the headphone jack of your iOS or Android phone and works with the Flagship MobilePay app to ensure seamless mobile payments.
- Digital loyalty program: Use Pirq to track customer buying trends and reward your most loyal customers with the best deals.
- Merchant cash advance: Flagship runs a cash advance program designed to help small businesses secure quick and easy working capital. You repay the funds using your debit and credit card receivables.
Stax All-in-One Payment Processing Solution
Stax is a powerful all-in-one payment processing platform that lets you accept every type of payment across different devices, and manage all those transactions on a single dashboard.
The cloud-based platform enables in-person payments using traditional payment terminals, payments-on-the-go using Bluetooth enabled readers, over-the-phone payment with Keyed payments, and contactless payments using Text2Pay.Learn More
The range of features of the Stax platform goes way beyond payment processing, it further supports data & analytics, financial reporting, and a range of third-party integrations. The Stax shopping cart helps you connect your ecommerce store to the platform in just one click.
The key services, features, and tools provided by Stax are:
- Cloud-based all-in-one payment system: The all-in-one platform is a state-of-the-art hub that lets you accept payments across different devices and complete transactions in seconds.
- Support for third-party POS systems: The Stax cloud-based platform seamlessly integrates many of the leading POS systems on the market.
- Payments and analytics on-the-go: Easily accept payments anywhere using dynamic Bluetooth-enabled readers. Use the Stax mobile app to get real-time reporting and analytics on the state of your business.
- eCommerce: Easily add Stax checkout pages and online shopping carts to your e-commerce site. Stax can also be used to build a new online store using pre-designed templates.
- Analytics: Use actionable data to monitor the health of your business. Track payment trends, sales trends, refunds, and much more.
- Financial reports: access monthly statements, deposit reports for credit card payments, and more with one simple click.
- Stax API: The Stax API lets you add the platform’s payment processing functionality to websites and mobile apps with ease.
As you can see, both Stax and Flagship Merchant Services offer robust features that meet the needs of most small businesses. However, Stax wins out in the Features department, due to the more extensive range of features on offer and the additional reporting and analytics tools.
Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship Merchant Services doesn’t seem to offer many native integrations. If your business is using Flagship, you can connect it with other software by using Clover and accessing its integrations.
Some of the third-party service providers that integrate with the Clover POS system are:
- Abreeze Technology
- True Group
- Direct Source
Stax not only integrates seamlessly with the majority of POS systems on the market, it also supports over 28 third-party apps and software platforms. Stax’ support for the major third-party apps used by small businesses ensures you can easily integrate the platform with apps you already use and love.
Stax supports several third-party apps including:
- Microsoft Dynamics
- Hindsite Software
The takeaway? Stax is the superior platform when evaluating support for popular and essential third-party apps.
Flagship Merchant Services
Tech-savvy millennial and Gen Z customers are more likely to pay using contactless payment options like digital wallets and mobile apps. Research by Insider Intelligence projects that mobile in-store payments will reach $263 billion by 2024.
Flagship’s mobile solutions facilitate mobile in-store payments with ease. The company will set you up with the iPayment Mobile Pay app and an EMV-compliant card reader. Both the app and card reader are available for free but you need to pay a monthly fee for the service.
The iPayment app also offers analytics reporting and other features, although it is not as robust as the apps of other popular merchant providers.
The Stax Pay mobile app lets you accept keyed and swiped payments without any hassle. Turn your mobile device into a point of sale platform using the Stax mobile app. The app will let you process payments, set up invoices, and sync the data in real-time directly from your iOS or Android device.
The Mobile app lets you connect your device to any Bluetooth mobile reader for accepting tap-to-pay digital wallet options like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, and others.
You can also monitor the health of your business using the mobile app. You will get real-time data on customer account information across all your store locations, track inventory levels from anywhere, and reconcile deposits against your payment list directly from your mobile device.
Both merchant providers offer apps to facilitate your payment processing needs. As such, if you’re looking for a processor that lets you accept and manage payments on the go, you can’t go wrong with either solution.
Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship Merchant Services offers credit card processing services to businesses on a month-to-month basis, without charging any cancellation fees. You get a monthly contract for their services and the company lets you exit your account at any time without paying any termination fees.
This is different from the standard merchant service contracts used by other credit card processing companies. These contracts usually lock you in for a minimum of three years and have termination fees that would cost you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars if you choose to exit before the term expires.
Flagship doesn’t post fees and rates on its websites and you need to call up the company and work with a sales rep to determine the best rate structure for your business.
The sales rep will either offer an interchange-plus pricing model or a tiered pricing model.
Stax uses a monthly subscription-based model. The flat monthly fee comes with zero markups, and there are no batch fees, cancellation fees, PCI compliance fees, and statement fees.
The Stax subscriptions plans include:
- Growth: $99/month
- Pro: $159/month
- Ultimate: $199/month
The structure of Stax’ payment options makes it ideal for businesses that pull in a decent volume of money each year. However, if you only process credit cards once in a while or you are yet to reach that threshold, Flagship’s subscription may be more attractive.
Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship provides the following customer support resources to customers:
- Online self-help center: It provides users with FAQs, youtube videos, guides, and troubleshooting tips
- 24/7 customer support
- Social media presence
A unique aspect of Flagship’s customer support ecosystem is that it attaches each business to the sales rep that negotiated the rates and payments agreement. This ensures you are working with company staff that is intimately familiar with the needs of your business.
Stax offers the following customer support resources:
- Stax Online Knowledge Base
- 24/7 phone and email support
- Live chat support
The verdict: Both companies offer similarly robust customer support services. However, Flagship’s personalized customer service model comes with a significant drawback. You are likely to get responsive, excellent support during business hours, but, there may be a drop in the quality of service outside business hours due to the unavailability of the sales rep assigned to your business.
Which Is the Best Merchant Service?
Both platforms offer great features and services that ensure either solution is an excellent option for most businesses.
The tailored rates offered by Flagship make it the ideal solution for businesses that process a low volume of sales monthly and are interested in flexible terms that can be adapted as the business grows.
However, the range of features and services offered by Stax makes it a far superior payment processing platform. Plus, Stax’ flat subscription pricing model gives businesses access to lower transaction costs.
Interested in learning more about Stax Payments?
Get in touch to learn more about our powerful range of features and integrations. We’re happy to discuss your needs and determine if Stax is a good fit for your business.