BlueDog headquarters are located in Vero Beach, Florida. BlueDog is a registered independent sales organization for the Wells Fargo Bank. The provider has clients from various business sectors, including gaming, cannabis, healthcare, electronics and firearms. The merchant service provider has a reasonable catalog of services that they offer to merchants operating at different risk levels in the industry. BlueDog provides services and products like payment processing, POS software, sales hardware and mobile payment solutions.
The primary operation of BlueDog is to resell payment processing solutions from Clover, First Data and First American Payment Systems. They provide the hardware on leases or up-front payment, based on the customer’s demands. For payment processing, BlueDog uses an interchange-plus pricing model. The rates for pricing vary on the risk level of the merchant’s business and the type of payment under process. The company works with a three-year contract with an early termination fee under this price structure. While the company does not advertise any misleading quotes on their services, there are still some complaints about their sales tactics.
Services Offered by BlueDog
BlueDog offers all the essential services that businesses need to survive in the modern financial market. From receiving electronic checks to accepting EBT cards, BlueDog opens merchants to most payment methods in the market. BlueDog processes payments for almost all sorts of businesses in the market. The majority of BlueDog’s clients are from new car dealerships, firearm dealers and companies that offer home improvement. These businesses are easily classified as moderate risk if not high-risk businesses. The services that BlueDog offers are described below;
Credit and Debit Card Processing
Your business can receive payments through all major credit card organizations and other cashless methods like Apple Pay. One thing worth noting about BlueDog is next day processing of all transactions. While most payment processors take two or three days to process your payments, BlueDog does it much quicker. The provider funds your transactions the next day or even the same day if you manage to process them before their cut-off time.
BlueDog allows you to take credit and debit cards in-person, over the phone, through mobile payment services or even over online e-commerce environments. BlueDog offers its clients a chargeback management service as well. This allows the merchants to view details of chargebacks in real-time so merchants can handle and respond appropriately to them.
Sales of Firearms
Many merchant service providers specifically avoid getting into dealing with firearms. But BlueDog openly accepts merchants that deal in firearms as well. BlueDog enables payment for firearms through almost all the portals they use for regular transactions, including online payments.
It does not restrict firearm retailers to have a certain length of time dealing with firearms like most payment service providers. Even if someone is new in retailing weapons, they can register with BlueDog as easily as someone with several years of experience.
Working Capital for Merchants
If businesses are ever falling short of capital or have expected payments that have not yet been processed, they can receive a cash advance from BlueDog. The company offers a cash advance to cater to any business expense. You need to ensure that you do not confuse these cash advances with loans. Merchant cash advances often come at higher costs compared to loans.
They, however, do have some pre-requisites that businesses have to meet before they qualify for a cash advance. Merchants need to be in business for at least one year and have a minimum of $5000 revenue per month in credit card-based transactions. Also, the merchant needs to ensure a credit card score of 600. If your business meets these requirements, you can receive loans anywhere between $5000 and $250,000.
Equipment Offered by BlueDog
BlueDog has its own sales hardware too. They offer point-of-sale systems and compatibility with Clover and Poynt hardware. By using BlueDog’s own tablet-based POS terminal, you get features such as inventory management, gift card acceptance and an employee time clock on top of basic payment processing.
BlueDog endorses Clover and Poynt for their top-of-the-line customization and applications. If you need a more basic POS system, then BlueDog recommends Dejavoo systems. For mobile transactions, you can get headphone jack card readers by SwipeSimple. BlueDog claims that they are a field-tested and affordable option for transactions on the go.
Problems with BlueDog
BlueDog is a reasonably successful payment processor. Like most of its rivals, it also has some factors you should consider before choosing it as your processor.
To register with BlueDog, you have to sign a 3-year long contract with the provider. BlueDog calls it a good-faith processing agreement that the merchant can cancel if the provider fails to provide the promised services; the cases rarely favor the merchant. BlueDog only disclosed some terms in the fine print of their contract, which can be challenging for merchants to keep track of. Furthermore, they impose hefty cancellation fees of up to $450 for early termination.
Clients complain greatly about random fund holds that take several days to resolve. Accounts that have never had trouble with suspicious transactions suffer from this too. One review even claims that when you provide all they ask to authenticate the transaction, their system will make you wait for even more time before receiving your payment due to inefficiencies.
In one case, a merchant claims that they started coercing the merchant to send the goods before releasing the funds. The merchant claims they had to wait for months before paying for the product was received.
Most of the features that BlueDog offers are standard in many of the most reputed merchant service providers in the market. Other than extra support for high-risk businesses, there is nothing that BlueDog is offering that is out of the ordinary. But in cases of high-risk merchants, fund holds can become a real issue. On top of that, a lengthy contract term means merchants are trapped with using their services regardless of the problems they face. After all this, some merchants still consider BlueDog a viable option. It is always better to compare your merchant service provider with other options, especially when looking forward to a 3-year contract.