Citi Merchant Services is a payment processor that works in coordination with Fiserv, also known as First Data. The company is also known to offer online, in-store, and mobile-based payment processing services for a comprehensive range of payment varieties -featuring the relatively new contactless payments as well. Citi Merchant Services processes more than 20 million transactions annually for businesses of almost all industries and sizes. Our expert team analyzed various aspects of the company to create this Citi Merchant Services review.
Citi Merchant Services is regarded as the merchant account provider through the division of Citigroup. The company was introduced way back in 1812 as the name of Citi Bank of New York. The company came up with the name Citigroup when it managed a successful merging worth $140 billion in 1998 with Travelers Group. Currently, Citi Merchant Services serves to be the third-largest holding banking institution in the United States of America. At the same time, Citi Merchant Services also boasts the presence of the largest network of financial services.
Citi Merchant Services might not directly service the respective merchant accounts as it is a reseller of Fiserv or First Data.
Citi Merchant Services Review Based on Payment Processing Services
Citi Merchant Services offers access to payment processing services online, in-store, or with the help of a mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone. With any existing option, Citi Merchant Services enables you to accept all major credit as well as debit cards, gift cards, and even checks.
As far as cards are concerned, you can think of taking up Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express, JCB cards, Diner’s Club, and even fleet cards. There is also the provision of accepting signature-based and PIN-based debit cards. The gift card program of Citi Merchant Services through Fiserv or First Data features real-time payment processing to deliver the assurance of accurate account balances during payment. Citi Merchant Services comes forth with Telechecks for processing checks and delivering the ability to convert paper-based checks into electronic forms of transactions for the overall convenience and security of businesses and customers. Citi also brings forth a dedicated loyalty program that can be customized towards encouraging repeat business.
- Online Processing: As more businesses are not looking to accept payments online through a dedicated business website, Citi Merchant Services offers access to Global Gateway. With the help of this feature, you can leverage the benefit of personalized hosted payment-centric pages. Online webpages for hosted payments tend to be PCI-compliant while delivering the ease of payment acceptance for the end customers.
If you wish to make use of the APIs, the feature of Global Gateway will allow you to develop a seamless checkout experience by programming in the desired programming language. Citi Merchant Services’ Global Gateway feature delivers a real-time payment manager along with a secure online interface to manage core business functions -including report creation, batch processing, and so more.
- In-store Processing: Citi Merchant Services provides access to in-store processing services for the acceptance of payments in a conventional brick-and-mortar setting -including restaurants and retail stores. Citi Merchant Services also boasts approvals for transactions within two seconds. This ensures shorter waiting times for the end customers. transactions are batched early enough in the day and remain eligible for next-day funding.
- Mobile-based Processing: Citi Merchant Services gives access to mobile-based processing when you are expected to accept payments instantly. This process is considered as an ideal option for a wide range of businesses -including delivery businesses, landscapers, merchants at tradeshows, and so more. There are three types of mobile-based processing options available for business:
- First Data Mobile Pay: This is a web-based solution. It is also available as a downloadable app that can be utilized anywhere with the help of wireless coverage. It is possible to swipe cards with a dedicated Mobile Pay card reader. Otherwise, information can be entered manually.
Both the options feature real-time processing while including instant e-receipts. The feature of First Data Mobile Pay tends to be compatible with a wide range of devices -like Android, iOS, and so more. The feature also includes the functionality of a secure login and industry-specific Secure Socket Layer encryption.
- Pogo: In case of Citi Merchant Services, processing payments through Pogo serves to be a highly convenient as well as safe method with the help of encryption technology during swiping. The Pogo card reader serves to be a durable solution -perfect for businesses featuring tough work environments. With Pogo, there is also the feature of online account management towards easily analyzing transactions.
- VeriFone PAYWare Mobile: Tablets or smartphones can be used in the form of payment processing devices with the help of VeriFone PAYWare Mobile feature. It is possible to accept almost any type of payment -including both conventional debit and credit cards as well as contactless cards. A PIN pad and a dedicated encrypted card reader also help in delivering maximum convenience and security.
- Loyalty Program: The loyalty program by Citi Merchant Services is known as Perka. It functions with mobile phones. As such, it enables customers to consider receiving rewards for the respective purchases. For instance, it is possible to customize the reward program while selecting the type of reward, loyalty levels, and so more. It is also possible to choose between a points-based system and a punch-based system when encouraging repeated sales and constant flow of customer visits.
Citi Merchant Services Review Based on Equipment Offered
Citi Merchant Services also offers access to a huge range of devices and equipment. Some of these are PIN pads, a combination of card readers and PIN pads, and so more. All these equipment options are available in the form of First Data or Fiserv models.
Citi Merchant Services also offers access to dedicated POS or Point-of-sale solutions -like the Clover Station, the First Data Restaurant Solution, and First Data Retail Solution.
- Retail Solution by First Data: The system for retail businesses is designed to meet the varying needs of retail stores. As such, it enables you to track sales, process payments, manage the overall inventory, and so more. The solution is available with retail hardware, a cash drawer, and a touchscreen monitor.
- Restaurant Solution by First Data: This system is designed to look into specific needs of restaurants towards keeping business run effectively. The solution is available as a touchscreen LCD featuring magnetic stripe card reader, a kitchen printer, a receipt printer, and software. There is also the provision of a dedicated router and a cash drawer.
Citi Merchant Services Review Based on Complaints
While doing Citi Merchant Services review we went through through online to consumer forums. We came across some negative reviews about Citi Merchant Services. One of the complaints has accused the company to be a rip-off. It is surprisingly a lower complaint rate for the overall size and scale of Citi Bank. However, some of the complaints reported are against Fiserv rather than Citi Merchant Services.
Some of the common types of complaints registered against the company are hefty early termination fees, poor customer services, hidden fees, non-cancelable agreements, long-term contracts, and so more.
Citi Merchant Services Review Based on Pricing
Due to the close connection of the company with Fiserv or First Data, the terms of the standard contract of Citi Merchant Services will be similar to the ones available in the standard contract of First Data.
Merchants who have more than $50,000 every month will be receiving a swiped rate of 2.69 percent along with $0.19. There is also the presence of a keyed-in rate of 3.69 percent along with $0.19. For merchants, whose monthly amounts exceed $50,000, there will have the swiped rate of 2.29 percent and $0.19 along with a keyed-in rate of 3.29 percent and $0.19.
Another major aspect of the standard contracts of Citi Merchant Services is the presence of non-cancelable, long-term equipment leases with the help of First Data Global Selling. Fiserv or First Data holds the capability to charge the early termination fee including $495. The fees for PCI compliance can reach around $179 annually along with variable monthly minimums.
Additionally, there is some evidence that Citi Merchant Services will go ahead with enforcing a fee of Liquidated Damage on its equipment leases and services with the help of First Data Global Leasing.
Citi Merchant Services Review Based on Payment Gateway & Virtual Terminal Pricing
Along with its payment processing services, Citi Merchant Services also dedicates a portion of the website to the advertisement of its payment gateway and virtual terminal services. The company makes use of Payeezy -the payment gateway by First Data for the e-commerce platform. Payeezy is available two types of plans for the merchants -the Pro Plan and the Basic Plan.
In the Basic Plan, there is no requirement of the gateway fee. However, there is the presence of the 2.90 percent along with $0.30 for every transaction. At the same time, the Pro Plan has a gateway fee of $19.95 monthly along with the transaction rate of 1.89 percent and $0.23.
Citi Merchant Services is aimed at making the gateway of Payeezy available via Clover Online. Therefore, it is not sure of how the payment gateway pricing plans will be delivered to the end customers through Clover. Anyhow in our Citi Merchant Services review, we found the company to be reliable.