ClearGate, headquartered in Reno, Nevada, is a merchant account provider, founded initially as ClearChoice Merchant Services in 2005 and later rebranded to ClearGate in 2014. It provides debit and credit card processing, value-added services, and payment solutions, including EMV card readers, full-time customer support, and payment gateways to fit most business needs. Let us do a complete ClearGate review to understand the company and its standing in the market.
The company aims to exceed merchants’ expectations by providing consistent, efficient, and dependable solutions to all business types. It claims to make PCI compliance easier for its merchants and offers complete access to track every part of the transaction in real-time with software integration and virtual terminals. ClearGate has enhanced security features to prevent fraud and minimize any risk factors a business could be exposed to. The ClearGate review below will dive deep into its features to help you decide whether or not they are worth doing business with.
ClearGate offers industry-leading services and features to meet all business needs. It arranges value-added services, dunning management, and reliable customer support to maintain a pleasant relationship with its merchants. The provider’s top priority is the privacy of its customer’s data, and it prides itself on bringing forth high security to ensure client confidentiality.
The provider serves most businesses, including B2B, freelance, non-profits, e-commerce, retail, wholesale, and small-scale businesses. It caters to industries like automotive, healthcare, moving companies, restaurants, telemedicine, thrift stores, gas stations, contractors, and the beauty industry. Here is a review of the products and services the company claims to provide.
ClearGate’s business management and mobile payment app, PayUp, is available on the App Store and Google Play and is compatible with iOS and Android. This app allows consumers to create and send invoices on the go. Merchants can accept mobile payments, notify their employees of new job assignments, and schedule and track those jobs in the calendar.
PayUp offers useful features like sending estimate quotes to customers via emails and a summary dashboard to view all items on a home screen. With this feature, merchants can decide what needs to be done immediately. Merchants can also edit and resend the estimates and view the approved or rejected proposals.
The company provides traditional and business-specific payment terminals that allow merchants to access recurring billing, track repayments, and view customer profiles and analytics. Merchants can boost their workflow with multiple transactional capabilities and access the ClearGate terminals anywhere on a browser. Users can accept credit card, eCheck, and ACH payments, schedule payment and repayment plans, and check past payments and refund cards. ClearGate virtual terminals allow API access and configure fraud controls.
The company claims to make PCI DSS compliance easier and hassle-free for its merchants and provides tools and features to help with the process. Consumers are provided with a self-assessment questionnaire that determines the PCI compliance required for their business. ClearGate is level 1 PCI compliant and supports Visa and MasterCard. The company ensures the safety of the cardholder’s data and secures their information throughout the process.
The provider has a global payment gateway with various features to support online payments. ClearGate gateway offers customized checkout, payment acceptance without restrictions, and personalized invoices to its merchants. Consumers can access worldwide online markets, and efficient advisors assist them in making well-planned trading strategies to expand their online business and avoid scams.
ClearGate has reliable security methods to secure credit card data and minimize the risk of consumer vulnerability to fraud. It uses distinct solutions like tokenization and encryption that ensure safer payment processing. A credit card holder’s data is replaced by encrypted keys or entirely removed and exchanged for randomly generated tokens. This process protects sensitive information, makes it almost impossible for fraudsters to access card details, and helps prevent data breaches.
Merchants can keep track of their current transactions, view past transactions and access their product sales in real-time. ClearGate provides custom reports and allows consumers to check their business progress and see how a product is doing in the market. This way, merchants can secure consistent growth in their merchandise and know beforehand if they need to make any changes in their system.
ClearGate provides some value-added services to its merchants and helps make their business more reliable and customer oriented. Merchants can give their customers gift cards, promotional cards, stored-valued cards, and loyalty programs to maximize customer retention. Such programs make consumers feel more inclined to the company, gauging more customers and increasing sales.
EMV is a chip-enabled technology that prevents data breaches and improves authenticity. Instead of swiping their credit cards, consumers can simply insert the chip end of their card in an EMV card reader and make transactions. The company provides up-to-date EMV card readers, and merchants can reduce the risk of identity theft and process mobile and contactless payments that are encrypted and tokenized.
ClearGate binds its merchants in a multi-year contract, a minimum of three years, with a varying early termination fee ranging from $250 to $350. The contract has an automatic two-year renewal after the first term. The company offers flat rates, interchange plus pricing, and tiered pricing plans depending on the business type and size.
ClearGate charges 2.69% plus $0.19 for swiped card transactions and a keyed-in rate of 3.69% plus $0.19 from merchants who process up to $50,000 per month. Businesses processing more than $50,000 monthly are charged 2.29% plus $0.19 for swiped transactions and 3.29% plus $0.19 for keyed-in transactions.
ClearGate charges $19.95 for the PCI compliance fee and has an expensive equipment lease fee with a non-cancellable lease term of 48 months. The company also charges gateway, batch, and technical support fees, but these charges are not disclosed on its official website.
The company provides a phone number and an email for merchants to reach out to. Moreover, it offers live chat support and in-person training programs. ClearGate’s offshore phone support is available 24/7, but its domestic phone line is only open during business hours.
The company’s total online review count is barely above 10. Merchants have not given detailed feedback, and there are no video testimonies for ClearGate to rely on. Most negative reviews against the provider indicate hidden charges and undisclosed contract terms. Merchants have also complained about ClearGate’s contract cancellation policy and early termination fee.
ClearGate was accredited with Better Bureau Business in 2006. It has an A+ rating, and there aren’t any complaints submitted against the provider on its BBB profile. The company’s zero complaint rate deserves an A+ rating. However, merchants cannot solely rely on this rating as the reviews posted on the BBB platform are unreliable.
ClearGate offers an efficient payment gateway and a reliable platform with a wide range of solutions for merchants to accept in-person and online payments. The provider brings SAAS, cloud, and web-based software support and offers training programs and webinars to maximize proficiency. There are no notable lawsuits against the company, and it is a reasonably decent service provider. However, ClearGate has some issues that should be considered before choosing a payment processor.
Merchants expect complete disclosure of the terms and features provided by their payment processor. ClearGate has failed to disclose all the necessary information on its website and does not display any detail about its products and services, which is a significant drawback on the provider’s end. The company is not transparent about its fees, and consumers have complained about unexpected charges. Moreover, there is no information regarding the setup time, so it can be prolonged and take longer than the ideal period.
The contract length and terms of ClearGate have numerous online complaints. Merchants have complained that contract dissolution with the provider becomes a never-ending problem and are charged an unexpectedly high termination fee upon cancellation. Reviews indicate that ClearGate does not provide an easy way out and tries to bind the merchants to unwillingly use its services.
ClearGate uses resellers and independent sales representatives for marketing and promoting its services and has received negative feedback in that area. Merchants have complained that the sales agents are dishonest and do not provide appropriate guidance. As a result, users are left on their own to figure out the provider’s services and contract conditions. Moreover, the hidden charges are usually the result of an agent’s carelessness as they failed to disclose it beforehand.
ClearGate is an efficient merchant service provider offering distinct features and developer integrations to make payment processing easier for its clients. Overall it has a decent list of products and services catering to most business types. However, its contract terms do not meet industry standards, and its rates are exorbitant compared to its competitors.
In our ClearGate review, we found that the provider is not transparent about product details, contract terms, or pricing. Furthermore, its sales agents are not trustworthy, making ClearGate unreliable for businesses looking for a dependable service provider. Merchants are advised to research all the available options before signing a contract with the company.