Gravity Payments was founded back in 2004 in Seattle. There has been interesting news from the company in the past few years, first when they announced a 70k/year minimum salary for their employees and secondly when employees voluntarily took pay cuts to help the company in the pandemic. While these are very inspiring notions on their own, how does this translate to Gravity’s relationships with their customers?
Gravity has a minimal number of clients compared to the bigger names in the market. There is a total of 13000 customers that use Gravity services for their businesses. Being a small company brings its own set of benefits to businesses. One, for example, is better-focused customer service. Companies that have a small clientele base can focus more on the needs of individual customers than ones that have numerous customers.
Aside from payment processing, Gravity also offers in-depth reporting and analytics based on the business’s operations. Gravity is known to be less than transparent in terms of its pricing structure. While they do not have records of misleading statements and hidden fees, opaque pricing structure does mean that they may not offer competitive prices in the market.
Services Offered by Gravity
Gravity offers most of the standard services and features you expect with a satisfactory, modern-day merchant service provider. Besides helping businesses with their financial procedures, they also take an effective role in analytics and reporting.
If your business operates with a store that has the more traditional, one-on-one approach, then you would need a point-of-sale terminal and other equipment necessary to accept cards and cash in your business. Gravity offers the essential equipment and terminals that you need to suit your business at an additional cost. But if you already have a point-of-sale system and card reading equipment, it may be able to work with Gravity as well.
You can ask Gravity Payments whether your equipment can be reprogrammed to run with Gravity. Gravity is compatible with several brands of payment processing terminals.
Mobile processing comes in handy in a lot of circumstances. If you usually take payments in a non-traditional manner, then Gravity offers a free application that you can use to receive payments on the go. You can set up your phone or tablet using Gravity hardware to accept payments through magstripe or EMV.
Businesses sometimes need loans, and if you are a Gravity customer, you are in luck as Gravity offers money for business expenses. Based on the specific goals and needs of the business, the repayment of the loan is flexible. You can use the money to help your business with any expense ranging from marketing to equipment purchase. They don’t have a monthly minimum that you have to meet either.
Reporting and Analytics
Gravity Payments offers insight into your business that can help you learn about key problem areas about your business and help you deal with them. Gravity Analytics includes sales reports, social media tracking, marketing, and customer tracking. You can view these reports on an online portal that you can access through any device with internet connectivity. You can even use your smartphone or tablet to access the information anywhere you want to.
Problems that Businesses Face with Gravity
Gravity is undoubtedly one of the most desirable merchant service providers in the market. But that doesn’t mean that it is free from errors. Being a small-scale merchant service provider, Gravity must ensure its sustenance and, as a result, gives its potential customers reason to rethink it as an option. Below are some of the most common reservations people have with Gravity.
Discrimination in Accounts
Based on one review by a customer, Gravity judges the risk level based on their perception instead of facts and concrete unwriting information. The business owner claimed that a 16-year-old business with $500,000 in revenue in the past few years had been assessed as a high risk over a dispute of only $200.
Fund and Account Holds
Gravity is quick to place account holds on accounts that experience an immediate jump in revenue or operate in high-risk sectors. If they accept businesses that operate as high-risk, then placing random bans on them is nothing less than frustrating for the business owner. While many Gravity customers are satisfied with the service, it is best if businesses in the high-risk sector avoid using Gravity Payments.
Excessively High Pricing
This is by far the most prominent issue people have with Gravity. A sample receipt showed that they do not have a flat rate for their services. Instead, they charge their customers a plethora of different fees under PCI compliance, early termination fees, a minimum monthly fee of $35 and a further 4% of the transaction by Gravity.
Besides store-front and payment processing fees, they also advertise their virtual terminal and payment gateway. But Gravity refuses to disclose the prices for either. Using these features will lead to additional fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates.
Unlike many merchant service providers today, Gravity has a three-year contract with their customers to use their services. Any merchant service provider with up-to-par services should not need to trap their customers in a three-year-long contract. If clients choose to end the contract prematurely, a fee of $495 is to be paid by the customer in the name of early cancellation fees.
Is Gravity Really Worth It?
Gravity indeed offers some promising services like reporting and a comprehensive customer service system. Being a smaller merchant service provider compared to many names in the market, you will not find many reviews or complaints on the internet.
But keeping a lack of transparency, a three-year contract with an early termination fee, and higher than average costs are some serious factors that businesses need to consider before getting into a long-term business relationship with the provider. Gravity is not recommended for high-risk businesses. Many merchants service providers do not rely on a contract and have much lesser processing fees than Gravity in the market. If you want to avoid that frustration, it is best to look for other options!