Headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, Redwood Merchant Services is a U.S.-based payment service provider established in 1991 to offer flexible bank card services to local businesses. Reselling the services of Fiserv, the company expanded after its acquisition by Westamerica Bank in 2005. It aims to optimize a business’s mobile and online payment processing and upgrade its operating environment to ensure secure transactions. Here is a Redwood Merchant Services review covering the pros and cons of choosing it as your service provider.
Redwood Merchant Services is suitable for small to medium-sized companies. It caters to multiple industries, including automotive, retail, restaurants, professional services, e-commerce, contractors, beauty, thrift stores, telemedicine, and healthcare. The company is equipped to accommodate most B2B, MOTO, mobile, online, and mom & pop businesses.
With its affiliation with Westamerica Bank, the provider is equipped to offer banking and personal credit card services. Users can earn significant savings on interest and introductory rates using the Westamerica Visa debit or credit cards. After its acquisition, Redwood’s official website was dissolved. It is nearly impossible for new clients to gather information regarding the merchant account provider.
Benefits and Services
Redwood provides a variety of POS systems, virtual terminals, and mobile payment solutions. It enables merchants to track inventory, manage employees, and protect customers’ data, all within one system. Businesses can benefit from gift card programs, merchant cash advances, and dunning management services. Subscription billing, mobile payment apps, and ACH, EMV, and NFC payment processing are a few other facilities offered to Redwood’s clients;
Taking regular payments can be tricky regardless of your company’s success. A business with a large clientele is bound to face some customers habitually delaying payments. Redwood Merchant Services purveys recurring billing options to help merchants get their money on time without causing inconvenience for their customers. It automatically deducts the amount from the client’s account after set intervals. This way, a business can enjoy consistent revenue.
Another beneficial facility to avoid losing time on manually requesting payments is the company’s dunning management solutions. According to Redwood Merchant Services reviews, the company purveys several features to speed up the process in case of a canceled or declined payment. Businesses can notify the customer via text, email, or in-app notification and evade future inconvenience. After the provider fast-tracks the process, merchants can recover lost revenue and eliminate involuntary churn.
ACH Check Processing
When reviewed, Redwood accommodates ACH processing as an alternative to credit or debit card processing and paper checks. This payment type is fast, more secure, and costs less. It is a game changer for businesses receiving recurring payments and looking for ways to make savings. However, merchants should remember that ACH payments are processed at set intervals.
According to Redwood Merchant Services reviews, the facilitator offers merchant cash advances to enable its clients to reach their full potential and seize their goals. Businesses can solve their financial hurdles, avail new investment opportunities, buy equipment for their company, or clear their bills. However, the eligibility criteria and limitations for these cash advances remain undisclosed.
The provider claims to prioritize the privacy and security of a client’s data and maintain a seamless and well-grounded payment processing system. It has introduced data encryption to ensure all online transactions are fraud-proof. Encryption and tokenization are popular measures sought against data breaches by most reasonable service providers. Moreover, the parent company has shared helpful security tips on the official website that could be helpful for all businesses.
Mobile Payment Processing
Primarily focusing on online and mobile payment processing, the provider has initiated tech-savvy mobile payment solutions compatible with most devices. This payment method is particularly beneficial for non-traditional businesses operating outside a brick-and-mortar outlet. People running food stalls, pop-up shops, and outdoor venues can take payments anywhere virtually on their internet-enabled smartphone or tablet.
Online Payment Solutions
According to Redwood Merchant Services reviews, the company offers all the necessary features and services for successful online transactions. Its payment solutions can be integrated with multiple third-party shopping carts and software to help merchants provide a seamless checkout experience to their customers.
Rates and Contract
The payment processor offers no insight into its contract intricacies, and there are very few Redwood Merchant Services reviews to deduce knowledge for new merchants. The company has received some negative feedback against its contract terms and billing policies. Moreover, its rates are not competitive with the cheapest service providers. Here is a brief overview of its rates and agreement;
RMS binds its clients to a two-year agreement. Merchants choosing to terminate the contract before this duration pay a standard $295 ETF. It is unclear if clients are charged PCI compliance and monthly minimum fee.
The provider offers a tiered pricing plan, but most of its processing fees are unrevealed. A standard RMS agreement costs a swiped and keyed-in rate of 1.00% to 4.99%. However, this is an average rate. Pricing can be higher depending on the business type and size.
The payment facilitator has a dedicated email address for customers to address their queries. There is a toll-free helpline for customer complaints and a separate phone number for sales-related issues. Merchants can also reach out to Fiserv’s customer service.
RMS depends on independently commissioned sales agents and ISOs to promote its brand and services. It is unclear if it relies on telemarketing or other strategic tactics for marketing. The company fails to offer all the necessary information. Like the notorious reputation of businesses relying on independent sales agents, some complaints are directed toward RMS sales practices.
Redwood Merchant Services Reviews and Complaints
The company has managed to keep a low complaint volume. There are less than ten formal complaints cited on well-reputed consumer protection websites. Some of the reviewers have accused RMS of ripping off its clients. Other complaints revolve around the constant fun holds and problematic account cancelation terms. Even though most of these complaints are three years old, here are a few drawbacks that merchants should be aware of;
RMS fails to be transparent to its customers and conceals most of its services, contract, and pricing details. The official website is reportedly closed or inaccessible in many regions. New merchants have no way of determining its compatibility with their company. The provider’s equipment lease terms, monthly/annual charges, compliance fee, and payment gateway rates are unrevealed. Not knowing much about your payment facilitator can lead to several issues for you and cause inconvenience for your customers.
Unwarned Fund Holds
Several Redwood Merchant Services reviews revolve around the company’s fund-withholding policies and lack of consolation for its clients. RMS occasionally signs a high-risk business and justifies the inconvenience as a measure to prevent fraud or control chargeback risks. The provider’s consistent fund holds result in unnecessary delays in account cancelations.
As an average service provider, RMS does not offer competitive rates and is unaffordable for most small-scale companies. Although its processing charges are undisclosed, reviews suggest that RMS merchant accounts are more expensive than the cheapest facilitators.
Mediocre Consumer Support
A company in business for as long as Redwood is assumed to offer exceptional customer service for its large clientele. Contrary to expectations, the provider’s consumer support options are below average and inadequate to serve a maximum number of customers. Moreover, the company has listed TSYS and Fiserv’s support numbers for some merchant accounts. This is confusing and sometimes inconvenient for clients to understand where to direct their queries.
There are very few Redwood Merchant Services reviews posted online by former employees. The limited complaints revolve around the toxic work environment and immature management. However, the feedback is so brief that it is impossible to gauge if the complaints have stemmed from isolated incidents or if this is how the company is reputed among employees.
Redwood is not BBB accredited but is rated A+ on the review platform. Better Business Bureau displays zero formal and one informal complaint against the provider. Moreover, the parent company has received five negative reviews on the website.
It should be noted that BBB’s rating criteria are flawed. It cannot always be trusted when choosing a payment facilitator. The review website rates companies based on their habit of responding to complaints and promising improvement. It is not concerned with the number of complaints and the provider’s commitment to resolve the issues.
Redwood is an excellent service provider if you consider the lack of complaints. However, based on this Redwood Merchant Services review, it is an average company with problematic account cancelation policies and mediocre consumer support. The rates are uncompetitive, and information transparency is non-existent. The services it offers are unimpressive and lack excellence.
High-scale companies are advised to rely on a service provider capable of handling the expected risk factor. Small businesses are encouraged to find a more affordable payment facilitator that does not take half their savings.