Walmart owns a series of membership-only retail warehouses called Sam’s Club, and Sam’s Club Merchant Services was part of that chain until recently when Clover acquired the provider, calling them Sam’s Club Point of Sale by Clover. This Sam’s Club Merchant Services review covers everything about the provider, from initiation to drawbacks.
Sam’s Club Merchant Services has been in the payment processing industry since the early 2000s and has grown to serve almost 50,000 clients in the US. Their biggest rival is Costco Merchant Services. Sam’s Club Merchant Services borrows Walmart’s reputation for low prices to entice merchants to sign up for their processing services, but in reality, the processor is just a reseller for Fiserv, one of the biggest payment processors in the US.
Fiserv is known for having high prices, and it’s unlikely that merchants will get a discount when signing up with a reseller. Sam’s Club offers the same equipment, pricing, and contract terms as its backend processor – making it of no real benefit to sign up with them rather than signing up with Fiserv directly.
Sam’s Club’s Offerings
This review is intended to clarify that all products or services provided by Sam’s Club are by Fiserv, but the product lineup of Sam’s Club is much less diverse than Fiserv. However, the company offers essential processing equipment and features to its merchants.
All underwriting and processing for merchant accounts will be done through Fiserv. Although there was not much support for eCommerce businesses post-Covid, the company has expanded it’s offerings to better cater to online businesses. The provider offers Clover Online Store to eCommerce merchants for website integration, which allows merchants access to Clover applications and processing through the eCommerce site. However, according to reviews on the internet, it has minimal functionality compared to a proper payment gateway.
Sam’s Club utilizes TransArmor® services to protect its merchants accounts; merchant information is tokenized and encrypted, to securely protect customer payment information and cardholder data. Merchants can also access analytics and reporting in real-time using the Clover dashboard using an internet-connected computer or smart device.
Sam’s Club indirectly offers product’s from Fiserv’s lineup of equipment, but their options are much less extensive than Fiserv’s own. Merchants can purchase equipment at cost or pay through a terminal lease. Equipment pricing is not disclosed on their website. Below are some of their product offerings:
- Countertop Terminals: Sam’s Club offers the FD150, Fiserv’s updated version of the FD130. It is a wireless and EMV compliant terminal with a built-in touchscreen. The FD150 can also accept payments through NFC-based mobile wallet applications like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- POS Systems: In point-of-sale systems, Sam’s Club Merchant Services offers the Clover line of products – Clover Flex, Clover Mini, Clover Station and the Clover Station Pro. Fiserv and Sam’s Club are not compatible with third-party POS systems, so as long as you are using this POS, your only processing option will be Fiserv.
- Mobile Terminals: Clover Go is the mobile processing terminal advertised by Sam’s Club. Merchants need to install the Clover Go application and get the Clover Go card reader as part of the system. The Clover Go card reader can transact through most card technologies such as EMV, magstripe and NFC-based mobile wallets. Merchants can connect the card reader to their phones using Bluetooth.
As this review is specific to Sam’s Club Merchant Services, we won’t cover Clover POS systems in detail. If you are looking for detailed information on hardware, we recommend you check out a Clover review after this.
Downsides of Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club Merchant Services does not have its own BBB profile, so it’s tricky finding complaints and problems registered directly against the provider. However, the provider that Sam’s Club relies on for processing, Fiserv, has more than 1000 complaints registered against it. The Clover/Fiserv/Sam’s Club confusion has jeopardized official feedback about the provider on various websites. However, there are countless complaints against the provider in the comment sections on several review sites. The common grievances of customers against the provider are:
Exorbitant and Hidden Fees
This is usually the most common complaint against traditional payment processors like Fiserv and Sam’s Club, and traditional providers that intentionally avoid disclosing fees on their websites are to blame. Some processors claim no hidden fees to attract merchants with no information on their websites, only to hide fees in the contract’s fine print. Once signed, the merchants cannot challenge it, so it is best to thoroughly go over any agreement before signing on the dotted line.
Account Holds and Terminations
One of the most common complaints against Sam’s Club is unexplained fund holds and account terminations, something that Fiserv has a terrible reputation for in the payment industry as well. It is essential to mention this as merchants can expect to face this problem when signing up.
Sub-Par Customer Service
As mentioned earlier in the review, Fiserv handles most account-related operations, but customer services is dealt with on the end of Sam’s Club. Merchants have complained of unprofessional and rude correspondence from customer care representatives, and lack of knowledge about the services and offerings of the provider. Some clients had issues even contacting a representative to begin with.
This in-depth Sam’s Club Merchant Services review has covered all you need to know about the provider, mainly that since they are a reseller of Fiserv there is no benefit to signing up with Sam’s Club instead of directly with Fiserv.
Sam’s Club only provides the customer care aspect of merchant services, and still, based on customer feedback, fails. Considering there are more than a thousand complaints surrounding Fiserv’s processing services, merchants are advised against using Sam’s Club as their provider.