Transparent Merchant Services Review

Transparent Merchant Services Review, Rates, and Complaints

Transparent Merchant Services is a payment processing solution designed to help merchants of all sizes accept payments online and in-store. The company offers various products and services designed to meet the requirements of different types of merchants. Businesses like retail stores, restaurants, and online businesses can benefit from the company’s secure payment processing system.

The company enables merchants to accept payments quickly and safely by providing secure and reliable payment processing solutions. It offers competitive fees and terms but has received negative customer reviews.

This Transparent Merchant Services Review will shed light upon the company’s services, fees, and other aspects.

Services and Features

Transparent Merchant Services offers many services and features to help businesses succeed. A brief review is as follows:

Gateway Services

Transparent Merchant Services provides a secure gateway easily integrated with the existing payment processing systems, allowing merchants to accept payments from multiple sources. The gateway is an all-in-one solution for processing credit card, debit card, and ACH transactions. It is also equipped with fraud prevention tools and customer service support.

Moreover, the gateway offers options for payment holding and escrow services, allowing customers to securely hold payments until goods or services have been delivered.

However, the review of Transparent Merchant Services highlights a few cons to their gateway services. These include limited customer service support and a lack of transparency around payment holding processes.

POS Terminals

With the help of Transparent Merchant Services, businesses can accept payments from customers in-store using point-of-sale terminals. The terminals offer a variety of features, including contactless payments, barcode scanning, digital signature capture and more. Additionally, the POS terminals are EMV-certified and PCI-compliant for optimal security and fraud protection.

However, the terminals must be purchased directly from Transparent Merchant Services and cannot be rented or leased.

Mobile Card Readers

For businesses that are on the go, Transparent Merchant Services offers mobile card readers for accepting payments on the go. The readers connect to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, allowing customers to quickly and securely pay with credit or debit cards. The readers also support contactless and chip-enabled payments, providing customers with an easy and secure way to pay.

However, the mobile card readers are not EMV certified, meaning they do not provide the same level of security as the POS terminals. Furthermore, there is no option to rent or lease the readers, and they must be purchased directly from Transparent Merchant Services.

Credit and Debit Card Processing

Transparent Merchant Services offers comprehensive credit and debit card processing solutions for businesses of all sizes.   With this service, you can accept payments quickly and securely with the latest payment technology. However, the company has faced criticism for its high processing fees associated with these services.


Regarding rates, Transparent Merchant Services can be a costly solution for merchants. They charge an upfront processing fee and a monthly fee for their services and impose additional charges for setup and maintenance. Furthermore, the following is a brief review of their rates.

Three Pricing Plans

Transparent Merchant Services offers three business pricing plans: Pro, Elite and Enterprise. Pro is the most basic plan, while Elite and Enterprise are more comprehensive. Unfortunately, these plans have exorbitantly higher rates than other merchant services providers. 

The Pro plan has a rate of $0.15 per transaction. The Elite plan has a rate of $0.09 per transaction. With these plans, businesses may incur additional fees for payment processing services. The Enterprise plan has the highest rate of all three plans, which is unsuitable for smaller businesses.

Month-Month Agreement

The company offers businesses a month-to-month agreement instead of traditional long-term contracts. While this is a great feature, the company may still charge businesses a termination or early cancellation fee if they decide to leave before the month ends.

Merchants in the businesses like retail and hospitality may find that other merchant service providers offer better offerings.

Annual PCI Compliance Fee

Transparent Merchant Services also charges businesses an annual PCI Compliance Fee of $99. This fee is charged each year the business uses the service and is not refundable. The fee covers maintaining PCI compliance but can be an added expense for businesses without the budget.

Businesses like restaurants and retail stores that process many transactions may find the fees charged by Transparent Merchant Services too high. The high fees can eat away at the profits of these businesses and make them less competitive in their market.

Lawsuits and Fines

The company has faced no lawsuits or fines to date. However, there have been customer complaints about Transparent Merchant Services’ practices in the past. For example, in 2018, a customer complained to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) that Transparent Merchant Services had failed to disclose additional fees. The customer also claimed that the company had misrepresented its services and charged excessive fees. 

The CFPB reviewed the complaint, determined that Transparent Merchant Services had violated certain regulations, and ordered the company to refund affected consumers. Hence, merchants must be extra cautious when dealing with Transparent Merchant Services, as the company has not shown a commitment to following regulations and may misrepresent its services.

Moreover, the possibility of additional fees, charges, or penalties is always a risk when dealing with this company. As such, merchants should review all contracts and documentation carefully before signing and understand all the implications of any agreement with Transparent Merchant Services.

Sales and Marketing

Transparent Merchant Services has a history of questionable sales practices and misleading advertising tactics. Merchants should take the time to review their contracts carefully and be aware of the following potential pitfalls before signing up for services.

Sales Practices

The company has been criticized for its sales practices, with some calling them aggressive and deceptive. Customers have reported being misled about the true cost of services and contracts and sold products they don’t need. The company has also been alleged of using high-pressure tactics to close deals, such as long and exhausting sales calls.

Misleading Advertising

Transparent Merchant Services has also been criticized for misleading advertising tactics. Some customers have reported not understanding the details of their contracts and being misled about potential savings and rewards. In addition, the company’s advertisements have been accused of making exaggerated claims about their services and capabilities.

Reseller Agents

The company has also been blamed for using reseller agents to market its services. These agents are usually not trained on the intricacies of their products, making customers unaware of their contracts’ true costs and details.


Merchants need to consider the following complaints before using Transparent Merchant Services.

Ambiguity in the No Contracts Term

Some customers have complained about the ambiguity of the No Contracts term that the company promotes on its website. Customers state that they were given lengthy contracts to sign, despite the company’s “no-contract” policy claims. Furthermore, they have experienced difficulty trying to cancel their accounts and services. Unfortunately, this has caused confusion and frustration for some customers.

Problem in Deposits

Customers have complained that the company fails to follow through on their promises of deposits and other payment-related services. They state they have experienced long delays in getting their funds deposited and sometimes not receiving them. This lack of proper follow-through has caused customers considerable inconvenience.

Glitches in Submitting Online Application

Customers have experienced problems while trying to submit their applications online. They report that the process is lengthy and cumbersome, as they often need to provide additional documents or information to complete the process. It has caused frustration and delays for some customers when applying for services with Transparent Merchant Services.

Upon further review, the company is not meeting its claims of providing easy and convenient services.

Transaction Fees

Some customers have also complained that they were charged higher than expected transaction fees. They state that these fees are not always clearly communicated or explained to them, leaving them with unpleasant surprises when they receive their bills. This lack of transparency has caused some customers to experience financial losses due to hidden fees.

Occasional Difficulty in Receiving Payments

Customers have encountered difficulty in receiving payments from Transparent Merchant Services. In some cases, customers have reported not receiving their payments, despite the company’s claims of timely and reliable payment services. It has caused considerable frustration for customers and resulted in financial losses.

Not Suitable for Businesses with Low Transaction Volume

Another complaint that businesses have is that the company does not offer services for businesses with low transaction volumes. It has been a major nuisance for businesses that have just started and need reliable payment services.

For example, businesses that are just starting and have low transaction volumes may not be able to benefit from the services offered by Transparent Merchant Services. It can have a bad impact on the business and result in significant losses for the company.


This Transparent Merchant Services review suggests that the company is a great option for those who need a streamlined payment solution. But based on reviews, it may not be the best option for companies who want to provide their customers with an easy, secure way to make payments. The fees are high, the customer service is not very responsive, and the website is difficult to use. There are better options available that provide more value for merchants.

If you’re looking for a payment processor, consider other options before settling on Transparent Merchant Services.

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