Friday, June 10th, 2022
Sam’s Club has been around for a very long time. Founded in 1983, this chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs is well-known across the country. What might be lesser-known is that the company offers merchant services. Until recently, Sam’s Club Merchant Services was operated as a subsidiary of Sam’s Club.
Today, it operates as Sam’s Club’s Point of Sale by Clover, following its acquisition by Clover. Since its inception in the 2000s, the company has provided processing services to more than 50,000 merchants throughout the U.S.
Upon further examination, it appears the company is trying to convince business owners to sign up for an account, giving them the belief that they’ll save money over traditional providers. In reality, the company is actually reselling for processor Fiserv, one of the largest processors in the U.S. that is known for high prices.
A few pros of considering their services include the ability to use the full line of Clover products. (Keep in mind that the product lineup isn’t nearly as extensive as what Fiserv itself advertises if you work with them directly.) You also gain support for contactless payments and predictable flat-rate pricing.
On the other hand, there are many cons to partnering with this provider. First, while the old website offered concrete pricing disclosures, the new one is much less transparent. You can find pricing for hardware, but other details like account fees and contract terms are buried or missing. Of course, this lack of transparency often means long-term contracts, hidden fees, and high prices.
Another huge disadvantage for small business owners is the price. The transition to flat-rate pricing appears to be an attempt to be more appealing to smaller merchants. However, it can sometimes be more expensive than other pricing structures; this is the result of bundling flat-rate pricing with long-term contracts, undisclosed additional fees, and a high monthly account fee. In reality, there are much better deals available today.
One of the biggest hits for this provider comes from customers themselves. There are many complaints from customers about poor customer service, excessive “hidden” fees, withheld funds, and account terminations. (Also worth noting: Sam’s Club Point of Sale by Clover does not have its own BBB profile)
All in all, it’s difficult to separate this provider from its relationship with Clover and Fiserv. The number of negative complaints in comparison to positive ones is also troubling. For most small and medium-sized businesses, there are better options available on the market today that do not involve such high overall costs as Sam’s Club merchant services rates. Options that also provide stronger support and customized solutions.