Clearent Review

Rates and Fees
80/100
Truth in Advertising
95/100
Consumer Reviews
85/100
Customer Support
95/100
3.5

Best for

Businesses looking to accept payments anywhere; in-person, online or over phone or email. Software vendors looking to integrate payments into their platform.

Specializes in

Payment processing, payment processor, merchant services, credit card processor, merchant acquirer, merchant account, payment gateway, and Next Day Funding.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: $0

Monthly Fee: Variable

Swipe Rate: Interchange-Plus

Keyed-in Rate:  Interchange-Plus

Early Termination Fee : $395

Contract Terms:

3 Years
Visit Clearent

Clearent is a complete payment processor that leverages its proprietary payments platform to make doing business easier and more profitable for its sales partners. Clearent's commitment to honesty and transparency has made it one of the most trusted companies in the industry. Clearent is one of the fastest-growing credit card processing companies, processing $14 billion in annual transaction volume for 45,000 plus merchants nationwide.

Clearent Overview

 

Clearent is a merchant services provider headquartered in Clayton, Missouri. Founded in 2005, the company also has offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Salt Lake City, Utah, and West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2017, Clearent acquired Payment Alliance International (PAI), a smaller merchant services provider that had a large high-risk portfolio of firearms merchants. Although the merger has gone well for both companies, it hasn’t been so great for some of PAI’s former clients. Merchants who had previously been with PAI were unceremoniously switched to new contracts with Clearent, and many of them saw dramatic increases in their processing rates and account fees as a result. This has, in turn, led to a surge in complaints against Clearent with the BBB and on other consumer protection websites.

In March 2018, Clearent was itself acquired by Advent International, a global private equity investment firm. At about the same time, Advent also acquired FieldEdge, a field service management software company. FieldEdge and Clearent are now merged into a single business entity. With all this merger and acquisition activity, Clearent currently serves over 45,000 merchants and processes over $16 billion in transactions annually.

Quick Facts

Head Quarters

Clayton, MO

Year Founded

2005

CEO

Dan Geraty

Employees

500

Merchant Provider Risk Tolerance

What We Like

Interchange-plus pricing available

Full lineup of products and services

What We Don't Like

Three-year contract with early termination fee

Uses independent sales representatives

High complaint volume relative to size

Industries Served

  • Accounting & Tax Prep
  • CBD & Hemp
  • Cigars & Tobacco
  • Clothing & Apparel
  • Convenience Store
  • Education
  • Electronics
  • Gaming
  • Gas Station
  • Guns & Firearms
  • Healthcare
  • Hunting & Outdoor Equipment
  • Legal
  • Marketing Agency
  • Medical
  • Personal Service
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Restaurant / Bar
  • SAAS
  • Self Defense, Tasers & Stun Guns
  • Smoking Accessories
  • Telemedicine
  • Thrift Store
  • Web Design Services

Business Types Served

  • B2B
  • Ecommerce
  • Enterprise Merchant Accounts
  • High Risk
  • High Volume
  • Information
  • Low Risk
  • Mobile
  • Mom & Pop
  • MOTO
  • Online
  • Retail / Card Present
  • Small Business
  • Wholesale

Clearent Products & Services

 

Clearent offers a number of services for businesses, including credit and debit processing, virtual terminals and gateways for ecommerce and mail and phone order, electronic check and ACH processing, gift card processing, wireless options, recurring payments, and more. The company also boasts next day deposits of funds via ACH and offers information on topics such as chargebacks and surcharging.
Clearent has options for shopping carts, eCommerce platform integrations, and hosted payment forms. They also have a profit sharing program that claims to pay you for your work if you refer other clients to them.

Clearent Payment Processing

  • Credit Card Processing
  • Debit Card Processing
  • EBT Acceptance
  • eCheck & ACH Processing
  • Gift & Loyalty Program
  • High-Risk Industries
  • Merchant Cash Advance
  • Online Payments
  • Payment Gateway
  • POS Equipment
  • Recurring Billing
  • Virtual Terminal

Clearent Billing & Invoicing

  • Contact Database
  • Customizable Invoices
  • Mobile Payments
  • Online Invoicing
  • Online Payments
  • Payment Processing
  • Recurring/Subscription Billing

Clearent Advertising & Sales

 
Clearent’s website has a modern, professional layout and is easy to navigate. However, as we’ve noted above, there’s no disclosure of any pricing information whatsoever. The site also lacks a knowledgebase or any helpful educational information. While there is some discussion of products and services, it mainly serves as a marketing tool to promote the company.
Inside/Outside Sales Team
Clearent appears to employ both in-house and independently contracted sales agents to market its services. As a general rule, the use of independent sales agents is usually tied to high complaint rates for a company because these agents tend to receive less training and oversight than W2-employed reps.
Positive Response to Criticism
One area where Clearent distinguishes itself is in its response to these complaints. Rather than holding merchants accountable for contract terms that they didn’t fully understand at the point of signing, Clearent consistently apologizes for agents’ failure to fully explain contract terms. The company usually attempts to resolve issues to the satisfaction of the merchant.

Truth in Marketing

Discloses All Important Terms

No

Public Pricing Available

No

Clearent Pricing, Rates & Fees

 

Like many traditional merchant services providers, Clearent doesn’t disclose any information about fees or rates on its website. heir main reason for doing this is that processing rates are highly variable and need to be customized for each merchant.
Feedback from merchants indicates that Clearent primarily offers interchange-plus pricing to most of its customers. This is a very positive feature, as we believe interchange-plus pricing to be the most transparent and affordable pricing structure for businesses processing at least $5,000 per month.

A PCI non-compliance fee of $24.99 per month, an annual fee of $29.95 in the first year and $59.95 thereafter, and an interchange-plus pricing structure.
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Clearent also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway. However, pricing for these services is not disclosed. The company’s terms and conditions reflect that merchants can utilize a 3rd party service for an online payment gateway. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Pricing at a Glance

Pricing Model

Interchange Plus

Swiped Rate

Interchange-Plus

Keyed-in Rate

Interchange-Plus

Mobile Payment Rate

Undisclosed

Virtual Terminal Rate

1.00% - 4.99%

Monthly Fee

Variable

Payment Gateway Fee

Undisclosed

Batch Fee

Undisclosed

Early Termination Fee

$395

PCI Compliance Fee

None

Equipment Lease Terms

Undisclosed

Address Verification Service (AVS)

Application Fee

Undisclosed

Account Setup Fee

$0

Gateway Setup Fee

Undisclosed

Annual Fee

$29.95 - $59.95

Monthly Minimum

Undisclosed

Statement Fee

Undisclosed

Clearent Contract & Terms

Three-Year Contract
The standard Clearent contract is a 3-year term through TSYS with an early termination fee of $395 per location or the maximum amount allowed by state law.
Industry-Average Pricing
The company’s three-year contract with automatic renewal and a $49.99 regulatory fee is not competitive with terms offered by the cheapest merchant accounts.

Contract Length

3 Years

Early Termination Fee

$395

Clearent Setup & Support

 

Setup Highlights

  • Documentation / Knowledge Base
  • In Person
  • Live Online (1-on-1)

Support Highlights

  • Domestic Phone Support (Business Hours)

Clearent Complaints, Ratings & Reviews

Clearent has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since April 2010 and currently shows an “A+” rating on its profile. The company has had 21 complaints filed in the past 36 months, with 10 of those related to the product or service and 11 due to billing and collection issues. 8 of these complaints were successfully resolved with BBB assistance, while 13 complaints either were not resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

Ratings

BBB

BBB Ratings: A+ (21 Customer Complaints)

Google

3 Stars / 45 Reviews

Facebook

N/A

Yelp

N/A

Reviews

Total Online Reviews

100+

Total Online Complaints

15+

Lawsuits

1

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