Pros & Cons
- Accepts high-risk merchants
- Serves a variety of industries
- Sells several Clover PoS systems
- Pricing may be negotiable
- Unclear pricing
- Many online complaints
- $250-$350 early termination fee
Plans & Pricing
Leaders Merchant Services is unfortunately not transparent about its pricing. According to our research, part of the reason for this is because it uses independent agents to sell its service, and these agents can set their fees. That means that pricing may be negotiable.
Based on our research, however, Leaders appears to take 1%-4.99% in fees for swiped or keyed charges. Virtual terminal charges incur a 2.9%+$0.30/transaction fee.
Leaders Merchant Services does require you to sign a three-year contract with them. Canceling early incurs an early cancellation fee of $250-$350.
There are other fees to be aware of.
- PCI Compliance fee: $129/year
- PCI non-compliance fee: $40/month
- Payment gateway fee: $25
- Statement/customer service fee: $10
- Monthly minimum fee: $25
- Monthly service fee: $7.95
- Chargeback fee: $35
- Batch fee: $0.15
Many of those numbers are approximations based on our research, though. Leaders doesn’t provide many dollar figures on its website. As such, it’s a bit difficult to compare pricing to competitors.
The merchant services industry sees a lot of companies merging with or acquiring other companies. One of these acquirers is iPayment, a large merchant account provider known for acquiring Payment Depot in 2021. Five years later, in 2017, iPayment bought up another merchant services provider (that was acting as an independent sales organization for iPayment) called Leaders Merchant Services. Leaders Merchant Services was founded in 2000 and headquartered in Camarillo, California. It’s helped over 100,000 businesses over its lifetime. It operates on a contract basis, making it cost-effective for higher-volume firms.
Should you move over to Leaders? Read our review to learn more about this merchant services provider.
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Features and Functionality
Contactless payment makes paying for things as easy as tapping your device against a terminal — and for some methods, merely holding it near the terminal will do the trick. Also, during the pandemic, paying with as little contact as possible has become ever more important. Fortunately, Leaders supports contactless payment from Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Additionally, Leaders sells NFC (Near-Field Communications) terminals so you can accept contact-free payments.
CartManager Shopping Cart
Since Leaders is a merchant services provider, it only makes sense that they would provide helpful tools for e-commerce businesses. In particular, the CartManager Shopping Cart gives e-commerce stores the ability to customize order forms and checkout pages. Plus, you can add custom headers and footers.
CartManager is compatible with eBay and offers other benefits, like:
- Real-time shipping calculations
- Sales tax calculations
- Custom languages
- Multiple payment methods
Sometimes, businesses find themselves short of cash, yet they’re making a substantial number of sales. Companies that use Leaders as their payment processor can leverage these sales to get either a business cash advance of $5,000-$500,000 or a business loan of up to $1 million. Leaders evaluates your current and predicted future sales to determine your funding amount.
Leaders sells a ton of merchant-related hardware. For example, it offers several Clover PoS systems. There are also multiple types of terminals and other equipment you can consider adding to your business, from credit card terminals to a check reading machine and more. When you sign up with Leaders, they give you a mobile card reader and free processing software as part of your contract.
Integrations & Add-ons
As mentioned, Leaders Merchant Services offers plenty of hardware you can buy to use in your business. However, the company also states that you can almost always transfer over hardware from another processor, as long as it’s PCI-compliant and the processor hasn’t locked the hardware. Leaders’ tech/installation team will reprogram the device to work correctly.
Aside from that, Leaders offers integration with Quickbooks through Instant Accept, a company that lets payment processors integrate with the popular accounting software. Instant Accept enables you to accept payments on a device that doesn’t have Quickbooks, then sync up all your transactions later for easier accounting.
Ease of Use
Many of the hardware products sold by Leaders Merchant Services are renowned for their ease of use.
Leaders stands out among the crowd by offering 24/7 tech support. That said, some merchants writing their own reviews online claim that tech support can be hard to get ahold of at times. Additionally, there are some self-help resources, such as a glossary of terms located on Leaders’ Resources page.
24/7 Help & SupportLeaders offers 24/7 tech support.
Phone SupportTech support is available 24/7. Some have said, however, that support isn’t always easy to get ahold of.
FAQLeaders has a long list of FAQs on its FAQ page.
BlogLeaders doesn’t appear to have a blog, but it offers a few resources on its Resources page.
Leaders Merchant Services does the job, but it isn’t the best. That’s not necessarily because the service itself is poor — it might be pretty good. The fact is that Leaders seems a bit stubborn to be transparent with information regarding pricing and features. Its website is a bit confusing. Plus, you are locked into a three-year contract once you sign up with Leaders.
Overall, Leaders can work, but there are plenty of merchant service providers out there that are more transparent with all this information, and they’re competitively priced as well.