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Review of Electronic Transfer Merchant Services

3107 E. Mission Spokane, WA 99202

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Electronic Transfer Inc. is a credit card processor that not only accepts, but actually focuses its business on high-risk merchant accounts. They offer attractive pricing, and can afford to do so because they own their own gateways and because they tailor programs to fit a merchant's specific needs. A good fit for businesses needing a high-risk merchant account.

Electronic Transfer Inc. (ETI) is a merchant services company that serves high-risk merchants. A high-risk merchant is any business that operates in an industry with a history of high chargebacks, regardless of whether your individual business has such a history. There aren't many credit card processors that take on this type of client, whereas ETI specializes in these types of merchants (especially firearms). Some of those businesses typically include:

  • Auctions
  • Collection Agencies
  • Guns, Weapons Related
  • Outbound Telemarketing
  • Adult / Porn Related
  • Smoking Related
  • Supplements
  • Tax Relief, Debt Relief, Debt Consolidation, Credit Repair, Payday Loans, Loans
  • Some Hotel, Travel, Tours
  • Multi-Level Marketing or Free Trial Offer (aka Continuity)
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

We were impressed with two very important issues that can concern any merchant's dealings with a credit card processor: First, that Electronic Transfer seems to have no complaints whatsoever about their service, despite the fact that they've been in business since 1989. The second item is that our sales rep was highly personable, very knowledgeable about the industry in general, and she even offered information about the company that we might not have asked otherwise.

Those two specific facts about this company encourage me to recommend this merchant service. In addition, this company also offers some other great features, which are discussed in detail below, such as a month-to-month contract with no early termination fees, that put the icing on the cake.

Detailed Review

Below is a detailed review of Electronic Transfer Merchant Services offering. The review is broken down into the following categories.


Depending upon the type of business you own, some of the following features may or may not be important to you.

Merchants beware - although we've responded to the positive in the list below, some options may not be available depending upon the hardware/software you choose. Always ask before you purchase.

Software Compatibility:
Intuit Quickbooks Yes
Sage 50 No
Microsoft Dynamics GP No
Hardware Compatibility:
Windows / Blackberry No
iPhone / iPad Yes
Android Yes
Alternative Transaction Types:
Phone Orders Yes
Internet Orders Yes
Wireless Orders Yes
Mobile Orders Yes
Snail Mail Orders Yes
American Express (AMEX) Yes
Add Tips to Bills Yes
eCommerce / Shopping Cart Yes
International Sales Yes
Recurring Payments Yes
EMV Chip Cards Yes
Contactless Cards Yes
Loyalty / Gift Cards No
eChecks / Electronic Checks Yes
Welfare Benefits (EBT/SNAP/TANF) No
Security / Fraud Prevention:
AVS Fraud Protection Yes
PCI DSS Secure Transactions Yes
Industry Specific:
HIPAA Compliance (Healthcare) No
Trust Account Debiting (Legal) No
Fleet Cards (Petroleum) No
Online Menu Orders (Restaurants) No
Countries Served:
U.S. Yes
Other Countries Yes
International Yes

We did note on the pricing page that merchants only have the option to accept American Express, Diner's Club/Carte Blanche, and JCB with separate application and possible extra fees. Also, if you plan to conduct business overseas, ETI will listen to your proposition and let you know whether or not they'll take a risk on your risk factors with that business. We learned this bit of information from our sales rep during a call to ETI.

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Almost every merchant account services company uses either Interchange Plus or Tiered Pricing (to learn the differences read here). Where companies allow us to disclose pricing information, we show the deals that our secret shoppers were able to achieve. When companies offer both Interchange Plus and Tiered Pricing, we try to get a quote on both options.

ETI offers an interchange plus pricing model, which many merchants prefer because it results in more transparent pricing. Their per transaction pricing is divided into two groupings, PIN debit and credit. The rates are as follows:

  • PIN Debit Rate: Interchange Rate + 0.25% + $0.25 per transaction
  • Credit Card Rate: Interchange + __ + $0.25 per transaction

You'll note that the markup over interchange for credit card transactions isn't listed, and that is because it varies depending on the specific business type you have. Within the high-risk merchant account category, there are various levels of "riskiness," and your rate is affected depending on the risk involved in your particular industry.

As for monthly and other charges, the company lists a $9.95 per month statement fee and $10.00 per month gateway fee. Otherwise, as far as we can tell, there are no other monthly fees.

Our Experience: I like the fact that ETI uses interchange plus pricing. In the high-risk merchant account niche, you're already going to be paying more than you want to for credit card processing. So the additional transparency you get with interchange plus pricing is helpful because it allows you to understand your individual per transaction charges, and hopefully keep them as low as possible.

As far as monthly fees, ETI seems pretty cheap and pretty straightforward. When you talk with an ETI sales rep, you might have our "Fine Print" list below in front of you so you can cover your bases. If the prices change on you during that phone conversation, you might want to get any change in costs in writing before you sign a contract.

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Contract Fine Print

ETI seems to have invented the world of freebies. Their offers seem too good to be true in many respects:

Fine Print Fees:
Termination Fee None
Setup / Application Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee None
PCI Inaction Fee None
Gateway Fee $10.00/month
1099-K Fee None
Statement Fee $9.95/month
Online Reporting Fee None
Monthly Minimum Volume Fee None
Accept International Pymt Fee Possible
Voice Authorization Fee Possible
Monthly Min. Process Fee None
Daily Batch Fee None
ACH / Direct Deposit Fee Possible
ACH Charge Fee Possible
ACH Return Fee Possible
FANF Fee Possible
Chargeback Fees Possible
Free Setup Consultation
No Application Fees
Free Customer Service
Free Terminal Program
Free Swiper
Free eCommerce Solution
Many More!

Our Take: In terms of how their fine print fees stack up, they're pretty cheap, and I like the fact that they're very clear and transparent. You know what you'll be paying, and what you're getting for it. Remember that merchants need to submit additional applications for American Express, JCB, and Diner's Club/Carte Blanch, and those applications may require extra fees.

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Free FD130 Credit Card Terminal

While your transactions usually take place electronically, the actual device that you use to swipe a customer's card is referred to as "the equipment." This equipment includes hardware and, often, software or apps for that hardware to function properly.

ETI offers a ton of equipment options including POS systems, terminals, and software. Rather than go over every single option, we'll keep it short and simple:


  • Terminals: ETI offers a vast array of terminals, including First Data, Nurit, Verifone, Hypercom, iPhone, and many, many more.
  • POS Systems: ETI offers retail, restaurant, and hotel versions of this system, which includes software to accommodate the specific business and an array of peripherals to choose from.
  • Mobile Card Readers: ETI promotes its Fast Charge Payment Gateway for this option (see below under Software).


  • Fast Charge Payment Gateway: This software operates as a virtual terminal, which can allow the merchant to bypass terminals or processing software.

Our heads were spinning after perusing ETI's options for hardware and software. If you're a detail-oriented person, take charge! You'll have a field day (or week or month) learning about all the possibilities here. The good news is that we can help you make that decision at

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Countries Served

Electronic Transfer can handle payments from and for merchants in the United States, Canada and abroad.

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Contract Length / Termination

I generally don't like long-term contracts or termination fees in merchant services agreements, because the ability to cancel keeps the credit card processor on its best behavior, including the willingness to make you happy if there's a dispute. Plus, this ability to cancel gives you the ability to move on if you find a better deal.

ETI offers a month-to-month contract with no early termination fees. With that said, be sure to understand how ETI wants you to terminate your contract so you're not stuck with recurring payments taken from your bank account after you think you've finished with ETI.

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About the Company

The merchant account services industry is multi-layered. Understanding how those layers fit together can be confusing (Read More in this Article). A good thing to know, however, is whether or not your company is a direct processor (good if yes) or, if not, then to know who they process with and whether or not that processor is reliable. The second thing to know is whether or not the service or sales staffs are in-house or outsourced. In-house staffs are preferable for you, as these staff members may have more access to sources that can resolve your issues.

Processor: ETI is an ISO/MSP of Westamerica Bank, Santa Rosa, California. They own at least three gateway services that they can tap into depending upon merchant needs. There is no middle man here.

Account Sales: ETI appeals to independent resellers and agents to market its services. We've also read that these agents represent ETI at trade shows. Merchants need to be aware of this fact, because contract terms may vary according to agent. With that said, we haven't seen any complaints about merchant services provided by ETI or by independent resellers. None at all.

Account Service: ETI offers 24/7 support. We didn't have access to that number, but we called sales. Our experience is described below.

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Customer Service

As part of our review process, we try to test merchant account service companies' claims by placing test calls and working through the customer service process.


1/9/2015; TIME: 1:45 pm EST


Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

I called the number on the site and my call was answered immediately by a receptionist without having to deal with a phone tree. That receptionist, Courtney, handed me over to Sarah, a sales rep, without any hesitation. Sarah was a no-pressure sales person who offered a ton of information and who didn't press me into providing too much of my own information. She offered some interesting features that we never found on the website (and we're not surprised, considering the amount of information on the site).

First, we didn't realize that ETI owned gateways, which accounts for their low prices. Next, I learned that ETI offers a free terminal program that completely annihilates the $10.00 gateway fee. In other words, if a merchant wants brick-and-mortar sales only, the monthly charge is only $9.95. However, once a merchant asks for a card reader, that gateway fee ($10.00) is automatically added in on top of the $9.95 monthly fee. Since ETI offers month-to-month service, merchants can ask for the card reader for, say, summer month outdoor art shows, and then discontinue that service once the shows have ended.

While this service seems complicated, Sarah assured me that I would be dealing with her on all my transactions and requirements. She stated she has been with ETI for a few years and came to this company because of their great track record and no complaints. How can we debate that issue?


Our Take: Since we don't maintain service with ETI, we can't vouch for what appears to be great service. But, with a month-to-month contract, we might be tempted to find out.

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Common Customer Complaints / Our Verdicts

We scoured the web to find past and current customer complaints about this processor. Then, we investigated those complaints that seemed legit, and provide our verdict on how well the processor handled the issues.

ETI has been in business since 1989, and compared to most credit card processors has an amazing track-record of very few negative reviews. We did find one complaint on a BBB site that stated the merchant had a difficult time closing the ETI service. One complaint in 15 years means that merchant might have had some issues that didn't reflect ETI's service.

With all that said, the only praise we discovered was on ETI's site. W're not overtly concerned about lack of praise, outside the ETI site. Usually, silence is golden, right?

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Who Should / Shouldn't Use this Processor


  • High-Risk Merchant Accounts: If you're in a high-risk industry from a credit card processing perspective, these guys are a great option. Attractive and straightforward pricing, tons of hardware options, and good customer service. They seem like a great option.
  • Firearms Businesses: Even within the niche of high-risk, ETI has a particular focus on firearms dealers. With ETI you'll have a partner that understands your businesses and all of the risks inherent in it.
  • Small Businesses: Our sales rep talked about small business as though she knew it intimately. She offered several examples of what her smaller clients did with their ETI accounts, and it sounded tempting to us. We also suggest you avoid the website and just go straight to a sales person. That website, as we mentioned earlier, is overwhelming, but the actual sales people are great.
  • Fee Conscious Businesses: It appears that what you see is what you get - low fees and very few of them. Always ask, never hurts to take our "Fine Print" list to the phone to make sure you have your bases covered.


  • Large Businesses: The only reason we're saying that ETI is not the best service for larger businesses is because their international sales are "iffy."
  • Low-Risk Businesses: ETI is focused on high-risk merchants. While they'll cut their fees for low-risk merchants, frankly their business isn't geared toward you. You're better off going with a credit card processor that focuses on serving the type of business that you have. Check out our industry specialists to see if you can find a fit.

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Electronic Transfer Merchant Services
Customer Service
Customer Reviews
0.35% - 7.5%
  • Accepts High-Risk
  • Good Customer Service
  • Month-to-Month
Monthly Fees Breakdown
Setup Fee$0.00
Monthly Fee$10.00
PCI Compliance Fee$0.00
Online Reporting Fee$0.00
Batch Fee$0.00
Gateway Fee$10.00
Chargeback Fee$0.00
Termination Fee$0.00
Contract LengthMonth-to-Month
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DISCLOSURE: Advertising, Affiliate and Conflicts of Interest: Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.

About the Reviews: These reviews, and for that matter any reviews, are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion, not as a statement of fact. Selecting a merchant services provider is an important decision, and we urge you to use no single source of information as the basis of that decision.

About the Pricing: This pricing is an estimate based on limited available information. In some cases, the Processors' pricing information was provided directly by the company, in others, we obtained it from public information, through calls to the company, or through past or current clients of the company. Where, despite these efforts, we were unable to obtain any information about certain fees, we used estimates based on similar providers in the industry. While we're working, in some cases, with the company directly to get more accurate pricing, even in those circumstances, we can't guarantee the pricing's accuracy. Complicating all of this, is that for some companies individual salespeople are given authority to modify terms on a deal by deal basis. In any case, if you know of an error, please let us know and we'll fix it.

About the Calculations: With respect to your estimated savings, this is based on a lot of factors and some hard math. The reason we do it, along with the "Actual Gross Rate" calculation is that every Processor prices their product differently (e.g. interchange v. 3 tier v. 4 tier v. flat v. membership, etc.) and some make it intentionally complicated or opaque. Trying to convert their pricing structure to a consistent "Overall Cost of Processing" is the only way you, the merchant, can do an apples to apples pricing comparison and know whether an offer is actually a good deal. Our system isn't perfect but we're trying.

Conclusion: In sum, these rankings, ratings, and scores are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion and not as a legal statement of fact. Moreover, use these prices and estimates at your own risk, and make sure to verify the pricing you see here in any formal contract you receive. Finally, if you do find something wrong in our pricing, terms, etc., tell us and we'll try to fix it. is now offline.

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