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Review of Innerfence Merchant Services

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Inner Fence offers tools to connect merchants to processors and gateways. Their services stand out, because they offer connectivity with Mac computers and Windows phones.

Innerfence, mostly known as Inner Fence, first hit the market in 2007, before Square. But, Inner Fence doesn't process credit cards, and it isn't an aggregator. Instead, it represents a mobile processing app and vitual terminal (called "Credit Card Terminal"), that works with Merchant Focus and Stripe and other companies for processing and with Authorize.Net for its primary gateway. And, unlike an aggregator, Inner Fence offers a unique merchant account which can cost more than an aggregator for small businesses.

Inner Fence is upfront about their fees and costs. They look delicious on the front end, because they don't charge for early termination, PCI compliance, yearly payments, or minimum transaction fees. Their first swiper is free. But, their monthly charges -- if they apply to you -- may turn you off. Most importantly, merchants also pay for the gateway and other expenses provided by whichever processor the merchant uses.

Founded by Derek Del Conte and Ryan D. Johnson, Inner Fence's staff seems minimal for growth. Perhaps that's the goal -- to keep this company small. With that said, Inner Fence offers credit card processing separately in the U.S. and in Canada, plus offers various pricing packages for high-volume merchants and non-profit organizations. Additionally, they use their swiper and terminals to connect to a number of providers, including First Data, PayPal, Bluefin, Sage, and Stripe.

Detailed Review

Below is a detailed review of Innerfence 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 be very important to you, while others may not matter.

Since Inner Fence connects with so many other third parties for their final service to the merchant, we applied "possible" to most of the answers below. Although Inner Fence doesn't charge for many services (and we noted this below as well), the processor you use with Inner Fence products may charge you for various features. Finally, Inner Fence allows users to connect via Windows phones and Macs, which is usually unheard-of in this industry.

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

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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.

We're going to focus on the U.S.-based pricing plans for this article. Inner Fence offers plans for new merchant sign-ups as well as for merchants who already have an existing payment processor, as long as that processor is compatible with Inner Fence's product and services.

New Merchants

  • 2.9% = $0.30 per transaction
  • $39 per month fee

The monthly fee probably covers all the items that Inner Fence states are free, including the gateway charges. New merchants get unlimited terminals, one free card reader, and unlimited phone support.

If you already have a merchant account service and you'd like to switch to Inner Fence, you have three options: Individual (which they define as a sole proprietorship), professional, and a business account:


  • 1.9% per transaction
  • $9 per month per terminal


  • 0.9% per transaction
  • $79 per month, including ten terminals


  • No percentage fee per transaction
  • $299 per month, including 20 terminals

We'll go ahead and show you the high-volume business (over $150,000 per year) and non-profit charges and fees as well:

High Volume

  • 1.59% + $0.29 swiped debit
  • 1.79% + $0.29 swiped qualified
  • 2.49% + $0.29 non-qualified
  • $25 per month, including unlimited terminals


  • 2.9% + $0.30 swiped debit
  • $29 per month, including unlimited terminals

Currently, Inner Fence offers a free 30-day trial with no credit card required. Additionally, we learned during our call to customer service that many merchants use this account for seasonal sales and close it when the season is over. Then, they can re-open the account to use it again when those seasonal sales are pending.

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Contract Fine Print

While some of the prices above may seem attractive, we're concerned that the merchant might not realize that Inner Fence's services include just equipment and connectivity. Other contracts may apply, which means that more costs are added to monthly bills, including more monthly fees and all the other fees that Inner Fence doesn't list on their charges (PCI Compliance, etc.). Inner Fence offers to provide additional card data so the merchant can obtain lower processing rates; but, why go through all that work when other processing companies have everything in house?

Fine Print Fees:
Termination Fee None
Setup / Application Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee None
PCI Inaction Fee None
Gateway Fee None
1099-K Fee None
Statement Fee None
Online Reporting Fee None
Monthly Minimum Volume Fee None
Accept International Pymt Fee None
Voice Authorization Fee None
Monthly Min. Process Fee None
Daily Batch Fee None
ACH / Direct Deposit Fee None
ACH Charge Fee None
ACH Return Fee None
FANF Fee Standard
Chargeback Fees $15


Initial Consultation

Think about this cost alone: If you have a chargeback with Inner Fence account, that company charges you $15 for that chargeback. If your processor is First Data, they also may charge you a chargeback fee. The costs are beginning to rack up here (chargebacks for the "high volume" customer come to $30 at Inner Fence).

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Inner Fence offers equipment for Macs, Window Phones, iOS, and Android

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

Since Inner Fence is all about the hardware and software, we couldn't wait to tackle this subject. However, the solutions are fairly simple...


  • Swiper: The first swiper is free, and additional swipers cost $79. Inner Fence offers broad support for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and Mac, which is a rarity. Your free swiper can be a mobile reader or a computer-based swiper, so you'll need to choose one or the other.
  • Printers: Inner Fence offers a Bluetooth receipt printer for $399 and a Network receipt printer for $349 at their website store.


  • Inner Fence's virtual terminal and mobile app are included in your cost for service. This software includes analytics and reporting for all services..

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Countries Served

PayAnywhere currently operates within the U.S. and Canada. Other country options would depend upon Merchant Focus's services or services provided by other processing companies that are compatible with Inner Fence.

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Contract Length / Termination

We generally don't like to see long-term contracts or termination fees in merchant services agreements, because the ability to cancel a contract keeps the credit card processor on its best behavior (and more likely to try to make you happy if there's a dispute). The ability for the merchant to cancel gives you, that merchant, the ability to choose a better deal that might come along down the road before your current contract expires.

Inner Fence offers a month-to-month contract with no early termination fees. With that said, your contract with your Inner Fence-compatible processor may have other plans for you. Additionally, you'll need to follow contract termination guidelines with Inner Fence, because -- unlike Square or any other services that don't charge monthly fees -- Inner Fence will continue to ding you for that monthly charge, even if you're not using their equipment or services.

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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.


Inner Fence is not an ISO, nor is it a gateway. This company merely offers equipment and connectivity to other Inner Fence-compatible processors. Billing is conducted through Swipe, and their major gateway service is Authorize.Net

Account Sales:

Inner Fence doesn't seem to offer any deceptive sales practices or claims. They're upfront about the costs, but they aren't very clear initially on their services.

Account Service:

Inner Fence claims to offer 24/7 support.

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Customer Service

As part of our review process, we try to test out the claims made by the Merchant Account Services provider by placing a few test calls, and working through the customer service process.


5/11/2015; TIME: 1:55 pm and 2:00 pm EST


Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

I called twice, and both times I was cut off after an introduction that stated all their customer service reps were busy.


5/11/2015; TIME: 2:04 pm EST


Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

Kyle answered the phone and he was very pleasant. He answered all my questions quickly and succinctly.

Our Take: I was happy with the service I received, even though I had to try several times to contact Inner Fence. When it comes down to using a merchant services account, the ability to contact anyone is a plus.

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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. We discovered two complaints about Inner Fence, both from 2012, which probably means this company is reliable and trustworthy. It may also mean that they have great customer support.

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Who Should / Shouldn't Use this Processor


  • Mac Users: We have to push this option, because few merchant account services offer connectivity to Mac computers.
  • Windows Phone Users: Again, we can count on one hand the number of credit card processing companies that provide equipment compatible with Windows phones.
  • Detail-Oriented Users: When you begin to combine equipment from one company, processing at another company, and gateways with yet another company, you need to stay on your toes re: billing and expenses. If you're game, then Inner Fence can supply you with all those options.


  • Small Business Owners: The monthly fee alone could be prohibitive for you, especially if you operate as a sole proprietor. Add that $9 per month fee to your processing bills and other charges, and that decision could be costly. You can find other companies here that will work better for small businesses
  • Non-Detail Oriented Businesses: You can find a solution that is far simpler and easier to use (unless, of course, you use a Windows phone or a Mac computer).

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For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up
Innerfence Merchant Services
Customer Service
Customer Reviews
2.9% - 2.9%
  • Mobile Payment Focus
  • Unlimited Phone Support
  • Accepts Online Payments
Monthly Fees Breakdown
Setup Fee$0.00
Monthly Fee$0.00
PCI Compliance Fee$0.00
Online Reporting Fee$0.00
Batch Fee$0.00
Gateway Fee$0.00
Chargeback Fee$0.00
Termination Fee$0.00
Contract Length
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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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