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Eliot Management Group review

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It doesn’t disclose processing rates and charges a hefty termination fee.

Eliot Management Group (EMG) offers much of the standard merchant services fare, from payment processing to point-of-sale solutions. But customer reviews warn of hidden fees and misleading sales reps.

  • Choose this provider if you’re a small- to medium-sized restaurant or retail business.
  • Consider something else if you’re a large business with niche point-of-sale requirements.

Details

SolutionsIn-store, Mobile
ProductsPayment processing, POS software
Monthly fees start atVary
Processing fees start atVary
Contract required?Yes
Processing timeNext day funding
High-risk merchants accepted?No

Eliot Management Group services

Through EMG, you can access a variety of processing services:

  • Payment processing. Accept a variety of payment methods, including Europay, Mastercard and Visa, pin and contactless payments.
  • Merchant account. EMG underwrites its own merchant accounts so you don’t need to source one from a third party.
  • POS software. Epos Now is EMG’s point-of-sale solution, geared toward the retail and service industries.
  • POS hardware. A range of terminal options are available through EMG, including the Tetra series by Ingenico and the PAX A920.

Features

These features come standard with an EMG merchant services account:

  • Virtual terminal. EMG’s virtual terminal, FirstPay.Net, comes with a suite of e-commerce solutions including inventory management, customizable payment pages and customer identification management programs.
  • FirstView. Keep track of business statements, sales trends and monthly transaction volume on a single digital dashboard.
  • Next day funding. Gain access to transaction funds within one business day with no transaction volume requirements.
  • Cash advance. Apply for a cash advance for access to business capital in 10 days or less and no fixed payment schedule.

What hardware is available?

Your business can lease or purchase the following hardware options from Eliot Management Group:

  • Ingenico Tetra series
  • Ingenico RP457c
  • Ingenico RP750x
  • Ingenico Moby 3000
  • PAX A920
  • Dejavoo

Eliot Management Group pricing and fees

EMG offers no information about its processing rates, account fees or potential contract lengths. It also sells and leases its hardware — but you’ll find no prices on its website.

When we called to learn more, the EMG rep we spoke to refused to disclose any further information. The rep confirmed that account setup and early termination fees may be charged, depending on the contract agreement, but wouldn’t commit to an amount. After reviewing its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page, complaints by EMG merchants and the EMG Merchant Relations cite a $495 early termination fee.

The EMG rep we spoke to on the phone explained that business owners must undergo EMG’s confirmation of business validity before they receive its processing rates. Expect to provide details about your business including its name, address, age, phone number and its current point-of-sale and payment processing providers.

Our top pick:

Accept payments in your store, online or on-the-go with clear pricing.

  • 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped credit card
  • 3.5% + $0.10 per keyed-in credit card
  • 0.05% + $0.49 per PIN-based debit

Our top pick: Chase Merchant Services

Accept payments in your store, online or on-the-go with clear pricing.

  • Flat rates for credit and debit cards
  • No setup or cancellation fees
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Next-business-day funding with a linked Chase business checking account

Eliot Management Group reviews and complaints

While EMG is a Better Business Bureau accredited business with an A+ rating, it averages an unsatisfactory 1.4 out of 5 stars based on 24 customer reviews, as of October 2020

Merchants complain of termination fees, PCI noncompliance fees, auto-renewal contracts and difficulty closing their accounts. Many expressed dissatisfaction with their sales reps and felt the associated account fees weren’t openly disclosed when they signed up.

That said, while customer reviews for the company as a whole are negative, reviews coming from local merchants with access to an EMG branch are often more positive. EMG branches in Boise, Dallas, Houston and Salt Lake City all score between 4.2 and 4.5 out of 5 based on Google reviews from local customers as of October 2020.

Location Google rating
(out of 5)
Number of reviews Common praise Common criticism
Austin, Texas 2.9 17 Knowledgeable sales reps Undisclosed cancellation fees
Boise, Idaho 4.3 38 Helpful, flexible sales reps Dishonest business practices
Dallas, Texas 4.6 51 Professional and attentive customer service Hardware leasing contracts
Fort Worth, Texas — Strayer University 1.9 14 Friendly personnel Deceptive sales tactics
Houston, Texas 4.3 51 Knowledgeable, responsive sales reps Undisclosed cancellation fees
Jacksonville, Florida 3.8 10 Reliable customer support Undisclosed cancellation fees
Kansas City, Missouri 3.2 39 Competitive rates Dishonest sales practices
Salt Lake City, Utah 4.5 159 Responsive account managers Transaction holds
Schaumburg, Illinois 4.5 16 Helpful sales rep Monthly fees
Spokane, Washington 2.8 25 Helpful sales reps Auto-renewing contracts

Compare other payment processors

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Processing time High-risk merchants accepted?
Chase Merchant Services
None
2.6% + 10¢ per swiped credit card
Next day when you deposit into a Chase business checking account
No
Accept, process and deposit customer payments in your store, online or on-the-go.
Fattmerchant
$99/month
$0.08 + interchange per transaction
Next day for qualified businesses
No
Businesses that process more than $10,000 monthly can save with Fattmerchant's interchange+ pricing.
Square
None
2.9% + 10¢
Next day
No
Square is a one-stop shop with both e-commerce and in-person solutions.
Helcim
$20/month
1.92% + $0.08 per transaction
Two business days
No
Conveniently packaged into three service tiers for in-person and online sales.
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Pros and cons

Pros

  • Accepted payment methods. Process credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Samsung pay, PayPal and paper checks.
  • Month-to-month service. The EMG rep we spoke with suggested both year-long contracts and month-to-month service options.
  • 24/7 customer support. EMG’s phone support is available around the clock.
  • Best rate guarantee. Eliot Management Group advertises a best rate guarantee on its website, stating it will meet or beat any written offer from a reputable competitor.

Cons

  • Lack of transparency. EMG’s lack of transparency is pervasive, from the absence of processing rates on its website to its refusal to provide hardware prices over the phone when we called.
  • Set up fees. Few payment processors charge setup fees but EMG admits you may encounter these fees depending on your point-of-sale requirements.
  • Termination fee. Scout your EMG paperwork carefully — there may be termination fees hidden in the fine print.

How do I open an account with Eliot Management Group?

Applications for EMG’s processing services can only be handled by phone. You’ll be asked to supply the following information:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Tax Identification number
  • Social Security number
  • Average ticket size
  • Business building lease information
  • Business checking account number
  • Business license
  • Driver’s license or state ID

What other products will I need?

When you apply for Eliot Management Group’s services, expect to provide the following account information:

  • Checking account. A business checking account from a third-party provider is required to process payments.

What is Eliot Management Group?

Eliot Management Group is a merchant services provider headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, with additional offices located in Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Utah and Washington. It processes over $10 billion in transactions annually with over 13,000 onboarded merchants across the US.

How do I contact Eliot Management Group support?

There are three ways to touch base with EMG’s customer support:

  • Phone. You can reach customer support by calling 844-898-0337.
  • Email. Fill out an online form on EMG’s website or send an email to info@e-mg.com for a response from the support team within one business day.
  • Live chat. The live chat feature on EMG’s website is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT.

Bottom line

Eliot Merchant Group offers payment processing, point-of-sale solutions and merchant accounts to help businesses accept payments. But its lack of transparency is disappointing and it charges a sizable termination fee.

Review your payment processing options with other providers to find the service that’s right for your business.

Frequently asked questions

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