First Data Merchant Solutions Review 2020

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By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 20 February 2019

First Data is a global payment technology company based in the United States. The company was incorporated in 1971. In 1980 80% of the company was bought by American Express ISC which went on to acquire the remaining other 20% over time. First Data went public in 1992 and later merged with First Financial MC. First Data serves over 6 million merchants, making it the largest company in the sector, and it handles nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the US.

First Data Merchant Services Corporation is a subsidiary of First Data and specialises in payment processing solutions for a range of businesses. Its products include card processing terminals, PDQ machines, and eCommerce payment solutions. First Data Merchant Services also trades as First Data Merchant Solutions.

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Products and Features

First Data merchant account services include POS equipment, Mobile Pay and Ecommerce solutions. First data promotes its products by offering low rates, providing an easy to switch providers service, and leveraging its global scale.

POS Equipment

Clover Station

The Clover Station is a POS (Point of Sale) solution that integrates a card payment terminal, a cash register, and a POS system. It uses cloud-based technology enabling businesses to access data from anywhere there is an internet connection, making it possible to track sales and stock inventory, manage employees, and monitor customer behaviour and more.

The system includes a touchscreen display, cash register, card reader, receipt printer, and has pre-installed software enabling businesses to get up and running with it almost immediately. Features include:

  • Inventory tracking, reporting and payment acceptance
  • Cloud based business management
  • Highest level of security
  • Enables businesses to set up customer loyalty schemes

Payment Terminals

Payment terminals include counter top, portable and mobile chip and PIN machines.

  • Counter top chip and PIN terminals accept customer present (CP)payments from a fixed location in a typical POS environment
  • Portable chip and PIN terminals are Bluetooth enabled and allow businesses to take payments from the table and other business premises where fixed terminals are impractical. They connect to a Bluetooth access point with a range of up to 100 metres
  • Mobile terminals use GPRS connectivity enabling payments to be taken from anywhere there is a mobile phone network connection. They use chip and PIN authorisation.
  • Virtual terminals allow any computer or mobile service to accept POS payments and MOTO payment processing
  • Pogo – mobile payments using smartphones and tablets

Pogo Mobile Reader

With the Pogo mobile terminal businesses can accept payments anywhere there is a data network connection. The Pogo app is available for iOS and Android operating systems allowing merchants to take payments in tablets and smartphones.

The system offers a high degree of security and is easy to use making it an excellent solution for any business that needs to process card payments when away from their main office; a perfect solution for transportation companies, trades people, market stalls, and events.

Price: £49.99 and 2.75% per transaction for MasterCard and Visa payments

eCommerce solutions

First Data Payment Gateway

The First Data Payment Gateway is one of the most secure and reliable in the industry and is accessible for all sizes of business including small businesses right through to large corporations. Its main features include:

  • A hosted payment page – the ideal solution for smaller companies that with to avoid the need for full PCI security compliance. The secure page is managed by First Data who collect card details meaning that the merchant does not have access to them. The page can be customised to include the merchant’s branding.
  • API integration allows merchants to integrate their own shopping cart and the First Data processing platform using XML. This is more suitable for larger businesses with a high level of PCI compliance.
  • Virtual terminal is designed for standalone MOTO payment processing and is suitable for call centre environments

Pricing: There is a monthly charge of £15 a month which includes 500 transactions. Merchant acquiring fees are provided on an individual basis.


First Data provides a highly secure solution to credit and debit card processing through multiple channels, and is certainly a choice worth considering for any business that accepts multi-channel payments; managing all channels under the same roof has considerable advantages in efficiency and security. However, pricing depends on individual factors, such as sales volume and perceived risk.

While few organisations in the specific market sector in which First Data operates will accept high risk merchants, First Data will. High risk merchants may be provided with a merchant account through First Data Independent Sales. Approval rates are high and fees are up to half those of other high risk merchant account providers

Next Steps

If you sell through multiple channels, if you are a high risk merchant, or if you simply feel more secure using a payment processing giant such as First Data to handle your card processing, then First Data Merchant Services could be a good choice; but there are many other providers to choose from and selecting the best of these for your business isn’t an easy task. By filling our web form you can speed up the process by contacting several providers who will get back to you with details pertinent to your particular business needs.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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