Flint Cell Overview 2021

Professionals

  • Requires no {hardware}
  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • In-app invoicing
  • No month-to-month minimums

Cons

  • Costly pricing
  • Restricted options
  • Account stability points
  • No cellphone help
  • Restricted help supplies

Flint Cell Overview

Flint Cell was once our favourite cell POS system (an honor now held by Sq.). Then it shut down — very unexpectedly and with just about no warning — in February 2016. It really useful that everybody swap over to Stripe. That was just about the final anybody heard from Flint till November, when the corporate resurfaced, accepting new retailers and providing just about the identical suite of companies however at Stripe’s processing fee — which is smart, on condition that Stripe is now Flint’s back-end processor.

Flint did allude to its shutdown being a “platform transition” — and we did hope we’d see the corporate again. nonetheless, re-emerging 9 months after unexpectedly shutting down with a dearer pricing mannequin isn’t fairly what we’d hoped.

We expect Sq. is one of the simplest ways to just accept cell bank card funds

Once I approached this overview, I thought of the very best method. Given the circumstances of Flint’s shutdown, I feel the very best method is a (principally) recent begin. So I appeared on the new Flint the best way that I’d have a look at another newcomer to the mPOS area:  with a little bit of skepticism and a mind for what units this specific choice aside from the remaining.

One factor that units Flint aside from most different mPOS techniques is its willpower to free retailers from their dependency on {hardware}. Terminals will be costly. New EMV cell readers will be dear, too, relying on which one you select. Flint as an alternative makes use of a scanner primarily based in your good gadget’s digital camera. It captures the cardboard quantity and expiration date, no want for any further gear.

Nevertheless, that does imply all the mPOS transactions are technically processed as Card Not Current. This eliminates the legal responsibility for swiping fraudulent chip playing cards — however presents its personal set of considerations. CNP transactions are usually larger danger that swiped or dipped transactions, which is among the the explanation why Flint’s charges are larger. They’re, the truth is, on half with most different pay-as-you-go eCommerce choices.

I’m not thrilled concerning the new pricing mannequin. for Flint. Not solely is that this a significant value enhance over Flint’s outdated charges (which, admittedly, in all probability weren’t sustainable), however that is far past what you’d pay for many mPOS techniques. The per-transaction payment goes to be prohibitively costly for retailers with low ticket volumes (below $20 on common). With the $100/annual plan, you get a number of customers, Purchase Now buttons, and limitless invoicing, which isn’t a foul starter omni-channel commerce bundle. Nevertheless, I’m undecided these options justify the associated fee, particularly with no financial savings on processing charges.

At this level, there’s very little or no in the best way of consumer commentary concerning the new Flint. This isn’t shocking, but it surely does make it laborious for us to get correct assessments of the corporate’s buyer help. We’ll be taking part in shut consideration to consumer critiques and commentary in our Flint overview updates.

Proper now, I’m awarding Flint Cell 3.5 stars. We all know the corporate is reputable, and the value enhance in all probability interprets to elevated monetary stability for the corporate. The truth that it’s disclosing that Stripe is the back-end processor is a mark in its favor — transparency is an efficient factor. But it surely’s nonetheless fairly costly for what you get. I’m undecided that the options obtainable within the Flint premium packages justify the associated fee. Nevertheless, should you like the value and the characteristic set, I feel you would do nicely. Simply don’t be suckered into pondering its probably the most cost-effective or value-filled answer

Within the meantime, if you wish to discover your different service provider account choices (which embody cell processing apps as a part of their companies), take a look at our service provider account comparability chart. To see how different mobile-only processors stack up towards Flint, see our cell processing comparability chart.

Merchandise & Providers

There are two facets of Flint Cell: the fee processing and the precise software program. Flint units you up with a Stripe account for fee processing. Stripe is, like Sq. and PayPal, a third-party aggregator. Meaning you’re authorised to start out processing nearly immediately, however there’s some danger to this mannequin since you don’t get your individual distinctive service provider account. We’ll get to that in a while.

The software program consists of a cell app and a service provider portal accessible by way of an internet dashboard. As we already stated, Flint’s cell processing app is slightly bit completely different than most others. Specifically, it depends on the gadget’s digital camera to scan playing cards as an alternative of swiping. However should you’ve performed round with any type of different mPOS, it’d take you a second to get your bearings. Flint isn’t a radical departure from most different apps, but it surely’s simply completely different sufficient that you simply may be perplexed for a second. Thankfully there are a few tutorials to information you thru once you log in for the primary time.

That stated, the cell funds app seems to be much like earlier iterations of the app, together with iOS-specific options. Right here’s what you get:

  • Multi-user capabilities: For those who go for Flint Professional or Enterprise, you may add extra customers to the account (3 for Professional, 5 for Enterprise). That is nice for rising companies that need to have the ability to take funds from a number of areas on the identical time. Nevertheless, PayPal Right here provides this characteristic for free, with limitless customers, and so do most different mPOS apps moreover Sq..
  • Personalized receipts: Make your electronic mail receipts slightly flashy with a emblem, enterprise information, coupons and extra notes. It’s also possible to make entry to social media simple by together with a hyperlink to put up Fb critiques proper on the receipt. It’s best to be aware, nonetheless, that you simply can’t print a paper receipt with the Flint app except you go into the service provider dashboard at your laptop, which isn’t an ideal workaround.
  • Personalized tip settings: You possibly can toggle recommendations on and off, specify whether or not to make use of a proportion or greenback quantity for ideas, and specify 3 really useful tip quantities.
  • Personalized gross sales tax settings: That is pretty fundamental. You possibly can specify whether or not an merchandise is taxable or not and specify the speed.
  • Merchandise library: Hold a listing of things in your app so you may pull up merchandise with ease. Nevertheless, don’t anticipate the strong stock administration you get with Sq.. That is very fundamental: simply the merchandise identify and value, plus tax settings. There’s no photographs, no variants, no different info. Nevertheless, the merchandise library does sync with the net dashboard and you may specify which objects are to be offered on-line and which of them aren’t.
  • Greenback quantity reductions: Many apps make reductions actually annoying to use. Flint handles this characteristic flawlessly. I would prefer to see a proportion low cost choice sooner or later.
  • Logging money and checks: Whilst you can’t deposit checks with the app, you may monitor money and checks for a extra full money register expertise.
  • QR-based coupons (iOS solely): Flint Cell lets you create and challenge coupons, attaching them to electronic mail receipts. Prospects can save these coupons by way of Apple Passbook or electronic mail. That is truly a reasonably refined program to supply at no cost, particularly contemplating you need to use the service provider portal to maintain monitor of issued and redeemed coupons. Plus the app sends clients an automatic reminder earlier than the deal expires. Nevertheless, that is an Apple-exclusive characteristic, which is a little bit of a disappointment.
  • Security measures: I’m taking a second to carry this up as a result of I’d think about many retailers are cautious of the digital camera scan perform by way of knowledge security. First, Flint is PCI compliant. Though the app makes use of the digital camera as a scanner it doesn’t truly take photographs of the cardholder info. Second, Flint provides two extra safety features: Masks Card Scan and Masks CVV and Expiration Date. Enabling this characteristic will block out the center numbers of the cardboard in your display in addition to the expiration date and three-digit safety code.

That’s about it for the app. You’ll need to be aware that aside from objects and invoices, you may’t management app settings from throughout the browser dashboard. Nonetheless, it makes extra sense than requiring all of the settings be adjusted within the browser, so I assume there’s that.

Flint Cell: Options Past the App

Whereas the mPOS app is certainly the core providing within the Flint Cell suite, it’s not all you get. There are two extra essential options to pay attention to:

  • Invoicing: Flint lets you ship invoices from throughout the cell app and the net dashboard. The invoicing characteristic enables you to ship a consumer an bill with a hyperlink to pay it. Flint additionally sends automated reminders despatched to clients with unpaid invoices. Plus, purchasers are mechanically added to your consumer database so you may extra simply ship future invoices — it’s mainly, an inventory of purchasers you’ve labored with so you may refer again to them and ship invoices extra simply. That is useful should you work with a variety of the identical purchasers regularly. Nevertheless, take be aware: With the bottom plan you get solely 10 invoices and 10 purchasers per yr; with the Professional account you get limitless invoices and as much as 50.
  • “Purchase Now” buttons: If you wish to promote on-line however don’t need to cope with (often-expensive) purchasing carts, Flint will allow you to create “Purchase now” buttons which you can place in your web site and different locations on-line to promote. Nevertheless, clients can solely buy one merchandise at a time with the buy-now buttons. You possibly can’t load objects right into a purchasing cart and take a look at or supply reductions for purchasing a number of merchandise.  It is a very pared down answer — and Flint isn’t the one one to supply it. But it surely’s positively one of many issues that makes Flint even remotely viable within the on-line area. Nevertheless, if in case you have greater than about 5 merchandise you might need to begin taking a look at different, absolutely fledged eCommerce choices.

That’s concerning the extent of what Flint has to supply, past your customary analytics and dashboard experiences. In all, it’s a reasonably fundamental bundle. That’s not dangerous — but it surely’s laborious to see the worth when different options can do much more for much less.

Flint Cell Charges & Charges

Flint processes transactions at customary Stripe charges: 2.9% + $0.30. That’s the speed you’ll pay for keyed or scanned transactions, invoices, and on-line gross sales.

It is a fairly customary fee for invoicing and eCommerce. It’s precisely what PayPal and Sq. additionally cost.

Nevertheless, so far as mPOS charges go, it’s not a great one. That $0.30 transaction payment goes to harm a LOT, particularly for low quantity tickets. Remember that most mPOS techniques supply a percentage-based transaction — 2.7% or 2.75% p.c. That is what PayPal Right here, Sq., and SumUp cost.

A number of different mPOS choices cost a per-transaction payment: Spark Pay, Intuit GoPayment, even Fattmerchant Cell. It’s often within the $0.05 to $0.25 vary, however they often additionally supply barely decrease proportion charges.

To run a comparability, we’re going to wish a pair items of knowledge. specifically, we’d like a month-to-month transaction quantity. However to essentially see how the per-transaction payment hurts, we additionally want the typical ticket dimension. Let’s assume a median month-to-month quantity of $3,000, and common ticket sizes of $20 and $45.

Situation 1:
PayPal Right here
(2.7% per swipe)
Situation 2:
Sq.
(2.75% per swipe)
Situation 3:
Flint
(2.9% + $0.30)
$20/avg ticket
Situation 4:Flint
(2.9% + $0.30)
$45/avg ticket
Proportion Charges $81 $82.50 $87 $87
Per-Transaction Charges $0 $0 $45 $20
Month-to-month Charge None None $0 to $14.99 $0 to $14.99
Whole Month-to-month
Processing Charges
$81 $82.50 $132 $107

 

 

 

 

 

First issues first: discover that at a 2.9% swipe fee, the value distinction between Flint and Sq./PayPal right here is barely $5-6. The numerous distinction in processing charges some from that $0.30 transaction charges.

Second, discover how massive the distinction in price is simply between a median ticket dimension of $20 and $45 — a full $25. But it surely’s nearly one other $25 distinction between Sq. and Flint assuming a $45 ticket. In case your common transaction dimension is $20, the distinction is $50, and at this quantity, that’s a LOT of wasted cash. That’s one other $1,800 in transactions at Sq.’s charges.

That’s what I imply once I say the per-transaction payment will damage retailers lots, particularly if in case you have a low common transaction quantity.

Flint Cell Month-to-month Plans

That’s simply the charges for fee processing, nonetheless. Flint truly provides 3 plans for retailers to select from:

  • Free Plan: Limitless mPOS processing, 10 invoices per yr, 10 purchasers in consumer database, 1 consumer, no on-line gross sales
  • Professional Plan ($99.99/yr or $9.99/month): Limitless mPOS processing, limitless invoices per yr, 50 purchasers in consumer database, 4 customers (proprietor + 3), limitless on-line gross sales
  • Enterprise Plan (149.99/yr or $14.99/month): Limitless mPOS processing, limitless invoices per yr, limitless purchasers in consumer database, 6 customers (proprietor + 5)

The “Free” plan right here can be OK for somebody who solely processes any type of fee seldomly. You possibly can’t promote on-line, and also you’re maxed at 10 invoices per yr. This isn’t an answer for even reasonably busy enterprise retailers. About the one ones I can see this working for are crafters who sometimes do customized orders and promote principally at exhibits, and contractors who solely freelance as soon as in a blue moon.

The Professional plan is slightly higher, however nonetheless an costly worth proposition:. You possibly can promote on-line, but it surely’s solely by making a Purchase Now button. You continue to must get your individual website, your individual area, your individual internet hosting after which manually add the code. It’s good that you simply get limitless gross sales and multi-user help, however I’m undecided it’s sufficient to justify the associated fee. It’s even tougher to justify the price of the Enterprise plan, the place for $50 extra per yr you will get limitless purchasers in your database an further two customers. It doesn’t seem proper now which you can add customers past that.

For those who’re primarily after an mPOS, I’ve a tough time recommending Flint due to the associated fee. Even should you do get monetary savings within the quick time period due to the shortage of {hardware} (HEY! Do you know Sq. sells its Contactless + Chip card reader for $49?), you’re going to pay extra long run. If you’re on the lookout for a extra strong invoicing platform or very, VERY mild eCommerce, Flint begins to make a bit extra sense.

Nothing that Flint provides is exclusive or revolutionary, but it surely’s positively succesful. Nonetheless, taking a look at that mPOS pricing makes me upset as a result of there are such a lot of higher choices. Even should you add the worth of invoicing to the combo, it doesn’t justify the associated fee!

Contract Size & Early Termination Charge:

The excellent news is that since Flint makes use of Stripe as its back-end processor, you get kind of the identical contract phrases as processing immediately by way of Stripe. Particularly, Flint’s consumer settlement says that you’re additionally agreeing to Stripe’s Phrases as Flint’s funds accomplice. I do suggest reviewing Stripe’s consumer settlement in addition to Flint‘s as a result of educated retailers are empowered retailers.

For fee processing, it’s pay-as-you-go. For those who go for the Professional or Enterprise plan, you may pay on your subscription on a month to month foundation, or go for the annual plan. You possibly can cancel everytime you need and simply cease utilizing Flint with out having to pay any early terminations or different penalties.

That is positively excellent news.

Gross sales & Promoting Transparency

Flint’s web site discloses all of the contract phrases and pricing very nicely. It even makes it clear that Stripe is the back-end processor. There’s a transparent run-down of the core choices. All of that is good, however let’s take a second to speak concerning the elephant within the room: that very surprising shut-down.

To say it wasn’t dealt with nicely is a little bit of an understatement, and I feel retailers have each proper to be cautious. Nevertheless, I’d be much more frightened if Flint hid its backend processor from retailers. Stripe isn’t precisely the very best firm on the planet. It’s nonetheless an aggregator like PayPal or Sq., and due to that,  you’re going to danger the likelihood that your account might be terminated with no warning. However for probably the most half, Stripe is steady. Stripe powers a variety of platforms’ funds companies, together with Shopify. So I feel that association, whereas costly, reduces the probability that Flint is simply going to cave and disappear off the face of the planet once more.

Flint nonetheless has a weblog, although posting is sporadic. The Twitter account is energetic however has very little interplay with its 2,500 followers. The Fb web page may be very practically useless, regardless of practically 20,000 likes. It’s unsurprising, however I feel Flint might be nonetheless having a tough time profitable over retailers and it’s in all probability working a really lean operation. I’m not seeing a stream of assist requests on social media, although, which I often interpret as a great signal — or no less than one which the corporate is doing no less than an OK to passable job of customer support. and talking of:

Buyer Service & Technical Assist

Right here’s one of many areas the place I feel Flint is working lean. At present, the one buyer help choice is a ticket-based electronic mail system. No cellphone help, no reside chat. Nevertheless, most technical, payment-related points will nearly definitely be routed by way of Stripe, which has a way more strong buyer help system.

Lack of real-time communication tends to be a critical sore spot for retailers, but it surely can be a expensive funding. If Flint does nicely, I hope to see an choice for reside help sooner or later.

The opposite choice for help is a self-help information base. Nevertheless, it leaves a lot to be desired in my eyes. There’s not a variety of details about find out how to use Flint’s options. It’s not a brilliant complicated mPOS, however I might nonetheless anticipate to see slightly little bit of instruction on find out how to use among the varied instruments and options.

Unfavourable Evaluations & Complaints

Flint doesn’t have a variety of consumer testimonials from the re-launch a method or one other. Excluding a handful of feedback, just about every thing dates to February 2016 or earlier. Essentially the most notable grievance is an absence of customer support — claiming Flint is non-responsive.

At this level, probably the most we will do is watch and wait and see what occurs.

For those who’ve had first-hand expertise with this firm, please go away us your impartial, unbiased Flint Cell overview in our feedback part.

Constructive Evaluations & Testimonials

Once more, not a lot chatter from the relaunch of Flint. Nevertheless, you’ll nonetheless discover a number of testimonials on the Flint web site, in addition to an inventory of names, together with NerdWallet, Gigoam, TechCrunch, and Dow Jones. Provided that they’re not linked and there’s no previous textual content, my guess is it is a record of purchasers. It’s not clear how present that record is, which is problematic for me.

I feel a variety of deserves of Flint from earlier than the shutdown nonetheless apply. The app is straightforward to make use of, the shortage of obligatory {hardware} is good. Flint is an efficient little starter omnichannel platform… in as far as options are involved. It’s the associated fee that actually hurts Flint’s viability.

Last Verdict

I feel it’s truthful that Flint has earned a recent begin. With a steady back-end processor and clear disclosure, Flint is totally a viable contender for retailers who want an mPOS, invoicing, and perhaps some “purchase now” buttons. It’s deserving of a spot on the shortlist once you get round to narrowing down the choices.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply it’s the best choice on the market, and completely just isn’t probably the most price efficient. In our Flint Cell overview, we’re awarding a complete of three.5 stars for being extremely succesful and general dependable. But it surely gained’t break into the 4-star or 4.5-star ranks till we see extra aggressive pricing.

Each PayPal Right here and Sq. offer you every thing that Flint does, usually at a decrease price. And whereas we do know there’s loads of people who find themselves itching for an answer that’s neither of the above, I feel there are nonetheless different choices moreover Flint that you need to attempt first. Shopify Lite gives you every thing Flint provides (together with Stripe as its back-end processor) for $9/month, and also you’ll get decrease swipe charges plus reside chat help, and the choice to improve to a way more strong eCom and/or retail platform if enterprise does nicely.

Zoho Bill provides some inexpensive plans that Combine with Stripe and PayPal for on-line funds. You possibly can mix that with SumUp for mPOS capabilities should you’re towards PayPal Right here. For those who’re solely after an mPOS, I’d think about Payline Cell, even. Like Flint, it has a per-transaction payment that may make it dearer for some retailers, however the decrease proportion fee and per transaction payment make it extra viable. Plus you’ll get your individual distinctive service provider account.

If, in spite of everything of that, you’re nonetheless fairly darn positive Flint is the answer for you, go forward. Remember that it’s positively one of many dearer choices. However regardless of all that, you need to have the ability to anticipate dependable fee processing on an attention-grabbing platform.

Are you utilizing the brand new Flint? Take a look at our remark tips and go away us a be aware about your experiences up to now!

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