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Secure Hosting

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
Best Payment Providers

What We Like

Secure Hosting is transparent about its standard pricing. Also, it works with all of the major UK acquirers, so it increases merchants chances of getting merchant services that are best for them.

What We Didn't Like

Secure Hosting uses resellers to increase its client base, and merchants are required to pay out their leases if they terminate rental agreements before they expire.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

Secure Hosting has been in the payment service provider sector since 1998, and it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monek Limited in 2017. Based in Lichfield, Straffordshire, Secure Hosting helps small and medium-sized companies capture, process and deliver accurate customer payment data. Secure Hosting considers itself an “acquirer agnostic,” which means it works with all of the UK acquirers so it can get merchants the best deals. It has helped thousands of customers connect to all major acquirers, including First Data, Global Payments, Lloyds Bank, Allied Irish Bank, Borgun, WorldPay, Barclaycard, and Elavon, via the Monek payment gateway. Monek Limited has offered safe, secure payments processing since 1998.

Its strategy is to convert the complex world of payments into opportunities for businesses and so that their customers can pay for goods and services safely and easily. It offers solutions for face-to-face, online, and telephone transactions.

Marketing

For the most part, Secure Hosting promotes its services through its various partners. Other than resellers, it straightforward website is the only other way it promotes its services. It is not active on any social media platforms. Failing to use social media definitely is a lost opportunity.

Honesty

Secure Hosting doesn’t promote any rate-quoting tactics when it comes to merchant account services, and it openly names the acquirers it uses. We could not find a single complaint about Secure Hosting engaging in unethical business practices, or operating in a dishonest manner. However, it does use “starting at” rates for its card machine rentals.

Sales

Secure Hosting works with a host of reseller partners to grow its customer base. Resellers are entities that sell Secure Hosting’s merchant account services to their own clients.  Currently, it works with more than 800 partners, including technology providers and web designers. Those that partner with Secure Hosting get discounts, scripts to integrate their own shopping carts, and customization of all administration pages associated with their clients. Partners can use their own logos and text on their login pages that their own clients use for orders and account information. Resellers can be problematic for customers because they often have the ability to set pricing and contract terms for merchant account. In many cases, processors set some limits on resellers can do.

Support

Secure Hosting can be reached via phone, email, and inquiry forms. It does not offer a live chat option. Its payment terminal help desk service, which is a telephone advice bureau for operational difficulties, is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday and bank holidays. It is closed on Christmas Day. Gateway support is available on UK working days between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Staff Responsiveness

It took a long time for Secure Hosting to respond to our inquiries. We submitted four emails and two “request for quote” inquires before we received a single reply. The reply told us to provide some additional information and that an agent would call us back soon. We never received a call. We attempted many times to reach the business, but we were only able to reach a live representative on time. The process was long, frustrating, and disappointing.

Staff Interaction

The little interaction we had with a team member from Secure Hosting was fruitless. He sounded confused, lacked knowledge, and was rushing to get off the phone. The only thing he did say is that we needed to start a preliminary application to get the process started.

Staff Education

Due to our limited interactions with team members, it is difficult to assess staff education levels. The member we spoke to was not very knowledgeable or helpful.

Pricing

Secure Hosting charges the following processing rates:

  • European personal cards: 1.25% plus £0.10 per transaction
  • Business/corporate cards: 2.05% plus £0.10 per transaction
  • International cards: plus 2% on the above rates

Additionally, a standard virtual terminal costs £12.95 per month plus VAT per month and includes 100 phone and mail order transactions per month. Each additional transaction over 100 cost 8 p. A standard online processing account costs £18.95 plus VAT per month and includes 200 transactions per month. Each transaction over that amount costs 8p.

Also, it is unclear whether merchants pay set-up, monthly minimum, statement, or annual fees. Businesses that have more than 200 transactions per month should contact Secure Hosting for a direct quote.
Hardware Costs

Secure Hosting offers a variety offers a variety of card machine terminals for rental. Contracts for equipment rentals are variable.

It offers:

  • A wi-fi terminal, which is a portable device that can be used on a merchant’s premises while connected to wi-fi, starts at £18 per month
  • A static terminal, which is connected via static network and is for use in a fixed position at a business, starts at £12 per month
  • A GPRS terminal, which is a portable device that uses a GPRS connection that allows merchants to take payments anywhere, starts at £18 per month

Merchants are charged for certain related to rented payment terminals. Secure Hosting can charge up to £300 if a payment terminal is found to be broken or damaged. It also can charge up to £100 if a payment terminal is inspected, and it is found to be “not faulty.” Further, it can charge up to £50 for any terminal amendments.

Early Termination Fees

Contracts are variable and they continue to renew until the merchant or Monek terminates the agreement, according to Secure Hosting’s terms and conditions. Merchants can cancel their agreement by providing 30 days of notice and following the instructions in their Monek accounts. It does not appear to charge an early termination fee to end a merchant account contract.

According to its terms and conditions, terminal rental agreements begin on the day the contract is signed and it continues until the minimum term expires. Terms are variable, but can last up to four years. Either party can cancel the contract at any time by giving at least 30 days of written notice. However, if notice is given before the minimum term expires, merchants must make a payment equivalent to all rental charges, which would have been payable for the remainder of the initial term.

Complaints

We could not find a single positive or negative review about Secure Hosting or Monek. Neither have a profile with the Better Business Bureau or TrustPilot. It is possible that since it works with numerous acquirers and resellers throughout the UK, complaints are being left on the pages of those businesses. In this type of situation, it is difficult to determine whether or not a business is living up to all of its claims.

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