SmartPay Review: Innovative transaction fee structures, plus accept Alipay and Wechat Pay

SmartPay offers one of the only eftpos machines that enables merchants to accept Alipay and Wechat pay through the terminal. Curiously, they don’t accept some credit card types, such as UnionPay and Diner’s Club.

SmartPay EFTPOS Terminal
SmartPay Terminal
Eftpos
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Alipay
Wechat Pay

Our take on SmartPay

SmartPay offers one of the only eftpos machines that enables merchants to accept Alipay and Wechat pay through the terminal. Curiously, they don’t accept some credit card types, such as UnionPay and Diner’s Club.

Pros

  • Merchants can accept cards for ‘free’ by passing on transaction costs to the customer
  • Transaction-based pricing model, which reduces fee cost when merchant’s aren’t transacting
  • One of the few providers to accept Alipay and Wechat Pay through the terminal
  • Free basic point-of-sale integration, although only a few software integrations and is missing some key functionalities

Cons

  • Terminal is slightly bulky and looks quite dated
  • No Diner’s Club, JCB or China UnionPay acceptance
  • No least cost routing or dynamic currency conversion
  • Merchants may not be able to access their funds for 2-3 days

Table of Contents

What is SmartPay?

SmartPay is an eftpos machine provider that started out in New Zealand and achieved 30% market share in that country, before selling their assets and focusing on Australia

In Australia, the business is still small. As at the end of 2019, SmartPay has approximately 4,000 terminals in the market (up from about 1,500 the year before), which gives them a market share of approximately 0.45%.

To put this in perspective, Live Eftpos has about 8,000 terminals in the market, Tyro has about 50,000 terminals in the market, and the Commonwealth Bank has about 255,000 terminals in the market.

Solutions and Pricing

SmartPay takes a slightly different approach to eftpos machine fees than most providers.

Their fee structures lean more toward transaction fees, and they have fewer fixed fees and rental fees. This means that merchant fees are higher when the business is transacting, and lower when the business is not transacting. This is great for the merchant.

SmartCharge

Transaction Fees

SmartPay has employed some quite innovative marketing for their SmartCharge solution. In big, bold letters the website states:

Keep every dollar of your sale with SmartCharge zero cost EFTPOS. If you have monthly turnover of over $10K in credit cards on each terminal, we can wipe out your EFTPOS rental as well. Ka-ching!

So any business that transacts over $10,000 per month can accept card payments with zero fees. Sounds great, right?

It’s important to note that SmartPay still does charge transaction fees. However, SmartCharge automatically passes these fees onto the merchant using a feature called dynamic surcharging. When a customer pays for a transaction, the payment screen will show the transaction cost plus the added surcharge.

Merchants have the option of surcharging all transactions, removing surcharging for one transaction type (e.g. eftpos) to give customers a fee-free card payment option, or manually overriding the surcharge for any transactions on the eftpos machine.

Unfortunately, SmartPay does not publish the transaction fees associated with SmartCharge. The fee cost is important to know, as merchants should be wary of passing on high fees and upsetting their loyal customers. Merchants should speak to SmartPay to find out their specific transaction fees.

It is also important to know that SmartCharge does not apply to Alipay or Wechat Pay transactions.

And furthermore, although you won’t see the same marketing with any other eftpos provider. Any eftpos provider that has dynamic surcharging functionality is able to replicate this same model.

Terminal Rental Fee

Customers that transact over $10,000 per month do not pay terminal rental fees. Otherwise terminals are charged at $34.95 (plus GST) per terminal per month.

Other Fees

There are no other fees involved with SmartCharge, so long as the merchant stays with SmartPay for longer than 12 months. If the customer leaves before that time, they will be charged a fee of $90 (plus GST).

SmartPay SmartCharge

SmartPay SmartCharge: “Never Pay EFTPOS Fees Again”. Source: SmartPay

Simple Flat Rate

Transaction Fees

SmartPay’s Simple Flat Rate solution offers merchants a fixed fee per transaction type:

  • eftpos, Alipay and Wechat Pay: A fixed flat rate per transaction (i.e. cents per transaction)
  • Visa and Mastercard: A fixed percentage fee per transaction
  • American Express: The merchant must enter a separate agreement with American Express to accept these cards, therefore they are not included in the flat rate.

These rates are not published on the SmartPay website. This is because SmartPay takes into account a business’s transaction volume, risk profile, industry and other factors when determining their rates. So merchants will have to speak to SmartPay to find out their specific rate.

For what it’s worth, the SmartPay website has an example business called Betty’s Beauty Day Spa. According to the example, the business transacts $20,000 per month, and SmartPay charges $196 in transaction fees. This averages out to transaction fees of 0.95% per transaction.

However, the website makes it clear that “actual fees will be variable for each individual merchant subject to a number of assessment criteria“. We would guess that 0.95% is toward the absolute bottom end of transaction fees and most likely includes a low-cost card mix (e.g. only eftpos, Visa, and Mastercard transactions).

Terminal Rental Fee

SmartPay’s Simple Flat Rate solution includes one terminal rental free of charge. Additional terminals are charged at $34.95 (plus GST) per terminal per month.

Other Fees

There are no other fees involved with Simple Flat Rate.

Device

SmartPay offer a Pax D210 eftpos machine as part of their SmartCharge and Simple Flat Rate pricing plans.

The Pax D210 is a run-of-the-mill mobile eftpos machine. Merchants should be aware that it includes Bluetooth and 3G connectivity and can be taken on the go, but it is still a reasonably large and bulky terminal. It’s nothing like PayPal Here or the Square Reader. Overall, the eftpos machine sizes up at 5.6cm x 8.0cm x 16.25cm.

Features

Payment Types

SmartPay includes all of the standard payment types, including eftpos, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. However, they do not accept Diner’s Club, JCB or China Unionpay cards.

In addition to the cards mentioned above, SmartPay also accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay and Wechat Pay.

In fact, SmartPay is one of the only Australian payments providers to accept both Alipay and Wechat Pay through the eftpos machine. This is will particularly valuable to merchants with a large number of international visitors.

SmartPay Alipay acceptance

SmartPay accepts Alipay and Wechat Pay via QR codes on the eftpos machine. Source: SmartPay

Point of Sale Integration

SmartPay offers an integration between the eftpos machine and the point of sale. This enables merchants to instantiate transactions from the point of sale software, which makes payments faster, reduces eftpos terminal keying errors, and streamlines reconciliation at the end of the day.

SmartPay’s integration covers the most common transaction types, including:

  • Purchase with or without cash out
  • Refund
  • Cash Out
  • Pre-authorisation
  • QR payments (e.g. Wechat Pay and Alipay)

However, hospitality businesses will be disappointed that they don’t offer some industry-specific functionality, such as:

  • Split bill by percentage or by value
  • Pay@Table (available in non-integrated mode)
  • Mail order/telephone order (MOTO; available in non-integrated mode)

It’s also worth mentioning that SmartPay only integrates with 4 point of sale solutions: Vend, Kounta, Ibis ,and SmartPay’s own Till2Go software. This is a far cry from PC-EFTPOS’s 500+ integrations or Tyro’s 300+ integrations, and it means that most merchants won’t be able to integrate SmartPay with their existing point of sales software.

Point of Sale Software (Till2Go)

SmartPay offers a free point of sale software called Till2Go to customers for easy integration to their eftpos machines.

Honestly speaking, Till2Go is a very basic point of sales solution and it’s only really appropriate for micro-businesses, market stalls, pop up stores, and mobile services. It’s a cloud-based solution that sits on a smartphone or tablet, and only really allows merchants to add products and track sales.

Till2Go is missing many key features of fully-featured point of sales software, especially industry-specific features, such as table management, kitchen display integration, split bills, inventory countdowns, customer management, and more.

Nonetheless, it’s a nice addition that most eftpos providers do not include in their offerings and may suit a small number of merchants.

Bank Accounts and Settlement

SmartPay is not a bank and thus does not offer bank accounts. It allows merchants to settle their funds into the bank account of their choice.

Funds are settled next business day. This means that transactions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are settled the next day. Transactions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are settled on Monday.

However, there may be additional time required for bank processing, so it might take up to 2-3 days for merchants to receive the funds in their account.

Least Cost Routing

SmartPay does not offer least cost routing.

This means that Visa and Mastercard debit transactions will be processed through the Visa or Mastercard networks, instead of the generally cheaper eftpos network. Providers that offer least cost routing automatically process transactions through the cheapest network, which can save merchants up to 10% on their merchant fees.

Dynamic Currency Conversion

SmartPay does not offer direct currency conversion.

Merchants can still accept foreign cards, however, there will be no option for the merchant to see the cost of their transaction in their home currency on the eftpos machine.

This is particularly disappointing, as Alipay and Wechat Pay should attract merchants with a high number of foreign customers. It would be great for those businesses to have dynamic currency conversion for card transactions.