Last update at September 3, 2020
Fivestars, which was founded in 2011, manages the largest small business marketing, CRM and loyalty program in the USA. Over 14,000 local businesses use FiveStars, over 60 million customers have joined their network. . In 2019, FiveStars introduced the first marketing-powered, CRM-connected payment hardware and gateway, called Fivestars Pay which operates with Fivestars Payment Processing, as well as a number of channel processing partners . They provide marketing and loyalty-connected payment processing solutions for all brick & mortar businesses, not including e-Commerce sites. The key to their success has been their own proprietary payment processing hardware which doubles as a customer sign-up and reward device. FiveStars is a registered payment facilitator, but also goes to market with a number of ISOs and payment processors, including First Data Merchant Services, and they offer their services throughout the US. Their software can be installed locally on Windows-based POS systems and Clover Station systems, or run on a standalone cashier tablet. In addition, customers can download the Fivestars mobile app to check their points and rewards at any time, and merchants can track the results of the Fivestars program through an online dashboard. Training on how to use their system is done in person or over the phone. Customer support is available 7 days a week over phone, online chat or email.
Fivestars charges a flat rate per month for their marketing software and the amount varies according to the selected features. Card processing is charged at a flat rate, with no minimums or account fees. Participating merchants can opt for Fivestars’ standard rate of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction, or send in their prior statements which Fivestars commits to matching.
The biggest benefit is that Fivestars provides a free digital rewards card when you use their payment platform: businesses can easily sign up customers to their rewards program during the payment flow, and build a database of customers. Automated marketing and messaging features are available in various pricing packages. There is no contract required, allowing for month-to-month flexibility. The company’s service is powered by two of the biggest payment processors in the market: Worldpay and First Data, which guarantees reliability.
Their basic pricing plan includes one cashier tablet (or POS integration), a separate credit card reader, an online dashboard, digital customer loyalty program,, and onboarding training for $0 per month, you only pay for processing fees. You can add on additional marketing features (e.g. unlimited promotions, text to join, automated messaging etc) to create a customized solution that matches your needs for additional cost..
Special deals are available for those who want to pay for a year in advance and multiple stores are charged per location. Features included in their loyalty program are activity tracking, a customer database, membership management, referral tracking, rewards management and more. A customer touchscreen is offered free on enrollment and you can onboard in less than two days.
Fivestars Pay is fully integrated with the Fivestars marketing program which automates payments, sign-ups, rewards, and messaging through the Promotions and AutoPilot features. This allows merchants to automatically stay top-of-mind and get more return visits. Merchants can set up reward tiers and special discounts, then let the program run while they focus on customer service. Messages are automatically sent directly to customers’ mobile phones at specific triggers during the customer lifecycle: for example, on their birthday or if they haven’t visited in 30 days.
Businesses can also keep their customers informed through app notifications, text messages and emails at any time. Customer data and marketing results can be viewed through the Fivestars online dashboard, along with suggested promotions for the most effective offers for your vertical. Offers can be targeted based on spending habits and other criteria, and customers can easily share the news with their own friends & family, bringing new customers to the business.. If you already have a customer database you can import it into their system when you start.
With the addition of Fivestars Pay, and the integration with your POS system, the company offers a comprehensive set of features that allow management to get added marketing value from their payments.
Fivestars uses a TCPA compliant program that protects your business from spam complaints. Their payment program also guarantees PCI compliance for payment security.
Fivestars Pay is a fairly new addition to the Fivestars platform. The merchant services integrate completely with existing point of sale systems and sync with the Fivestars customer loyalty software. Every swipe with a credit card updates the customer database which in turn is used as a marketing tool.
Rates are charged daily on a flat fee model without hidden fees. Next day deposits are made directly into businesses’ bank accounts. The Fivestars Pay reader accepts EMV chip cards as well as NFC contactless payments, and all major credit/debit cards are accepted. The Fivestars customer touchscreen also has an onscreen tipping function. The whole process of collecting payments and getting loyalty points for purchases can be completed easily in store.
Fivestars Connect software powers all customer loyalty interactions through the free tablet or from a point of sale system. Whether customers are rewarded with a free meal or given a free T-shirt, the software makes it easy to keep track of all the details. Intelligent automation makes it easy to manage your reward system and their data driven reports will help businesses make more informed decisions. AutoPilot is a feature that is designed to deliver well timed messages to customers based on a series of triggers. This could be because they haven’t visited the store in a while, or they have a birthday coming up. In addition, businesses are featured on the Fivestars network to get discovered by other local shoppers.
Fivestars is popular with all types of retail stores, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, salons, spas and other personal service businesses.The Fivestars mobile app can be accessed by customers through their iOS and Android phones. The app keeps customers up to date with accumulated points and what rewards they can enjoy. Marketing automation will keep customers aware of the latest special offers and promotions through their phones. The Text-to-join feature allows clients to sign up for a business’s rewards program from anywhere at any time and they can automatically be signed up to receive AutoPilot deals or Promotions by text.