Updated on November 22, 2021

Groovv Loyalty Marketing Tool Free to All Merchants….Gregory Bair

Total Merchant Loyalty Services is offering free email and social network marketing to their paying merchants through an interface called Groovv Loyalty Offers (formerly Fanminder Offers), instituted in 2012. This service offers free email, social media, and mobile text marketing services. These marketing tools build a loyal fan base for merchants and drive traffic and increased sales.

Merchants can send out multiple online blasts easily, providing discounts, specials, and coupons to their customer base through their email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Groovv Loyalty also can track redemption of these offers. This service have been proven to increase profits up to 8%


Total Merchant Services (TMS) has been in business since 1996 and has become a small to mid-sized business leader in the credit card processing industry. TMS is a registered ISO/MSP of HSCB Bank. Now headquartered in Woodland Hills, California as of 2013, TMS serves their more than 10,000 merchant clients. They use independent sales agents (ISAs) to recruit and serve clients and have earned the Electronic Transactions Association ISO of the year award for 2012 because of their excellent sales programs. TMS is known for their low-cost/high-level service and technology-based marketing solutions.

TMS has worked very hard in the last few years to improve their service to merchants. They now offer education, marketing tools, and clearer fair contract stipulations.

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Groovv and Customer Loyalty

In April, 2014 Total Merchant Services announced the launch of Groovv. With its introduction, the merchant can do so much more than market to their customers, but instead Groove, an unrivaled technology platform, also provides the following key business management solutions and benefits:

Groove Register

Groovv Register provides a POS solution to small and medium retail merchants. It is powered by Registroid technology, acquired by TMS in 2013. This POS system operates on Android devices and empowers mobile merchants growth using customizable software and hardware bundles, all optional to meet the specific needs of the merchant.

Groove Offers

Loyalty card programs are an excellent way to boost sales. The customers keep coming back for discounts, specials, and coupons offered to them on social networking sites and email, as well as their mobile apps. Customer loyalty makes for return customers and a great return on the merchant investment. The best news: it’s free through Groovv for Total Merchant Services merchants. Groovv Offers assists merchants in building their customer contact database too, using easy web forms and import tools.

Groove API

Groovv API is a strong and reliable secure integration platform which allows third party developers to integrate customer data, payments, and online marketing (Groovv Offers). Real-time access to data is provided for merchants in a very user friendly manner, which aids in managing the retail business in the most effective way.

Customer Loyalty

Groovv’s face value is $1,800 a year, yet TMS waives this fee for their merchants. This added value shouldn’t be minimized or forgotten. It can increase sales potential tremendously, create customer loyalty, provide inexpensive marketing solutions and will save the merchant time and money by reducing the need for internal marketing campaigns or the need to hire a third party marketing firm. The actual value then is far beyond the face value.

The addition of Groovv was a tremendous service to the merchant customers—a definite step in the right direction for TMS.

Products and Services

TMS offers standard essentials and more, listed below:

  • Merchant accounts
  • Check services
  • Virtual terminal
  • Terminal sales and leases
  • Mobile processing through Payment Jack
  • Mobile/social marketing
  • Free QuickBooks and USB reader
  • Merchant advantage program
  • Check guarantee services
  • Gift card services
  • Cash Advance

Equipment and Software

TMS offers free equipment to their new merchant customers. There are no long-term contracts or hidden fees and TMS supplies terminals and swiper readers for the duration of the contract. Depending on the needs of the merchant, they may use a virtual terminal which allows users to process from an internet connected computer though their web browser, a standalone terminal which works vie an IP or phone line, or Payment Jack for mobile processing. They also include free Quickbooks and a USB reader.

Merchant Advantage Program

The Merchant Advantage program provides these benefits:

  • Overnight replacement of defective terminals
  • Terminal paper receipt rolls
  • Anytime access to merchant accounts
  • Savings on FedEx shipping and business services
  • Discounts on Dell computer equipment
  • Discounts from Office Depot
  • Discounts from iContact email marketing

It is free for the merchant’s first 3 months, then $10 per month after, but the merchant must cancel service to avoid these automatic charges.

If $10 per month is too steep, TMS offers their Online Advantage program for $5 per month, it includes:

  • Anytime access to merchant accounts
  • Savings on FedEx shipping and business services
  • Discounts on Dell computer equipment
  • Discounts from Office Depot

Mobile Processing

For mobile processing, TMS has the Payment Jack swipe device which turns smartphones into secure credit card terminals. The magnetic swiper is free, as is its software. There are many benefits Payment Jack can provide for the mobile merchant:

  • Real-time authorization for both swiped and keyed transactions, with fast deposit
  • Signature capture on touchscreen devices
  • Receipts emailed to customers upon transaction
  • History and reports of customers and transactions
  • Single account, or connect to other accounts
  • DES3 secure
  • PCI Compliant

Payment Jack is perfect for these industries:

  • Direct sellers
  • Gardeners and landscapers
  • General contractors, electricians, masonry and carpentry contractors
  • Taxi, limo and airport services
  • Mobile business owners
  • Mobile market vendors: artists, farmers, antique sellers

Payment Jack is free, but the pricing program for the service is separate from the regular pricing and is non-negotiable. It is listed in the Rates and Fees section below.

Rates and Fees

Total Merchant Services’ rates or fees are listed below with these caveats: the corporate office may price differently than an independent agent, the type of business and volume of processing further changes the rates by providing discounts through tiered pricing. It is best to talk to an agent for each merchant’s accurate pricing.

TMS does offer interchange plus pricing and seasonal downtime for most merchants. Below are the documented fees:

  • Monthly Statement Fee$0
  • Customer Service Fee$7.50
  • Batch Fee$0.25 per batch, per location
  • Chargeback/Retrieval Fee$20 average
  • Voice Authorization Fee$0.95
  • Minimum Monthly Fee$25.00 (mandatory for free terminal program)
  • Visa/MC/Discover Authorization Fees$0.10 average
  • PIN-Based Debit Fee$0.32 plus applicable interchange item fees
  • Non-Bankcard Card Authorization Fees (Amex, EBT, JCB, Diner$0.10
  • PCI Compliance FeeFree for first 12 months and then $4.95/month thereafter.
  • AVS (Address Verification Service) Fee5¢ assessed any time card not present

Payment Jack Account Fee Structure

  • First unit free ($49 value)
  • Additional units offered at $19.95
  • Flat rate of 1.69% on volume
  • Each transaction is 30¢
  • Monthly fee of $12.50
  • NO monthly minimums
  • NO commitment
  • Month-to-month agreement
  • One-on-one customer support
  • $500 meet or beat guarantee

Contract Terms

TMS has a standard termination fee of $295. They now do offer no early termination fee contracts, merchants should ask about it and get it in writing. With no early termination fee contracts are for three years and auto renew, so merchants should take the correct steps if they wish out of the contract.

Customer Service

TMS offers customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There have been some negative reviews about customer service. This may be due to the independent sales force offering different service rates than corporate and customer service being a corporate entity.

And on that note, a google search for Total Merchant Services bring up a host of sites with the TMS Logo and branding, yet most of them are set up by the independent sales force.