Allied Wallet Overall Rating
Last Updated: February 18, 2014
Allied Wallet Overview
Headquartered in London, Allied Wallet (alliedwallet.com) is a merchant account provider that specializes in e-commerce and has grown rapidly in the last two years. The company, which was founded in 2002, appears to utilize First Data as its processing network but may also be partnered with other international companies and banks. Allied Wallet offers debit and credit card processing through an online payment gateway, support for multiple currencies, a customer database, tracking, reporting, online shopping carts, and an online wallet service for customers.
Allied Wallet claims to service 88 million users worldwide and expects to process $55 billion in 2013, but the company has received very little coverage in the U.S. and is not showing very many reviews online. This is likely due to the fact that Allied Wallet appears to operate most heavily in Asia (specifically Russia and China) and the UK. In fact, Allied Wallet was the first company to win the international rights to transact renminbi online, which has helped it to secure a large foothold in the growing Chinese e-commerce market.
Allied Wallet reached a civil settlement with the FBI in 2010 for a sum of $13.3 million, which the FBI had seized in an online gambling raid. According to the FBI, Allied Wallet knowingly partnered with a Scottsdale, Arizona-based bank to process offshore wire transfers and other payments related to gambling through an Isle of Man company called Pokerstars. Allied Wallet forfeited the total amount seized by the FBI and has not been cited for similar illegal activity since the ruling.
Allied Wallet Sales & Marketing Tactics | F
Allied Wallet appears to primarily rely on a large network of resellers to market its services, but there is some evidence that the company also engages in questionable internet marketing. There are a number of online articles and blogs seemingly built for the sole purpose of showing up in search results for “Allied Wallet” plus the words “scam” or “ripoff.” The problem is that most of these blogs don’t actually make a legitimate effort to determine whether the company is a scam or a ripoff, which indicates to us that someone is attempting to absorb traffic for those searches and possibly suppress actual complaints. Some of these articles have obviously been created for this reason only, but others may not be as clear to a trusting reader. Merchants are encouraged to double check which website the article is hosted on and ensure that it is a valid source of merchant services reviews.
Allied Wallet also appears to be engaging in a very unethical advertising practice by operating a website designed to look like that of the Colorado DMV. The website (located here), which has a “.org” domain, contains language specifying that it is privately owned and is not affiliated with the DMV, but this text is not featured prominently, especially compared to the large, linked text encouraging visitors to renew or replace their driver’s licenses through the website. The site charges visitors $14.95 to renew or replace their licenses, which may be more or less than the actual Colorado DMV charges. Regardless, the site built by Allied Wallet is not shy about collecting visitors’ credit card numbers, and it appears to be at the very least an attempt to dupe unsuspecting visitors into paying Allied Wallet unnecessarily for a service that is actually provided by the government. We are currently unable to find any other websites by the company that replicate this strategy, but this instance alone reflects very poorly on the ethical standards adhered to by Allied Wallet.
Allied Wallet Costs & Contract Terms | B
There is very little verifiable information about the standard Allied Wallet merchant account contract, but it is likely that the company offers a wide array of potential rates and fees to its clients. Allied Wallet appears to handle electronic transactions in multiple countries and for many different business types, so costs may vary depending on a merchant’s size, business type, country of operation, and time in business. There is a lot of evidence at this time that Allied Wallet provides high risk merchant accounts and offshore merchant accounts, which may explain why most of the available complaints about the company cite fund holding or account freezes. The Allied Wallet website quotes rates “as low as 1.95%,” which is almost certainly the company’s “Qualified” rate and is not representative of the average processing fee a merchant will pay. Overall, it is unclear at this time what kinds of contract conditions Allied Wallet offers to its merchants. If you have any specific knowledge of the company’s standard contract (including early termination fees, PCI Compliance fees, monthly minimums, etc.), please share that information in the comment section of this review.
Allied Wallet Complaints & Service | A-
We are currently able to locate approximately nine Allied Wallet negative reviews that accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff, although some complaints may be difficult to locate due to the number of bogus articles online intended to absorb traffic for such searches. The most common issue cited among complainants is fund withholding by Allied Wallet, and this often appears to be related to high risk merchant accounts provided by the company. In many cases, a company representative responded to complainants and explained why their funds were withheld, and there is no indication at this time that Allied Wallet was abusing its fraud prevention policies in these instances.
Another issue cited by complainants is the fact that they found themselves in an agreement with Allied Wallet without knowing that they had signed up for service through the company. Allied Wallet appears to use a number of subsidiaries and strategic partners to sell its services across the globe, and these smaller entities are likely under no obligation to transparently advertise that they are affiliated with Allied Wallet. Because of this, merchants may have some trouble determining which entity they should contact for customer service. Overall, though, we are not seeing a complaint volume that would justify a low grade, although merchants are advised to be cautious given Allied Wallet’s grade in the Sales & Marketing Tactics section of this review.
Allied Wallet BBB Report | B- (CPO Adjusted)
Allied Wallet is not an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently shows a “D-” rating based on five complaints filed in the last three years. Of these complaints, four were due to problems with the product or service, while one had to do with a billing or collection issue. All but one were resolved with BBB assistance, and the lone unaddressed complaint is the reason for the company’s low BBB rating. Allied Wallet is also showing three negative reviews in the BBB’s review section, two of which received a response from a company representative. Based on this information, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B-.”
It is difficult to make an overall assessment of Allied Wallet at this point in time. There are a number of ethical concerns with the company, especially considering its legal history and how it appears to market itself. However, Allied Wallet is not showing a high volume of complaints online and appears to do most of its business outside of the U.S for the time being. At this point, we have several reservations about recommending the company, but there isn’t a sufficient complaint volume to recommend against it.
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