BankCard USA Overall Rating
BankCard USA Overview
BankCard USA Merchant Services (bankcardusa.com) is a merchant account provider that specializes in credit card processing and electronic payment services. The company shares past ties with Maverick Bankcard, a relationship that is covered in our Maverick Bankcard review. According to a BankCard USA representative, these two companies no longer have any relationship besides being located on different floors of the same building, and each operates independently of the other.
BankCard USA’s products include wireless terminals, check conversion systems, mobile software, gift and loyalty cards, printers and terminals, cash advances, and e-commerce software. The company claims to provide processing for 400-1000 new merchants per month and to have serviced over 100,000 merchants since its creation. BankCard USA Merchant Services began operating in 1997 and is located at 28720 Roadside Drive Suite 299, Agoura Hills, California 91301. BankCard USA Merchant Services is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California.
BankCard USA Sales & Marketing Tactics | C+
According to BankCard USA reviews found on this site and elsewhere, the company appears to hire independent sales agents to market its services. The use of independent sales agents or resellers is a common practice within the industry that often results in elevated complaint rates among merchants. In the case of BankCard USA, numerous publicly available complaints report aggressive in-person sales tactics and nondisclosure or misrepresentation of fees at the point of signing.
The company’s home page quotes “the lowest rates in the industry at 0.23%.” Although the website never elaborates on this quote, it is most likely the “Qualified” rate for swiped debit transactions. The website makes no mention of the “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” rates that merchants are likely to pay for the majority of their transactions. We consider this type of rate quoting to be deceptive, since the 0.23% figure shown is much lower than the effective rate for most merchants.
BankCard USA Costs & Contract Terms | C+
Many public complaints about BankCard USA describe a standard agreement of three years with an early termination fee ranging from $99 to $295. Other reported fees include monthly minimum fees ranging from $10 to $25 (likely dependent on business size and type) and multiple PCI compliance fees each year, which may exceed $200 in total. According to one rebuttal offered by a company representative, BankCard USA reserves the right to place funds in risk assessment for up to 180 days. This provision appears to have caused great inconvenience for a number of high-risk merchants that the company has serviced.
A company representative has also informed us that BankCard USA no longer charges a termination fee on all accounts. The company only charges merchants a $99 termination fee if they have received free equipment, and it waives this fee if the equipment is returned or if the merchant remains with the company for over a year. The specific terms of the standard BankCard USA contract may vary depending on the agent servicing the account as well as the merchant’s business type, size, and time in business.
BankCard USA Complaints & Service | C-
On this website and other consumer protection websites, we were able to locate nearly 40 complaints about BankCard USA, many of which accused BankCard USA of being a “scam” or “ripoff.” Merchant complaints generally cited undisclosed fees, unauthorized debiting, and difficulty reaching customer service representatives. A significant number of complainants expressed frustration with the company’s policy of placing holds on suspiciously large transaction amounts. This is a common policy in the industry designed to protect merchant account providers from high-risk transactions. While it isn’t especially unethical to withhold funds in this manner, it appears that BankCard USA does a poor job of communicating its policies to high-risk merchants both before and during service. BankCard USA does not appear to offer a dedicated phone support line on its website.
BankCard USA BBB Report | C- (CPO Adjusted)
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received 77 complaints regarding BankCard USA Merchant Services within the past three years and is awarding BankCard USA an “A-” rating. Of the complaints, 29 were related to the product or service, 26 had to do with billing and collection, 20 were due to advertising or sales issues, and two were related to guarantee or warranty issues. A total of 42 have been resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction, while the BBB believes the company made a good faith effort on 35 despite the merchants’ ultimate dissatisfaction. In light of these figures, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C-.” To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
BankCard USA rates as a substandard merchant account provider according to our rating standards. The company has a moderate-to-high complaint rate for its apparent size, and merchants consistently report dissatisfaction with the company’s contract terms, sales tactics, and customer service. The company can improve its overall rating by lowering its complaint volume and revising its sales strategies. It is worth noting that BankCard USA could potentially be confused with another business named Bancard USA. These entities are unrelated.
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