EVO Merchant Services
EVO Merchant Services Overview
EVO Merchant Services (www.evopayments.com), also known as EVO Payments International, is a U.S.-based merchant services provider that serves merchants domestically, in Canada, and in Europe. Reports show that the company was started as a small ISO in 1988 and has grown to be one of the larger non-bank merchant account providers in the United States today. EVO Merchant Services primarily offers electronic payment processing services and products. These payment processing services include credit card processing, debit card processing, EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card processing, gift and loyalty cards, wireless payment acceptance, internet/electronic commerce, chargeback fax notification, and terminal leasing among its other various financial services.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
EVO’s primary marketing and sales strategy appears to follow a common method used by most large merchant services providers, which is the recruiting and hiring of independent sales agents. The company also allows other sales organizations, such as Evolution Bankcard, to operate as sub-ISOs under their own business names. Both of these strategies often result in complaints because the sales tactics of the resellers are difficult to control, and the company’s policies often allow for predatory pricing/terms whether they encouraged it or not. It appears that EVO Merchant Services is suffering from the typical reports one would expect with this marketing strategy, which is the primary reason for the lower rating in this section and will be covered in more detail below. The company does not appear to use any deceptive advertising or rate-quoting tactics in its marketing materials.
EVO Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|Termination fee:||$250-$500 or none|
|PCI compliance fee:||$120 per year|
|Equipment lease:||48 mos./non-cancellable|
EVO’s merchant account fees and contract terms appear to vary based on several factors including a merchant’s business type, processing volume and the agent/sub-ISO setting up the account. Service length agreements and early termination fees may also vary from one account to the next as merchants have reported cancellation fees ranging from $250 to $500. Additionally, several merchants have reported expensive, non-cancellable lease terms for processing equipment that is sold by EVO agents but managed by third-party leasing companies. EVO also appears to charge an annual PCI Compliance fee of approximately $120.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Hidden fees|
EVO Merchant Services has a moderate amount of public complaints listed for a company of its size and time in business. The types of complaints fit mostly into four categories: EVO holding deposits or withdrawing large cash reserves suddenly from a merchant’s checking account, complaints of deceptive sales tactics (especially around equipment leases and mostly attributable to resellers), former employee and agent complaints of deceptive business practices, and poor customer service experiences when attempting to resolve disputes. A complaint detailing issues with EVO’s hold policies and customer service can be seen here. Strangely, there is a recent rash of complaints filed against EVO Canada, which may indicate that the company is focusing its expansion efforts on that region, or it may just be that EVO’s policies are less favorable to Canadian merchants.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has several separate reports listed for EVO Merchant Services, but the correct one appears to be for an office listed in Melville, New York. This report lists the primary business name as “Merchant Services Incorporated” and gives “EVO Merchant Services” as an alternate business name. The report states that the company has been accredited since November 26th of 2010 and awards EVO an “A+” rating despite 63 complaints filed within the last 36 months. Of the total complaints, 36 have been listed as problems with products and services, 17 with billing and collection, 9 with advertising and sales, and the last one with a guarantee/warranty issue. The BBB has determined that 10 of the complaints were not resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction, although it believes the company made a good faith effort.
We have adjusted EVO’s BBB rating for the purposes of this review. You can learn more about why we adjust BBB ratings in our Rating Criteria.
EVO Merchant Services can improve its rating in future updates of this review by improving its policies in the common areas of merchant grievances and eliminating future complaints. Merchants are strongly encouraged to fully read and understand the terms of their EVO merchant account agreement before signing as the terms may vary widely based on the agent and/or sub-ISO setting up the account. Additionally, merchants would be wise to avoid equipment leases as this appears to be a common area of dissatisfaction.
This review was originally published on 4/24/12 and was last updated on 7/30/14.
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