Global Payments Overview
Global Payments Inc. (globalpaymentsinc.com) is one of the largest credit card processors in the merchant services industry and has been in business since the 1960s. It’s also one of the few credit processing companies to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: GPN). Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Global Payments supplies nearly every service a merchant would need, from setting up the merchant account to supplying the processing hardware. The only service that this processor doesn’t supply itself is an online payment gateway for e-commerce transactions. Instead, it partners with other providers that can offer the service such as Authorize.net. Even though Global Payments does not have its own payment gateway, it does have its own virtual terminal called “Global Transport.”
In addition to offering credit card processing services, Global Payments also supplies various business financial services including electronic check processing, gift card services, loyalty card programs, and a variety of financial data services.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
The only strike against Global Payments in this section is how the company acquires new merchant customers. Global relies heavily on partnered independent sales organizations (ISOs) and independent sales agents (both are also called “resellers”) to market and sell its merchant accounts. Although this is a common marketing practice among the larger processors, it can result in numerous merchant complaints because the resellers’ sales tactics are hard to control. In Global Payments’ case, it appears that most of the complaints against the company can be traced back to resellers; however, the number of complaints is low (details covered below).
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||Variable|
Pricing and fees of a Global Payments merchant account will vary based on several factors, including a merchant’s business type, processing volume, and the reseller setting up the account. Additionally, it appears that the service length agreement and early termination fee can also vary by reseller. A sample Global Payments agreement from April 2014 (available below) lists an early termination fee of $500 per location or Liquidated Damages, whichever is greater, which is as expensive as termination fees get. Merchants are encouraged to aggressively negotiate pricing and contract terms under this type of scenario because it usually means that fees and terms are highly flexible. Learn everything you need to know about rates and fees as well as how to negotiate merchant account contracts in “Fee Sweep.”
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Poor service|
Global Payments has a low complaint count for a processor of its size and time in business. Additionally, the most common themes among the complaints are reports of fund holds and poor customer service. It is generally unclear in the complaints why the funds were held, but holds often happen because of suspicious transactions or transactions that exceeded a merchant’s processing limit. Since most of these complaints appear to be isolated incidents, they will not count heavily against the company’s rating in this section.
It is worth mentioning, however, that as of this update there has been a recent increase in complaints posted in the comment section of this review. Most of these comments cite poor customer service or undisclosed fees, such as early termination fees. This uptick in complaints is consistent with a slight increase in complaints found on other websites like Ripoff Report, although the natures of the complaints vary. While this is a negative trend, it’s not an especially worrisome one for a large, established company like Global Payments.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this review, Global Payments is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is showing a “B” rating. The company has had 51 complaints filed against it in the last three years, all but one of which cite problems with service and billing/collection. Global Payments has resolved all but seven of these complaints to the customers’ satisfaction. In light of the company’s low complaint volume for its size and its strong resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A-” for the purposes of this review.
Overall, Global Payments scores well for a provider of its size and time in business. Many of the company’s merchant accounts are set up by resellers that can set their own pricing and contract terms, so merchants are encouraged to negotiate aggressively and to thoroughly review contracts before signing.
This review was originally published on 2/13/12 and was last updated on 7/10/14.
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