Merchant 1 Payments Review

Overall Rating Breakdown
Sales & Marketing Tactics
Costs & Contract Terms
Complaints & Service
BBB Rating

Overall Rating

"A+" Credit Card Processor Rating

Jump to: Marketing | Contract | Complaints | BBB


Merchant 1 Payments Logo

Merchant 1 Payments Logo

Merchant 1 Payments ( is a merchant account provider headquartered in Concord, Ontario. Founded in 1999, the company can service most traditional business types in both Canada and the United States. Merchant 1 Payments is a registered MSP/ISO of the Canadian branch of U.S. Bank National Association and Elavon. The company is located at 8900 Keele Street, Suite 220, Concord, Ontario L4K 2N2.

It is worth noting that Merchant 1 Payments could potentially be confused with Merchant One in search results; however, these two entities are unrelated. The president and CEO of Merchant 1 Payments is Joe Bonavota.

Merchant 1 Products and Services:

Industries served:

  • Canadian businesses
  • Retail
  • MOTO
  • E-commerce

Merchant 1 Payments Sales & Marketing Tactics | A+

Key Points – Sales & Marketing 
Uses independent resellers? Yes
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? Yes

Merchant 1 Payments appears to employ both full-time, W2-employed inside sales agents and paid-by-commission external sales agents to market its services. The latter practice is generally tied to merchant frustrations, given the difficulty of monitoring these agents’ behavior, but in this case we are only able to locate one negative Merchant 1 Payments review that mentions nondisclosure by the company’s sales team. Furthermore, this complaint does not provide specific details of what transpired and is therefore of little use (more information below). As an additional point in the company’s favor, it does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.

Merchant 1 Payments Costs & Contract Terms | A

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: None
PCI compliance fee: $9.99/month
Equipment lease: Variable

The standard Merchant 1 Payments contract (available below) outlines a month-to-month agreement with no early termination fee, a PCI compliance fee of $9.99 per month, and an optional, non-cancellable equipment lease through Ladco Leasing. There is also a PCI non-compliance fee of $20 per month for merchants who fail to maintain compliance. A company representative has stated that merchants can buy, rent, or lease equipment through Merchant 1. In almost all cases, merchants are advised to buy rather than lease equipment if possible.

Overall, there are no complaints that mention excessive fees or hidden clauses in the standard Merchant 1 Payments contract. We will therefore assume that most of the company’s merchants are satisfied with the service they receive.
Merchant 1 Payments Merchant Agreement

Merchant 1 Payments Complaints & Service | A+

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: <10
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: N/A

We are currently unable to locate any Merchant 1 Payments complaints that accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. In fact, there is only one review about the company across all consumer protection websites at this time. This complaint, posted in January 2014, vaguely describes a situation in which the merchant had simply signed up and started receiving bills for online transactions that never happened! This appears to be an isolated incident. It’s also unclear whether this complainant is referring to an external agent of Merchant 1 Payments or a representative from a different company. The lack of any other such complaints indicates that the company generally employs capable customer service reps and discloses all important contract terms. The Merchant 1 website lists dedicated phone support lines that are available 24/7.

Merchant 1 Payments BBB Report | A+

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 0
Billing/collection: 0
Advertising/sales: 0
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 0

Merchant 1 Payments has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2009. As of this review, the company currently holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had zero complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. It has also not had any informal reviews posted to its profile. Since it is generally our policy to reserve “A+” ratings for companies with zero complaints, we agree with the BBB’s score in this case.

Bottom Line

Merchant 1 Payments rates as a reliable merchant services provider according to our standards. The company is showing zero total complaints at this time and scores very well with the BBB. Even when dealing with highly rated providers, merchants are encouraged to carefully examine the terms of any contract they are given.

This review was originally published on 2/26/13 and was last updated on 1/12/2015.

Leave your review of Merchant 1 Payments in the comment section below:

Merchant 1 Payments Review

Rated 4.875 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2015-01-12 10:46:49

We are currently able to locate only one Merchant 1 Payments negative review, and it does not accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam… Merchant 1 Payments ( rates as a reliable merchant services provider according to our standards… Learn more in this Merchant 1 Payments review.

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About the author

Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.

Phillip can help you find an ethical and honest processor that will offer you great rates. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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  1. Frances Monach

    Super company! I have been with Merchant 1 Payments for over 2 years now. From my first monthly statement I can finally say I understand the rates being charged. We have multiple locations with Merchant 1 Payments and all our locations are very happy with the services we receive. Thank you Merchant 1 Payments.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    1. Phillip Parker

      To authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location(s).

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

      1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  2. Jack Del

    Switched to Merchant 1 Payments 4 years ago. Great service, lower rates and they supply me with the paper rolls. One stop shop with no hidden fees or rate changes. Their slogan is “at Merchant 1 Payments the Merchant is always # 1″ and they stick to it. Thank you to my Regional Account Executive Len for helping me make the switch.

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    6 / 6 found this review helpful.
    1. Phillip Parker

      To authenticate this testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

      2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  3. Paul

    I have worked for Merchant 1 Payments for 3 years now and I can verify that they do not charge an early termination fee or PCI compliance fees. I have worked in the merchant services industry for 3 and a half years now and I have had some real nightmares with other merchant services providers. With Merchant 1 Payments I can call Merchants that I have signed up and ask for referrals, 9 out of 10 times I will get the referral. Customers are very happy with the all aspects of services received from Merchant 1 Payments. My Relationship Manager always says to me “Paul, we are not the biggest but we are the best and we are building the Merchant 1 Payments brand one merchant at a time”.

    When I first stared with Merchant 1 Payments I thought this was just going to be another nightmare but I was so desperate to get my more than unsatisfied Merchants which I signed up with other providers away from the nightmare which I put them through and put them with a real company that has integrity and most important respect for their customers. Most of the Merchants I signed up with the other providers were friends & family who had businesses and they could not understand why I would placed them with such a bad provider. I spoke to my Relationship Manager with Merchant 1 Payments and they helped me move them from the other Merchant Services Providers and are now more then happy with the rates and services. I hope this is very helpful and please beware of the crooks out there!

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    9 / 9 found this review helpful.
  4. paul elliot

    I have seen the Merchant 1 Payments Agreement and it is the replica of the Elavon Agreement. They do NOT have any PCI Compliance Fee and they have the only agreement that I have seen that does NOT have any early termination fee. Their current website demonstrates their policy of total transparency and their objectives to have such universal. They conform to the Canadian Code of Conduct which is a voluntary standard that they wish to see as compulsory throughout the industry. I know many merchants who use their services and all are extremely pleased.

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    11 / 11 found this review helpful.
    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Paul,

      In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location. Thank you.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

      1 / 1 found this review helpful.

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