Mercury Payment Systems Review

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

Mercury Payment Systems

"C+" Credit Card Processor Rating

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Jump to: Sales & Marketing | Costs & Contract | Complaints & Service | BBB Complaints

Mercury Payment Systems Overview

Mercury Payment Systems Logo

Mercury Payment Systems Logo

Based in Durango, Colorado, Mercury Payment Systems ( is a merchant account provider and independent sales organization that began operations in 2001. The company also has a Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. Mercury Payment Systems once existed as a sales channel for the direct processor Global Payments; however, the company was acquired by Vantiv in May 2014 and may now be an exclusive reseller of that processor.

Mercury Payment Systems offers a comprehensive set of business financial services, including electronic payment processing for gift/loyalty cards and checks. Additionally, the company has partnered with several other service providers, such as, to serve different processing requirements. Mercury has recently managed to secure the role of backend processor for a number of industry-oriented POS systems, most notably SalesVu.

On January 30, 2014, Heartland Payment Systems announced that it was filing a federal lawsuit against Mercury Payment Systems for false advertising, unfair competition, intentional interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. In the case, Heartland alleges that Mercury intentionally misrepresented interchange rates in order to convince Heartland customers to switch their service to Mercury. According to Heartland, Mercury would add its own markup to the interchange rates assigned by card networks without informing merchants, and then the company would falsely demonstrate that its markup above interchange was lower than that offered by Heartland. This case is unusual within the industry, as it involves one company suing another over deceptive sales tactics. Although this issue is far from being resolved, it bears mentioning so that merchants can monitor its progress.

Mercury Payment Systems is sponsored by HSBC Bank of Buffalo, New York, as its Acquiring Bank.

Mercury Payment Systems Sales & Marketing Tactics | C

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

The reviewer found no uses of misleading advertising or rate quoting by Mercury Payment Systems. The company does, however, market its services heavily through the use of independent resellers/sales agents. This marketing practice often results in merchant complaints because it is hard to control the sales tactics of the resellers. In the case of Mercury Payment Systems, the majority of its complaints (covered below) can be traced back to the sales agent or reseller that set up the merchant account. However, in some cases, Mercury Payment Systems appears to enforce the terms of its agreement even when merchants report that an agent misrepresented the conditions of the contract.

These complaints, in addition to the allegations set forth by Heartland Payment Systems, have lowered Mercury’s grade to a “C” in this category.

Mercury Payment Systems Costs & Contract Terms | C

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: $295-$495+
PCI compliance fee: $150 per year
Equipment lease: Variable

Rates and fees of a Mercury Payment Systems merchant account will vary based on a merchant’s business type, processing volume, and the agent setting up the account. The company’s standard service agreement (available below) is a one- to three-year term that requires merchants to give 30 days’ notice before ceasing processing or switching to a new processor. Merchants who fail to abide by this requirement may be subject to an Early Termination Fee ranging from $295 to $495; however, a few complaints report cancellation fees of up to $900. The reason for the varying cancellation fee could not be determined as of this review. The company also charges an annual PCI Compliance fee reported to be $150, which is well above average. Several merchants have complained about experiencing other unexpected fees. so businesses considering Mercury Payment Systems are strongly encouraged to read and understand their merchant account agreements before signing any documents.

Expand to see a copy of the standard Mercury Payment Systems terms and conditions
Mercury Payment Systems Terms and Conditions

Mercury Payment Systems Complaints & Service | C

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 30+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Hidden fees

Mercury Payment Systems has a fairly low volume of complaints filed online for its size and time in business. The majority of problems appear to originate with agents and resellers who failed to verbally disclose important terms of the merchant account agreement prior to setting up the account. Nearly all complaints report nondisclosure of the $295 cancellation fee, $150 annual PCI Compliance fee, and other additional fees. Many of the fees appear to be buried in the fine print of the contract, and Mercury Payment Systems is quick to point out this fact in its rebuttals.

Other common complaints that merchants have reported are of sudden rate increases without notice, deceptive rate quotes by agents, and hidden fees. Several reports indicate that agents regularly quote the Qualified Discount Rate without also stating the Downgrade Fees. Learn everything you need to know about rates and fees in “Fee Sweep.”

Mercury Payment Systems BBB Report | B (CPO Adjusted)

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 18
Billing/collection: 19
Advertising/sales: 3
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 0

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has awarded Mercury Payment Systems BBB accreditation as of December 2012. The BBB is awarding the company an “A+” rating despite 40 complaints filed in the last 36 months, which is up from 33 complaints as of our last update. Of the total, 18 are regarding problems with service, 19 due to billing and collection disputes, and three with advertising or sales issues. Of the complaints, 29 were successfully resolved, while 11 left the merchant dissatisfied despite a good faith effort by Mercury Payments. In many of the unresolved complaints, Mercury responded by quoting terms and conditions of the merchant account contract. Given the company’s complaint count and resolution efforts, we are adjusting the rating to a “B” for the purposes of this review. You can learn more about why we adjust BBB ratings in our rating criteria.

Bottom Line

Overall, Mercury Payment Systems scores as an average merchant services provider. The company can improve its rating in this review by drastically lowering or eliminating its PCI Compliance fee, eliminating its cancellation fee, and preventing future complaints about hidden and undisclosed fees.

This review was originally published on 12/22/11 and was last updated on 7/3/2014.

Leave your Mercury Payment Systems review in the comment section below:

Mercury Payment Systems Review

Rated 2.75 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-07-03 11:49:27

There are few Mercury Payment Systems negative reviews online that accuse the company of being a ripoff… Overall, Mercury Payment Systems ( scores as an average merchant services provider. The company can improve its rating by… Learn more in this Mercury Payment Systems 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. Bethany Wyatt

    We have experienced the same cancellation issues, as well as undisclosed fees as everyone above has stated. Every month a new message appears on statement about rate ‘changes’, which translates to increases. Systems Solutions RMS recommended Mercury Pay, as they said they were great to work with. Biggest mistake ever. We have switched back to a local processor, and are much happier. We do feel we were mislead by the sales team about underlying fees and other charges. Suddenly, when we are in our last 30 days, there are additional fees, because we are no longer ‘under contract’. Very unscrupulous company.

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  2. kenny

    Mercury has hidden fees and charges $15 a month for a printed out statement. Theu also remove negative post to there facebook account. And why should I pay you $169 a year for security itsnt that your job. Also always trying to help you by asking for a 3yr commitment. I was told one pricing on the phone then when I recived the digital agrement things were changed and they wouldn’t give me the rates I was told unless I signed for 3yrs

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