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 (mercurypay.com) 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 Authorize.net, 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 (mercurypay.com) 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 CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.



 
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21 comments

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  1. Kerri

    Mercury Pay and Revel systems has been a nightmare and a two headed monster for our small food truck business here in Charlotte, NC. We are still missing $2600 in sales from weeks ago they keep you on the phone for 11 plus hours going back and forth between Mercury and Revel with No resolution. We are about to make a You Tube video expressing how upset we are with our revel and mercury service. We will be taking this to every single place on the internet until we receive our money. Internet reviews, better business bureau, you tube and social media outlets and lawyers. 72 hours is our deadline for you to pay us from October 10th and 11th or we and every friend and family member will be in board with our new hashtag we created just for revel #reveldown#mercurydown #twoheadedmonster #dontuserevelormercury #justgettingstarted #revelreviews #revelipos #revelsystems #restaurantpos #franchise #letsgetrealreviews#donotusethem #trustus #mercurypaysucks

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  2. Jay

    I’ve been with Mercury Payment systems for about a year and half and one thing I’ve come to realize is that this company will nickel and dime you to death. There has been nothing but fees on top of fees. I run a small restaurant in a very competitive tourist/college area so it’s tough and these fees really add up. We haven’t had any problems with the credit card processing but it’s hard to make a profit when fees are piling up. On our most recent statement the additional junk fees were higher than the actually processing fees. Every time I contact Mercury to get these junk fees removed they always tell me the same thing: “We can remove the fees if you extend your contract.” This seems to be their strategy. Unfortunately you’ll be stuck in a never ending cycle of them adding additional fees and you constantly renewing your contract to get rid of said fees. Very, very shady business. Avoid them at all costs!!

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  3. Archer Bagley

    Mercury Payment System is an organization of Professional Thieves. Do not do business with Mercury Payment Systems. Mercury will not honor their own contract and will overcharge you all sorts of fees that were never disclosed. Mercury stole over $600 from Archers BBQ over a 1 year period.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  4. Joel C.

    Mercury Payment Systems apparently has no trouble calling you back rapidly when you are ready to set up a new account, however, after canceling my account, I find a month later that they have billed for a monthly maintenance fee and monthly statement fee along with some other minor charge.
    When calling in to question why I am still being billed monthly fees, they claim that a 30 day notice is required and monthly fees continue for that additional 30 days even though the account has been closed.
    It would make sense to pay the final statement fee, but NOT a monthly maintenance fee. After 3 phone calls and one email, nobody called back. On the fourth phone call, I finally got a person on the phone that was not only rude, but when I asked to speak to someone in management, I was bluntly informed that nobody in management would tell me anything different, and they were in charge of my account.
    As president of my company, I feel that requesting to speak with management was not unreasonable, yet I felt like I was belittled.
    I would not recommend Mercury Payment Systems to anyone that doesn’t like hidden fees or rude customer service representatives. Very unprofessional.
    Service during the time we were with them was satisfactory, albeit high fees and unexpected costs associated with their services.

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    3 / 3 found this review helpful.
  5. glarson

    Has anyone heard that Mercury guarantees online ordering charges? There is an online ordering site that integrates with mercury. Mercury is saying that if the restaurant takes an order with a stolen card, Mercury will guarantee that the restaurant still gets paid. I’m sure that they find a way to get their money anyway, but I’m wondering if anyone has ever heard of this?

    Thanks!

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  6. Jessica Litton

    I am very dissapointed with the customer service the we have been given from Mercury. We haven’t processed a payment through them for about 7 months because we found a simpler, less expensive way to process them…(I won’t say which service because I don’t want people to assume that I am advertising someone else, this is purely a review). We were charged about $37 a month for not using them (which is on us since we didn’t cancel sooner). Then when we called to cancel we were told that we would be charged over $200 to cancel our service if we didn’t send them written notice one month in advance. SO, we sent in written notice and cancelled a month later. In the meantime our monthly service fee for that month went up to $106 and the following month we were charged an “annual service fee” of $222. This was nowhere in our service agreement with them. We called to get reimbursed, were on hold for nearly an hour and then sent to a voicemail which was never returned. RIDICULOUSLY SLIMY!!!!!

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  7. Sarah Piccinini

    I used MPS for almost a year for my Esthetics business and found it very useful to take payments through my phone. Stupid me I should of just stuck with the SQUARE which had no hidden fees every month. But I did like the Sales Vu app which kept better track of my business. So I decided to switch. Wow stupidest mistake EVER. Now that I am no longer using the card swiper on a regular basis I decided to go ahead and cancel the service. Well I called and gave them the 30 plus days notice they required, talked in length with some guy named Beau that assured me that as long as I gave them the 30 days notice and did not use any other system to process my payments that the $295 fee would be waived. I was happy with that answer and went about the cancellation process, which he also said that the 30days wouldn’t start until they received a faxed form with my signature, which I did not send until a couple of weeks later. Well low and behold I get a letter from my bank 1 week later stating that they tried to collect the $295 before the 30 days was even up. So I had to pay insufficient funds charges to my bank. MPS was not able to collect money from me at that point. I called MPS and spoke with Beau again and oh my how the tables had turned! He was not the nice, helpful rep I had spoke with a couple of weeks prior. He told me how stupid I was for not reading the contract and lied about the conversation we had prior. Saying he never said any of those things to me and I was stupid for not understanding what he was saying. I have NO intentions of paying these people. I did everything they asked and they are still trying to collect this fee. I do not recommend MPS to anyone! It is not small business friendly. Their fees are exorbitant for a small business owner. And very unprofessional when dealing with customers that want to cancel due to changes and fluctuations in your business.

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  8. Ed

    I switch to Mercury three weeks ago since the software in my service vehicles supports them. On Friday January 24th 2014 they had a problem where merchants did not get funded. So here I sit without my funds for visa’s I processed. When I call the information they tell me is they are working on it but do not have a ETA. I would not switch to this company. Worst part is I am stuck with them due to the software I use.

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  9. James D

    The car wash equipment company I purchased only had MPS as the provider for their equipment, UNITEC. So I had no choice in using them believing in the fact that if one uses their equipment then the provider should be fair…NOT!
    THESE CROOKS KEPT ADDING ADDITIONAL CHARGES EVERY MONTH! And I am talking $195 PCI fee, $99 maintenance fee, $14.95 statement fee along with all the other fees associated! Upon calling them to figure out what the fees were, they had trouble telling me any explanations.
    Finally after so many complaints to UNITEC, they changed how they do processing so I changed gladly and was able to make my own choice for a processor.
    I was paying over 10% plus fees for using this provider. Every month new fees…CROOKS! I was actually glad to pay the $295 cancellation fee just to get rid of them. My new provider paid me $250 to switch, BB&T. So I lost $45, which would have been less than a month of fees. Hope I just save one person in going through the hell I did with them.

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  10. Laura G

    I was a customer of Mercury’s for over four years. Their cancellation policy, along with a multitude of fees, was hidden in the contract. They sent me a credit card swiper machine that wasn’t the correct machine for my cash register. They sent the correct swiper, called a Twin Tran, and the incorrect one was sent back to their equipment company, Data Cap. This was in 2010. Fast forward to August of 2013, and we closed our business. We were told that we would be charged $295 for cancelling our account, even though we argued with this because, as I said earlier, this tiny little clause was never disclosed and was hidden in the contract. Then they sent me an invoice for $380 for non return of equipment – the Twin Tran device, which we hadn’t yet returned. I spoke with at least five customer service reps and two managers, and was informed that the $380 would not be taken out of my account as long as I provided them with tracking information for the return of the Twin Tran. Two days later, they took the $380 out of my bank account without my knowledge or consent. I disputed this and they said that they would reimburse me for the $380 once they received the tracking information. I sent them the tracking information proving that the Twin Tran had been returned and received by Data Cap. Then Mercury Payment reps called me back and said that they still had in their notes the fact that I had THREE Twin Tran devices and they could not refund the money that they owed me. I informed the two reps and one manager that I spoke with that I’ve never had more than one Twin Tran since I’ve only ever had one cash register, and why would they have sent me another Twin Tran in 2011 and then another in 2012 without having received any payment for the original Twin Tran that I received in 2010? It makes no sense. They are erroneously charging their customers and when you speak with the reps on the phone, they literally laugh at you, they sigh these big sighs, they get enjoyment out of the fact that they know they have you and there’s very little you can do about it. I am now complaining to every outlet available to me because I think their business practices are absolutely disgusting.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  11. Randy Reed

    I have been with Mercury since May 2008 and I can say that when you call in for customer service to have a charge reversed the representatives have always been polite and helpful. However, the issue that i dealt with on a regular basis was regarding the fees the company charges. I monitor my net cost and watch the trend each month to ensure that I am paying in line from the month prior. Every few months, the rate would slowing go higher by at least a half a percentage to as high on as three quarters of a percentage. The highest was just short of a one percent increase when I advised the retention department that I was over the ongoing issue of their rates slowly increasing month after month.
    The last time that I called in to deal with this and to ultimately advise them that I would be canceling my account, the representative advised me that he could not lower my rates and understood that I would be going somewhere else.
    I found a new processing company with our first month under our belts and the savings is 1.1% lower then the net charges that Mercury was charging.
    Today, I received notice from Mercury that I am responsible for a $295.00 cancellation charge. I was on the phone with Joel for forty-five minutes attempting to have this fee removed since I called in and was advised to go elsewhere if I could find lower fees. With nothing from Joel but NO, NO, NO, you have to pay the $295 to cancel the agreement. I was upset and i am still upset.
    Very frustrating and I would not recommend Mercury and/or Global for your merchant processing as it got to the point that using Square, the little attachment to your iPhone and/or iPad was charging less then Mercury. Ugh!
    Anyway, great customer service representatives, horrible company practices to collect and charge as much as they possibly can from their clients. Run, Run, Run from this company.
    Cheers,
    Randy Reed

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  12. Charles

    These guys will bend over backwards to get your business and expedite requests as long as it serves to keep money flowing into their company. As soon as you mention you want to suspend or cancel your account due to seasonality or renovations, they will stall and give you the run around. Hidden charges are plentiful too, do not use these guys. NOT RECOMMENDED.

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  13. Thomas

    After I returned my card processing machine to Mercury Payment Systems and canceled my services with them, I was further charged for three months of services that I did not receive totaling $329.77. The account was never actually closed on their system and I was still being charged every month unknowingly.

    The Account Closure Manager, Joel Chambers informed me that I need to submit another request for account closure because the account is STILL active and that I should be happy that he is not charging me a $295 cancellation fee on top of that and that we are “meeting in the middle” so-to-speak.

    CUSTOMERS BEWARE. YOU ARE DEALING WITH THE KING OF ALL CROOKS. STEER AWAY FROM THIS MERCHANT SERVICES PROVIDER AT ALL COSTS.
    **Tip: Once you cancel their services, make sure that you close your bank account that you had attached to the credit card machine because they will continue to debit fees each month following account closure. Open a new account so that they have no access to your money without your authorization.**

    I will gladly be a part of a class action lawsuit if we can put one together. Please contact me at [email protected].

    -Thomas

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
    1. Kristen

      Thomas -

      We are in the same boat. We notified Mercury Payment Systems that we were terminating our contract with them on March 30 with a cancellation date of May 31, 2012 (more than 60 days’ notice). We actually switched over to our new processor on May 3, and not more activity occurred on MPS equipment past May 4. We returned all equipment to MPS well before the May 31 cancellation date. I received the statements for our 5 locations for May charges in June…no problem. That should have been the last batch of statements. However, in July I received 5 statements, charging each location between $97 and $118 in miscellaneous charges! And we’re no longer a customer!

      I called the toll-free number and spoke with two different people, including someone who was to notify Joel Chambers. I emailed James Russell after the charges weren’t reversed, as he was my contact during our cancellation. NO RESPONSE FROM ANYONE.

      And this is all after they resorted to extortion-like scare tactics when we announced we were leaving, telling us it would cost almost $8,000 in “gift card conversion assistance” to keep our active gift card balances valid. (FALSE. The balances and active card numbers were all easily accessible & everything works fine on the new processor. NO GLITCHES.) They tried to scare us into staying.

      Since these July charges occurred, I contacted my bank to de-authorize any and all future ACH debits/credits from Mercury Payments and Global Payments, as we would consider them “Theft by False Pretenses.” I’m not sure if we will ever re-coup the ~$500 in unauthorized charges they stole from us in July, but I can assure you we won’t allow a penny more to go their way.

      I can’t even begin to describe the horrors of Dec 20, 2011 – Jan 6, 2012 in which all credit refunds of $100+ took 3-4 weeks to post to customer accounts due to “infrastructure upgrades” at the Global Payments level. Yes, customers returning Christmas presents were not seeing refund post for FOUR WEEKS as Mercury/Global Payments were having to re-enter refund transactions manually, one-by-one. It took 2 weeks of that mess before Mercury sent us a bulletin announcing the “slight delay”. Needless to say our customers were not satisfied with Mercury’s “response.”

      So in addition to gross negligence/incompetence in with the refund delays they are just plain crooks, and we would recommend any retailer considering them to RUN AWAY.

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      1. Chris Lanno

        Hi Kristen,

        I am sorry to hear about your issues with Mercury. I have a client in the same situation with the gift card “extortion” policy, yet they are having trouble accessing the full gift card numbers we need for a conversion.

        Can you help by telling me how you were able to get the gift card data?

        This client has completed the terms of their agreement, but now they are being told it will cost them $17k to get gift card data.

        Thank you in advance for any assistance.

        Best,

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      2. Justin BRink

        Kristen,
        I’m trying to switch from Mercury as well. I’m having problems with getting the gift cards converted to the new processor though. Is their gift cards proprietary? I’m not quite sure how to use the pre existing cards with active balances, etc. Do we know the back end company? First Data (ValueLink) perhaps?

        I’m lost. Please advise.

        Thanks

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  14. Jim

    Just got charged $545 from these crooks for a months processing fee’s you can do better look around.

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  15. David

    You must be kidding Me
    Now they are adding giant fees anytime they have compliance issues….last Year We had a $99.00 annual and a $150.00 compliance and they started this year (only 6 months after their $150) with a $42.25 annual data security and a $99.00 maintenance fee. As a small retailer (< 20K on cards) they are billing Us at a rate exceeding 17%…and They have nothing with Our signature authorizing new fees….thanks to congress for fixing the credit card fees…now they can go after thr retailers for more money!!! Time to contact Our State banking Commisioners…any Ideas, I have none other than Pleading and dropping the credit card sales, Unfortunatly sales will be affected.

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  16. Rishi

    They stole the cancellation fee from me as well. I tried to give 30 days notice to cancel, as is stated in their contract, and they said the cancellation fee will still exist. They do have monthly minimums and tons of other hidden fees. Please don’t use these guys!

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  17. Lola f.

    If you would like to join in a consumer lawsuit against this company and would like them to sink their ship then start posting your problems with them here.

    The issue is regarding their thirty day notice and $295 fee. They will take that fee from you no matter how many hoops you jump through.

    This company is fraudulent in their business practices.

    If we can get enough interest we can sue them.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  18. SUSAN FREY

    I CURRENTLY USE MERCURY. I WAS NOT AWARE OF THE CANCELLATION FEE. I WAS ONLY GIVEN PART OF THE CONTRACT TO SIGN. I WAS ALSO TOLD THERE WERE NO HIDDEN FEES. MY STATEMENT IS FULL OF HIDDEN FEES. WHEN I REQUESTED INFO ON THE HIDDEN FEES I GOT NO ANSWER. I AM MOVING TO ANOTHER COMPANY AND WILL FIGHT THE CANCELLATION FEE.

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