Securus Payments Overview
Securus Payments (securuspayments.com) is a Portland, Oregon-based merchant account provider offering credit card, debit card, and EBT processing for businesses. There is some evidence that Securus is an ISO of First Data. Launched in 2009, the company also offers loyalty and gift card processing, merchant cash advances, wireless processing, POS systems, ecommerce payment gateways and more. Its primary clients include retailers, restaurants, e-commerce businesses, gas stations, supermarkets, and hotels. Securus Payments is located at 7724 SE Aspen Summit Dr., Suite 300, Portland, Oregon 97266 and is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in Walnut Creek, California.
Securus Payments Sales & Marketing Tactics | C-
Securus Payments appears to utilize in-house telemarketing and independent sales agents to market its services. Although common in the credit card processing industry, the use of independent sales agents is often a cause for complaint among merchants, as it can be difficult for any company to regulate the conduct of independent sales entities. Securus appears to be no exception, as we have located numerous negative Securus Payments reviews that describe misrepresentation of rates, nondisclosure of terms, and aggressive or manipulative tactics by Securus sales agents. Additionally, some of these complaints have been filed by former employees of the company alleging a lack of support for agents, non-payment of owed residuals, and an unprofessional workplace.
The Securus Payments website also contains a table promoting swiped rates “as low as 1.49%” and internet/MOTO rates “as low as 2.19%.” While it’s entirely possible that these quotes accurately refer to the company’s “Qualified” rates, the website makes no mention of the “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” rates that merchants would pay for the majority of their transactions. We consider this type of rate quoting to be deceptive, since it could give merchants an unrealistic expectation of the effective rate they will pay. Multiple merchant complaints confirm that there is sometimes a difference between the rates represented by agents and the rates ultimately paid to Securus.
Securus Payments Costs & Contract Terms | C-
According to merchant complaints on this site and elsewhere, the standard Securus Payments agreement appears to be a three-year contract through First Data with an early termination fee of $495 and other miscellaneous fees, including a monthly minimum of $20, a PCI compliance fee, and a statement fee. The payment processing rates appear to follow a tiered pricing structure and may not be appropriately outlined by sales agents in all cases. Merchants also report being locked into expensive long-term equipment contracts as an undisclosed condition of their merchant agreements. These terms appear to be slightly more expensive than industry averages, resulting in a “C-” grade in this category.
Securus Payments Complaints & Service | C-
We are currently able to locate at least 20 Securus Payments complaints, many of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. Common themes among complainants include deceptive or high-pressure sales tactics by sales agents, expensive contract terms including high, undisclosed termination fees, and difficulty reaching customer service representatives. Many merchants indicate that their greatest expenses while processing through Securus are related to their equipment leases, which can cost thousands of dollars to cancel. This is a rather high complaint rate for a company that has only been active since 2009. The company lists a direct phone line on its website, but it is currently unclear whether and to what degree First Data handles the customer support for Securus Payments.
Securus Payments BBB Report | F
Securus Payments is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of this review, the company has an “F” rating with the BBB and has had 96 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months (up from 82 at the time of our last update). Of the total complaints, 45 were filed in regards to advertising or sales issues, 46 stemmed from problems with the company’s products or services, three involved billing or collections disputes, and two were related to guarantees or warranties. Securus managed to successfully resolve 24 of the complaints; the remaining 72 were either not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction or not responded to at all. The BBB has posted a notice on the company’s profile stating that Securus Payments has informed the BBB that it will not respond to complaints filed through the BBB. This explains the high number of unaddressed complaints, but does not reflect positively on Securus in any way. In this case, we agree with the grade assigned.
Securus Payments rates as a substandard merchant services provider according to our rating system. The company’s overall rating suffers from complaints about its sales practices, its contract terms, and its complaint resolution record. The company’s refusal to respond to BBB complaints, in particular, has lowered its score dramatically. Merchants are advised to examine their contract terms carefully and only deal with agents they trust.
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