TransNational Bankcard (tnbci.com) is a merchant account provider founded in 1999 that primarily serves small to mid-sized businesses in the United States. The company is a reseller of Global Payments. In addition to providing debit card and credit card processing services, TransNational Bankcard also supplies other payment services and products, such as gift/loyalty card programs, check services, and credit card processing equipment. TransNational Bankcard, LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of HSBC Bank USA, National Association of Buffalo, New York, with corporate offices located at 9600 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., 6th Floor, Rosemont, Illinois 60018.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||No|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
TransNational Bankcard appears to employ both inside and outside sales W-2 representatives to market its services, but a company representative has stated that the TransNational does not employ independently contracted 1099 sales agents. We have located multiple TransNational Bankcard reviews describing nondisclosure of fees and terms by the company’s sales reps, specifically regarding the company’s termination fees. Merchants also report severe rate increases following initially offered “grace periods” and an in-person rate quote of 1.74% that is deceptively low. Although TransNational Bankcard does not engage in unethical advertising strategies in its official materials, there is certainly some cause for concern according to complaints about the company.
TransNational Bankcard Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||Unknown|
According to various public complaints, the standard TransNational contract is a three-year agreement through Global Payments with an early termination fee of $250, an annual fee of up to $95, and other associated fees. A company representative has stated that TransNational exclusively offers interchange-plus pricing, but multiple merchant complaints mention a rate quote of 1.74%, which does not resemble a typical interchange-plus quote. It is also unclear at this time whether the company’s annual fee covers the cost of PCI compliance or the company charges a separate PCI Compliance fee.
The primary cause of complaints about TransNational Bankcard is the fact that the company used to sell equipment leases through Northern Leasing Systems (DBA Lease Finance Group). Northern Leasing is notorious for offering long-term, non-cancellable, expensive contract for equipment that sometimes doesn’t even work. There are numerous complaints about TransNational Bankcard’s equipment leases in which complainants state that they were misled about the terms of their leases and are now stuck with expensive machines that they don’t need. Some of these complaints received responses from TransNational Bankcard representatives, who held the merchants to their lease terms in most cases.
A company representative has stated that TransNational Bankcard terminated its relationship with Northern Leasing Systems in 2010 and no longer leases any equipment to merchants. Recent complaints filed against the company do not mention Northern Leasing, Lease Finance Group, or equipment leases, which seems to confirm this representative’s assertion. However, one complaint from 2011 reports an equipment lease through Northern Leasing, so it may be possible that the company did not completely terminate the relationship in 2010.
Overall, TransNational Bankcard appears to offer fairly average contract terms, but its score in this category has improved as a result of its terminated relationship with Northern Leasing.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Hidden fees|
We are currently able to locate over 20 TransNational Bankcard negative reviews filed outside of the BBB on various websites, and some of these complaints accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. The most common complaints are merchants reporting deceptive sales tactics, nondisclosure of hidden fees, expensive, non-cancellable equipment leases, difficulty closing accounts, and surprise over a previously undisclosed cancellation fee of $250. Most of these issues appear to be related to the agent who set up the account rather than the company’s customer service staff, but there are also a handful of complaints that mention unhelpful or unavailable customer service. Overall, TransNational Bankcard’s complaint volume is about what we would expect for a company of its size and time in business, and we are therefore awarding the company a “B-” in this category.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this review, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is showing that TransNational Bankcard earned BBB accreditation in 2005 and has an “A+” rating with 38 complaints filed in the last 36 months (down from 44 as of our last update). Of the total complaints, 19 are regarding problems with products and services, 13 with billing and collection disputes, five with advertising and sales issues, and one with a delivery issue. TransNational Bankcard has responded to all of the complaints but was unable to resolve three of them to the merchants’ satisfaction. In light of these figures, we have adjusted the BBB’s grade to a “B-” for the purposes of this review.
TransNational Bankcard rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company is showing a moderate amount of complaints for its size and time in business, but the consistency of these complaints is alarming. TransNational Bankcard can improve its rating by ensuring a higher level of disclosure and transparency among its sales agents, particular with regard to its termination fee.
This review was originally published on 11/1/12 and was last updated on 9/5/14.
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