Vantiv Review


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

Vantiv Overall Rating

"B-" Credit Card Processor Rating

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

Vantiv Overview

Vantiv Logo

Vantiv Logo

Vantiv (vantiv.com) is the merchant services and credit card processing division of Fifth Third Bank. The company is one of the largest payment processors in the United States and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under “VNTV” as the stock ticker. Vantiv entered the merchant services industry in 1991 under the name of Midwest Payment Systems, changed its name to Fifth Third Processing Solutions in 2003 and then again changed its name in 2011 to Vantiv. Since its founding, the company has acquired several other credit card processors and ISOs, including ACI Merchant Services, Card Management Corporation (CMC), TNB Card Services, National Processing Company (NPC), and, most recently, Mercury Payment Systems. Vantiv is a direct processor sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. The company’s corporate headquarters is located at 8500 Governors Hill Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio 54249, but Vantiv also has offices in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas.

Vantiv Sales & Marketing Tactics | C

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

Vantiv appears to market its services through several different methods, including directly within its own sales channels as well as indirectly through partnerships with sub-ISOs and independent resellers. The company also markets heavily through National Processing Company, its largest subsidiary, and Fifth Third Bank. Although Vantiv does not appear to use any deceptive rate advertising or quoting tactics, its grade is negatively affected by the use of sub-ISOs, independent resellers, and subsidiaries. This marketing tactic makes it difficult for the company to control the sales tactics used to sell its services and spreads merchant complaints across several different company names, instead of concentrating them on one source.

Vantiv Marketing Example

Vantiv Costs & Contract Terms | C-

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: $250-$295 or none
PCI compliance fee: Variable
Equipment lease: Variable

Vantiv merchant account agreements appear to vary from merchant to merchant based on several factors including who set up the merchant account as well as a merchant’s business type and processing volume. The standard contract is reported to have a three-year service agreement with an early termination fee that ranges from $250 to $295. Additionally, the contract may automatically renew for successive one-year terms if not cancelled within a small window of opportunity. Based on reviews left by a few merchants, some Vantiv agreements may contain a Liquidated Damages clause; however, this reviewer was unable to verify these claims prior to the publishing of this review. The company also appears to charge a PCI Compliance fee which may be assessed either on a monthly or annual basis and may vary in cost from one account to the next. Vantiv is earning a below average score in this section primarily due to its automatically renewing contract in combination with an early termination fee.

[Related: Get quotes from a provider with “A” rated contract terms]

Vantiv Complaints & Service | B

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 20+
Live customer support? Yes
Most common complaint: Hidden fees

The name “Vantiv” reveals approximately 15 complaints outside of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a few of which use the terms “rip off” and “scam.” When researching its former name, “Fifth Third Processing Solutions,” this reviewer also found a low complaint count for a company of its size and time in business. The complaints fall into two common types, in which merchants either report surprise over the early termination fee or complain of poor customer service. You can see actual merchant reviews at the bottom of this article and by visiting our Fifth Third Processing review. It should also be noted that some of Vantiv’s sub-ISOs and subsidiaries have a substantial amount of complaints. We have not factored these complaints into this rating because it is unclear who is ultimately responsible in these cases. Merchants are strongly encouraged to fully read and understand the terms of any merchant account agreement before signing any documents.

Vantiv BBB Report | A- (CPO Adjusted)

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 26
Billing/collection: 12
Advertising/sales: 4
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 0

As of this review, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting that Vantiv is not BBB accredited and is awarding the company an “A+” rating. The report shows a total of 42 complaints (up from 34 as of our last update) filed in the last 36 months, with 26 regarding problems with products and services. Of the remaining complaints, 12 are due to billing and collection and four to an advertising or sales issue. The majority of the complaints have been resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction while seven have reported an undesirable outcome despite the BBB believing a good faith effort was made by Vantiv. We have adjusted the rating to an “A-” for the purposes of this review because is it is our philosophy that “A+” ratings should be reserved for reports with no complaints.

Bottom Line

For Vantiv’s size and time in business, the company appears to be performing at an above-average level in terms of overall merchant satisfaction. The factors that lower the company’s rating are extensive use of sub-ISOs, resellers, and subsidiaries (a tactic which makes measurement of merchant satisfaction difficult to quantify), reports of poor customer service, and reports of nondisclosure of the early termination fee prior to setting up accounts. Additionally, a few of Vantiv’s sub-ISOs and subsidiaries have numerous complaints, for which Vantiv may or may not bear some responsibility (a fact we hope to better understand in future updates of this review).

This review was originally published on 5/7/12 and was last updated on 7/29/14.

Leave your Vantiv review in the comment section below:


Vantiv Review

Rated 3 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-07-29 13:49:38

For Vantiv’s (vantiv.com) size and time in business, the company appears to be performing at an above average level in terms of overall merchant satisfaction. The few available Vantiv negative reviews are due to the company’s extensive use of sub-ISOs, resellers and subsidiaries… Learn more in this Vantiv 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.



 
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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18 comments

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  1. TIPPA

    I wish I had read these reviews. UGH. We are in a living nightmare with VANTIV. We are a small grass roots paralegal assn. Not much in budget. We wanted credit card processing as an aide to our members and vendors. Our bank rep recommended Vantiv. Not knowing anything about this side of the business we sought their assistance. The monthly fees are way too high and practically depleted our reserves. We cancelled our agreement with them in March 2014. I called repeatedly asking them to stop sucking $100 from our account for their credit card processing fees when nothing had been charged. I’ve been calling and writing, and getting no where. Finaly today (Dec 2014) I was informed that we signed a 4 year non-cancellable lease and that I’m personally liable as guarantor to the tune of $1350. Money which I don’t have personally and our small association doesn’t have either. The Vantive rep didn’t care and threatened to sue our organization. We are closing our bank account to stop the bloodsuckers from accessing our tiny reserves (believe me we have less than $100 in our bank account). Apparently we still have 3 years left on this contract. No worries, they won’t see another dime from our organization but I’m sure they’ll be calling and harrassing us and me personally. We’re going to have to hire an attorney to see how we can break this contract since we want out and don’t have money. Best advice I can share: Don’t use VANTIV period.

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  2. Andrei

    DO NOT EVER work with this company!!
    This is a very dishonest company!! actually the worst I have ever worked with.
    They kept taking money by “mistake” from my account. Every single time a “mistake” happened I had to call this company to get reimbursed and argue about it for hours!
    The sales person also lied about many things before selling her products, after the sale never answered the phone anymore.
    I will have to close my business account to stop these thieves from taking my money.

    Do not read it and think it is just one more complaint from a frustrated customer and that this is not gonna happen with you. It will!

    TERRIBLE COMPANY TO DO BUSINESS WITH! do not recommend to anyone!

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  3. ron

    I have been told that VANTIV is owned by VISA. Anyone have any info. I do not find it in anything I’ve seen.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

  4. Anna Jones

    Do not do business with Vantiv! You will regret it! Have been trying to cancel service now for weeks, and am just getting the run-around. Despite faxing the close request form from multiple Fifth Third Branches, they keep claiming different parts of the form are being cut-off. Oh, and the only way I found that out is because I called them. They did not call me to say I needed to re-fax the form. They just charged more fees. They refuse to accept the form via email, and they refuse to give me any kind of confirmation in writing that account is closed. We are no longer under contract. Wish I had read all of the negative reviews before signing on with them. Last time I called customer service the rep, Victoria, refused to transfer me to a supervisor, refused to wait on the phone while I attempted yet another re-fax, and then hung up on me.

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    6 / 6 found this review helpful.
  5. Sharon Birmingham

    This company is the most dishonest company I have ever encountered and policy that obviously caters to them. I have replaced the original contract signer and so he obviously is no longer with the company. NPC tells me they cannot deal with me or with the owner of the company that they only can deal with the individual that signed the original contract. I guess there isn’t a clause within the document for that.
    Also, I have tried to follow procedure outlined in the original contract but hey that’s not the way they do it anymore. The phone numbers have since changed, etc. Wow, really. And guess what, monies are still coming out of the account, because even though I have documentation that I sent to terminate the contract timely, it was somehow not received. Hmmmm…now the contract can continue says the tiny print at the bottom and your locked in and monies continue to come out of your account. I believe this to be fraud. There must be a clause within any contract in the case that the signor is no longer capable to serve that position. I was told that a fax was needed to terminate the contract from the original signor so I did find him and he kindly obliged. Now I’m told that he would need to delegate someone to take his place by yet another fax.
    I’ve been yelled at by this company, hung up on and I just want to end the contract and stop them from taking our hard earned monies that they are not authorized to take.
    Yes, I am a bit frustrated as this has cost me many man hours of research and being on the phone, etc.
    If I close the bank account maybe then I will get resolution.

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    3 / 3 found this review helpful.
  6. Kristopher

    Worst choice ever! If you value your money and business. Never, ever choose Vantiv! ACH Compliance Fees…Non-Regulatory Fees, Hosting Fees…..and many, many more hidden charges you are never told about up front and then told by Vantiv it was my fault for not knowing. I feel like is was legally robbed by Vantiv.

    How their license hasn’t been pulled by the SEC is beyond me. They hired a new manger from the now defunct Icon, then Axiom, and finally Oracle (Sean Mecham – look him up) who was wanted by the SEC (and currently sits in jail) without vetting him first. I had the displeasure of meeting this crook. If Vantiv can’t hire the right people, stand behind their word, or stop deceiving consumers, they are going to be a has been organization with a lot more people sitting behind bars.

    He’s a little something from the Phoenix Business Journal. This is the type of people who are employed by Vantiv and I’ve had many of the following examples happen to me in less than a year of Vantiv services. I am currently cancelling all present and future dealings with this organization and I would urge everyone to try someone else other than Vantiv. I hope you read this in it’s entirety. It’s from 2013.

    The proprietors of Valley credit card payment processing companies have been indicted on money laundering and wire fraud charges by a federal grand jury in Phoenix.

    Sean Clinton Mecham, 36, Ashley Brisbin Mecham, 27, Jonathan L. Cannon, 31, and Jake Brisbin, 26, were indicted on various charges this month. They were executives and employees at Icon Payment Solutions, Axiom Merchant Services and Oracle Payment Services, according to court documents.

    Prosecutors allege the Mechams deposited $2.9 million worth of ill-gotten gains into accounts they controlled and used the money to buy a luxury boat, Mercedes and Maserati cars and off-road trucks for racing.

    Their companies processed credit card payments for retailers and other businesses. The indictment charges the quartet with misleading customers into signing leases for credit card machines and forging as many as 200 business owners and managers signatures.

    They also were charged with changing contract terms after business clients signed other agreements. Sales prospects were told they would pay lower credit card fees if they signed up with the defendants’ companies.

    The Better Business Bureau and other consumer websites also list complaints against the company and the executives. One consumer complaint says there may be some family link between Sean Mecham and deceased former Arizona governor Evan Mecham.

    Ashley Mecham and Jake Brisbin were arraigned on charges Nov. 7 in Los Angeles and were released. Cannon was arraigned in Phoenix on Nov. 12, according to prosecutors. Sean Mecham is still in custody pending trial, according to prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona want Sean Mecham held arguing he is a flight risk, skipped court hearings for civil complaints against his companies and has previously withdrawn large amounts of cash. Court documents also show prosecutors claiming Sean Mecham threatening employees, family members and others from talking about his business dealings.

    Mecham and other defendants could not be reached for comment. David Eisenberg, a Phoenix white-collar defense attorney, could end up representing Sean Mechem. Eisenberg said he has not yet been assigned to the case and declined further comment.

    The numbers of that business in the investigation have been disconnected or are no longer in service.

    As you see…things can change when greedy executives get their hands on your money. As of today…Vantiv won’t give me all the money we agreed upon like they said they would.

    Good Luck and don’t ever say I didn’t tell you so.

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    3 / 4 found this review helpful.
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