Bank of America Merchant Services (merch.bankofamerica.com), also called BA Merchant Services and Banc of America Merchant Services, is one of the largest merchant account providers in the United States. Surprisingly, Bank of America uses First Data and TSYS as its backend credit card processors. This partnership has resulted in a significant percentage of all U.S. credit card transactions being processed through Bank of America. A main benefit of opening your business checking account and merchant account through Bank of America is that your credit card sales will usually be deposited a full day sooner than if you were with a third-party merchant account provider.
Bank of America was founded in 1930 and is headquartered at 100 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28255. The CEO of Bank of America Merchant Services is Tim Tynan.
Bank of America Merchant Services Products and Services
- Debit and credit card processing
- Tablet POS solutions
- Mobile phone processing
- Gift and loyalty programs
- E-commerce solutions
- International payments
- Most business types of any size, including retail, MOTO, e-commerce, and international
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Uses Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All important Provisions||No|
Bank of America appears to primarily market its merchant account services through its numerous banking branches and internally employed outside sales representatives (as opposed to independent contractors). Although the company uses its own sales force, merchants are reporting similar problems often found with independent agents, such as nondisclosure of fees or important contract conditions prior to account setup. Other than reports of deceptive sales tactics by agents, Bank of America does not appear to use any misleading advertising or rate promotions. This has earned it a “B-” rating in this category.
Bank of America Merchant Services Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Up to $495|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Up to $95/yr|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 month / Non-Cancellable|
Costs and fees of a Bank of America merchant account appear to vary based on a merchant’s business type, processing volume, sales representative, and the merchant’s skill in negotiating pricing (See: Fee Sweep). The company’s standard contract (available below) is reported to include a 36-month service agreement with a $495 Early Termination Fee (ETF). Additionally, sales reps often promote equipment rentals through First Data Global Leasing that include non-cancellable lease agreements of up to 48 months. Merchants are cautioned to fully read their service agreements before signing any documents and to avoid expensive leases by purchasing equipment outright. As of this review, we did not find any reports indicating that Bank of America charges the widely despised annual PCI Compliance fee, but multiple merchants report a $95 annual fee that may simply be PCI Compliance under a different name. If you have any further information regarding the standard Bank of America Merchant Services fees or contract terms, please leave it in the comment section below this review. See the Bank of America Merchant Agreement.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||50+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Considering Bank of America’s enormous market share in the merchant processing industry, the company has relatively few complaints accusing its merchant services division of being a scam or a ripoff. Of the complaints that merchants have reported, most are regarding nondisclosure of important fees and contract terms prior to setting up an account, “hidden” and surprise fees, and nondisclosure of the $495 ETF. Many merchants who had complaints also reported receiving poor customer service and difficulty resolving problems. A small percentage of complaints, similar to those found here, express frustration with the fact that Bank of America did not clarify that merchants would be receiving service through First Data.
The company’s score in this section is affected in larger part by the content of the complaints over the quantity of complaints. Since Bank of America’s merchant services division has only been around for roughly four years and is closely affiliated with First Data, it seems reasonable that the company will not have attracted many complaints by now.
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Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||3,870|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||1,745|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||365|
|Guarantee Warranty Complaints||37|
The Better Business Bureau does not have a separate profile for Bank of America’s merchant services division. The bank itself has had BBB accreditation since 1949 and currently holds an “A-” rating based on 6,089 complaints filed within the last 36 months. Of the total complaints, 5,589 have been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. We have adjusted the company’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review according to our rating criteria.
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
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About 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. Schedule a Consultation with PhillipSchedule a Consultation with Phillip