In this comprehensive review of Bank of America Merchant Services, we will delve into the intricacies of one of the largest merchant account providers in the United States. Our analysis will cover the broad spectrum of services offered by BofA Merchant Services from the perspective of a business owner, including its role in credit card processing, electronic payments, POS systems and hardware, as well as its e-commerce payment solutions. We'll also further cover the Bank of America Merchant Services fees, rates, and contractual obligations, as well as the customer reviews and lawsuits that have come about in relation to them.
- Costs & Contract: Offers a three-year contract with a $500 early termination fee and…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than 100 public complaints regarding…
- Official Ratings: Has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1949 with an “A+” rating but has received 6,577 complaints and 540 reviews in regards to…
- Employment & Marketing: Hires independent sales agents and has received a moderate number of complaints about its…
About Bank of America Merchant Services
Bank of America Merchant Services, also called BA Merchant Services, is one of the largest merchant account providers in the United States. Prior to June of 2020, the company acted as a reseller of First Data (now Fiserv) rather than processing payments directly with the card networks. However, in the joint venture has since dissolved and Bank of America acts as its own credit card processing service
Bank of America Merchant Services Payment Processing
Bank of America Merchant Services processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include Clover POS systems, check processing, e-commerce solutions including the BigCommerce software, access to the Authorize.Net payment gateway, and MOTO. The 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.
A Forthcoming End to its First Data (Fiserv) Partnership
Bank of America Merchant Services has had a contract with First Data (Fiserv) to service their payment processing needs. The contract ran until June 2020, at which time their partnership was not renewed. This will invariably change the landscape of Bank of America Merchant Services' rate and fee structure. As of this review, Bank of America Merchant Services is pursuing an independent merchant-acquiring solution yet to be disclosed, but the company has stated First Data (Fiserv) will continue as an “important service provider supporting Bank of America’s global payment solutions.”
In April 2021, BofA acquired AxiaMed, a payment processor that primarily focuses on health care. This seems to signal that BofA is attempting to build a stable of processors in the wake of the First Data split, and it is likely we will see more processors come under the umbrella of the BofA empire.
Location & Ownership
Bank of America was founded in 1930 and is headquartered at 100 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28255. Brian Moynihan is the CEO of Bank of America and LinkedIn lists Guy Harris as the head of merchant services.
|Diverse processing options.
|Limited pricing transparency.
|Nationwide branch accessibility.
|Higher fees possible.
|Advanced security features.
|Contract termination fees.
|Integrated financial services.
|Complex pricing structure.
|24/7 customer support.
|Complaints about customer service.
Bank of America Merchant Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints
|Live Customer Support
|Most Common Complaint
Low Complaint Total
Considering Bank of America’s enormous market share in the merchant processing industry, the company has received 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, specifically the $495 early termination fee. Many merchants also reported receiving poor customer service and difficulty resolving problems through the company’s support channels. 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 (Fiserv).
Bank of America Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines
In 2019, BofAMS was sued in a major whistleblower case. According to The National Law Review, a former Vice President and Operations Control Officer at the Company, filed a whistleblower retaliation action against Company, its parent, and two joint venturers (the “non-Company Defendants”), alleging his employment was terminated in retaliation for his complaints regarding Company’s purported failure to comply with Payment Card Industry (“PCI”) standards. Specifically, he alleged that the Company, an entity that provided payment processing services to other companies and municipalities, not only failed to handle consumers’ personal data in compliance with PCI standards but also knowingly misled its customers into believing that it was, in fact, PCI compliant. Following his termination, Plaintiff filed whistleblower retaliation complaints with the SEC and OSHA, alleging wrongful conduct by the Company but only naming the remaining defendants in the context of explaining their relationship to the Company. Part of the case was dismissed, while part of it appears to still be in process. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
An additional lawsuit was brought against BofAMS in 2019, which dealt with an alleged patent infringement.
Bank of America Merchant Services was sued in 2021 in a class-action lawsuit over excessive fees. The suit is currently ongoing.
BofA is also one of the most heavily fined companies in history, though it is difficult to determine which of their many fines (equalling many hundreds of millions) is related to their merchant services.
Bank of America Merchant Services Customer Service Options
Bank of America offers phone, email, and chat support to all of its merchants, which is consistent with our expectations of top-rated merchant account providers for customer service. The company has kept its complaint rate low over its seven years of operation, but there is no indication that its policies have evolved to become more merchant-friendly over that period of time.
We have located a single Bank of America Merchant Services customer service phone number:
The company’s score in this section is affected in larger part by the consistent content of the complaints more so than the quantity of complaints.
Bank of America Merchant Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
BBB Rating Analysis for Bank of America
Bank of America, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is accredited by the BBB since 11/1/1949 and holds an “A-” rating. It should be noted that (outside of this review) there are few review sites that separate BofA’s merchant services division from the rest of its business, which is substantial. Thus, we’ll include a review from the BBB here as an example of the company’s services in general, but we will not include other reviews.
The bank has been in business for 76 years. It has an average customer review rating of 1.07/5 stars based on 962 customer reviews. There are 7,585 customer complaints closed in the last 3 years, with 2,609 complaints closed in the last 12 months. Common themes in the reviews and complaints include issues with customer service, problems with products/services, and billing disputes.
*** is trash recently my fiancé’s son passed away I have tried numerous times to get a payment deferred. They will not help at all just want to set up payments and charge late fees. Thanks for absolutely nothing and if you’re thinking of dealing with BOA save yourself a headache and don’t do it. If I could leave a 0 rating I would. – Review from December 6, 2023
On October 13th, at 1:01 p.m., I ******************* entered a Bank of America to withdraw money from my chime debit account. I attempted to withdraw $510 but in an attempt to grab my money from the dispense slot some of it slipped back into the machine ************************** the machine. I immediately asked help from one of the clerks and was told to dial the *** support number after I did so I was told to file a claim with chime. After I filed my claim with chime it was repeatedly denied based on the evidence provided by chime I was told that there was no error on chimes part and that the *** was not over or short in funds. This has led me to two conclusions One Bank of America’s *** was faulty or the audit was not done properly and my money was not accounted for or two chime financial investigation seems committed an error. I would like to request review of camera footage from the *** or any other camera that could have caught the instant and I would like Bank of America to reach out to chime and help rectify this issue. Bank of America under Reg E claims act should still be held responsible as it is their atm and establishment that is responsible for keeping track of all money that is over or short in their atm machines even touch Chime is the bank account I withdrew from. Below I will attach an image of my receipt and the money I was able to grab the metadata of the image would show that I took the picture shortly after 1:01 p.m. and camera footage could placee at the bank at the time. – Complaint from December 4, 2023
There are no positive reviews published about Bank of America on the BBB website.
Bank of America Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|2.65% + $0.10
|3.50% + $0.15
|2.99% + $0.30
|Early Termination Fee
|Monthly or Annual Fees
Updated Rates and Fees
Bank of America has significantly modified its rate and fees since our last update. Prior this change, the company suffered from considerable backlash over its use of confusing fee structures, hidden fees, and long-term contracts with high early termination fees.
In reviewing the updated pricing structure, new credit card processing customers of Bank of America Merchant Services are being offer much better terms and fees. It’s clear that the company aims to move forward with simplified and competitive pricing options, with an emphasis on transparency and no long-term contractual obligations. Their pricing model is marketed as to cater to various business needs, whether operating in-store, online, or on-the-go.
Bank of America Merchant Services presents a tiered pricing structure based on the type of transaction processing. For swipe, dip, and tap transactions, the rate is set at 2.65% plus 10 cents per transaction. E-commerce transactions are priced at 2.99% plus 30 cents, while keyed transactions cost 3.50% plus 15 cents. This clear delineation of rates based on transaction types will allow businesses to anticipate their processing costs more accurately.
Bank of America is also offering the potential for discounts on processing rates. Through the Preferred Rewards for Business program, businesses can earn a discount of up to 0.10% on their Merchant Services Simplified Pricing processing rate, with additional savings and rewards available. The tier rate discounts are categorized into Gold (0.05%), Platinum (0.07%), and Platinum Honors (0.10%), offering a range of benefits depending on the business’s enrollment level in the program.
Furthermore, Bank of America Merchant Services emphasizes the absence of hidden fees, early termination fees, and long-term contracts, underscoring their commitment to transparency and flexibility. This approach is particularly beneficial for small businesses and startups that require more adaptable financial arrangements.
In summary, Bank of America Merchant Services provides a clear and competitive pricing structure for new customers, with added benefits for those who participate in their Preferred Rewards for Business program. The absence of long-term contracts and hidden fees, coupled with tiered pricing based on transaction types, makes it a potentially attractive option for businesses seeking reliable and straightforward merchant services
POS System and Payment Hardware Costs
Bank of America Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers
|Advertises Deceptive Rates
|Discloses All important Provisions
Bank-Based Marketing Channels
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. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors. If you suspect that a Bank of America representative has added undisclosed fees to your contract, we recommend seeking an independent statement audit.
No Deceptive Quotes
Other than reports of deceptive sales tactics by agents, Bank of America does not feature any misleading advertising or rate promotions in its official materials. This has earned it a “B” rating in this category.
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