BB&T Merchant Services Review: Fees, Complaints, & Lawsuits

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3/5
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How did they treat you? ▼

Note: As mentioned below, BB&T is merging with Truist Bank. In fact, as of 2022, the BB&T website link redirects to Truist with this message:

“Beginning Friday, Feb. 18, the last of our systems will transition to Truist. Access to your accounts will be impacted and could be temporarily unavailable during this time—this includes through the mobile app, online banking, ATMs, branches, and by phone. We expect most services to be available on Sunday, February 20. We're excited to serve you as Truist”

With this in mind, we will no longer be updating the BB&T review. Please read out Truist Bank review for more information.

Now Truist Bank

BB&T has merged with Suntrust to form Truist Bank. The merger is ongoing and the two banks still provide certain services under their original name, but they are expected to complete the merger by 2022.

Established in 1872

BB&T Merchant Services is a division of Branch Banking & Trust Company, a publicly traded financial services and banking network (NYSE: BBT), that was initially founded in 1872. The company has operated under the BB&T name since 1913 and is currently one of the ten largest commercial banks in the United States.

BB&T Payment Processing

It is unclear at this time what types of processing Truist will provide for credit cards and other payments.

BB&T Merchant Services Location & Ownership

BB&T Merchant Services appears to be partnered with TSYS to provide its merchant accounts. BB&T was headquartered at 110 South Stratford Road, Winston Salem, North Carolina 27104, while Truist is now listed at 214 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NCKelly King is listed as the chairman and CEO of BB&T. According to announcements on BB&T and Truist's websites, customers will not have to change any account details at this time, but it appears both the Suntrust and BB&T brand could be scaled back in the near future. Kelly King is also listed as the CEO of Truist Financial. 

BB&T Merchant Services Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: BB&T Merchant Services appears to offer a 3-year contract through TSYS with tiered and interchange-plus pricing and an early termination fee of either $195 or $295.
  • Complaints & Service: BB&T Merchant Services has received greater than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: BB&T (as Truist Bank) has an “A+” rating and has received 2,207 complaints and 753 reviews in the past three years. They have been accredited with the BBB since 1986.
  • Sales & Marketing: BB&T Merchant Services appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received a few complaints about its sales team.

BB&T Merchant Services Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 10+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Interchange Markup

Padding Interchange Rates

We are currently able to locate approximately ten BB&T Merchant Services negative reviews online, none of which outright accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. These complaints mention nondisclosure of rates and fees, rate increases after signup, and expensive equipment leases. An emerging trend among complainants appears to be BB&T Merchant Services’ marking up of interchange rates; the company seems to be sneaking a significant hike of 0.5% into all interchange rates above 2.2%, which is highly unethical if not properly disclosed.

BB&T Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against BB&T Merchant Services.

However, Truist recently settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Winston-Salem based regional credit union, Truliant, who accused Truist of appropriating their brand equity. The case was settled out of court and details of the settlement are unknown.

In 2020, Truist was sued for alleged discrimination, but the case was settled out of court.

It appears an antitrust lawsuit was brought against Truist in 2021, but there are not many details available.

Additionally, BB&T has faced a number of large fines, including for benefit plan administrator violation, consumer protection violation, investor protection violation, wage and hour violation, and economic sanction violation. The violations total a number over $35 million.

Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

BB&T Merchant Services Customer Service Options

The BB&T Merchant Services website offers phone and email support contact information, and it is possible that the company services these lines directly rather than outsourcing the service to TSYS. It should be noted that some BB&T complaints may be filed against local branches of the company or against TSYS rather than BB&T itself, but there is currently no indication that this is happening on a wide scale. The number of complaints that mention BB&T’s recent marking up of interchange rates has lowered its score to a “B” in this section, and its customer support options are not quite sufficient when compared to top credit card processors for customer service.

BB&T Merchant Services Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
Product & Service Complaints 1,296
Billing & Collection Complaints 342
Advertising & Sales Complaints 474
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 29
Delivery Complaints 67

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

No Dedicated BBB Profile

BB&T Merchant Services no longer has its own Better Business Bureau profile and is instead grouped with the overall Truist Bank group of profiles. The BBB has awarded the combined company accreditation dating back to 1986 The company is showing 2,208 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. 1,296 of the complaints were due to a problem with a product or service, 342 were billing or collections issues, 474 were due to advertising or sales problems, 29 were issues with a guarantee or warranty, and 67 were issues with delivery. 1,131 of these 2,208 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 1,077 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response. However, since most of these complaints do not relate to the company’s merchant accounts it is not entirely indicative of the quality of those services.

What Merchants Say

In addition to the 2,208 complaints left on the BB&T Better Business Bureau profile, the company has also received 753 informal reviews. 12 of these reviews are positive, while 741 are negative in tone. However, it is hard to distinguish how many of these reviews pertain to the company’s merchant services.

A “B” Performance Overall

It is very difficult to determine with any accuracy how many of these complaints have been filed in relation to BB&T’s merchant services division, but the company’s performance in the other categories of this review inclines us to only slightly adjust the BBB’s rating to a “B.” Merchants should still note that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.

BB&T Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Swiped Rate 2.50% + $0.20
Keyed-in Rate 3.50% + $0.20
Early Termination Fee $195 - $295
PCI Compliance Fee $75.20 Per Year ($18.80 charged each quarter)
Equipment Lease Terms 48 month (locked)

Industry-Average Pricing

According to multiple sources, the standard BB&T contract is a 3-year agreement through TSYS with automatic renewal for 1 year. Typical rates in a standard TSYS contract include a swipe rate of 2.50% plus $0.20 and a keyed-in rate of 3.50% plus $0.20. An early termination fee of $195-$295, a PCI Compliance fee of $75.20 per year (charged quarterly), and a non-cancellable equipment lease for the term of the contract are other facets of a TSYS merchant agreement.

It is likely that these terms may vary depending on the agent setting up the account and a merchant’s business profile, so merchants are advised to negotiate to get some costs reduced or waived. BB&T appears to offer either interchange-plus or tiered pricing, depending on the merchant, and the company does provide processing for seasonal merchants. Overall, the terms described are very similar to the standard terms offered by TSYS and, though not competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts, are roughly comparable to industry averages.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, BB&T Merchant Services also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Possible Long-Term Equipment Leases

It is worth noting that we located one merchant complaint alleging that BB&T signed the complainant up for an equipment lease through MBF Leasing, a DBA of Northern Leasing Systems. Northern Leasing Systems is notorious for offering expensive, long-term contracts, and merchants are advised to avoid doing business with the company whenever possible. Since this complaint appears to be an isolated incident, we are not inclined to assume that BB&T routinely resells Northern Leasing equipment. However, merchants should still note that it is a possibility. We encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.

BB&T Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Inside and Outside Sales Staff

BB&T appears to utilize an inside sales staff as well as independently contracted sales agents to market its services. The use of independent sales agents is generally linked to elevated merchant complaints, but BB&T seems to be an exception to this rule. We are currently able to locate only a handful of BB&T reviews that describe deceptive practices by the company’s sales agents. One report alleges that an agent took advantage of a merchant with poor English skills, while a few other complaints are related to nondisclosure of the company’s early termination fee (ETF). A few complaints in the comment section of this review allege that BB&T sharply increases its interchange-plus markup for certain transaction types, and this appears to be happening with more regularity for merchants. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

No Deceptive Advertising

Overall, BB&T has a low number of complaints filed against it regarding its sales practices. The company also does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. That said, we always recommend that merchants consider a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden fees.

Our BB&T Merchant Services Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

An Above-Average Payment Processor

BB&T Merchant Services rates as a slightly better-than-average merchant services provider according to our rating system. The company is showing relatively few complaints for its size and time in business, and it does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies. It seems that BB&T, like TSYS, offers contract terms that are roughly average for the industry, but its apparent padding of interchange is cause for concern. The company’s overall rating may be subject to change if the BBB ever provides more details about which portions of BB&T’s complaints are due specifically to its merchant services. For now, merchants should compare the company’s rates to those of top-rated providers to obtain the best deal.

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Testimonials & Complaints

How Did BB&T Merchant Services Treat You?

12 User Reviews

  • Juan Blacutt

    These people are AWFUL! their customer service is non- existent. I had an error message pop up on the terminal which did not let us process any more transactions. We are a restaurant and this happened early afternoon on a Saturday which is one of our busiest days. I contacted their customer support desk only to get the infamous recording ” your call is important to us…” Three different times for over 45 minutes I was made to listen to what amounts to a torture recording which tells you “you will not hear music while you wait” and it loops endlessly. They never picked up. I will have to go to the branch and cancel this service as this is not the first time it happens. I will have to replace them. They have cost me a substantial amount of money on lost revenue.


    This post will help: Best Merchant Accounts for Restaurants

    -Phillip

  • Sita Pfalz

    We are new customers at BBT since December 28th, 2017. After almost five months, we were contacted by merchanted services Michelle Rhodes with Keri. It seemed like they needed every financial statement in the book to initiate this merchant service and promised us that they will not initiate services unless we were able to get out of a contract with our former bank. Well, they lied. They sent a credit card machine and initiated the contract in the drive-through service. Michelle Rhoades will not answer several phone calls to discuss this issue. Kerri mentioned penalties for not using their merchant service.
    I would warn anyone who is fooled by promises to be rewarded if they refer a client to BBT to DO NOT DO IT. After six months, the person who referred us did not get a bonus. We did not get a check for joining and is facing penalties for not using their merchant services.

  • TW

    Please know that no matter how big or small you are, BB&T will add .50% to all interchange rates over 2.2%. It’s called enhanced interchange, and it is totally unethical. Check your statements! Interchange is posted online on the card brand sites. For instance, VS Signature Electronic interchange rate is 2.4% and $.10. If you check your statement, chances are you are paying 2.9% and $.10. You will notice, if you know where to look, that all the other card brand fees are inflated, and on top of all of that, there is a clearing and settlement fee of up to .15%! As of June 2018, there is a new fee of $.07 for every $100 processed. Go to Visa.com and see the most up to date Visa interchange rates, then match to your statement. You will get a shock! To the merchant who is waiting for a call back, don’t hold your breath! I would start looking for another processor. No contract, no Early termination fee, and make them sign a statement that they will never “pad” or “enhance” interchange. If they won’t sign, don’t walk away, run!
    If you think because you have been a loyal customer of BB&T that they will be loyal to you, think again. They are in the business of making money, and that is exactly what they are great at doing!

  • michhael Ilsemann

    I have recently discovered that BB & T is padding certain interchange rates by .50 This is a shady business practice at best. I contacted my merchant services manager and told him what I had discovered. He has not gotten back with me. I had a meeting with my BB & T bank manager yesterday explaining what was going on. She said she would investigate and follow up with me. She assured me that the bank would do what was right and ethical. We will see if she is correct. Such deceptive business practices represent the complete opposite of what is written in the BB&T culture book. I hope that Kelly King (BB & T CEO) reads this and takes action so that these practices will no longer hurt customers that place they trust (and money) in his organization.

  • Dee

    I am not the owner of the business, but I run the credit card machine. I just took over from someone else and had to call the help desk for the first time. And I just want to say, your help desk is AWESOME. These people are so nice and helpful and know what they are doing! I can’t say about anything else, but when it comes to your Help Desk service, you should be voted top in the world. Thank you so much for your help, knowledge and very important, that people are able to understand you.

  • Tonya

    I have had a business merchant services account with BB&T for nearly 7 years until this past January. I own a small retail store, and never had any issues with BB&T UNTIL someone was able to remotely gain access to my new PCI COMPLIANT credit card machine. Somehow, they were able to send through over 21k American Express authorizations (I’m not even authorized to accept American Express, and my Amex account has been closed since 2014), for which I was charged $3100. After numerous calls to merchant services, they agreed to refund $2109 but not the full $3100. I was told they didn’t have to refund anything because the bank incurred the charges, EVEN THOUGH they saw it was fraud, closed by old merchant account because of it and opened a new merchant account. I filed a fraud claim through the bank, but was eventually notified that because they had already taken out the fee, there was nothing they could do about it. Needless to say, I am no longer using my BB&T account, have closed my merchant account and am very happy using my Square. :) Save yourself trouble down the road and definitely DON’T use BB&T merchant services.

  • Jonathan

    BB&T has begun marking up business, corporate, Visa Signature, MC Elite, purchasing, fleet, and EIRF (basically anything that’d be non-qualified on tiered pricing) by 0.50% on interchange plus pricing. They’ve also begun marking up Visa Int’l fees by 0.10% and MasterCard Int’l fees by 0.20%. Beware: BB&T has consistently become increasingly more deceptive in their pricing and transparency in recent years.

  • Matthew

    I signed up for the BB&T merchant services about 8 months ago. I have a small business and I don’t bring in much income but I figured eventually I would have the need to accept credit cards. Well the first time I needed to use it was less than two months after signing up. I have the online based system so I needed to sign in with my login and password which where sent to me in an email when I first signed up. So I find the login info in the email and try to sign in so I can run the customers card. After numerous attempts, it still would not let me sign in. So I had to call customer support and was on hold for almost ten minutes. Meanwhile my customer is still waiting. Well he had to reset the password for some reason he could not figure out and finally I was able to login. So I ran the customers card, and it said invalid card number. So I tried it a couple more times and the same thing. So we tried two more cards and none of which would go through. Luckily I had a trustworthy customer and they come back the next day and paid cash. Well I forgot about it for a while, I just figured it was just technical difficulties. A couple months later I noticed on the bank statements they were charging me almost $55/ month and I wasn’t even using it. I decided I was going to cancel but I kept putting it off because I was dreaded being on the phone for over 30 minutes with customer support especially since I’m only employee and I don’t have anyone to deal with customers while I’m on the phone. Well one day, the need for a credit card came up again. So I gave it another chance. Then the same thing happened with the login. And I know I have the right info, because I wrote it down since I had so many problems last time. I had enough. So today I called and cancelled. Only on the phone for 20 minutes this time. They then informed me that there was a $295 cancelation fee. Which was never told to me before now, but it is in the fine print so its my own fault for not reading it all they way through before signing. But then again I never thought I would have to cancel service because I figured a BB&T company would have outstanding services.So I pleaded with the customer service representative telling my side of the story in which she replies the cancelation fee is non negotiable. So they tell my I have a choice: pay $295 cancelation fee for a service I never used, or continue to pay $55/month for the next two and half years for a service that I can’t get to work. So the outcome is I have already paid almost $300 in monthly fees and now I’m being charged a $295 cancellation fee. I don’t understand how there is a cancelation fee for a service that doesn’t cost the servicing company any money considering I never got it to work.

  • Jill Harrington

    BBT has a hidden clause in the merchant contract. When I called to cancel my merchant account after 3 years and 4 months. I was told by their customer service that there is a $195 fee if you don’t give 60 days notice prior to your 3 year contract. I looked at my contract page, and there was no mention of this policy. I was told it is on page 18, section 5.1 They charged this fee to me, even though I am a long-term customer of BBT. I am no longer a BBT customer. They added small fees each year, and then the finale.

  • bob sunner

    If you like really Bad customer service, then BB&T is the merchant no service company for you. They make it difficult to deal with and will LOSE you money by their NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. They have cost me $$$$$. LONG waits even to speak to them. You are better off going elsewhere.

  • Mindy

    BB&T CREDIT CARD SERVICES IS THE WORST EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD!! My credit card information was stolen back in December and I caught it 2 days later.. not BB&T even though the charges were in Nevada and California and had double charges for the same amount at every stop along the way!!! I can’t get them to clear this up 2 months later!!!

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