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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, NC. Kelly 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 Reviews and Complaints
Here's What Their Clients Say
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
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 BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
Product & Service Complaints
Billing & Collection Complaints
Advertising & Sales Complaints
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
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 and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.
2.50% + $0.20
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)
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 Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees
Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.
Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
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.
BB&T Merchant Services Review Summary
Our Final Thoughts and Opinions
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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