Beacon Payments (beaconpayments.com) is a merchant account provider that serves small, medium, and large businesses based in the United States. Founded in 1998, Beacon Payments can be found at 25 Temple Place Suite 2L, Boston, Massachusetts 02111. The company is a First Data reseller and a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. David Selenow is listed as the principal of Beacon Payments and Gerald Kadish is listed as the company’s CEO.
- Sales & Marketing: Beacon Payments hires independent sales agents and has received a few complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Beacon Payments offers a three-year contract through First Data with an undisclosed early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Beacon Payments has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Beacon Payments has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received two complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Beacon Payments
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Beacon Payments appears to hire independently contracted sales agents to market its services. As a general rule, this practice makes it difficult for any company to monitor and regulate its sales team’s behavior, which in turn tends to result in elevated complaint rates among merchants. Beacon Payments, however, does not appear to receive many complaints related to its sales force.
We have located a few Beacon Payments complaints that criticize the company’s sales approach. In one complaint, a merchant was contacted by a sales representative, asked to sign a “merchant account application” that was actually a contract, and then was unable to reach the agent after that point. The merchant was surprised to see that they were being billed for a service they hadn’t received. Beacon Payments responded by issuing a full refund, and the merchant expressed satisfaction with the response and suggested that they had perhaps been too hasty filing a complaint. Some current and former sales agents with the company also state that Beacon Payments expects its agents to do a lot of door-to-door selling, which can be aggravating for both agents and merchants.
The Beacon Payments website actively promotes Interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent rate structure available. This is a positive indicator that the company does not condone deceptive sales tactics, but the company’s overall rating does suffer from the few complaints available about its sales team.
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Beacon Payments is straightforward about its ability to offer Interchange-plus pricing to merchants, but it does not disclose the exact markup it offers above interchange. The transparency of the company’s pricing structure appears to have kept merchant complaints to a minimum, as there are only a few complaints about the company’s standard contract (which is available in part below). This document describes a three-year agreement through First Data with a variable early termination fee, but we have not found any merchant complaints that disclose the amount of this fee.
The only negative reviews of Beacon’s contract terms mention the company’s monthly minimum fees, which is $30 if merchants do not process at least $1,500 in a given month. In addition, there is a $10 monthly fee that may be applied to some accounts regardless of processing volume. If you have any knowledge about the standard Beacon Payments contract, please leave that information in the comment section of this review. See the Beacon Payments Program Guide.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
At the time of this update, there are only a few negative Beacon Payments reviews outside of the BBB, indicating that the company is not a ripoff or a scam. The available complaints describe difficulty cancelling service, aggressive sales tactics, and dissatisfaction with the company’s monthly fees. Beacon Payments offers a dedicated 24/7 phone support number on its website, although it’s unclear whether this number is serviced by Beacon Payments or by First Data. Regardless, the company’s overall complaint rate is low enough to warrant an “A” rating for the purposes of this review.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||1|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||1|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Beacon has been an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau since 2011 and currently holds an “A+” rating. At this time of review, Beacon Payments is showing two BBB complaints in the last 36 months, one of which were related to billing and collection and one of which was related to advertising or sales. The merchants were satisfied with the company’s response in one case but not another. There are also three informal negative reviews posted to the company’s profile. In light of this information, we agree with the BBB’s overall rating.
About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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