Blackbaud Merchant Services Review

Overview

Blackbaud (blackbaud.com/BBMS/) is a software and merchant account provider that specializes in solutions for nonprofit organizations. Founded in 1981, the company has grown from a simple computerized billing service into one of the largest all-in-one solutions available for charities. Blackbaud utilizes Chase Paymentech, Wells Fargo, and First Data Canada for its backend processing and is headquartered at 2000 Daniel Island Dr, Charleston, South Carolina 29492. The company’s payment processing service is called Blackbaud Merchant Services and will be the primary focus of this review. Michael Gianoni is listed as the president and CEO of Blackbaud.

Key Points

  • Sales & Marketing: Blackbaud does not appear to hire independent sales agents and has received very few complaints about its sales practices.
  • Costs & Contract: Blackbaud offers a month-to-month merchant account contract with no early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Blackbaud has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Blackbaud has an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received four complaints in the past three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Blackbaud

Blackbaud Products and Services

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Mobile payment acceptance
  • Recurring billing
  • Donor management
  • Salesforce integration
  • Accounting software

Industries

  • Non-profit

Response from Blackbaud

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Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

Employs Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Since Blackbaud Merchant Services is an optional service within the Blackbaud suite of products, it is primarily marketed to interested or prospective Blackbaud customers. This means that the company does not utilize independent sales agents or engage in “hiring mill” policies that typically plague the credit card processing industry. As a result, we have found no Blackbaud negative reviews that accuse the company’s sales staff of misrepresentation or nondisclosure.

The Blackbaud website does not disclose the pricing of many of its products and services, but it also does not promote any deceptive rates or fees. We will therefore award it an “A” in this category for the time being.

Response from Blackbaud

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Blackbaud Marketing Example

a

Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate 2.598% + $0.26
Keyed-in Rate 2.598% + $0.26
Early Termination Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee None
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

Blackbaud Merchant Services charges a flat fee of 2.598% plus $0.26 for all card transactions, regardless of the card brand or method of acceptance. The company advertises that there are no other monthly minimum fees, annual fees, setup fees, gateway fees, PCI compliance fees, or long-term contracts. Blackbaud’s promotional materials do not directly address whether the company charges an early termination fee, but a company representative has stated in the comment section of this review that users are free to cancel service without facing any termination penalties. This is also confirmed in the company’s contract terms and conditions (available below).

Blackbaud’s flat per-transaction rate alone is not especially competitive for the industry, as it is equivalent to most mid-qualified or non-qualified transactions. However, the fact that the company charges no other fees whatsoever for its processing service makes it an affordable option overall for most organizations. The overwhelming drawback cited by Blackbaud reviewers is the company’s rigid insistence on keeping organizations within its suite of software solutions, which limits charities’ ability to competitively shop for third-party donor relationship management, web hosting, analytics, marketing, and so on. For this reason, organizations will want to be sure that they are interested in all relevant Blackbaud software options before signing up for Blackbaud’s payment processing solution. See the Blackbaud Terms & Conditions.

Response from Blackbaud

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Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

We are able to locate only a handful of negative Blackbaud reviews, none of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. One very detailed negative review states that while Blackbaud is a very robust solution with many useful features and a strong sales staff, it is ultimately overpriced for the value it delivers and it also comes with a steep learning curve. This review is representative of most positive and negative Blackbaud reviews, with the consensus being that Blackbaud is a reliable all-in-one solution for moderately sized-to-large non-profit organizations. Very small charities or very large charities may find themselves frustrated with a lack of third-party support or expensive add-on features.

Response from Blackbaud

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BBB

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 3
Advertising & Sales Complaints 1
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

The Better Business Bureau currently assigns an “A-” rating to Blackbaud and does not show that the company is accredited. Blackbaud’s BBB profile has received four complaints in the past three years, three of which were related to billing or collection issues and one of which had to do with and advertising or sales problem. One complaint received no response whatsoever, while the other three either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. The BBB cites the unaddressed complaint as the major factor lowering Blackbaud’s grade. In light of this information, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.

Response from Blackbaud

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Blackbaud Logo

Blackbaud Bottom Line

Blackbaud appears to be a solid merchant account provider according to all available information. The company has received positive feedback from medium-to-large nonprofits for its wide variety of features and customizable solutions, but it has rigid and fairly expensive pricing that may not appeal to smaller nonprofits or very large organizations. Blackbaud’s grade may improve or worsen once the BBB assigns it an overall grade.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

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1 Review Leave Your Review for Blackbaud Below

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  1. Phillip:

    Thank you very much for your review of Blackbaud Merchant Services. As the Payment Business product marketing manager, I wanted to reach out and let you know that we don’t charge an early termination fee. Clients can come and go as they wish without penalty.

    Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or if there’s any other information that you need.

    Best regards,

    Kendra DeWitt
    Product Marketing Manager, Payment Business
    Blackbaud, Inc.
    [email protected] | blackbaud.com

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