Bluefin Payment Systems Overview
Encrypted Online Payment Processing
Bluefin Payment Systems (bluefin.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company was launched in 2007 and formerly operated under the name Capital Payments. Since mid-2012, it has grown its market share under the BluePay brand. BluePay offers a proprietary payment gateway called PayConex and specializes in secure e-commerce merchant accounts.
Bluefin Payment Systems Location and Ownership
Bluefin Payment Systems is headquartered at 8200 Roberts Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30350, and is a registered ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank AG in New York and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in Walnut Creek, California. John Perry is the CEO of Bluefin.
Bluefin Payment Systems Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Bluefin appears to offer a three-year contract through First Data with a variable early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Bluefin has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Bluefin has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received two complaints in the past three years.
- Sales & Marketing: Bluefin does not appear to hire independent sales representatives and has not received any merchant complaints about its sales team.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Bluefin
Bluefin Payment Systems Statement Analyzer
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Types of Businesses Served
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Bluefin Payment Systems Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Variable Contract Terms
There is very little publicly available information regarding the specifics of Bluefin’s contract terms. The company’s program guide through First Data is available below, but it does not outline any specific costs or terms except for the fact that the contract lasts for three years and includes an undisclosed termination fee. We have found one or two complaints related to fund holds, but given Bluefin’s 2016 settlement (covered elsewhere in this review), it’s reasonable to assume that the company is now hyper-aggressive with respect to potentially fraudulent payments. Merchants in borderline-high risk industries should be aware of this possibility and consider working with a high-risk specialist.
No Red Flags
Bluefin doesn’t appear to have any publicly listed complaints about its contract terms, but we were able to locate one complaint filed under the Capital Payments name regarding unauthorized fees. Since it has been some time since Capital Payments completed its rebranding, this older complaint will not negatively impact Bluefin’s score in this category. Bluefin has been awarded an “A” rating. See the Bluefin Program Guide.Are you happy with your Bluefin Payment Systems fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Bluefin Payment Systems Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||20+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Fund Holds|
Low Complaint Total
We have located more than 20 negative Bluefin reviews, many of which can be found in the comment section of this review. Complainants cite delayed payouts, unreachable customer service, and difficulties with delays or fees upon cancelling service. These complaints have primarily been filed in the past three years with some consistency, but they do not paint an especially troubling picture of the company’s operations.
Public Complaint Response
We have seen multiple recent complaints regarding the way that Bluefin responds to public complaints. One such complaint describes pressure to remove or alter the complaint:
This company charged our non-profit organization for 10 months after we closed the account. Our numerous efforts to contact the and resolve the problem did not help. Stay away.
After posting the Google reviews, the company did attempt to resolve our issue. We later discovered that they were primarily interested in us updating or removing our Google reviews. They contacted us multiple times by phone and email asking for us to change the reviews. If you are considering Bluefin, be aware that it is possible that they have asked others to remove or modify negative reviews.
We are interested in doing business with organizations who always demonstrate care for customers, rather than those who only care after receiving a negative review, and then only care until the negative review is removed.
Another complainant shared a similar experience:
Too much to write about here and we’ve already wasted enough time with this company. Take a few minutes to read the other reviews. Then take your business elsewhere.
UPDATE: We contacted Bluefin 7 times to correct the issue. They refused every time – until we posted a negative review. Then, they became very motivated to correct the issue. So, if you are having trouble, you may want to start there.
Once they began attempting to resolve the issue, we became aware of other significant deficiencies. It took more than 3 weeks to fully resolve the issue. Our team and volunteer fielded 14 phone calls (almost daily calls) over a period of 3 weeks before the issue was finally resolved. Many of the calls were the vendor asking if the issue had been resolved when it had not been.
Again, unfortunate situation.
In response to the first complaint, Bluefin stated that “it is our policy to respond to every review our company receives, both positive and negative. It is also our policy to ask reviewers, if a resolution was reached, if they would like to change their review.” It appears the Bluefin is extremely responsive to public complaints, but Bluefin merchants should not consider amending any of their public reviews until their situation is fully resolved to their satisfaction.
In February 2016, Bluefin reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission following charges that it enabled a telemarketing scheme called The Tax Club to use merchant accounts to process consumers’ credit card payments. The Tax Club allegedly scammed consumers who were trying to start home-based businesses, and Bluefin (then operating as Capital Payments) was accused of processing payments for The Tax Club despite numerous red flags that the company was engaging in fraudulent activity. As a condition of the settlement, Bluefin “is banned from payment processing or acting as an ISO for several categories of clients and prohibited from assisting or facilitating any merchant it knows, or should know, is violating the FTC Act or the TSR. In addition, Bluefin must screen prospective clients that meet certain criteria, monitor their sales activity to detect indications of deceptive conduct, and terminate contracts with those engaged in deceptive conduct.”
Bluefin Payment Systems Support Options
Bluefin’s website offers a direct customer support line as well as an email form and live chat. These options are consistent with our expectations of the top-rated payment processors for great customer service, but recent merchant reports have lowered Bluefin’s score in this section.
Bluefin Payment Systems BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||1|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||1|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Under 10 Complaints
The Better Business Bureau report for Bluefin is filed under a New York location rather than the company’s Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters, but it is otherwise accurate. The BBB awards Bluefin BBB accreditation and an “A+” rating due to two complaints filed in the last 36 months. One complaint was related to a billing or collection dispute and the other was a product or service problem. Both complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final assessment from the merchant.
What Merchants Say
Bluefin has also received one negative informal review to its BBB profile. This review cites difficulty cancelling service:
Awful company. Their customer service reps are not trained properly. They don’t know what they are doing. I cancelled and closed my account the end of November and paperwork was never completed thoroughly. January comes around and they continue to deduct fees out of my bank account. Causes my account to become overdrawn and they refuse to accept responsibility or refund me bank service charges. Funds deducted from my account on January *** I won’t see funds replaced in my account until the ****!!! Horrible service!! Horrible company!!
Merchants can avoid this situation by taking the proper steps to cancel their merchant account without paying a fee.
An “A” Performance
Given the fact that the company has received only two complaints, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Inside Sales Team
Bluefin’s website is easy to navigate and generally much more informative than the average industry website. The company markets its proprietary PayConex gateway and clearly explains the terms of PCI compliance, for which it offers its clients a free reporting tool. Bluefin does not appear to use independent sales agents or practice deceptive marketing strategies, and there are currently no complaints that accuse the company’s sales team of nondisclosure or misrepresentation of costs. If you suspect that Bluefin is overcharging you, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.
Partnership With The Tax Club
Bluefin’s 2016 FTC settlement does suggest that the company may have improperly processed payments for a company that was bilking customers out of their hard-earned money. However, this type of conduct doesn’t negatively impact the experience that other Bluefin customers may have. While we would normally condemn any company’s efforts to intentionally scam other business owners, we don’t see the 2016 settlement as a red flag about Bluefin’s merchant-facing sales team.
Bluefin Payment Systems Marketing Example
About Phillip Parker
Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so decided to build this website to help you research which providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. Simply scroll to the top of the page to find the search bar. You can also message me if you need any guidance.
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