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Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: We have regularly encountered exceptionally high rates with CardConnect merchants, often exceeding…
- Complaints & Service: Has garnered more than 75 public complaints regarding…
- BBB Rating: Received 74 complaints and 23 reviews in the past 3 years about…
- Sales & Marketing: Hires independent sales agents and has received a moderate number of complaints about its…
CardConnect, formerly known as Financial Transaction Services, is a rapidly growing merchant account provider that operates as an independent credit card processing subsidiary of First Data (now Fiserv). Founded in 2006 by CEO Brian P. Shanahan before changing its name and moving to Pennsylvania, Card Connect was acquired by First Data (Fiserv) in 2017 and is now the primary independent sales agent network used by First Data/Fiserv. The company has previously partnered with FTV Capital, Bank of America, and SecureNet Payment Systems to expand its merchant account products and services.
RELATED: CardConnect is one of the most expensive processors we have reviewed. Find out how to get retroactive refunds of excessive fees.
As part of Fiserv, CardConnect is a payment processor provider that is suitable for all major credit card and debit cards for most business types. The company offers the CardPointe virtual payment gateway for online payments which integrates with a virtual terminal, a mobile credit card processing app, and a card reader called “CardPointe.” They also offer Clover point-of-sale payment hardware and “Bolt,” which is a software solution that allows merchants selling their own software to integrate payments into their products. Further, the company offers “CoPilot,” which is a way for ISOs to track their portfolios and revenue flow. Notably, the company offers interchange-plus pricing as well as Level II and III data processing through its POS system and payment gateway.
Location & Ownership
CardConnect’s headquarters are located at 1000 Continental Drive, #300, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406. Jeff Shanahan is listed as the president and the company is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA.; Synovus Bank, USA, Columbus, GA; PNC Bank, N.A., Pittsburgh, PA; and MetaBank, N.A., Sioux Falls, SD.
CardConnect Reviews and Complaints
Here's What Their Clients Say
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
High Number of Complaints
We have found over 100 CardConnect complaints, some of which express the opinion that either CardConnect knowingly conducts in unethical business practices. The company has responded to many of the complaints found in the comments section of this website, albeit with what occasionally appears to be an automated or copied response. Many of the complaints on this website report poor customer service, despite what appears to be an active effort by company representatives to contact frustrated clients.
It is also worth noting that two of the complaint rebuttals issued by what appear to be CardConnect representatives were less than professional and bordering on rude. It does not appear that either individual is still employed by the company, so we will favorably assume that these comments are not reflective of the company’s present culture and customer service that they provide. Unfortunately, CardConnect’s complaint rate has increased over times, likely due in part to its accelerated growth and acquisition. Many of the complaints report exceptionally poor customer service and broken promises.
CardConnect Lawsuits & Government Actions
In 2016, CardConnect was sued through a class-action lawsuit in the matter of Kao et al v. CardConnect Corp. The suit alleged that the company misled merchants with contractual language that bound the merchants to rates that differed from those within their respective contacts. In 2021, CardConnect agreed to a settlement of $7.65 million to end the suit.
The company has not been named in any government actions or fines; however, its parent company, Fiserv, has incurred numerous fines including one totaling over $40 million.
CardConnect Customer Service Support Options
To its credit, CardConnect offers 24/7 live phone support. This is a degree of customer support that we expect from top-rated processors for great customer service.
We have located multiple CardConnect customer service numbers:
- (877) 828-0720 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
(484) 581-7690 – ISV Partner Support
CardConnect also offers multiple customer support email addresses:
- [email protected] – General Customer Support
- [email protected] – CardPointe Support
- [email protected] – Developer Support
- [email protected] – ISV Partner Support
- [email protected] – Partner Solutions
CardConnect BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.
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.
Rising Complaint Total
The Better Business Bureau has awarded CardConnect a rating of an “A” despite a rising number of complaints. Of 74 complaints, 32 were related to product or service problems, 41 were due to billing or collection issues, and 1 was due to an issue with advertising or sales. Only 22 of these 74 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction customer. The remaining 52 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the customer or received no final response.
What Customers Say
The company also has 23 negative reviews filed with the BBB. The most recent review describes missing POS system equipment and poor customer service:
My credit card terminal no more works and so I order a new terminal. It has been almost 3 weeks and they have not send me a terminal. Its almost impossible to do business if you are unable to run credit cards. The customer service is pathetic and I have been on phone calls more than 4 hours for a few days and almost 40 mins hold time the rest of the days. Its very frustrating to spend this kind of time when you are a single-owned business in service industry.
Business owners will be better off with top merchant service providers with great customer service to avoid poor customer support in an emergency.
A “D” Performance
Given the company’s complaint rate and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “D” for the purposes of this review. Business owners should note that there are good reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.
CardConnect Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.
2.32% + 0.25% + $0.07
2.32% + 0.25% + $0.07
Virtual Terminal Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee
Early Termination Fee
Up To $750
Monthly Minimum Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
$8.25 Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms
48 Month (locked)
Variable Contract Terms, Rates, and Fees
CardConnect doe not readily disclose its merchant contract terms but we have seen reports of contracts with term-length service agreements up to 5 years, a PCI compliance fee charged each month of $8.25, high early termination fees (up to $750), and other monthly fees. Recent complaints mention an annual fee of up to $288 that is applied retroactively at the end of the relevant year. A copy of the company’s standard application also lists a monthly minimum fee of $25, a statement fee of $5, and a PCI non-compliance fee of $19.95 per month. The contract also references a POS system equipment lease, which is likely through First Data Global Leasing, considering the company’s affiliation with First Data/Fiserv.
RELATED: Thinking about switching away from CardConnect? Get retroactive refunds through and independent audit first.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing For Online Sales and E-Commerce
In addition to its storefront debt payment gateways and credit card processing services, CardConnect also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway service, CardPointe. However, pricing and fees of this service are 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 merchant services.
Level 2 and Level 3 Processing for Merchant Services
In addition to its traditional merchant services, CardConnect also advertises that it provides Level 2 and Level 3 processing for B2B and B2G transactions. Level 2 and Level 3 processing rely upon different interchange rates than traditional consumer credit card transactions. Accommodating those rates requires different payment processing technology and POS systems from a merchant account provider to transmit the amount of data required to facilitate the transactions.
CardConnect Transaction Fees
Some sources indicate that the company offers tiered-pricing starting at 2.32% for “Qualified” transactions but it is likely that pricing varies based on multiple factors including the sales agent and the type of business. CardConnect does not openly promote interchange-plus pricing on its website, which is the lowest cost and most transparent pricing model. A class-action suit against the company alleges that its fees are deceptive as the company attaches a second agreement to its initial merchant contract, adding 0.25% plus $0.07 to the agreed-upon rates. Because CardConnect’s contract terms are average to below average for the industry, we do not consider it competitive with the cheapest merchant account and other merchant account providers. We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
CardConnect 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
Outside Independent Sales Agents
CardConnect is a vast independent sales department of First Data/Fiserv, so its sales strategy mirrors that of First Data. The company partners with independent sales agents and offices to market and sell its credit card processing and point-of-sale services. This strategy often results in expensive fees for CardConnect’s customers because the the income received by independent agents is based on commission. The the size of the commissions are directly tied to the rates, fees, and lease terms of the merchant account. The higher the fees and the more aggressive the lease terms, the higher the commission for the agent.
Lack of Contract Disclosure
As is the case for many merchant service providers who market their services through independent sales people, CardConnect suffers from numerous complaints regarding failures in disclosing important contract terms at the time of signing a service agreement. These agreement can include predatory clauses such as early termination fees costing hundreds of dollars if a merchant account is closed prior to the end of an arbitrary length of time, or even non-cancellable leases on equipment which can cost unsuspecting business owners thousands of dollars on equipment that can be purchased for just a few hundred.
CardConnect Sales Complaints
The comment section below this review includes several reports of deceptive sales practices, including one allegation of forgery by a sales agent. Despite a proactive response by CardConnect’s customer service department to some of these comments, we are inclined to issue a word of caution before agreeing to services provided by this credit card processor. If you suspect that a CardConnect representative has failed to disclose hidden fees in your merchant account, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit. CardConnect does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
CardConnect Review Summary
Our Final Thoughts and Opinions
Not a Recommended Merchant Services Provider
CardConnect is a poorly rated merchant services provider and credit card processor. The company has received numerous complaints from frustrated business owners. These reviews complain of poor customer service, high fees, and non-disclosure of important contract terms. The company was acquired by First Data (Fiserv) but continues to operate under its original branding. The acquisition does not appear to have improved CareConnect’s customer satisfaction and may have even worsened it to some degree . The company can improve its rating by lowering or eliminating its early termination fee and improving its sales practices. Business owners are encouraged to compare CardConnect’s pricing to that offered by the best merchant account providers.
Customer & Employee ReviewsWhat Others Are Saying About CardConnect