Crown Merchants (crownmerchants.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina. Founded in 2005, the company offers debit and credit card processing, check services, bill payment portals, gift card processing and point-of-sale integration to businesses in 18 U.S. states. Crown Merchants also offers mobile, e-commerce and online payment solutions, as well as small business loans. Crown Merchants is an ISO/MSP of Elavon Payments and is partnered with US Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as its Acquiring Bank. The company is located at 2960 N. Oxford St. Claremont, North Carolina 28610.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
Crown Merchants appears to market itself through its website and through traditional advertising. The company does employ independent sales agents, but it is not showing any recent public complaints related to nondisclosure or misrepresentation by its sales staff. At the time of our last review, we found one complaint that described apathetic and deceptive conduct by one of the company’s sales agents. However, this complaint appears to be an isolated incident from over three years ago, and the company does not engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. We therefore award it an “A” in this section.
Crown Merchants Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$7.50/month|
Crown Merchants is a reseller of Elavon’s merchant services. The company’s standard contract (available below) offers interchange-plus pricing and does not include an early termination fee. Crown Merchants charges a monthly service fee of $10 and a PCI Compliance fee of $7.50 per month, but it does not enforce any monthly minimum fees. There is also an account maintenance fee of $20 that is charged per incident (e.g. DBA change or DDA change). The total absence of complaints regarding these or any other fees associated with a Crown Merchants contract indicates that most of the company’s clients are satisfied with the service they are receiving. Due to this low complaint volume and the fact that merchants can cancel without penalty, we are awarding the company an “A” at this time.
Crown Merchants Contract
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||N/A|
As noted above, we are unable to locate any negative Crown Merchants reviews, which indicates that the company is not a scam. In one older complaint (which is no longer publicly visible), a merchant claimed to have asked for more time to decide whether to sign up for service, only to have had their application processed anyway by a sales agent. This complaint is the only negative review of Crown Merchants that we have ever found online, and we are therefore inclined to regard it as an isolated incident. It is possible that some complaints intended for Crown Merchants are instead redirected to its processor, Elavon, but in the absence of any evidence that this is occurring, we are awarding the company an “A” in this category for now. The Crown Merchants website lists phone and email contact information for merchants.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
Crown Merchants is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of this review, the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had zero complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. Crown Merchants has also had zero informal reviews posted to its BBB profile. Since it is our philosophy that “A+” ratings should be reserved for companies with zero complaints, we agree with the BBB’s rating in this instance.
Crown Merchants rates as a reliable credit card processor according to our rating system. The company is showing only one complaint online and offers competitive, transparent contract terms despite its association with Elavon. Even when dealing with highly rated merchant account providers, merchants are advised to carefully examine their contracts.
This review was originally published on 3/12/13 and was last updated on 12/22/14.
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