An Industry Leading Credit Card Processor
Elavon is one of the largest merchant account providers in the United States. The company was formed in 2011 from a merger of NOVA Information Systems and euroConex and is part of U.S. Bank’s (U.S. Bancorp’s) payment services division. Elavon is headquarted at Two Concourse Parkway, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30328. The company has been active in the credit card processing industry since 1991. Shailesh Kotwal is the Vice Chairman of Payment Services at U.S. Bancorp and Jamie Walker is the CEO of Elavon.
Active Across the World
Elavon claims to serve over one million merchants worldwide, with a primary focus in North America and Europe. The company’s equipment lease subsidiary, Ladco Leasing, is a major supplier of credit card terminals and other payment processing equipment. Elavon also has its own online payment gateway called InternetSecure and can integrate with other gateways such as Authorize.net. For international businesses, the company offers multi-currency merchant services such as settlement in 16 currencies, authorization in 85+ currencies, and conversion into the cardholder’s home currency in 48 different currencies.
Elavon Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Elavon offers a multi-year contract with an early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Elavon has received more than 450 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Elavon has an “A+” rating despite having received 121 complaints and 15 reviews in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2009.
- Sales & Marketing: Elavon hires independent sales agents and has received a low-to-moderate number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Elavon
Types of Businesses Served
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Elavon Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swipe Rate||2.65% + $0.19|
|Keyed-In Rate||3.50% + $0.19|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||Up to 3.50% + $0.30|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Up to $25|
|Early Termination Fee||$295+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$29 to $59 Per Month|
|Mobile Terminal Equipment Cost||$89|
|Countertop Terminal Equipment Cost||$270|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
Contract Terms Will Vary
Elavon’s offers two different pricing models, one for contracts leasing a counter-top point-of-sale terminal and the other for its mobile alternative. Both contracts charge a swipe rate of 2.65% + $0.19 or a keyed-in rate of 3.50% + $0.19 per transaction.
Elavon also includes a convoluted early termination fee which its contract lists as “greater of the total fees paid by Customer during the twelve months immediately prior to termination, or the total fees that would be payable by Customer during the twelve months immediately following termination.”
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Elavon also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway, dubbed Converge. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Merchant reviews reflect that rates for transactions through the gateway range between 0.75% to 3.5% plus $0.30 as well as a payment gateway fee as much as $25 per month. Additional rates and fees, including technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Previous Termination Fees
The current calculation of its early termination fee is a change from its previous fees. Prior to February 2013, the company’s standard merchant account contract included a three-year service agreement with a $295 early termination fee if canceled within the first year, or $195 if canceled within the second or third year. Elavon also formerly charged PCI Compliance fees that varied from $29 to $59 per month; however, the company’s recent promises of no more “hidden fees” would seem to indicate that it has abandoned this practice. Elavon’s current monthly fee is listed as $10.
Long-Term Equipment Leases From Ladco
Elavon offers smaller sized businesses the opportunity to purchase a mobile terminal for $89 and countertop terminals for $270. Howe the company continues to own and operate the equipment lease provider Ladco Leasing for enterprise-scale business. The leasing company has an abysmal reputation among merchants.
The standard Ladco Leasing agreement is an expensive, non-cancellable 48-month equipment lease that often costs up to ten times the actual price of the equipment. Elavon seems to go to great lengths to conceal the relationship between Ladco and Elavon, probably due to the fact that there are very few positive reviews of Ladco to be found online. However, it is Elavon’s insistence on leasing equipment through Ladco that keeps it from being a top-rated merchant account provider.Are you happy with your Elavon fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Elavon Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||500+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Poor Customer Service|
Hundreds of Complaints
It is important to keep in mind that Elavon is a huge processor and should therefore be expected to have more complaints than a small provider. With that said, we have found over 450 Elavon complaints in the comment section of this review and over 60 on other sites, with many more filed against Ladco Leasing. This is an average amount of complaints compared to other processors of its size. Merchants primarily report problems with poor customer support, sudden holds and freezes, unexpected fees, billing disputes, and equipment lease problems.
Problems Serving Smaller Businesses
The common theme to Elavon’s complaints appears to be that the smaller a merchant’s business is, the harder it is to get problems resolved through Elavon. This means that Elavon may perform better as an enterprise-level merchant account provider. To its credit, Elavon does offer 24/7 customer support to all of its users. You can read actual merchant complaints in the comment section at the end of this review.
In 2012, Elavon was sued by one of its merchants, a restaurant named Cisero’s, for PCI compliance fines. The problem started when U.S. Bank (Elavon’s parent company) was fined $90,000 by Visa and MasterCard, who alleged that Cisero’s had not secured its network and experienced a data breach that resulted in fraudulent transactions on a few of its customers cards. In reaction, U.S. Bank debited Cisero’s checking account of $10,000 without notice and then filed a lawsuit against Cisero’s owners to obtain the remaining $80,000, stating that their merchant account contract makes them responsible for such fines.
Elavon Customer Support Options
Elavonoffers a 24/7 support phone line for its current clients, but this channel is not sufficient to qualify it as a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.
Elavon BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
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.
Nearly 125 Complaints
The Better Business Bureau has accredited Elavon since 2009. As of this update, Elavon has received an “A+” rating despite the fact that the company has received 121 complaints in the last 36 months. Of the total complaints, 43 are due to billing and collection issues, 67 to problems regarding products and services, 10 to advertising and sales issues, and 1 is related to delivery problems. 35 of these complaints have been resolved by the company. The remaining 86 complaints were answered but have not received a final response from the merchant.
What Merchants Say
Elavon has also received 15 informal reviews, all but 1 of which are negative in tone. A recent review from a merchant details questionable charges made to their account:
Why do they have an A+ rating!!! They will *****you over so bad with all these make believe charges! If you do not get customers enough that use a credit card do not I repeat do not sign up with them!! Shame on US BANK for advertising them!!!
Taking steps to cancel an account without paying a fee can aid merchants from avoiding situations like the one described above.
A “C” Performance Overall
We have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review based on how our criteria would have scored Elavon.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Uses Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Promotes Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Provisions||No|
An Army of Resellers
Elavon relies heavily upon resellers, sub-ISOs, independent agents, and partnerships to market and sell its credit card processing services. This marketing strategy is common among large merchant account providers and can often prove harmful to a company’s reputation, as it appears to have done for Elavon. Specifically, the company has received a large number of complaints related to undisclosed fees and leasing terms.
Partnered With Costco
One of the company’s most notable resellers is the grocer and retailer Costco. In fact, Costco Merchant Services is often mistaken as its own credit card processing company when it is simply acting as a sales agent of Elavon. Merchants who use Costco Merchant Services often complain that they expected to receive the usual wholesale costs that Costco is known for, and that they were surprised when they encountered Elavon’s industry-standard pricing. In our estimation, Costco and Sam’s Club do not rank among the best low-budget merchant accounts.
No Dirty Tricks
Elavon does not appear to use any deceptive advertising or rate quoting tactics on its website. The company has recently added a pricing page that lists specific rate quotes, promising 2.65% plus $0.19 on swiped transactions and 3.5% plus $0.19 on keyed-in payments. These rates seem to apply to both credit card terminals and mobile processing. The company also lists a $10 monthly fee on this page. These rates and fees do not appear to be misleadingly quoted at this time.
The Agent Makes the Difference
Most of Elavon’s accounts are established by resellers who use their own sales and marketing strategies. In a few cases, it is apparent that some of Elavon’s resellers are using misleading tactics based on reports from merchants. The company and its resellers are also notorious for signing merchants up for expensive, non-cancellable equipment leases through Ladco Leasing as part of their merchant services packages. Elavon usually enforces the terms of the lease agreement even when merchants claim that they were deceived by an agent.
Elavon Marketing Example
About Phillip Parker
Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.
Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.
From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.