|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
EVO Payments International (www.evopayments.com), also known as EVO Merchant Services, is a U.S.-based merchant services provider that serves merchants domestically, in Canada, and in Europe. Reports show that the company was started as a small ISO in 1989 and has grown to be one of the larger non-bank merchant account providers in the United States today, evidenced in part by its acquisition of PowerPay in 2012. EVO Payments primarily offers electronic payment processing services and products. The company has various offices located throughout the nation but is headquartered in Melville, New York. EVO Payments International is a registered ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank AG, New York. The company’s chairman and founder is Ray Sidhom, and its CEO is Jim Kelly.
|EVO Payments International Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
EVO’s primary marketing and sales strategy appears to follow a common method used by most large merchant services providers, which is the recruiting and hiring of independent sales agents. The company also allows other sales organizations, such as Evolution Bankcard, to operate as sub-ISOs under their own business names. Both of these strategies often result in complaints because the sales tactics of the resellers are difficult to control, and the company’s policies often allow for predatory pricing/terms whether it encourages them or not. It appears that EVO Payments International is suffering from the typical reports one would expect with this marketing strategy, including high-pressure sales tactics and insufficient fee disclosure. To its credit, the company does not appear to use any deceptive advertising or rate-quoting tactics in its marketing materials.
EVO Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|Termination fee:||$250-$500 or none|
|PCI compliance fee:||$120 per year|
|Equipment lease:||48 mos./non-cancellable|
EVO’s merchant account fees and contract terms appear to vary based on several factors including a merchant’s business type, processing volume and the agent/sub-ISO setting up the account. Service length agreements and early termination fees may also vary from one account to the next as merchants have reported cancellation fees ranging from $250 to $500. Additionally, several merchants have reported expensive, non-cancellable lease terms for processing equipment that is sold by EVO agents but managed by third-party leasing companies. EVO appears to charge an annual PCI Compliance fee of approximately $120, which is about as expensive as this fee gets. Taken as a whole, EVO’s contract terms are slightly less competitive than industry averages.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Hidden fees|
EVO Payments International has received a moderate amount of public complaints for a company of its size and time in business. The types of complaints fit mostly into four categories: EVO holding deposits or withdrawing large cash reserves suddenly from a merchant’s checking account, complaints of deceptive sales tactics (especially around equipment leases and mostly attributable to resellers), former employee and agent complaints of deceptive business practices, and poor customer service experiences when attempting to resolve disputes. One such complaint, found here, claims that “Evo has ignored phone calls, transferred me to the wrong department and has not cooperated with their own sales person Lionel to resolve this situation.” Strangely, there is a recent rash of complaints filed against EVO Canada, which may indicate that the company is focusing its expansion efforts on that region, or it may just be that EVO’s policies are less favorable to Canadian merchants.
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|Key Points – BBB Report|
The Better Business Bureau has several separate reports listed for EVO Payments International, but the correct one appears to be for an office listed in Melville, New York. This report lists the company’s name as “EVO Merchant Services.” It is showing an “A+” grade without BBB accreditation, and it has received 80 complaints in the last 36 months. Twenty-nine of these complaints have been successfully resolved, while 48 either were not resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction or have not received a final response from the merchant. Three were unresolvable due to the BBB’s inability to contact the complainant. In light of these figures, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
This review was originally published on 4/24/12 and was last updated on 1/5/16.
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