|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
Evolution Bankcard (evolutionbankcard.com) is a merchant account provider that is owned by EVO Merchant Services but may also be in some way affiliated with Commerce Payment Systems. The company’s website freely announces its relationship with EVO, but it makes no mention of Commerce Payment Systems, likely due in part to the poor reputation Commerce has built for itself. Evolution Bankcard provides credit card processing solutions for retail, mobile, online, and MOTO businesses, and the company also supplies credit card terminals and online reporting services.
Evolution Bankcard does not list a physical location in its official materials, nor does it list any contact information besides its sales form. EVO Merchant Services is headquartered at 515 Broad Hollow Rd, Melville, NY 11747, and both EVO and Evolution Bankcard are register ISO/MSPs of Deutsche Bank AG, New York, NY.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||Yes|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
Like EVO and Commerce, Evolution Bankcard seems to use a combination of telemarketing, independent sales agents, and online advertising to market its services. The use of independent contractors is a common cause of merchant complaints in the credit card processing industry, and Evolution Bankcard appears to be no exception. There are a growing number of Evolution Bankcard negative reviews that mention deceptive, high-pressure sales tactics used by the company’s representatives, with no two complaints naming the same rep.
Evolution Bankcard’s website quotes a number of rates on its homepage, none of which are especially transparent. For one thing, Evolution Bankcard, like Commerce Payment Systems, makes the claim that it offers rates “starting at 0.25%.” Although this rate seems like a rock-bottom credit card processing rate, this is actually in reference to the company’s debit card transaction fee. Most other providers don’t include the debit card transaction fee in their ad copy since there is not a great deal of variation from processor to processor.
Evolution Bankcard’s credit card fees are listed as 1.40% plus $0.10 for retail and mobile payments and 1.69% plus $0.10 for MOTO/eCommerce payments, but these figures are likely just the company’s “Qualified” transaction rates. The website makes no mention of Evolution Bankcard’s rates for “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” transactions, which will actually be applied to the majority of a merchant’s transactions. Given these partial, misleading rate quotes, it’s no wonder that merchants are consistently reporting higher-than-expected costs when processing through Evolution Bankcard.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||Variable|
Although Evolution Bankcard is owned by EVO Merchant Services, it appears that the company’s standard contract terms are more similar to those offered by Commerce Payment Systems. According to merchant complaints, the standard Evolution Bankcard contract is a month-to-month agreement with high rates (up to 4.64% according to this merchant) and expensive annual fees (according to this merchant) that may include PCI Compliance fees. Most complainants report that these fees kick in after a few weeks or a few months of processing, sticking the merchant with a large, unexpected expense. The “free terminal offer” advertised by Evolution Bankcard likely means that the terminal is provided upfront along with the merchant account, but must be returned upon cancellation in a timely fashion in order for a merchant to avoid cancellation fees.
Although Evolution Bankcard does appear to adhere to its advertised claim of “no early termination fees,” it also seems to include many other hidden fees and rate increases in its contracts. The unclear nature of Evolution Bankcard’s contract terms inclines us to rate the company’s costs a “C-” at this time. If you have any information about the standard Evolution Bankcard contract, please share it in the comment section of this review.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Hidden fees|
We are currently able to locate approximately 15 Evolution Bankcard complaints across various consumer protection websites, and many of these negative reviews accuse the company of being ripoff or a scam. These complaints, which have been increasing in recent months, consistently allege deceptive sales practices, unexpected costs, expensive fees, difficulty cancelling service, and poor customer support from Evolution Bankcard.
Evolution Bankcard’s website does not list any dedicated contact information of any kind, indicating that the company’s customers will receive support through either EVO or Commerce Payment Systems. Most merchant complaints mention dealing with Commerce Payment Systems, which currently has a “D” rating in this category. Given the alarming consistency of complaints posted about Evolution Bankcard and the reports that it offers support through Commerce, we are awarding it a “C-” for its customer service.
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|Key Points – BBB Report|
The Better Business Bureau does not currently maintain a profile for Evolution Bankcard, but it does keep a profile for Commerce Payment Systems that lists “Evolution Bankcard” as an alternate business name. Commerce Payment Systems is currently showing a “D-” rating with the BBB due to 316 complaints filed against it in the last three years. Of these complaints, 64 were due to problems with the product or service, 205 were related to billing or collection issues, and 38 had to do with advertising/sales tactics. Commerce successfully resolved 270 complaints, while 12 complaints went completely unresolved. The remainder were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant. Given the information contained in the Commerce Payment Systems profile, the lack of a separate profile for Evolution Bankcard, and Evolution Bankcard’s performance in other categories of this review, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
This review was originally published on 1/10/14 and was last updated on 1/20/15.
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