UPDATE 3/14/17: The Evolution Bankcard website appears to have been inactive since early 2016, and it seems likely that Evolution Bankcard is no longer an active brand name. We are unable to determine whether the company is still operating under a different name, but Evolution’s parent company (Commerce Payment Systems) and one of its possible DBAs (Optimal Bankcard) also seem to have gone out of business. If you have any information about the current status of Evolution Bankcard (including any DBAs or rebrandings), please share that information in the comment section below this review.
Evolution Bankcard (evolutionbankcard.com) is a merchant account provider that is owned by EVO Payments International. The company’s website states that it is also a sales office of Commerce Payment Group. 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 registered ISO/MSPs of Deutsche Bank AG, New York, New York.
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||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.
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||None|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||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 varying 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 available merchant reports regarding Evolution Bankcard’s contract terms incline 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.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||45 Plus|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
We are currently able to locate approximately 45 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 have been consistently posted during the last year and 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.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||65|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||168|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||31|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
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 an “F” rating with the BBB due to 272 complaints filed against it in the last three years. Of these complaints, 65 were due to problems with the product or service, 168 were related to billing or collection issues, and 31 had to do with advertising/sales tactics. Commerce successfully resolved 106 complaints, while 15 complaints went completely unresolved. The remainder either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from 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.
Related: EMV Terminal Recommendations
About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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