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A Major Credit Card Processor
Global Payments Inc. is one of the largest credit card processors in the merchant account industry and has been in business since the 1960s. The company has partnerships in more than 30 countries worldwide. It’s also one of the few merchant account providers to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: GPN) as part of the S&P 500. Global Payments supplies nearly every service a merchant would need, from setting up the merchant account to supplying the processing hardware. Through its OpenEdge division, the company also provides integrated merchant account software.
Acquisitions and Partnerships
In December 2015, the company announced its acquisition of Heartland Payment Systems, another very large credit card processor based in the U.S. The acquisition came a year after Heartland Payment Systems filed a lawsuit against Mercury Payments, an ISO of Global Payments, alleging that the company has committed false advertising and other tactics to damage Heartland’s reputation as a competitor. 2020 saw Global sign a major deal with Wells Fargo to “continue to provide a range of processing and support services for the bank’s commercial card portfolio.” In 2021, Global Payments announced a partnership with Google, which is likely to make major waves in the processing industry. Global also made a major acquisition in 2021, acquiring property management experience company Zego for $925 million. 2022 saw an even bigger acquisition, with Global purchasing EVO Payments for $4 billion.
Acquisition of TSYS
On May 28, 2019, Global Payments announced its acquisition of TSYS in a $21.5 billion all-stock deal. The acquisition had been speculated upon for some time in the months preceding its confirmation. TSYS is among the largest merchant service providers in the world, making Global Payments acquisition of the company a seminal moment for the industry. The announcement follows a flurry of acquisitions among competitors as FiServ announced its acquisition of First Data in January for $22 billion as well as FIS’ acquisition of Worldpay for approximately $35 billion.
Global Payments Payment Processing
Global Payments processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include mobile solutions, POS systems, access to virtual terminals and payment gateways, prepaid programs, gift and loyalty options, marketing and analytics, payroll and HR, and business loans.
Global Payments Location & Ownership
Global Payments Direct, Inc. is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA; and BMO Harris Bank N.A. The company’s headquarters are located at 3550 Lenox Road, Suite 3000. Atlanta, Georgia 30326. The CEO of Global Payments is Jeffrey S. Sloan. The company announced the departure of its former president and COO David Magnum in 2018. A press release regarding Magnum’s exit stated that Sloan and Cameron Bready, the company’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer will assume Magnum’s former roles while extending their respective employment agreements until August 2021.
Global Payments Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Global Payments offers a multi-year contract with a variable early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Global Payments complaints number more than 100 on public complaints forums.
- BBB Rating: Global Payments has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 268 complaints and 27 reviews in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Global Payments hires independent sales agents and has received complaints about deceptive rates, poor customer service, and its sales practices.
Should You Trust Global Payments?
Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints
Here's Who We Trust.
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Lower-Than-Expected Complaint Rate
There are a low-to-moderate number of negative Global Payments reviews for a processor of its size and time in business. The most common themes among these negative Global Payments reviews are reports of fund-holds and poor customer service, although hidden fees are also occasionally mentioned. There is no specific circumstance that appears to result in fund-holds, but holds often happen because of suspicious transactions or transactions that exceeded a merchant’s processing limit. Since most of these Global Payments complaints appear to be unique incidents, they will not count heavily against the company’s rating in this section.
It is worth mentioning that over our past few updates there has been a gradual increase in complaints posted in the comment section of this review. Most of these comments cite poor customer service or undisclosed fees, such as early termination fees. The uptick in complaints contrasts with Global Payments’ diminishing complaint rate found on other websites like Ripoff Report. While this trend is slightly troubling and supports our decision not to include Global Payments in the list of top-rated merchant account providers for great customer service, it still barely alters our grade for a large, established company like Global Payments. If you have your own Global Payments review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Global Payments Lawsuits and Fines
Since its acquisition of Heartland Payment Systems in 2015, multiple lawsuits have arisen involving Global Payments. Before the acquisition, Heartland sued Mercury Payments, an ISO of Global Payments, alleging false advertisements of rates and “other deceptive trade practices.” Following the acquisition of Heartland, its former CEO Robert O. Carr was charged with insider trading by the SEC for disclosing the impending merger to his then-girlfriend before it had become public knowledge. The revelation leading to those charges came from a suit that Heartland filed under Global Payments ownership against Carr for breach-of-contact. Carr then sued Global Payments to recoup legal fees from his SEC case before settling the matter by agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $250,628.
In March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a complaint against Global Payments, Electronic Merchant Services, Frontline Processing, and Pathfinder Payment Solutions in connection with a “phantom debt” scheme that allegedly attempted to collect nonexistent debts from consumers. The CFPB’s complaint alleges that these four payment processors facilitated transactions for multiple debt collection companies owned by Marcus Brown and Mohan Bagga. According to the complaint, these debt collection companies used robocalls to target millions of consumers, who they then threatened in order to obtain debt payments that were not actually owed or that didn’t even exist. The CFPB further alleges that Global Payments “ignored numerous red flags of the debt collectors’ illegal conduct, including consumer disputes that described the scheme and communication problems with the debt collectors.” The case was dismissed in 2017 after the CFPB was sanctioned for misconduct during the discovery process.
A class-action suit involving alleged fraudulent fees on student loan payments was settled against Global Payments in 2019, resulting in a payout for the class.
In 2019 a jury in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, Georgia, found that Global Payments was in breach of parts of its merchant-service agreement with Frontline Processing. On Sept. 23, 2019, the jury awarded more than $24 million in direct damages and $109.8 million in consequential damages. It appears this class-action suit has ended with prejudice against Global.
2020 saw a class-action suit brought against Global for alleged negligence in security that led to a data breach for customers. This suit is ongoing.
Heartland Payment Systems has also been involved in a number of suits and fines.
In 2022, Global Payments was sued for allegedly using “dark practices” to extract $300 million in membership fees from consumers. A further suit was brought against EVO Payments over its acquisition by Global Payments.
Global Payments Customer Service Options
Global Payments offers phone and email support as well as a customer support form on its website.
We have located multiple Global Payments customer service phone numbers:
800.367.2638 – Toll-Free Customer Support
770.829.8755 – Media Inquiries
770.829.8234 – Investor Inquiries
Global Payments also offers the following customer service email addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org – Media Relations
email@example.com – Investor Inquiries
Is the BBB Rating for Global Payments Accurate?
Better Business Bureau Profile
See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.
Product & Service Complaints
Billing & Collection Complaints
Advertising & Sales Complaints
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
Over 250 Complaints
As of this review, Global Payments is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and is showing a “A+” rating. The company has had 268 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. 137 of the complaints were due to a problem with a product or service, 16 were billing or collections issues, 97 were due to advertising or sales problems, 1 was a problem with a guarantee or warranty, and 17 were issues with delivery. Only 37 of these 268 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 231 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
In addition to those 308 complaints, the company has also received 27 informal reviews on its BBB profile, and 26 of the reviews are negative in tone. The most recent review describes unexpected fees:
This Company is sneaky and cunning. They try and kill you with kindness while all the while hoping you wont notice while they rip you off by adding unecessesary charges or even double charges and by the time you notice and ask for an explanation or refund they tell you how sorry they are and continue to take your money long after you have closed your account and sent back the terminal machine. As it stands now they owe me $911.00 and they have every excuse in the book why they wont pay me and continue to charge my account to the point I had my bank do a stop payment to their account and now they have a collection agency after me. Someone needs to stop this company. They are ripoff artists and should be shut down. I am at your **** end in dealing with them and it is still far from over. Please investigate these rip-off artists so they can no longer pray on small businesses like mine. I actually give them no stars!
Merchants trying to find low rates should explore the providers offering the best rates in the industry.
A “C” Performance Overall
The BBB cites the company’s lack of response to some complaints as the primary reason for lowering its score. In light of the company’s huge influx of recent complaints, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” grade according to our rating criteria.
How Expensive is Global Payments Service?
Rates, Fees, and Contract Terms
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1.00% - 4.99%
1.00% - 4.99%
Virtual Terminal Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee
Early Termination Fee
$500 or Liquidated Damages
Annual Maintenance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms
48 Month (locked)
Variable Global Payments Contract Terms
Merchants reviews reflect rates as low as 1.1% plus $0.19 for credit transactions and 0.5% plus $0.19 for those using debit. However, the pricing and Global Payments fees of a merchant account will vary based on several factors, including a merchant’s business type, processing volume, and the reseller setting up the account. A sample Global Payments agreement from 2019 lists an early termination fee of $500 per location or Liquidated Damages, whichever is greater, which is as expensive as termination fees get. However, it appears that the service length agreement and early termination fee can be avoided by entering into a month-to-month agreement for the company’s services. Some merchant reviews claim that they have been charged an undisclosed $299 annual maintenance fee, account holds, and difficulty closing their accounts.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Global Payments also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Negotiate Contract Pricing
Global Payments contracts currently feature terms lasting for 3 years including an automatic 1-year renewal. Merchants are encouraged to aggressively negotiate pricing and contract terms under this type of scenario because it usually means that fees and terms are highly flexible. We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Does Global Payments Use Deceptive Marketing?
Advertising & Sales Strategy
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Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
An Abundance of Resellers
The only strike against Global Payments in this section is how the company acquires new merchant customers. Global Payments relies heavily on partnered independent sales organizations (ISOs) and independent sales agents (both are also called “resellers”) to market and sell its merchant accounts. Although this is a common marketing practice among larger processors, it can result in numerous merchant complaints because the resellers’ sales tactics are hard to control. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
No Misleading Rate Quotes
In this company’s case, it appears that most negative Global Payments reviews can be traced back to resellers; however, the overall number of Global Payments complaints is relatively low for a business of their size (though they have been increasing recently). Global Payments also does not promote any misleading “teaser” rates in its official marketing materials, but its issues with resellers contribute to keeping it from being considered a top merchant account provider.