Humboldt Merchant Services Review: Fees, Complaints, & Lawsuits

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Humboldt Merchant Services
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Humboldt Merchant Services

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High-Risk Processing Specialists

Humboldt Merchant Services is a merchant account provider located in Tempe, AZ, that began doing business in 1993. HMS is a U.S. subsidiary of a Canada-based credit card processor called Moneris Solutions. HMS specializes primarily in providing credit card processing and electronic payment services for high-risk business types. The company’s primary website also contains a link to a separate, PCI compliance-related site ( designed to provide PCI support for clients.

Humboldt Merchant Services Payment Processing

Humboldt Merchant Services processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include EMV card readers and swipers, NFC payments, check processing, POS solutions, gift and loyalty programs, access to payment gateways and virtual terminals, and recurring billing.

Humboldt Merchant Services Location and Ownership

Humboldt is headquartered at 1600 N Desert Dr #101, Tempe, AZ 85281 and is a registered ISO of BMO Harris N.A. in Chicago, Illinois, as its acquiring bank. Adam McDonald is listed as the president of Humboldt Merchant Services.

Humboldt Merchant Services Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Humboldt Merchant Services offers variable contract terms to its high-risk merchants.
  • Complaints & Service: Humboldt Merchant Services complaints number fewer than 10 on public complaints forums.
  • BBB Rating: Humboldt Merchant Services has an “A+” rating and has received 2 complaints and 2 reviews in the last 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2011.
  • Sales & Marketing: Humboldt Merchant Services appears to hire independent sales representatives but has not received any merchant complaints about its sales practices.
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Humboldt Merchant Services Reviews and Complaints

Here's What Their Clients Say

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint

Low Complaint Total

We were only able to locate a handful of Humboldt Merchant Services complaints about HMS in non-Better Business Bureau public forums at the time of this review, some of which were from 2009 or earlier. Most complaints mention fund-holds or denied applications, which are common issues for high risk providers like Humboldt. There does not appear to be a persistent problem with the company’s fraud mitigation policies. The Humboldt Merchant Services complaint rate is low even for a small company.

Humboldt Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Humboldt Merchant Services. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Humboldt Merchant Services Customer Service Options

HMS offers a dedicated phone line and email address on its website in addition to live chat for PCI compliance. We are therefore awarding HMS an “A” in this category.

We have located a single Humboldt Merchant Services customer service phone number:

(877) 387-5642 – Toll-Free Customer Support

Humboldt Merchant Services also offers a customer service email address at [email protected]

Humboldt Merchant Services BBB Rating and Report

Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment

BBB Summary

Product & Service Complaints
Billing & Collection Complaints
Advertising & Sales Complaints
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
Delivery Complaints

Under 5 Complaints

Humboldt Merchant Services received Better Business Bureau accreditation in September 2011 and has an “A+” rating. Within the past 36 months, 2 complaints have been filed against Humboldt Merchant Services. 1 was related to billing or collection issues, while 1 had to do with product or service problems. 1 complaint was resolved to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 1 was either resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final communication.

What Merchants Say

In addition to those 2 complaints, Humboldt has also received 2 negative informal reviews to its profile. A recent review describes deceptive business practices:

This company is ridiculous. They call themselves a startup company even though they have around for 23 years? . They call themselves a boutique payment processor but all that means is the better agent you have the more they will fight Humboldt staff to negate a risk review even though risk reviews are covered in the contract. If you are a small business you will have to prove your legitimacy. If you are a Large money making business then they will look the other way on everything fraudulent as long as you bring them in money. Nothing about policy or personel is consistant . It is about who you know and how much money you have. They are liars and they aren’t really good at business so why would you trust your business with them? ***** ******** should be working at a fast food restraunt. He thinks major banks are scams. He gives people the silent treatment for saying the wrong thing and has temper tamtrums daily. He usually seems flustered and inebriated. I am not sure if has a degree but through engaging with him it does not seem like it. ***** **** is a liar and when they say they are going to escalate a situation to him don’t expect a timely or accurate response.Consumer beware of these people handling your money.

Merchants in this position can benefit from taking steps to cancel their contract without paying a fee.

An “A” Performance

Humboldt’s overall complaint total is well within the “A” range for a provider of its size. We agree with the BBB‘s rating.

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Humboldt Merchant Services Fees and Rates

A Closer Look at the Contract

Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.

Cost Summary

Swiped Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Virtual Terminal Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee
Monthly Minimum Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee
Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms

One-Year Contract

A very old version of the HMS contract (from 2007) outlines a one-year agreement with a $20 monthly minimum fee, a $10 monthly maintenance fee, a $159 early termination fee, and a variable annual fee. It is unknown at this time whether or not the Humbolt Merchant Services rates and contract terms have changed significantly since this document was created, but it is likely that there will be a significant degree of variation among the company’s high risk accounts.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Humboldt Merchant Services 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.

No Red Flags

The lack of complaints about HMS seems to indicate that the terms of a standard HMS contract are acceptable to most of the company’s clients, so we’re inclined to give HMS an “A” in this category at this time. However, high-risk merchant account providers should not be expected to compete with the cheapest merchant accounts due to their separate merchant base. If you have any knowledge of HMS’s current contract terms, please describe your experience in the comment section below.

We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.

Humboldt Merchant Services Jobs and Employment

Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment

Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees

Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms

Inside/Outside Sales Team

Humboldt Merchant Services appears to offer an independent agent/reseller program, which suggests that the company employs independent sales agents to market its services. The use of independent sales agents can often result in a pattern of nondisclosure at the point of sale, which usually leads to numerous complaints from merchants. However, the Humboldt Merchant Services complaint record is nearly spotless. It therefore appears that the company either doesn’t rely heavily on an independent sales team or that it oversees its agents with an uncommon degree of diligence for this industry.

This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

No Deceptive Quotes

Humboldt also does not list any misleading rate quotes or unrealistic guarantees on its website. If you suspect that Humboldt has added hidden fees to your monthly statement, you can check your pricing with a third-party statement audit.

Humboldt Merchant Services Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts and Opinions

A Solid Option for Standard and High-Risk Merchants

All available information suggests that Humboldt Merchant Services is a reliable merchant services provider. The company has very few complaints posted in public forums, and there is no indication that it engages in deceptive practices. Until more information is known about HMS, we are comfortable assigning it an “A” rating overall. Standard-risk merchants are encouraged to compare the company’s pricing to that offered by top-rated merchant accounts in order to obtain the best deal.

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Humboldt Merchant Services Competitors

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Customer & Employee Reviews

What Others Are Saying About Humboldt Merchant Services

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3 Responses

  • Richard Smith

    I’ve been with HBMS for about a year. I signed up with them through an agent. I haven’t had any problems until the past month. They’re still billing me and processing recurring charges, but no new charges. I received a letter in the mail, not an email, that my account was moving to a new platform on July 1st and I needed to collect the information from them to set up on my end.
    I’ve called and left voice mail messages almost a dozen times, sent emails asking for a call back multiple times. I’ve yet to hear anything from them.
    At this point I definitely don’t think they care about my business. Using our backup payment processor for all transactions has been much easier so if they ever respond I’ll probably cancel the account. I guess if I don’t hear from them, I’ll have to pay my attorney to reach out to them. Based on my experience I would recommend avoiding them.

    This post will help: Best Adult Merchant Accounts


  • Andy Az.

    I was referred to Humboldt/HBMS by a friend. These people are very straight forward, they disclose everything and are very upfront about their practices.

    The agent listened and worked with me on what I wanted and how I wanted my application to be processed.

    I am really glad that my friend referred me to them. We have an adult novelties business so our business is considered high risk. While dealing with HBMS I also worked with EMS and Payment Cloud Inc. Stay away from Electronic Merchant Systems, and Payment Cloud Inc. These other two businesses don’t give a damn about their customers. Just go and read the reviews about them. I highly recommend HBMS and there is a reason why there are so many positive reviews about HBMS on here and other places on the internet.

    Great job guys!

    • CPO

      Hello Andy,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!


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About The Author

Phillip Parker is the creator and author behind this website. He has over 15 years of experience in the credit card processing industry as a journalist, consultant, and former merchant account sales professional. He started this project as a blog to expose merchant services providers that engage in predatory business practices, such as deceptive marketing, misleading pricing, and high-pressure sales tactics. His goal is to help business owners find merchant account providers who serve their industry well while offering fair rates with no junk fees and no long-term commitments.

Phillip has researched over 1,000 payment processors and been quoted in numerous high-profile publications, including the Los Angeles Time, INC Magazine, The Atlantic, and the Miami Herald among others.

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Phillip’s Top Processor Picks:
Retail, restaurant, e-commerce, mobile, professional services, and invoicing, Phillip recommends Helcim and CDG Commerce.

High-risk businesses, Phillip recommends PaymentCloud and Host Merchant Services.

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Please note that our rating system was overhauled on April 26th, 2023. Reviews dated before this date may not score in accordance with the following.

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At the start of our research, all processors are awarded five stars. We deduct stars if the processor engages in any of the following:

– One star deduction if the processor has any junk fees.

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– One Star deduction if the processor is suffering from moderate client complaints.

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