This article delves into the multifaceted operations and performance of i3 Verticals, LLC, a notable entity in the payment processing sector. We will scrutinize its expansive portfolio, including the ownership of 13 companies each targeting different segments of the payment processing market. We will also explore i3 Verticals' role in acquiring the merchant portfolio of the defunct Payment Systems Corporation, highlighting the rapid growth and public trading status of i3 Verticals.
Our comprehensive coverage includes an examination of the company's payment processing capabilities, such as handling major debit and credit cards across various business types, offering POS and mobile solutions, ACH/check processing, e-commerce solutions, and more. This article further assesses i3 Verticals' contractual terms, complaints and customer service record, BBB ratings, and the pros and cons of its services. Legal challenges faced by the company, including lawsuits and allegations of fraud and unethical business practices, are also addressed.
Customer feedback, both positive and negative, is reviewed to provide insights into the company's customer service quality and issues raised by clients. Additionally, the article considers i3 Verticals' marketing strategies, sales tactics, and the employment experience within the company, rounding off with a critical analysis of its fees, rates, and overall cost implications for merchants. We aim to furnish a balanced view of i3 Verticals' operational strengths and weaknesses, alongside its positioning within the payment processing industry.
About i3 Verticals
i3 Verticals, LLC, formerly known as Charge Payment, LLC, is a merchant account provider based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company was founded in 2012 by Greg Daily, the former CEO of iPayment. i3 Verticals owns the following 13 companies, each one of which is focused on a different sector of the payment processing market:
- Axia Payments (axiapayments.com)
- Infintech (infintechllc.com)
- PaySchools (payschools.com)
- Place (placepay.com)
- RU Practical (rupractical.com)
- Local Level (localevelevents.com)
- EZ Pay (866myezpay.com)
- Bill & Pay (billandpay.com)
- San Diego Cash Register (sdcr.com)
- Court Solutions (courtsolutions.info)
- Fairway Payments (fairwaypayments.com)
- EZ Courtpay (courtpayment.com)
- Business Information Systems (bisonline.com)
Serving Payment Systems Corporation Customers
We have received an email alleging that i3 Verticals is the company that manages the merchant portfolio of the now-defunct Payment Systems Corporation and that old Payment Systems Corporation merchants are now receiving service from i3 Verticals. There are also multiple online comments that support this claim. Payment Systems Corporation is one of the worst-rated merchant accounts on CPO. i3 Verticals is a publicly traded company that has grown rapidly in the past three years by acquiring or merging with a large and growing number of other payment-related businesses.
i3 Verticals Payment Processing
i3 Verticals processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include:
- POS solutions
- Mobile solutions
- ACH/check processing
- Access to payment gateways
- Other e-commerce solutions
- Software integration
- Gift & loyalty programs
Location & Ownership
i3 Verticals is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA; RBS Worldpay; Deutsche Bank, USA, New York, NY; Merrick Bank, South Jordan, UT; BMO Harris Bank NA, Chicago, IL; and Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, OH. Greg Daily is the CEO of i3 Verticals and Rick Stanford is president, and the business is headquartered at 40 Burton Hills Blvd, #415, Nashville, Tennessee.
|Diverse payment solutions.
|Potentially higher fees.
|Limited global reach.
|Reliable security measures.
|Complex setup process.
|Expert industry knowledge.
|Specific niche focus.
|Efficient transaction processing.
|Customer service variability.
i3 Verticals Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints
|Live Customer Support
|Most Common Complaint
|Poor Customer Service
Rising Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate more than 20 i3 Verticals reviews, some of which claim that the company is a ripoff or a scam. Most of the available complaints have been left in the comment section of this review, but some also come from former employees of the company and other third-party review websites. Common complaints include deceptive sales tactics by the company’s resellers, expensive contract terms, extremely unresponsive customer service, and a poor work environment at the company.
i3 Verticals Lawsuits
The CEO of i3 Verticals, Greg Daily, was named as a defendant in a 2009 lawsuit disputing the origin and proper ownership of iPayment. This lawsuit was settled when Daily left iPayment in the spring of 2011.
The company was also the defendant in the matter of Starr Indemnity & Liability v. i3 Verticals, LLC in the United States District Court’s Middle District of Tennessee in November of 2016. The plaintiff in the case sued i3 Verticals on the basis that they knowingly engaged in fraud against merchants. The plaintiff, as i3 Verticals insurer, filed suit on the basis that the company entered their policy in bad faith as they were knowingly defrauding merchants. As of April 19, 2019, a joint dismissal was filed by the plaintiff and defendant, indicating an out-of-court settlement.
In June 2021, the state of Louisiana sued i3 for an alleged cybersecurity breach for its customers’ data. The suit specifically names i3- Software & Services, a Louisiana-based branch of the company. The suit is currently ongoing.
i3 Ethics Hotline
i3 Verticals maintains an internal hotline for reporting ethics violations at the company. This phone line appears to be intended for use by employees, but it’s possible that i3 would also accept merchant feedback regarding violations of company policy. From the i3 Verticals website:
If you see something you think may be in violation of law, the Code of Conduct or any Company policies, you’re encouraged to bring that to the attention of the Company. It is The Company’s promise to you that any good faith report of non-compliance can be made without fear of retaliation or retribution.
The company directs interested parties to submit information at this page or via phone at (844) 395-9332.
A Steady Drop in Performance
i3’s complaint total is surprisingly low given its affiliations with Payment Systems Corporation, iPayment, and United Card Solutions. It’s possible that the company’s subsidiaries and resellers absorb many i3 Verticals complaints, and there is some evidence at this time that this may be occurring. For now, i3 Verticals does not rank terribly for customer support, but it is also not a top recommended processor for quality customer service. The company offers phone and email contact information on its website, but it’s unclear whether these channels are serviced exclusively by i3 Verticals.
The company’s troubling legal history is the main factor behind its grade of a “D” in this category. The accusation that the company knowingly committed fraud against merchants in a 2016 lawsuit and the alleged cybersecurity breach are the most troubling aspect of the legal action taken against the company.
i3 Verticals Customer Service
i3 Vericals offers a number of customer service avenues, though it is unclear what level of quality this service is.
We have located multiple i3 Verticals customer service numbers:
(800) 203-7981 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
(800) 204-6431 – Live Client/Partner Support
(888) 251-0987 – Investor Relations
i3 Verticals also offers a customer support form and the following customer service emails:
While this is a decent number of customer support options, the lack of 24/7 support or chat mean that i3 is not up to the standards of our highest-rated customer service processors.
i3 Verticals Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
BBB Rating Analysis for i3 Verticals
i3 Verticals a payment processing service company, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds an A+ rating. The company has been in business for 9 years and has been BBB accredited since February 18, 2019. There are no customer reviews on the BBB website, but there are 5 customer complaints closed in the last 3 years, with 3 closed in the last 12 months. The complaints primarily focus on issues related to billing and collection.
Company charged me for fees I never consented to. They randomly added a PCI non-compliance fee to my statement. There was no communication on their part of this fee. This fee was $19.95 It also caused an NSF fee of $36 (They are supposed to only charge $12.50 and that was in the account for them.) Upon calling them no one could confirm where the email was sent or if it was sent. They would not tell me, the owner of the account, where the communications were going. And they would not update it. I told them to refund me immediately as this is literally fraud. I called again and spent over an hour with customer support who could not help at all. They told me to call the sales line who were unreachable. (I actually have a video of me calling them and no one answering or option to leave a voicemail during business hours.) Eventually the customer support line got someone to answer on the sales line and they told me how to close my account but nothing about the refund. They made it impossible to satisfy their PCI requirements as there was no email to respond to. They charged me again (normal plan fee plus the PCI fee again) even after they confirmed my account will be closed. Now I am due a total of $88.40 $19.95 PCI fee 11/7 $36 NSF fee 11/8 $32.45 bill 12/6 I was actually on the phone with the bank about to do a chargeback, but I decided to give them one last chance. – Complaint from December 13, 2022
We switched merchants service in 2016 and cancelled I3 service due to poor customer service. We noticed they have been billing us $219 a month 2 date Our merchant # *************** Has been billed $218.89 for the past 4 years. We never renewed our “supposedly contract” not one transaction has been taken. We need some form of credit. It was an overlook on our past trusting our employee with our bank account. She thought it was the current company charges. I called to get reimbursed they were very unprofessional and said we should have cancelled formally. We never received one correspondence of any renewal or upgrade like most companies offer. I would like some kind of refund. This is a very unethical way of doing business. Where are people’s integrity. Thank you, ***** – Complaint from January 28, 2021
There are no positive reviews published about i3 Verticals on the BBB website.
Revdex Rating Analysis for i3 Verticals
On Revdex, i3 Verticals has one customer review. There is no explicit overall satisfaction rating provided. The review present on the page indicates significant dissatisfaction with the company’s customer service.
Worst customer service from any company I’ve ever experienced. – Review on Revdex
There are no positive reviews published about i3 Verticals on the Revdex website.
i3 Verticals Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|1.00% - 4.99%
|1.00% - 4.99%
|Virtual Terminal Rate
|1.00% - 4.99%
|Payment Gateway Fee
|Early Termination Fee
|Equipment Lease Fee
|$99 Per Month
|Lease Cancellation Fee
|Equipment Lease Terms
|48 Month (locked)
Pricing Set By Resellers
i3 Verticals does not publicly disclose any information about its standard contract, so it is difficult to assess the company’s merchant account terms at this time. However, we have found an i3 Verticals contract offered by United Card Solutions, one of the company’s resellers. This contract is a three-year agreement through First Data (now Fiserv) with a variable early termination fee, an unspecified monthly minimum fee, and a built-in non-cancellable lease agreement through First Data Global Leasing.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, i3 Verticals 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.
More of the Same
These terms bear a strong resemblance to iPayment’s contract terms and are not especially competitive for the industry. It’s possible that some i3 Verticals resellers can modify this agreement in a way that dramatically raises or lowers costs for merchants, but the basic language is likely to remain consistent among all i3 Verticals resellers. Merchants will likely receive industry-average pricing unless they negotiate the lowest possible rates.
What Merchants Are Saying
i3 Verticals has received a low-to-moderate number of complaints related to its contract terms, and this number appears to be rising at a steady rate. Dissatisfied merchants cite effective rates of up to 7%, an annual fee of $79, monthly lease payments over $99, lease cancellation fees over $1,000, and a termination fee of $299. Some merchants state that they were not only charged after submitting their cancellation requests but that their rates were increased. If you suspect that i3 has raised your rates or added undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a free, independent statement audit. We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
An Average Performance
We have assigned i3 Verticals a “C” rating in this section for now. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard i3 Verticals contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review.
i3 Verticals Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers
|Advertises Deceptive Rates
|Discloses All Important Terms
In-House and Outside Sales Agents
i3 Verticals appears to market its services via regional sales representatives and in-house sales teams, as well as through its subsidiaries and acquisitions. The company does not appear to directly hire independently contracted sales agents, but its sub-ISOs may make use of 1099 sales reps. We can find a few i3 Verticals complaints that mention nondisclosure or misrepresentation by the company’s sales agents, but these complaints remain relatively rare for a rapidly growing company. This is surprising considering the fact that the company was founded by the former CEO of iPayment, a company that has received a large number of complaints related to its sales tactics. This lack of complaints compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
No Direct Marketing Concerns
i3 Verticals and its subsidiaries have not received excessive complaints about their marketing strategies, although some of the company’s resellers such as Performance Merchant Alliance, United Card Solutions, and Direct Processors receive very low ratings for some deceptive sales tactics. We consider i3 Verticals partially responsible for the negative outcomes that the merchants working with these companies have reported.
“B” Rated For Now
The company’s overall complaint rate coupled with the fact that i3 Verticals does not list any misleading rate quotes in its official materials would normally earn the company an “A” in this category. However, the overwhelmingly poor reviews of its resellers and subsidiaries have lowered its grade slightly to a “B.”
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