Merchants Bancard Network Review

Merchants Bancard Network Overview

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Formerly iMAX Bancard Network

Merchants Bancard Network is a merchant account provider for retail and e-commerce businesses to standard and high risk merchants and offers various payment services and equipment to clients. The company is located at 27965 Smyth Dr #101, Valencia, California 91355 and claims to have been founded in 1991. It is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Walnut Creek, and a reseller of First Data. Jerry Cain is the CEO of Merchants Bancard Network.

Merchants Bancard Network Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Merchants Bancard Network appears to offer a three-year contract through First Data with an early termination fee of $250 or more.
  • Complaints & Service: Merchants Bancard Network has received more than 30 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Merchants Bancard Network has an “A+” rating and has received 6 complaints and 16 reviews in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2011.
  • Sales & Marketing: Merchants Bancard Network appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a moderate number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchants Bancard Network

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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • EBT acceptance
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • Wireless processing
  • POS equipment

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • Business to Business
  • E-commerce
  • Medical
  • Restaurant

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Merchants Bancard Network Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee $250+
Annual Fee $89
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

Three-Year Contract

The standard Merchants Bancard Network contract is a three-year agreement through First Data with an automatic renewal on a month-to-month basis. Typical First Data Contracts include rates of 2.69% + $0.19 for swiped transactions and 3.69% + $0.19 for keyed-in transactions. However, as a resller of these services, Merchants Bancard Network reserves the right to alter these terms and conditions. Their ability to do so is apparent from an early termination fee of $250, and an annual fee of $89 that is separate from an unrelated monthly PCI compliance fee. As noted above, the early termination fee may also reach nearly $1,000 under certain circumstances. These terms are less than competitive, especially compared to the cheapest merchant accounts available.

Unexpected Rate Increases

Multiple merchants also report receiving notices of “rate increases” after the first month of service, which may actually be the product of deceptive rate quoting. In these cases, it is possible that the sales agent or marketing materials only present the lowest possible rate at the time the contract is signed, and then the merchant sees a higher effective rate after one month of billing and perceives it to be an increase.

Long-Term Leases

Several complainants also refer to expensive, non-cancellable equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing that force merchants to pay the contract in its entirety regardless of when they return the equipment. Overall, we feel that these terms merit a “D” rating when compared to industry averages.

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Response from Merchants Bancard Network

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Merchants Bancard Network Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 30+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Poor Service

Moderate Complaint Total

As of this update, we are able to locate over 30 Merchants Bancard Network reviews in the comment section of this review and on other consumer protection websites. Common themes include misrepresentation or nondisclosure of contract terms, unreachable customer service representatives, unauthorized fees, and difficulty cancelling accounts. Many of these complaints were filed against the company’s alternate (possibly former) name of iMAX Bancard Network, which might partially explain the company’s apparent rebranding. A little over half of these complaints received public responses from company employees to varying outcomes.

Merchants Bancard Network Lawsuits

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

Merchants Bancard Network Customer Support Options

The company’s website offers dedicated support phone lines and email addresses. While these options are comparable to those offered by top-rated merchant accounts for customer service, they do not appear to do a sufficient job of resolving complaints in-house at this time.

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Response from Merchants Bancard Network

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Merchants Bancard Network BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 3
Billing & Collection Complaints 3
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Rebooted BBB Profile

Merchants Bancard Network has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has been an accredited business since 2011. 6 complaints have been posted to the company’s profile in the last 36 months, as well as 1 which was closed in the last 12 months. 3 complaints relate to billing and collection issues while the remaining 3 address products and services problems. Of the 6 total complaints, 3 had been resolved with BBB assistance while another 3 left merchants unsatisfied despite the BBB believing a good faith effort was made.

What Merchants Say

Merchants Bancard Network has also received 16 informal reviews to its BBB profile, 9 of which were negative in tone and 7 of which were positive in tone. The most recent negative complaint describes deceptive practices from the company’s resellers:

So you try to said the ( reseller) can promise anythings they want and your company can charge what ever you want and have no responsible for it?

Businesses can avoid this situation by simply dealing directly with merchant service providers. Resellers can alter the terms and conditions of merchant agreements and can often impose rates and fees that are not in line with the services they re-purpose.

A “B” Performance Overall

Given the fact that the company’s old BBB page was essentially wiped clean, we are adjusting its grade to a “B” for the time being.

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Response from Merchants Bancard Network

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Outside Sales Team

Merchants Bancard Network appears to use telemarketing and independent sales agents to market its services. The use of independent sales agents is often linked to elevated complaint rates among merchants, as ISAs are generally untrained and receive little oversight. We are able to locate multiple Merchants Bancard Network complaining of nondisclosure by agents, lack of follow-through on altered contract terms, and misrepresentation of the agent’s identity over the phone.

Deceptive Rate Quotes

At the time of an earlier review, the Merchants Bancard Network website featured a rate quote of “low rates from 1.19%” on its homepage. We consider this type of rate quoting to be deceptive, since it might lead merchants to have an unrealistically low expectation of the rates they’ll pay. The company appears to have removed these quotes from its website, but merchants should be aware that they may still appear in the company’s advertising materials.

Misleading Contractual Language

In November 2018, we received documentation from a Merchants Bancard Network merchant alleging that they were charged an early termination fee despite their contract listing an early termination fee of $0. The document, which can be seen here, does indeed list “$0” in the “Early Termination Fee” box. However, it also contains the following language in Section 9 lower on the page:

In the event that Client terminates or breaches the terms of this Agreement before the end of the initial three (3) year term, Client shall be obligated to immediately pay Acquirer or its representative, as liquidated damages, an early termination fee in addition to any other monthly fees in the Merchant Processing Agreement for the remaining term of the Agreement.

The merchant claims to have been charged over $960 for cancellation, which indicates that even a clear “$0” in the “Early Termination Fee” section of the Merchants Bancard Network contract isn’t enough to protect merchants from a very large cancellation penalty. In our opinion, this is a highly deceptive practice that warrants a “D” rating in this section. If you suspect that Merchants Bancard Network is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden fees.

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Response from Merchants Bancard Network

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Our Opinion of Merchants Bancard Network

An Average to Below-Average Option

Merchants Bancard Network rates as a substandard merchant services provider according to our rating system. The company’s former name of iMAX Bancard Network shows a higher-than-average volume of complaints online, and the complaints filed against the newer Merchants Bancard Network name do not indicate a dramatic shift in policy since the apparent rebranding. The company’s overall rating is likely to change as its new BBB profile gathers merchant feedback. It’s also worth noting that there could be some confusion between Merchants Bancard Network and Merchant Bankcard, which is an unrelated entity.

We rely on your feedback about Merchants Bancard Network to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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28 Reviews Leave Your Review for Merchants Bancard Network Below

  1. Jaron Rice says:

    FULL DISCLOSURE: We’re a sub-MSP, a competitor. They called my office several times in a row. We saw the name on the caller ID and chose not to answer because I’ve got better things to do. They called and called and called and called (back to back to back several times). Eventually I answered the phone. They’ve got telemarketers soliciting sales agents. I told them I’m happy with my processor and not interested. She goes on to tell me how they offer huge upfront bonuses and lifetime residuals. I politely told her again I’m not interested. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Eventually I just hung up because she wasn’t getting the point.

    As a sales organization, even if we were on the market for a new partnership, their approach is extremely unbecoming.

    No thanks.

  2. Susan says:

    My merchant ‘agent’ switched me to them in October. Since then, there are many mistakes – statements going to wrong address, inability to follow through on their ‘promises.’

    We are seasonal so some times of the year are dead.

    One of my requirements is NEXT DAY CREDIT to my bank account. The latest? I did a close out around 2 PM their time on 3/7. It was not in the account on 3/8. Nor on 3/9. Nor on 3/10. Nor on 3/11. Today my agent phoned and they had some crap story about how the transaction was cancelled in some sort of ‘test run’ with ‘their bank’ whomever that is. Either they have no internal checks and balances. No internal controls. No means of reconciliation. OR they are themselves, frauds. It has taken an entire day of my billable hours to set this straight and I still won’t know until tomorrow if the money will be there. It has caused us to run behind on our customer orders.

    They had a lot of excuses but refused to take personal responsibility and they even ‘went there’ – that they aren’t making enough from my account. Seriously???? So they will steal from an account if they don’t feel they’re making enough money?

    Do not do business with these people. They are clearly childish, sloppy or perhaps they’re just frauds.

    This post will help: Best Merchant Accounts for Seasonal Businesses


  3. trung nguyen says:

    yes they are a bunch of liar ,i try to cancel my service and fax to them 7 days till have no respond

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

  4. trung dien nguyen says:

    Bad customer service ,over charge when you want to cancel they make is so hard and take to long so they can charge you one or more monthly fee.i hope some one can find the way bring them to justice

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

  5. Barry Cohen says:

    I Recomend That You Do Not Do Business With MBN! I did do business with MBN (Merchant Bankcard Network) in CA. For many years. Last year my credit card machine that I purchased from them totally broke down. I called MBN to ask them to repair it or replace it and they told me that they would not support anything with my credit card machine. I then asked them to cancel my account and they said that they would and I stopped doing any business on that account. Months later I discovered that they were still charging me through my bank account and taking over $37.00 per month from my bank account after they said that they would close my account. I called them up and told them to reimburse me for the many months of fees that were taken from me. They told me to write a letter to them this time to make sure the account was closed and to request the refund. I did this and they refused to refund me anything at all from the money they took from a zero active account! I called them by phone and they said to bad for you we can do what we want to do and you are not going to get any refund (zero balance) or not! I feel that MBN (Merchant Bankcard Network) are a bunch of strong arm dishonest scammers and I recommend that any reader of this review Not To Do Business With Them Ever!

  6. James says:

    RIPOFF! I’m a seasonal business. I was able to open and close my account without a termination fee. However even though I closed my account on December 26th as we are closed Jan through Mar. They took $85.89 in fees for January even after they admitted it was an oversight. Said it would take a couple of weeks to return the funds to my account. it’s been 4 months and still waiting. During my peak season they were making $2,000 to $3,000 in bank fees per month from me, only to stiff me for $85!?
    Needless to say I reopened with a different credit card service.

    1. Laura says:

      I have been trying to cancel my account with them for months!!! I cannot get anyone to give me a correct email to send the cancellation letter. I call the “customer service” number and they say they can’t talk to me that it has to be in writing, but refuse to give me good email addresses. I have sent three (3) letters to anyone and everyone I have ever spoke with at Merchants Bancard Network, only to be told when I do finally get someone on the line, that they no longer work for the company.

  7. Yesenia says:

    Stay away!!! Horrible service. Hidden fees and High cancellation fee that they don’t tell you about. Read the fine print. They are rude and unprofessional . It is a scam.

  8. steve kuebler says:

    Do not do business with this company.

    I talked to a sales person and we went over everything all the products we sell etc.
    He said sure no problem and assured me we would be good to go.
    Account was then setup and we were processing for two months.
    Then I login on Tuesday to check our business bank account and the funds wern’t in there.
    They asked for some info from us which I gladly sent in.

    Next I’m told that they now consider us a high risk account and are closing our account and holding $6000 for 181 days and not a thing we can do about it.
    This is now going to cause a loss to our business while we have to setup another merchant account.
    That money is from gross sales as a small business owner we needed to buy more inventory, pay employee’s and book other shows(we do home shows).

    do not do business with this company or you two will be screwed over.

  9. Cynthia says:

    Your service suck I never received the machine and you was taking money out of my account so when I call to get my refund that I never received the machine the guy told me 14 days now it is 18 days I called back today with the number 877 637 8800 customer service was very poor the manager had an attitude they tell me I’m not getting my money back that they took out of my account because they never collect so they want to see my bank statement but I don’t do that because if I give my bank statement they can get into my business I would never ever use this service and I’m going to get into I’m going to get in touch with the Better Business Bureau this company has to be stopped

  10. Dennis says:

    I’m not satisfied with any of Merchant Bancard Services. I never got the equipment first of all, then they just started debiting my account for so called miscellaneous fees every month. Now the guy I talked to never told me anything about miscellaneous fees. He told me the equipment would be free, which I never got. Now to get the account closed is like jumping through hoops. Merchant services has submitted my refund 2x now and so far no refund. The one thing though is as I was informed that they only issue refunds on Friday or so called upper management approves all refund requests. I’m so sick of dealing with these people.

  11. Ken Mershon says:

    Merchant Bankcard’s business practices are questionable. I made it crystal clear to the rep who first contacted me that I do very few transactions because my business is just something I do on the side and paying monthly fees would not make any sense, He assured me there were no monthly fees..HE LIED! Not only do they charge a $17 a month fee but there is also a random $45.80 fee they periodically throw in there.
    After the first $17 charge is when the problems started. I contacted Merchant Bankcard and demanded a refund and my account to be cancelled immediately. Gavi Smith then said he would cancel the account and I needed to send the device back to them (on my own dime). 2-3 weeks after this conversation I had a random charge on my account for $45.80! I was absolutely livid at this point. I sent a few emails and got NO RESPONSE. A few more weeks went buy and I received a statement in the mail telling me another charge for $17 is coming out on 6-16-16!!! Gavi never cancelled my account. I then called and left multiple messages cause I couldn’t get anybody on the phone (these people are difficult to contact). I also sent more emails and wrote my previous Google review (that I am now editing). Gavi Smith finally emails me and asks for a good time to speak (ASAP duh!). I guess their philosophy is “don’t call us, we’ll call you” >.<. I call Gavi and he finally answers. I explained all over again how upset I was with the lies and constant charges even though I NEVER used the device or their service. Gavi was helpful though and understanding. He had my money refunded within 2 days. Why did it have to get to this point though?! I really hope Merchant Bankcard looks closely at this entire situation from the shady rep to my account not getting cancelled and also the difficulty to access a person via phone.
    In closing, I of course DO NOT recommend them. They do however have relatively low fees when compared with other services albeit it's not clear when or why you will be charged. In my case It was a VERY bad sales rep that lied to me right off the bat. And while Gavi was able to refund my money, during our first call he said that he had to check to see if I was eligible even though it was established that I had only had service for a month and they have a "90 day risk free guarantee". I think they are confused about what that actually means.

  12. Derick says:

    A friend recommended this company to me in June of 2004, to my beauty supply company. We were with MBN for about a year. We cancelled their service because they were horrible, unprofessional, and disrespectful. They also take advantage of people with accents. An MBN manager named David Sanchez asked my company to write a letter if we wanted to discontinue our service with them , which we did and we also returned their credit card processing equipment to them. This company was still however charging my company every month even though we did not use their service. I called the manager David Sanchez and told him about it. He said they gave us a pin pad and that’s why they were charging us. However we never had a pin pad and they never gave us one when they were fixing the equipment. He continued to argue with me for 30 minutes and still did not believe me. I called Alex the guy who came to fix the credit card machine and he said he installed a pin pad. Both me and my wife work together and never had used a pin pad. This company is a theft and David Sanchez is a crook,thief, disrespectful, and nasty. On February 1st 2016 this Company used another name called Cash Merchant to withdraw $1,760 from my bank account. I checked my bank statement and found out, after I stopped using their service for about 8 months. After BB&T bank contacted them, they apologized and said it was a mistake. I advice all businesses to not work with this company but rather deal directly with banks for their credit card services. Especially this guy named David Sanchez at Merchant Bancard Network (MBN)

  13. I worked with JEFF THORNTON. He told me all kinds of lies and untruths to get my business. I trusted him and was too busy to pay attention to what was going out and it cost me THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars. Shame on me but do not trust this man or this company. Shady, shady, shady!!!!!

    Are you with Merchants Bancard Network? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  14. Rick Litberg says:

    “Enter, stranger, but take heed
    Of what awaits the sin of greed,
    For those who take, but do not earn,
    Must pay most dearly in their turn.
    So if you seek beneath our floors
    A treasure that was never yours,
    Thief, you have been warned, beware
    Of finding more than treasure there.”
    ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

    I have been in the bankcard processing business for over 30 years. I’ve worked as a full time employee for National Data Corp., Global Payments, Inc. (GPN) NaBanco, (Now First Data), and Wells Fargo Merchant Services, as a direct Sales Representative in their Business Banking Group. I am a bankcard professional. Prior to going out on my own, I worked for an Elavon ISO who placed First Data platform required merchants with iMax/Merchants Bancard Network on a one off basis. I can tell you hands down these people are complete crooks. I state that without equivocation. They under paid us on our payouts for our merchants we booked through them. When we caught them in the act, over several months and thousands of dollars in their favor, all they could use to explain their brazen thievery was that “First Data – had a flag on their system set incorrectly” ; which is complete gibberish. After reading your rating, the BBB info, reviews and others, not only do they apparently rip-off and mislead their merchants, they also outright steal from the agents and sub-agents they partner with to earn merchant’s business. A word to the wise, both merchants and Agents – watch out for these bandits !!!!

  15. Chelsea Dorich says:

    This company is hands down a scam. The sales person told me that it was a low rate and no commitment, and the first month I didn’t receive any of my money, so I called them to figure out what was wrong. They said that they never connected to my bank account properly (which is untrue, I spoke to my bank representative about this) and the company charged me two thousand dollars worth of fees because of this alleged problem. In this time no one tried to contact me at all about the problem. I spoke with the manager of the company, and he told me nothing could be done, they would just be keeping my money and that was that. I asked him to close my account, he said he did, they mailed me a check, and that was supposed to be the end of it. Now, four years later, I received a collections bill for another three thousand dollars, which no one ever contacted me about before. I don’t know how this is legal, but I wish I had found these reviews before I used this company. These people are thieves and I will be hiring an attorney.

    1. Mireya Mendez says:

      The account has been closed since 8/2011. There are no fees owned to MBN, as all fees were waived upon closure.

  16. Larry Moonilal says:

    I signed up with this company with a promise of lower fees and better service, but I did not receive any of that. Month after month my statements reflected 80-120 dollars in fees! This is ridiculous. My salesman stopped answering my calls and emails and I have not been able to contact anyone else. This is extremely poor customer service. My salesperson also stated that he would get me a credit for signing up which never happened. He also stated that he would get me a refund for those fees but again never did. I am sick and upset with this company and this salesperson

    1. Customer Service says:

      Hello Mr. Moonilal. I am sorry you are experiencing a hard time reaching the sales office. I am unable to locate your account by name. Please contact our customer support at 877-871-4629 to get any issues resolved.

  17. Angela Crutchfield says:

    I haven’t had an account for credit card service since I completed by contract and returned the equipment in 2008. In July 2013 Merchant Bancard debited my bank account $2350.00. They would have taken more, but there was no money left. They managed to get $650.00+ more than I had in the account. I’ve left numerous messages and I can’t get this resolve this issue. I can’t locate a number that will reach anyone other than the answering service. Please let me know If anyone has a better contact number or any help they can offer so I can get this resolved.

    1. Hello,

      We could not locate your name anywhere in our systems. Please contact us directly at 877-871-4629 for issues regarding billing or fees. MBN would like to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

      Thank You

      1. kari says:

        liars thiefs that’s all u are this is a scam they steel money

  18. Evelyn Garrett says:

    I was getting charged varying amounts of charges randomly, never receiving a statement to know what these charges were for. I stopped using the services a month ago and just got the highest charge to date. I finally figured out it was this company and asked them to stop charging me as I no longer used the business. They told me there was an early termination fee of $250. Since the charges several times a month added up to this anyway, I told them I would rather pay one lump sum and know that was the end. Of course, no one was available in that department, so the person I talked to said she would leave them a message to call me w/i 24 hours. We’ll see if they call back.

    1. Aaron Ables says:

      Ms. Garrett, I am unable to locate your account. Please contact Merchant Service at 877-871-4629, thank you.

  19. J Weimer says:

    I’ve been trying for more than 2 years to get IMax/Merchants Bankcard Network to cancel my account. I only used credit cards 4 times and it was more than 3 years ago. Two separate times I called in over a two year period to see if my initial contract was us and both times I was given a date it would be up and then told the contract would automatically cancel after that. Last month I called in again as my monthly charges tripled on a service I wasn’t using. I spoke to someone who told me my contract had ended last September and that they put me on a month to month contract. She wouldn’t let me cancel over the phone but gave me the email to her manager, David Sanchez ([email protected]), who would be able to cancel it and refund the month to month charges through last September. I sent David an email on February 7, 2013 with no response. Then another charge came out. I forwarded him the email again, about 11 times, on March 7 with no response. Finally, I called in and somehow was lucky enough to get him on the phone. David was the rudest person I’ve talked to in a long time who kept interrupting, refused to acknowledge what I had been told by 3 separate individuals, told me none of this was his problem, refuses to refund my money, and claimed he was too busy to respond to my email (because we all know that he wasn’t sitting at his desk on the phone, right?? Or did I somehow call his mobile?) so that I would have something in writing that the account was canceled. I asked to speak to his boss, which he refused to do, wouldn’t give me a name, and said I’d have to fax something to the President’s office if I had any complaints about his behavior. This company quite obviously could care less about the businesses they have as customers and care only about their fees collected.

    1. Lana says:

      I am having the same problem.Jan fee came out to 9.5% Called and canceled the account.Faxed a cancel notice they said they never recieved.Just recieved another statement for 55.00 formonthly fees?Am already using a differant company.Just got off the phone with David S. I totally agree,he is rude and tells you its all your fault.There is a class action settlement going on.Contact 1-800-625-6440

    2. Aaron Ables says:

      Mr. Weimer the account was closed 03/07/2013 and a refund of $244.45 was credited back for November 2012-February 2013 Fees as a courtesy. If you have any other questions or concerns please contact Merchant Service at 877-871-4629, thank you.

  20. Kevin says:

    Salesman says ” Just try me for a month and you will see the savings” (costed more) so I switched back to old provider and faxed a cancellation letter to Merchants. Merchants kept trying to get money out of my account for monthly fee’s and then called me stating I had signed a three year contract and would be charged a cancellation fee. I told him I would not pay. he stated that it would get turn in and would go against my personal credit rating. We will see!!!

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