Merchants Bancard Network Overview
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
Merchants Bancard Network Statement Analyzer
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Types of Businesses Served
- Business to Business
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Merchants Bancard Network Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Early Termination Fee||$250+|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
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.
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.Are you happy with your Merchants Bancard Network fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Merchants Bancard Network Complaints & Customer Reviews
|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.
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|
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.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|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.
About Phillip Parker
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