A High Risk Payment Processing Specialist
Instabill is a merchant account provider based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that specializes in online payments for domestic and offshore low to high risk merchants. Launched in 2003, Instabill appears to operate outside of the U.S. as ECS World LTD. The company provides its services to merchants selling adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, online gambling, and timeshares, among other industries that are typically considered high risk.
Instabill Banking Partners and Ownership
The company is headquartered in the U.S. at 875 Greenland Road, Suite B9, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801 and in Malta at 19 Giovanni Curmi Street, Lija, Malta. Given its ability to offer offshore merchant accounts, Instabill is likely partnered with numerous acquiring banks. Jason Field is listed as the founder and CEO of Instabill.
Instabill Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Instabill offers variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type and processing history.
- Complaints & Service: Instabill has received more than 20 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Instabill has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 0 complaints and 1 review in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Instabill does not appear to hire independent sales agents and has received a low number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Instabill
Types of Businesses Served
- High risk
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Instabill Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%+|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%+|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||1.00% - 4.99%+|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Undisclosed|
|Early Termination Fee||Undisclosed|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Undisclosed|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Undisclosed|
Variable Contract Terms
Because Instabill specializes in high-risk and offshore merchant accounts, the company’s rates and fees are not likely to compare favorably to those of traditional merchant account providers. However, this is a product of Instabill’s willingness to provide processing for riskier business types, rather than the result of an inappropriate markup.
Generally speaking, Instabill’s contract terms appear to vary greatly depending on a merchant’s business type, size, time in business, and risk for fraudulent activity. Its terms will likely feature tiered pricing and may incorporate early termination fees or PCI Compliance fees. The company’s gateway services providing secure payment processing for high risk ecommerce also is likely to be attached to additional fees. Gateway, account maintenance, and setup fees and often attached to this service though Instabill does not readily disclose theirs.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Instabill also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its 3D secure virtual terminal and payment gateway. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Instabill Fund Holding Policy
Most Instabill complaints seem to stem from the company’s fraud prevention policies. Many merchants report cancellation of their merchant accounts or withholding of funds, both of which are common fraud prevention tactics among high-risk processors. In most of these cases, Instabill has responded by detailing its fraud prevention policies, which generally consist of randomly contacting customers and obtaining information about whether a merchant has supplied a particular service in an appropriate amount of time. If merchants do not appear to be rendering their services within a reasonable amount of time (or at all), Instabill reserves the right to terminate their merchant accounts. This is understandably frustrating for merchants who have already processed payments through Instabill at the time of cancellation, but it’s also a sensible fraud prevention policy on Instabill’s part. Given the company’s track record and relatively low complaint total, we have awarded it an “A” in this category.Are you happy with your Instabill fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Instabill Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||25+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Fund Holds|
Low Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate approximately 25 Instabill complaints, many of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. In many of these cases, merchants report losses of multiple thousands of dollars. While this would usually cause the company’s rating to be severely lowered, it is important to note that most of these complaints appear to have been posted by high-risk merchants who Instabill representatives claim were not actually delivering services to their customers. Although it is difficult to know which party is being honest in each case, Instabill’s willingness to deal with high-risk industries predisposes it to receiving some complaints like these.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Instabill. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Instabill Customer Support Options
In general, Instabill’s rebuttals appear to be professional in tone and well-supported, so we aren’t inclined to fault the company for protecting itself from fraud. Merchants are advised to inquire about Instabill’s fraud protection measures and to be forthright about their business types to ensure that their service isn’t terminated after payments have already been processed. The only slightly alarming thing we have found is that multiple complaints mention difficulty contacting an Instabill representative to resolve issues in a timely fashion. Instabill does not provide any customer support contact information on its website, which precludes it from ranking among our top-rated payment processors for great customer service.
Instabill BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Clean Complaint Record
Instabill is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 0 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months.
What Merchants Say
Instabill also received 1 informal negative review on its BBB profile, and this review describes poor customer service:
Instabill is complete ridiculous provider. First of all, they barely reply emails, I had to send it twice to get reply from sales. And later they rudely declined with reason because of “no meaningful presence” of my business. What the heck “presence” is for Web Hosting? So they advertise that they support all kind of semi-legal stuff like casinos and other high-risk stuff, but not a web hosting. One star, would give zero if I could..
Merchants who wish to avoid this outcome should familiarize themselves with reasons their applications could be denied.
An “A” Performance
Given the company’s clean complaint record, we agree with the BBB’s rating.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Inside/Outside Sales Team
Instabill appears to utilize a combination of its in-house sales team, its website, and independent referrers to market its services. There is no indication at this time that the company partners with outbound independent resellers, and we are currently able to locate only a few negative Instabill reviews that accuse the company’s sales team of misrepresentation or nondisclosure.
Instabill Rate Quotes
At the time of an earlier review, a sidebar on the Instabill website promoted rates “as low as 2.2%,” which is a slightly misleading quote that likely only applies to “Qualified” rates. This quote is no longer listed, though, and the company’s website now urges merchants to get in touch for a custom rate quote based on their processing history, risk factors, and business type. If you suspect that Instabill has misled you about your pricing, you can double-check their bill with a third-party statement audit.
Instabill Marketing Example
About Phillip Parker
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 and Merchant Account Services
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.
From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.