|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
Intuit Merchant Services (payments.intuit.com), also known as Innovative Merchant Solutions and QuickBooks Payments, is a merchant account provider based in Mountain View, California. When Intuit entered the merchant services industry in order to package credit card processing services into its QuickBooks software, it started out by establishing a partnership with Innovative Merchant Solutions. In 2003, Intuit acquired Innovative Merchant Solutions and continued to operate the company under the Innovative name instead of rebranding it. Although the company’s advertising copy and products still bear the Innovative brand in some rare cases, Intuit no longer maintains a separate website for Innovative Merchant Solutions and appears to have absorbed all Innovative services into the Intuit brand name. For the purposes of this review, we will refer to the company as Intuit Merchant Services.
Most merchants learn about Intuit Merchant Services through using QuickBooks, a small business accounting software program developed by the company. Intuit has done a great job of packaging its credit card processing service into QuickBooks. The integration makes it very easy for merchants to seamlessly charge cards and track the sales in essentially one step. In fact, this reviewer has found that many merchants will accept higher processing rates with Intuit (rather than switch processors) to keep the easy, integrated accounting functionality. Intuit also has a popular mobile credit card processing service called GoPayment. The company uses First Data as its processor, but handles its customer service and operations in-house. The president and CEO of Intuit is Brad Smith.
|Intuit Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||No|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||Yes|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
Intuit uses various methods for marketing its credit card processing services, including email, direct mail, and telemarketing. Based upon many of Intuit’s complaints, there is evidence to suggest that the company uses deceptive advertising when it comes to rate and fee quotes. Numerous complainants describe undisclosed fees and confusing pricing structures through Intuit. Many of these complaints are probably the result of the company’s frequent pricing changes over the last few years (more on this in the next section).
Additionally, the Intuit website lists misleading rate quotes by only showing the “Qualified” fee tier for swiped and keyed transactions and making no mention of the more expensive “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” tiers. Only about 20% of an average merchant’s transactions will fall into the Qualified tier. To its credit, Intuit does not appear to hire independent outside sales agents.
The company markets through a single website that can be reached through several URLs, including:
Intuit Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||Up to $100 per year|
Intuit’s costs and fees are murky at best. It appears that rates, fees, and contract terms can vary widely depending upon the merchant and whether that merchant is an existing QuickBooks customer. Representatives told this reviewer that Intuit has no early termination fee and offers month-to-month contracts. Intuit’s website also makes no mention of a service agreement length. However, there are numerous reports from merchants stating that they had a two- to four-year service agreement with a $295 early termination fee and a PCI Compliance fee of up to $100. Other complaints suggest that the Intuit Merchant Services contract has been structured so that the company does not have a specified termination fee, but instead makes a large withdrawal from a merchant’s bank account at its own discretion upon cancellation, returning the funds after all outstanding debts have been settled.
This page appears to list the company’s full pricing schedule, but it’s unknown whether and to what degree some of these terms may vary. Merchants are advised to carefully review the entire page, paying special attention to any clickable disclosures or disclaimers toward the bottom of the page.
Regardless of the company’s actual policy, there appears to be a troubling disconnect between its advertised terms and the costs reported by merchants. This strongly suggests that the company could benefit from both greater simplicity and added transparency regarding its rates and fees.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Fund holds|
We are currently able to locate over 200 Intuit Merchant Services negative reviews, many of which characterize the company as a scam or a ripoff. One thing merchants should keep in mind is that Intuit is a huge company and that because of this the company will have more complaints than smaller companies. That being said, Intuit Merchant Services has a moderate amount of complaints filed against it. On a positive note, it appears that the company’s overall complaint rate has decreased or held steady for the last few years.
The majority of complaints center on issues relating to hidden and surprise fees, poor customer service, and sudden account holds and freezes. One such complaint, found here, mentions that although “at no time since we have done business with Intuit Merchant Services or Intuit Payment Network Services were we aware that there was any type of limit,” the merchant still had a valid $30,000 transaction frozen by the company indefinitely. A large number of similar complaints can be found in the comment section of this review. It appears that Intuit needs to do a much better job of disclosing fees and hold policies during the sales process instead of deferring to the merchant account contract, which is apparently confusing to most merchants.
Related: Best Processors For E-Commerce
|Key Points – BBB Report|
Intuit currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2010. The company has received 1,820 complaints in the past three years, and approximately 80% of these complaints were filed regarding product or billing issues. Intuit has successfully resolved 646 of these complaints, although it’s unclear how many are related to the company’s merchant services products.
The BBB‘s profile for Intuit covers the entire company including its merchant services department. Since Intuit’s payment services are typically integrated with its other products, it seems reasonable to consult the company’s BBB profile as a reflection of its customer satisfaction. We have therefore adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” according to how we would interpret the current volume and content of the complaints.
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
This review was originally published on 12/28/10 and was last updated on 1/6/16.
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