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. Intuit first entered the merchant services industry in order to package credit card processing services with its QuickBooks accounting software. To make this easier, the company established 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 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. QuickBooks also has a popular mobile credit card processing service (formerly 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.
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Uses Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|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 Merchant Services Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Up to $295|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Up to $100/yr|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Intuit’s costs and fees are murky at best. It appears that rates, fees, and contract terms can vary 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 increased transparency regarding its rates and fees.
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Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||200+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Funding 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.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||974|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||475|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||256|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||38|
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.
Intuit currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2010. The company has received 1,779 complaints in the past three years, and approximately 55% of these complaints were filed regarding product or billing issues. Intuit has successfully resolved 654 of the overall 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 customers’ 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.
About Phillip Parker
Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry. Schedule a Consultation with PhillipSchedule a Consultation with Phillip
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