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Ironwood Payments 2023: Card Processing Reviews & Complaints
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Founded in 2015, Ironwood Payments is a merchant account provider that was created via the acquisition of ElitePay Global‘s merchant portfolio. The owners of Ironwood Financial (Ironwood Payments’ parent company) did not realize at the time of purchase that there were severe issues with the structure, culture, and business practices of ElitePay Global. As a result, Ironwood Payments received a high number of complaints over approximately one year that were similar to the complaints filed against ElitePay Global (one of the worst-rated providers on CPO). Our rating for Ironwood Payments was very low during this period due to the company’s prior dealings with ElitePay Global, documented proof that many of Ironwood’s employees were former ElitePay Global employees, and many Ironwood Payments complaints that described exorbitant leasing fees and deceptive sales tactics.
Efforts to Fix Problems
Eventually, Ironwood hired a third party to conduct a full review of the company’s practices and suggest necessary changes. Ironwood also began to reach out directly to dissatisfied clients and attempt to resolve their issues. Ironwood has contacted CPO to offer a significant amount of background information about the company and insight into its practices, and CPO has separately verified as much of this information as possible. CPO is now satisfied that Ironwood Payments has severed all ties with ElitePay Global and is committed to a total reform of its business practices. In fact, Ironwood Payments has taken proactive steps (documented in this review) to become a highly transparent and dependable merchant account provider.
Ironwood Financial Payment Processing
Ironwood Financial processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their solutions include POS solutions, mobile payments, EMV card readers and swipers, B2B, MOTO, and e-commerce solutions. The company advertises SwipeSimple Register, Vend, ShopKeep, and Talech as POS solutions.
Point of Sale Systems
The company offers various Point of Sale (POS) systems designed to streamline operations and improve customer service. From traditional countertop terminals to modern touchscreen systems, Ironwood Financial has a POS solution for every business. Some systems also integrate inventory management and reporting functionalities, providing a comprehensive business management tool.
Mobile Payment Solutions
Recognizing the growing trend of mobile commerce, Ironwood Financial provides a mobile payment solution. This service allows businesses to accept credit and debit card payments on the go using a mobile device. It is a valuable tool for businesses that operate outside a traditional storefront, such as pop-up shops, food trucks, or at trade shows.
E-Commerce Payment Gateway
Ironwood Financial caters to online businesses with its e-commerce payment gateway. This service provides a secure platform for processing online payments. It supports a variety of payment methods and currencies, making it a suitable choice for businesses looking to sell their products or services globally.
Payment Security and Compliance
Security is paramount in payment processing. Ironwood Financial offers advanced payment security measures including encryption and tokenization. Additionally, they help businesses navigate complex compliance requirements, ensuring they meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Business Funding Solutions
Beyond payment processing, Ironwood Financial also offers business funding solutions. These include merchant cash advances, a form of financing that offers a lump sum in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales.
Location & Ownership
Ironwood Financial, LLC, is headquartered at 2718 West Oxford Loop, Suite 185, Oxford, Mississippi 38655. Ironwood also maintains two office locations in the State of Utah located at 50 West Broadway, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101, and at 2150 South 1300 East, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106. Ironwood has contracted with Incorp Services, Inc. to provide registered agent services within the State of Utah. Ironwood Payments is a registered ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Merrick Bank, South Jordan, UT. John Lewis and Dewitt Lovelace are the owners of Ironwood Payments.
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Ironwood Payments Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||10+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Equipment Lease|
Decreased Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate at least 10 negative Ironwood Payments reviews across all consumer protection websites. This number was much higher at the time of our last review, but the company has made a serious effort to improve its online reputation by contacting complainants and resolving their issues directly. The Ironwoods Payments reviews that are currently available are generally more than 12 months old and can only be found by looking through several client and employee-review websites. Some of them describe exorbitant fees and long-term leases that would negatively impact any company’s score. The total absence of Ironwood Payments complaints in recent months indicates that Ironwood’s efforts at reformation have paid off. If you have your own Ironwood Payments review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Ironwood Payments Lawsuits and Fines
In December 2016, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ironwood Financial in Illinois Northern District Court. This complaint accuses Ironwood of secretly recording phone calls in which clients disclosed sensitive financial information, and it also names Andy Bentley, Brian Bentley, Adam Bentley, Fifth Third Bank, First Data, Vantiv, Wells Fargo, and International Payment Services as defendants. The plaintiffs are seeking $5,000 per violation plus attorney fees. The lawsuit’s case number is 1:16-cv-11223, and it can also be found under searches for “Wang et al v. Wells Fargo, NA et al.” Ironwood believes that it will successfully defend the suit, but a federal judge ruled in April 2018 that it could proceed. This suit appears to be a remnant of the company’s holdover business practices from ElitePay Global and does not appear to be reflective of Ironwood’s current conduct.
Ironwood Payments Customer Support Options
The company offers phone and email support options for clients, but it doesn’t quite qualify as a top merchant account for customer service at this time.
Ironwood Payments Customer Service Numbers
- (844) 449-7687 – Toll-Free Customer Support
- (877) 471-6557 – Fax
Other Support Options
- Customer support form
- Customer service phone email address at [email protected]
Ironwood receives a “B” rating in this section to reflect its dramatic improvement in its complaint rate, and this grade will improve to an “A” if the company continues along its current trajectory.
Ironwood Payments Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Under 5 Complaints
Ironwood Payments currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited. The company’s profile has received 1 complaint in the last 36 months.
An “A” Performance Overall
Ironwood has received a low number of complaints. Given its declining complaint total, we are inclined to agree with the BBB‘s rating of an “A.”
Ironwood Payments Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
The Ironwood Payments contract is a multi-year contract through Vantiv with no early termination fee, a monthly PCI compliance fee of $10, and interchange-plus pricing by default. The company does not lease equipment and will allow clients to keep purchased equipment, sell the equipment back to Ironwood, or terminate their rental agreements with no further cost. These terms offer clients a great deal of flexibility and do not expose them to exorbitant cancellation fees.
Vantiv, and consequently Ironwood Payments, rely on a third-party leasing company to provide payment processing equipment to its merchants. A standard Vantiv merchant agreement assigns Lease Finance Group as the equipment leasing company. Their lease terms are non-cancellable 48-month agreements. The full cost of a standard Lease Finance Group contract appears to be several thousand dollars, often up to ten times the cost of purchasing the leased equipment.
It should be noted that most credit card terminals can be purchased for under $500.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Ironwood Payments also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Some Residual Complaints
We are currently able to locate a handful of client complaints about Ironwood’s contract terms, but all of these Ironwood Payments complaints are related to the contract terms that the company offered prior to its restructuring. By all accounts, these were not even close to affordable merchant accounts, and it is likely that some businesses are still stuck in long-term equipment leases they signed during that period. We will assign Ironwood a “B” rating in this section to reflect the fact that its contract terms are highly transparent and flexible, but that this was not true as recently as a few years ago.
We also encourage business owner to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.
Ironwood Payments Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||Yes|
In-House Sales Team
Ironwood Payments employs an in-house sales team and no longer relies on telemarketing or independent sales agents to sell its products. The company promotes interchange-plus pricing but will offer tiered pricing if clients request it. Ironwood also clearly displays the cost of each piece of processing hardware, which can be purchased outright, purchased in installments, or rented for a fixed monthly cost. Ironwood has done away with long-term equipment leases and does not plan to partner with equipment leasing companies such as Northern Leasing Systems in the future. This appears to have drastically lowered the number of negative Ironwood Payments reviews in recent years.
This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Improved Merchant Feedback
Ironwood Payments does not list specific per-transaction pricing on its website, but its W2-employed sales representatives are trained to disclose all Ironwood Payments rates and fees. These practices constitute a dramatic turnaround for the company’s sales approach and have resulted in an equally striking decrease in complaints. We will assign Ironwood an “A” in this section because the processes it has implemented are worthy of an “A” rating, but we will continue to monitor its performance very closely. If you suspect that you are being charged undisclosed Ironwood Payments fees, we recommend seeking an independent, third-party statement audit.
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