Ironwood Payments Review

Ironwood Payments Overview

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Purchased from ElitePay Global

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 complaints that described exorbitant leasing fees and deceptive sales tactics. The company advertises SwipeSimple Register, Vend, ShopKeep, and Talech as POS solutions.

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 merchants 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.

Offices in Utah and Mississippi

Ironwood Financial, LLC, is headquartered in 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 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. John Lewis and Dee Lovelace are the owners of Ironwood Payments.

Ironwood Payments Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Ironwood Payments offers a multi-year contract through Vantiv with no early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Ironwood Payments has received approximately 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Ironwood Payments has an “A” rating and has received 7 complaints and 1 review in the last 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2018.
  • Sales & Marketing: Ironwood Payments does not hire independently contracted agents and has received a few complaints about its sales team.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Ironwood Payments

Ironwood Payments Statement Analyzer

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Products & Services Offered

  • Countertop terminals
  • Point-of-sale systems
  • Mobile payments
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Tablets and tablet-based POS systems

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • Restaurant
  • Healthcare
  • High-risk

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Ironwood Payments Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate Interchange-Plus
Keyed-in Rate Interchange-Plus
Virtual Terminal Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee Undisclosed
Early Termination Fee $0
PCI Compliance Fee $10 Per Month
Equipment Purchase Cost 48 Month (locked)

Multi-Year Contract

Ironwood Payments offers 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 merchants to keep purchased equipment, sell the equipment back to Ironwood, or terminate their rental agreements with no further cost. These terms offer merchants a great deal of flexibility and do not expose merchants 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.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Ironwood Payments also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. 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.

Some Residual Complaints

We are currently able to locate a handful of merchant complaints about Ironwood’s contract terms, but all of these 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 merchants 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 two years ago.

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Response from Ironwood Payments

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Ironwood Payments Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 10+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Equipment Lease

Decreased Complaint Total

We are currently able to locate approximately 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 reviews that are currently available are generally more than 12 months old and can only be found by looking through several merchant and employee review websites. Some of them describe exorbitant fees and long-term leases that would negatively impact any company’s score.

Ironwood Payments Lawsuits

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 merchants 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 total absence of complaints in recent months indicates that Ironwood’s efforts at reformation have paid off. The company offers phone and email support options for merchants, but it doesn’t quite qualify as a top merchant account for customer service at this time. 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.

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Response from Ironwood Payments

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Ironwood Payments BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 5
Billing & Collection Complaints 2
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

A Consistently Declining Complaint Total

Ironwood Payments currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been an accredited business since 2018. The company’s profile has received 7 complaints in the last 36 months. This is a significant drop from our last update to this review when the company had 16 complaints. BBB complaints are closed over time, reflecting that the company is not receiving as many complaints as consistently as it once had.

Out of the 7 current complaints, 5 have been filed in relation to product or service issues and 2 have to do with billing or collection disputes. The company has successfully resolved 2 of those complaints. The remaining 5 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Ironwood has also received 1 positive informal review from a merchant, and this merchant describes satisfaction with his monthly savings and data security:

I switched the cc processing for my law firm to Ironwood Processing. They save me $500+ each month. More importantly, they safeguard my client’s information. At least once a day I tell a business owner to use Ironwood.

Although we do not consider Ironwood Payments to be a top legal merchant account provider, it appears that the company may be able to successfully serve law firms.

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.”

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Response from Ironwood Payments

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates 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 merchants 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.

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 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 Ironwood is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking an independent, third-party statement audit.

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Response from Ironwood Payments

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Ironwood Payments Marketing Example

Ironwood Payments Logo

Our Opinion of Ironwood Payments

Improving Over Time

We have assigned Ironwood Payments a “B” rating at this time due to its sharply reduced complaint total. The company still has some complaints trickling in from its early days, and it will need to continue to offer excellent service in its current form in order to raise its overall rating. However, Ironwood appears to be making a sincere, substantive effort to correct its mistakes and become a top-rated all-purpose merchant account provider.

We rely on your feedback about Ironwood Payments to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

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

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. 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 here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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9 Reviews Leave Your Review for Ironwood Payments Below

  1. Shirley Looney says:

    I am a restaurant in Southaven,Mississippi. It is called the country skillet. I was happy using square but when these guys came in they said they were a new company and they were in Mississippi so I wanted to support their newly business and their state. I gave them two months to prove theirselves they could save me money but they actually cost me more money. So I called them to get their machine and I was going back to square. So 4 months later they continue to charge me monthly even though I never used them any after 4 months. So now my account shows they drew out another 350.00 and I’m not sure what that’s for. These people do not tell the truth.


    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

    -Phillip

  2. Our first run in with Ironwood was horrible, the salesman lied to us about the service we were to receive, it was suppose to be a buy in pool for better rate and wound up being a 4 year $4000+ lease with Northern leasing! Hey we’re automotive mechanics not lawyers so we took the salesman at his word, boy we were dead wrong! We were paying more than the previous processor! we were stuck in this lease but not with the processing so we dumped Northern Leasing and went with HMS, great company. After about 6 months with HMS good ol Ironwood called us and told us of their prior problems with the company and what they are doing to correct the issues, then proceeded to ask us what it would take to get their business again, so we told them to match the current rates we have and pay the lease payment. Not only did Ironwood match it but they beat it and they are also paying the lease payment for us! Ironwood has done a complete 180 degree turn around, Fired all their local sales staff and are genuinely improving their company practices. Thank you Ironwood for stepping up to the plate and not only admitting your mistakes but also doing something about them!

  3. Bob S says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness and gratitude towards the entire Ironwood staff for being so supportive and friendly. Working with the salesman guidance was indeed a great experience . I finally feel lucky to have such a professional credit card processor. Changing my processing was a team effort and it couldn’t have been done without the support of the entire Ironwood team. I look forward to expanding my business processing with Ironwood in the future.

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Bob,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

      1. PRICE RITE TRANSMISSION AND AUTO
        1395 LAKELAND AVE BOHEMIA NY 11716
        I would like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness and gratitude towards the entire Ironwood staff for being so supportive and friendly. Working with the salesman guidance was indeed a great experience . I finally feel lucky to have such a professional credit card processor. Changing my processing was a team effort and it couldn’t have been done without the support of the entire Ironwood team. I look forward to expanding my business processing with Ironwood in the future.

  4. Lisa says:

    I signed up with Ironwood and they did nothing good. After several failed attempts to get adequate customer service and managers involved I called my attorney. Ironwood took me only for $800 and a $1200 attorney fee along with hours on the phone and frustration. DON’T use them they are unethical and liars!
    I will research more before I ever make a move from my current processor.

    Ironwood Payments Response:
    “Thank you for your feedback. We would like to be of assistance to you and help you resolve your issue. We would encourage you to call the Ironwood Customer Service Department at 844-449-7687 and ask to speak with a manager. We look forward to helping you.”


    Ironwood attempted to resolve the complaint above but the merchant declined to participate.

  5. Andy Furgeson says:

    Great company. Saved me tons of money each month by switching over

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Andy,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  6. Ashley Rooney says:

    Ironwood attempted to resolve this complaint via our mediation program but the merchant declined to participate. Ironwood has issued the following response:

    Ms. Rooney, thank you for your feedback. We would like to be of assistance to you and help you resolve your issue. We would encourage you to call the Ironwood Customer Service Department at 844-449-7687 and ask to speak with a manager. We look forward to helping you.


    My father and I both switched over from a company we were very happy with, all to save $ every month. We were completely swindled. The customer support is horrible, they do not care that we are unhappy. They have no way of getting in touch with the sales rep that fed us a bunch of lies. We are now locked in for 5 years, with major cancellation fees if we walk. Thinking about getting in touch with a lawyer to fight this company. But also want to do whatever I can to prevent people from making the mistakes we made. I am exhausted from calling the company, complaining, asking why we are paying more money every month than less.
    DO NOT TRUST IRONWOOD.

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