Merchant 1 Payments Review

Merchant 1 Payments Overview

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Headquartered in Ontario

Merchant 1 Payments is a merchant account provider headquartered in Concord, Ontario. Founded in 1999, the company provides Canadian merchant accounts as well as payment processing for U.S.-based businesses. The company provides Poynt as a POS solution to its merchants. Merchant 1 Payments is a registered MSP/ISO of the Canadian branch of U.S. Bank National Association and Elavon.

No Relation to Merchant One

It is worth noting that Merchant 1 Payments could potentially be confused with Merchant One in search results; however, these 2 entities are unrelated. The company is located at 2180 Steeles Ave W, Suite 300, Concord, ON L4K 2Z5. The president and CEO of Merchant 1 Payments is Joe Bonavota.

Merchant 1 Payments Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Merchant 1 Payments offers a month-to-month contract through Elavon with no early termination fees.
  • Complaints & Service: Merchant 1 Payments has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Merchant 1 Payments has an “A+” rating and has received 0 complaints in the last 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2009.
  • Sales & Marketing: Merchant 1 Payments appears to hire independently contracted agents but has not received any complaints about its sales team.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchant 1 Payments
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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Canadian businesses
  • Retail
  • MOTO
  • E-commerce

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Merchant 1 Payments Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

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 None
PCI Non-Compliance Fee $20 Per Month
PCI Compliance Fee $9.99 Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms Up To 60 Months (unlocked)

Month-to-Month Contract

The standard Merchant 1 Payments contract outlines a month-to-month agreement with no early termination fee, a PCI compliance fee of $9.99 per month, and an optional, non-cancellable equipment lease through Ladco Leasing, one of the worst ranked companies on our website. There is also a PCI non-compliance fee of $20 per month for merchants who fail to maintain compliance.

A company representative has stated that merchants can buy, rent, or lease equipment through Merchant 1. In almost all cases, merchants are advised to buy rather than lease equipment if possible.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Merchant 1 Payments also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services through Elavon as well.  However, pricing for the gateway is not disclosed. Merchant reviews report rates as high as 3.5% plus $0.30 along with a gateway fee of up to $25 per month. One complaint references a setup fee of nearly $500 dollars, though it is more than 5 years old and no other available public complaints reference the fee in the time since it was posted. However, additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

No Pricing Complaints

Overall, there are no complaints that mention excessive fees or hidden clauses in the standard Merchant 1 Payments contract. We will therefore assume that most of the company’s merchants are satisfied with the service they receive. In our assessment, the company’s contract terms are competitive with some of the cheapest merchant accounts.

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Response from Merchant 1 Payments

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Merchant 1 Payments Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Total

We are currently unable to locate any Merchant 1 Payments complaints that accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. In fact, there are only two reviews about the company across all consumer protection websites at this time. This complaint, posted in January 2014, vaguely describes a situation in which the merchant “had simply signed up and started receiving bills for online transactions that never happened!” This appears to be an isolated incident. It’s also unclear whether this complainant is referring to an external agent of Merchant 1 Payments or a representative from a different company. The second complaint is addressed later in this review.

Merchant 1 Payments Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Merchant 1 Payments. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Merchant 1 Payment Customer Support Options

The lack of any other such complaints indicates that the company generally employs capable customer service reps and discloses all important contract terms. The Merchant 1 website lists dedicated phone support lines that are available 24/7. The company’s customer service offerings are generally on par with the top-rated payment processors for customer support.

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Response from Merchant 1 Payments

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Merchant 1 Payments BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

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

Clean Complaint Record

Merchant 1 Payments has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2009. As of this review, the company currently holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 0 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. It has also not had any informal reviews posted to its profile.

An “A” Performance

Given the fact that Merchant 1 Payments has received 0 complaints, we agree with the BBB’s score in this case. For more information on how we factor BBB grades into our overall ratings, please see our rating criteria.

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Response from Merchant 1 Payments

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms Yes

Inside and Outside Sales Agents

Merchant 1 Payments appears to employ both full-time, W2-employed inside sales agents and paid-by-commission external sales agents to market its services. The latter practice is often responsible for merchant frustrations in this industry due to the difficulty of monitoring these agents’ behavior, but in this case we are only able to locate two negative Merchant 1 Payments reviews that mention problems with the company’s sales team. One complaint does not provide specific details of what transpired and is therefore of little use (as mentioned above). The other describes frustration with the company’s insistence on scheduling a phone call to receive a rate quote.

No Red Flags

Merchant 1 Payments does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. If you suspect that the company is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.

Did you get what you expected from Merchant 1 Payments? Tell us why, or why not.

Response from Merchant 1 Payments

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Merchant 1 Payments Logo

Our Opinion of Merchant 1 Payments

A Solid Option for Most Business Types

Merchant 1 Payments rates as a reliable merchant services provider according to our standards. The company is showing nearly zero total complaints at this time and scores very well with the BBB. It appears to perform on the same level as our top-rated all-purpose merchant account providers. Even when dealing with highly rated credit card processors, merchants are encouraged to carefully examine the terms of any contract they are given.

We rely on your feedback about Merchant 1 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 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.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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15 Reviews Leave Your Review for Merchant 1 Payments Below

  1. Ashleigh Watkins says:

    Amazing to deal with. Great customer service and went above and beyond to make our company feel welcomed. Robert Bauco was excellent and explained everything clearly. Definitely recommend Merchant 1 Payments!!

    1. Phillip says:

      Hi Ashleigh,

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

      1. Ashleigh Watkins says:

        Aztec Landscaping Ltd
        Grande Prairie, AB Canada

  2. Renda A says:

    Merchant 1 was wonderful when I opened my new business. The setup and support has been excellent and any questions I had were always answered right away. I would not think of going with another merchant account.

  3. I have been a very happy client of Merchant1Payment (located in Canada) for over 7 years. I was using another merchant service before and Calvin came to my rescue! I have been receiving friendly, EXCELLENT, customer service consistently. Merchant1Payments have been a reliable, affordable, professional interac service provider for my business at Urban Bliss Wellness Spa in New Westminster. Thank you!!!!

  4. Peter Reichart says:

    A bit shady. Non existing extension was provided be the first contact. They insisted on scheduled phone meetings and did not provide the analysis via email. That’s what the competitors did. Apparently there is only one person that can interpret the analysis (Robert) and he demands a scheduled phone meeting. After sending in one of our statements, I feel they are very opportunistic and have wasted my time by not providing tan analysis back. Reselling elavon is not a bad thing, being cagey with information, providing a false extension and trying to gain leverage with all that is leaving a bad taste. Never heard back from them or saw an analysis of my provided statement after telling that to the cold caller (Representative)

  5. FRANK WANG says:

    Switch to Merchant one 2 months. the fees rate is higher than agreement and hidden cost. customer service is poor. in 1st month (July), they ignore me my request for a week then promises to return the overcharged fees in August and correct the fee rate in the system. but in August the fee rate is still wrong and the overcharged fees is not returned. email them on Sep 6, no reply until now. call them today. nobody pick the phone. left message. no reply till now

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Frank,

      Did you intend to post this comment below our review of Merchant 1 Payments (this page) or below our review of Merchant One?

  6. Frances Monach says:

    Super company! I have been with Merchant 1 Payments for over 2 years now. From my first monthly statement I can finally say I understand the rates being charged. We have multiple locations with Merchant 1 Payments and all our locations are very happy with the services we receive. Thank you Merchant 1 Payments.

    1. To authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location(s).

  7. Jack Del says:

    Switched to Merchant 1 Payments 4 years ago. Great service, lower rates and they supply me with the paper rolls. One stop shop with no hidden fees or rate changes. Their slogan is “at Merchant 1 Payments the Merchant is always # 1” and they stick to it. Thank you to my Regional Account Executive Len for helping me make the switch.

    1. To authenticate this testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location.

  8. Paul says:

    I have worked for Merchant 1 Payments for 3 years now and I can verify that they do not charge an early termination fee or PCI compliance fees. I have worked in the merchant services industry for 3 and a half years now and I have had some real nightmares with other merchant services providers. With Merchant 1 Payments I can call Merchants that I have signed up and ask for referrals, 9 out of 10 times I will get the referral. Customers are very happy with the all aspects of services received from Merchant 1 Payments. My Relationship Manager always says to me “Paul, we are not the biggest but we are the best and we are building the Merchant 1 Payments brand one merchant at a time”.

    When I first stared with Merchant 1 Payments I thought this was just going to be another nightmare but I was so desperate to get my more than unsatisfied Merchants which I signed up with other providers away from the nightmare which I put them through and put them with a real company that has integrity and most important respect for their customers. Most of the Merchants I signed up with the other providers were friends & family who had businesses and they could not understand why I would placed them with such a bad provider. I spoke to my Relationship Manager with Merchant 1 Payments and they helped me move them from the other Merchant Services Providers and are now more then happy with the rates and services. I hope this is very helpful and please beware of the crooks out there!

  9. paul elliot says:

    I have seen the Merchant 1 Payments Agreement and it is the replica of the Elavon Agreement. They do NOT have any PCI Compliance Fee and they have the only agreement that I have seen that does NOT have any early termination fee. Their current website demonstrates their policy of total transparency and their objectives to have such universal. They conform to the Canadian Code of Conduct which is a voluntary standard that they wish to see as compulsory throughout the industry. I know many merchants who use their services and all are extremely pleased.

    1. Hi Paul,

      In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location. Thank you.

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