Merchant Club of America Review
Company No Longer Operating
As of this review, Merchant Club of America appears to have ceased operations. Its website is no longer active, however its social media profiles are still up (though no longer updated). We will leave this review up as an account of the company’s previous history.
Founded By Payment Systems Corporation Veterans
Founded in 2014, Merchant Club of America is a merchant account provider that specializes in processing payments and providing security products for standard-risk businesses within the U.S. The company is owned and operated by former employees of Payment Systems Corporation, one of the worst-rated merchant accounts on CPO. Merchant Club of America does not publicly list its back end processor, but Payment Systems Corporation was a reseller of First Data. Merchant Club of America also does not list its acquiring bank, but Payment Systems Corporation was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California.
Merchant Club of America Location and Ownership
The Merchant Club of America website lists an address at 500 N. Central Expressway, Suite 110, Plano, Texas 75074, USA, but the company’s filing with the California Secretary of State provides an address at 114 Pacifica, Suite #230 Irvine, California 92618.
Zaven Tootikian, the former president of Payment Systems Corporation, is the founder of Merchant Club of America; Joe Martin, the former general manager at Payment Systems Corporation, is a business partner at Merchant Club of America; and Mathryn Eversole, the former vice president of underwriting at Payment Systems Corporation, is the vice president of business development at Merchant Club of America.
Merchant Club of America Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Merchant Club of America appears to offer a multi-year contract with an associated credit card equipment lease.
- Complaints & Service: Merchant Club of America has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Merchant Club of America has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 2 complaints and 3 reviews in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Merchant Club of America appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a handful of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchant Club of America
Merchant Club of America Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
Growing Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate nearly 10 negative Merchant Club of America reviews, 1 of which accuses the company of being a scam. Issues cited by complainants include misrepresented rates, undisclosed fees, and poor customer service. As noted above, Merchant Club of America’s complaint volume is much lower than that of Payment Systems Corporation despite the significant overlap in upper management between the two companies. This may be due to the fact that Merchant Club of America has only been active since 2014, or it may be that the company has improved its complaint resolution procedures. According to merchant complaints, however, its pricing and sales approach remain very similar to those of Payment Systems Corporation.
Damage Control Attempts
In one instance, a Merchant Club of America representative replied to a dissatisfied merchant by offering a revised interchange-plus pricing plan—but only if the merchant deleted their public complaint. We believe that providers should try to reach a satisfactory resolution with all of their customers regardless of what those customers say about them online, so this instance does not reflect positively on the company’s customer service.
Merchant Club of America
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Merchant Club of America. 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 Club of America Customer Support Options
Merchant Club of America offers phone and email contact information on its website, but it’s unclear whether these are dedicated to customer support. Given the content of merchant complaints, the company’s support falls short of the standard set by top-rated payment processors for great customer service.
Merchant Club of America Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Online Ratings Summary
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||1|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
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.
Under 5 Complaints
Merchant Club of America currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB accredited. The company has received 1 complaint in the nearly 3 years that its profile has been active. The single complaint had to do with billing or collection and was successfully resolved.
What Merchants Say
Merchant Club of America has also received 2 negative and 1 positive informal review and two negative informal reviews to its BBB profile. The most recent informal review describes retaliatory behavior by a sales agent:
Scammy phone calls from out of state. Not that that’s anything special but the individual who called didn’t like that I didn’t want to talk and left a one star review of my business (first ever for me). So here ya go Steven ******** of Merchant Club. Thanks for taking the time to harass me
Merchants who experience this behavior can respond in kind by reporting the offending payment processor.
A “B” Performance
Given the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have slightly adjusted the BBB’s assessment at this time.
Merchant Club of America Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Debit Rate||0% + $0.39 To 5.00%|
|Credit Rate||1.39% + $0.10 To 5.00%|
|Early Termination Fee||$500|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Undisclosed|
|Equipment Lease Terms||$139 Per Month|
There is not a great deal of public, verifiable information about the standard Merchant Club of America contract. The company’s website does not list its rates and fees, and there are only a few merchant complaints that cite specific contract terms. The complaint cited in the above section mentions that the sales agent quoted a rate of 0% plus $0.39 for debit transactions, a rate of 1.39% plus $0.10 for credit transactions, a $10 monthly statement fee, and a $139 monthly equipment lease cost. The complainant also reported that the company’s effective per-transaction rate came out to be 3.6% overall. A second complaint corroborates this merchant’s description of the equipment lease, citing a monthly leasing fee of $145.39. Other complaints describe an early termination fee of $500, which is consistent with the fact taht Payment Systems Corporation was known to charge a $500 de-conversion fee plus liquidated damages.
Merchant Club of America Cash Discount Program
Merchant Club of America is currently advertising a cash discount program that promises to offset a merchant’s transaction fees by charging their customers a per-transaction surcharge of 3.99%. These programs are becoming more common within the industry and are capable of saving merchants some money. Unfortunately, Merchant Club of America’s program also carries the risk of a long-term equipment lease, which would make it less competitive. Merchant complaints confirm that the company packages its equipment leases with this pricing plan.
Expensive, Long-Term Contracts
Merchant Club of America appears to offer contract terms that are less competitive than industry averages. Specifically, its equipment lease costs are on the high end of what providers usually charge. Merchants are encouraged to purchase rather than lease equipment whenever possible, as most terminals can be bought outright for less than $500. We have lowered Merchant Club of America’s grade to a “D” in this section due to the contract terms we have seen reported and the contract terms that were formerly charged by Payment Systems Corporation. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Merchant Club of America contract, please share that information in the comment section below our review.
Merchant Club of America Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Outside Sales Team
Merchant Club of America appears to primarily market its services via ISOs, independently contracted sales agents, and strategic partnerships. The use of independent sales agents is commonly tied to elevated complaint rates in the credit card processing industry, and it generated a very high number of complaints against Payment Systems Corporation. Merchant Club of America has thus far avoided the sky-high complaint volume that Payment Systems Corporation received, but there are a handful of Merchant Club of America complaints that mention nondisclosure of terms and misrepresentation of fees by Merchant Club of America sales agents.
Merchant Club of America Sales Complaint Details
One dissatisfied merchant reported receiving a rate quote of 1.39% plus $0.10 for credit cards, but that this rate was ultimately the company’s qualified rate. According to the merchant, the company’s mid-qualified and non-qualified rates were not disclosed until the merchant began processing. Other merchants complain that they never received notification of the long-term equipment leases that accompanied their merchant accounts contracts.
Merchant Club of America Employee Complaints
One complaint against Merchant Club of America has been filed by a former employee, who says the following: “As a merchant…DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITH THEM / DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM.” Payment Systems Corporation was the target of similar complaints by former employees. If you suspect that Merchant Club of America has misrepresented your pricing, you can double-check your monthly bill with a third-party statement audit.
Merchant Club of America Savings Calculator
Merchant Club of America promotes its cash discount program with an interactive savings calculator on its website. This calculator allows merchants to select one of five different annual processing amounts and then claims that Merchant Club of America can save the merchant 3% of that amount. This calculator relies on the assumption that merchants pay an average per-transaction fee of 3%, which they would not pay at all under Merchant Club of America’s cash discount plan. This assumption may or may not be accurate for a given merchant, but business owners should not regard this calculator as an accurate indicator of the savings they can obtain through Merchant Club of America.
Showing Its Colors
In general, Merchant Club of America is beginning to receive the same negative feedback that Payment Systems Corporation received. This negative trend has lowered the company’s score in this section to a “C.”
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