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Merchant Focus 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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Merchant Focus, also known as “Established Merchant Focus,” is a small to mid-sized merchant account provider based out of Dublin, Ohio. The company was established in 2004 and appears to focus solely on providing credit card processing services. Merchant Focus also has a sister company called “Established Merchants Only” that serves businesses with over $250,000 in credit card sales per year. Merchant Focus was founded by the two co-founders of e-onlinedata, which they sold in 2007 to PowerPay (now EVO Payments International). The founder of PowerPay, Steve Goodrich, is now a partner at Merchant Focus. Merchant Focus also acts as the processor for the mobile credit card processing services Inner Fence and AppNinja’s Swipe.
Before we dive in, here’s a short summary of what we’ll cover:
- Merchant Focus’ various payment processing services.
- The company’s contract is customizable and appears competitive.
- MF has received few complaints.
Merchant Focus Payment Processing
Merchant Focus offers merchant accounts for most business types and industries. Their services include e-commerce credit card processing, an online payment gateway, POS solutions, and mobile card acceptance hardware. Merchant Focus utilizes Authorize.net for its payment gateway and e-commerce processing services.
Location & Ownership
Merchant Focus is an ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank AG, New York. John Waldron is listed as the CEO and Jason McLeod as the president. The company maintains its headquarters at 8853 Birgham Ct N, Dublin, OH 43017. They also have an office at 400 Riverside St. Suite A-1 Portland, ME 04103.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Appears to offer a month-to-month agreement with no…
- Complaints & Service: Has received fewer than 10…
- BBB Rating: “A+” rating and has received 1 complaint and…
- Sales & Marketing: Appears to hire independent sales representatives but has…
Merchant Focus Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
Low Number of Merchant Focus Complaints
There are fewer than 10 negative Merchant Focus reviews in the usual online forums. Commonly cited issues among complainants include unhelpful customer service, difficulty canceling an account, and fund-holds. The only other real strike against Merchant Focus is in regards to our experience reaching a sales agent over the phone, which was difficult. After repeated calls and only reaching a voicemail service, an agent was finally reached by using the site’s “Live Chat” feature. If you have your own Merchant Focus review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Lawsuits & Government Actions
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed. Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Merchant Focus Customer Support Options
Although not a worrisome problem, the difficulty in reaching the company’s staff could pose an issue for some clients. The company offers phone and email support to all of its clients, but this channel is apparently lacking in comparison to top payment processors for customer service.
Merchant Focus Customer Service Number
- 800-895-4085 – Customer Support
Other Support Options
- Live chat
- Customer support form
- Customer service email address at [email protected]
Merchant Focus Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
A Single BBB Complaint
As of this update, the Better Business Bureau maintains a profile for Merchant Focus under the name “Established Merchant Focus” and is reporting that the company has been accredited since 2006. The BBB is awarding an “A+” rating based on 1 complaint being filed in the last 36 months. The complaint was resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Customers Say
Merchant Focus has received no informal reviews in the past 36 months. Prior to that period, we documented one negative review. That review expresses a client concerned with being unable to resolve an issue with customer service:
This business is a scam, don’t ever use them. They take advantage of small business owners with no regard for proper customer service. They charged me month upon month for a service I wasn’t even using. I had spoken once with a salesperson to see if I was eligible for their payment processing app, was told my business was under review, and then charged monthly without any warning. A good business would have called me to confirm my business was approved, reached out when they saw I wasn’t using the service (yet still being charged), and provided a full refund when I finally realized who they were (the charges were labeled non-descriptively in my bank statements so I had no idea what it even was. Do not do business with these guys!!
Readers seeking to avoid issues such as this could benefit from choosing a provider that offers excellent customer service.
An “A” Performance Overall
Given the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
Merchant Focus Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
Merchant Focus’ Merchant Account Contract
According to an agent of the company, Merchant Focus has month-to-month contracts and no cancellation fee. The company requires written notice if a client wants to cancel service without a penalty, and this notice can be submitted at any time. As for pricing, Merchant Focus’ rates and fees appear to vary based on processing needs, transaction volume, business type, and possibly by the agent setting up the account.
Merchant Account Pricing, Rates and Fees
The company’s website lists its qualified credit card processing rate for retail businesses as 1.69% plus $0.25 while mid-qualified rates are as high as 2.29% plus $0.25, its qualified rate for internet and MOTO transactions as 2.19% plus $0.24, its statement fee as $10, and its monthly minimum fee of $15. Keyed-in transactions are processed at a rate of 2.89% + $0.29. We have found some evidence that interchange-plus pricing is offered for large businesses, but this does not appear to be actively promoted on the company’s website.
Merchant Focus utilizes Authorize.net for its payment gateway and e-commerce processing services. The company charges a $0.15 batch fee, a $25 monthly gateway fee, and a 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction fee.
The company also provides a cash discount program. A cash discount program adds a fixed surcharge to the price of every product in a business’ store and then waives that surcharge for customers who pay with cash. In other words, all non-cash transactions will come with an extra surcharge, usually between 1% and 4%, and the revenues generated by this surcharge are used to offset the client’s costs for accepting electronic payments. Customers who pay with cash receive the discount, while customers who pay with any non-cash method effectively have the cost of processing their payments passed down to them.
Additionally, the company advertises that it serves high-risk clients. These businesses are likely to receive a rate that differs from the qualified and mid-qualified rates referenced in this review. Overall, there does not appear to be much cause for concern with the company’s pricing, but readers should still compare Merchant Focus’ terms to cheaper merchant accounts.
Merchant Focus Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Merchant Focus Jobs and Employment
Merchant Focus seems to rely heavily upon the use of independent resellers and sales agents, a practice which would normally lower a company’s rating; however, there are no Merchant Focus reviews that accuse the company’s sales agents of unethical conduct. The only factor negatively affecting the company’s rating in this section is its promotion of “Qualified” rate quotes on some of its pricing pages. These pages often do not make any mention of the higher “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” rates that clients will pay on the majority of transactions, which could give businesses an unrealistic expectation of the rates they will pay. However, on a few of its pricing pages, the company does list Mid-Qualified and Non-Qualified rates and also appears to promote interchange-plus pricing, in some cases.
No Widespread Sales Issues
To its credit, Merchant Focus has not suffered the usual complaints associated with this marketing strategy and therefore will maintain a high rating in this section until evidence surfaces to the contrary. If you suspect that you are being charged undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges.
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