Merchant Industry Review

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Credit Card Processors
Merchant Industry LLC Logo
Category Breakdown
Sales & Marketing rated D
Costs & Contract rated D
Complaints & Service rated C minus
BBB Rating rated C minus

Overall Rating

rated D


Merchant Industry, LLC (, is a merchant account provider founded in 2007 that specializes in providing credit card processing and debit card processing services to small businesses within the United States. The company also appears to do business under the name “National E-Payment, Inc.” and possibly resells the merchant services of First Data. Merchant Industry LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of First National Bank of Omaha of Omaha, NE and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. of Walnut Creek, California, with corporate offices located at 36-36 33rd St., Suite 306, Long Island City, New York, 11106. Leo Vartanov is the founder and CEO of Merchant Industry.

Merchant Industry Products and Services Industries Served
  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Merchant cash advance
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • ATM placement
  • QuickBooks integration
  • POS equipment
  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • High risk

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Sales & Marketing | D

Key Points – Sales & Marketing
Uses independent resellers? Yes
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? Yes
Discloses all important terms? No

Merchant Industry appears to rely on numerous sub-ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. There is evidence that the company operates under multiple business names and allows its resellers to use the Merchant Industry name at their various locations, which appears to cause some merchant confusion. We are currently able to locate numerous Merchant Industry negative reviews that describe nondisclosure and misrepresentation by the company’s sales agents, higher fees than were agreed to upon signup, and failure by the company’s sales team to deliver on promises made at the point of signing. One major issue appears to be multiple agents claiming to pay a merchant’s early termination fees and cancel their account with their existing processor if they switch over to Merchant Industry. In many cases, these agents do not follow through on either guarantee, leaving their clients subject to continuing monthly payments and the full early termination fee upon cancellation.

The Merchant Industry website includes multiple tables and charts advertising various rates and fees. In all cases, the only discount rate advertised by the company is its “Qualified” rate, while the higher “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” rates are nowhere to be found. We consider this type of rate quoting to be deceptive, as it may lead merchants to have unrealistic expectations of the rates they will pay. In addition, Merchant Industry lists many types of fees common to the industry and claims that while it’s average for merchant services providers to charge all of these fees, Merchant Industry does not charge them (or charges them at a reduced price). The company does not mention several other large, common fees that it does charge, such as PCI compliance fees and early termination fees. Overall, it is our opinion that the company’s rate and fee quotes are deceptive, and there are multiple merchant complaints supporting this interpretation.

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Costs & Contract | D

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: $395+
PCI compliance fee: $79.99/year
Equipment lease: Variable

The standard Merchant Industry contract (available below) is a three-year agreement through First Data with an early termination fee of $395 or liquidated damages (whichever is greater), a PCI Compliance fee of $79.99 per year, PCI non-compliance fees of $19.95 per month, an annual fee of $99.95, a $9.95 statement fee, and a monthly minimum fee of $25. The company also provides equipment leases that may carry their own terms and fees. As of this update, there are numerous merchant complaints filed against Merchant Industry and its subsidiaries that express frustration with the company’s undisclosed costs, specifically its early termination fees and PCI Compliance fees. The company appears to enforce these charges even when they may have been deceptively presented by sales agents. Although these expenses are higher than industry averages, the company might not score so poorly in this section if these costs were more consistently disclosed to merchants upon signup. See the Merchant Industry Merchant Agreement.

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Complaints & Service | C-

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 25+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Sales tactics

We are currently able to locate over 25 Merchant Industry negative reviews, many of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common complaints include deceptive sales practices, excessive billing, no follow-through on verbal agreements, difficulty cancelling service, poor customer support, and expensive hidden fees. Merchant Industry has responded to some of these complaints with different solutions, sometimes offering a partial or full refund and other times insisting that the merchant is bound by his or her contract terms. Since the company appears to have a serious issue with misrepresentation by its sales agents, it does not seem helpful or especially fair to hold merchants to these contract terms.

Merchant Industry does appear to respond effectively to publicly posted complaints about excessive or repeat billing, which is probably only a small consolation to merchants who have had to go public with these issues in the first place. Additionally, we have located some positive testimonials about Merchant Industry’s service, but these posts are of unconfirmed legitimacy.

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BBB Report | C-*

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 20
Billing/collection: 24
Advertising/sales: 6
Guarantee/warranty: 2
Delivery: 0

As of this review, Merchant Industry holds an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has had 50 complaints filed within the last 36 months. The company has been accredited since May 5, 2015. Merchant Industry’s alternate business name of National e-Payment also has a BBB page, which currently shows a “A+” rating as a result of two complaints in the last three years. We will combine these reports for the sake of simplicity. Of the total complaints, 20 are due to problems with products and services, 24 have to do with billing and collection disputes, six are due to advertising or sales issues, and two are related to a guarantee or warranty problem. Merchant Industry has successfully resolved 43 of the complaints, while seven merchants reported that they were not satisfied with the company’s response.

In light of these figures, including the total complaint rate and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s overall rating for Merchant Industry to a “D.”

* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score

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Bottom Line

Merchant Industry Review

Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2015-05-14

Merchant Industry rates as a substandard merchant services provider according to all available information. Merchants are reporting a consistent pattern of deceptive practices from the company’s sales agents, and the company’s contract terms are more expensive than industry averages. These issues have resulted in the company receiving a moderate-to-high complaint rate for its size and time in business, and the company’s public responses to these complaints have not demonstrated any serious commitment to customer service.

This review was originally published on 11/2/12 and was last updated on 5/14/15.

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  1. JessicaDon

    I was promised a one year contract with this new service, Terence Gumbs was my account manager and did a very poor job at that. I would leave several messages for him and never would get a response. Would finally have to call someone else to get my issues taken care of. Because of his lack of duty with this company they lost our credit card processing services and then have decided that they will charge me the 300 early termination, even after he assured me multiple times that we only had a 1 year contract with them. Once i was digging around tryin to find out when my one year contract was up, the date they gave me was a month later than when I actually signed the paperwork. I was just fed up with them and ready to do business with someone I know i can trust and will take care of me. so very disguisted with this company really from day 1. They hit me with an early termination fee yet they still dont show that i have cancelled my acct. REALLY???

  2. Jessie M. Cass

    Merchant Industry really came through for me when I needed them the most. I am a start up business owner and I needed to get all of my accounting in order as well as be able to process credit cards. I called and they provided a free credit card terminal and have the best service including cash advance if we need it. I was blown away; it just doesn’t get any better than this. It has been a great help.

    1. Phillip Parker Post author

      Jessie (or Justin Clark according to you email address),

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

  3. Al

    Merchant Industry as well as ” Statewide Merchant” “Bank card” is the one takes your money from your bank account. they get you confused there. They gave me a contract of $39.00 dollars a month plus .3 visa and other card charges. I did around $780.00 on a credit card transaction and got a $195.00 fee!!!!
    then They never paid the first company which charged me early termination fee and e maid me they can only pay $25.00 per a month . I canceled them and so far they took $250 and another $200.00 dollars out of my bank.
    I kept all the e-mails and looking to find the way give them back the stress and get my hard working money back.
    they are just a big scam even 100 dollars from one person think 20,000,000 people fall in to their trap. that is a lot of money which they earn with dishonesty. Some one will sue them big in future.

  4. ThomasFisher

    I needed to accept credit cards for my business and I wasn’t sure which equipment would be best for me. I called Merchant Industry in New York and they couldn’t have been more helpful. We discussed my business and what would save me the most amount of money. After comparing rates and fees with other providers, it was a no brainer. These guys are hands down the best that I found and I still use them today. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    1. Phillip Parker Post author

      Hi Thomas,

      In order to verify this testimonial, please add a reply to this comment with you business name and location.

  5. JamieR

    Absolute worst merchant card processing company I have had the unfortunate misfortune to deal with. Promised a lot of really great deals. Guaranteed a savings of $150 a month over my then current company. In actuality it cost me $150-$200 more per month. Promised free debit machine tape. Yes, after calling three different people I finally got the paper 4 weeks later and a whole 5 rolls of paper. I would have to call every 2 days in order to keep us in free paper. It was impossible to reach my rep. I left several messages regarding what I thought were overcharges. I never got a call back from my rep. I finally spoke with a different rep who did indeed acknowledge I had been overcharged. Promised to look at my account in more detail and call be back the next day. She never called me back and I have yet to see the credit. I was guaranteed next day batch deposits. However all deposits hit my account 2 to 3 days after I closed the batch. They then started charging extra fees. I had enough and began the process of severing the contract. I gave them their 10 day notice in writing. I closed my account in October and received an automatic deduction out of my account for $780 in early November as a one time cancellation fee. I again received another automatic deduction for $58.49 in December. I have since refused that ACH charge and am taking steps ensure they can not continue to take money from the account. I have read from others in my same position the only way to stop this from happening is to close my checking account. These guys are the worst and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND anyone looking to do business with these guys to think twice and say NO.

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