Updated 1/8/2015: Merchant Warehouse has changed its name to “Cayan.” For current information related to this company, please see our Cayan review.
Merchant Warehouse (merchantwarehouse.com) is a merchant account provider established in 1998 that claims to be one of the first merchant processors to offer credit card processing equipment over the Internet. The provider boasts that over 30,000 merchants choose Merchant Warehouse each year and that the company processes over $7 billion in credit card sales annually. In 2009, the Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) chose Merchant Warehouse as the “ISO of the Year,” which is considered a prestigious award within the merchant services industry.
In addition to offering merchant accounts, Merchant Warehouse introduced a new processing solution in 2012 branded the “Genius Customer Engagement Platform.” This technology consists of a suite of payment and reward program services and hardware that are designed to help merchants accept payments with both traditional methods (credit cards, debit, ACH, etc.) and emerging payment methods, such as digital wallets, QR codes, NFC, and EMV. Merchant Warehouse promotes that the system is “future proof” and can help merchants leverage new technologies as they gain popularity among consumers.
Merchant Warehouse is a registered ISO/MSP of the following banks: US Bank-Minneapolis MN, HSBC Bank USA, National Association Buffalo, NY, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA. The company appears to primarily use First Data for its processing network and is located in Boston, Massachusetts.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||No|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
Merchant Warehouse relies primarily on lead generation, client referrals, advertising, and an inside sales staff to acquire new merchant customers. This strategy greatly minimizes the problems most other processors have with deceptive sales tactics because Merchant Warehouse does not use outside independent sales agents who are only interested in high sales commissions. Merchant Warehouse does enable outside sales agents to market its merchant services under the Capital Bankcard brand, which scores an “A” in our review. Additionally, Merchant Warehouse does not advertise rates or fees on its website, nor was this reviewer able find any uses of deceptive marketing.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$99 per year|
By far the biggest appeal of Merchant Warehouse is that this provider offers month-to-month contracts with no early termination penalties, an attribute that makes the company stand out in an industry for which multi-annual service agreements are common. Pricing and fees of a Merchant Warehouse merchant account are more typical with processing rates varying from one merchant to the next based upon a merchant’s business type, processing volume, risk profile, and the agent setting up the account. In addition, the company charges a $99 annual PCI Compliance fee along with other common monthly fees. All rates and fees appear to be negotiable prior to account activation, so merchants are encouraged to fully read their agreement and discuss fees prior to signing.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Hidden fees|
Although Merchant Warehouse has far fewer complaints filed online than most providers of its size and time in business, this reviewer did uncover a number of negative reviews on other consumer protection websites and in the comment section of this review. The complaints center mostly on issues relating to misunderstandings of fees and discontent over the $99 annual PCI Compliance fee. In most cases Merchant Warehouse addressed the complaints directly and provided explanations of the circumstances from their point of view. It’s apparent that the company places great importance on maintaining a positive online reputation. The complaints are infrequent and not widespread in comparison to the company’s size; therefore, they are not a reason for concern with this reviewer. Although one dissatisfied merchant created a blog to label Merchant Warehouse as a scam, no evidence has been found to support such a claim.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this review, Merchant Warehouse maintains an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2002. According the the BBB.org website, 170 complaints have been filed in the last three years with all but 30 resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. The bulk of the complaints are related to billing and collection issues and product or service problems. The company also has 46 negative customer reviews filed against its profile, but these complaints are not screened or subject to review by the BBB. Due to the types of complaints filed, it is advised to thoroughly read your merchant account agreement and to make sure you understanding the company’s full pricing before signing.
Related: Best Processors For E-Commerce