|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
National Bankcard Systems Inc. (enbs.com), established in 1997, is a multi-million dollar credit card processing vendor. The company also operates under several DBAs including The Merchant Store (usmsi.com), The Merchant Equipment Store (merchantequip.com), and US Point of Sale (uspos.com). National Bankcard Systems is a member service provider for First Data, Elavon, iPayment, Total Merchant Services, and Cardservice International. National Bankcard Systems is located at 5316 W Highway 290 Ste 130, Austin, Texas 78735. National Bankcard Systems is a Registered ISO/MSP of BancorpSouth, Tupelo, Mississippi, US Bank of Minneapolis, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. Joe Brannon is the company’s principal and Peter Estep is its president.
|National Bankcard Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
National Bankcard Systems utilizes outside sales agents in offices across the country to market its services. The use of independent sales agents is usually tied to elevated complaint rates, and in the case of National Bankcard it appears to be a minor issue. We have found a handful of complaints accusing the company’s agents of misrepresenting or failing to disclose fees, although specific fee amounts are unavailable. Because National Bankcard is partnered with five different processing companies, it is possible that some of the complaints that would normally be targeted toward National Bankcard are being funneled to the online profiles of these other entities, but it’s nearly impossible to chart whether and how often this might occur. The company’s use of multiple websites and business names also clouds the issue to some extent. As a point in its favor, the company does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. The company’s low complaint total has resulted in an “A-” rating for this section.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||Variable|
National Bankcard’s status as a member service provider for five very large processors means that its contract terms are likely to vary greatly depending on the agent setting up the account and a merchant’s business type and time in business. This variability seems to be confirmed in the few available complaints about the company, which cite undisclosed fees, difficulty cancelling service, billing errors, charges for unwanted equipment warranties, and higher-than-expected rates in equal measure. The companies that appear to provide processing contracts to National Bankcard do not score very well in this category as a group, so we aren’t inclined to assume the best about National Bankcard’s terms. We have found some official complaint responses by the company indicating that NBS offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $250 unless the merchant purchases equipment upfront, in which case there is no ETF. In general, merchants are advised to carefully examine the terms of their individual contracts (especially keeping an eye out for early termination fees and PCI Compliance fees) and evaluate whether these terms will work for them.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||No|
|Most common complaint:||N/A|
Outside of the BBB, we were able to locate seven National Bankcard Systems complaints. Three of these complaints were authored by software vendors who had not been paid by employees of National Bankcard for personal services rendered. These appear to have no bearing on National Bankcard’s conduct as a merchant services provider. We also found five complaints in the comment section of this review citing poor customer service, unexpected fees, and unauthorized billing. While these complaints reflect poorly on National Bankcard’s customer service, five complaints in over a year isn’t an especially high complaint volume. As noted above, it is possible that some complaints about National Bankcard are redirected to the much larger processors with which it is affiliated. The fact that the company’s website lists no dedicated support information seems to confirm this.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
National Bankcard Systems has been an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau since 2000 and scores an “A+” at this time of review. The company’s alternate business name of “The Merchant Equipment Store” has been accredited since 2004 and is showing an “A+” rating. Given the fact that these two companies share the same address and upper management, we will combine their BBB profiles for the purposes of this review. Within the last three years, seven complaints have been registered on the BBB website, all of which were related to billing and collection. The complaint resolution log reveals that three of these issues have been resolved with BBB assistance, while four either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. Because we believe that “A+” ratings should be reserved for companies with zero complaints, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A” for the purposes of this review.
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
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This review was originally published on 5/3/12 and was last updated on 1/20/16.
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