National Merchants Association Reviews & Complaints

National Merchants Association logo
Overall Score
full star full star empty star empty star empty star
How did they treat you?
Pros and Cons
Pros: Cons:
Merchant Advocacy: NMA positions itself as an advocate for merchants to reduce processing fees. Varying Rates: Rates can differ greatly between merchants.
Zero Setup Fee: NMA doesn't charge a setup fee for their services. Difficult Cancellation: Cancelling services with NMA can be challenging.
Diverse Industries: They cater to a wide range of industries, including high-risk ones. Deceptive Sales: Complaints of misleading sales tactics.
Instant Approval: The application process is streamlined for quick approvals. High Fees: Some users report unexpectedly high fees.
Online and In-Store: Offers solutions for both online and physical store transactions. Unclear Terms: Contractual terms have been reported as confusing or unclear.


In this review of National Merchants Association (NMA), well provide a detailed look at this merchant account provider that brands itself as a “merchant advocacy group.” We'll cover their payment processing services, including their support for businesses in both in-store and online transactions, with a particular focus on high-risk industries.

We will critically assess NMA's claim of being an advocate for merchants, examining how their actual services and operations match up. Our review includes specifics about NMA's rates, fees, contract terms, and membership benefits, aiming to highlight both the advantages and potential drawbacks for businesses.

We'll also address common customer complaints and legal challenges faced by NMA, providing insights into their customer support effectiveness and overall market reputation. Additionally, we'll look into NMA's marketing tactics and employee feedback to offer a full view of their business practices. This article is helpful for anyone considering NMA for their merchant services or seeking a better understanding of the credit card processing industry.

About National Merchants Association (NMA)

Established in 2004, National Merchants Association is a merchant account provider that operates under a membership group structure based in Temecula, California, though it appears they are now also operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The company offers membership terms through Merrick Bank, Commercial Bank of California, and itself. However, due to the recent lawsuit against CBC, it is likely the two companies are no longer partnered. The company often markets itself as a “merchant advocacy group,” which may give some clients the impression that it is a non-profit organization or a third-party entity. However, it is a for-profit credit card processor. There is some evidence that the company is an ISO of Global Payments and First Data (now Fiserv).

National Merchants Association Products and Services

Payment Processing

National Merchants Association processes major debit and credit cards for a variety of businesses, including high-risk sectors. Their services include EMV card readers, POS solutions, EBT, NFC processing, e-check processing, e-commerce solutions, fraud protection, access to payment gateways, QuickBooks integration, and recurring billing.

In-Store Payments

The association offers solutions for in-store payments, focusing on making the process smooth and cost-effective for businesses.

Merchant Advocacy

National Merchants Association positions itself as an advocate for merchants. They provide account optimizers who evaluate and maintain merchant accounts, seeking ways to enhance profitability.

Membership Benefits

Membership with National Merchants Association offers businesses support in reducing costs associated with accepting credit cards, acting as a partner in business development.

In The Spotlight:

This Processor Eliminated All Monthly and Annual Fees

Only Pay When You Process, No Contract.

National Merchants Association payment processing
Though billed as a merchant advocate group, National Merchants Association's primary product is payment processing

National Merchants Association Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 10+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Hidden Fees
Recent Lawsuits Yes

Review of Customer Complaints

While the number of negative National Merchants Association reviews is lower than might be expected for its size and tenure, some of these reviews label the company as a scam or ripoff. Issues frequently cited include nondisclosure of the three-year contract term or $395 early termination fee, other hidden charges, challenges in cancelling services, unresponsive or unhelpful customer service, and disputes regarding signed documents. We invite you to share your personal experiences with National Merchants Association in the comments section below.

Company Responses to Complaints

Some complaints have been met with rebuttals from National Merchants Association representatives. These responses have occasionally bordered on unprofessional, and in at least one instance, a rebuttal provided false information. An example of this is a claim that “Card Brands require a 36-month contract for all merchant services accounts” and denial of the existence of one-year contracts in merchant services, which is inaccurate. Such inconsistent responses can contribute to customer dissatisfaction and do not align with the expected standards of a “merchant advocate.”

National Merchants Association Lawsuits

No class-action lawsuits or Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaints have been filed against National Merchants Association. However, NMA has been involved in a lawsuit against the Commercial Bank of California since 2022, claiming the bank wrongfully froze its accounts. Additionally, Merchant X LLC filed a complaint against NMA and others in 2022, alleging breach of contract and other violations, though the outcome of this case remains unclear.

Clients seeking alternative resolution methods are encouraged to consider reporting issues to relevant supervisory organizations.

National Merchants Association Customer Support Overview

The National Merchants Association website offers a dedicated email address and a general phone line for customer support, along with a merchant login section for additional support options.

Contact Details for National Merchants Association Customer Service

  • (866) 509-7199 – Toll-Free Customer Support

Additional Support Channels

Given the current state of customer support and responses, National Merchants Association does not currently rank among the top processors for exceptional customer service.

National Merchants Association Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Rating N/A
Our Rating 2.5
Average Rating 2.5

BBB Rating Analysis for National Merchants Association

National Merchants Association, located in Fort Worth, TX, is not BBB accredited and has an “F” rating. The business has 0 customer reviews on the BBB website. However, there are 2 complaints closed in the last 3 years, with both closed in the last 12 months. The complaints primarily focus on problems with the product or service. The reviews mention chargebacks as a primary issue.

Negative Feedback

I requested a Chargeback from a company by *************** in October for $12,000 through my bank Woodforest. After going through various correspondence, the merchant claimed that their account was deducted. The funds were never returned into the account as the company stated by their merchant after the conclusion was reached. My only concern is why? Only if, my funds are being held by the merchant; National Merchant Association. I need a clear **************** funds returned. – Review from February 3, 2023

A chargeback that was initiated on October 10th for $5000 & $2000 as well as October 31st for $5000 from a customer through Woodforest ********************** Bank in total of $12,000. This chargeback was deducted from the account of **************** However, in conclusion the customer account was never credited by his bank Woodforest & was declined the resolution. *************** is working solely with the customer to retrieve the funds although the funds were never returned to *************** account. – Review from January 26, 2023

Positive Feedback

There are no positive reviews published about National Merchants Association on the BBB website.

Source: BBB

National Merchants Association Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties Yes
Monthly & Annual Fees Yes
Processing Rates 1.00% - 4.99%
Equipment Leasing Likely

National Merchants Association Pricing

The standard National Merchants Association membership agreement outlines a one-year contract with renewal options, including an early termination fee of $99 and a monthly minimum fee of $25. While the company promotes a “flat rate” pricing plan of 2.65% per transaction on its website, this doesn’t seem to align with the agreement terms. Additionally, clients are subject to a monthly membership fee ranging from $19.95 to $69.95, depending on the selected services.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

Alongside its in-store payment solutions, National Merchants Association offers virtual terminal and payment gateway services without disclosed pricing. Generally, these services entail additional charges such as gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and extra transaction rates.

Liquidated Damages

Reports from consumer protection platforms indicate discrepancies in National Merchants Association’s contract terms. Some clients claim a 36-month agreement with an early termination fee exceeding $395. There are also mentions of liquidated damages fees calculated based on processing volume, causing concern among merchants.

Variety of Contract Complaints

Complaints highlight a variety of fees and terms beyond what’s outlined in the standard contract, including unexpected durations, undisclosed charges, and complex fee structures. Such inconsistencies may stem from multiple pricing plans or partnerships with different banks, especially given the company’s provision of high-risk merchant accounts.

Conflicting Contract Terms

The company’s charging practices seem inconsistent, likely influenced by diverse pricing plans and banking partnerships. This complexity, coupled with potentially high-risk account provisions, warrants caution. Business owners should review available options carefully, considering their specific needs and circumstances.

Potentially Expensive Terms

In summary, National Merchants Association’s contract terms appear less competitive compared to the industry’s most affordable options. Due to reported discrepancies, the company receives a “D” rating for now. Business owners are advised to explore alternatives and make informed decisions. For comprehensive options, businesses are encouraged to explore our list of the best merchant services.

National Merchants Association Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Unclear
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Outside Sales Agents

National Merchants Association appears to partner with ISOs and independently contracted agents to market its services. This is a common practice within the industry that often is linked to high complaint volumes among businesses, as it is difficult for a company to regulate the conduct of independent sales entities. We are currently able to locate several negative National Merchants Association reviews that mention nondisclosure or misrepresentation of contract terms by sales agents, specifically when it comes to contract length and an early termination fee. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Merchant Membership Program

As noted above, National Merchants Association markets itself as a “merchant advocacy group” with language on its website asking businesses to join “the only organization in the U.S. that works on behalf of businesses to eliminate the unnecessary and unreasonable costs associated with accepting credit cards.” However, the company’s membership program simply provides additional credit card processing services such as POS supplies, loyalty programs, marketing tools, and e-commerce software for a fixed monthly fee. It is unclear what tangible results the company has achieved through its “advocacy” besides signing more clients up for its products.

High-Risk Merchant Service

The company promotes itself as an option for high-risk merchant accounts. National Merchants Association dedicates a section of its website to explaining the complexity of dealing with high-risk businesses. Business type, business model, product types, and processing history are a few of the factors they consider when determining the risk of a merchant account. This section of their website determines how businesses can be designated as “low-risk.” The criteria they present state that clients with fewer than 85% of their transactions being keyed in constitute a “high-risk” account. However, the company does not disclose any rates or fees that are uniquely applicable to high-risk businesses that use their services.

“Flat Rate” Pricing

As of this update, the company’s website is currently advertising a zero-fee surcharge pricing plan without any specific pricing disclosures. At the time of our previous update, it promoted a flat-rate pricing plan that charges 2.65% per transaction for businesses that average over $25 per transaction (2.65% plus $0.10 per transaction for merchants who average less than $25). This plan was advertised to come with no statement fees, annual fees, application fees, or Non-Qualified fees. It made no mention of any other monthly fees. We have no reason to believe that the terms quoted on this page were misleading, but given that it is common for “flat rate” programs to include hidden costs, business owners are encouraged to ask questions regarding this program before signing up for it. If you suspect that National Merchants Association is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.

Our National Merchants Association Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

National Merchants Association rates as a slightly better-than-average credit card processing provider. Despite its size and years in business, the company maintains a relatively low volume of complaints, a promising sign for merchants seeking reliable services. However, some of the available information regarding its contracts raises red flags, particularly concerning the high cancellation fee and standard 36-month agreement. These terms could create challenges for businesses looking for more flexible processing solutions. Furthermore, public responses to customer complaints from company representatives are inconsistent in tone and accuracy, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.

Prospective clients are advised to carefully review the terms of any contract, paying particular attention to cancellation policies and potential fees. Although National Merchants Association shows promise, it’s crucial for business owners to compare its offerings with those of top-rated competitors to ensure they find the best fit for their specific needs. This proactive approach will help merchants navigate potential pitfalls and secure a processing provider that aligns with their business goals.

Location & Ownership

National Merchants Association formerly listed its address as 43620 Ridge Park Dr Ste 310, Temecula, California 92590-5520, though its website now gives 10100 W Charleston Blvd, Ste 210, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89135. It is a registered ISO/MSP of Evolve Bank & Trust, Memphis, Tennessee. Heather Altepeter is listed as the CEO of National Merchants Association.

If you found this article helpful, please share it!

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did National Merchants Association Treat You?

15 User Reviews

  • michael a ackerman

    This is the worst company every. We were their largest office (the owner Heather, lied and told us we were in the 10-15 range), sent them a lot of business and caught them not paying us our residuals per a signed and executed contract. The first time we caught it, the COO agreed, and got Heathers approval and paid it. The second time we caught it(the same exact thing so precedence set), Heather ignored several requests to address it and upon threats to go to the card associations and banks to complain, she cancelled our contract. Now 14 months later the amount owed is over $200,000 and she blocks any communication to address it. In addition, she ran from us when we tried to come up to her at a trade show to address.

    We have now sent her a final bill and plan on going to a collection agency to follow through. We are not the only ones as several other offices have called me to complain about similar issues with her. Unfortunately, through her reputation of doing this to offices and increasing rates and putting garbage fees onto merchants, her business has dropped by about 90% and we have a small chance of getting our money.

    Gouging customers, cheating offices, and a toxic work environment is just sad.

  • Kris S.

    I am a small business owner who was looking to connect with a credit card processing company with low transaction fees. After signing up with the National Merchants Association (NMA), I realized that I was being charged an exorbitant rate of fees (much higher than what our contract had stated or what the rep had communicated). I was charged 42% (it was supposed to be 1.2% – 3.25%) in service fees (authorization/transaction/card brand fees) by the NMA. Additionally, I was also told directly from NMA, as it was outlined in the Account Setup Form and Agreement, that I would be charged $10/month with a 1.2% – 3.25% service fee per transaction. I was charged $40.42 last month for a total of $0.01 in charges from one transaction (I only had a “test” charge done using their hardware/software from my personal credit card into my business account). Could you imagine how much this would’ve cost me, if I had ran a “real” transaction for several thousands of dollars!! This type of fraud is alarming and I do not want to see this happening to other unwitting victims.

  • MoneyTree

    To date I have not done business with this company. My review is based on the application I have sitting in front of me:

    Annual fee $99.00
    Website monitoring: monthly $150 per URL
    Fraudcast monthly $19.95/mo
    Termination fee $395
    Membership fee (monthly) $19.95
    Application fee $250
    High Risk app processing fee (monthly) $79
    Risk mgmt fee (monthly) $25
    Site survey $100

    TOTAL: $3976 for the first year of service — NOT INCLUDING actual fees on transactions.

    I don’t think further comment is required.

  • Anonymous

    National Merchants Association is neither an “association” nor an “advocacy group” as they claim. They are a for-profit payment processor. According to the CA Franchise Tax Board: the National Merchants Association is not a tax exempt 501a, 501c or 527. The use of the words “association” and “advocacy group” in the company name and branding is misleading to the public and should cause consumer concern about the company’s business practices and ethical standards.

  • Richard Wilson

    I want to point out to the public that National Merchant Association is a fraudulent company. They have taken over $1,000 from my account without my permission, i called and speak to some guy that called himself the Manager, his Name is “Tim Reynolds” he is not a nice guy and a complete butt head without understanding.

    I had to dispute these charges with my bank, at no time i have authorized “National Merchant Association to take money from my account.

  • Nukrong Boonsang

    Good service and a quick reply to my question about microchip card processing service after I have spoken with Terron: a staff of National Merchants Association. The service fee and discount rate are very cheaper than my old credit processing provider. I can save thousands of dollars when comparing with the old one.

  • Dipan Patel

    I absolutely agree with what Heather says, and this will not be a fake review Phillip. Before you have any other thoughts in your mind, the Co. will be Fortune Solutions, Inc., Dipan Patel, Director, for additional detail get back to me. We don’t have a long history going back with NMA; however, but our experience says the company is by far the best choice out of so called PSPs prevailing in the US market. We provide consultative services and specialize in assisting eCommerce and MOTO companies in getting them the volume they need to process their more complicated products. Apparently, we have never been mislead by any of the staff members at NMA, may it be a pre-sales query or about merchant services agreement.

    Lets talk about the turn-around-time to your emails, try it and let me know, i’ll wait for your response…!!!

    The providers you have rated above as “Top by Specialty” are actually not bothered to reply despite of sending them several emails, been 2 months now………..STILL WAITING!!……….. I wonder what happens to the emails in their INBOX..

    There are several processors operating who would not even blink before terminating merchant or the agent agreement, it would be pointless blaming National Merchants Association who is actually so committed to this industry, and drives you to the right path.

    Keep going Heather, we are with you!!

  • Anthony Swiantek

    I am including emails from them and am deleting their contact information and names:

    I got a charge on my Wells Fargo account for $994.00 on 9-27-13. It listed National Merchants Association as the company who charged me. I contacted them that day and left messages. No Calls Returned. Then I got in touch with them Monday they said I was charged for an Application fee, Underwriting Fee, and Termination fee. Since I never applied with them I asked them for the information they had and they sent me some information but no application with my signature and they said it was applied for online. There was an email from First Data saying they were canceling the account for Confirmed ID Theft. I asked them for the IP address where the application came from. They would not give me any of that information but I have the name of the Rep that most likely attempted to steal my identity.

    Here are the first few email exchanges: The first from me:


    I found this email from you. If you can send me all the info on the account as far as how much was processed and what bank account the funds were put into. Also not only how much was processed in total but how much was charged back. Also if there is an outstanding balance for charge backs. If you have the IP address that the online application was sent in from that would be great as well.



    She replied with:


    Before I can send you all of this information, please send your Drivers License for verification purposes.



    I complied and sent my Drivers License. She then sent back all the information they had to run the application including my Drivers License. Pretty Slick Mover there. Unfortunately for them I have the email asking for the DL and it shows that it was added to the file on Oct. 1st long after the account was terminated by first date for suspected ID theft.

    For about 2 days they never answered or returned repeated messages. Then I get this email:


    We cannot give out IP addresses of the people who use our system. Also, after speaking with First Data, they terminated the account not only for excessive CB’s on a related account, but also because of suspected ID theft. Without being able to verify your identity and the business, we do not feel comfortable giving you any more information about the account.



    I replied with:


    I sent you my ID upon request. It should be pretty obvious to you guys that it was my ID that was Stolen which is why I’m filing charges with the police.

    I’m out $994 because of this issue. What is your companies plan to reimburse me for this?



    The CEO then replied with:

    Mr. Swiantek,

    As you’ve been made aware, First Data has terminated the merchant account opened in your name due to confirmed ID theft. For more information, you must contact First Data directly as this was their decision and discovery, not NMA’s.

    Under the circumstances, our bank has advised us not to issue any refunds. For your protection, if you have been charged, I suggest you issue a chargeback with your bank.

    If you have any further questions, please present those only in the form of a letter mailed to our office. At this time, the staff at NMA will no longer be discussing these matters with you. I am sorry this has happened to you and I wish you the best of luck in getting this resolved.

    Best Regards,

    So basically this email was a “Sorry your ID was stolen but we got your cash and we ain’t going to give it back!” Now fortunately for me my bank will more than likely succeed at getting the money back in my account and even if they don’t I have Life Lock with a lot of resources actually they will use up to $1,000,000 to get my funds back in my account.

    The one thing that really worries me about National Merchants Association is with this response I wonder if they were part of the ID Theft Fraud and working with the guy who attempted to steal my ID?

    I wouldn’t want NMA having my information if I was looking for a merchant account. God only knows what they would do with it and how much they would hit your account for.

  • Vince Remandillo

    My company was paying over 4% for processing services for the past 5 years. We came across the National Merchants Association (NMA) through a google search. The staff was very knowledgable and eager to save us money. We signed up with the company and have been processing with them for two years now. We have saved thousands of dollars on our processing bill, and the company has help us to generate more business to our door.
    I would fully recommend the National Merchants Association to ANY business that is tired of being ripped off by other credit card processing companies. They are truly on our side!

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Vince,

      Due to several recent attempts we’ve had from different providers attempting to post bogus positive reviews about themselves, can you please reply to this comment with you business’ contact information in order to verify that its a legitimate review?

  • Heather Petersen

    Ok so I’m a little biased since I am the CEO, but I will say that working at The National Merchants Association has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. We are constantly improving the bankcard industry through educating our merchants and agents alike and truly stand by our motto, A Merchant Account That Works For You! With an eye on philanthropy and service, we proudly support the communities in which we live and work. The newly released, Give-it-Back program in which merchant fees are donated back to local charities has been rewarding and a huge success! We are excited to keep giving!

    • Jason Cloud

      These comments must be fake because this company has done nothing but screw up my account and rip me off on a monthly basis.
      The website claims and sales claims are exactly as stated on here , only I don’t even use this merchant account and they charge me at least $144.00 a month in fees.

    • Max

      I can’t see why you hire unethical sales agents in Bakersfield, agent left no paperwork, all of a sudden my cousin is in a lease for a wireless unit,plus the counter top This agent has done this to numerous merchants, he signs the lease at home .They are rightfully seeking a class action suit,contacting the law group that went after the leasing companies.

Tell Us How They Treated You

Sharing your experience influences our rating and helps other business owners make informed decisions. Promotional content and contact information will not be published. Please provide a detailed summary of your experience.


Copyright © 2024, Inc. (Digital Fingerprint: 0d38c6720f0d78a701b74d58653af608). Getting paid to re-write this page? Click here to earn a reward.

Any unauthorized copying and reproduction of the content of this page, including all meta data and computer code, is strictly prohibited. While the information in the above article is believed to be accurate as of its publish date, the author and publisher make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents. The author and publisher shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of this material, which is provided “as is,” and without warranties. Any and all use of trade names and/or marks are for identification purposes only and shall not be construed as a claim of affiliation, or otherwise, with, Inc. ("CPO") in any form. The sole purpose of the material presented herein is to alert, educate, and inform readers. It is not intended as legal or financial advice. We may earn revenue if you obtain services from a provider that we recommend. See this page to learn how we support our operations.