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Security Card Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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Update: At the time of this update to our review of Security Card Services, the company’s website is no longer functioning. We believe the company is no longer in business and will no longer be updating this review.
Founded in 1996, Security Card Services is a merchant account provider that takes a unique approach to marketing its services. Rather than selling directly to business owners, the company builds partnerships with regional and community banks across the country in order to supply merchant services for those banks’ customers. As a result, it is unlikely that any merchant will deal directly with Security Card Services (SCS) unless that merchant signs up for merchant services through a local bank partnered with SCS. A merchant who signs up for an SCS account through his or her bank may deal with bank representatives, SCS representatives, or both, depending on the type of partnership established between SCS and the bank.
First Data CFI
BluePay acquired Security Card Services in August 2017, shortly before BluePay and its subsidiaries were acquired by First Data in December 2017. The acquiring partner portfolios of Security Card Services, BluePay, and CardConnect, were consolidated to form First Data Community Financial Institutions (First Data CFI). As a newly created division of First Data, First Data CFI specifically partners with community financial institutions to give customers streamlined payment solutions. It has yet to be seen if Security Card Services will retire its independent brand identity and eventually operate under the First Data CFI heading. An alert on its website notifies customers that Security Card Services “is now First Data CFI,” but it appears to be retaining its unique identity for the time being.
Security Card Services shares an address with a debt settlement company called “Security Credit Services” and is one of three businesses managed under the “Security Holdings LLC” brand. In 2014, Security Credit Services was forced to pay out more than $761,000 to consumers to compensate for phone payment fees that the FTC found to be deceptive. Two former executives of Security Card Services are also now the co-founders of Ironwood Payments.
Location & Ownership
SCS is headquartered at 2653 West Oxford Loop, Suite 108, Oxford, Mississippi 38655. William Alias is the principal for Security Holdings and, by extension, Security Card Services.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers variable auto-renewing contract terms depending on…
- Complaints & Service: Has received fewer than 10 on…
- BBB Rating: Has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received…
- Sales & Marketing: Does not appear to market directly to merchants and has received only…
Security Card Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
Low Complaint Total
We are able to locate only a few Security Card Services complaints, but some of these accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. This is a low complaint total for a company that has been operating since 1996, but it should be noted that Security Card Services often does not interact directly with merchants.
Security Credit Services Complaints
It is also worth mentioning that Security Credit Services, the debt settlement service that shares ownership with SCS, is showing a moderate number of complaints online related to aggressive legal action against debtors. It does not appear that the actions of Security Credit Services are impacting merchants who have signed up for Security Card Services, but the two companies do appear to have remarkably different online reputations.
Security Card Services Lawsuits
Security Card Services and its affiliate Security Credit Services are two of three businesses managed under the holdings company Security Holdings LLC. In 2014, Security Credit Services was forced to pay out more than $761,000 to consumers to compensate for phone payment fees that the FTC found to be deceptive. Two former executives of Security Card Services are also now the co-founders of Ironwood Payments.
Illegally assessed fees and other instances are fraud are a consistent theme in complaints against poorly reviewed merchant service providers. Merchants should understand red flags like the fees charged in this case. Identifying possible fraud and reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations allow merchants to pursue recourse against these practices.
Security Card Services Customer Support Options
Given the total lack of complaints against Security Card Services, we are assigning the company an “A” rating in this section, but it is not necessarily a top payment processor for good customer service. Merchants who are considering SCS are advised to ask whether they will receive customer service through their local bank, through SCS, or through First Data.
Security Card Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||1|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
One BBB Complaint
Security Card Services currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not currently accredited with the BBB. The company has received 1 complaint through the BBB in the past three years. This complaint was related to a product or service issue and either was not resolved to the satisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final evaluation from the merchant.
It is also worth noting that Security Credit Services has an “A+” rating with the BBB with 84 complaints in the past 36 months. We will not count this profile against Security Card Services, but we have mentioned it here in the interest of comprehensive reporting.
What Merchants Say
The sole complaint filed against Security Card Services appears to be directed to Security Credit Services and describes deceptive sales practices and poor customer service:
On May 3, 2019, I received a call from ************. The caller said he was calling from “Security **** ********” (www.securitycardservices.com), a service he claimed operates under the major credit card companies and credit bureaus. He said based on my good credit and excellent payment history I qualify for a permanent 0-6% interest rate on my credit cards. The caller made three promises if I signed up with a service he was offering: 1) That I would save a minimum of 15K 2) That I would pay off my debt 3-5x faster 3) That I would receive an interest rate of 0-3% or 0-6% on a permanent basis He detailed two available offers. The first offer was a balance transfer to a card with 0% interest. With this offer, interest will only increase if I miss three consecutive payments, at which point it would increase to 6% or 12%. The second offer he called the “Hardship Program,” for people with more than $8K or $9K of debt to a card. With this second offer, the card would be put on hold, my credit would not be affected, and once 50-60% of the debt is paid off, my interest would reduce to 0-6%. He went on to explain there are no annual or monthly fees, but there is a one-time service fee of $5,090, in which I have unlimited time to pay – I could gradually pay off the balance over time with the 0% interest. I was under the impression I was speaking with a legitimate service already tied to my credit cards, so I discussed with him three accounts with which I have high-interest rates and balances over $1K and I naively gave out my personal information. He said I qualify for the balance transfer offer so I can more easily pay off my debt. The call was then transferred to “**** ******** *********” (*****************************) using the phone number 1-************. I spoke to a gentleman by the name of “***** ***** who said I qualify for a new Discover card with 0% interest and no annual fees. With Discover, the 0% interest rate is good for 14 months, but with “Security **** ********” the rate will never go up as long as I don’t miss those three consecutive payments. “Mr. ***** opened a new Discover card under my name with a $24,500 credit line, lowered the one-time service fee to $4,690, which he charged to one of my existing credit cards. He said the balances from the three cards I provided will transfer to the new Discover card, which will come in the mail. Moments after the call, something about the call did not sit right with me. I spoke with a trusted friend who quickly advised me to call them back immediately and cancel the transaction. Because my interest rates on these cards are high and I’m not currently in a situation I can pay them off in full, I believed I was getting a good offer but I did not know that a balance transfer was something I could myself for free. I immediately called “**** ******** *********” back and was told “Mr. ***** had gone home for the day but they would NOT charge me for the service before I had the opportunity to speak with “Mr. ***** on Monday, however, the $4,690 charge for “Professional services” was posted over the weekend, on May 5. According to the charge on my credit card statement, “**** ******** *********” is operating under the name “**** ********.” May 6 I spoke to a “****** ******” at “**** ******** *********.” I insisted on canceling the service and receiving a refund. “Mr. ******” took on a very harassing tone and tried to convince me not to close my account, but I held firm. I was put on hold for several minutes and then he told me he would need to charge me a $990 cancellation fee and to call him back to cancel my new Discover card when it comes in the mail. I said I was unhappy, I wanted to close my account, I was never informed of a cancellation fee when I agreed to the contract, nor did I receive an agreement outlining the cancellation terms. Later that same day (5/6), I received another call and an email from “***** ***** at “**** ******** *********” offering a lower rate of $2,990 to complete the services. A follow-up docu-sign was sent shortly after, which I did not open, review, or sign. I responded to “Mr. ****’s” email that I wish to terminate my agreement, I would like a refund of $4,690, I do not want my balances transferred to the new Discover account, I do not wish to purchase the lower-rate plan, and I do not authorize any more charges.,
Security Card Services has responded to clarify that the merchant’s experience was with Security Credit Services.
An “A” Performance
Given the complaint total on Security Card Services’ profile, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
Security Card Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Monthly Fee||$20 - $60+ Per Month|
|Early Termination Fee||$400+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Undisclosed|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
Security Card Services Contract Terms
There is very little publicly available information about the standard Security Card Services contract at this time. Before its acquisition by BluePay, the company was a reseller of NPC/Vantiv, which means that its standard terms could still resemble those offered by Vantiv (now Worldpay).
More likely, however, is that it offers an agreement similar to the standard First Data agreement. Although First Data offers a wide array of contract terms, merchants can generally expect a multiyear agreement with a cancellation fee and terms that are more-or-less average for the industry. A non-cancellable 48- month equipment lease through First Data Global Leasing is a term of service cited by merchant reviews. However, given the large number of partnerships and the wide range of partnership configurations that SCS offers, it is very likely that any given SCS agent has a great deal of flexibility with regard to pricing.
Low Contract Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate two complaints that refer to auto-renewal policies in the company’s standard contract, and one that mentions a $400 early termination fee. However, the low overall complaint total inclines us to assume that most of the company’s merchants are satisfied with their contract terms, which could even be competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard SCS contract (including any monthly minimum fees or PCI compliance fees), please share that information in the comment section below this review.
Security Card Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Services Marketed Through Partner Banks
Security Card Services primarily markets its service to banks across the country and does not maintain an independent sales office division. SCS may sometimes assist its partner banks with the sales process under its “Referral Bank” program, in which banks send their customers to Security Card Services for all account boarding and customer service needs. It is also possible that banks will refer customers to SCS under a “Hybrid Bank” program.
No Widespread Sales Issue
We are currently unable to locate any Security Card Services complaints that accuse the company’s in-house sales team of misrepresentation or nondisclosure of fees. However, a couple of the comments found below this review claims that Security Card Services will sign cardholders up for some kind of interest rate reduction service over the phone without obtaining written authorization from them. This does not sound like a service that would be offered by SCS, but it could be related to Security Credit Services or Security Check.
No Deceptive Quotes
As one final note, SCS does not appear to list any deceptive rate quotes or unrealistic guarantees in its official advertising materials. We will therefore assign the company an “A” rating in this category for the time being. If you suspect that Security Card Services is charging you hidden fees, however, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.
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