SekureCard / Sekure Merchant Solutions Review

15 Replies

Credit Card Processors
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Category Breakdown
Sales & Marketing rated D
Costs & Contract rated D
Complaints & Service rated C plus
BBB Rating rated B minus

Overall Rating

C-


Overview

SekureCard Services (sekurecardservices.com), Sekure Merchant Solutions (sekuremerchants.com), and Sekure Cost Review (sekurecostreview.com) appear to be the same company and provide payment processing solutions in the U.S, and possibly Canada. SekureCard (also spelled Sekure Card) and the other two companies present themselves as referral agents for multiple processors, but there is a significant amount of evidence online indicating that they are all primarily resellers of North American Bancard’s services.

Headquartered in New York City (sources indicate an office in Montreal as well) the companies offer credit card processing, check acceptance, wireless payments, cash advances, fleet card payments, gift and loyalty programs, mail and phone payments, and online payment solutions. Sekure also offers payment processing equipment and solutions for merchants in the retail, restaurant, grocery, petroleum, banking, hospitality, government, e-commerce, manufacturing, wholesale and hardware industries.

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Sales & Marketing | D

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

SekureCard appears to market itself primarily through telemarketing. The vast majority of complaints about the company cite aggressive, repeated sales calls from SekureCard representatives, sometimes in defiance of merchant requests to stop calling. Although this problem should be easily corrected and indicates a troubling lack of organization within the company, a larger problem with SekureCard has to do with how it represents itself.

Both the SekureCard and Sekure Merchant Solutions websites emphasize the company’s mission to educate merchants and lower their rates, even including prompts for merchants to undergo a free initial statement analysis. These websites generally push a message of merchant advocacy, presenting the company as more of a referral service than a sales organization. The trouble with this representation is that we have located multiple sources online indicating that SekureCard is simply a reseller of North American Bancard’s merchant services. If this is the case, then SekureCard is going to great lengths to paint itself as something it is not. There is currently no mention of North American Bancard on the SekureCard websites, and the company does not disclose at any point that it is affiliated with any one particular processor. Some merchants have reported receiving service from both Global Payments and North American Bancard through SekureCard, but North American Bancard is simply a reseller of Global Payments. As far as we are able to determine at this time, SekureCard’s primary mission is to sell North American Bancard contracts, and merchants should keep this in mind when they receive a call from the company.

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Costs & Contract | D

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: Liquidated damages
PCI compliance fee: Variable
Equipment lease: Variable

According to merchant complaints, the standard SekureCard contract appears to be a three-year agreement through North American Bancard with a Liquidated Damages early termination fee, expensive tiered pricing, and various other fees. We are unable to locate specifics about PCI Compliance fees or monthly minimum fees because these terms possibly vary depending on a merchant’s size, business type, and time in business. It should be noted that we have found no evidence of SekureCard providing a merchant account through any other providers besides North American Bancard.

The primary factor lowering SekureCard’s rating in this section is its apparent inclusion of a Liquidated Damages clause in its contracts. A Liquidated Damages fee is calculated by taking either a set amount (sometimes about $25) or a merchant’s average monthly processing costs and multiplying that amount by the remaining months in a contract. This effectively forces a merchant to buy out the rest of his or her contract upon early cancellation, and it can cost merchants in excess of $900. We consider this type of fee to be excessive and have accordingly lowered SekureCard’s rating.

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Complaints & Service | C+

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 15+
Live customer support? Yes
Most common complaint: Sales tactics

There are currently over 15 SekureCard negative reviews online, a few of which accuse the company of being a scam. By far the largest issue mentioned by complainants is the company’s telemarketing strategy, which they allege is generally aggressive, deceptive, and rude. Additional issues include extremely high cancellation fees, increased rates after signing, and difficulty cancelling service. We have also found some positive testimonials about SekureCard’s services, although the validity of these reports is usually called into question by other reviewers. Overall, the company’s inability to regulate its sales calls effectively reflects poorly on its customer service, but there are not many complaints directly criticizing the company’s customer service. SekureCard therefore received a slightly better-than-average “C+” grade in this section.

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BBB Report | B-*

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 14
Billing/collection: 3
Advertising/sales: 14
Guarantee/warranty: 1
Delivery: 0

SekureCard Services (listed as Sekure Merchant Solutions on its profile) is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 32 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months (up from 15 as of our last review). Fourteen of those complaints stemmed from advertising or sales issues, three from billing or collection issues, and another 14 from problems with Sekure’s products or services. Of the total complaints, 31 were successfully resolved, while one was not. The recent rash of complaints filed against the company (17 in the last year) appears to be mostly related to its persistent telemarketing efforts and phone support. In light of this information, we have slightly adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B-.”

* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score

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Bottom Line


SekureCard / Sekure Merchant Solutions Review

Rated 1.9 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2015-01-20

SekureCard rates as a slightly worse-than-average merchant services provider according to our rating system. The company appears to market itself very deceptively, as all available evidence indicates that it is a North American Bancard reseller rather than a merchant advocacy/referral agency. The company’s contract terms are also apparently very costly. SekureCard is not showing a large number of complaints online, but given its apparent contract terms, this may be mostly due to merchants filing complaints against North American Bancard rather than SekureCard.

This review was originally published on 4/15/13 and was last updated on 1/20/15.

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15 comments

  1. Mary

    I requested follow up information from my first call, which was promised. I then received repeated, overly aggressive, almost combative calls from sales reps. I told them multiple times to stop calling me and they stopped for a few months. Now, I am getting daily calls from a very rude man who was continuing to argue as I hung up, insisting they weren’t trying to sell us anything. Stay very far away from this company.

  2. Aaron

    I had a called from them a few days ago, saying that my rate has gone up, and that they could give me a lower rate. They wouldn’t leave me alone until I took a look at the analysis, that bugged me the most, since I didn’t want to hear their calls anymore and I am only a small business.. I asked them to send me an email. They sent one. I thought about it, a few days later..I sent them a recent statement that they needed to do the analysis. A few days later I received my analysis and I was greatly appreciated by it, they got to lower my rate by a lot, close to .80%! I mean, it did sound sketchy at first, because I am thinking why are they calling me on a phone, couldn’t they at least walk-in? But at the same time, they are just brokers, and they shop for lower rates for businesses…no harm done.

  3. MK

    We received a cold call from a salesman requesting our credit card sales information. We took his email and told him we’d send it to him when we got a chance, have received four calls in two business days asking when the email would be sent. I asked him to stop calling and he called back immediately. I definitely believe the review from the woman who worked for the company saying many of the people there were high, this man definitely had the angry mood swings of an addict.

  4. Rena Capuan

    This company is based in Montreal and the people working there are all from Montreal, they only target the USA and not canada. It is very obvious there is something fishy in the way they do business! I worked there for half a day, I was disgusted and I could see how horrible this company does business.
    My advise for you is to say “stop these calls or I will REPORT you” this is the only way they would remove you off the calling list.
    I hope this helps..

  5. William

    I received 2 calls from this company. The first was from an account manager who I allowed to push me into finding my credit processing information. When he asked me to give him all of that financial information ASAP I told him that I wasn’t comfortable giving that information so quickly to someone who solicited me and not the other way around. He then had his senior account manager, Jeremy Barnoff, call me and send an email to me to obtain that information. I told him that I would look at it and think about it, when I told him that he wanted to send me a 2nd email with more information. He did that I I was able to get off the phone. He then called back the next day and I told him I had his information and wasn’t ready to pass along my information to him since I wasn’t actively seeking anything. He continued with the most incredibly rude line of questioning, attacking, etc. towards me. I tried to politely tell him that he was not going to get anywhere with me with those tactics…HE CONTINUED EVEN MORE AGGRESSIVELY. If ever Jeremy Barnoff calls you, HANG UP! Don’t try to be polite, don’t even try to be direct, this guy is unbelievable!!!!

  6. Rosie

    I can’t say I believe this review. I’ve heard that in order to have a good review on this website companies are blackmailed into paying a certain amount and if they don’t pay up you give them bad reviews. Is this true?

    1. Phillip Parker Post author

      Hi Rosie,

      We have seen providers that score poor ratings in our reviews tell this falsity to their prospective customers and I would caution you in working with anyone who would lie to you as this person has. We do not accept payment or bribes of any kind in exchange for ratings, good or bad. In fact, I challenge any provider to supply evidence that we have ever accepted a bribe. Unlike most of the review websites for the merchant processing industry, we value our reputation as an unbiased resource for business owners.

      Would you mind telling me who told you this mis-information?

    2. dave hazard

      Rosie, as a former customer of Sekure Merchants, I can tell you they are true, but if you don’t believe us go ahead and try them, I think you have 30 days to get out of the contract, just keep that in mind.

  7. Susan

    I worked at secur for 4 months. We are taught to be aggressive. We are not to let the potential customer out of the phone call or accept no for an answer. We were firmly instructed not to place anyone on the do not call list even if they requested. We were also told the phone numbers rotated every 3 months. What lies the same companies would pop up every other day on the automated dialers. Horrible people to work for and many employees were high on drugs while working. Management is aware but as long as employees produced nothing was done.

  8. Cheryl

    I get a call from these people about once every three months. The first time, I flat out expressed no interest. The second time I listened to what they had to say and reviewed all of the materials. However, the owner of our company was on vacation and I wanted to run it by her before I signed over. I told the sales rep this much and she hounded me that the “the rates are only valid for 7 days” and called TWICE A DAY to see if I had spoken to the owner. The third time, I expressed interest and had all of the materials to fax back. During this time a rep called twice a day for 5 days straight. She would call while I was in the midst of a project, told her I would call her back, and she would call again an hour later. RELENTLESS!! I was told to fax the signed contract to her on Monday; however, I could not be in the office on Monday so I faxed it to her Tuesday morning. Guess what? I never heard from her again. It has been over a week since I faxed the contract and I’ve sent her an email. Not a word back. The rates they quoted were good, I’ll give them that but what does it matter if they fall off the face of the earth once you sign on. This company is a joke.

  9. Dave

    Don’t do it. They are bad to do business with, they lie constantly. They will tell you anything to sign the contract, and then 45 days later they hit you with fees that were never discussed. they tell you that you will save money but you won’t. The longer you stay with them, the more fees they charge you with. I firmly believe they get you to sign up saying that they put small merchants together to get better rates, just so they can charge you outrageous fees and then get you to pay the cancellation fees. I warn you, do not sign up with this company.

  10. LaBronnasmom

    HaHa! Chloe Jones hit the nail on the head! That was EXACTLY what they told me today. And yes, North America happened to have the lowest rate…out of the 100’s of companies that bid on it, lol. Amazing. Ya gotta love the internet.

  11. Marvin Weirich

    Mr. Jones, how very, very timely! I just fielded two calls from these scammers. They were doing a “mandatory, industry-financed review” of our crecit card processing, with claims to “absolutely” halve our costs. I paid them no attention, as our direct agent at ***** has given us good service, reasonable rates and a written exception to their Early Termination Fees clause!

  12. Chloe Jones

    I recently worked at this company and your review is pretty accurate except the part about headquartered in NYC. In fact, it’s headquartered in Montreal, where all of its staff are as well as the owners. they claim to send out portfolios of 300-500 merchants (worth anything from $5 million to $20 million in monthly processing volume) to a network of processors (up to 100 different processors). They do nothing of the sort. They also lie in other ways to potential clients, such as claiming to have a “mandate from all the major banks and processors” to do a rate review and guaranteeing a rate reduction of 25% to 50%. I’ve even heard some agents tell potential clients that it’s the law, that they have to get this review done. Phillip, feel free to contact me for more information.

  13. Marvin Weirich

    I received 2 high-pressure sales calls for a sales representative. I was told I could expect an effective(!) discount rate of 1.5% for a merchant doing small to midsized credit sales volumes. I found that very hard to believe, but was told they aggregate volumes to get better rates with processors. I would need to have that guaranteed in writing.

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