|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
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.
|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.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|Termination fee:||Liquidated damages|
|PCI compliance fee:||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.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|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.
Related: Best Processors For E-Commerce
|Key Points – BBB Report|
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
This review was originally published on 4/15/13 and was last updated on 1/20/15.
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