SunTrust Merchant Services Overview
First Data Reseller
SunTrust Merchant Services is a credit card processing division of SunTrust Bank, which is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. SunTrust is a reseller of First Data merchant accounts and Clover as a POS solution. This means that merchants who sign up for credit card processing through SunTrust will receive the services and customer support of First Data.
Location and Ownership
SunTrust Bank’s corporate headquarters is located at 919 E Main St, Richmond, Virginia 23219, and Eric Mann is listed as the company’s sales and marketing manager for its Virginia location.
SunTrust Merchant Services Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: SunTrust Merchant Services offers variable contract terms that may take the form of a three-year agreement with an early termination fee of $500.
- Complaints & Service: SunTrust Merchant Services has received more than 200 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: SunTrust Merchant Services has an “A+” rating and has received 898 complaints and 83 reviews in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited with the BBB since 1967.
- Sales & Marketing: SunTrust Merchant Services does not appear to hire independent sales representatives but has received a low number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With SunTrust Merchant Services
Types of Businesses Served
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SunTrust Merchant Services Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swiped Rate||2.69% + $0.19|
|Keyed-in Rate||3.69% + $0.19|
|Early Termination Fee||Up To $495|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$19.95 Per Month|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
SunTrust Merchant Services Pricing
The standard SunTrust merchant agreement appears to be similar to the standard First Data contract. Standard First Data contracts include a wide variety of contract terms and pricing plans, but typically are multiyear contracts with an early termination fee of $495, a monthly PCI compliance fee of $19.95, and tiered pricing. Merchants who process up to $50,000 each month will receive a swiped rate of 2.69% plus $0.19 and a keyed-in rate of 3.69% plus $0.19. Merchants whose monthly charges exceed $50,000 will receive a swiped rate of 2.29% plus $0.19 and a keyed-in rate of 3.29% plus $0.19. Another facet of these contracts are non-cancellable, long term equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing.
Expensive Contract Terms
These contract terms appear to be more expensive than industry averages, and they are also on the extreme end of what First Data tends to allow in its contracts. SunTrust Merchant Services’s terms are therefore not competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts. When dealing with a SunTrust Merchant Services rep, merchants are encouraged to request all documentation from both SunTrust and First Data in order to understand the exact fees they’ll be expected to pay.Are you happy with your SunTrust Merchant Services fees? Tell us about them before your go!
SunTrust Merchant Services Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||250+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
High Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate approximately 250 complaints regarding SunTrust, many of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. Although the majority were filed in regards to SunTrust’s other services, including its banking, loans, and mortgaging subsidiaries, a handful refer to SunTrust Merchant Services and cite unexpected and unauthorized fees.
SunTrust Merchant Services Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against SunTrust Merchant Services. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
SunTrust Merchant Services Customer Support Options
Generally speaking, merchants seem dissatisfied with the contract terms and customer service they have received from First Data, which leads them to also mention SunTrust in their complaints. The company appears to outsource its customer service to First Data, which is partially responsible for its average grade in this category and prevents it from qualifying as a top-rated credit card processor for customer service.
SunTrust Merchant Services BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||647|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||202|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||25|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||2|
Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
Nearly 900 Complaints
SunTrust has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 1967. However, its profile is not specific to the bank’s merchant services. As of this review, the company holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 898 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. 647 complaints were related to product or service issues, 202 had to do with billing or collection, 25 stemmed from advertising or sales problems, 22 had to do with delivery, and 2 were related to a guarantee or warranty. SunTrust successfully resolved 95 of the total complaints, while the remaining 803 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or did not receive a final response from the complainant.
What Merchants Say
In addition to the 898 complaints filed on its BBB profile, SunTrust Merchant Services has received 83 informal reviews. Only 3 of the reviews are positive while the remaining 80 are negative. However, these reviews are in regard to the company’s banking services and by and large do not reflect the quality of their merchant services.
A “D” Performance Overall
According to the BBB’s previous profile, SunTrust was also recently a part of a lawsuit with the Federal Reserve regarding its mortgaging and foreclosure practices. The suit has since been settled. Given all of this information, we find the Better Business Bureau’s “A” rating to be inappropriate and a solid example of why there are good reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system. We have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “D” for the purposes of this review.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
SunTrust Merchant Services appears to rely primarily on its client base established through normal banking operations to market its services. The company does not appear to outsource its marketing operations to independent sales agents at this time. That said, we are currently able to locate a handful of negative SunTrust Merchant Services reviews that accuse the company’s sales agents of misrepresentation or nondisclosure, especially regarding the company’s relationship to First Data and the high early termination fee imposed by First Data.
Seek an Independent Audit
If you suspect that SunTrust Merchant Services is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges. To its credit, SunTrust does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.
About Phillip Parker
Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.
Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.
From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.