Vantiv Review

26 Replies

Credit Card Processors
Vantiv Logo
Category Breakdown
Sales & Marketing rated C
Costs & Contract rated C minus
Complaints & Service rated B
BBB Rating rated A minus

Overall Rating

"B-" Credit Card Processor Rating


Vantiv ( is the merchant services and credit card processing division of Fifth Third Bank. The company is one of the largest payment processors in the United States and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under “VNTV.” Vantiv entered the merchant services industry in 1991 under the name of Midwest Payment Systems, changed its name to Fifth Third Processing Solutions in 2003 and then again changed its name in 2011 to Vantiv.

Since its founding, the company has acquired several other credit card processors and ISOs, including ACI Merchant Services, Card Management Corporation (CMC), TNB Card Services, National Processing Company (NPC), and, most recently, Mercury Payment Systems. Vantiv is a direct processor sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. The company’s corporate headquarters is located at 8500 Governors Hill Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio 54249, but Vantiv also has offices in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas. Vantiv’s CEO is Charles D. Drucker.

Vantiv Products and Services Industries Served
  • Debit and credit card processing
  • E-commerce solutions
  • International payments
  • Mobile processing
  • Gift, loyalty, and prepaid programs
  • POS hardware and software
  • Sales analytics
  • Most business types of any size, including retail, MOTO, e-commerce, and international

Related: Find The Best Processor For Your Business Type

Sales & Marketing | C

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

Vantiv appears to market its services through several different methods, including directly within its own sales channels as well as indirectly through partnerships with sub-ISOs and independent resellers. The company also markets heavily through National Processing Company, its largest subsidiary, and Fifth Third Bank. Although Vantiv does not appear to use any deceptive rate advertising or quoting tactics, its grade is negatively affected by the use of sub-ISOs, independent resellers, and subsidiaries. This marketing tactic makes it difficult for the company to control the sales tactics used to sell its services and spreads merchant complaints across several different company names, instead of concentrating them on one source.

Vantiv Marketing Example

Related: Find The Best Providers By Processor Type

Costs & Contract | C-

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms/th>
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: $250-$295 or none
PCI compliance fee: Variable
Equipment lease: Variable

Vantiv merchant account agreements appear to vary from merchant to merchant based on several factors including who set up the merchant account as well as a merchant’s business type and processing volume. The standard contract is reported to have a three-year service agreement with an early termination fee that ranges from $250 to $295. Additionally, the contract may automatically renew for successive one-year terms if not cancelled within a small window of opportunity.

Based on reviews left by a few merchants, some Vantiv agreements may contain a Liquidated Damages clause; however, we were unable to verify these claims prior to the publishing of this review. The company also appears to charge a PCI Compliance fee which may be assessed either on a monthly or annual basis and may vary in cost from one account to the next. Vantiv is earning a below average score in this section primarily due to its automatically renewing contract in combination with an early termination fee.

[Related: Get quotes from a provider with “A” rated contract terms]

Complaints & Service | B

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 20+
Live customer support? Yes
Most common complaint: Hidden fees

The name “Vantiv” reveals approximately 15 complaints outside of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a few of which describe the company as a rip off or scam. The complaints fall into two common types, in which merchants either report surprise over the early termination fee or complain of poor customer service. You can see actual merchant reviews at the bottom of this article and by visiting our Fifth Third Processing review. It should also be noted that some of Vantiv’s sub-ISOs and subsidiaries have a substantial amount of complaints. We have not factored these complaints into this rating because it is unclear who is ultimately responsible in these cases. Merchants are strongly encouraged to fully read and understand the terms of any merchant account agreement before signing any documents.

Related: Best iPad & Tablet Point of Sale Services

BBB Report | A-*

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 28
Billing/collection: 16
Advertising/sales: 4
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 0

As of this review, the Better Business Bureau is reporting that Vantiv is not BBB accredited and is awarding the company an “A+” rating. The report shows a total of 48 complaints (up from 42 as of our last update) filed in the last 36 months, with 28 regarding problems with products and services. Of the remaining complaints, 16 are due to billing and collection and four to an advertising or sales issue. The majority of the complaints have been resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction while six have reported an undesirable outcome despite the BBB believing a good faith effort was made by Vantiv. We have adjusted the rating to an “A-” for the purposes of this review because is it is our philosophy that “A+” ratings should be reserved for reports with no complaints.

* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score

Bottom Line

Vantiv Review

Rated 3 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2015-01-07

For Vantiv’s size and time in business, the company appears to be performing at an above-average level in terms of overall merchant satisfaction. The factors that lower the company’s rating are extensive use of sub-ISOs, resellers, and subsidiaries (a tactic which makes measurement of merchant satisfaction difficult to quantify), reports of poor customer service, and reports of nondisclosure of the early termination fee prior to setting up accounts. Additionally, a few of Vantiv’s sub-ISOs and subsidiaries have numerous complaints, for which Vantiv may or may not bear some responsibility (a fact we hope to better understand in future updates of this review).

This review was originally published on 5/7/12 and was last updated on 1/7/15.

Leave your Vantiv review in the comment section below:


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  1. Dan Johnson

    I would not recommend this company to anybody. Our credit card machine has not worked in a week. We have spent over 6 hours on the phone with customer service and tech support only to be transferred from 1 person to another with no resolution to our issue, They do not provide the service we pay them for.

  2. Ron Cee

    The worst company I have ever dealt with in 30 plus years of business, 29 minutes on hold and counting and three employees on hold at the same time here, we are trying to get through. It is the same thing every time. You and I would be out of business if we treated our VALUED customers like this. They should close up shop & go out of business because they are so horrible. My fees are 2.85 % for MC, 2.84 for Visa, 3.50 for Amex & 2.84 for Discover so all will know.
    ALL we wanted to do was add more of the mobile swipe devices for our people in the field so we were going to give them more business and this is how they treat you! I’m not big on excuses, if they say “they must have been busy” unusual call volume, whatever they try to say to make an excuse it will not be acceptable. DO NOT do business with this organization unless you want to deal with a lot of grief, waste a lot of time and have NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. NOTE EVERY SINGLE REVIEW IS BAD. I would bet that I could write a book while on hold here about how horrible of an experience this has been. I will stop doing business with them when they pick up we are cancelling. We actually have already called & scheduled for our banker to come by and he will be here in the morning to review all. He also said he will bring the customer service number for us to call so we can see how they do things there! (great idea) . So now its 38 plus minutes on hold . DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH VANTIV

  3. Mike S

    I love how all of these people who comment about the contract and own or run a business, DIDN’T READ THE CONTRACT! I used Vantiv for a few years until I sold my business and I let the contract lapse, no fees or problems. I have a few problems over the years with outages or things that break, which I figured happens. I never waited as long as anyone else did for support, 5 or 10 minutes maybe. The fees were cheaper in the long run then other processors. Overall I’d say I was happy with them, if I ran another business I’d give them a shot while comparing them to the competition.

    C’mon people, learn to read the contract. Read the whole thing, every line and mark it up with questions and ask. If you don’t do your due diligence then its YOUR fault. Take some responsibility for your actions.

    1. CPO Admin

      Hi Mike,

      Please respond with your former business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  4. Alex S.

    As another post said…I wish I had seen these reviews, which is why I have made it a goal to find at least 1-2 review sites every week to post our negative experience. Hopefully it will help others avoid the bad experience.

    As stated by others, Vantiv is NOT the company you want to use for processing. We had a bad experience from the start with being sent the wrong equipment. We later experienced problems with multiple charges, overcharges, and failing equipment. Anytime my manager attempted to call support he was put on 20-30min or longer holds and if he did get someone on the phone, they would shuffle him to someone else for another hold time.

    When we finally had enough and wanted to cancel, we explained to Vantiv that we did not expect a cancellation fee. They said they would look into it. They then charged our account a $500 termination fee, although the termination fee was stated to be $295. When asked (a phone call that took over an hour to get through) they said our complaints held no merit and that the other $205 was for processing the $295 termination fee!!

    There are decent processing companies out there….Vantiv is NOT one of them. Do your business a favor and stay clear.

  5. William S. Stoddard

    In June, 2013 I opened two credit card processing accounts with Vantiv, one for retail and one for online. I understood them to be one-year contracts (but they turned out to be 3 years), and the sales agent didn’t mention an early termination fee.

    I closed my Vantiv accounts in April 2015, and the first week of May, Vantiv took $750 out of my bank account for early termination fees.

    I talked with various folks at Vantiv on April 30th and asked for the $750 to be refunded. One person said they will look into it, and that I should call back in 3 to 5 days to check on the status. When I called back on May 5th, the person I talked to had no information on my request, and transferred me to the “Loyalty Department.” The man there said there was no way I can get the fee back, as it is in my signed contract. I asked to be transferred to his supervisor, and he refused.

    I also called Vantiv on May 1st, and asked for the $750 to be refunded. That person said she would have it looked into and someone from Vantiv would call me back within 48 hours. They never called me back.

    I filed a complaint with the BBB yesterday.

    NOTE: I will admit that I had good results with Vantiv until I closed my accounts. Vantiv did save me some money compared to the previous CC processing accounts I had with another company.

  6. bob recchia

    So how do we start a class action suite. They never deposited some money in my account and it’s taking month for them to investigate!

  7. TIPPA

    I wish I had read these reviews. UGH. We are in a living nightmare with VANTIV. We are a small grass roots paralegal assn. Not much in budget. We wanted credit card processing as an aide to our members and vendors. Our bank rep recommended Vantiv. Not knowing anything about this side of the business we sought their assistance. The monthly fees are way too high and practically depleted our reserves. We cancelled our agreement with them in March 2014. I called repeatedly asking them to stop sucking $100 from our account for their credit card processing fees when nothing had been charged. I’ve been calling and writing, and getting no where. Finaly today (Dec 2014) I was informed that we signed a 4 year non-cancellable lease and that I’m personally liable as guarantor to the tune of $1350. Money which I don’t have personally and our small association doesn’t have either. The Vantive rep didn’t care and threatened to sue our organization. We are closing our bank account to stop the bloodsuckers from accessing our tiny reserves (believe me we have less than $100 in our bank account). Apparently we still have 3 years left on this contract. No worries, they won’t see another dime from our organization but I’m sure they’ll be calling and harrassing us and me personally. We’re going to have to hire an attorney to see how we can break this contract since we want out and don’t have money. Best advice I can share: Don’t use VANTIV period.

  8. Andrei

    DO NOT EVER work with this company!!
    This is a very dishonest company!! actually the worst I have ever worked with.
    They kept taking money by “mistake” from my account. Every single time a “mistake” happened I had to call this company to get reimbursed and argue about it for hours!
    The sales person also lied about many things before selling her products, after the sale never answered the phone anymore.
    I will have to close my business account to stop these thieves from taking my money.

    Do not read it and think it is just one more complaint from a frustrated customer and that this is not gonna happen with you. It will!

    TERRIBLE COMPANY TO DO BUSINESS WITH! do not recommend to anyone!

  9. ron

    I have been told that VANTIV is owned by VISA. Anyone have any info. I do not find it in anything I’ve seen.

  10. Anna Jones

    Do not do business with Vantiv! You will regret it! Have been trying to cancel service now for weeks, and am just getting the run-around. Despite faxing the close request form from multiple Fifth Third Branches, they keep claiming different parts of the form are being cut-off. Oh, and the only way I found that out is because I called them. They did not call me to say I needed to re-fax the form. They just charged more fees. They refuse to accept the form via email, and they refuse to give me any kind of confirmation in writing that account is closed. We are no longer under contract. Wish I had read all of the negative reviews before signing on with them. Last time I called customer service the rep, Victoria, refused to transfer me to a supervisor, refused to wait on the phone while I attempted yet another re-fax, and then hung up on me.

  11. Sharon Birmingham

    This company is the most dishonest company I have ever encountered and policy that obviously caters to them. I have replaced the original contract signer and so he obviously is no longer with the company. NPC tells me they cannot deal with me or with the owner of the company that they only can deal with the individual that signed the original contract. I guess there isn’t a clause within the document for that.
    Also, I have tried to follow procedure outlined in the original contract but hey that’s not the way they do it anymore. The phone numbers have since changed, etc. Wow, really. And guess what, monies are still coming out of the account, because even though I have documentation that I sent to terminate the contract timely, it was somehow not received. Hmmmm…now the contract can continue says the tiny print at the bottom and your locked in and monies continue to come out of your account. I believe this to be fraud. There must be a clause within any contract in the case that the signor is no longer capable to serve that position. I was told that a fax was needed to terminate the contract from the original signor so I did find him and he kindly obliged. Now I’m told that he would need to delegate someone to take his place by yet another fax.
    I’ve been yelled at by this company, hung up on and I just want to end the contract and stop them from taking our hard earned monies that they are not authorized to take.
    Yes, I am a bit frustrated as this has cost me many man hours of research and being on the phone, etc.
    If I close the bank account maybe then I will get resolution.

  12. Kristopher

    Worst choice ever! If you value your money and business. Never, ever choose Vantiv! ACH Compliance Fees…Non-Regulatory Fees, Hosting Fees…..and many, many more hidden charges you are never told about up front and then told by Vantiv it was my fault for not knowing. I feel like is was legally robbed by Vantiv.

    How their license hasn’t been pulled by the SEC is beyond me. They hired a new manger from the now defunct Icon, then Axiom, and finally Oracle (Sean Mecham – look him up) who was wanted by the SEC (and currently sits in jail) without vetting him first. I had the displeasure of meeting this crook. If Vantiv can’t hire the right people, stand behind their word, or stop deceiving consumers, they are going to be a has been organization with a lot more people sitting behind bars.

    He’s a little something from the Phoenix Business Journal. This is the type of people who are employed by Vantiv and I’ve had many of the following examples happen to me in less than a year of Vantiv services. I am currently cancelling all present and future dealings with this organization and I would urge everyone to try someone else other than Vantiv. I hope you read this in it’s entirety. It’s from 2013.

    The proprietors of Valley credit card payment processing companies have been indicted on money laundering and wire fraud charges by a federal grand jury in Phoenix.

    Sean Clinton Mecham, 36, Ashley Brisbin Mecham, 27, Jonathan L. Cannon, 31, and Jake Brisbin, 26, were indicted on various charges this month. They were executives and employees at Icon Payment Solutions, Axiom Merchant Services and Oracle Payment Services, according to court documents.

    Prosecutors allege the Mechams deposited $2.9 million worth of ill-gotten gains into accounts they controlled and used the money to buy a luxury boat, Mercedes and Maserati cars and off-road trucks for racing.

    Their companies processed credit card payments for retailers and other businesses. The indictment charges the quartet with misleading customers into signing leases for credit card machines and forging as many as 200 business owners and managers signatures.

    They also were charged with changing contract terms after business clients signed other agreements. Sales prospects were told they would pay lower credit card fees if they signed up with the defendants’ companies.

    The Better Business Bureau and other consumer websites also list complaints against the company and the executives. One consumer complaint says there may be some family link between Sean Mecham and deceased former Arizona governor Evan Mecham.

    Ashley Mecham and Jake Brisbin were arraigned on charges Nov. 7 in Los Angeles and were released. Cannon was arraigned in Phoenix on Nov. 12, according to prosecutors. Sean Mecham is still in custody pending trial, according to prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona want Sean Mecham held arguing he is a flight risk, skipped court hearings for civil complaints against his companies and has previously withdrawn large amounts of cash. Court documents also show prosecutors claiming Sean Mecham threatening employees, family members and others from talking about his business dealings.

    Mecham and other defendants could not be reached for comment. David Eisenberg, a Phoenix white-collar defense attorney, could end up representing Sean Mechem. Eisenberg said he has not yet been assigned to the case and declined further comment.

    The numbers of that business in the investigation have been disconnected or are no longer in service.

    As you see…things can change when greedy executives get their hands on your money. As of today…Vantiv won’t give me all the money we agreed upon like they said they would.

    Good Luck and don’t ever say I didn’t tell you so.

  13. fazilalieddspa

    Ripoff I tried to cancel this agreement after 9 years and wad help hostage by Mitch Gross. worst company to do business with ..charged my account $700. cancellation fee.

    I am contacting the Better business bureau to get this vulture out of the credit card scam

  14. Ted Keithj

    Vantiv charged us an early termination fee even though we only had a 1 year term and we closed our account after 2 years. We’ll be filing complaints with the FTC and our state AG as well as taking legal action. And their customer service was the worst of any company we’ve ever dealt with. Someone should file a class action against them.

  15. Kris

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. They are a rip off. They have taken money from our account without authorization. The Customer Service pretends like they care, BUT THEY DON’T! I am still fighting to get our money back that they say are credible charges. Oh how I regret ever working with this company.

  16. Susan

    I signed up with 5/3 processing (Vantiv) as a brand new business owner. I had had accounts with 5/3 for years, and had been happy with them, so after being inundated with merchant service providers and not understanding much about it, I signed with someone I thought would be fair. Big mistake. The fees are an average of 2-3 times what many other providers offer. The contract is 3 years, and automatically renews unless sufficient written notice is given–fine, I can do written notice.There is an early termination fee of $295, again, that is fine. I would gladly pay that to get out from under them. But hidden midway through a very lengthy contract is the liquidated damages clause. As I apply this to my own situation, this could run $6000 to $10000, and I am a very small, very new business. This kind of charge would bankrupt me in an instant. So I am on the hook to this company for exorbitant fees for about another year, and see no way out.
    As an additional bonus they required me to lease a terminal for $45 per month for 4 years ($2160). The terminal new would cost about $200.

  17. julea Ingold

    DO NOT DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY…. I have never sign a contract with this company but somehow they worked their way into our system from taking over the previous company that I have used Novus. I have asked with verbal and written confirmation to terminate our contract, even though I don’t have one. It took me a year to finally closed out the contract, but recently they debit and annual due of 89.00 out of my account without my permission. They refused to refund back to my account. Their fees area outrageous!!! Can you guys help to bring this company to justice!!

  18. Danielle Jacques

    Cancelled with them due to massive fees, and then they deducted $250 from my bank account for early termination (after 4 years!). This fee was not mentioned when I signed up and I asked and wrote down every fee that they did admit to, nor was it mentioned when I cancelled. Really scammy.

  19. Jack

    This company is scam. i sat down with the sales representative and discuses about my current credit card processing company how they are charging extra fees and their rates are much higher than theirs’; they promised me that i will save money by signing up with them, so i did. what a biggest mistake i made.

    Right after i sign up the contract, this sales person changed my contract rate that he quoted me without me knowing, i am now paying more fees and higher rate than i have ever did. I call Vantiv about this and they admits the wrong doing and send me the refund. however, a month after the refund of the extra fee, all my rate went up. i call them once more and this time i was told this is want i will be paying. i required to have the contract cancelled, which stated on the contract that i can do so, but i got rejected.

  20. Mona Williams

    Do not do business with this company. They charge excessive fees and when you try to cancel they will charge you a $295.00 early termination fee plus liquidated damages which would be in the thousands according to Virginia a customer service rep. They are also charging us a $500.00 PCI compliance fee that other companies don’t charge along with a $139.50 monthly breach assistance fee per location, this is also a fee no other company seems to have. I was a customer of Fifth Third Bank and mistakenly trusted them when they approached us about using them as our credit card processor (BIG MISTAKE). I spoke with Jason at FTPS and he was little to no help and now he doesn’t even bother to respond to my e-mails. I will be contacting the BBB to file a complaint along with FTC and E-commerce.

    Do yourself a big favor and find another company to do business with Vantiv is the worst.

  21. Ruth B Kaplan

    My experience with Vantiv has not been positive. The sales rep did not disclose a $5 per ticket “pass through” fee that made it prohibitively expensive to use their service. They have twice imposed fees without notifying me and after I have addressed the issue with them. The different departments are isolated from each other, and I have received three different sets of instructions and information about how to close my account. I would not do business with them again, knowing what I know now.

  22. Richard Clos

    Caution; Vantiv fees are excessive, inquire with intuit solutions or any other carrier for better value. Upon discovery of the excessive fees that Vantiv had been charging us, we cancelled with them in writing. 15 days later they continued to access our bank account(without authorization) deducting additional charges for early termination fees. In addition, they charged us another 179.00 for annual fees for the next year that we are’nt using, and refuse to refund even a prorated refund. I would caution anyone from doing business with or allowing access to any accounts with Vantiv as they have shown unlawful and dirty business practices.

    Our lawyer informed us that they lost automatic deduction authorization the minute we cancelled in writing and additional charges should have been invoiced by mail as a final explanation of charges. We are going to start proceedings against Vantiv with our bank, the Federal Trade Commission, and then in court after steps 1 & 2 have been fulfilled .

    Save yourself this trouble and don’t use Vantiv.

    Richard Clos

  23. Jodi Graf

    Poor customer service and long wait times at Vantiv. Disputed a charge I specifically had a confirmation number for my call on in which I was told I wouldn’t be seeing any further charges. Had to call yet again when I did in fact see further charges. Spent over 90 minutes in runaround calls to be told I was wrongfully informed and my fees would not be removed. TERRIBLE COMPANY TO DO BUSINESS WITH!

  24. Trina

    This is a review that was left about our business thanks to Vantivs aweful service…..very frustrating!!!!

    “My dog was happy and they seemed nice enough. She is a runner, and did not get away, so that’s always good.

    I get a bad feeling about their billing practices though. They charged my credit card twice. FIRST time I called them, they said to wait to see if it was a repeat transaction. SECOND time, they said wait 7-10 days, as it was the credit card company’s fault, and it will be refunded. THIRD time, they said 1-3 business days. 2.5 weeks later, I finally have my money back, but who wants to go through all that mess, especially after what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation??

    Bottom line….cash is always better at small businesses, for you and for them.”

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