Wells Fargo Merchant Services Overview
Payment Processing from a Banking Giant
Wells Fargo Merchant Services, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, is one of the top ten largest merchant account providers in the United States. Although Wells Fargo is an Acquiring Bank based in San Francisco, California, it uses First Data as its processor and has been doing so since 1971. It also uses First Data Global Leasing to supply its credit card processing equipment. Allen Parker is the interim CEO of Wells Fargo whose headquarters are at 420 Montgomery St San Francisco, CA.
Faster Deposits for Wells Fargo Banking Customers
One of the benefits merchants receive when they have both a checking account and merchant account with Wells Fargo is a quicker deposit of funds from their credit card sales. Typically in the credit card processing industry, merchants who have their checking and merchant account through different providers will experience a delay of around 48 hours to receive deposits. Wells Fargo boasts that funds are usually available the next business day. This rapid deposit schedule is an attractive feature for some merchants, but it shouldn’t be the only focus for merchants who are seeking the best merchant account.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Wells Fargo Merchant Services offers month-to-month plans with no early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Wells Fargo Merchant Services has received more than 80 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Wells Fargo Merchant Services (as Wells Fargo) does not have a rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 3,223 complaints and 418 reviews in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Wells Fargo Merchant Services hires independent sales agents and has received a moderate number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Wells Fargo Merchant Services
Types of Businesses Served
- Most types of business of any size, including retail, e-commerce, MOTO, and international
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Wells Fargo Merchant Services Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swiped Rate||2.60% + $0.15|
|Keyed-in Rate||3.40% + $0.15|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||3.40% + $0.15|
|e-Commerce Fee||$24.95 Per Month|
|Monthly Fee||$9.95 (Storefront Only) or $34.90 (Storefront and eCommerce) Per Month|
|Early Termination Fee||None|
|PCI Compliance Fee||None|
|Equipment Lease Terms||N/A|
Fixed Rates and Fees with No Contract
According to the company’s website, it offers a swipe rate of 2.60% plus $0.15 and a keyed-in rate of 3.40% plus $0.15. MErchants choosing to use Wells Fargo Merchant Services have the benefit of not being locked into a long-term contract. Instead, merchants pay a $9.95 monthly fee. Merchants choosing to accept both in-store and e-commerce payments are charged a monthly fee of $34.90. This means that merchants avoid paying a PCI compliance fee or an early termination fee.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Well Fargo Merchant Services also makes mention of online payments. Merchants utilizing the Wells Fargo Merchant Services for e-commerce solely are charged a rate of 3.40% plus $0.15 per transaction and a monthly fee of $24.95. Merchants choosing to accept in-store and e-commerce payments are charged a monthly fee of $34.90.
Beware Long-Term Leases
Additionally, it appears that merchants are often encouraged to rent processing equipment through First Data Global Leasing, which provides non-cancellable lease agreements of up to 48 months. It is unclear, as of this review, if Wells Fargo also charges an annual PCI Compliance Fee, which is a common practice in the industry. Overall, these terms are less competitive than industry averages and would not qualify the company as a cheap merchant account provider.Are you happy with your Wells Fargo Merchant Services fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||80+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Fewer Complaints Than Expected
Considering Wells Fargo’s size, the company has relatively few complaints regarding its merchant services division. That being said, there are a few common types of complaints (many of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam) that point to where merchants are most likely to experience problems.
Poor Sales Experience
One of the most common complaints we found had to do with merchants reporting that an agent was dishonest or deceptive about terms and conditions of the merchant account agreement or costs of terminals, or that the agent signed them up for additional services they had not requested. A merchant named Brad has detailed a typical negative encounter in the comment section below this review:
Just like many of the people below in this comment section, they offered the 2.2% rate, no fees, no contract, and $50 credit towards the credit card processing machine. The first 3 months went by with Wells Fargo sticking to the agreement.
After the first 3 months, I went 2 months without running a card through the machine, no fees. Then I get a $3,800 job in January, paid for with a credit card, same brand and bank as the others. Having used the card before, I think nothing of the $10.00 interchange fee applied in February with the agreed upon fees. Then comes March, no credit card transactions, yet here pops up a $5.00 interchange fee. I think nothing of it, as it wouldn’t be worth $5.00 of my time to go to the bank to argue the fee, as we all know banks are only open when your at work as well, in addition to thinking I swiped the final payment after the January cutoff. Then comes April, and another $64.17 bank interchange fee, with no credit card swipes in February, March, or April. This high fee warranted a visit to the bank where I signed up for the merchant services.
Upon a unsucessful interaction with the phone rep and manager, I was told the Bank Interchange Fee is set by the credit card companies and then passed on to me. Not only was I not told this when signing up, I also recieved a letter stating changes to my services. Just like many others on here, I also found out I was in a 3 year contract, subject to changes, and could not cancel the service.
Other Wells Fargo Complaints
Other common complaints reported include sudden and long-term holding of merchants’ funds with no explanation, nondisclosure of the $500 cancellation fee prior to account setup, and nondisclosure of the non-cancellable policies regarding equipment leases. Merchants who have had their funds withheld may benefit from working with a high risk specialist.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Lawsuits
In August 2017, Wells Fargo was named as the defendant in a class-action lawsuit containing the following allegations:
- Defendant takes advantage of [the industry’s inherent] confusion, inducing small, “mom and pop” merchants like Plaintiffs to execute standardized “Merchant Processing Applications” with the promise of straightforward, transparent pricing
- Merchants are asked to sign a “Confirmation Page” to suggest they have read and understood the Program Guide, even though such an effort would take an expert attorney weeks of toil
- Through the Program Guide, Defendant seeks to backtrack from the agreed-upon fees and rates that have actually been reviewed and approved by the merchant and immunize itself from liability
- After merchants sign the contracts and the parties begin to do business, Defendant implements mark-ups by inflating “pass through” costs, increasing agreed-upon fees, and imposing new junk fees
- Even if customers learn they are being ripped off, they are still not able to escape because Defendant imposes massive early termination fees
This lawsuit is significant because it accuses Wells Fargo of practices that are common to the entire credit card processing industry. If it is successful, then a large number of other payment processors will be vulnerable to similar claims in the future. As of this update, the lawsuit is unresolved.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Customer Support Options
Wells Fargo dedicates general customer service options on its website through telephone support. This is a far cry from more comprehensive support options offered by merchant service providers with a reputation for offering excellent customer service.
Not a Positive Reputation
The score of this section is negatively impacted in larger part by the content of the merchant complaints, rather than the quantity of complaints.
Response from Wells Fargo Merchant Services
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Wells Fargo Merchant Services BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||2,127|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||910|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||95|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||18|
No Dedicated Profile
The Better Business Bureau does not have a separate profile for Wells Fargo Merchant Services, but there are complaints related to merchant services that have been filed against its general page. The company as a whole has an “F” rating as of this review. A total of 3,223 complaints have been filed with the BBB in the last 36 months. The company also has received 435 informal reviews.
2,127 of the complaints pertain to a problem with a product or service, 910 are due to billing or collection issues, 95 are due to advertising or sales problems, delivery issues make up 73 complaints, and guarantee or warranty issues are the basis of the remaining 18. Only 336 of the reports resolved to the customers’ satisfaction, 2,715 have been answered but received no final response from a merchant, and 170 have not even been answered.
BBB Grade Inconclusive
We have not factored the BBB’s rating into this review because a large portion of the available BBB complaints about Wells Fargo have nothing to do with merchant services. See why the BBB is an unreliable source of business ratings in our rating criteria.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Advertising to Existing Customers
Wells Fargo primarily markets its merchant services through the use of fully employed outside sales representatives as opposed to independently contracted agents. It also promotes and sells merchant accounts through its numerous banking branches. Many merchants have reported uses of deceptive sales tactics, specifically nondisclosure of important contract conditions and fees by the company’s agents. These complaints appear to be related to both the terms of Wells Fargo’s contracts as well as the terms of First Data Global Leasing’s equipment leases. If you believe you are paying hidden fees from Wells Fargo, you should seek a fee reduction analysis from an independent third party.
No Deceptive Ads
The company does not appear to utilize any intentionally misleading advertising or rate promotions that are apparent at this time. However, the negative merchant feedback regarding hidden fees has lowered its rating to a “B.”
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Marketing Example
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.