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Wells Fargo Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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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 (now Fiserv) as its processor and has been doing so since 1971. It also uses First Data Global Leasing to supply its credit card processing equipment.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Payment Processing
Wells Fargo Merchant Services processes all major credit and debit cards for most business types. Their services include POS systems from Fiserv’s Clover brand, EMV readers, e-commerce solutions including virtual terminals and shopping carts, and next-day funding. We found very few Wells Fargo Merchants Services reviews regarding issues with equipment as most refer to complaints about fees.
Point-of-Sale (POS) Solutions
Wells Fargo Merchant Services provides a range of POS solutions, including traditional countertop terminals, mobile readers, and tablet-based systems. These solutions are designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and can help streamline payment processing and improve the customer experience.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services offers a range of e-commerce solutions, including payment gateways, shopping cart integrations, and fraud detection and prevention tools. These solutions can help businesses expand their online presence and securely accept payments from customers around the world.
Online Payment Gateway
An online payment gateway is another service provided by Wells Fargo Merchant Services. This service integrates with a business’s online operations to facilitate online credit and debit card transactions.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services provides a suite of business analytics tools that enable businesses to gain valuable insights into their payment processing data. These tools include detailed reporting, real-time transaction monitoring, and fraud prevention tools.
Security and Compliance
Wells Fargo Merchant Services offers a range of security and compliance solutions to help businesses protect themselves and their customers against fraud and data breaches. These solutions include PCI compliance tools, encryption, tokenization, and more.
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.
Location & Ownership
Charles W. Schwarf is the CEO of Wells Fargo, while Colleen Taylor is the current head of its Merchant Services division, and its headquarters are at 420 Montgomery St San Francisco, CA. The Wells Fargo website also lists P.O. Box 6600, Hagerstown, MD 21741-6600 as an address for the Merchant Services division.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $500 as well as…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than 80 public complaints regarding…
- BBB Rating: Has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau, is not accredited, and has received 5,291 complaints and 728 reviews in regards to…
- Sales & Marketing: Hires independent sales agents and has received a moderate number of complaints about…
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||90+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Fewer Complaints Than Expected
Considering Wells Fargo’s size, the company has relatively few Wells Fargo Merchant Services reviews regarding its merchant services division. That being said, there are a few common types of customer complaints that point to where business owners are most likely to experience problems. If you have your own Wells Fargo Merchant Services review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Poor Sales Experience
One of the most common complaints we found had to do with customers 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 business owner 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 a business owner’s funds with no explanation, nondisclosure of the $500 cancellation fee prior to account setup, and nondisclosure of the non-cancellable policies regarding equipment leases. Clients who have had their funds withheld may benefit from working with a high-risk specialist.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines
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. As it was successful, a large number of other payment processors will be vulnerable to similar claims in the future. In April 2021, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $40 million to settle the class-action suit.
July 2021 saw a class-action suit brought against Wells Fargo Merchant Services. The lawsuit, referred to as Patti’s Pitas, LLC, et al. v. Wells Fargo Merchant Services, LLC, alleges that Wells Fargo assessed excessive charges. Wells Fargo denied these allegations but entered into a settlement to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.
In September 2021, Wells Fargo Bank was ordered to pay $250 million related to deficiencies in its home lending loss mitigation program in addition to violations of a 2018 consent order. This is in addition to numerous other fines incurred by the financial behemoth over the last 20+ years.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Customer Support Options
Wells Fargo shows 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.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Customer Service Numbers
- (800) 451-5817 – Toll-Free Customer Service
- (866) 380-9828 – Sales
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
No Dedicated Review Profiles
The Better Business Bureau and other review websites do not have a separate report for Wells Fargo Merchant Services, but there are complaints related to merchant services that have been filed against its general page.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Terms May Vary
The Wells Fargo Program Guide details pricing and fees for merchant accounts that appear that Wells Fargo Merchant Services rates may vary based on a business type, processing volume, and the representative setting up the account. 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. A monthly fee of $9.95 is attached for storefront businesses and $24.95 for e-commerce businesses. However, business owners have consistently reported that Wells Fargo merchant accounts are more expensive than prior providers, or that they experienced a large cost reduction when they switched from Wells Fargo to a new provider. For this reason, clients should expect to get a good deal only if they work with a trustworthy agent. We also encourage businesses to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Three Years, $500 Termination Fee
The standard merchant account agreement through Wells Fargo (available below) includes a 36-month service commitment with an Early Termination Fee (ETF) of either $500 per location (for clients who have processed under $1,000,000) or $500 per location plus the cost of the business’ most expensive month multiplied by six (for merchants who have processed over $1,000,000).
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Well Fargo also makes mention of online payments in its program guide. However, pricing on its virtual terminal and payment gateway services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Beware Long-Term Leases
Additionally, it appears that business owners 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.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||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. Negative Wells Fargo Merchant Services reviews 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. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors. 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, client complaints regarding hidden fees has lowered its rating for the purposes of this review.
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