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Wholesale Banc Review
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A Provider With Many Names
First activated in late 2015, Wholesale Banc is a merchant account provider based in Texas and Illinois that is currently operated by former executives of Datalink Bankcard Services. Wholesale Banc also appears to operate under the names Challas Group (challasgroup.com) and Bankcard Analytics, although the three brands might be used interchangeably. Wholesale Banc appears to be used as an alternate name for Challas Group more often than vice-versa, but the two companies have almost identical websites and physical locations. Most of Wholesale Banc’s employees appear to have departed Datalink Bankcard in June or July 2014, which is about a year before the Wholesale Banc website first appeared. An incomplete list of these employees, as well as their current and former positions, can be found below:
- Walter Ranstrom – Chief Operations Officer at Challas Group (former director of sales at Datalink)
- Garry Garmash – President at Challas Group (former vice president of Datalink)
- Daniel Avalos – Chief Technology Officer at Challas Group (former help desk tech at Datalink)
- Ryan Miller – Director of Recruiting at Challas Group (former corporate recruiter for Main Street Processing and Datalink)
- Jennifer Marcano – Escalated Audits Manager at Challas Group (former national account manager at Datalink)
Wholesale Banc Ownership
Dmitry Faybysh has been the CEO and founder of Bankcard Analytics since mid-2014, but we are unable to verify whether he was connected to Datalink Bankcard Services prior to 2014. We are also unable to determine at this time whether Wholesale Banc is actively affiliated with other Datalink Bankcard Services DBAs, such as Tier 1 Processing and Main Street Processing, but there is strong reason to believe that it operates in a similar fashion to these poorly rated providers on CPO.
Wholesale Banc Location
Challas Group and Wholesale Banc are registered ISOs of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California. As of this review, the Better Business Bureau lists the Wholesale Banc headquarters as 3149 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062. However, a Google search for Wholesale Banc lists this address as “permanently closed”. Our previous update found Challas Group, Wholesale Banc, and Bankcard Analytics had headquarters located at 2720 Dundee Rd. Ste 200, Northbrook, Illinois 60062, and 1251 S. Sherman St. Ste 101, Richardson, Texas 75081. It should be noted that the Richardson, Texas, address is not far from Datalink Bankcard’s headquarters at 3505 Token Dr, Richardson, Texas 75082.
Potentially Out of Business
Along with the Google listing for the Wholesale Banc address stating that the location is permanently closed, the Wholesale Banc website is no longer functioning. This may indicate that Wholesale Banc is no longer operating. However, considering the many names this provider appears to operate under, this does not necessarily mean that the structure of Wholesale Banc is not operating in some other form.
Wholesale Banc Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Wholesale Banc appears to offer a multi-year contract with an associated long-term equipment lease for most accounts.
- Complaints & Service: Wholesale Banc has received more than 30 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Wholesale Banc has multiple profiles with the Better Business Bureau and has received 12 complaints and 11 reviews in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Wholesale Banc hires independent sales representatives and has received more than 20 complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Wholesale Banc
Wholesale Banc Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||30+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Live Customer Support||Sales Tactics|
Moderate Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate more than 30 negative Wholesale Banc reviews, many of which outright accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. Some reviews also mention Challas Group, although hardly any of them mention Bankcard Analytics. Nearly all complaints are sales related, as they describe unwanted phone calls, misrepresented fees, slamming, nondisclosure of contract terms, and aggressive or unprofessional conduct. Some complaints also mention poor customer service and unsavory contract terms, and still, others have been posted by employees who describe an unethical office environment. These complaints are consistent with complaints that we have found for Datalink Bankcard and its related businesses, and we see no evidence to suggest that merchants can expect a quality customer service experience from Wholesale Banc.
Wholesale Banc Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Wholesale Banc. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Wholesale Banc Customer Support Options
Wholesale Banc provides an email address and contact form on its website, but these appear to be channels devoted primarily to sales inquiries rather than customer support. As of this review, Wholesale Banc has removed its phone number from its website. This falls well short of the level of service offered by top-rated payment processors for great customer service.
Wholesale Banc Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||6|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||6|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
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.
Multiple BBB Profiles
The Better Business Bureau currently maintains one profile for Wholesale Banc and two separate profiles for Challas Group. Challas Group Illinois has an “A+” rating with the BBB, Challas Group Texas has an “A-” rating with the BBB, and Wholesale Banc has an “A” rating. For the sake of simplicity, we have combined complaint totals across all of the company’s BBB profiles.
More than 10 Complaints
Through the Challas Group BBB pages, Wholesale Banc has received 12 total complaints, with 6 related to advertising or sales issues and 6 having to do with billing or collection. Only 1 of these 12 complaints was resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 11 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
Challas Group has also received 11 negative informal reviews through the BBB. One recent review calls Challas Group a scam:
ITS A SCAM! THEY ARE LIARS. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY OF YOUR INFORMATION.
Given the company’s troubling complaint history this review may have merit. Merchants stuck in a similar situation can benefit from reporting suspicious activity to the relevant supervisory organizations.
A “C” Performance
Given the company’s previous complaint total and the claims of deceptive, if not fraudulent, sales practices in previous reviews, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” at this time.
Wholesale Banc Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Early Termination Fee||$500|
|Equipment Lease Cost||$95+ Per Month|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
“Program Fee” Pricing
Wholesale Banc does not disclose its contract terms or pricing on any of its websites, but we can determine some details from merchant complaints. Merchants state that Wholesale Banc promotes a rate “program” that guarantees rock-bottom rates on transactions in exchange for merchants signing a long-term equipment lease well in excess of the purchase price of the equipment. This pricing scheme is popular among providers that engage in slamming because it enables them to entice merchants with huge savings on rates without explaining that merchants will massively overpay for processing equipment. In addition, this plan often does not clearly explain to merchants that only debit transactions will qualify for the extremely low rates, while credit card transactions will process at a much higher rate.
Long-Term Equipment Leases
We have seen a few complaints from Wholesale Banc merchants who state that their overall costs were higher after switching to Wholesale Banc than they were through their previous provider. Some complaints mention that Wholesale Banc signed them up for terminal leases through Northern Leasing Systems, which is notorious for providing expensive, non-cancellable, four-year equipment leases.
Not Competitively Priced
While we do not have specific contractual language for Wholesale Banc contracts besides an early termination fee of $500, it appears that the company’s pricing is nowhere near the competitive rates offered by the cheapest merchant accounts. Moreover, the methods that Wholesale Banc uses to sell these contracts to merchants fall short of what we consider appropriate disclosure, so we do not advise any merchants to sign a contract with Wholesale Banc at this time. If you have any knowledge of the company’s contract terms (including any early termination fees or PCI compliance fees), please share it in the comment section below this review.
Wholesale Banc Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Independent Sales Team
Wholesale Banc primarily markets its merchant services through a combination of telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents. This sales approach is also used by Datalink Bankcard Services, Tier 1 Processing, and Main Street Processing, and it tends to generate a high number of merchant complaints. Wholesale Banc is no exception, as we have found more than 20 Wholesale Banc complaints that describe unwanted phone calls, nondisclosure of fees, a negative work environment for agents, misrepresentation of rates, unprofessional conduct, and, most alarmingly, “slamming.”
“Slamming” is the practice of calling merchants and posing as their current processor in order to trick them into signing a contract or equipment lease with your company. A representative complaint filed against Wholesale Banc is detailed here:
They called to say they are a 3rd party auditing firm and saw a red flag on my merchant service account. They tricked one of my employees into sending them one of our statements. Challas ( calling themselves Wholesale Bank) said I was being overcharged and they were going to call my current provider to tell them they are in trouble for over charging me and that Wholesale Bank will be taking over my account and giving me “cost” on my processing. Marci ( probably not her real name)that I was speaking with even got off the phone with me to “call my local sales office to yell at them”. She also said I qualified for a class action law suit because I had been being over charged and she would sign me up for that as well. She had me going until she wanted me to sign a lease for a credit card terminal. NEVER LEASE A TERMINAL. She wanted me to pay $95 a month for 4 years! Terminals are about $200 all over the internet. She said the one I had was not compliant and that my current company was charging me $256 a month for non compliant. Not true.
This complaint is typical of the complaints we have seen about Challas Group and Wholesale Banc, and it is identical to the feedback we have previously seen about Datalink Bankcard-affiliated companies. The practice of slamming is highly unethical and has resulted in legal action being taken against some processors. Wholesale Banc not only appears to mimic Datalink Bankcard in its sales approach but also in its use of multiple DBAs to spread merchant complaints out across several brands.
No Misleading Quotes
The Wholesale Banc website is now down, but formerly their website along with the Challas Group and Bankcard Analytics websites did not display misleading rate quotes on visible or archived pages. This lone bright spot is not enough to overcome the company’s large number of consistent complaints from employees and merchants about its sales practices. If you suspect that you have been misled by a Wholesale Banc agent, you can double-check your monthly bill with a third-party statement audit.
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