- Sales Experience
Bank of America Merchant Services started in 2004 and is based out of Louisville, Kentucky. They are one of the largest U.S. payments processor and also have hundreds of ISO relationships. They offer e-commerce, mobile solutions, point of sale solutions, payroll distribution, and TeleCheck. Although there are a lot of merchant service providers that are ISO’s of Bank of America, going to BOA directly doesn’t necessarily mean lower rates. This wing officially operates as Bank of America Merchant Services, LLC.
Bank of America only has a Better Business Bureau rating for the parent company and its mortgage and insurance divisions, not their merchant services division. Their headquarters have about 5,000 complaints filed and some have to do with credit card processing, but the large majority do not. There are however, hundreds of complaints on boards and reviews that state a three year contract with a $500 cancellation fee. There are several complaints stating that the cancelation fee was not discussed over the phone, but is in the contract. That’s why it’s always advised to read any contract in its entity before signing up with any merchant service provider.
Since Bank of America is an Acquirer, their marketing is a little different than most ISOs. Most ISOs will seek out an inside sales force and independent contractors to sell their services. While Bank of America does the same, they also market and acquire other Independent Sales Organizations. So they are responsible for both the merchant relationship as well as processing merchant’s transactions.
As stated above, going directly to Bank of America does not necessarily mean lower rates, in fact sometimes the contrary might be true. Bank of America has to pay Interchange like all other merchant service providers so the margin for profit is similar to everyone else. They are very large, and do offer a interchange plus pricing structure, which means any business with a processing history should consider asking for a quote. For new businesses, their qualified retail rates are around the mid-to-high 1.6% range and their e-commerce is low-to-mid 2% range. Rewards cards, business/corporate cards, and government cards do have a surcharge. Also as stated above, there is a three year contract with around a $500 cancellation fee. From past experience, their processing statements can be very hard to read. Their statements show the interchange rate of each type of card processed, but the surcharges for downgrades don’t show up until the next month’s statement. This just adds an unnecessary confusion to determining the fees on processing statements. It also makes things harder for competitors to come up with a quote using your prior processing statements.