- Sales Experience
Heartland Payment Systems, founded in 1997 by Robert O. Carr, is currently the fifth largest merchant service provider in the United States and is headquartered out of Princeton, New Jersey. With over 11 million transactions processed per day, and more than 120 billion transactions per year, Heartland Payment Systems is also the ninth largest merchant service provider in the world. They focus on small to medium size businesses and offer debit and credit card processing as well as prepaid cards, check processing, e-commerce, and payroll services. Although one of the biggest merchant service providers, Heartland Payment Systems might be notoriously known for their security breach they announced 2008. The breach stole information stored on the electronic strip on the credit card, which made it possible for thieves fabricate new cards with that data and use them. Many felt that the response from Robert Baldwin, Heartland’s Chief Financial Officer, was less than satisfactory. First, he didn’t announce one of the biggest breaches in modern history until months after it happened, and secondly he didn’t offer his affected customers credit protection because “there is enough personal information lost that identity theft is possible.”
Reputation & Rating
Heartland Payment Systems is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating with them. Over the past three years, they have had 20 complaints filed against them, with 7 closed within the past twelve months. Four of the customers whom filed complaints felt that the response they received was unsatisfactory, two of those type of complaints were filed this year. The majority of the complaints filed cited billing/ collection issues as well as problems with product/service. Being one of the leading merchant service providers in terms of quantity of merchants, the ratio of complaints is relatively low. In fact, Heartland has one of the least amount of complaints filed against them than any other large merchant service provider, 20 complaints in the past three years is an extremely small number.
Sales and Marketing Strategies
Heartland Payment Solutions almost solely relies on outside sales representatives for offering their products and services. Although the representatives from Heartland have gotten fair reviews, it’s always advised to shy away from outside sales representatives as they do not have the same discipline as inside sales representatives do. Outside sales representatives usually rely on residual commission while inside sales representatives do not, so it’s always better to go start a sales process with someone you know will not have any invested interest in providing higher rates for a better residual income.
Rates and Fees
Heartland offers any merchant a three year contract with a $295 cancellation fee. Cancellation fees are always a red flag when signing up for a merchant account, however we were told that it’s negotiable. Although the rates and fees heavily depend on the business type, Heartland does offer an Interchange Plus structure. Interchange is the true cost of the card, what Discover, MasterCard, and Visa charge merchant providers. Depending on the business, Heartland will offer one flat markup above Interchange. With any large processor there are plusses and minuses, we always advise merchants to be extremely diligent when speaking with large processors as often their standard agreements and contracts and set up to be as processor focused as possible, while getting a good deal is possible a large amount of work and negotiating is needed on behalf of the merchant to secure these deals.
Stay or Switch from Heartland Payment Services To Another Merchant Service?
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