With that out of the way, let’s dive into Bank Associates Merchant Services, referred to in most of this profile as BAMS since that’s how it refers to itself. Operating since 2007, BAMS boasts a clean slate with the Better Business Bureau and almost nothing but positive reviews online. In this BAMS review and profile, we’ll explore the company’s services, pricing, and online reputation to help determine if this is the right processor for your business.
BAMS allows you to accept major brands of credit and debit cards, though American Express may require separate approval. You can also accept checks electronically. Payment processing and equipment is available for in-store, mobile, ecommerce, and mail/phone order transactions.
Retail? Restaurant? Whatever your trade may be, if you want to accept payment cards at your storefront location, BAMS can do the processing. With terminals and full featured point-of-sale systems for you to choose from, you’ll be able to ensure your customers have plenty of payment options.
If you sell at fairs, make deliveries, or perform services at different venues, mobile processing can be a great convenience. BAMS offers wireless terminals and First Data’s Mobile Pay for those who can’t be bound to a single location. Mobile Pay is an app that allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to accept payments. An attachable dongle makes swipe transactions possible. Wireless terminals can be a bit pricier, but offer features like EMV card acceptance and built in receipt printers.
Interested in accepting payments through your website? BAMS offers several different gateways (including the popular Authorize.net) with options for payment forms or integration with shopping carts. You can also set up recurring and scheduled payments.
For those who accept mail/phone orders, virtual terminals are available through most of the gateway options. Virtual terminals convert any internet-connected computer into a means of accepting payments by keying-in transactions.
Paper checks are still a preferred method of payment by some customers, but the process of accepting them doesn’t have to be a risk or a chore. When converting paper checks into electronic transactions you eliminate the risk of the check bouncing by getting it authorized. Electronic checks are also deposited directly into your business account, so you can cross going to the bank off your do to list.
BAMS offers Telecheck and ACH services. Both use check readers to convert the paper checks into electronic transactions. The ACH services are offered through the USAePay Gateway.
Gift cards services and merchant cash advances are additional services provided by BAMS.
BAMS’ gift card services allow you to customize both card and carrier to match your brand. Along with helping to expand your clientele, gift cards can help with reporting and tracking spending habits.
Sometimes it takes money to make money; with a merchant cash advance you can receive working capital fast and pay it back with an extracted portion of your credit card sales. These offers can seem enticing, but compared with traditional loans they are often very costly endeavors, so be sure to weigh your options carefully.
You can purchase popular brands of terminals, wireless terminals, PIN pads, and point-of-sale systems through BAMS. The company claims to offers assistance in selecting the right model for your needs. A variety of check readers and ATMs are also available.
BAMS offers a glimpse of its pricing online but not the whole story. Also, some of what it does show doesn’t quite add up.
Rates and Fees from the Pricing Comparison Chart
Application Fee: Free
Set Up Fee: Free
Qualified Discount Rate: as low as 0.70%
Key-In/Internet Rate: 1.99%
Transaction Fee: as low as $0.00
Statement and Support Fee: $5 per month
It also states no batch fees and no annual fees.
Since BAMS uses the term “qualified discount rate” it is likely that the company uses tiered pricing. This is a common pricing model, but one that is easily manipulated to hide the real costs of the service. Not all of your transactions will qualify for that rate and it’s likely that most won’t, resulting in higher costs than the published rates.
While BAMS states that there is no set up fee in the pricing comparison chart; this doesn’t appear to apply for every service offered. This claim is repeated when referring to the use of the gateways Authorize.net and First Data Global Gateway, but it the section on ACH Services the use of the USAePay gateway has a $299 set up charge. Be aware that other services may have set up fees as well.
Some transactions may very well have the advertised $0.00 transaction fee, but other listed amounts are $0.18 per internet transaction and $0.25 for ACH transaction. BAMS may charge higher fees for many different types of transactions.
To get fully disclosed pricing and find out how much this company would cost your business, request a BAMS quote through CardFellow. Our free service gets you pricing details from any processors you choose, and allows you to privately compare them. Sign up here!
Just because BAMS doesn’t readily give away all of its pricing information, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is being sneaky with numbers or that it would be a bad option for your business. In fact, the majority of online reviews would indicate otherwise.
The Better Business Bureau displays an A+ rating for BAMS and the company has no complaints closed within the last 3 years. There are 2 positive reviews on the BAMS profile that claim the company delivers on its promises, helps you to see where you will save money, and has great customer service.
17 reviews on Google leave the company with a 4.4 out of 5 star rating. Again, reviewers state that the company came through on its promises to save them money, helped with equipment, and has provided great support. The 2 negative reviews claim that prospective clients should read the contract carefully and that the company will rip you off. Both claims were addressed and refuted by BAMS.
Another 16 reviews give BAMS a 5 star total rating on Yelp and reiterate the complimentary opinions of the other reviewers. Altogether, this is a pretty good show of appreciation for BAMS and you won’t find many processors with this many glowing reviews. Still, when something looks too good to be true, it’s at least a good idea to proceed with caution. As with any binding agreement, make sure you understand exactly what the BAMS contract and quoted pricing entails.
If you have worked with this company and want to share your experience, leave a review!
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Posted by Vic Robey on Jun 06, 2019
I’ve been with BAMS for 4yrs so far. Service is always prompt and I haven’t had a complaint as long as I’ve been with them.
Posted by Alex Gormakh on Jun 04, 2019
The best service you could expect! Always available, always helpful.
Posted by Eyal Hen on Jun 04, 2019
I've been working with BAMS for several years with multiple locations of mine, they have great customer service, go above and beyond to help out whatever the issue might be. BAMS also has great rates which are very competitive with other banks. Highly recommend!
Posted by Tracy on Jun 03, 2019
We made the switch to BAMS a few years ago and were assigned a personal rep who provided not only a direct line, but a cell number. I'm happy to say we are still working with Troy who is a great representative for BAMS. He is proactive about calling to check on us and to see if there is anything he can do. We did not have this level of personal attention previously.
Posted by michael Bouvier on May 31, 2019
I have used BAMS for around 2yrs now and having had bad experiences with previous 2 vendors I ran the BAMS rep through the gamut to ensure I was protected. I will say they did everything they said they would, never had issues and the minimal issues that did arise were handled quickly and professionally. I recently stopped using BAMS but I am sure with some different options it would make sense to work with them again. Exiting was super smooth and we parted on great terms.
Posted by Dr. Richard H. LEstz, DDS, PC on May 13, 2019
Bank Associate Merchant Services came recommended to my practice after numerous problems with our past processing company. I highly recommend them not only for better rates but when a situation arises it only takes one call and the call is returned immediately correcting any situation within minutes. Alex our personal representative is pleasant, knowledgeable and gets the job done.
Posted by Roger Dass on May 11, 2019
The best service you can find out there, at the best price and you will allways get all the answers your looking for right away. Lori Katz has made every issue i was having so simple and resolved my issues right away. Could not be more pleased.
Posted by Laura Stackhouse on May 09, 2019
I've been working with BAMS and Alex for many years now, and the customer service is the best from any company I had worked with before. They fix any problem, have a quick and helpful response and I recommend them to everyone that I work with.
Posted by Logan on May 08, 2019
Alex is a fantastic account manager who consistently shows active interest in the performance of our machine. He is personable and incredibly easy to work with.
Posted by Jim on May 08, 2019
BAMS has been very good to me for 20+ years. Their customer service is terrific and the rates are reasonable.