5565 Glenridge Connector, 2000
Atlanta, Georgia 30342
First Data Review
If you’ve ever taken a credit card or looked into taking credit cards at your business, chances are you’ve come across First Data. As of 2016, it’s the largest credit card processor in the world, serving millions of businesses, and owns the popular line of Clover credit card processing equipment.
Big companies attract lots of reviews, and this one is no exception. Are the First Data complaints what you should believe, or should you listen to the reviews that praise the company? The truth is, you could get a great deal with First Data, or a not so great deal. It depends on how you go about signing up for processing. First Data offers processing services directly and through resellers, commonly known as ISOs.
First Data places direct quotes in the CardFellow marketplace, meaning that businesses that work with First Data through CardFellow are afforded benefits and protections not available outside of CardFellow. That includes a lifetime rate lock, no cancellation fee, and ongoing statement monitoring to ensure you pay as little as possible for processing. You’re much more likely to have a positive experience with First Data with those protections, which is why there are many positive ”verified reviews” for First Data here at CardFellow.
Let’s take a look at exactly what the company can do, how to get a fully disclosed quote, and what customers think of the First Data Corporation.
- What services does First Data offer?
- Perka Loyalty Card App
- Veteran Program
- Processing Equipment?
- Security and Fraud Protection
- First Data Rates and Fees
- First Data Reviews and Reputation
In spring of 2017, First Data acquired Acculynk, makers of the PaySecure solution that enables online PIN debit entry. The use of PINs for online transactions has been possible for several years, but has not caught on and isn’t offered by most online businesses. Supporters hope that First Data’s acquisition will increase usage of online PIN debit transactions, which can be lower cost for businesses.
As one of the largest processors in the world, First Data offers all the payment services you need, including card and check acceptance, terminals and point-of-sale solutions, ecommerce, fraud protection, mobile solutions, and robust reporting.
Quickly and securely accepted credit and debit cards. First Data next day funding means you’ll see funds in your bank account quickly, reducing the time between when you process a transaction and when you receive the money.
First Data boasts transaction approvals in under 2 seconds, and allows you to accept most major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diners’ Club, and EBT. First Data also has seamless integration with point-of-sale systems and the option to offer cash back to debit card users.
First Data offers TeleCheck electronic check acceptance service to convert paper checks into electronic checks. Conversion to echecks helps reduce fraud and bounced checks. You can also choose options like TeleCheck Checks by Phone to allow customers to make payments from their checking accounts over the phone, or TeleCheck RemotePay to allow you to accept recurring payments from a customer’s checking account.
Businesses with international customers will be happy to know that First Data offers Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) to allow you to accept and process transactions from international customers in their preferred currency. DCC features daily updates of foreign currency exchange rates.
First Data provides scalable e-commerce solutions for processing transactions online. You can also choose to use alternative payment options like Bill Me Later, PayPal, and Google Checkout. First Data’s Payeezy e-commerce solution lets you accept payments with any card or with a PayPal account or check. Payeezy has over 70 shopping carts to choose from, and offers real-time access to transaction information.
For accepting payments with a smartphone or tablet, First Data offers SourceConnect and uCommerce as well as the Clover Go to allow you to use an NFC mobile device. Seamlessly integrate mobile payment apps or use First Data’s PayEdge cloud-based mobile solution.
The company also offers wireless terminals for on-the-go acceptance of payments. If you’d like to use your smartphone or tablet, First Data offers MobilePay, Pogo, or Verifone’s PAYware Mobile solution to process transactions.
First Data also offers the Perka loyalty card app to help you capitalize on and reward loyal customers. Perka is a company that specializes in loyalty programs for small businesses. The loyalty card app is free for your customers to download (and is available for both Android and Apple smartphones) and lets your customers accumulate rewards for shopping at your business. The program is customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your business’ specific needs, and includes unique features like a beacon that alerts you when a customer enters your store, so you can greet them by name.
You can also check out this video from First Data about the Perka loyalty app:
First Data offers a ”Veteran’s Program” that provides veteran-owned or affiliated businesses with discounted pricing on processing and lower cost equipment. Additionally, eligible businesses can receive free credit card processing on Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. The offer is open to business owners where the owner or the owner’s spouse is an active duty military member, member of the reserves, or an honorably discharged veteran.
On the noted holidays, eligible businesses can process transactions with no processing fees. The free processing will be applied as a rebate on your statement. The offer excludes certain costs, such as monthly fees, chargebacks, and fines.
First Data offers a variety of machines for taking credit cards, including the popular Clover family of processing equipment. It also offers the proprietary FD series. Terminals boast fraud protection and security features to help keep your customers and your business safe. Most equipment can connect to the internet wirelessly.
Note that the Clover station cannot be reprogrammed. If you purchase a Clover POS system, you can only use it with the company you purchase it from. Since POS systems like the Clover aren’t cheap, be sure you know what you’re getting into before purchasing. It’s important to secure competitive pricing and the right processor before purchasing your system. You can also read or leave Clover reviews in our credit card processing equipment directory.
First Data offers TransArmor Data Protection for an additional fee. But when I say “offers,” I really mean “requires” since First Data adds the TransArmor solution to all its clients’ accounts. (Note that CardFellow clients are exempt from this requirement. You can choose to use the TransArmor security package, but you are not required to like other businesses are.) TransArmor features encryption and tokenization to protect businesses and their customers.
Aside from TransArmor, the company provides a limited warranty against compromises. Additionally, First Data offers EMV enablement to allow you to implement chip-based payments through point-of-sale terminals or with a mobile device.
First Data helps you achieve PCI compliance and complete yearly assessments to ensure that you are always meeting compliance requirements. The company can help you identify possible vulnerabilities in your systems, and suggest solutions to prevent breaches.
Like all processors, First Data can set rates and fees differently from one business to the next. The company has the ability to offer pricing on several different models, including interchange plus and flat rate.
First Data’s flat rate pricing is as follows:
|$50,000/month or less||$50,000 – $200,000/month|
There is no monthly fee for First Data’s flat rate pricing.
Businesses with more than $200,000 in vilume can choose either the same pricing as the $50,000 – $200,000 group, or get custom pricing on other pricing models, including interchange plus or tiered.
In addition to those rates and fees, you may incur charges for specific events. Those costs include a PCI non-compliance fee of $19.95/month, ACH reject fee of $25, chargeback fee of $25, and a paper statement fee of $5.95 per month. A monthly minimum of $25.00 also applies to your processing. First Data typically also charges for retrieval requests (which they call 12B Letters), which is an earlier step in the chargeback process.
However, if you prefer not to use flat rate pricing or it isn’t the best fit for your business, you may still be eligible for interchange plus pricing. To get a fully-disclosed quote with extremely competitive pricing, you can request through this profile.
Your quote through CardFellow is considered a certified quote and comes with all of CardFellow’s protections, backed by our legal agreement with First Data. If you have a problem with your service or pricing, you’ll be able to contact CardFellow for assistance in resolving the issue.
To use our free quote request tool, complete our short sign up form. (Don’t worry, we never share your contact info, and there’s no cost to you.)
It’s one of the largest processors in the world, and therefore people have a lot of opinions on the First Data Corporation. Any company this size is going to attract some negative reviews, and First Data is no exception. The company has had over 1,000 complaints lodged with the BBB in the past 3 years – a hefty number. While it’s true that as a giant processor, First Data has an accordingly large client base, other big processors don’t come anywhere near First Data’s number of complaints in their own BBB profiles.
Yelp and Ripoff Report also have some info worth reviewing.
First Data Merchant Services is not currently accredited with the Better Business Bureau. However, the company has a profile page at the BBB site, and currently shows an A+ rating on a scale of A+ to F.
As of autumn 2016, there are a bit over 1,000 complaints on the BBB site. By contrast, other large processors have under 100 complaints.
First Data complaints allege a variety of issues, including failure to properly disclose contract information, failure to honor refund promises, failure to correct billing errors, unauthorized work performed outside the scope of the contract, unauthorized debits, and customer service problems.
The BBB notes that many complaints were resolved with the assistance of the BBB. The BBB found that while other complaints were not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, First Data made a good faith effort to resolve the complaint.
In addition, there are 6 reviews available with the BBB: 5 negative and 1 positive, however the positive review is actually negative and just marked incorrectly. The 5 negative reviews reiterate the complaints, mentioning difficulty cancelling service, predatory equipment leases, high fees, complex contracts, and poor customer service. The positive review, as mentioned, seems to have been marked positive by accident, as it talks about expensive leases, unsupportive customer service, and high fees, ending with a suggestion to use a different credit card processing company.
Yelp has several different listings for First Data Merchant Services in different locations. Each contains a number of reviews, mostly one star. Complaints range from serious (allegations of fraud by forging customer’s signature on a contract) to the usual complaints about processing companies: high fees, terrible customer service, deceptive sales representatives, and difficulty cancelling accounts. Several of the reviews urge businesses to stay away from First Data, stating the company is unethical and deceptive.
400 reviews appear on Ripoff Report, again stating that First Data overcharges, takes funds unauthorized, has terrible customer service, and engages in deceptive practices. Some reviews also complain of expensive and non-cancellable credit card machine leases.
In CardFellow’s processor directory, there are 63 verified First Data reviews that total 4.5 stars. This is not a mistake, nor is it artificially positive reviews. The reason CardFellow clients have such a different experience with First Data is because when it places quotes through CardFellow, First Data is bound by our legal agreement to adhere to our requirements; requirements that we put in place to protect you.
Through CardFellow, First Data cannot do the things that others complain about at the BBB, Yelp, or Ripoff Report. (For example, when quoting through CardFellow, First Data cannot lease equipment, cannot charge a cancellation fee, and cannot change pricing or add hidden fees after a quote is accepted.) Additionally, First Data has CardFellow-specific representatives, which ensures a smoother process.
CardFellow’s protections are why reviews for First Data on CardFellow praise the knowledgeable reps, quick set up, excellent rates, no hidden fees, and helpful customer service.
A verified First Data review at CardFellow is from a business that CardFellow has confirmed is an active First Data customer at the time of the review. This ensures that rating manipulation doesn’t happen in either direction. No one can post a review if they aren’t a customer, meaning that fake positive reviews won’t artificially inflate the score and fake negative reviews (such as from competitors) won’t negatively deflate it.
The reason First Data lost half a star in its rating is due to a few negative comments that refer to problems like held funds for large transactions and having to contact First Data to get a refund on PCI non-compliance fees.
First Data is a great example of how processors set terms and pricing on a per-case basis. Outside of CardFellow, there are plenty of negative reviews and bad experiences. Within CardFellow, businesses have a much more positive experience, due to our contract with First Data. If you’re considering First Data for your processing, be sure to request your quote through CardFellow.
Unlike general web reviews, verified reviews are posted by businesses that have chosen the processor's quote through CardFellow's marketplace, and CardFellow has confirmed with the processor that the business is using its service. Businesses can update verified reviews at any time to ensure the review accurately reflects the processor's performance over time.
Review posted: 12/26/15, last updated: 12/26/2015
Must use First Data gift cards only. Hi gift card processing & they were out of stock with 2 month wait to get cards.
Review posted: 12/19/15, last updated: 12/19/2015
First Data has been good for the past 20-plus years. My only problem has been processing machines becoming outdated and Reps for First Data being hard to get ahold of. But First Data in general has been good.
Review posted: 05/28/14, last updated: 10/23/2017
Our rep is always very patient and helpful when I call. I appreciate his willingness to help.
Review posted: 03/16/15, last updated: 09/21/2017
We have no complaints
Review posted: 08/20/14, last updated: 08/08/2016
Oz Chaudhary (First Data representative) was extremely helpful with setting up our card processing account. It has been really refreshing to be able to ask numerous questions and always get straightforward and honest answers.
Review posted: 07/23/14, last updated: 07/18/2016
I’ve had to contact First Data twice to have fees refunded for PCI non compliance when in fact I was PCI compliant the entire two months I was being charged those fees.
Review posted: 01/14/14, last updated: 06/27/2016
Review posted: 10/04/13, last updated: 06/16/2017
I think I now have the best rates possible. And, I now have Oz at First Data to act as my advocate…something I never had when dealing with Sam’s Club’s First Data plan. First Data’s method of ’split’ billing different charges to different months makes reading the statements impossible. For example, when I canceled my previous Sam’s Club First Data plan and switched to my new First Data Plan with Oz, I continued to get billed for 3 months after I stopped using the Sams Club account for various fees that were ’delayed’ until other months. Then my first bill on the new plan was an incomplete picture because many of the fees do not show up until the following month. I am willing to deal with it though for the great rates I am now getting :)
Review posted: 06/20/15, last updated: 06/13/2017
I’ve been very happy with my service.
Review posted: 06/10/15, last updated: 06/06/2016
While the machine that they requested I purchase has the physical capability to process chip cards, it does not yet have the software (after more than a year!)
Unlike verified reviews which are validated by CardFellow, web reviews can be submitted by anyone viewing this profile. While we validate these reviews as best we can, CardFellow does not verify that a reviewer is using or has used a processor's service.
First Data Web Reviews
Do not use First Data unless you like bad customer services, frustration, deception, and throwing away money
Posted By: Blake Newman on 01/09/17
All their customer people know how to say is I’m sorry, I apologize, I’m sorry. But, they can’t solve any of your problems. Some of the sorriest people I’ve ever talked to. They suck you into a long-term contract and then when you try to break the contract, they play whack-o-mole with you. If you need a merchant account to accept credit cards for your business – DO NOT USE FIRST DATA. They are such crooks and make it expensive to stop doing business with them. If you call one minute before the contract expires, you get hit with a $500 early termination penalty. If you call one minute after the contract expires, you get automatically renewed and they hit you with another month’s fee. Unbelievable. And, every time you call, plan on 45 minutes to wait on hold, be transferred, wait on hold, be transferred.