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Heartland Payment Systems Review

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If you’re considering credit card processing through Heartland Payment Systems, you’ll need to know about Heartland’s rates and fees, security and fraud protection, contracts, customer service, and reputation through reviews from other customers. We’ve got you covered.

Heartland Payment Systems is a large credit card processor, currently processing more than 11 million transactions for over 300,000 businesses and schools every day. The company has a particular focus on servicing the restaurant and food industry, but can accommodate many types of businesses.


Heartland Payment Systems was founded in 1997 with a dedication to honesty in credit card processing.  Headquartered in New Jersey, Heartland also has offices in multiple states, including Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Arizona, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Heartland is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank and the Bancorp Bank.


In 2016, Global Payments acquired Heartland. The company later filed a lawsuit against former CEO Robert Carr, alleging insider trading. In 2018, the SEC also filed a lawsuit. A representative for Carr states that Global withheld exculpatory information.

What services does Heartland Payment Systems offer?

Heartland offers card processing, micropayment, mobile, and e-commerce payment acceptance services, a virtual terminal, gift cards, payroll solutions, and business loans. Additionally, Heartland provides industry-specific solutions designed to meet the common business needs of companies in particular industries.

Credit Card Processing

You can take all major credit and debit cards with Heartland Payment Systems card processing, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Heartland can also help you with equipment purchasing decisions.


If your business exclusively takes small payments for services, Heartland Payment Systems offer micropayment processing. Small payment businesses include things like laundromats, vending machines, car washes, arcades, and parking garages. Heartland Payment Systems offers you the option of implementing SmartCard, WaveRider, and MicroPay cashless systems.

Heartland Mobile Pay

Mobile processing allows you to take credit and debit cards using your smartphone or tablet instead of a traditional credit card machine.

Heartland Mobile Pay offers an easy to use, completely redesigned app with a bluetooth EMV chip card reader. 

Heartland mobile pay

The app includes key features such as inventory management, invoicing, and back office with virtual terminal to allow you to key in cards if you can't use the reader or accept cards over the phone. 

You must be set up for credit card processing with Heartland in order to use mobile processing. If you’re a new Heartland Payment Systems customer, yoyou can get set up for mobile processing when you complete your application for credit card processing.


You can take payments through your website using Heartland’s SecureSubmit for e-commerce. With SecureSubmit, your customers will enter their payment data on your website, and the data will be securely encrypted and sent to Heartland Payment Systems for processing.

SecureSubmit is compatible with popular e-commerce platforms, including WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more

Virtual Terminal

If you want to take payments by mail or phone order, or if you just want to use your existing computer instead of a credit card terminal, you can do that with the Portico virtual terminal. You can use the virtual terminal for payments whether your customer is paying in person or giving you their card information over the phone, by fax, or by mail. You can enter credit cards by hand or by using an optional encrypted PIN pad.

Gift Cards

You probably know that gift cards have soared in popularity. Customers buy them for birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, and more. If you want to cash in on the gift card craze, Heartland Payment Systems offers a gift card program. You can personalize the cards and they’re reloadable to keep customers coming back.

Payroll Services

If you’re looking to effectively manage payroll, Heartland Payment Systems offers its own proprietary payroll service. The Heartland Hire system includes payroll and HR functions. Heartland includes a customer satisfaction graph indicating that clients are happier with its solution than with competitors including ADP and Intuit.

Heartland payroll

If you’re hiring, you can allow interested candidates to apply by text. You can schedule interviews and send electronic job offer letters, eliminating paperwork.

You can identify top candidates and screen automatically for work opportunity tax credits (WOTC), potentially saving up to $9,600 per eligible new hire. There is no cap on the number of new hires that can qualify for the savings.

The system also allows for easy onboarding of new hires with just a few clicks. Employment documentation is securely stored in the cloud, and compliance tasks are automated.  


Heartland Capital 

If you need money to grow your business, you can try out the Heartland Capital lending service. Heartland has partnerships with different companies, providing access to a portfolio of lenders.

Heartland Capital

Offerings include business lines of credit, short term business loans, business credit cards, equipment financing, commercial mortgages, startup loans, and more. Rates and fees vary, but can be as low as 4.9%, with funding times of a few days to approximately 2 weeks. 

Does Heartland Payment Systems offer services specific to my industry?

Probably! Heartland provides many services tailored to specific business types. Check out the list:


In addition to credit and debit card processing for your restaurant, Heartland offers the Freshtxt restaurant app that helps you with wait lists and reservations. The app comes with U.S.-based 24-hour customer service support.

Lodging and Hospitality

Boasting that they are the American Hotel & Lodging Associations preferred provider of card processing Heartland offers credit and debit card processing, gift card and reward card programs, and payroll solutions if you’re in the lodging business.


Heartland’s website touts years of K-12 industry experience that allows them to understand the needs of your school district. They offer integrated software systems designed to reduce student wait time and increase efficiency. Heartland also offers in person and online training to help you and your staff learn the software.

Additionally, Heartland can offer industry solutions for such industries as:

  • Vending
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Liquor
  • Grocery
  • Government
  • Healthcare


Heartland is compatible with several major equipment brands, but of particular note is its lockdown of Ingenico credit card machines

Ingenico is an equipment manufacturer that makes 'universal' credit card terminals that can work with any processor. Typically, that means processors that support Ingenico equipment can reprogram machines that you purchased and used with another processor. 

In Heartland's case, the company has worked out a deal with Ingenico that terminals you purchase and use with Heartland can only be reprogrammed with Heartland's permission. If Heartland doesn't want to allow you to continue using your Ingenico terminal if you switch processors, it can prevent you from doing so.

Heartland Point of Sale

For businesses looking for a full point of sale solution, Heartland offers an integrated suite that features a cloud-based POS system, self-order kiosk, mobile ordering capabilities, and the option to utilize gift card or loyalty programs. 

Heartland POS

The sleek, modern system offers features that businesses need in an elegant package that fits any restaurant or retaild decor. 

Rates and Fees

The good news is that Heartland Payment Systems offers interchange plus pricing, which has the potential to be very competitive. Beyond that, Heartland doesn’t publish any information on rates or fees. Keep in mind that you can end up paying more if you have add-on services or aren’t aware of all the fees included in your processing.

To find out exactly what you’d pay for processing with Heartland Payment Systems, including any extra fees, sign up for a free CardFellow account to request a quote from Heartland Payment Systems.

EMV Non-Acceptance Fee

In November 2017, some businesses processing through Heartland saw an EMV non-acceptance fee of $299. Heartland has confirmed that the fee applied to a limited number of businesses.

The company further explained that it no logner charge fees for EMV non-compliance, even for businesses that aren't utilizing EMV chip-capable equipment.

It's still a good idea to use chip-capable terminals, as you'll be liable for fraudulent transactions that occur with a chip card if you aren't using an EMV terminal. However, at the time, Heartland does not impose separate penalties for non-EMV terminal usage. 

Read more about EMV Non-Compliance Fees and how to avoid them. 

Heartland Contracts

Heartland gives you a choice - you can lock in your rates for 3 years with a contract, or opt for a month-to-month plan.

The typical Heartland Payment Systems contract is a three year terms with an early termination fee of $275. 

Alternately, if you choose Heartland through CardFellow, Heartland will set you up with no early termination fee. 


You’ve probably heard about security breaches at big name stores and want to make sure you’re your credit card processing solution is as safe as possible. Heartland Payment Systems offers Heartland Secure, a data security solution that uses end to end encryption and tokenization to protect customer credit card data. It is designed to prevent point-of-sale intrusions, insider fraud, and other data fraud. Heartland Secure is available at no extra charge.

Heartland Payment Systems Reviews

Heartland Payment Systems has a mixed reputation online, with some reviews complaining of expensive or unexpected fees.

Heartland’s Reputation with the Better Business Bureau

Heartland Payment Systems has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2004 and has an A+ rating. They have only been 16 complaints lodged in the past 3 years, which is on the low side for a company with as many clients as Heartland has. 9 of the complaints are in the category “Problems with Product/Service” with the remaining complaints spread across categories “Billing/Collection Issues”, “Advertising/Sales Issues” and “Guarantee/Warranty Issues.” Details are only available for a few of the complaints, but reviews refer to incorrect billing, unexpected fees, and bait-and-switch tactics regarding equipment sales.

Reviews at Yelp and Ripoff Report

Yelp corroborates the negative reviews filed with the BBB, with several one-star reviews complaining of excessive fees, including expensive early termination fees. Reviews also complain that rates aren’t very good and customer service wasn’t helpful. As of autumn 2015, there are 9 reviews in total for Heartland Payment Systems, giving the company a 1.5 star overall rating.

Heartland also racks up complaints on Ripoff Report, with reviewers commenting on rate hikes and deceptive practices.

CardFellow’s Experience with Heartland Payment Systems

We’ve seen quite a few Heartland Payment Systems’ quotes, statements, and applications over the years, and found that it uses interchange plus pricing exclusively and its statements are transparent and well-organized.

Unlike most other processors, Heartland does not use independent sales organizations (ISOs). Instead, it relies on its network of independent sales agents (ISAs). We’ve dealt with quite a few Heartland agents, and while they seem to mean well, there have been many instances where Heartland’s representatives tried to undercut pricing that was already competitive to the point it wasn’t worth the pennies the business would save to switch.

Outside of CardFellow's marketplace, Heartland’s volume markup and transaction charges on interchange plus are typically more competitive than most processors. It is also competitive within CardFellow's marketplace.

Heartland passes interchange and assessments at cost. It sometimes charges a markup for monthly versus daily discount, and it typically charges higher than average monthly fees, which it often labels as “service and regulatory” fees.

Heartland Payment Systems Rates and Fees

Heartland charges its clients using interchange plus pricing. It’s rare to find a processor that doesn’t engage in opaque bundled pricing, but Heartland is one such company.

As you can see from the Heartland Payments Systems statement snippet below, Heartland lists its charges separately from interchange and assessments in a section labeled “HPS Processing Fees.” This makes it easy for a business to see which fees are being paid to Heartland, and which are being paid to the card brands and banks.

The snippet below shows the business is paying Heartland a markup of 0.40% plus a transaction fee of $0.05. The volume markup (percentage) is labeled as “[card brand abbreviation] Discount Fee” and the transaction fee is labeled as “[card brand abbreviation] Transaction Fee.”

Heartland Payment Systems statement

Heartland Monthly Charges

Heartland offers relatively competitive volume and transaction fee pricing, but it often makes up some ground through higher than average monthly fees. For example, the monthly fee in the statement snippet above shows Heartland charging $25 for a “Service & Regulatory Mandate.”

$25 is about typical from what we’ve seen, but there are instances where the monthly charges have topped $40.

Another area where Heartland makes up some money is by charging an addition volume-based fee for monthly discount. Monthly discount means that a processor deducts fees in one lump sum in the following month instead of before deposit. Monthly discount is almost always in a merchant’s best interest, and the vast majority of processors do not charge for it.

However, Heartland typically charges 0.02% of gross sales volume if a business would like processing fees deducted monthly instead of daily.

Heartland Payment Systems Statements

Heartland has one of the more transparent statements of any processor. They’ve stayed pretty consistent over the years, and it’s particularly helpful that Heartland separates the costs associated with each card brand and its own fees.

For example in the Heartland statement snippet below it’s easy to see how much was paid to Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, and Heartland.

Heartland Payment Systems fees

This summary section is posted at the top of all Heartland statements. It’s important to realize how credit card processing fees function, and that not all components of cost are negotiable. It’s helpful to divide total fees by card brand and markup in order to illustrate this point.

Heartland Payment Systems Cancellation Fee

A dim spot in Heartland’s product offering is its three-year contract term and cancellation fee. It charges a cancellation fee based on liquidated damages that is capped at $295. This means that the maximum cancellation fee is $295, but it may be lower for some businesses without much processing volume.

Liquidated damages is where a processor calculates the early termination fee by multiplying the lost monthly profit by the numbers of months remaining in the contract terms.

For example, if Heartland is making a profit of $25 a month on a business’s account and the business cancels 5 months before the expiration of the contract terms, Heartland will charge a cancellation fee of $125.

Although this is how the terms of Heartland’s agreement read, we’ve never heard of it charging (or threatening to charge) less than $295 for a business to cancel.

Are you a Heartland Payment Systems customer? Leave a review!


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.

From Jake Sage, on Oct 27, 2020


Wade was great to work with and very knowledgeable. He provided us with a lot of information that helped in our decision-making process.


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Posted by Shelley S on Mar 25, 2020


I have now been on hold with a Heartland "customer service rep" for over 1 hour while she works to fix the processing problem, which she insists isn't happening. Hanging up and going with another company for our fairly good sized business.

Posted by Maurice on Jan 11, 2020


Watch statements carefully. Their “reps are just salesmen they are not there to help”. That's a quote from their Chicago office. Read contracts thoroughly as there are many hidden items in them. There is a $295.00 charge if you try to move your business. Their emails do not list their name on them and look suspicious. You will think it's spam. For compliance, they will charge you an additional $125.00 per month till you do complete it. Don’t do business with them.

Posted by Gregory Elmgren on Nov 04, 2019


These people went into my account and stole over 750.00. They will not return the fees. They admitted that they created them to get us to comply to their paperwork. I am not done with them at the moment. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!

Posted by MICHAEL WEEKS on Oct 30, 2019


Fast talking thieves! Beware of fast talking salespeople, especially Bruce. We were told that there would be no cost to try their service that they could save us a bunch of money, they even provided a terminal. We tried their service for a few months and ultimately decided to go with another company. Then we get a demand letter for $295 for early termination. I am told that since they were able to save us money they would not waive the termination fee.

Posted by Cheryl Poole on Feb 27, 2019


Transparency?? Not a chance!! I have been fighting for months to get fees back from Heartland that was charged to me to no avail. The salesperson was Linda and Maile Beveridge. They both told me that I would not be charged but here I am over $800.00 in fees that I wasn't supposed to be charged. Heartland LIES!!! I have emails where Maile has tried to fix this but Heartland will not credit this back!! HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED!! Do NOT trust them with you business!!!

Posted by Jenny on Nov 20, 2018


Tech support for this specific program is all but non-existent. Should you need help logging or changing your password you will find it a difficult process without aid. Heartland as a corporate entity is grossly unorganized, constantly changing their business structure and unable to provide a competitive and efficient product in whatever market they decide to enter. Expect weeks of delay in getting an answer on vital inquiries- should anyone decide to answer at all. Do not recommend.

Posted by Dale Howard on Aug 10, 2018


After 13 years with Heartland, they turned into a criminal company. In the middle of the night raised our rates almost 300%. $14,000 later we are switching companies. They use to be a good company - NOW BEWARE! I understand they got bought out a year ago - the new company is unethical and criminal. They will suck you in and then raise your rate. Their equipment (we spent thousands) if they program it a certain way cannot be used by other processors - so our 2 year old equipment is going to cost us $7,000 to replace. Their sales reps would just as soon lie to you, disguise what they are doing with smoke and mirrors, and have no problem stealing form their grandma. Be careful of the contract you sign - it is evil! Hugh penalties for cancelling even though they raise your rates almost 300%.

Posted by Gary Yu on Mar 16, 2018


I called to cancelled my service around end of October, they still charged $45 monthly fee until I called again in mid-February. They informed me that the last rep sent the cancellation request to the wrong dept. They also charged early termination fees. My original contract stated no contract and they just gave me another dept. email and phone number to talk. Stay far away from Heartland if you don't want any future headaches.

Can you please reach out to our customer service regarding your specific issue details. Payment Processing (888)963-3600, Payroll (866)341-3510.

Posted by Denise Comilloni on Mar 03, 2018


Hated to even give them a rating of 1. I would not recommend this company to anyone wanting to process credit cards; many hidden fees and their rates are much higher than what they tell you when selling you their program. And yes, watch out for termination fees and don't sign a contract with them or you will be stuck with them for three years. Let the buyer beware!!!

We are sorry to read that you had a bad experience, can you send us a private message with details, including your name and contact information.

Posted by Chris on Feb 22, 2018


Wouldn't give them 1 star but can't choose 0 stars. The company is all about #'s and not customer service or helping out customers/businesses. We've had 5 people in the past month use stolen credit cards for our products. Heartland shut down our account because it is too risky. We were at risk of shipping out products and then the stolen card doing a chargeback. Heartland did not care at all that they were stolen cards, or the fact that every chargeback that was open, we disputed and won. They don't care if someone does a chargeback for no reason and they are in the wrong. 20 people could do a chargeback for no reason and you could win all 20 cases, but Heartland could care less.