Heartland Payment Systems
90 Nassau St
Princeton, New Jersey 08542
Heartland Payment Systems
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’s History
- What services does Heartland Payment Systems offer?
- Does Heartland Payment Systems offer services specific to my industry?
- What will it cost me?
- Heartland EMV Non-Acceptance Fee
- Is there a contract?
- What about security
- Reviews and opinions of Heartland Payment Systems
- CardFellow’s experience with Heartland Payment Systems
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.
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.
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.
Mobile processing allows you to take credit and debit cards using your smartphone or tablet instead of a traditional credit card machine.
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. Heartland Payment Systems has an optional mobile card reader to let you swipe credit cards. If you don’t want to use the reader, cards can be keyed instead.)
In addition to being set up with Heartland Payment Systems credit card processing, Heartland’s mobile payments require downloading the app Mobuyle from Apple iTunes, the Apple app store, or the Google Play store.
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
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.
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.
If you’re looking to effectively manage payroll, Heartland Payment Systems offers Ovation, a turnkey payroll service. Ovation helps you with payroll processing and 401(k) management.
Ovation Plus provides the features of Ovation payroll service plus extra features to assist you, including:
- HR Support Center for hiring, managing, and paying employees
- Employee files in an electronic format
- Business partner reporting for easy data access for your accountants or financial advisors
- Info Center to access pay records, schedules, policies, and more
If you need even more, Heartland can provide additional add-on services, including:
General ledger export utility
My GL Connection automatically generates general ledger entries compatible with your accounting software, as well as detailed line-item reports. You can give access to My GL Connection to your accountant if needed.
Use My Timekeeping to track employees’ time and attendance. You can import timekeeping data directly into Ovation and access it from any computer with an internet connection.
My HR On-Demand
Get unlimited access to a certified HR professional for help with anything related to employment law and employee issues.
If you need money to grow your business, you can try out Heartland Payment Systems’ lending services. Heartland has partnerships with different sources of funding, so qualified applicants can borrow up to $2 million. Rates and fees vary depending on your specific circumstances.
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:
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.
Heartland EMV Non-Acceptance Fee
In November 2017, Heartland began imposing an EMV non-acceptance fee for businesses that don’t use chip-capable credit card machines. As seen in the statement below, the fee is $299.
Read more about EMV Non-Compliance Fees and how to avoid them.
Yes, there is.
The typical Heartland Payment Systems contract is a three year terms with an early termination fee of $275. Contract terms and termination fees are subject to change, so be sure to read any contract carefully before signing.
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 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.
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.
We even approached Heartland to join CardFellow’s network as a certified quote provider, but unfortunately, Heartland was not willing to offer pricing that would be competitive in our marketplace and declined our invitation.
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.
Heartland’s volume markup and transaction charges on interchange plus are typically more competitive than most processors, although we have seen instances of excessive markups – in one case Heartland was charging 148 basis points over cost. This is roughly fifteen times higher than the markup businesses are quoted through CardFellow’s marketplace.
Heartland passes interchange and assessments at cost. It 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 is being bought by Global Payments in a somewhat suspicious acquisition, so it will be interesting to see how Heartland’s good reputation fares once Global is in control.
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 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.
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!
11/2/2015 – Heartland announced that it acquired restaurant POS provider Digital Dining.
1/4/2016 – Added section for CardFellow’s experience with Heartland.
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.
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.
Heartland Payment Systems Web Reviews
Super Quick to Shut You Down
Posted By: Chris on 02/22/18
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.
Great Customer Service
Posted By: Melanie Rasmussen on 02/11/18
I discussed credit card processing with Michael Kinny, from Heartland. Very fair and transparent. Really gave me an education. Since then, I’ve referred several business owners to him and have always gotten rave reviews. Great customer service!!
EMV Fees $299
Posted By: Stever Tillis on 01/09/18
Sent me a letter of fine print of $299 EMV fees and deducted from my account for not being EMV compliant. After finding out it was free to be compliant. They would not refund my money. Why not just make me compliant and story over. Worst ever customer service
WORST EVER PERIOD!
Posted By: Megan on 11/20/17
Wow these reviews are on point, my exact experience. RUDE RUDE RUDE debited my closed account after a problem with unauthorized charges. Refused to take the charges off and sent harassing calls and emails even after the situation was explained and cleared up. They are disrespectful and have no tact! Worst ever customer relations. I am now with ADP!
not committed yet, feeling very iffy
Posted By: aria on 10/26/17
As a manager for a small business, we’re in the process of comparison shopping for credit card processors, just trying to see what else is out there. We have been with our current processor for more than 5 years now, so not under a contract anymore. We were introduced to the Heartland rep by our POS installer. She seemed very nice and proactive, but when we started asking about rates and charges that’s where things started getting uncomfortable. It felt like I was trying to draw information out of a clam. Where she was very quick with marketing material, when it came to charges she became more reticent and often I found myself wondering what she was trying to say in her replies to my questions.
I was also told multiple times that the $295 early termination fee is non negotiable, as waiving that means she will have to pay for it and in addition won’t be compensated for servicing my account. Hmmm…
WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER!
Posted By: butterfields on 10/25/17
I was able to stop the company from getting payroll service from Heartland after reading the negative reviews on the internet. We use Heartland for credit card processing for a few years now. Average pricing but also the absolutely most arrogant, worst customer service ever! I don’t know about other locations, but here in Illinois this is the absolute bottom. Their portfolio management team will apologize for this situation, will assign a new long-distance rep if requested (I did) but this does not change the fact that if you conduct business with Heartland have a large bottle of tranquilizers ready.
They treat you like crap!
Posted By: tandom on 09/06/17
I’m a small business owner averaging about 300K in sales. I only do about 35K in credit card transactions though. They just raised my monthly fee up to $68!!!!!!!!! What?! Every single time I call them I get to hear how they lose money on my business and this is a net negative account. Give me a break! Who says that to their customer?! Poor Heartland, they HAVE to charge me more a month because they weren’t making enough off of me and they TELL YOU THAT! MULTIPLE TIMES!
Well, let me tell you, I’m actively looking for a new CC processor and I’ll be done with them by the end of the week. I certainly wouldn’t want to continue to burden them with my pathetic net negative account!
Do not Heartland
Posted By: Sarah Lynn on 08/22/17
Small business owner. I am charged $60 monthly minimum fee even if I do not have a transaction. Be mindful of the charges and call monthly to get hidden fees removed. All in all terrible customer service as they tell you to fax your complaint and that no one can help over the phone. Response time via fax is not quick. $$295 for early termination if contract is terminated under 3 years.
Watch out for the termination fee!
Posted By: Jeff Mehl on 06/16/17
READ THE SMALL PRINT: There is a non-negotiable CANCELLATION FEE of $199.00 for their ACS services. I missed it when I signed the contract, so now I’m paying for the oversight. Be careful!
worst company find a different one
Posted By: jay bhakta on 03/09/17
1.0 star rating –
Heartland payroll is the worse service ever. Do yourself a favor. Stay away from this service. I signed up with no contract and then when I wanted to cancel it the said it is three year contract and there is cancellation fee of $295. They got the worst service too. Every month we have to call them to make a payroll instead of them calling us for the payroll. However, their charges are ridiculously high. Closed the business account because of this issue. When calling them with the same issues, over and over again, the customer service has no idea what they are doing. Saying that, I can’t stand this company. The worst company to use ..everything they offer is a lie, they have many hidden fees, they provide no contract it is all done with a individual on a tiny tablet electronically so I do not recommend this company to anyone. Terrible experience.
Early termination fee was not mentioned. Heartland has reps that will do or tell you anything to get you signed up. After you have CC processing in place you soon learn they are very noncompetitive and unresponsive to concerns. I left them for a far better price but they continued to draft my bank account. The rep was advised and had even picked up the processing machines, and they still hit me for monthly charges. After two calls they advised me not only would they not refund the monthly charges, they are hitting me with an early cancellation fee of $299. They refuse to produce a contract or honor the reps’ commitments. Be careful and do not use the CC processing with out a lawyer and a voice recorder handy. By the way the only reason I selected them was based on endorsement of the California Restaurant Assoc. I am attempting to warn them as well.
Transparency, average pricing, independent reps
Posted By: CardFellow on 05/24/16
Heartland Payment Systems sells its services through a network of corporate sales offices and independent sales agents. Heartland has traditionally offered interchange plus pricing, albeit with a relatively average markup. We’ve seen many Heartland statements over the years, and the company tends to charge higher than average monthly fees. It’s service tends to be responsive when compared with other large direct processors.