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Heartland Payment Systems Review

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Total Systems Services, Inc. (commonly known as TSYS) is one of the largest credit card processors in the world, and offers quotes to CardFellow members.

If you’re considering TSYS Merchant Solutions for your credit card processing needs, this review provides information on TSYS’s rates and fees, contracts, equipment, and security as well as an explanation of what you can expect if you work with TSYS through CardFellow. You can also get a feel for what others think with a section on TSYS’ reviews and online reputation.

History and News

Total System Services (TSYS) Merchant Solutions was founded in the 1950s in Omaha, Nebraska, and currently has offices all across the country and in several locations internationally, including Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

In Janary 2016, TSYS announced that it will be acquiring rival processor TransFirst in an effort to expand offerings and reach more businesses.

In the spring of 2019, TSYS and Global Payments announced that Global will acquire TSYS in an all-stock deal. The merger will create a board of directors that includes 6 members from each company and will have heaquarters in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia. Reuters reports that the company will take the Global Payments name.

What can TSYS do for me?

TSYS issues merchant accounts and can set you up to take credit cards in whatever method is most convenient for you and your customers. You can take credit cards using traditional point-of-sale or countertop credit card equipment, with your smartphone or tablet, or through your website. TSYS also offers a virtual terminal if you need to accept cards by phone or simply prefer to use your computer instead of a dedicated credit card machine. 

New to processing? Read about how to accept credit cards

Traditional Processing

If you’re looking to take cards using countertop credit card terminals or point of sale equipment, TSYS can set you up for that. With TSYS, you can accept many payment types, including MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, and PIN-based and signature-based debit cards.

Depending on the machine you choose, you'll be able to perform functions ranging from simple payment acceptance to more complex inventory management or employee time tracking. We'll discuss these kind of features in greater detail in the equipment section later in this review. 

Smartphone or Tablet Processing

Taking credit cards with smartphones and tablets is gaining in popularity. If you need to take cards on the go, TSYS can set you up with a mobile app and optional credit card reader that connects via headphone jack. Mobile processing is fast and secure, utilizing encryption to protect your customer’s data.

Mobile processing is great for businesses that regularly accept payments in different locations. This includes delivery services, food trucks, contractors, and businesses that attend trade shows or fairs. Retailers that use "line-busting" and restaurants that want the option to take cards tableside may also want to use tablet processing. 

Website Processing

These days, many small businesses are going online. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar location, offering services and products through your website can increase sales and boost your bottom line.

But many small businesess think that accepting cards online is too complicated or too risky. Fortunately, taking payments through your website is easy with TSYS’s online processing solutions. 


The TSYS gateway, MultiPASS, is the core of internet processing. Developers can code it to a shopping cart using the API, or you can take advantage of hosted options, discussed in the next section. 

Online reporting and full-service customer support are available with MultiPASS.

In addition to MultiPASS, TSYS supports the universal Authorize.Net gateway. If you prefer to use Authorize (or already have it) you can do so with TSYS as your processor and Authorize.Net as the gateway. 

TSYS Hosted Payment

The hosted solution means TSYS "hosts" the payment forms for you, so you don't receive or store sensitive cardholder data on your end. Hosted payment forms offer a simpler setup for non-developers.

A hosted payment page is great for keeping the look and feel of your existing website for a seamless transaction for your customers. At checkout, customers are redirected to a hosted TSYS page that matches your branding and then transactions are processed securely using encryption technology. Updates are made automatically to ensure compliance with security regulations.

WebPASS Virtual Terminal

Businesses that want to accept cards over the phone (or simply prefer to use a PC instead of a credit card machine) can do with with the WebPASS virtual terminal.

WebPASS is a "PCI-compliant" application that lets you to take cards and process recurring payments, such as subscriptions. WebPASS can be added to your current system without needing additional hardware. You'll access the virtual terminal through a secure web portal from an internet-connected computer. 

Included reporting offers real-time access to transaction activity so you can see what's happening as it happens. Best of all, no programming is necessary to use WebPASS, so you won’t need to mess around with a lot of technical information. That's great news for small business owners that don't have IT departments and aren't too familiar with web development.

TSYS also offers account updater for recurring billing, called EnsureBill. Any business that takes recurring payments knows the frustration of future declined trnasactions. A customer that signs up for a membership plan forgets to update their card info when they get a new card, and you or your staff are left chasing them down to provide new card details. 

With the EnsureBill account updater, card information is automatically updated, helping reduce declined transactions due to expired card details. That means less time spent chasing down customers and more successful recurring transactions the first time.

This video from TSYS about EnsureBill provides more info:

B2B Credit Card Processing

TSYS Merchant Solutions can also help with the specialty requirements for B2B credit card processing. If you take a lot of commercial or purchasing cards, you'll want to work with a processing company familiar with those types of cards. 

You may have heard that commercial cards are more expensive to process. While they can be, there are steps you can take to keep the costs as low as possible. Providing extra information (called enhanced data) allows you to receive better rates on commercial transactions.

There are different "levels" of enhanced data - level 2 and level 3. The TSYS gateway supports level 2 and level 3 data. 

Commercial card processing may sound confusing, but it's not that different once you get the right systems in place. Properly providing enhanced data can save you money, so it's worth getting right. 

You can read more in our complete guide to B2B credit card processing


TSYS offers Ingenico brand credit card terminals as well as its own line of POS systems and readers, called Vital POS systems. In some cases, the company can reprogram existing equipment, allowing you to continue to use your current machine. 

The specific features of the machines and POS systems vary by brand and model. Countertop terminals commonly include options such as backlit keys, LCD screens, PIN debit capability, EMV chip card capability, and more. 

POS systems offer the same functions as a credit card machine plus extra features such as inventory management, employee timeclocks, and more comprehensive reporting capabilities.

In addition to traditional terminals, TSYS offers tablet and handheld point-of-sale options for portability. 

Available models may change from time to time, but you can check currently available models by signing into your CardFellow account to browse TSYS’ equipment inventory. Your CardFellow account also includes a message board so you can communicate anonymously with our representatives at TSYS to get answers to any questions you have.

It's also worth nothing that TSYS can support CardConnect. If you wish to go that route, you would need to work with CardConnect to get set up, and TSYS would supply necessary information to allow for integration with TSYS and the Ingenico iPP320/350 and ISC250 machines. 

How secure is TSYS Merchant Solutions?

As one of the largest processors, TSYS takes security seriously. The company helps you with PCI validation and works with Trustwave to ensure security. It  offers the Guardian Security Suite, a set of tools to help ensure you're protected.

TSYS also offers C-CAP security solutions to provide you with up to $100,000 per incident in the case of suspected or confirmed data breaches. Assistance with breaches is available for hacking and other fraud situations and the money can be used with security-related expenses such as card replacement, credit monitoring, and more.

TSYS Rates and Fees

Note: Your TSYS pricing through CardFellow may be different than published pricing or from quotes you receive outside of our marketplace. For the most accurate pricing for your business, log in to your CardFellow account for an instant quote.

TSYS publishes rates for their simplified pricing packages and for mobile processing.

Simplified Pricing Packages

The simplified pricing packages offered are the Pursue, Grow, and Accelerate.

Pursue Grow Accelerate
Swiped rate: 2.5% Swiped rate: 1.99% Swiped rate: 1.7%
Keyed rate: 3.5% Keyed rate: 3.1% Keyed rate: 3.0%
Per-transaction fee: $0.20 Per-transaction fee: $0.20 Per-transaction fee: $0.20
Monthly fee: $9.95 Monthly fee: $19.95 Monthly fee: $49.95
Minimum volume: $0 Minimum volume: $100,000 Minimum volume: $250,000

All simplified packages feature no setup fee, and a free credit card machine and free credit card reader.

Mobile Processing Rates

TSYS publishes rates for mobile processing in two options, Custom and Simplified. Both options feature a free credit card reader and no setup fee.

Custom Simplified
Monthly fee: $5.00 Monthly fee: $5.00
Keyed rate: Customized  

Pricing Through CardFellow

TSYS is authorized to place certified quotes through the CardFellow marketplace. That means that TSYS has signed a contract with CardFellow agreeing to our terms. That includes lifetime price monitoring by CardFellow, no cancellation fee, transparent pricing, and more. 

The rates and fees you can get from TSYS through CardFellow are more competitive than what you’d otherwise get. To find out what you’d pay with TSYS, sign up for a free CardFellow account and get a quote tailored to your business.

TSYS quotes through CardFellow also feature lifetime price monitoring by CardFellow, so the low markup you’re quoted is what you’ll pay as long as you’re processing. If it ever increases, CardFellow will notify you of the changes.

Is there a contract?

TSYS offers a standard contract of 3 years, which automatically renews. Early termination fees up to $250 may apply if you cancel before the 3 year term is up or after automatic renewal occurs. Contract terms and early termination fees are subject to change, so be sure to read your contract thoroughly before signing.

Contract and Termination Fees Through CardFellow

TSYS is a processor that is authorized to place certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace. If you choose a quote from TSYS through CardFellow, there is no early termination fee, meaning you can end your contract at any time without penalty.


For a company as large as TSYS, there aren’t a lot of negative reviews. TSYS is one of the largest processors in the world, so maintaining a reputation with a relatively low amount of complaints is a positive sign. As always with reviews, your experience may vary, so be sure to take all factors into account when deciding on a processor  and don’t place too much weight on reviews.

Complaints with the Better Business Bureau

TSYS Merchant Solutions has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2010 and currently has an A+ rating, the highest available. The company has only had 58 complaints lodged with the BBB in the past 3 years, a very low number considering the company’s size and client portfolio. 35 complaints are in the ”Problems with Product/Service” category, 16 complaints are in the “Billing/Collection Issues” category, 4 complaints are in the ”Advertising/Sales Issues” category, and the remaining 3 complaints are in the “Guarantee/Warranty Issues” category.

Complaints allege that TSYS didn’t make good on promises, continued to debit funds unauthorized after account cancellation, and used fraudulent practices.

18 complaints are listed as resolved, meaning the original complainant was happy with TSYS’s resolution. 40 complaints are listed as “answered”, meaning TSYS replied to the complaint and offered a resolution, but either the complainant didn’t reply or was not happy with the proposed resolution. In any case, TSYS has a record of regularly responding to complaints, meaning customers can generally expect to reach TSYS if there’s a problem.

Reviews at Yelp and Ripoff Report

There are 8 TSYS reviews on Yelp, totaling a 1.5-star rating. One review is 5-stars and the remaining are 1-star. The 5-star review praises the company for wonderful service, knowledgeable sales people, and an easy-to-read monthly statement. The negative reviews complain of equipment being deactivated without warning, long customer service hold times, fees constantly rising, and difficulty closing accounts.

Ripoff Report lists 25 reports for TSYS in their directory. Reviewers complain of expensive billing errors, excessive fees, incorrectly charged cancellation fees, and deceptive practices.

Awards for TSYS

TSYS lists multiple awards over several years, from 2006 – present, including a place on Forbes list of America's best employers, Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies, and a Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Technology Leader. The full list of awards is available on their website and includes an explanation of each award.

What CardFellow Thinks

As noted elsewhere, TSYS has a legal agreement with CardFellow that allows it to offer certified quotes through our marketplace. The TSYS quotes through CardFellow adhere to all of our requirements, including a true pass-through pricing model, and no cancellation fee. CardFellow stands behind all of the processors that offer certified quotes, and TSYS is no exception. If you choose to work with TSYS through CardFellow, you’ll have a dedicated representative at TSYS and can also contact CardFellow with any questions or concerns. TSYS has been in the CardFellow marketplace for several years, with an excellent track record, as you can see from its reviews.

You can check out what CardFellow clients who use TSYS think by reading certified reviews. Note that our certified TSYS reviews are from clients that we have verified actually use TSYS for their payment processing. These reviews offer a higher level of reliability than unverified reviews found elsewhere. 

Additionally, these reviews are from customers that chose TSYS through CardFellow and received the benefits and protections that come with choosing a processor through our marketplace. Your experience with processors, even ones that offer certified quotes through CardFellow, will be different outside of our marketplace. 

Do you use TSYS as your credit card processor? 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 Camille, on Apr 10, 2013


Wade (our representative) was very helpful and knowledgeable. He was quick to respond to all of our questions and requests. He explained all the rates and fees. Their virtual terminal is very user friendly and Wade and the customer service team are very quick to answer all of our questions. They got our account up and running very quickly with no issues or hold ups.

Glad to help and serve with lowering their fees in the business services industry. Blessings! Wade Speelman

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.

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Posted by Sarah on Aug 07, 2023


They always find ways to take money from my bank! Every month there are charges for no reason, when I ask they lie. 30 days processing time for closing accounts. I returned the form to the address they gave to me on 6/18/2023. The continued to charge me $100 in July, $65 in August! They been charging me, even though I already returned everything two months ago!

Posted by Jen on Jun 20, 2023


Tsys submitted a chargeback to my bank account on June 16, 2023 for a charge that was made on April 10, 2022 - 14 months old!! This should be illegal - according to Tsys the chargeback was from an American Express transaction - AmEx policy states 120 days is the max to submit a dispute on a charge. How can this be happening? I will never work with Tsys again.

Posted by Former Processee on May 12, 2022


Tsys is literally the worst company to process cards with for your small business. I had a local rep who said he would take care of pci compliance to make sure I would not be charged a fee. He then did not get back to me. They put it in writing that I would receive a refund for this within 5 business days and then they never did. When I asked them, they made excuses, said they would call and get this settled, and did not.

Posted by Business Owner on Dec 02, 2021


They are rude and not concerned with solving the problem. The business has been closed for 5 months now. TSYS is still running customers auto pays. I finally took matters into my own hands, called, manager tells me she has a migraine and there's nothing she can do about it. I ask for her manager and she tells me they aren't there. They don't mind putting you and your business in legal jeopardy.

Posted by Timothy on Sep 23, 2020


Companies have the option to leave a tip when they sign the credit card slip. Customers were disputing being overcharged. When a customer would leave a tip, they would get double charged for their entire order. We contacted Tsys and they said that it was a glitch in the system and now they have an update. It made the merchants look bad and they had to take time refunding customers.

Posted by Brock on Dec 31, 2019


Customer service wait times are almost always over 20 min. Each phone call will last 40 min for a simple resolution. We are going to switch back, I would rather pay more than have to wait on the phone for that long.

Posted by Brooks on Sep 17, 2019


I would never recommend this merchant processing company to anyone. After the initial setup, I did not hear from my rep AT ALL. When your company's main hook line is "well we are cheaper"..... should have told me all that I need to know. I would never recommend this company to any business owner (small or large). Get square. Its much easier to deal with and I promise you will have less headaches.

Posted by Taffie on Jun 16, 2018


I have absolutely nothing positive to say about my business relationship with TSYS. There were many red flags about their merchant services based on my interactions with the account executive. He was not able to answer many questions and appeared to have a very vague idea of what he was marketing. After I examined my current service, I decided to give TSYS a try. Such a mistake...Their customer service is horrible (one of their customer service reps hung up on me during a phone call), I had to make multiple calls because something was always wrong with the device I was using and, worst of all, there are many hidden fees within the system of which I was never informed. I was given a monthly flat rate that would cover my services only to find extra charges in my bank account I am in the process of severing my business relationship with TSYS and would never recommend this merchant service to anyone else.

Posted by MWGC on Dec 01, 2017


Originally was with Transfirst (which was purchased by TSYS) and had little complaints. Being a small business I simply don't have the time to personally oversee every bill that comes into the office. That said, I do audit and occasionally check over to look for irregularities as well as compare year/year costs to spot potential issues. This process exposed a noticeable change in our card processing. When I noticed this I looked through the bills and saw that our interchange + rate & per transaction fees had not changed. I didn't see any line item fees that looked much different. After failing to find anything I started dividing out to find the effective interchange rates and comparing to mastercard/visa's published rates and noticed that they were all being marked up (additively) by about 1.25% which on some cards was a 100% increase in cost! The only marking on my bill to show that TSYS had added this cost was a "(12)" marked after each card type. How I was actually supposed to know what "(12)" meant or even that it was TSYS taking that amount I'm not sure . I am personally of the opinion that the ambiguity was a conscious decision to make it seem like the cost was actually just an interchange rate (the fee paid to the card companies). Basically, make it more difficult to see how much is being charged to me. After digging back I found the original "alert" that was sent to me about this increase in cost. It said, "... FEBRUARY 1, 2017, YOU WILL SEE AN INCREASE IN YOUR NON-QUALIFIED SURCHARGES IN THE AMOUNT OF 1.25% THIS INCREASE WILL ONLY IMPACT A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR OVERALL TRANSACTIONS. WE HOPE THAT YOU SEE VALUE THAT COMES WITH OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS." There was no explanation on what a "qualified" surcharge is. When I called the rep she referred me to "Our original terms and conditions" which I'm sure does not list which cards are "qualified" and which are "non-qualified" because there have been new cards added since we originally joined Transfirst 5+ years ago. How am I supposed to gauge what this change will actually cost me? How is it reasonable to expect a customer to be able to make a good business decision based on the information being provided? I also went ahead and did the math as to how much was run through as "qualified" vs "non-qualified" and found that "non-qualified" purchases (the ones that they added their 1.25% fee to) made up between 80-95% of each month's total processed amount. I appreciate the lawyer speak of "THIS INCREASE WILL ONLY IMPACT A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR OVERALL TRANSACTIONS" being technically correct, but I'd say if something happens 4 out of 5 times, you shouldn't be using the word "only." All said and done, TSYS made out with a minimum of $500 - likely $700-1000 by including those two lines on a statement at the end of last year. I definitely do not feel as though I have received $500+ in service and would not recommend they be used for your card processing. No customer of a card processing company should have to go through the following to just get an idea of what the cost increase is going to actually, you know, cost. 1. Comb through every bill to watch for vaguely worded price increase alerts. 2. Wait on hold to speak to a rep who can't actually answer your question. 3. Get referred to a higher up, get an actual definition of what qualified / non-qualified actually means. 4. Go back through old bills and identify each card type to average what % of transactions would fall into what category. 5. Apply those averages to estimate actual cost of price of increase. When TSYS proposes increases in cost, they can estimate how much extra revenue those increases will generate. I'll give you an example that would never happen. Person A - We need to be in the black this year! So, let's raise our rate on these cards 1.25%. Person B- Will that be enough to offset our losses? Person A - No idea! If TSYS has assessed they need to charge more, the information provided to the customer needs to be sufficient for the customer to assess if they want to actually continue doing business with them. Unfortunately, TSYS seems to have taken the morally questionable route and has lost at least 1 customer for it.

Posted by Gerard McDermott on Oct 02, 2016


Great service.

Thank you for the review. Let us know if we can help with anything. Team TSYS