- Sales & Marketing
- Fees & Rates
- Contract & Cancellation Fees
- Processing Solutions
- PCI Compliance
- Visitor Reviews
Merchant One is a sub-brand of United Bank Card that was established in 1994 and is currently located and incorporated in Miami Beach.
Merchant One is a registered independent sales organization (ISO) and member service provider (MSP) for Wells Fargo Bank and First national Bank of Omaha. The company’s primary processor is First Data, but Merchant One has relationships with several other processors allowing it to support a wide range of businesses, gateways, point-of-sale software applications and credit card processing machines.
Merchant One is currently listed on Visa’s Global Registry of Service Providers.
524 Arthur Godfrey Rd, 3rd Floor
Miami Beach, FL 33140
CardFellow Participation & Reputation
Merchant One is not currently a participating member in CardFellow’s marketplace.
We have advised businesses that were processing with Merchant One, and in each instance we found its pricing to be subpar compared to the offers the business received in CardFellow’s marketplace.
Our analyses of Merchant One’s statements show the company tends to favor tiered pricing, and in many cases utilizes reporting that makes deciphering charges difficult. An actual Merchant One statement is posted at the end of this article that illustrates these two points.
Sales & Marketing
Merchant One utilizes several different marketing channels such as affiliate relationships and online search and banner advertising.
Merchant One is currently “ranked” on TopTenReviews, which is a simple affiliate marketing Web site with an exceptional advertising budget. TopTenReview’s “ranking” of Merchant One or any other merchant service provider should be taken with a large grain of salt.
TopTenReviews provides absolutely no oversight to the processors it ranks. It does not verify that processors actually quote the rates listed on its Web site, and it provides no support to businesses that choose a processor based on its “rankings.”
The online ads that Merchant One is currently running can be interpreted one of two ways: the company is advertising fair and transparent pass through pricing, or it is advertising a bait-and-switch rate of 0.39%.
Although our experience analyzing the company’s statements suggests the latter, an advertised rate of 0.39% could be interpreted either way.
We contacted Merchant One for clarification on its pricing and advertised rate, but we received no response.
You should take a look at the articles linked in this paragraph if you’re unfamiliar with how processors employ bait-and-switch tactics, or if you aren’t clear on the difference between tiered pricing and interchange plus.
Complaints about Merchant One mainly focus on terms and pricing being misrepresented or not delivered as promised.
Below is a list of Web sites that offer reviews and feedback on Merchant One’s services. It’s important to note that most (if not all) of these sites do not verify that a reviewer has actually used Merchant One’s services. Therefore, competitors of Merchant One and even the company’s own employees are free to post at will.
- CitySearch has five reviews with four being poor and one being positive.
- Ripoff Report has fifteen postings, which by the nature of the site’s content are not positive.
- TrustLink has 47 reviews and also the most diversified feedback.
If you are currently processing with Merchant One and have a complaint about pricing or hidden fees, please check out the credit card processing fees page here at CardFellow to ensure the fee in question is actually being charged by Merchant One.
Many credit card processing fees are charged by issuing banks (interchange fees) and card brands (assessments), and providers such as Merchant One have no control over when these fees are charged or the amount of the charge.
Complaints about Merchant One don’t seem extraordinary relative to the number of merchants that it services, but the basis for complaints is very consistent.
Levies a Previously Undisclosed Cancellation Fee
Merchant One’s Web site and advertising prominently displays that the company does not charge a cancellation fee, and as an ISO for First Data, CardFellow can verify that Merchant One does have the ability to offer processing services without a cancellation fee.
With that said, a large percentage of the complaints about Merchant One claim the company imposes a three-year contract term with a cancellation fee of $295 or more.
Does not Provide First Data’s Entire Program Guide
First Data requires all companies that use its services, such as Merchant One, to provide businesses with a program guide at the time of application.
The program guide is 38 pages long, and it covers the details of the processing relationship thoroughly. The program guide explains the terms of the contract, how rates and fees are charged, and more.
Due to its importance, First Data requires each business to sign the last page of the program guide to confirm it was provided.
Complaints about a missing program guide indicate instances where Merchant One sent only the confirmation page of the guide to merchants during the application process, neglecting to send the other 37 pages of the guide.
Unfortunately, it has been our experience here at CardFellow that this is a somewhat common practice outside of our marketplace and a complaint that is not unique to Merchant One.
Charges Hidden Fees
Quite a few complaints about Merchant One focus on fees being charged that were not previously disclosed.
In general, hidden fees are a common complaint against any processor, and many complaints stem from assessment charges or interchange fee increases that the processor cannot control.
However, in the case of Merchant One, CardFellow has witnessed first-hand the company’s tendency to utilize tiered pricing and opaque reporting as we’ve demonstrated using the sample statement below.
Merchant One BBB Rating
At the time of this posting, Merchant One has 179 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, 35 of which were posted in within 12 months.
Advertising and sales issues account for the greatest portion of complaints (116), followed by problems with product or service(39).
The BBB listing for Merchant One shows the company has resolved only 67% of total complaints to date (113 of 179). In spite of this, the BBB still has an “A+” ranking for Merchant One. Considering the BBB’s own complaint resolution ratio, this rating seems inflated and undeserved.
Fees & Rates
Merchant One discloses very little information about its charges on its Web site, and as noted earlier in this article, it’s not clear whether the currently advertised rate of 0.39% is based on tiered pricing or interchange pass through.
Again, our request for clarification went unanswered.
Contract & Cancellation Fees
Merchant One advertises a “no contract” policy, which actually means the company has a contract with no penalty if a merchant ends the agreement before the term expires. Read more about merchant account contracts here.
In spite of its posted policy, many of the complaints about Merchant One stem from the company charging a previously undisclosed cancellation fee. So, if you’re considering using this company for processing services, be sure that application paperwork is provided in its entirety and that you read it carefully.
As a First Data ISO, Merchant One can support virtually any type of processing gateway, machine or software on the market.
Merchant One offers a proprietary gateway solution and supports the popular Authorize.net gateway and virtually any other non-proprietary gateway available.
Credit Card Machines
Merchant one can reprogram most credit card machines on the market, including First Data’s proprietary line of “FD” terminals such as the FD100 and FD200 credit card terminals.
Mobile Phone Processing
Merchant One offers a mobile processing solution for iPhone, Blackberry and Droid OS devices. The rates for the mobile phone processing service are 1.99% plus $0.20 transaction fee for what Merchant One considers qualified transactions. Mid and non-qualified rates are not disclosed.
At the time of this writing, Merchant One’s mobile processing service is rated 2.5 stars out of 5 on Apple iTunes.
As a First Data ISO, Merchant One is required to ensure that its merchants are PCI compliant. Merchant One’s PCI fees will vary slightly per merchant, and the company provides PCI assistance to merchants who are proactive about compliance.
Many complaints about Merchant One stem from the company charging excessive PCI non-compliance fees without actively pursuing compliance for merchants.
Like any merchant service provider, Merchant One has the ability to set pricing on a per-merchant basis. Although Merchant One can offer the relatively inexpensive and transparent pass through pricing that CardFellow requires in its marketplace, we have yet to come across a pass through statement from this company.
The following Merchant One statement reveals several tactics that were used to increase fees and conceal charges. The statement shows that the merchant is being charged on a tiered pricing model, charges are being deducted using daily discount, and absolutely no detail is provided about non-qualified surcharges.
A: Letter A in the statement below points to the qualified rate of 1.59% that this merchant is being charged, but that’s only a portion of charges.
B & C: Letter B is pointing to the ambiguous charge of $286.53 labeled simply as NON-QUALIFIED. As you can see from letter C, Merchant One provides absolutely no detail about how much volume was charged at the non-qualified rate, the number of transactions that were non-qualified, or even how much the non-qualified rate is.
D: The excerpt below taken from the same statement shows that total processing charges are $319.89. However, this is only a portion of fees.
E: Looking farther down the same statement, you can see a charge for $281.00 as indicated by letter E, and then another charge for $309.37, as indicated by letter D.
The charge for $281.00 labeled as Less Discount Paid shows the amount that Merchant One deducted prior to depositing funds, and the charge for $309.37 indicates an additional charge deducted at the end of the month.
In order to calculate the total charge, the discount taken throughout the month must be added to charges at the end of the month. In this case, the business paid $600.89 after adding the additional $10.52 in monthly and batch fees that Merchant One charged.
The charge is not $319.89 as Merchant One’s statement seems to indicate.
Please use the form below to post your review of Merchant One’s services. Please be be sure to support any claims about your Merchant One with details about your experience. Reviews lacking supporting detail will not be posted.