Merchant One Review: What to Know About This Credit Card Processing Provider

Merchant One Review: What to Know About This Credit Card Processing Provider

Selecting the right credit card processing company can play a key role in your small-to-medium-sized business’ growth. Fast transaction times result in happy customers who don’t have to waste precious minutes with a substandard checkout experience. Affordable rates help to minimize your company’s overhead expenses so you can save valuable cash for equipment upgrades and marketing campaigns.

Ideally, your credit card processor will provide stellar customer service and be highly ethical in its business practices. With those criteria in mind, this comprehensive review provides an in-depth look at Merchant One, one of the better-known credit card processing services.

Merchant One company overview  

Merchant One is a mid-sized merchant services provider located in Miami Beach, Florida. Launched in 2002, the company exists as an independent sales organization (ISO) of mega-processor Fiserv (previously known as First Data).

Merchant One serves over 100,000 customers, making it a mid-sized credit and debit card processor. The company is one of the largest resellers in the Fiserv group. Merchant One also markets Fiserv products such as the widely used Clover terminals and POS systems.

The Merchant One customer database includes retail stores, restaurants, hospitality firms, and business-to-business companies. Trade shows and eCommerce businesses also use Merchant One’s services..

Merchant One Pricing Practices

Like many credit card payment processing companies, Merchant One doesn’t publish any equipment prices or processing fees on its website. Instead, the company utilizes a quote-based framework that provides a fee and rate summary targeted to your business.

These fee and rate numbers will probably vary according to the business type and processing volume. The independent sales agent’s preferences may also be a factor in fee and rate decisions.

Although this sounds good on the surface, it enables Merchant One to foist overpriced tiered pricing plans on merchants unaware of the packages’ disadvantages. Instead, most merchants should ask to be switched to a more advantageous interchange-plus pricing plan.

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How Tiered Pricing Works

Tiered pricing collects similar transactions into groups, or tiers. This results in just a few rate categories so merchants can better understand the rate structure.

However, the merchant account provider doesn’t want to lose money when it’s processing each merchant’s transactions. Therefore, the provider must use the highest of that tier’s rates rather than mid-range or lower rates. The end result: the merchant will overpay for most of their transactions.

How Interchange-Plus Pricing Works

With an interchange-plus pricing structure, the merchant account provider passes interchange fees to the merchant at cost. The provider deducts a predetermined markup that’s contained in the merchant’s rate quote. Different types of transactions incur different interchange fees, so it’s difficult to predict what a transaction will cost.

Most medium- and large-sized businesses will be better off with an interchange-plus payment processing structure. That’s because the merchant account provider can’t hide the markup amount in the merchant’s rate. The provider must deliver a lower markup than their competitors to get a company’s business.

Merchant One Customer Service

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Merchant One staffs its customer service center to accommodate customers in multiple time zones. This 24/7 support is available in phone, email, text messaging, and chat formats. Videos and help guides will assist customers with basic or frequently asked questions.

Evaluating Merchant One: Pros and cons

To judge whether Merchant One is the most suitable option for your small business or medium-sized company, view this list of pros and cons. Then, you’re in a better position to make an informed decision.

Merchant One Pros

  • This diversified provider offers a host of credit card processing vehicles for in-person, online, and mobile transactions.
  • The company stocks the full range of Clover POS systems and card terminals.
  • Customers receive free hardware, and can use the virtual payment gateway at no charge.
  • The company does not lease its equipment, so customers aren’t paying exorbitant costs for terminals they could have purchased for much less.
  • Interchange-plus pricing is available.
  • The company’s contract does not include an automatic renewal clause that lengthens a customer’s contract for one-year periods after the initial term. 

Merchant One Cons

  • Three-year initial contract for all customers
  • Early termination fee of $295 up to $885 (or more)
  • Lack of website-based pricing information for customer review
  • The not-so-great ttiered pricing may be the norm
  • Commission-based independent sales agents aren’t adequately trained, and may be mostly focused on increasing their customer sign-up numbers
  • Numerous customer service complaints

Merchant One Reviews

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Like many other businesses, Merchant One has been the subject of numerous customer and industry insider reviews. Prospective customers often rely on these candid assessments to identify a company’s strong points and less-positive attributes. Using this information, a prospect can decide whether to do business with a specific company.

Customer Reviews

Dissatisfied Merchant One customers have filed over 100 complaints across varied consumer protection websites. Most issues reflect merchants’ opinions that they were the recipients of Merchant One’s deceptive advertising and sales practices. Merchants have also expressed displeasure about account setup surprises and extremely high cancellation fees.

Many merchants have complained about Merchant One’s “hidden fees,” although the merchant agreement’s fine print will generally contain these details. Merchant One’s fees include an annual account fee and a monthly minimum fee.                                                                        

Merchants appear to be especially annoyed about the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance fee, which is about $100/year. If a merchant does not comply with required PCI data security protocols, they’ll be assessed $25 for every month that their account doesn’t meet the standards.

Trustpilot Reviews

The Merchant One website contains a link to the company’s Trustpilot reviews. At first glance, Merchant One has an impressive 4.8 rating out of 5 stars after 2,746 reviews.

However, examination of the Trustpilot website reveals that most of the 5-star reviews are “invited” from Merchant One itself. Most positive reviews are very short, and mention the customer’s sales agent’s name. This would appear to suggest that Merchant One strongly urged those customers to post those positive reviews.

Industry Insider Review

Several industry experts have published Merchant One reviews. Comparisun, which provides software services comparisons and reviews to small businesses, reviewed Merchant One in 2019. Comparisun’s review echoed numerous merchants’ concerns, which fall into two general areas.

First, Merchant One should revamp the way in which it provides prospective customers with pricing, contract, and cancellation penalties details. Merchants have frequently complained that the company isn’t forthcoming with any of this information on its website.

Instead, Merchant One relies on its commission-based independent sales representatives to provide these details during the signup process. After the fact, merchants complained that the Merchant One application didn’t include discussion of contract term length and early termination fee (ETF) consequences. Comparisun recommends that prospective customers carefully read the application’s ETF language before signing on the dotted line.

Merchant One customers have also complained about high cancellation fees. The company does offer a live-agent support line, which assists customers in understanding their contract terms. However, there’s no indication whether Merchant One operates the line under the company umbrella or whether Fiserv provides this service.

Comparisun also notes that Merchant One’s dispute resolution practices need a thorough overhaul. In comparison to same-sized credit card processing providers, Merchant One has a larger number of consumer complaints and negative reviews on consumer experience platforms.

In fact, there are more than 100 negative Merchant One reviews spread across several review websites. Most of these consumers felt that Merchant One had engaged in deceptive sales and marketing practices.

Better Business Bureau Complaints

In numerous Better Business Bureau complaints, merchants stated that the Merchant One sales representative did not discuss contract length or early termination fees. In addition, merchants reported that they were subject to hidden fees after they began processing sales transactions.

Even if these allegations are true, the merchant is responsible for carefully reading their contract before entering into a business relationship with Merchant One. The merchant should pay special attention to the fine print.

Like numerous other merchant services providers, Merchant One’s customer service quality reportedly deteriorated after the customer officially signed the service contract. Many merchants emphasized the customer support representatives’ rudeness, even when they admitted that Merchant One had made an error on the customer’s account.

Final Words

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After making a careful evaluation of Merchant One’s products and services, and reading consumer and industry insider reviews, you’ll have a good overview of the company and its offerings. Then, choose the credit card processing company that’s best positioned to help your business grow.

Still shopping around for a credit card processor? Consider Payment Depot. We save merchants an average of $400 a month, thanks to our membership-based pricing structure. Rather than taking a percentage of your sales, we simply charge a flat monthly fee and give you access to wholesale payment processing rates. 

Want to save 40% on payment processing? Let's Talk!