SunTrust Merchant Services Review: What You Need to Know
There are so many payment processors out there today that it can be hard to know where to get the best deal for your business. SunTrust Merchant Services is one of the leading payment processors for merchants and SMBs.
However, if you click on the Merchant Services section of SunTrust’s website, it leads you directly to Clover’s website –– Clover is a payment technology provider that’s used by many payment processing companies, including Payment Depot. Since Clover’s technologies aren’t exclusive to SunTrust, their website doesn’t really tell you anything about SunTrust’s unique price points and offerings.
If you’re wondering what SunTrust has to offer, and how they stack up against the competition… look no further. We did the research for you on SunTrust Merchant Services. Below you will find an honest review of the features, pricing, customer service history, and reputation of this payment industry heavy hitter.
SunTrust Merchant Services
At the moment, SunTrust Merchant Services is going through some big changes. SunTrust and BBT are in the process of merging to create Truist, a large financial services provider featuring: banking, trust and asset management services, securities, life insurance products, and investment advisory services.
So, what does this mean for you? Not a whole lot will change with the merger in terms of services provided. SunTrust Merchant Services will still resell First Data merchant services. It’s a third-party payment gateway for First Data, which can make working with Suntrust Merchant Services a pretty bureaucratic situation.
This means you may have to pay fees for services from both SunTrust and First Data if you sign up for SunTrust Merchant Services.
SunTrust Merchant Services Features and Capabilities
SunTrust Merchant Services offers credit card processing for retailers, as well as POS terminals, debit card processing, gift card processing, and processing for e-commerce and mobile transactions. With SunTrust, you can even process checks instantly as electronic transactions, which helps prevent you from accepting checks that then bounce down the line.
Most of the amenities SunTrust Merchant Services offers are through First Data’s existing partnerships with adjacent solution providers. First Data –– now Fiserv –– has the largest merchant network in the payment processing biz. As such, they’re partnered with high-performance solution providers in adjacent industries. They offer:
- Verifone PAYware Mobile to accept payments on the go
- The capability to implement a Perka digital loyalty program
- TransArmor’s security suite
- Insightics performance analytics
- And gift cards
But partnerships aren’t the only reason merchants use SunTrust. It’s important to note that SunTrust Merchant Services also accepts high-risk accounts, such merchants with businesses in the travel industry, real estate companies, online gaming companies, astrology platforms, and many other businesses with a high risk of chargebacks. If your business falls into this category, you may need to go with SunTrust over alternative solution providers that don’t accept high-risk accounts.
Suntrust Merchant Services Pricing Structure
This is where it gets a little vague. Suntrust Merchant Services doesn’t disclose their pricing on their website, so it can be hard to whittle their actual offerings down to the bare bone facts.
It states that you can get a merchant account for “as low as 2.3% plus 10 cents per transaction,” which tells you very little about the actual rate you’d get. Instead, you have to call or click the “connect with sales” box to find out what they’d charge for your business transactions. This means you have to have a one-on-one with a sales associate who is all fired up to hard sell just to do a simple price comparison.
Customer Service Business Hours
SunTrust Merchant Services customer service isn’t exactly a bright spot in their repertoire. First of all, it’s not 24/7, like with other payment processing providers –– such as Payment Depot. You can, however, call SunTrust Merchant Services phone number Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET for help with tech issues that arise.
This could be an issue if your hours extend beyond traditional business hours in Eastern Time, since you could be stuck without a functioning card processor and no tech support on-call.
If you need support outside of their business hours, you can request a callback to get a response when they reopen. As far as the quality of that response… well… we will go over what merchants have to say about SunTrust’s customer service in the next section.
SunTrust Merchant Services Reputation and User Reviews
SunTrust Merchant Services user reviews are varied. Consumer Affairs gives them 1.4/5 stars, while on other sites they have as many as 4/5 stars. SunTrust Merchant Services reviews on Consumer Affairs list long customer service hold times, sudden account closures without explanation, card freezes, and even missing funds as unresolved issues.
SunTrust isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Neither is First Data. Truist Bank is accredited, however, and has an A+ BBB rating (that is in no way reflected in customers’ reviews). It remains unclear whether this A+ rating will continue now that SunTrust has entered the fold. It also remains unclear whether merchants will continue to experience sudden account closures and funds freezes without explanation.
Unfortunately, if you run a high-risk business, many of the payment processing providers that accept your company will have the ability to suddenly close your account. If they expect fraudulent activity or if your account overdrafts for some reason (including identity theft) they can close your account without prior notice.
However, the payment processing provider should then work with you to establish credibility so that your account can be reopened, and immediately give you all of the information that they have available so you can move forward with your business.
Sudden account closures can result in weeks of lost revenue, which can be devastating for small to mid-size SMBs. Because of this, we don’t recommend opening a Merchant Services account with a company like SunTrust, that has a history of closing accounts without notice or explanation.
SunTrust Merchant Services Payment Terminal Hardware
SunTrust Merchant Services offers a robust selection of terminals from Clover and First Data, including mobile readers such as Clover Flex and Clover Go. Many payment processing companies, such as Payment Depot, also offer Clover terminals and card readers. SunTrust offers a First Data Retail Solution that has touchscreen convenience as well as advanced inventory management capabilities.
However, the price of this solution isn’t readily available on their website. Again, you have to contact a sales rep to figure out exactly how much you’d have to pay for any given terminal. Payment Depot, on the other hand, has completely transparent pricing on payment processing equipment –– you don’t have to hash it out with a sales rep just to figure out how much a specific solution will cost your business.
Final Thoughts on SunTrust Merchant Services
Payment Depot understands that no retailer wants surprises on their monthly bill. Payment Depot offers transparent pricing for this reason. We even have a rate calculator on their website, so you can figure out if PD is the most cost-effective solution for you without ever talking to a member of their award-winning 24/7 on call support staff. While Payment Depot doesn’t accept high risk accounts, the peace of mind, transparency, and stellar customer service you get by opening an account with PD make it an excellent choice for many other businesses.
Find out for yourself if you’re one of the retailers that Payment Depot can help save up to 40% on credit card processing at PaymentDepot.com!