Wells Fargo Credit Card Processing Review: What You Need to Know

Wells Fargo Credit Card Processing Review: What You Need to Know

Wells Fargo is one of the few banks in the U.S. that has established itself as a household name. Because Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S., you might think that it would have a stronger value proposition for merchant credit card processing than its competition. But in the past few years, consumers have filed several class-action suits against the financial services provider. So is Wells Fargo a legitimate option for merchant credit card processing, or should you steer clear of the banking behemoth? 

Let’s take a look at how (and if) Wells Fargo’s credit card processing services differ from the competition and whether they might be the right fit for your particular business model.

Wells Fargo Credit Card Processing Overview 

Wells Fargo’s credit card processing offerings aren’t exactly groundbreaking. Fargo is an acquiring bank, not the actual credit card processor you would be working with. Wells Fargo uses First Data technology to process merchant’s credit card transactions. 

Since Wells Fargo credit card processing isn’t done in-house, it doesn’t offer differentiated services compared to other acquiring banks––many banks, such as Flagship and Bank of America (for now), also provide their merchant services through First Data, so you’re essentially getting the same equipment and technology with a different bank’s name slapped on it. But Wells Fargo does offer a few small additional services to merchant accountholders that go above and beyond First Data’s offerings, which we will talk about it the “advantages” section below.    

Wells Fargo Pricing Structure and Fees

Wells Fargo isn’t transparent about their fee structure and it varies by merchant based on factors such as: what type of business you own, how easily your account can be set-up, your business’s processing volume, etc. Their fee structure also depends on whether you’re considered a small business or a commercial business. Since the fee structure isn’t transparent, there’s no easy way to determine exactly how much your business will be expected to pay, short of calling them up and talking with a real live Wells Fargo sales rep. 

However, it is important to note that Wells Fargo charges a $500 early cancellation fee and an additional “liquidated damages” fee for businesses that process over $1 million a year––which can run you up to six times your highest amount of revenue in a calendar month during the initial term or any renewal term

Now obviously this type of bank-speak subterfuge makes it difficult to know how much you’d actually pay to terminate your contract, and much harder to switch providers once you’ve signed up for a Wells Fargo account if you find that their services aren’t up-to-snuff. 

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Advantages to Wells Fargo Credit Card Processing

Wells Fargo doesn’t offer much in terms of additional services for merchant account holders that go beyond First Data’s basic offerings. However, they do offer a wide variety of ecommerce platform integrations, including same day payment processing through Wells Fargo’s Secure Source Web Payment, as well as the option to process payments through First Data, Payeezy, Cyber Source, or Authorize.net. They also offer “TransArmor” data encryption on merchant transactions, which may help protect your customers’ payment data. 

Disadvantages to Wells Fargo Credit Card Processing

Have you read the news lately? Besides having a pretty generic value proposition, Wells Fargo has been hit with multiple class action lawsuits for setting up unauthorized small business accounts, forcing customers to buy services they didn’t want, and shady fee and billing practices. The New York Times reports that Wells Fargo had three major settlements since 2018. 

“(Wells Fargo) agreed to pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle investigations into its lending practices and $575 million to resolve a number of state inquiries. Despite those settlements, Wells Fargo is still working under an asset cap that was imposed by regulators in February 2018 after they determined the bank had not sufficiently fixed the internal problems that led to those abuses.”

Another less-than-stellar data point? Wells Fargo offers one to three-day credit card processing (as opposed to the 24-48 hour card processing time windows offered by most providers.) All of this shadiness and underperforming make Wells Fargo a business you don’t necessarily want to align yourself with… especially considering the lofty termination fee you’ll encounter if you try to switch providers.

Wells Fargo Customer Service Review

Wells Fargo, as a banking institution, has a Better Business Bureau review of “F.” Literally, “F.” I’ve never seen this in all of my years as a retail writer. So, “buyer beware” would be putting it mildly.   

What are the reasons for Wells Fargo’s “F” Better Business Bureau rating? It appears there are still 120 open complaints against the business. Keep in mind, customers don’t even have to be happy with how complaints are addressed for them to be closed, the business just has to address them in a way that the BBB deems satisfactory––here’s the official criteria

For such a large financial services provider to have 120 unanswered complaints is flat-out metal. Again, not the type of financial services provider you want your business to depend on. 

Wells Fargo: Integrations, Software, and Hardware Compatibility

On the upside, since Wells Fargo’s Merchant Services Program is essentially a pipeline to First Data’s offerings, all terminal sales/leases are done through Fist Data’s Merchant Services program. This means you gain access to all of the great Clover POS technology options, such as Clover Flex, Clover Mini, and Clover Go. Most of the terminals are EMV-ready, and some also support mobile payment, such as Apple pay and Google Pay. However, these compatibilities are pretty standard in the payments industry.

Final Thoughts 

Processing customer payments is the bread and butter of every retail business. But when it comes to choosing a merchant account provider, a bigger name doesn’t equate better service––especially when you’re considering payment processing through a bank that was given a scarlet “F” by the Better Business Bureau. 

You deserve trust and transparency from your credit card processor, and Payment Depot provides a clear pricing structure so you have an idea of what your bill will be each month before it goes out. Payment Depot saves retailers like you an average of $400 per month on credit card processing (and they’re rocking a solid A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau). Still not sure if Payment Depot is right for your unique business? Click here to receive a free business analysis from Payment Depot today. 

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