First Financial Merchant Services (FFMS) specializes in providing various payment solutions. With the help of technological advances, FFMS has become increasingly popular amongst small, medium, and large businesses. The company provides payment solutions that allow businesses to quickly and easily process customer payments with minimal effort. It also provides additional services like fraud prevention, customer loyalty programs, and analytics.
This First Financial Merchant Services review will provide an overview of the company’s services, rates, and the complaints filed against the company to help you decide if FMS is a good fit for your business.
First Financial Merchant Services Review -Features and Services
The company provides the following services:
FFMS provides merchants with payment processing services to facilitate financial management. However, numerous reports of fraudulent activities have occurred due to insufficient security measures. Moreover, the high overhead costs associated with managing transactions have also been a cause of concern among merchants.
This type of payment processing has the potential to reduce overhead costs while providing convenience for customers greatly. However, it also comes with security risks, as customers could store their payment information or passwords on the device. Merchants should take extra precautions to ensure this payment type is handled securely.
The company offers point-of-sale services to merchants to process payments without any hassle. This system might include cash registers, barcode scanners, and debit/credit card readers in the domain. Thus, enabling the merchants to use the services and track sales, analyze data, manage inventory, and more.
Loyalty programs are a great way for businesses to reward their customers. They offer customers incentives such as discounts and other rewards when they make purchases or shop frequently. These programs can help increase customer loyalty, which is beneficial for merchants. The downside is that customer data might be at risk due to insufficient security measures by FFMS.
First Financial Merchant Services Review – Rates and Fees
A brief overview of the rates and fees associated with the company is below:
Variable processing rates have been used for processing credit card and debit card payments. As the name suggests, the rate might vary depending on different factors. It can range from the volume of transactions to the type of business. This scheme of processing rate might not be profitable for businesses as it can lead to unpredictable fees. FFMS has received negative reviews from merchants who have had to pay unexpectedly high fees due to variable processing rates.
Equipment leasing is another common offering from merchant services providers. This option allows businesses to get the necessary equipment without making an upfront purchase. However, the monthly payments associated with this type of agreement can be expensive and cause budget headaches for businesses over time. The company has heard numerous complaints from customers who must know about the expensive monthly equipment leasing payments.
Monthly and annual fees are often charged by merchant services providers who offer customized packages for businesses. These fees can have a wide array ranging from subscription charges to maintenance costs and more. The problem arises when these charges add up exponentially and disrupt the projected budget of a business. With the drawback of high annual and monthly charges, customers have left bad reviews for being taken advantage of by the company’s merchant services rates.
Merchant services providers commonly use tiered pricing structures. Unfortunately, this type of rate structure can be complicated to understand and often results in businesses paying more than expected due to hidden fees or unexpected surcharges. First Financial Merchant Services has received negative feedback from customers who needed help understanding the tiered pricing structure and ended up paying more than expected.
First Financial Merchant Services, a major provider of merchant services for businesses and organizations, faced a class action lawsuit in 2016 for acting against TCPA. Merchants must know the lawsuit and its implications when considering FFMS for their services.
Meeting the customers’ expectations and needs is vital for any merchant service provider. However, if the number of complaints exceeds the company’s performance, it might not bode well for its reputation. The following complaints have been reported against FFMS.
Some merchant services providers may offer a “residual” guarantee, essentially a percentage of each transaction you make that they will return to you. Unfortunately, FFMS doesn’t honor its guarantees. Instead, it often increases the fees or finds other loopholes in the contract that prevent them from paying out what they promised. The company might only tell you they are reneging on the guarantee once it’s too late.
Due to intense competition, the company often needs to catch up to a high turnover rate. The new hires of FFMS are not adequately trained and knowledgeable to address the customers’ grievances, which can lead to costly mistakes.
The company uses independently contracted employees for its various operations. Negative reviews have been seen because the pay rate must justify the overwhelming workload. It might turn down the spirit of the employees. In addition, it might make it hard for customers to get the response they need due to the absence of interest of these employees on a contractual basis.
The company’s sales agents are also subject to criticism. Often, these agents need to be adequately trained on the products and services First Financial Merchant Services offers. Thus, it can be a cause of products and services that need to meet the merchants’ demands. Due to this reason, the sales reviews have seen a downhill. Moreover, inadequate training can make the customers explore better options by using the services of rival companies.
The merchant service provider has been accused of using deceptive sales practices to get customers to sign up for their services. It often includes making false promises or failing to disclose important information about fees, contracts, and other agreement aspects. Such tactics are unethical and can lead to customer dissatisfaction and legal action.
Cancelling a merchant services agreement can also take time and effort. The customer often needs clarification on paperwork, which can take weeks to complete. It can thus aggravate the situation, as the customer might find himself in the dark about the status of his account. FFMS has seen negative reviews for charging additional fees for cancellation. Thus, it makes it more challenging for the merchants to get out of the contract.
First Financial Merchant Services agreements often come with long-term leases that can take time to break. It allows the company to keep collecting customer payments even after they have ceased using its services. Customers should understand agreement terms before signing up for a merchant services provider. Doing so will help them avoid any unexpected costs or obligations that may arise later on.
The company also include non-cancellable agreements in its contracts. It refers to the notion that the merchants might be locked into a contract difficult to break and may cause an irreparable dent in the pocket. Thus, avoiding such contracts is suggested to save time and money in the long run.
With the advent of telemarketing, reaching potential customers have been made easier. However, there have been bad reviews about the bad service of telemarketing offered by FFMS. Many merchants have complained that their concerns need to be dealt with professionally. Rather than solving their problem, the telemarketer is more concerned about signing them up for First Financial Merchant Services.
With the rush to sign customers up, FFMS has been criticized for not disclosing important terms and conditions in the agreement. It can be a precursor for merchants to sign the contracts unintentionally with clauses that can later be used against their interest.
For instance, the merchant needs to be well versed with the clause that allows the company to a price hike after a certain period or requires them to put up with the contract for a minimum amount of time. Hence, reading the organization’s terms and conditions before signing up should not be overlooked.
FFMS is notoriously aggressive in its recruiting campaigns. Numerous complaints have been about getting unwanted calls regardless of the time constraint. Moreover, the reason behind getting bad reviews lies in sending unnecessary emails to potential customers and forcefully convincing them to sign up. Such hard-sell tactics can be off-putting and a big risk to the company’s reputation.
First Financial Merchant Services can help merchants for effective management of their business. However, the associated risks must be considered before utilizing its services. These include costs for setting up accounts, security risks from potential data breaches, and the possibility of high fees for processing transactions. This First Financial Merchant Services review suggests that to avoid any potential pitfalls, business owners use due diligence and select the best service provider as per their needs and budget.