Heartland Payment Solutions

Heartland Payment Systems Review: 2024 Update

Heartland Payment Systems is one of the leading payment processing providers. Since its inception, it has provided merchants with a safe, secure and reliable way to process payments. Merchants can accept payments from all major credit and debit cards and emerging payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and more.

The company also offers various services, such as fraud prevention, analytics and reporting tools to help merchants better manage their business. We will review Heartland Payment Systems’ features, pricing, fines, and complaint history in this review.

Heartland Payment

Services and Features

Heartland Payment Systems should not be overlooked when sifting through merchant services providers. While their offers may seem appealing initially, merchants must consider their services and features before deciding.

Merchant Accounts

Heartland offers merchant accounts with competitive rates and terms. However, their setup process can be confusing and time-consuming for some merchants. Moreover, merchant accounts are not secure and may be vulnerable to fraud, phishing, or other malicious activities.

Payment Gateway

Heartland offers an integrated payment gateway that allows merchants to accept payments online. While this is a great feature, the payment gateway has some limitations and negative reviews. For example, the gateway may not be compatible with certain payment processors and can be costly.

Virtual Terminal

The company has a virtual terminal that allows merchants to process payments over the phone. It is easy to use and provides merchants with a secure and convenient way to accept payments. However, setting up the virtual terminal can be expensive for some merchants.

Industry-Specific Programs

Heartland’s industry-specific programs, such as their restaurant and retail programs, have great features. However, these services come with high fees, which can be difficult for smaller businesses to manage. Additionally, they may lack the customization and flexibility that some merchants need.

Payment Processing

It offers a variety of payment processing solutions, such as credit card and electronic check processing, to meet the standard requirements of different types of businesses. But, some merchants have reported slow processing speeds and technical issues due to outdated technology.

Non-Profit Tools

Heartland Payment Systems offers non-profit tools for those looking to accept donations. While these services are free, they may lack the customization options that could benefit some non-profits. Furthermore, these services may not have the latest security protocols to protect donations from fraudsters or malicious activities.

E-Commerce Solutions

Regarding e-commerce, Heartland offers website hosting and payment gateways. Unfortunately, these services have limited customer support and are often unsuitable for merchants requiring more advanced solutions. Hence, merchants should do their due diligence before signing up for e-commerce features.

Point of Sale Systems

Merchants can also opt for Heartland’s point of sale (POS) systems. Though POS systems have several features, they may not be as user-friendly as other providers. Moreover, they charge an additional fee for hardware maintenance and repairs. It makes sense to compare the offerings and costs of competing vendors before committing any money.

Subscription Billing

It also offers subscription billing services for merchants who wish to accept recurring payments. However, merchants should be aware that the fees and terms for subscription billing are different from those of regular payments. Furthermore, merchants may need additional fees for certain features or services.

HR & Payroll Solutions

Heartland provides payroll and HR solutions. However, depending on the complexity of the setup merchants require, their services may not be the most cost-effective option. Furthermore, merchants may need to rely on third-party applications to get the most out of their HR and payroll solutions.

Loyalty & Gift Programs

Where Heartland’s loyalty and gift programs are concerned, their offerings may be limited compared to other providers. Although they offer the ability to create custom loyalty and reward programs, these features can be confusing. Thus, merchants should evaluate their options carefully before signing up for these services.


For a credit card processing service, it is important to look at the rates and fees associated with the service. This Heartland Payment Solutions review will focus on the rates and fees to provide an in-depth understanding of what is available.

Tiered Pricing Plan

Heartland utilizes a tiered pricing plan for its services. It means that businesses are assigned different levels of interchange rates and assessments. While this can benefit businesses with a low-risk and lower volume of transactions, it can also be disadvantageous for those with higher risk and higher volumes.

Interchange Plus

Regarding processing fees, Heartland uses an Interchange Plus pricing plan. This pricing model benefits businesses by showing their transactions’ exact interchange rates and assessments. However, the downside to this pricing plan is its higher processing fee of 0.70%.

Additional Fees

In addition to the processing fee, Heartland charges additional fees for features such as customer support, PCI compliance, and other services. These charges can add up quickly and are not typically transparent in the pricing structure. Hence, knowing the additional fees when choosing a credit card processing service is important.

Variability in Pricing Rates

Due to the tiered pricing model, Heartland charge different rates for different types of transactions. As a result, businesses may pay higher rates for certain types of transactions. It can be an issue because businesses may not get the best rate when processing their payments. It can also be difficult to accurately compare pricing rates between different services.

Service Agreement

Businesses must agree to a three-year service agreement when signing up for Heartland. It means that businesses are locked into the services for the full term of the agreement. A $295 cancellation fee must be paid if businesses want to cancel their contract early. It makes the process of cancellation more difficult and costly.

Equipment Leases

The company offers equipment leases for businesses using specialized hardware and software. However, these leases can be expensive and require businesses to make long-term commitments. It can be an issue for those just getting started in the industry since it puts a large financial burden on them.

EMV Non-Acceptance Fee

Regarding the EMV Non-Acceptance Fee, Heartland started charging a one-time fee of $299 in 2017. However, the company no longer charges this fee; instead, they cover the cost of the EMV terminal. Therefore, merchants looking to upgrade their equipment do not have to worry about this fee. But, some of the company’s competitors may still charge a non-acceptance fee for merchants looking to switch.

Batch Fees

Heartland also charges batch fees for businesses that process transactions in batches. It is common among credit card processors, and knowing the fees associated with batch processing is important before signing up for any services. But, the batch fee it charges is higher than other credit card processors.

Technical Support Fees

Heartland charges technical support fees for businesses that need assistance with their processing services. It can be an issue because businesses must pay for any additional support they require. Additionally, these fees are not always transparent and may not be included in the pricing structure.

BBB Rating

Heartland has been reviewed by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and earned an A- rating. While this rating is generally considered to be in the upper tier of ratings, there are still some negative points that cannot be ignored. For instance, the BBB has noted that there have been some customer complaints filed against Heartland Payment Solutions in the past, which could indicate that their services may not be as reliable or satisfactory as they claim.

In addition, the BBB has reported that Heartland Payment Systems does not always respond to customer complaints on time, which could lead to further dissatisfaction. Furthermore, some customers have reported having difficulty getting their money back after having an issue with the company’s services.

Overall, Heartland Payment Systems has a generally positive review from the BBB, but some potential red flags should not be overlooked when considering their services. Researching and evaluating all possible pros and cons is important before deciding.


When researching a company to use for your payment processing needs, it is important to consider the legal standing of the business. The recent history of lawsuits can be a major factor in deciding which payment processor is right for you. Heartland has faced various lawsuits due to the following reasons:

Fees Raised Without Notice

One of Heartland’s most frequent complaints claims the company has raised fees without notifying customers. These claims usually involve scenarios where the company has altered its contract terms and raised fees without informing customers. The company denies these allegations, but they have still had to settle several related lawsuits.

Data Breach

In 2012, Heartland Payment Systems faced a class-action lawsuit for failing to protect cardholder data. The suit claimed that the company had not taken the necessary steps to secure its cardholder data, leaving it vulnerable to the breach of data. Hence, the company was held liable for damages resulting from the breach.

Alleged Pocketing Fee

In 2020, a group of parents filed a class-action lawsuit against Heartland Payment Systems. This suit alleged that the company had pocketed a fee that was to be used for college tuition. The lawsuit became a major legal battle, and the outcome could significantly impact Heartland Payment Systems’ reputation.

Alleged Unjust Enrichment

In 2018, a former employee of Heartland Payment Systems sued the company for unjust enrichment. This lawsuit claimed the company was wrongfully withholding wages due to the employee.

Heartland Payment Solutions has also faced several other lawsuits, including contract disputes and wrongful termination claims. In some cases, the company could resolve the disputes outside of court. In other cases, however, the company faced lengthy legal battles to protect its interests.


Heartland Payment Systems is a well-known provider of payment processing services. But, like any company, it has its share of customer complaints. There is a mix of comments regarding customer reviews on Heartland. Some customers are happy with the service, while others have complained about certain issues. The following are some common customer complaints in this Heartland Payment Solutions review.

Data Security Concerns

Another customer complaint is the data security associated with Heartland Payment Systems. The company is PCI-compliant, which means it complies with the required Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. However, customers have raised concerns about how secure their data is.

Absence of a Dedicated Support Representative

Many customers have noted the absence of a dedicated support representative for customer service. They have had to rely on automated responses to get technical assistance. It can be inconvenient and time-consuming, so some customers have opted for another payment processor with personal customer service.

Heartland is Notorious for Holding Merchant Funds

A further issue with Heartland is that they sometimes hold funds for up to two weeks before releasing them. It can be very frustrating for businesses as it can result in a cash flow problem. Moreover, customers have noted that getting their money back is slow and inefficient.

Hidden Fees

When signing up with Heartland, customers have noted the presence of hidden fees. The company charges additional costs for certain services, such as checks and foreign currency processing. It can be off-putting for some businesses, as they are unaware of these fees until it is too late.

Agent Complaints

Finally, customers have also made complaints about the Heartland Payment Systems agents. They have reported that some agents are unprofessional and pushy when signing up for a contract. It causes customers to feel uncomfortable and distrustful of the company.

Dishonest Sales Practice

Customers have also complained about the company’s dishonest sales practices. They have reported that agents often make false promises and exaggerate the benefits of the services to entice customers into signing up. Reading the contract thoroughly before signing up with Heartland is important.

Lack of Transparency

 Heartland has a reputation for being less than transparent about its fees, and customers complain that the terms of their contracts are not adequately explained. It makes it difficult to accurately budget for expected costs. Hence, it cannot be easy to accurately forecast and budget for services.

Inaccurate Statements

The company has been known to provide inaccurate billing and account management statements. It can create bitter disputes over services that were or were not rendered. It also limits businesses’ ability to keep track of their finances and understand where their money is going.

Unhelpful Customer Service

The customer service at Heartland has also been a common complaint. Customers have reported that the customer service is unhelpful and inefficient and often have to wait a long time for customer service representatives to respond. When they do, the answers are often unhelpful or incomplete.

Non-competitive Merchant Cash Advances

When reviewed, Heartland’s merchant cash advances were found to be some of the least competitive in the industry. Customers have noted that they cannot always get the best deal regarding merchant cash advances, as other competitors offer more competitive terms. For this reason, some customers have opted for other payment processors.

Glitches in Analytics and Reporting

Some customers have also noted glitches in their analytics and reporting. The company provides an online platform for merchants to track their payments, but there have been reports of the system being slow and unreliable. It can be a hindrance to businesses when trying to track their transactions.

Poor Email Marketing

Heartland offers email marketing services. However, customers have noted that the system is unreliable and difficult to use. The emails often fail to deliver, and the company’s support team is often unhelpful when resolving issues. Merchants have had to rely on other email marketing services for their campaigns.

Cancellation Penalties

Customer reviews indicate that they applied a cancellation penalty for services not used. Many were unhappy about the fees charged for dropping their service before the expiration of their contract. It can cause frustration for customers who have to pay a penalty despite having paid for services they could not use.


Regarding payment processing, Heartland Payment Systems provides a wide range of services and products but with high rates and fees. It may be a good option for larger businesses that require the features and flexibility it offers.

However, many small business owners may find that other payment processing solutions provide more cost-efficient services. Ultimately, it is important to research and compare different payment processing solutions to determine which best meets your business’s needs. Doing so can ensure you get the best value for your money.

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